Much has been made of Mark Burchill's comments relating to a savage tackle by his Scottish player Kieron Gibbons on Rangers' English loan player from an English Premier league team. Burchill has since offered an apology, but it is unclear as to the reason behind his apology, if it was a sincere change of heart or simply he being told to pour oil on stormy waters. I will not dwell on the tackle, but wish to highlight the mindset, which appears to make it acceptable for a significant proportion of the Scottish population to make such xenophobic remarks.
The Scottish Nationalist Party prior to and during the Scottish referendum debate proposed an all-inclusive Scotland, but as with many of their other proposals they said one thing but implied another. They managed to cause a schism in Scottish society, where the base animal instincts of many were played upon, and divisions and lines of demarcation established. Westminster (in SNP speak read England) was the great evil, and the Tories (in SNP speak read English) the enemy. Notice no mention of the good people of Wales or Northern Ireland; they were not part of the mind games, irrelevant in terms of the nationalist agenda. Thus it came to be it was and is acceptable to criticize and deride all things English. Burchill's comments are simply a result of where the nationalist agenda has left us.
A few years ago another player arrived at Rangers for a short time, albeit one with more of a "colourful" reputation, El Hadji Diouf, he was subjected to significant abuse and derision from opposition supporters and the late Scottish Nationalist MP took it upon herself to declare he deserved the racial abuse he was receiving and that he should head back south, apparently he didn't fit the criteria for the all inclusive Scotland either.
In the arts World, poet Hugh MacDiarmid a self-proclaimed "Anglophobe" reckons key jobs associated with the arts in Scotland should preferentially go to Scots, or rather not English.
I find it more and more difficult to relate to Scotland these days, as an expat who has lived abroad for the best part of 15 years I still yearn for the place, but the people are changing, its not the Scotland I remember. I recall waxing lyrical about the Scottish Enlightenment and the benefits and innovation brought to the modern World to all who would listen, I don't often do the same these days. I recall visiting Egypt and seeing the magnificent ancient structures and marveling at the skills and ingenuity of those who had built it, then looking around at the chaos of modern day Egypt and thinking it must be different people. This is perhaps an indication that the glories of your past can be lost in your future.
There is a haunting song by the Waterboys entitled "Red Army Blues" which describes a young Russian's journey to fight in the war, and subsequent return to Russia where Stalin had him imprisoned because he had become too westernized, perhaps that is the reason those of us not resident in Scotland were prevented from participating in the referendum. In the same song there is a lyric "Used to love my country", and I did, now I am ambivalent, why? Because I see something changing, something alien, something not of my liking. It is a cancer that is slowly changing the society. It needs to be cured. Divide and conquer, the nationalists it has to be said are doing this well. This is Scotland, a divided country.