The lion sleeps

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Michelle Smyth (Letters, 3 July) points out how the SNP misrepresents Scotland when examining our differing health services. Not only do the SNP regularly change the identity of the nation they wish Scotland to emulate, whether it be Iceland, Ireland, or Norway, but they also try to make us out to be what we are not. 

Just as many Scots believe Highland Dress equals Scottish national costume (it does not), they are also fooled into believing Scots have some kind of ancestral genetic uniformity. 

The Irish have much more claim – as do the Welsh – of some form of relatively uniform national origins (insofar as any country in a diverse continent can) than we in Scotland. 

Although the Irish have had to put up with various people trying to take over part, or all, of their island at one time or another – whether it be Vikings, Normans, or English – their impact on the genes of the Irish seems to be relatively limited, at least according to Julian Richards’ Blood of the Vikings

Here in Scotland, we have the genes of Roman legionaries, native Picts (whoever they were), Britons, Angles, Irish, Vikings, Flemish, Normans and so on. It makes your head spin.

The “Celtic” peoples are from the mainland of Europe and were never even mentioned in their day as living in these islands. We Scots may, therefore, be Heinz 57 variety (or mongrel, bluntly), but we are certainly not a Celtic Lion, however much Mr Salmond may wish we were.

Andrew HN Gray

Craiglea Drive

Edinburgh

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