“It’s shite being Scottish.” A phrase I’m all too familiar with, and it’s true. Of course, I’m quoting Mark ‘Rent-Boy’ Renton from the 1996 phenomenon that is Trainspotting, rather timely I would be watching such a film and endorsing such a phrase with the release of T2: Trainspotting, but that’s beside the point.
The point I am making is it’s hard being Scottish (believe me, as a straight, white male I know the world is on my side, but it’s open for debate that Scotland is an underdog in a certain union of nations). I’d go further than that, I would happily say it’s shite being Scottish. We’re shite…but we’re also amazing. We are passionate. We are loud. And we aren’t afraid to voice what we believe in – even when we know we aren’t being listened to (again and again).
It isn’t unusual to see a rally take place in Glasgow or Edinburgh – perhaps in George Square (or Independence Square for those Cybernat types) or on the Royal Concert Hall Steps, for the remaining time that they are there.
“I’m Scottish. If you live here, yer as Scottish as I am.”
That quote rings around my head today as Scottish Twitter shows once again we live in a country that refuses to tolerate xenophobia.
In a week that has seen endless headlines over the ridiculous plans to have British companies reveal their foreign workers, Scotland has had enough.
I was ashamed to see the backward-thinking plans. This isn’t a country I want to live in – this isn’t a ‘union’ I want to be a part of.
But, the #WeAreScotland hashtag made me smile.
It has been a month that has shocked the world. The stupidity of the football hooligans in France, the horrific homophobic attack in Orlando and now the murder of Jo Cox MP. It is a time that people would like to forget.
But we must not forget.
We started the month as we would any other, apart from perhaps an enhanced sense of optimism if you are from one of the many countries competing in the Euro 2016 football competition.
Fans have travelled in their thousands to France to enjoy some of the best football our continent has to offer. France, of course, still scarred from the horrific terror attacks just seven months ago that claimed the lives of 130 people in the Paris.
Scottish people love a good party.
A day out in the sun (or cloud), a good old barbecue and a chance for a bev. We take any excuse we can to drink.
We’re a lively bunch, but today we aren’t celebrating. This is a stark comparison to England and other parts of the UK where the tables are out, alcohol is being consumed, food devoured and songs sung – and not just because they’re in the Euros. *le sigh*.
No. They were celebrating someone’s birthday. Sort of.
On Saturday, a small faction of Scotland’s shame brought it upon themselves to host a hate-filled demonstration in George Square.
The Scottish Defence League, or SDL, took to Glasgow’s city centre in a bid to put across their racist views – the view that immigrants and refugees are not welcome in Scotland.
It makes me laugh. No more than three months ago, thousands of Glaswegians joined refugees in the very same spot to show solidarity with our new family.
Five thousand marched in support of refugees back then. On Saturday, no more than 30 people (and that’s an optimistic estimate) stood against.
Some of you, like me, may have read the news today to find out that one of Scotland’s most prestigious golf clubs has voted AGAINST allowing women to join.
In 2016, twenty-sixteen, the 21st CENTURY, the all-male members of Muirfield Golf Club failed to reach a two-thirds vote needed to allow female members citing concerns over thing such as “slow play”. Slow play. Really? Let me guess, the sight of boobs might put you off your putt for double-bogey?
We live in a nation ruled by a female First Minister, a nation where every one of our three major political parties are headed up by a woman. We have arguably the most diverse government when you look at the fact that four of our party leaders are gay.
So why do members at Muirfield place themselves so out of touch with the rest of the country? What allows them to live in the dark ages?