Friday, 9 September 2011

Poem: The Scots Crisis of Confidence

I've been reading The Scots Crisis of Confidence recently, a book by Carol Craig that makes a great deal of generalisations about the nation and the psychological make-up of its inhabitants. It is largely a tract of self-flagellation. Yet part of it rings true, especially where she talks about entrepreneurial culture. She quotes David Landes' The Wealth and Poverty of Nations, a book that discusses how a nation's culture can affect individual actions. This seems to make sense: go-getting Scots feel more at home in London or California than at home, as perhaps American left-wingers feel more at home in Europe. There's a good side to Scotland's predilection to collectivism: but there's also a bad side. I've already written about how this culture affects people in Craig Ferguson's Neighbour. And here's some more of it:

Canny Wullie and Dinnae Ken
are twa our maist kenspeckle men
Wullie Canny dae withoot
and Dinnae Ken whit it's aboot
For their respective orthodox
of failure: infects like a pox
their minds. In soil rich they flourish but
in soil Scots they sour much.
Canny Wullie, Dinnae Ken:
oor twa, respected, gentlemen.

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