Home
In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 3, 2006 / 3 Teves, 5766

Scotland, it's over, but keep the accents

By Niall Ferguson


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Well, did you sing it? Worse, did you put on a kilt and sing it? Worst of all, did you drink half a bottle of malt whiskey and sing it?


I am referring, of course, to Robert Burns' song "Auld Lang Syne." No song — not even Lennon and McCartney's "Yesterday" — can match its status as an authentically global anthem. Last night, as the bells struck midnight to usher in the New Year in one time zone after another, literally tens of millions of people sang it, beginning in Auckland and ending in Alaska.


Only a tiny minority will have sung it in tune, but what the hell. Whatever else 2006 may bring, a proper Scottish New Year's makes one thing absolutely certain: The year will start with a fearful hangover.


G-d knows I have had a few of those. But not this year. No "Auld Lang Syne" for me. No kilt. And no whiskey. To be absolutely sure of escaping my Caledonian heritage, I have fled south — to Cape Town, no less. And as you read this, the only headache I fear is from the golden summer sun.


For I have finally reached the parting of the ways, as eventually happens to all of us Scottish emigrants. We go through a long period, which can last up to 20 years, of telling whoever will listen to us that Scotland is G-d's own country; that its Highland scenery is matchless; that its people invented all that is worth preserving in the modern world — Scotch, golf, economic liberalism, er, penicillin, television and … Scotch.


Yes, that was me. For two decades I tiresomely corrected anyone, my wife included, who dared to confuse the terms "English" and "British." I banged on tediously about the superiority of Scottish education, Scottish law, Scottish rugby, Scottish water, Scottish tweed, Scottish holidays — you name it. I quoted Burns. I quoted Carlyle. I quoted the statistics that showed that Scottish regiments were the ones that did the real fighting in the First World War.


Now, all this wasn't attributable to an inferiority complex. That would have been forgivable. The Scottish problem is the opposite. As a nation we are cursed with a superiority complex. We really do believe that we are better. Not just better than the English; better than everyone.


Now that I've moved to the United States, it really is time to face up to some harsh realities:


Scotland is a small, sparsely populated appendage of England. Those who called it "North Britain" in the 18th century had it right.


The weather is impossibly wet.


Most of the land north of Loch Lomond is barren rock.


Scotland lost its political independence 300 years ago, and the creation of a Scottish Parliament, a glorified county council housed in a risible and overpriced folly of a building, has not restored it.


Educational standards in Scotland, once the highest in Europe, have with a few exceptions collapsed.


When it comes to sports — and I do not count the one decent tennis player — Scotland is the Belarus of the West.


In fact, when it comes to just about everything, it is the Belarus of the West.


That is why so many Scots emigrate. As I did.


It's over. Over the way countries are sometimes just over. Over the way Prussia is over. Over the way Piedmont is over. Or, if you prefer, over the way General Motors will soon be over.


My modest proposal for 2006 is simple. The country hitherto known as Scotland should go into liquidation. The assets should be broken up, sold off and the proceeds (which won't fetch much) distributed to the creditors and, if anything remains, to the shareholders.


The Scots can keep their accents, just as Yorkshiremen keep theirs. But the idea that Scotland might one day "be a nation again" should simply be dropped. .


The best of Scotland, like "Auld Lang Syne," belongs to the world. The rest of Scotland I can do without.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


BUY THE BOOKS

Click HERE to purchase it at a discount. (Sales help fund JWR.).

Click HERE to purchase it at a discount. (Sales help fund JWR.).

Niall Ferguson is a professor of history at Harvard University. He is the author of "Empire" (Basic Books, 2003) and "Colossus" (Penguin, 2004). Comment by clicking here.

12/20/05: History, democracy and Iraq
11/22/05: Ghost of Napoleon haunts Tony Blair
11/22/05: Can it happen in Britain too?
11/15/05: Red plus blue equals purple
11/10/05: The fires of disintegration
11/01/05: Triumph of an über-wonk

© 2006, Los Angeles Times Distributed by Los Angeles Times Syndicate

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles