Jobs for the Scots

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Peter Kent (Letters, 10 November) may not have heard of “the Scottish cringe” – the shaming tendency to defer to a confident Englishman (or woman) – but his suggestion that my ­demand for more (indeed most) of the very top jobs in Scotland to be held by Scots, by birth and/or education, is tantamount to ­“national socialism” is absurd.

It is the norm in all countries – especially, perhaps, in those with an overweening larger neighbour with colonising tendencies – to appoint your own people whenever possible.

Sharing an island, a language and a monarchy is not enough. There are very real cultural, ­educational and philosophical differences between Scotland and England which will almost always mean a Scottish applicant will be more empathetic, all things being equal – and these are set to widen.

For every splendid English incomer we are lucky to have among us there is a legion of “carpetbaggers” who, not surprisingly, must pinch themselves at their good fortune (“cheap” houses, beautiful countryside, polite and welcoming natives and jobs, seemingly, on a plate), and who can blame them?

There are always exceptions to any rule, but when the “rule” is so often perceived to be that – wildly disproportionately –smooth confidence and an English accent are enough to land the local government, university or quango “plums” in Scotland, then common sense and self-­respect are the losers.

David Roche

Alder Grove

Scone, Perthshire