Quick, name a country that teaches the history of another, separate, ethnically different, and foreign country to its children…
If you said Scotland, well done! Cause you is right.
And does no one find that strange? I mean were all British aren’t we? So it stands to reason that English brats would get taught about Scotland, just like how I was taught about the war of the roses, and how “England” led us through two world wars without any help from the other home nations. Stop me if I’m wrong here, but why is that, because you and I both know that English kids don’t get taught one tiny fucking thing about Scotland, that part of the country in which all the history is. Now, I’m no conspiracy theorist, but the more you think about this inequality, this imbalance, the more you begin to question whether or not this exclusion of all things Scottish, isn’t part of some wider suppression of culture.
Think for a moment, what would happen if you were to teach a wee Scottish wean all about his culture, his history, his traditions, a culture and history and traditions that far remove him from the rest of Britain, a culture that identifies him as being a member of a separate people entirely. If he were to begin to identify as Scottish, rather than British, then the results would be catastrophic for Britain, as it would facilitate in the breaking up of this one-sided relationship, wherein the English piggy back on the achievements made by those beneath their heel.
Where is our voice?
Think about it, an entire generation of bold Scots understanding, first and foremost, their own identity. Imagine an entire generation of scholars and historians unashamed to champion all of Scotland’s ancient wonders, whilst leaving English history where it belongs, with the English. For how many English kids do you know who get taught, almost exclusively, about Scotland’s history? Or China’s? Or Australia’s? That’s right, not one of them, because that would just be silly, wouldn’t it? After all, you get taught about your own nation’s history obviously.
And yet, I don’t ever remember once being taught about Galcacus the swordsman, nor do I remember learning of the enigmatic Picts and their assimilation into the Gaels of Dal riata, which resulted in the very birth of us as a people and nation! I was also never told of Óengus II, who led a combined force of Picts and Scots to victory over the Angles, led by Æthelstan. After casting his gaze skyward during the battle, he saw the saltire, formed by clouds, emblazoned in the bright blue sky, which would later become our nation’s flag and which was said to have roused the Scots and Picts to victory.
But instead, I learned all about some fucking English skirmish, which was started in Scotland, and then finished by the Highland mercenaries that had been brought in to do just that (though Scotlands part in it all was never mentioned. Funny that, isnt it?).
Now call me a whiny Scot all you want, but I firmly believe I was taught all that bullshite for one simple reason. To suppress any nationalistic feelings I might have developed if I had known then, as I do now, just how incredible my country’s contribution to the world really is.
But what of British history as a whole, you may ask. Well, same applies. British history Incredibly one-sided, it is literally a boat listing so badly toward England’s shores, that it’s about to fucking capsize. Anyway, back to my point, let’s take the world wars for example.
Scots were important as attack troops, shock troops essentially, known for their innate courage, they played a significant role in the battles of Loos, the Somme, Arras, Cambrai, and countless other engagements all across the western front. And this was well reflected in the casualty figures alone; in relative terms, Scotland, taking into account population size, lost more of its troops from actual fighting than any other country involved. Scots were also highly visible; whenever the kilted regiments fought, they received a great deal of attention, with many Canadian regiments even requesting to use the Kilt, such was the demoralizing effect it had on the enemy. That’s right, even the goddamn Germans themselves were afraid of, and sometimes abandoned their positions as a result of, the “ladies from hell”.
But why was this? well for one reason, as alluded to above, was because of their steadfastness and bravery, which the commanding English utilized when shock and awe was required, knowing full well that the Scots would neither flinch, nor baulk at charging headlong into the fray, soaking up bullets and taking severe casualties to get the job done. They were expendable weapons, seen as little more than barbarians to be thrown at the enemy in a jam. At the time even, there was a huge feeling among many that wee Scotland had ‘punched above its weight’ in its contribution to the fighting. This is all but forgotten now.
690,000 Scots served during World War One
65% of those Scots volunteered between 1914-16, compared with 52% in the rest of the UK
Estimates of Scots who died range between 75,000 and 182,000
Source – Ewen Cameron, Professor of Scottish History at University of Edinburgh.
But how many Scottish weans know of the part their wee nation played in humanities finest hour? I doubt they know anything beyond it being a British thing, which reminds me.
Most Americans assume British to mean English, and do you know how many times I’ve come across yanks who will literally, actually argue with me that it was England fighting Germany, not Scotland or Ireland or Wales, but England. Let that sink in for a moment. All that sacrifice, bloodshed, and wasted potential, snuffed out in an instant, only to be forgotten in utter contemptible ignorance. That is Scotland’s true legacy concerning the world wars, to be forgotten in a tide of “Britishness” forced upon as a means to suppressing our identity.
But what does it matter? My brave, great (great), grandfathers died horrific deaths out in a faraway land, on some killing field, their dying breaths taken in as they lay strewn among the flies, festering muck, and dead. Never to see Scotland again. But dont sweat it, they died for all of us right? It’d just be nice if people were aware of where they came from.