Note: the following is a piece of tongue-in-cheek nonsense written as part of a tongue-in-cheek, nonsensical series of articles about why different nations hate the English.
If you are one of the apparently hundreds of enraged Scots who has come here by Googling "Scottish hate the English" or similar, please (a) grow a sense of humour and, preferably, find something more worthwhile to do with Google; or (b) find somewhere else to vent your spleen. Thank you.
The Scots, in contrast to the Australians, hate the English far more than they ought to.
The ‘Scotch’ – as they loathe to be called – have for far too many centuries been hitching a ride on the wealth and productivity of the superior nation down south that in 1707 (or 1603, depending on how you look at it) so kindly annexed and finally civilised what was, to all intents and purposes, an unruly rabble of drunken, hairy hooligans.
Not content with being massively over-represented in the Houses of Parliament, nor with having eternal control of the UK’s purse-strings through the absurdly long-serving Chancellor, Gordon Brown, the Jocks have in recent years successfully demanded the right to royally screw up their own affairs with the creation of a Scottish Parliament. (Farcically, this screwing-up process began almost immediately with the financial disaster of the Parliament building itself).
Naturally, the English are only too pleased to allow their northern cousins the chance to strike out alone. (Here one recalls the famous parting remark of Edward ‘Longshanks’ on returning over the border from Scotland in 1296 " It does a man good to be shot of a turd.")
Nonetheless, there is no doubt that the Scottish Parliament was washed up in 1999 by a rising tide of nationalistic fervour. But what does it mean to be a ‘patriotic Scot’?
Virtually all the trappings of Scottish culture, bar perhaps the haggis and the sporran, are phony. The legend of the clans and their tartans were largely invented by romantic writers like Sir Walter Scot, while the bagpipes came from Ancient Rome via Turkey.
No, the only thing that unites the Scots is their shared hatred of the Sassenachs ‘doon Sooth’. Scottish nationalism is defined by, indeed cannot exist without, anti-Englishness.
As with the Australians and the Bodyline Series, today’s anti-English feeling among the Scots can be traced to single trigger event. This event occurred in 1995, but the conditions were right and the pot had been simmering for some decades.
As ever, international sport (the modern war-substitute) played its part. Of course, there has always been a natural neighbourly dislike of the bigger, more successful country next door, but as Scottish prowess on the world sporting stage has declined, so has resentment of English success, however punctuated, grown.
By the late 1980s, the stream of outstanding Scottish football talent that produced the likes of Denis Law, Jim Baxter and Kenny Dalglish, had all but dried up and the Scotland national team has become a laughing stock (while England sit at 8th in the latest Fifa rankings, and Eire – made up mostly of second-rate English players who happen to have an Irish grandparent – are 12th, Scotland have plummeted to a dismal 88th, behind such footballing luminaries as Burkina Faso, Canada and Gineau).
The rugby team is little better, with Scotland’s Six Nations challenge essentially amounting to an annual battle for the wooden spoon with Italy. England meanwhile, recently became the first northern hemisphere team to become World Champions.
National humiliation breeds great bitterness. By the 1990’s, young Scottish men must have been at an all-time low. The time was ripe for a Scottish Messiah.
Enter Mel Gibson…
How the Risible and Historically Inaccurate movie Braveheart made in Wales by a Hollywood-based Australian gave Scotland a Renewed Sense of National Identity based upon Hatred of the English
Purporting to tell the story of William Wallace, who led Scotland against the English in the late 13th Century Wars of Scottish Independence, the historical inaccuracies in the film Braveheart are many and wide-ranging even by Hollywood’s silly standards. (Perhaps the most absurd being Wallace’s affair with Isabella of France, implying that her son, later King Edward III of England, actually came from Braveheart’s bloodline – when in fact during the period in question Isabella was a mere infant, and in France).
In fact, virtually every scene and certainly every battle is historically wrong. Harmless fun,of course. A bit of entertaining fluff. A good yarn.
Except that few could have predicted just what a hoo-hah this harmless fluff would create, and how seriously the Scots would take it.
Suddenly hordes of Scottish men are daubing themselves in the movie’s (anachronistic) blue and white face paint to attend football matches.
There are reports of over-excited Jocks, tanked up on Irn-Bru and ‘Heavy’, spilling out of cinemas across Scotland and beating the living haggis out of anyone with an English accent.
Inebriated ex-pat Glaswegians pour out of their luxurious offices in Canary Wharf on a Friday night and bellow “Freedom!” at their hated Sassenach oppressors.
In other words, Mel Gibson did for bitter Scots what Michael Moore did for Guardian-readers: peddle them the overblown fictitious nonsense that they’re all-too-eager to hear until truth and common-sense become buried by the sheer vividness of the legend and everyone is nicely stirred up into a frenzy of self-righteous indignation.
Gibson gave Scotland a new mythology, and a new identity, and he based it on a bastardised version of a battle that occurred 700 years ago.
And that is Why the Scots Hate the English.