Comment at end
7th February 2009
Wi’ the requisite touch o’ Scots modesty
(Made even more modest, deservedly so, by this good English commenter below)
I didn’t bother to read all the comments, but I can guess, from both angles. Though Mr Heffer might just have a point. Scots in the present Labour government do seem rather disproportionate.
But to aid claim to my fellow Scots’ deserving of lauding it over sassenachs – (only joking … I even think of myself as ‘British’ first – I do, I always have) – I thought I’d let you see this. These words used to hang around our kitchen, printed on a tea towel. I’ve managed to trace it online. The words, not the tea-towel. (Yes, I know I spend a lot of time on the internet, but I haven’t quite mastered the transportation of objects. If I do, look out. I’ll be right there …)
Oh, the ingenuity of the Scots.
Juts a wee reminder, lads and lasses.
Wha’s Like Us – Damn Few And They’re A’ Deid
By Tom Anderson Cairns
The average Englishman, in the home he calls his castle, slips into his national
costume, a shabby raincoat, patented by chemist Charles Macintosh from Glasgow, Scotland.
En route to his office he strides along the English lane, surfaced by John Macadam of Ayr, Scotland.
He drives an English car fitted with tyres invented by John Boyd Dunlop of Dreghorn, Scotland.
At the train station he boards a train, the forerunner of which was a steam engine, invented by James Watt of Greenock, Scotland.
He then pours himself a cup of coffee from a thermos flask, the latter invented by James Dewar, a Scotsman from Kincardine-on-Forth.
At the office he receives the mail bearing adhesive stamps invented by James Chalmers of Dundee, Scotland.
During the day he uses the telephone invented by Alexander Graham Bell, born in Edinburgh, Scotland.
At home in the evening his daughter pedals her bicycle invented by Kirkpatrick Macmillan, blacksmith of Dumfries, Scotland.
He watches the news on his television, an invention of John Logie Baird of Helensburgh, Scotland,
And an item about the U.S. Navy, founded by John Paul Jones of Kirkbean, Scotland.
He has by now been reminded too much of Scotland and in desperation he picks up the Bible only to find that the first man mentioned in the good book is a Scot, King James VI, who authorised its translation.
Nowhere can an Englishman turn to escape the ingenuity of the Scots.
He could take to drink, but the Scots make the best in the world.
He could take a rifle and end it all but the breech-loading rifle was invented by Captain Patrick Ferguson of Pitfours, Scotland.
If he escapes death, he might then find himself on an operating table injected with penicillin, which was discovered by Alexander Fleming of Darvel, Scotland.
Or under anaesthetic, which was discovered by Sir James Young Simpson of Bathgate, Scotland.
Out of the anaesthetic, he would find no comfort in learning he was as safe as the Bank of England founded by William Paterson of Dumfries, Scotland.
Perhaps his only remaining hope would be to get a transfusion of guid Scottish blood which would entitle him to ask “Wha’s Like Us”.
(Love the bit about “safe as the Bank of England”, don’t you?)
At the bottom of the tea towel is the Latin inscription “nemo me impune lacessit” which translates to “no one provokes me with impunity” which was the motto of the Order of the Thistle first used on the coins of King James VI of Scotland.
Perhaps Mr Heffer should retain this wee thought.
Of course we could always ring up The Previous Prime Minister, Tony Blair, to try to dilute the Scottishness of the Cabinet.
Ooops … no we couldn’t .
“Here’s tae us, wha’s like us? Damn few and they’re a’ deid”
I recall my father often used to use this phrase as a toast, as he raised his glass to down a wee dram. But he always prefaced it with “Here’s tae us.” So from my recollection it should have those three words at the beginning, if used as a toast.