Scotland and England Does Two into One No Longer Go? Tribunal Hears That Different Cultures Equal Different Racespolice Chief Claims His Race

Daily Mail (London), January 9, 1997 | Go to article overview

Scotland and England Does Two into One No Longer Go? Tribunal Hears That Different Cultures Equal Different Racespolice Chief Claims His Race


Byline: JENNY MORRISON

THE Scots are a nation because of Bannockburn and Flodden,Culloden and the pipes at Lucknow; because of Jenny Geddes and Flora Macdonald; because of frugal living and respect for learning; because of Robert Burns and Walter Scott.

And the English are a nation too, because Norman, Angevin and Tudor monarchs forged the people together; because their land is mostly sea-girt; because of the common law and of gifts of poetry and parliamentary government; and because, despite the War of the Roses and cricket clashes at Old Trafford and Headingley, Yorkshiremen and Lancastrians have more in common than in difference.

The assertion that Scotland and England are indeed nations apart was made more than 20 years ago, but yesterday, in a Georgian building in Edinburgh, a Scots-born solicitor challenged it.

Peter Grant-Hutchison was appearing for Northern Constabulary, who are contesting the claims of Graham Power, the 49-year-old English-born Deputy Chief Constable of Lothian and Borders Police, who believes the only reason he wasn't included on the shortlist of applicants for the post of Chief Constable of Northern Constabulary was his nationality.

Grant-Hutchison told the industrial tribunal it had no grounds to hear claims of racial discrimination because there was no such thing as an English or a Scottish race.

The lawyer said people born in Scotland, England, Northern Ireland or Wales were legally classed under the 1976 Race Relations Act simply as citizens of the United Kingdom, whether or not they preferred celebrating Burns Night to taking part in morris dancing.

He dismissed past legal rulings that Scots could identify themselves as a race in their own right because of their victory at Bannockburn and pride in Robert Burns, as outdated.

Mr Grant-Hutchison quoted the 1972 case of Ealing London Burgh Council v the Race Relations Board, when Lord Simon of Glaisdale attempted to define what constitutes a nation, citing national heroes and battles.

`In my view,' said the lawyer, `if this tribunal wishes to say that being Scottish is a national orgin then it must determine a set of criteria more relevant than Jenny Geddes, Flora Macdonald or frugal living.

`If the tribunal decides it isn't a national orgigin, we are, at least in the eyes of industrial law, all UK citizens indistinguishable from each other in matters of nationality.'

Mr Grant-Hutchison ridiculed Lord Simon's examples as out-of-date stereotypes, claiming most British nationals nowadays felt bound together by their common experiences in the Second World War and the setting up of the welfare state, which covered the whole of the UK.

`Looking at Lord Simon's definitions, it could be argued also that Scotland, Ireland and Wales are sea-girt, and isn't Scotland also part of the parliamentary government?

`He also states that the Welsh are a nation because of their musical gift, which I presume means singing in the valleys, and because of the satisfaction of all Wales that Lloyd George became an architect of the welfare state and Prime Minister of victory.

`Sometimes, when you consider the situations at England Scotland football games, particularly around the time of Braveheart, you may be forgiven for thinking there was a real difference between them. …

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Scotland and England Does Two into One No Longer Go? Tribunal Hears That Different Cultures Equal Different Racespolice Chief Claims His Race
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