Edinburgh is rather a sweet place. It’s clearly a pretty, middle-sized, rather middle-class Northern English market town – but one where the entire population suffers from the same quaint delusion as King Richard Booth.
For no discernible reason, the people of Edinburgh describe their municipal institutions as ‘national’, like the National Gallery and the National Library. They sometimes describe their town as ‘the capital’, in what can only be taken as an ironic reference to the real capital 300 miles further south (rather as many country villages refer to their more developed, more middle-class parts as ‘Little London’).
They even print their own money, in which little delusion local shopkeepers are happy to collude – although obviously, in other English towns, one who proffers Edinburghian pretend money is treated in rather the same way as would someone who proffered Monopoly money. And they refer to the local council as the ‘parliament’, although even the locals appear to treat this body with the derision it deserves.
Of course, there is a proudly, fiercely and savagely independent country that borders Edinburgh, where people mutter incomprehensibly through a haze of Irn Bru and whisky about how much they hate people from Edinburgh and the rest of the English. It sometimes even appears that Edinburgh’s delusion extends as far as considering herself to be the ruler of these woad-covered Celts. This is a far weirder conceit, almost as if the Tunbridge Wells Borough Council claimed jurisdiction over the tribesmen of the Amazon…