One of Tuesday's highlights was a talk given by Murray Watson on his new book Being English in Scotland. Watson carried out research that included oral contributions from many English people who had moved to Scotland. He concludes:
Generally, throughout the period under review, the media painted a picture of a climate of anti-English feeling. This was not the general experience of the contributors, nor was it evident from other sources. Studies from a number of social scientists, albeit they were mostly restricted to peripheral areas, essentially corroborated the findings of this study. That was not to say that tensions did not exist. There were low levels of anti-English feeling and exceptional extremist activity, but the latter was largely directed against England, the state (sic), and not English people. Compared with prejudicial reactions to other migrant communities, the English were largely welcomed into Scottish society, and this is certainly borne out by the constant growth of English migrants settling in Scotland.I may write a bit more about the book once I have read it in full. Tuesday's audience liked this anecdote from an English-born teacher now residing in Edinburgh:
I had a dreadful (West Riding – Yorkshire) accent and nobody would ever understand me. My first teaching-practice (in Edinburgh) the kids that I had said: “You’re foreign aren’t you?” And I said: “Yes” … they said to me: “Where are you from?” And I said: “Well where do you think I’m from?” “Well you’re not from round here.” And this went on … at great length. “It must be from a very long way away ‘cos you are definitely foreign. You talk funny.” So they decided that I was from Glasgow because that was the furthest place they could think of that was far away you know.