These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things

I had fun with the Guardian’s G2 list of things England should apologise for until it went beyond 12 where it stopped being funny and then 20, when it made me wince, up to 50 where it was tiresome and ended, oddly, at 76. (1976 Scotland 2 England 1?) Sorry…just a reminder.

This is a go at bringing humour to a touchy subject which is a good thing and a change from the sense of bemusement – and inaccuracy – of so much London coverage. So Sorry for Calling You Jock, Sorry for Tory Governments, Sorry for thinking Flodden and Culloden were the same battle, all worked for me. But as I say, once you do the deep fried Mars Bar and Irn Bru and get to 74 – ‘Sorry for laughing at the prospects for your army in an independent Scotland. Of course you could always use it to invade the Faroe Islands if nothing else’, I was sensing it had morphed into derivative default mode…no longer laughing at out our shared prejudices but laughing at US. It doesn’t take long for our petty resentments to emerge in this kind of exercise, does it? We would never sink to pathetic stereotyping which only shows how ignorant we are too…would we? Oh yes, we would! Here’s my list. Feel free to add your own.


Sorry you still think you are a major power when the rest of the world hides its laughter. Being Washington’s poodle and buying their nukes doesn’t fool anyone, except you.

Sorry we don’t share your xenophobia. This must be related to the above as you love to think you are superior to the French, Romanians, Bulgarians, Africans, Irish, Welsh and Scots

Sorry you are one of three countries playing Test cricket. How did you get on in Australia?


Sorry you’re not a real nation but a hybrid claiming someone else’s identity (Britain) and when anyone does express Englishness it’s the EDL or Morris Dancers

Sorry we had to bail you out for the last 30 years when we have been net contributors to our shared economy and sorry you called us subsidy junkies when the opposite is true.

Sorry you didn’t save a single penny of our oil revenues to replace flood defences, build high-speed railways, secure our pensions or tide us over financial meltdown

Sorry not to laugh at Terry and June

Sorry to scoff at Eton and Harrow plonkers. We don’t understand why you like to be told what to do by public schoolboys. Is it something to do with matron?

Sorry to find your casual superiority grating – why is the FA not the English FA? Why is the RFU not the ERFU?

Sorry for providing most of your broadcasters and media types and for speaking your own language properly. It is not Lawrrr and Ordaah…a bird is not A bed and Boris is not the Meeeeah

Sorry for tearing down your goalposts and digging up your turf

Sorry for allowing your policies to kill men in our biggest city in their mid-fifties…still it keeps pension costs down

Sorry you don’t have any wild areas left and have to use our landscape for real outdoors activity, buying a cottage, owning an estate salmon fishing or stalking


Sorry you haven’t the stomach for wind turbines and rely on Scotland and Ireland to do your renewables and are surrendering your nuclear power to state-owned Chinese and French companies who will take your subsidies for 35 years

Sorry you can’t sing Auld Lang Syne properly

Sorry so many of your kings have been warmongers drunk on power and determined to crush other people and that they, like now, misunderstood us. Edward thought he’d stopped rebellion after sacking Berwick where he murdered half the population, raped the women and burned people alive but instead he incensed us  – and William Wallace – and it led to your slaughter at Stirling Brig. Sorry

Sorry for Jocky Wilson who proved that an unhealthy, overweight, mildly educated Scot can still beat you


Sorry you have no equivalent national instrument to bagpipes, no national dish, no world recognized design like tartan and no national dress (orange jumpsuits?)

Sorry for Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Alistair Darling, Jim Murphy and Douglas Alexander. No, really….sorry. Some things are forgivable, like Susan Boyle but not that

Sorry for showing up your medieval parliament by making sure everyone is elected! AND by proportional voting. Isn’t it time to get over the gold-trimmed Ruritania stuff, kick out the bishops and turn the Lords into flats?

Sorry you have so many shaven-headed louts with pit bulls on crime-ridden estates and have created one of the least equal societies on earth

Sorry for thinking of you as stuck-up, effete, self-centred, unreliable tosspots when there is absolutely nothing in history to support such bigotry

Sorry I can’t keep up the vitriol. I just don’t dislike you enough, or at all. Why not come up and find out about us sometime

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67 thoughts on “These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things

  1. “for the sake of” Oops! Great rippost!

  2. Sorry about I Davidson, Wullie Bain, Mags Curran, Cath Jamieson et al 🙂

  3. A-a-hh, Jocky Scott. You’ve made me misty eyed Derek. Thanks for the memory.

    My contribution. Sorry for having such a beautiful country to visit that is, unfortunately, full of us.

  4. They are a sorry lot.

  5. I am sorry that Jim Baxter did not pay suitable respects to your World Cup champions

  6. Sorry about Michael Gove (but you did elect him) and him undermining your education system (but you did give him that job you numpties). Sorry for calling you numpties.

    • We returned the compliment and balanced the books as we have an English Education minister in an SNP government.

      Sorry for pointing out the SNP are a broad church and not just a load of woad painted Braveheart tendency people.

  7. Sorry can we add Germany and Argentina to the list ? In fact every time a World Cup comes round at least one of the ‘ national media ‘ find something to insult whatever nation England are playing.

    Can we add Miranda to the Terry and June Of comedy list ?

    Can we add Sorry you think Education is only for people who can afford it ?

    Can I say I am genuinely sorry about Blair and Darling, products of your favoured ‘expensive education system, Most of all I’m sorry about big Gordy , not only do I feel sorry for you England , I feel sorry for him – A man whose education appears to have narrowed his outlook rather than broaden it.

  8. Sorry for Andy Murray doing what Tip Top Tim could only dream of, and that you can’t produce your own managers capable of winning your own top-flight football league.

    Sorry that you won’t be able to mistakenly refer to the “English curling team” when a team of Scots gets up on the Winter Olympics podiums from 2018 onwards.

    Sorry for trying to use our inferior banknotes in your shops.

    Sorry for not seeing the funny side when you sneeringly refer to us as subsidy-junky sweaty Jocks.

    Sorry for the inconvenience of having separate health, education and legal systems, and getting irritated when your newsreaders act as if they don’t exist.

    Sorry that you’re so self-centred that you think the referendum is about rejecting you, rather than simply declaring our own sovereignty.

  9. Sorry to go O/T but Derek did you read about the intimidation that Dr Robertson has received from the BBC.
    He needs our support but how to go about it?

    • Read it, disgusted by it, and something should be done about it. The BBC have gone too far this time.

    • I have asked the BBC to give me the names of the ” experts” who have provided the criticism of Dr John Robertson’s paper.and their specific area of expertise. This has not been forthcoming but I have asked for the information once more. If anyone feels inclined to follow this line the telephone number is 03700 100 222.

  10. The Guardian has lost every credibility as an independent paper (the only one) on the question of Scottish Indpendence and Scottish affairs. Journalists or spoilt millionaire London Luvies, wanting to protect their wealth.

    The only London journalist with any credibility on Scottish matters, is the one from the right wing FT. The irony.

    • The FT knows it will still have a readership in Scotland, while the rest of the rags are fighting it out among the ermine and pit-bulls.

      And sorry we don’t believe in your BBC news any more. (And v sorry, but you’ll need to take Jim Naughtie back.)

  11. Excellent article excellent comments. Sorry i can’t add to those but I fear I might slip into automatic pilot and be banned from the entire internet never mind FB. Happy to note this Guardian article has been damaging for the unionists.

  12. Ken the FT is not right wing. it believes in social democracy. It supports the City and Globalisation but only because it believes that is the best way to spread better living standards around the UK and to everyone else around the world.

  13. Glad you said all that Derek. It’s what’s inside most of our heads when faced with the plethora of intimidation and lies of the British state. The difference between the Irish and Scottish struggle for independence is. They carried the weight of 90% of the Irish population on their side. Whereas we have been so brainwashed only 50% of Scots are as strong as the Irish. The Irish were never Britished. Scotland was Britshed a long time ago. That’s why something like this the independence of your nation doesn’t carry the majority. We will get their by the skin of our teeth despite them and then the Unbritishing can begin.

  14. Sorry for the Cybernats. That erswhile army of informed, cheerful and 99% polite but firm supporters of something good.

    Sorry for having no words that denigrate English people (as opposed to sweaties, jocks etc.)!!

  15. @ November 13 Up to date Irish opinion–the-implications-for-ireland
    @Mac & Perfidy Prober The media issue is up for Committee scrutiny at Holyrood

  16. Genuinely sorry that you have a government that is so lacking in decency and compassion; that they are selling off your NHS to their mates; that they are charging you through the nose for the higher education that they got free; that you now have three Tory parties instead of one; that both you and us had to stomach the nauseating sight of the Alexander, Balls & Osborne love-in. Sorry for anyone like me that used to vote Labour but, unlike me, doesn’t have an alternative. Desperately sorry that we wanting to get governments we vote for has brought to light the contempt in which the British establishment holds us.

  17. Sorry for your failure to recognise that the once great empire is likely to shrink even further after September! For the scale of the shrinkage to date watch this –

  18. Sorry that when we leave the people of the northern climes of your unfair country will apply to join us.

    Sorry that after we leave you’ll get kicked off your permanent seat at the UN security council.

    Sorry that when we leave there’ll no shipyards to build ships for your navy (‘course you could ask to build them for you)

  19. Sorry for having the natural resources, protected coastline, tidal and hydro capacity to feed, protect, and power a creative, intellectual, and hardworking population that is ready to castoff the subsidy/junket handcuffs that have curtailed our potential for 300 years.

    Oh but sorry for deep-fried pizza! That really was shocking.

  20. I always think ridicule by these people masks a deeper sense of insecurity. They no longer feel confident about themselves or their place in the world, so ridiculing others is their way of reassuring themselves that they’re still the top dogs. Sad people really!

  21. Sorry for letting George Osborne make a speech in Edinburgh -just been chatting to an English couple moved to Scotland 7 months ago and are now confirmed YES after last weeks speech!

  22. You forgot Ronnie Corbett sorry.

  23. Oh derek. It’s clear from reading your blogs over the last week or so that you’ve been having a very tough time of it. Clearly the pressure is getting to you. If its any consolation, it could be worse, you could be called Alex or Nicola and have shown yourself up for making up the greatest plan ever made for an independent country … on the back of a fag packet.

    But anyway, just you keep telling your sycophants exactly what they want to hear. It won’t make the slightest bit of difference next september but at least it’ll help keep their spirits up.

  24. Is the FT a Murdoch rag? Any Murdoch rag is right wing. Murdoch is a greedy, tax evading, war mongering criminal.
    Check out the present trial. The irony. Karma.

    Thatcher, Murdoch’s mate made sure the Press were right wing, by abolishing any semblance of a balanced Press as required by a Democracy. Note the assault on the Guardian basement and the threat of jail to the Editor organised by Cameron/Clegg. These thugs know how to turn the screws.

    Organised White wash Inquiries by the Westminster criminals.

    • Ken, The FT is owned by Pearson plc, and has nothing whatever to do with Murdoch and News International. As I said earlier although the FT supports free markets and globalisation its editorial views and politics are left leaning. I have taken it for nigh on 30 years because Finance is my business and leftward politics and Independence is my view.
      And be aware that Murdoch and the SUN have supported the SNP at different times in the past; and may do so in the future as Murdoch is not known to be anti-Scottish Independence.

    • When Rebekka Brookes was calling Murdoch ‘KRM’ I thought she meant King Rupert Murdoch.

  25. Can I say sorry and thank you at the same time.
    Sorry for being just a tad miffed with your decision to adopt the British National Anthem as the England Anthem at sporting events without asking permission from the rest of Britain. Sorry for feeling a bit smug regarding the fact that anyone who prefers God Save the Queen to Land of Hope and Glory and/or Jerusalem should be immediately sectioned or offered a job as ConDem Minister (Yes I Know)
    Thanks though for preventing a great many people from singing the Godawful Dirge on principle thus saving damage to my ears and sanity

  26. Sorry for not indulging your rather craven ‘need’ to have Scottish football fans support your English national football team in the world cup.

  27. Sorry, if George gets his way, you’ll have to declare your bottle of Old Pulteney on the way home.

  28. Sorry for capturing your Great Seal of England in 1314 (when your king ran away too quickly to take it with him) – and for doing it again at the battle of Byland in 1322 (when, again, your king ran away too quickly to take it with him).

    Being the decent people we are, and to show we are not the kind to hold a grudge, we handed it back (twice) in a gesture of friendship.

  29. Sorry that every Country once coloured Pink on the World Atlas hates your guts and rejoices at your Downfall!

  30. Sorry Scotland’s standing army in France help stop England winning the Hundred Years war.

  31. Helped – not ‘help’

  32. Heavens Derek the FA, RFU stuff etc has irked me for decades. To see it ridiculed in print pleases me no end. If required to declare one short phrase of ” the English” I’d say mutton dressed as lamb.

    I’m no shrinking violet, well up to standing my ground. At an elegant dinner in Germany once our English colleague told a joke to our German hosts of how the Scots, to the English, were like piles, a pain in the arse when they came down. To break the embarrassed silence I recited a piece of Burns of To a Mouse and described that Burns in the poem was expressing the angst of a person in power who had for his own benefit had unwittingly caused suffering to others. The message then as now, I think is lost on the English Establishment.

  33. Sorry we ‘failed’ at Curling and Skating today, did you know they were Scots?

  34. Sorry (but not much) for marrying one of your fair maidens and converting her to a Yes voter.

  35. From WingsOverScotland…

    Goes with this article well.

  36. Sorry for getting irked at dear old David Starkey – he’s clearly psychologically disadvantaged and we should not mock the so afflicted – oh, and not forgetting dear old auntie beeb who’s become so embarrassingly incontinent, but life’s a bitch isn’t it and still, it’s lots of fun counting the rUK debt creeping inexorably upwards at £7,000 each and every second – so, remember that old Scots saying, ‘many a mickle maks a muckle’ – youse really must try to make much much more widgets!

  37. Derek Bateman the favourite for the top job at the SBC.

  38. The irony about the floods down there, is if they had wind turbines, they could easily be fitted with electric pumps which could pump out flooded areas for free when the wind blowed but the electricity wasn’t needed, like night time. Maybe they will at last listen to the visiting Netherlands advisors.

    Regarding: “Sorry you have no equivalent national instrument to bagpipes, no national dish, no world recognized design like tartan and no national dress (orange jumpsuits?)”

    Have to dispute that one.

    In order:

    Trumpet (of the blowing your own variety)
    Hubris Pie (geddit?) or Full English Breakfast (formerly known as an Ulster Fry)
    Burberry (or Pinstripe for the criminal class)
    Bowler hat (does both criminal classes)

  39. Sorry—er— Naw, fcuk it am no sorry at all. GIRUY

  40. Sorry the antics of some of my fellow countrymen have made me ashamed of being born English.

    • That’s okay, Sue. Honest people like you are always welcome in Scotland. And remember, there are only three kinds of people in this world: the Scots, those who wish they were Scots, and those who have no ambition.

    • To keep it in proportion it’s a tiny minority of irrational, ill-informed, who should know better, not most of the rest of the UK. Not the vast majority, who do not give a damn, and why should they.The UK Press and the Unionist Politicans are the worst, because they have the most to lose from true Democracy. They held in as much contempt in the rest of the UK, as they are in Scotland.

  41. The only interest Murdoch has is Murdoch and any ‘views’ expressed are in pursuit of Murdoch colossal and insatiable greed. The FT reports from a centre Western view and can be as biased as any Press group, under Westminster control. All the MSM in the UK are Westminster controlled. That is how Westminster perpetuate their lies and State control. There is now an alternate information service, such as this blog. Westminster clones are beside themselves with rage and are totally furious, feeding the ‘Press’ with their scandalous stories. What happened to Leveson, and the recommendations?

    The Pearson Group are probably tax evaders. It gets to the stage were multinationals have to be tax evaders to compete because of lack of government enforcement. Totally illegally and against any resembles of equality, justice or fairness and an equal or (world) free market. HMRC are not fit for purpose. The Guardian were tax evaders but have sold off their off-shore interests to support the financial aspect of the paper. The Guardian because of it’s constitution (Trust) is still the only paper with any independence of Editorial. The previous ‘owners’ lost £millions to set up the trust. That is what makes their betray for ‘click bait’ (increased revenues) on Scottish matters, by an extremely small majority of the population, even more deplorable. They betray the ethos of their own organisation.

    There is now an alternate sources from which people can take their views. Power to the People.

  42. The Pearson Group run the ‘Telegraph’, Right wing rag enough said, on Scottish matters. US based? – ‘take the tax home to Wall Street’? as most US multinationals. They are trying to sell off the FT for a Billion. A printing division gaining profits from private education systems, world wide. Another US corporate operating is anything but a free (world) market screwing the rules for their commercial advantage. Totally right wing and just as bad as Murdoch. Hypocrites. The irony of the accuracy of report of Scottish finances. Did it slip through the net?

  43. CatherineThomson

    I am in Manchester.A friend has sent me your website.I would vote yes but I have a grandson here.You included have to look at Scotland,s role in the Empire.Look at list of Independant Schools all following an English curriculum,Andrew Marr,Tony Blair

  44. Sorry England isn’t a windswept piece of rock inhabited by petty xenophobic hate-filled people speaking their neighbour’s language. Sorry England isn’t stealing money from taxpayers in the rest of the UK. Sorry the English are laughing at the latest assertion (are you ready for this one?), that the English are actually responsible for obesity in Glasgow! Sorry that you think the world revolves around you and that in fact very few non-Scots care about you, your country or this debate. Really sorry that Scotland is irrelevant to the rest of the UK, Europe and the world.

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