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.