Alien invasion

Scotland the brave, beautiful and about-to-be-invaded. Again.

This time tho’, it’s not the Vikings, the aristocracy, or even the Romans who are threatening to take our territory by force, or horned helmets. Naw, looks like the latest phalanx of alien invaders are likely to be our nearest neighbours. Seems like quite a few Anglo-Saxons (and other ethnic mishmashes) are hatching plans for border-crossing and putting down roots in Rhu, Rothiemurchus or Ruchazie .

Or at least, that was the bold and oft-repeated declared intention heard during a recent Word Up small biz trip to the Big Smoke. All those post-Brexit jokes from our friends in the south about how they were all up-sticking and heading for Scotland where (apparently) we’ve got the right socio-political idea, have now taken on a more serious tone. Turns out, the very idea of a northerly relocation doesn’t seem like such a mad wheeze after all. And believe me, if the sheer number of would-be bag-packers I spoke to in London are anything to go by, we’re in for a bloody big population boom north of the border.

Funny how tables and reputations get turned. Who’d have ever thought that Scotland would become the socially progressive country of choice? Who’d have thought that our southern cousins would gaze longly over Hadrian’s Wall to our mist-shrouded lochs and magnificent mountain tops, at our vibrant, multicultural cities, and our our ambitious equality strategies? Who’d have thought that slowly, slowly we’d begin to get over our hard-drinking, gang-fighting, slum-infested stereotypes? Jeez, it’s enough to make the Scottish soul burst with pride, so it is. And anyway, who could blame anyone wanting to head north, away from xenophobia and the rise of the right? Not me, or plenty of other warm-hearted, welcoming souls. And that’s before the impending General Election…

Legend has it that Scotland welcomes refugees and incomers, but hang on. Here’s a word to the wise. The warmth of that welcome may feel distinctly chilly if loads of the new kids on the Scottish block are actually English. Sorry, but there’s no getting away from it – a lot of Scots don’t care much for their southern brethren.  Old animosities (both real and mythical) die hard for some Scots, and there are those who are pretty vocal and digitally active with their anti-English sentiments. (BTW, and for the record, those views are not shared by this come-all-ye Scotswoman. Some of my best friends are English. Some are even quite posh. Those pals are amongst the many who have broadened this occasional ex-pat’s horizons over many decades and addresses.)

So be warned, would-be settlers, not everything about the land of Irn Bru, the sea eagle, buzzin’ cities and stunning scenery is peachy. We’ve got our very own breed of xenophobe zealots, so you might need to lower your tartan tinted specs before booking the removal van. But the good news is you’ll get a lot of support when it comes to challenging outmoded and downright daft anti-English antipathy blown hard by some of my Caledonian compatriots.

Even better, you’re not likely to be lonely. We Scots just love a wee natter, so all sorts of strangers will speak to you in the street. We’re good at smiling and shooting the shit. Or shite, as we’ll soon have you saying.