It's possible that the UK's mass media, based in London, doesn't understand Scotland. Have you noticed that too? Let me illustrate with a wee example, from back in the Before Times.
In 2001, I was working for a newspaper, designing their Sunday magazine supplement. For *reasons*, the paper was based in London and the magazine in Edinburgh.
And then one day the owners decided to move the whole operation to London. Anyone who wanted to stay on could visit the main office, to see if they wanted to move. I went on the visit.
At lunch, over a long pub table, one of the London-based staff mentioned his liking of Edinburgh. Visited every year for the festival. 'Without us, Edinburgh would be broke', or words to that effect.
I paused for a moment to consider a reply, because as we know there are several ways to pop this particular bubble of delusion. I did not pause long.
Said staffer – who I had worked with at a distance for about six months – suddenly exclaims he's kidding. Obviously Edinburgh is successful and such. I was perplexed. The sudden change from banter to apology was… odd. Unprecedented.
About five minutes later I came to the startling conclusion that he might actually have been intimidated by me.
As far as I understand it, from closing on on a half century of living in this body, there's nothing particularly scary about me. I was last in a fight in Primary 5. And that was a no-score draw. However. Here I was guilty of being Scottish in London.
Let's face it. London is bigger that Scotland and, from inside, there is nowhere more important. Is it any surprise Londoners have little conception of Scotland?
If someone who I thought knew me (at least enough for lunch time banter) could be scared of me, mostly because of my accent, what does that say about the UK media and its understanding of Scotland?
The UK media doesn't get Scotland. At all. Later, I lived in Southampton for nine months and Scotland got mentioned on the Radio4 main news twice in that time. Once to talk about the smoking ban and once for an 'and finally' because deer had blocked the A9.
Scotland gets mentioned when it affects England and only then. Unless it's a joke at our expense. The ignorance is thick and its way past time we were shot of it.
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