I'm generalising, but the Scots have a tendency to hate people from England. It shows in the Scottish proclivity to support not just Scotland but 'whoever's playing England'. And I appreciate that 'hate' is a bit strong. Let's call it 'healthy rivalry'.
So what? Well, remember the 'maternity crisis' of 1993 when all the maternity wards in Scotland were full so expectant parents had to use the local veterinary hospital?
One night a Scot and an Englishman turned up with their pregnant wives at the same time as a German Shepherd. All were due to give birth that very night. The vet rushed them all into the delivery room whilst the Scot, Englander and a police dog (he was the German Shepherd's husband) sat in the waiting room, all very anxious.
After eight hours of howling and squealing the vet ran into the waiting room and explained there had been complications but not to worry as all the new born where fit and healthy. The only problem was that during the turmoil of three females giving birth simultaneously, the vet hadn't had time to tag the infants. "However," he beamed, "this shouldn't cause too much of a problem because, as their fathers, you should find it very easy to recognise your own off-spring."
The Scottish man immediately jumped up and ran into the delivery room returning with the German Shepherd puppy lovingly cradled in his arms. The police dog barked at the vet, "That can't be right! That is obviously my puppy!"
And the Scotsman says, "Up yours Lassie. I'm taking no chances. One of those babies in there is English!"
This rather lame joke delves into the concept of 'identity' and poses the question, 'who are we?' And why do people from neighbouring countries seem to hate each other? (The same principle applies to regions; Manchester versus Liverpool, or even in the shady backwaters of Southampton versus Bournemouth).
Yet when they go abroad the Scots and English unite in 'Britishness' to hate the Spanish, Greeks or whatever European country they are in. And don't get me started on what we think of the French!
It's old fashioned and immature thinking which, I guess, stems from a sort of inbuilt tribalism. We all have a sense of 'looking after our own'. We might call it 'loyalty' or 'patriotism' and it's sometimes so strong that it spills over into overt 'racism'.
So I've got a solution that might solve the Scottish question as well as the Arab/Israeli stand-off. What we really need to knock some sense into us is... an alien invasion. Think about it? When astronauts return to earth after a space mission, they have a different perspective. They see the world as a beautiful whole. We're a tiny ball of rock floating among a billion other balls of rock. So, if the aliens invaded, we'd pull together as a human race in a mass sense of earthly patriotism. It'd be humans uniting against the rest of the galaxy in a breakout of alien racism.
But, while we sit and wait for the aliens, we have the impending 'Scottish question'.
The terrible truth is that, in the past, England has been really horrible to Scotland, something that [Australian!] Mel Gibson reminds us of in 'Braveheart'. I felt ashamed to be English when I watched that film. But then I remembered, it wasn't me! And, to be fair, it was a while back.
I love Scotland and I adore Scottish people. Moreover, I have never met a Scottish person who lacks identity or patriotism. Their Scottishness cups do indeed runneth over.
So, a simple plea. Can we not let go of the past and just share our island? Sure, there are a few unfairness issues that need ironing out. You have poverty in Scotland just the same as we have it in the other corners of the UK. And I know that 'Yes' voters will scream that this blog is too simple and that, as an 'Englander', I don't understand how it feels to be a 'Scot'.
But I'm looking at a much bigger picture. Come on UK, let's show the Middle East how it's done. Let's set a good example for the world and show them if you want to belong and have an identity let's all be 'human beings'.
That way we can get ready to kick seven bells out of the little green b*****s when they eventually show up.Suggest a correction