Blogger Dave Terron is a distinguished British soldier and I felt honoured to receive the following email from him about the Scottish/English rivalry that I noted in my Christmas-day post. And, given the Scottish passion for celebrating the new year, it feels very right to start off with a link to Scotland on New Year's Eve.

"Na diobair caraid's a charraid (Forsake not a friend in the fray).

The population of Scotland overall has some 20% English or of English extraction. Nearly one in five are English and they are the biggest 'minority' in Scotland. There are MSPs such as Mark (Muppet) Ballard of the Green (Muppets) Party who are English and most of the main government posts in the executive and Holyrood are held by English people. In fact were you to come to the Highlands you would find that the population of people in Moray is 17,6% English which does NOT include the two big RAF airbases. Why? Because many of the English come here on posting and love the quality of life so much that they stay once they finish with the RAF or other government jobs. They are fully integrated and intermarried with some very interesting results in terms of local accent I can tell you! A mix of Yorkshire Aberdeen Lancashire Cockney and Scouse I think....

The problem with the so called 'coldness' towards the English is (a) more to do with the dependency culture here in Scotland or rather in the Central Belt where 1 in 5 are on sickness benefits or welfare of some sort despite there being thousands of jobs remaining to be filled. The increase in immigration is aimed at filling those posts that the Scots will not fill...and (b) the stupidity of Scottish politicians who persist in telling the Scottish people that when things go wrong it is not the Scots parliament's fault it is Westminster. Indeed whenever there is a hint of a problem the Holyrood mob send the problem to Westminster and then claim that their hands are tied....see here for details or on my blog.

Scotland's 'native' population is falling because most of the bright young things are seeing that the Central Belt idle fat voters are being cuddled and given money to get fatter so long as they waddle down to the voting station when required to vote for a continuance in the Labour welfare state and their beer money. In the Highlands we see no investment, fewer jobs and everything is aimed at the Central Belt fat idle etc.

Were you to come to Inverness you would get a much warmer welcome than in downtown Falkirk if you were English. Australians? We canna understand 'em and we don't have a decent Rugby team either. But our cricket team did take part in the World Cup a few years back!

In summary: Yes. Anti English feelings do exist in Scotland but tend to be from fat idle etc in central belt and self serving scum (oops I meant politicians) who are trying to divert attention away from their failures -- e.g. we had a Liberal Democrat minister in the Scottish Parliament who called the Chairman of the Confederation of British Industry an English twit to distract from his own failure to sort out Scottish industry. One grovelling apology later and that minister now looks after fish.

I served 23 years with a Scottish Highland regiment and not once did any of the Jocks slag me off for being English. Not once. But when I served with a Lowland regiment for a year (I was drafted in to sort them out as their discipline had collapsed) boy, did I get the mutterings behind the old back. It was more of a blame the English because we will not admit we are at fault for having such an inferiority complex type thing. I was glad to get home to my Highlanders!

I think anti-English chat is rare and only gets prominence because some people want to distract from the bigger picture; Scotland is becoming less Scottish as the cultural things such as the music, dress and the regiments are slowly whittled away. Its an EU plot damm their eyes!"

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