• Colin Burnett

The Voice of the Voiceless

This piece is based on The Scottish Cultural Cringe. I wrote an academic piece on this topic which can be viewed here

Yae ever felt like nuttin gid will ever happen in yur life and nuttin ever did. Cos, that’s ma story and that’s the tale ae a wee spoat on the world’s erse cawed, Scotland. This is a land so beautiful yae might jist mistake it fur the gairden ae Eden. Where fearless highland warriors proudly wear their kilts as they roam freely through the heavenly glens. Until the bagpipe’s kin heard faintly in the distance cawin thum back tae the safe haven ae their clan. This is the Walt Disney version ae Scotland and is aw very gid if yur trying tae sell porridge or put erse’s oan flights tae the nirvana paradise that is sunny Scotland. Ah wis yince up in the highlands and there’s nae denyin its beauty. Aw that clean air didnae agree wae me though. Ah hink it wis aw they years ae ma boady being abused wae air pollution. The funny hing is yince ah draw the curtains oan the tenth flair ae ma tower block. A building that reminds me ae The Maze prison in a cold, inhumane sort ae wey. Ah cannae see any highland warriors oan the horizon or majestic scenery that leaves me in euphoric state. Well, there wis the yin time ma mate Tommy spiked ma can ae Tennent’s wae LSD. Nah instead ah’m faced wae a wasteland full ae forgotten souls. Who only exist in the herts and minds ae some overpeyed, private educated, wanker ae a marketing advisor. Ken suttin the only hing worse than huvin nout is huvin nout and being Scottish.

Aw it’s true tae, we ken the English are jist waitin tae dae us. And if history hus telt us anyhing it’s that the English huv fucked oor aloat ae folk. It’s jist they’ve fucked Scotland harder and longer than maist. Tae the point we cannae even speak oor ain language withoot kennin we’re jist a Scotsman in an Englishman’s world. Jist tae leave yur mark oan this world yae huv tae act like thum, hink like thum, a humble follower as it were. Failing tae meet these demands will leave yae wae two simple choices. Either yae throw doon yur life fur a square foot ae sand. That some posh cunt four hunner mile awey fae the battlefield hus decided he needs. Or yae leave school wae three standard grades and yur informed ‘’McDonalds doon the road is hiring’’.

Jesus we didnae even huv oor ain history until some bloody Wallaby came along and imagined yin up fur us. The great William Wallace and Robert the Bruce ah grew up oan stories aboot these boays fae ma faither. Great tales aboot how courageous they wur in freeing us fae English tyranny. Gid fuckin joab they did tae it’s been seven hunner year and we’re still oan they’re short lead. Us Scots are drawn tae Wallace and Bruce no because they wur freedom fighters. But because they remind us, we yince hud a pair ae baws and we kent how tae yaise thum. Women and children will be singing songs aboot these two throughoot the centuries tae come. Grand monuments will stand the test ae time in honour ae their memory. Fae this day tae the end ae days no Scot will ever furget the names ae Robert the Bruce and William Wallace. History doesnae furget the leaders ae this world but what aboot boays like me ay?. The workers, the boays in the trenches, the slaves ae the capitalist machine what’s oor cause?.Tae spend what little time we huv oan this planet in some sweat shoap factory flair fur minimum wage jist so a rich gadgie kin take his brats tae Disney Land twice a year. Only fur him tae return aw sunned up fae his holidays and caw me intae his office efter ten years ae service. Fur him tae turn roond and tell me ‘’Ah’m sorry but some Japanese bright spark hus designed a machine that kin work faster and cheaper than yae. Tell the folk at the foodbank capitalism sent yae’’.

Aw ah suppose it’s no been aw bad being England’s silent partner fur the past three hunner year. We wur part ae an empire that struck fear intae the herts ae the four corners ae the planet. If yae take awey the fact, we probably helped tae kill maire folk than cancer under that banner. Being British meant suttin back in the day. Now what’s left ae oor past British glories, the NHS. An emblem ae what Britain stood fur; the envy ae the world. Now look at the hing yae need tae be a prophet jist tae git a doctor’s appointment. Oor relationship wae England hus changed oor time. Instead ae cawing thum conquers we now caw thum partners. See the English came tae realise suttin that control ae the mind is maire powerful than the swing ae any sword. Fae the moment we wur born Scottish and they wur born Englsih. We wur taught tae hate the sight ae oor ain reflection. Sure, they’ll teach us tae acts as clones tae thum. But they dinnae want us sittin oan the throne ae power. You’ll see Harold Shipman as the face ae Age UK. Before you’ll see a Scottish prime minister being accepted doon south.

Ken summit the English are a bit like marmite yae either love thum or yae hate thum. Me? Ah jist love tae hate thum whether it be wantin thum tae lose at fitbaw or resenting how they inflict the Tories oan us. Ma countryman’s vote is aboot as much yaise as the guarantee that came wae the cooker ah boat oaf ae dodgy Pete. Dinnae misunderstand ma words ah wish nae ill will oan the people ae England. Ah’m jist tired ae being yin ae the voiceless, we the five million. Then, there’s the royal faimily, need ah say maire.They bleed blue and ah bleed rid and somehow ah’m the puppet and their the puppeteer. When oor big moment comes and it will come again, we’re destined tae choke, it’s inevitable, because that’s the price yae pey fur being Scottish.

Jist look at oor last moment tae reclaim oor voice again and we ended up votin as a bunch ae scared rabbits. Too afraid tae dream as a united nation. This is the land that gave the world penicillin. A medicine that hus saved coontless life’s acroass the planet. A wee magical boax came fae the mind ae Scot, intae everyboadys living room, yae might ae heard ae it, television. We even gave the world the gift ae the telephone suttin that bonds the world taegether in seconds. This next invention might no sound too groundbrekin, but we gave humanity, the sport ae golf. The idea is yae take a stick and whack a baw hundreds ae yairds awey intae a wee hole. There’s no a city or town in the world that doesnae huv a golf course in it.

When the air hits ma lungs fur the final time. Ah want tae live in a land where a bloke is jist a bloke. Where nae lands or titles place yae at the heid ae the line. A place where its people dared to dream the same dream.

Ah want an independent Scotland.

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