Our Fathers

I read this book recently,It is pretty dark but worth reading especially if you are from The West Coast of Scotland.It is set around Glasgow and Ayrshire.

In a way it is a study of the Scottish psyche.Andrew O’ Hagan writes very well and captures the frustrations and angst and maybe even the brutality of growing up in Working Class Scotland.I could relate to this book in many ways

It got me thinking about growing up in Scotland and how it can at times be in the Scottish mentality to put ourselves and each other down,We as Scots are guilty of a big inferiority complex mixed in with a large dose of defeatism,maybe this is the reason for the amount of Alcoholism and substance abuse that we all think is a Scottish tradition.I think  the book shows  that this mentality is passed down from Father to Son.

I am not saying this as a criticism of my fellow Scots as I like my fellow country men and woman and I have these character traits myself.

Why are we like this? I think the fact that we are not our own country has a lot to do with the Scottish attitude to life ie the defeatism,the negativity.Years of being under the yoke of England has  left its mark on our character.If we got our independence I think there would be a definite change for the better in the Scottish mentality and a period of renaissance within Scotland itself.

I know that not everyone in Scotland would agree with these sentiments,but now that I have moved away from Scotland and I have had time to reflect on what it means to be Scottish,it has cemented my thinking that Scotland should be its own nation,we have a  history of independence and we have enough smart people within Scotland to make it work.Don’t believe the lies of Westminster and the dirty tricks they will put in place to stop independence from happening.

If smaller less populated countries can stand on their own two feet then I am sure we can,even if it is only to get our pride back and give us all an attitude adjustment.

Anyway enough of the call for a free independent Scotland,in other news I went to see Seattle Sounders get beat by the Chelski on Saturday it was pretty good 65,000 were there.I can never get excited about friendlies it is only an exercise in moneymaking for already over rich clubs like Chelski.

The only reason I went is because my mate Ed has always been a Chelsea fan and grew up near Stamford Bridge.

See ye later.

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16 Comments on “Our Fathers”

  1. Mark Says:

    I don`t agree that the reasons for increased alcohol and drug abuse are anything to do with a particular scottish mentality, or national psychological problem. Large urban areas in england have massive problems with binge drinking and substance abuse, the same as up here, but not on the same scale per population. The main factor is poverty. Scotland has one of the largest populations living under the poverty line in western europe. That is the reason for the country having the highest rates of heart disease, cancer, strokes etc., and having the highest rate of substance abuse. Life is shite when you are poor, so getting pissed and eating processed food makes you feel better in the short term. Poverty is the reason, not englands domination nationally over scotland. The other main reason for the increase in alcoholism is how cheap drink is, and how easily obtainable it is over here.

    Scotlands union with england was the right decision at the time as scotland was on her knees financially (darian project) and politically. However, today I think the time is right to leave behind the tartan, shortbread, whisky, heather national identity (which was manufactured 150 years ago by sir walter scott) and have a fresh start. Smaller countries can stand on their own without having “scotlands great heritage”. We should forget about the past and think of an independent future without the poverty or the hangups!

  2. bingabinga Says:

    I think it does play apart in it Mark it is not just poor people living in schemes who have problems with drugs and Alcohol in Scotland.I think that this is a major part of the problem in say Easterhouse or other poverty stricken areas of Scotland.I do think there is an overall lack of pride and a defeatist attitude in Scotland and I do feel that being the smaller colonised nation has something to do with it.The scottish attitude is I dont give a fuck.

    Scotland has a rich cultural heritage without the heather and the bagpipes.
    I am in work just now Mark so I am having enogh trouble without the Scots.

  3. Mark Says:

    I know its not just poor people in schemes who end up with substance abuse problems. But they are by far the biggest percentage within scotland, and their poverty is the issue!

  4. bingabinga Says:

    I know that but I think their is a deep rooted sense of defeatism within the Scottish Psyche Mark and I blame the fucken English for this,awright. I blame they snobby bastards down South for all our problems Scottish people are great its they Anglo Saxon bastards that fucked it up for us.
    I was trying to be nice before but thats it the gloves are off Mark.

  5. stevie Says:

    Have to say I don’t believe Scotland’s social and esteem issues come from an absence of independence either, for the reasons Mark already mentioned. The fact that our problems are worsening as our economic system becomes less regulated leads me to think that that capitalism is more likely to be the answer instead. I honestly don’t see how replacing one flag with another will make much, if any, difference; in fact, Walter Scott and his desire to please an English king, and our resulting ignorance of history in place of tartan military bullshit has done more damage to our self esteem than the union ever did. Well, to mine anyway!

    But I think it goes further than poverty as well since poverty is relative of course, and our poor, in the wider scheme of things, want for nothing, in fact they life a life that half the planet can only dream about. In Cairo, let’s say, a place of incredible poverty, the people would still share with you their last meal, and you could walk down its most ‘dangerous’ parts and barely get as much as a raised eyebrow.

    Maybe it’s other things like the crap weather and a lack of spirituality that are to blame as well, and I don’t think we’ve ever been as enlightened as we might think, in fact we’ve done not a bad job of selling ouselves as friendlier than we are. The first Scottish migrants to the US, for exacmple, were notoriously insular and hostile, as were those who migrated to Poland in the 17th century- over there the term ‘Scot’, or its equivalent, is still used as an insult.

    I think it’s a lot of things…

  6. Louise Says:

    I agree with you Stevie, it’s a big melting pot of factors. Another aspect is te culture of fear we all live in, the culture of suspicion that pervades all apects of our lives. I remember 25yr ago when I was 9/10 yr old walkin about Erskine quite the thing. Nobody lets their kids jst walk about and explore now in fear that they might get abducted, etc, even although that rarely happens. I live in bloody Rothesay but my kids still don’t get the freedom I got at their age. Britain sucks. We have a bad attitude to everyone and are very selfish and insular.

  7. stevie Says:

    Exactly…

  8. Mark Says:

    Don`t worry Peter it wis just me gettin some SSP rhetoric aff ma chest. Have you forgotten that half the population of the west coast of scotland think they are irish, and the other half think they are english anyway? Scottish identity doesnae even enter the equation!!! I agree Stevie, there are two definitions of poverty depending on where you live. One for the developed world, and the other far greater and damaging third world privation.

  9. bingabinga Says:

    Ok alcohol and drug abuse does not just stem from not having our own country,but I do think the Scottish psyche over the years has been affected by our standing in the world or our lack of standing in the world.
    I know and agree with all of your points about poverty etc but I think that the treatment of Scots and Scotland by our bigger neighbour has affected our outlook and our general sense of negativity.
    Now I cannot prove this but it was an interesting point raised in the book Our Fathers.The author was more or less saying that there is anger passed down through generations of male Scots and it is alot to do with our treatment in history and being somewhat powerless
    It interested me anyway.So read the book its good.

  10. stevie Says:

    No, it isnae, it’s pish.

  11. stevie Says:

    ha ha

  12. Mark Says:

    mince…….

  13. bingabinga Says:

    oh come on you guys!!

  14. Louise Says:

    I personally think it is to do with the Scots preoccupation with height. I was on a celtic forum there where people were referring to WGS (wee Gordon Strachan) and BTM (big Tony Mowbray). What is it wi Scots and height? Loads of people call my husband big Mark. In fact we were walking through Glasgow a few years back and we spotted a bar called The Wee Man’s Bar. I had visions of Mark goin in there and tumblweed blowin thru the bar and a wee wiry Glesga guy sayin to him “Big man, u need tae leave. Your sort urny welcome here. This is the wee man’s bar”. So your aw wrang….it’s to do wi height, plain and simple. PS Happy Birthday Sarah xx

  15. bingabinga Says:

    I know as always being known as Big Peter I understand this mentality,it could be worse though I remember I guy who was known as Gay John and I think he was married with two kids.

  16. Mark Says:

    Aye, our local bobby is fairly tall and the locals call him High Tower. Strange wee place this!


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