I have to admit that it’s far from a unique experience but it’s actually been a few years since anyone called me a diddy.
Oh, not in those words of course, I mean you can hardly expect learned and erudite Herald correspondents to use such a plebeian word as ‘diddy’. (Though, on the other hand, some of them probably hear it all the time.)
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It’s quite a strange experience being pilloried and although one or two people seemed to agree with me, the majority of respondents to my last blog managed to insult and affront me in a number of inventive ways labelling me: a clown, a Tory, a Unionist and, worst of all by some considerable margin, an Australian.
Not that I make any apologies for having a particular point of view. I’m sticking to my position that declaring independence, establishing a Parliament and voting in a bunch of the aforementioned losers, boozers and Jacuzzi users doesn’t make Scotland any more (or less) an entity than it is already.
Because Scotland, to me, Scottishness, isn’t about nationhood as much as is about a feeling. A state of mind, a, sense of belonging, good or bad. A shared culture, sure but something else, something inclusive, compassionate and fair-minded.
A sense of humour, one which is ours but not ours alone because part of our confidence means that and we can – and do - share it.
A couple of year ago, at an end of season do at my place, I treated the guys in my football team – mostly Aussies, a couple of Poms, an Italian, some Croatians and Julio the Argentinian nutter, a bloke who could start a fight in an empty house, to a bit of Francie and Josie. Jack Milroy as Francie, doing the monologue, Huddacurry’, which if you don’t know it, contains lines like –
‘I was stumbling, tummy rumbling, I was worried, d’ye see? I wiz worried, that the curry widnae come hame wi’ me!’
To a man, my teammates, cracked up. Even Julio the Crazy South American. Bams like a laugh too.
Years before that, not long after I first came to Oz I spent a weekend with some Aboriginal musician pals, singing and playing together in the Central New South Wales Outback.
A guy I met, Bob Kelly, a local Indigenous Elder, a fabulous muso and a top bloke took the proverbial biscuit by reciting the late, great Matt McGinn’s ‘The Effen Bee’.
‘He kept bees in the old town of Effen. An Effen bee-keeper was he. And one day, this Effen bee-keeper, was stung, by a big Effen bee.
It brought the house down. Or it would have done if we had actually been in a house.
And let me tell you, if you’re ever lucky enough to hear a 20 stone Aboringal bloke delivering classic McGinn under a starry Australian desert sky 12,000 miles away from Scotland, you’ll realise that no drug ever invented can give you that sort of wonderfully weird experience.
What’s my point here? That being Scottish is more than being from a particular country. More than establishing a nation. It’s a feeling, an emotion, a brotherhood of man and woman far more important or profound than a simple Political declaration of independence.
So, go ahead and vote for Scottish sovereignty if you want to. I’m wouldn’t be for stopping you.
But personally, I think having a Scottish identity is more important than having a Scottish Parliament.
And you know what?
We’ve already got that identity.