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Scottish tourism adverts on the telly

It’s only a little thing, but I regard it as a very bad sign when a country starts advertising for tourists. I’m not against tourism, but I am against national organisations which advertise it. I regard them as evidence that everything else in the country is a mess, but that since the place is at least picturesque and ruined and not being built on everywhere, well, at least we can get foreigners to come and drool over it.

I can remember the shock when, during the Jimmy Carter regime I think it must have been, the USA started begging us on TV to give them a visit.

My point? Well, I just saw a TV advert for being a tourist in … Scotland, done by, I think, these people. This has been going on for some time now.

Let me be clear. I am not saying that Scotland is not a fine place to visit. I have visited it, and it is very fine. It has the nearest thing in the British Isles to mountains, and lovely lakes ( which they call lochs), and cute fake castles (which I almost prefer to our real ones), and men marching about in coloured skirts blowing pipes you won’t hear anywhere else. Scotland is great. Everyone should see it at least once. What I am objecting to are the TV adverts. They are the sign of bad times up there.

Their rugby team is certainly an embarrassment.

But while the short-term news in Scotland is obviously bad, the long term news is that the Scots are now slowly if painfully learning how to govern themselves, and generally to look after themselves, without having us English to blame. If you tax, spend, regulate, and generally screw around with everything, bad things will follow. If, on the other hand, you cut taxes …, deregulate … I was for Scottish devolution when it happened and I am for it now even more, and I am not averse to the idea of complete Scottish national separation. I genuinely believe that, for all their temporary difficulties, the Scots are just so much less petty-nationalist and whiny and blame-Englandy than they were before devolution. I am confident that they will soon put the bad old days of begging people to come and visit them behind them, and settle down to making Scotland the sort of place where people will just visit of their own accord because it is so interesting and fun to be in.

No doubt commenters will inform us of all the places where England, or worse, my beloved London, is also advertised on TV.

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14 comments to Scottish tourism adverts on the telly

  • Texas T.V.

    Haven’t seen any ads for England tourism but quite a lot for Ireland. Does that mean anything?

  • I do hope you are spared ads for Australia, which we get bombarded with here, and are famously vile.

  • Della

    I live in Scotland and I can confirm that we do get adverts to go to visit England, and we do get adverts to visit London. Obviously the only explination can be that England is on its last legs and London doubly so.

    In the past I have seen adverts for the USA, Australia, Canada and New Zealand…those poor countries must be on the brink of collapse so desperate are they to get tourists.

  • Andrew Duffin

    I live in Scotland and unfortunately you are wrong in one thing. People here are just as “petty-nationalist and whiny and blame-Englandy than they were before devolution”.

    Particularly that last bit. Nothing’s changed yet.

    Spot-on about the ads though. VisitScotland sucks.

  • A_t

    “Spot-on about the ads though. VisitScotland sucks.”

    In their defense, they had a series of posters on the tube last year; huge highland landscapes etc., which you could lose yourself in whilst waiting for a train. They certainly made me wish i was there (& indeed that’s where I spent my summer holiday, sun-loving guy that I am!).

  • DSpears

    Being an American, what exactly is the fuss? Every State in the Union does these sorts of advertisements regularly. I’m not aware of any American who would so much as bother to even mention it.

    Is this an argument against advertising or against Scotland in general? Or is this simply one of those things that illustrates how different Europe and America are?

  • John Thacker

    On the other hand, this is advertisement to not visit Scotland. Now if four intruders have a gun, and you use a sword to defend yourself, that’s still not “proportionate,” at least in Scotland.
    It’s uncivilised.

  • A_t

    hah! that is indeed a ridiculous judgement.

    Only thing is, it was in England (Manchester crown court doesn’t sound too Scottish to me).

    Get ye up to Scotland, quickfast!

  • Scotland can’t afford complete independance – it spent all it’s lunch money on Holyrood.

  • Gavin

    Don’t bother arguing over Scotland. VISIT ZIMBABWE, IT’S GREAT THIS TIME OF YEAR!

  • Rory

    Not quite sure entirely whether this advert is a dig at Scotland in general or advertising. From my point of view, it is against Scotland.
    Being Scottish myself, I feel the need to just point out who it was that beat France recently in the 6 nations hands down. An embarrassment?- get up to date, idiot.
    As one of the comments mentions, Scotland is a fantastic place to visit and I think that it is fantastic that OUR government implements funds to boost our tourism income. Other nations such as Ireland, Egypt, New Zealand have also had the initiative to improve their economy through tourism. Clearly the lack of advertising to visit England is representative of the view that, plainly, no-one really wants to go there.
    I do agree though that Scotland is beyond the point that it could sustain itself as most of the declining income from the North Sea oil has already gone to Westminster. The concept that we are all patriotic idiotsand blame England for all is totally absurd and again highlights the level of ignorance within English society. Perhaps this is one of the many reasons that Englishmen and women are despised all around the globe.
    Anybody reading this please do visit Scotland, it is indeed a fantastic place to visit, whether it be our castles (which, by the way ARE proper castles) or gazing across a glistening loch (by the way that’s the original term for a lake).
    Anyone that is currently arguing with their computer screen and has not yet visited Scotland, just get a bloody clue and a train ticket up here.

  • Jock

    To Brian Micklethwait.

    Which rugby team is an embarressment?

  • JC

    Ok. I was intending to write how wrong you are in so many of your comments about the country in which I have been born and brought up, but then I wondered what the point would be as anyone who has ever visited scotland knows how wonderful it is and what a lot of crap you have said. If you feel that way, feel free to stay south of the border and choke to death on your beloved smog in your beloved, overpopulated, hell-hole you call London. That would be no loss to us.
    Anyone who wishes to see this great land for themselves please visit, and then post here with your views.

    Also please let me know if you can explain why such an embarrassment to our country managed to destroy your glorious team, 18-12. Along with beating France the other “best” team in the six nations, perhaps this shows you should rethink you views. or just try to open up your mind and stop taking the piss out of a country which doesn’t deserve to be grouped with people like you in Great Britain.

  • The only civilised person on here

    After reading this I am disgraced at nearly all the comments wrote here. Why exactly are you people arguing? There are things alot more important in this world than whether Scotland or England is better. I am English but I don’t like any of the snide comments wrote about either country.
    To all the English people out there, Scotland do have a point Londen isn’t something to brag about but if the Scottish want their country to be more crowded with visitors let them it doesn’t make a difference to us.
    To all the Scottish people out there Scotland is beautiful so if you like Scotland so much, stop tearing England to pieces and start enjoying your own country.
    To all of you who read this why are you arguing whos country is the best? It doesn’t matter you might have comments about other countrys, but arguing doesn’t solve anything.