Although I do not hold any of the unpleasant views he says he has, as an Englishman, encountered in Scotland, nor do I wish him to “go” anywhere, I must beg to differ when he claims to be a Scot by adoption – it really isn’t just choosing where to live (ideally beautiful, with “cheap” houses and friendly, English-speaking natives).
However long I lived in England, it would be silly to claim to be English, however happy I was there. England and Scotland have, of course, a huge shared history and culture, but the latter has largely been the juggernaut of English culture and mores rolling over the Scottish one.
We willingly soaked it up though: the accents, the class divisions in education and employment, the meek acceptance that the top jobs would be gifted to the posh or mock-posh (English or wannabes), even revelled in our role as comedy Jocks – step forward Harry Lauder, Billy Connolly et al – hugely influenced as we were by radio, TV and films. It seemed the natural order of things.
That is what I mean by Anglification. I note Mr Howell does not seriously address my demographic and constitutional concerns, but I do I believe we can be distinctively Scottish without having, like James Boswell, to apologise for it, even less by demonising the English. It really wasn’t their fault. The English have many splendid characteristics, but accepting that – just possibly – they are not the greatest nation on earth, born to be in charge, is hard for them.