Scottish Cringe ?
I must admit I have never heard of this term until I came across it today in Wikipedia, although I recognise the arguments. I reproduce the Wikipedia article here and if it’s not too controversial, would be interested in everyone’s views.
I remember at secondary school in the late 1960’s, I was between a rock and hard place. My dad, a Highlander was a supporter of Highland heritage and culture,as well as the SNP and full independence. We also had our family ceilidh trio (including me) which performed through parts of Scotland. Meanwhile at school, my peers were debating Scottish identity in the classroom and debating hall. It was clear that to those Scots who contemplated it, the English and international image of Scots, wearing kilts, playing bagpipes, eating haggis, quiffing whisky and saying “Hoots Mon !” was stereotypical, overplayed and irritating in the extreme. Any criticism of that image to Englishmen by Scots was met by cries of “inferiority complex” and “chip on their shoulder”. Thank you, Harry F*****' Lauder !
Never mind, a couple of years later, the perceived English image of Scots changed to that of a nation of Glasgow hard-men putting the heid on others and saying “See you Jimmy !”, as well as being football’s über-hooligans. Strangely, instead of being ridiculed as earlier, Scots were, by now, feared. I had a personal example of that in 1976 !
So how do they see us now in the 21st Century ? Meanwhile - to Wikipedia:-
The Scottish cringe is a Scottish cultural cringe claimed to exist by some politicians and other commentators.
These Scottish cultural commentators claim there that a sense of cultural inferiority is felt by many Scots, particularly in relation to a perceived dominance of English culture, partly due to the importance of London, within the United Kingdom, and consequently a sense of Scottish resentment and underachievement. The cringe is said to manifest as:
• feelings of low self-worth and embarrassment felt by Scottish people in response to overt expressions of Scottish cultural identity and heritage such as the Lowland Scots and Scottish Gaelic languages, and the kilt
• a sycophantic attachment to the way things are done in other English-speaking countries, such as England or the United States
• even though part of the ruling state within the British Empire, a tendency of many Scots to perceive themselves as victims of English colonialism and cultural imperialism within British institutions, such as the perceived marginalisation of coverage of Scottish affairs by the BBC and politically, during the Thatcher-era.
Opposition has been voiced to the idea that this sense is widespread, with some commentators even going so far as to suggest that quite the opposite is true. Scottish historian Niall Ferguson, in a piece in the Daily Telegraph, put forward a position that in fact:
“ We regard it as only right and proper that the world sees in the New Year by singing a Scottish song. We take it for granted that half the broadcasters on the BBC are Scotsmen. We don't envy the English. We pity them. There is no Scottish cringe, in the Australian fashion. There is only the Scottish swagger - a swagger inspired by the authentically Calvinist certainty that we and only we (by which of course I mean we White Aggressively Scottish Protestant males) are the Elect. „
— Niall Ferguson
He then however goes on to list what he sees as "realities" that call into question this "superiority complex" and proposes that "Scotland should go into liquidation".
The phrase 'Scottish swagger' was repeated in February 2009 by journalist Dominic Lawson in The Independent.
Last edited by Lachlan09; 18th January 2011 at 06:25.