On Edinburgh

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…

This entry was posted in Uncategorized by John B. Bookmark the permalink.

16 thoughts on “On Edinburgh

  1. I have never, ever had Scottish money turned down. Northern Irish money is a bit more difficult to get rid of but still possible. There’s a sushi shop near Moorgate Tube that apparently doesn’t take poond notes but that’s about it.

  2. It’s where the random scottish missionary lassie who is so fucking obscure that even I have forgotten who she is, did her missionary work. I believe she’s on the ten.

    (update: "Mary Slessor" according to Wikipedia. me neither)

  3. Dublin is a bit more plausible because the destinations on the buses are actually in Foreign. Of course the Dubliners think they’re in Foreign too, which slightly spoils the effect.

  4. many country villages refer to their more developed, more middle-class parts as ‘Little London’

    Hmm. To describe "Little London" in Leeds as either "developed" or "middle-class" would not be accurate. It does vaguely resemble those parts of London which were bombed, in the immediate aftermath of those bombings.

  5. The post-boxes are green in Dublin. Never fails to remind me where I am.

    That, and the fact that most people have a Dublin accent.

  6. D2: consider yourself pinted at some future date.

    Larry: you’re damn right. Little London in Leeds is placed strategically between the spiffy city centre and Chapeltown in order to remind the people of Chapeltown that life could be worse.

  7. "Dublin is a bit more plausible because the destinations on the buses are actually in Foreign."

    Hey, araf there boy. All signs down here in Caerdydd are in Foreign too.

  8. It’s always struck me as very English. I used to go up there every August. Full of English people handing you flyers on the Royal Mile and putting on amateur dramatics in church halls. In fact I don’t think any Scots live there at all.

    Incidentally, I guess that was you quoted in the newspaper today. I was very disappointed that you didn’t call anybody a cunt.

  9. JonnyB – the weird thing is that most of the people flyering on the Royal Mile aren’t actually English, they’re posh Edinburghers. There isn’t any appreciable difference between the two accents (see also Blair, T.).

    Chris Bertram – as Jim, chris and Andrew all hint at, Cardiff and Dublin generally contain people who are recognisably Welsh or Irish rather than English…

  10. Well I was going on look and feel …

    Anyway, wasn’t Trainspotting based in Edinburgh? Begbie strikes me as a somewhat un-English character.

  11. Anyway, wasn’t Trainspotting based in Edinburgh?

    Yes, and very obviously so, though for some reason many people seem to think it’s set in Glasgow. Which is a terrible slur on the people of Glasgow, but there you go.

  12. Yes, Edinburgh must be inhabited by English people since everyone knows real Scots can only be thuggish drunks and hooligans.

Comments are closed.