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Digital Subscriptions > iScot Magazine > September 2017 > Wee Ginger Dug

Wee Ginger Dug

A Torrance of smugnanimity

IT’S BEEN a torrid summer in Scotland. Not in the weather. The summer weather in Scotland is never torrid, not unless we’re going to agree to redefine torrid as “wet and overcast”. It’s been a torrid summer in the sense that a lot of people involved in Scottish politics have been falling out with one another on social media.

But then, this is Scotland, and people falling out with one another is as predictable as our newly redefined torrid weather. This is after all a nation which invented an entire genre of poetry called flyting, which essentially consists of hurling foul mouthed epithets at someone who has annoyed you, only in rhyming couplets. It was the Twitter of the 16th century, but without the LOLkats. It’s a tradition that Scottish people continued with gusto. My grandparents almost missed World War Two because they were watching their relatives fight over the fact that a distant cousin was proposing to marry a Protestant. You know that you’re at a family friendly restaurant in Glasgow because everyone at every table is having an argument. There are two sets of vows at a typical Scottish wedding, there are the actual wedding vows, and then someone ends up vowing never to speak to someone else ever again. And they’re all fighting over who’s right, not about what the truth is. There are few things in life more self-righteous than a Scottish person with a bone to pick.

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