In a recent posting I pointed out that a lot of people in England seem to be developing an irrational fear of the Scots. As you can see from the above video that irrationality may be hilarious to watch, and it certainly provided John Harris with a chance to throw a sarcastic, contemptuous comment or two at the fuckwits he was interviewing, but this irrationality really is a one-way-street. It travels northwards over the River Tweed, but does not go south.
The vitriol that we see on the web has more to do with the desire of anonymous losers with their multiple identities to cause a stir than it does to anything else. That said, there does seem to be more of it from England directed at Scotland than the other way around. Furthermore, the Scots tend to be attacking the Tories whereas the English trolls are denigrating Scotland as a collective whole.
At street level you do not get in Scotland the sheer nastiness that is currently being displayed by more than a few English people towards the Scots, as the video shows. To be honest, those of us who live in Scotland are rather bemused by it all, and we cannot figure out quite what we have all done to deserve this hatred.
The election campaign was not fought in Scotland based on hatred of England. In fact, England hardly featured in the debates that took place in Scotland. The fight was between Labour and the SNP over who would be better placed to take on the Tories in Westminster. The SNP won by saying that Labour's record was such that we could not trust the party not to weasel out of campaign promises made unless there was a stronger, more leftist party holding Labour to account.
The notion that the SNP secretly wanted the Tories to win is yet another myth that many in England believe. Nobody wanted that, and the polls showed that both Labour and the Tories were on neck and neck right up until election day itself. So SNP strategy really was based on having a Labour government that was reliant on the SNP to stay in power. Given that both parties are social democratic, it struck most of us as quite rational to choose the sounder party to provide stiffening for the weaker one.
I doubt if many people in Scotland even looked south to England until the day before the election. That was when the Guardian's video reproduced above went live, and when I spoke to people back home who told me about how a fear of Scotland had become an English electoral issue. Until then we just assumed that if we did our anti-Tory bit and people down south did theirs then together we could wave goodbye to Tory rule.
Making sense of this southern irrationality is next to impossible. Britain as a whole was given a serious pounding in the 1980s, but it is as if the Scots have decided, almost one and all, that they are going to have revenge for those years come what may. Conversely, far too many in England seem to take the view that they will smear lube over their own ring-pieces and then bend over for a taste of the super-sized dildo wielded by Toryism.
Could the reason for the vitriol simply be that far too many people in England are ashamed of their own cowardice, and cover it with anti-Scottish bluster?
To be honest, nothing else makes sense.