03-05-2007 PRO'S & CONS 18 - Scotland on Sunday

This was lifted from an article by Tom English in today's Scotland on Sunday.

The dependency culture he talks about is stifling us.

What excites me about Scottish politics can be summed up in two words: Alex Salmond. He's the only one who's engaged me in this election, the only one I've made a point of watching on television, the only one I thought about going and seeing when he campaigned in my own corner of the country. I never did that before, not even in Ireland . Salmond is different.

He is convincing, to me anyway. Not to lots of the people I met on my road trip but I'm sold on the guy. For two years I've been living here and all the while I've noted the many, many similarities between Scotland and Ireland but the one glaring difference, the one contrast so noticeable, is in the confidence of the people. In Ireland , they have it, maybe too much of it, maybe with all the money washing about an economy that refuses steadfastly (and miraculously) to take a backward step, it has crossed the line into arrogance. But you get my drift. Pardon the generalisation but the new Irish are full of certainty and conviction and self-assurance. The Scot equals something else.

Bill Gammell, the former rugby internationalist who ended up an oil baron, told me once that the dependency culture of the Scot is like a cancer in the spirit of the nation. Is it? I don't know. All I know is that in the beauty of our countries we're like twins but as people we're not as alike as we sometimes make out.


Source Scotland on Sunday

at Crann Tara


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