There have been many different reactions to the news of the planned referendum for Scottish independence, from both sides of the border. There are many Scottish Unionists (even though few vote for the Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party) and fancy there being so many English people who are pro-Scottish independence. Not because they think we can find success alone and they wish us all the best and ‘let’s stay friends’, but because they perceive that they subsidise the Scots and they are driven by spite over the issues of free prescriptions and tuition fees and they see Scotland as an albatross around their sassenecks!
But the whole world should appreciate us and lavish us with gifts for making life better over centuries. Everyone knows about the great inventions of the telephone, television, and deep-fried Mars bar, but did you know that?….
We scored the best ever World Cup goal? (Yes, in football!).
Invented chicken tikka massala (at least Glasgow chef Ali Ahmed Aslam lays claim to it).
James Simpson knocked the world out when he invented chloroform.
James Maxwell’s ‘three-colour method’ led him to present the world’s first colour photograph in 1861.
Golf was invented in Scotland. Everyone knows that, but did you know that James II banned it as an unwelcome distraction from learning archery?
Without Glaswegian engineer James Watt, “the Industrial Revolution might never have happened. He developed a way of making steam engines efficient, to speed trains along.”
Lord Kelvin discovered and named ‘absolute zero’.
Scotland can also boast of these:
Driving on the left (1772)
Peter Pan (J M Barrie).
‘Fax machine’ (1846)
Sir Thomas Lipton (of Lipton’s Tea fame) organised the first World Cup in 1909 (the first FIFA tourney was in 1930 of course, as every schoolboy should be able to tell you). West Auckland who represented England won. I say this to remind ourselves that England sometimes do well at things too.
First patent for a flush toilet by Alexander Cummings (1775).
Gin and tonic (don’t know who invented ice and a slice).
First hypodermic syringe by Alexander Wood (1853).
King James authorising his Bible.
Treasure Island (Robert Louis Stevenson).
Postage stamp adhesive.
William Cullen demonstrated the first method of artificial refrigeration in 1748.
Elvis was Scottish?? “Yes, even the father of rock was a Jock, as a fan discovered when he traced his idol’s ancestors back to Lonmay in Aberdeenshire in the 1700s.”
Umpteen football managers who have led English clubs to victory.
Davy Crockett (apparently).
The Thirty-Nine Steps (John Buchan).
US Navy (founded by John Paul Jones).
US Presidents – “An astonishing 23 presidents of the United States have Scots or Scots-Irish heritage, including many of the most distinguished: Theodore Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton. The George Bushes, senior and junior, also originate from Scotland, though obviously it was Texas that made them that way.”
Vacuum Flask (Sir James Dewar “made the invention in 1892 but failed to get a patent and so did not profit from his ingenuity”).
You get the picture.
There is ample consolation in all the above successes to counter the blow of finding out that the haggis, bagpipes and tartan were not Scottish inventions.
Unfortunately, we also gave the world bad things. The article lists some of them:
‘Scottish Mafia’ – “The advent of New Labour brought to the frontline rather a lot of old Scots, from Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling to John Reid, Derry Irvine and Charlie Falconer.” New Labour, of course, was responsible for immoral wars for corporate empire; dumbing down education so much that McDonald’s needed to give school-leavers lessons in basic arithmetic before they could serve up a burger in a bap; did away with Section 28 so that children could have homosexuality promoted to them ad nauseam (no wonder they didn’t have time to learn how to count) and of course, the traitor with a face like a bag of spanners, Gordon Brown, sneaked off to sign the Lisbon Treaty, despite his party promising us a referendum.
David Cameron – another traitor and liar (EU referendum?) – is of Scottish stock.
Billy Connolly – used to be funny.
What happened to us?
Savour Archie Gemmill’s goal from 1978 when he helped defeat the Dutch 3-2.