Openly Obtuse

Tuesday February 6, 2007

The Flower of Scotland?

Filed under: Fluff,Politics — dgold @ 12:09 pm

While watching the weekends rugby in the company of some irish friends, I was struck by the delight they took in discussing a future independent Scotland. They seemed to imagine that a free Scotland would be like a more northerly Ireland. When I opined that such a place would be less likely to be a Celtic Christian nation (as an irish politician ill-advisedly put it recently) and more a Protestant Presbyterian one, they seemed shocked at the idea, but not quite as shocked as I was by the comment which followed:

“Ah sure, the Scots were forced to bend the knee to the Prods by Cromwell, weren’t they?”

The sheer ignorance of the history of England among the Irish has always appalled me, but this was something of a very different nature. The Irish seem to claim some sort of cultural co-heritage with the Scots, so I would have expected them to at least know something of Scottish history. The history of the English Civil War and the Commonwealth, of which Cromwell was just one facet, is likewise something which I thought the Irish had some level of knowledge.

But no. As the evening wore on the sheer number of utterly incorrect facts about scottish history became numbing. All too often the Irish, as much as their neighbours in the UK, are quick to laugh at some of the monstrosities which occasionally emanate from what the American’s call their ‘education system’. They really shouldn’t be so quick to judge.

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