Aphorisms and quotes on Scotland, an article that follows Scottish quotes, sayings and proverbs and other posts on Scottish culture, language and traditions.
The Scots language is a mark of the identity of the Scottish people. As such we should preserve it, even if there were no other reason, because it is ours. This statement requires neither explanation nor apology
J. Derrick McClure
Did not strong connections draw me elsewhere, I believe Scotland would be the country I would choose to end my days in.
Where is the coward that would not dare to fight for such a land as Scotland?
There are very few sights in the world so impressive as a Scotsman on the make.
If you have a Tory government at Westminster that takes us out of Europe against our will, there may be people in Scotland who think, ‘You know what, we might be better off independent.’
Vote SNP for a party that always stands up for Scotland, that is stronger for Scotland, and a government that will keep the country moving in the right direction.
My political awakening, if I can be as grand as to call it that, was all about what was happening around me. It wasn’t some romantic, patriotic vision of Scotland going back to what it had been 300 years previously.
It would be a very serious mistake for the U.K. to vote to leave the European Union, and I think it would be democratically indefensible for Scotland, if we had voted to stay in, to face the prospect of being taken out.
I desperately want Scotland to be an independent country. I cannot, though, sit here and tell you definitively that it will happen, and that it will happen on this timescale, because I have to respect the opinion of the people of Scotland.
I think Scotland will become an independent country. I’ve always believed that. It means that if I’m right on that, there has to be another referendum at some stage. But the timing and circumstances of that will require careful judgment.
The truth of the matter is that countries the world over have deficits. Let us remember this about Scotland’s deficit: it was not created in an independent Scotland; it was created on Westminster’s watch.
Is it not typical that we have a Tory Government that wants, just like its pals in the Labour Party, constantly to talk down Scotland’s prospects?
Would I love to think that one day I would be First Minister of an independent Scotland? Of course.
Scotland almost invented the modern world. I mean, all of these televisions, telephones, penicillin, we all – all of these things were invented in Scotland.
Scotland is not a region of the U.K.; Scotland is a nation, and if we cannot protect our interests within a U.K. that is going to be changing fundamentally, then that right of Scotland to consider the options of independence has to be there.
Scotland never voted for Margaret Thatcher.
Labour’s support in Scotland depends on their ability to be electable. If they are divided and unelectable, what’s the point?
I’ve not hidden and I’ll never hide the fact that I want Scotland to be an independent country. But as long as we’re part of the Westminster system, it’s really important to people in Scotland that we get good decisions coming out of Westminster. So we’ve got a vested interest in being a constructive participant.
I want there to be another independence referendum at some stage. I want Scotland to be independent, but I wouldn’t choose to have it happen because England votes to come out of the E.U.
I’ll be arguing for Scotland to vote to stay in the E.U.
People don’t want to go back to the days, pre-referendum, when the Westminster establishment sidelined and ignored Scotland. They want Scotland’s voice to be heard.
Tory governments are bad for Scotland.
I don’t feel we need to be independent for me to feel confident in my Scottish identity. I think Scotland is pretty comfortable in its identity. We won’t need independence to preserve it… if we don’t become independent, it won’t disappear; it isn’t under existential threat.
It is time we in Scotland put England in its proper place and instead of our leaning on England and taking inspiration from her, we should lean and turn to Europe, for it is there our future prosperity lies.
To involve young people and make sure that the system is more relevant to them in Scotland, we have a clear obligation to implement a policy of home rule.
The Scottish Labour Party should work as equal partners with the U.K. party, just as Scotland is an equal partner in the United Kingdom. Scotland has chosen home rule – not London rule.
I want to change Scotland, but the only way we can change Scotland is by changing the Scottish Labour Party.
The job of the Scottish Labour Party is to represent working people and represent Scotland.
The idea that an independent Scotland – having separated assets and liabilities from the rest of the U.K. – would expect the rest of the U.K. to be a lender of last resort, and of course be kind to them, doesn’t make any sense.
Those of us who were part of creating the Scottish parliament believe we must always test constitutional arrangements. The real test is where do the powers lie? Is it in the best interests of Scotland?
When universities are forced to recruit more and more from outwith Scotland just to balance the books, it is inevitable that doors are being slammed shut on some of our brightest talent.
Social injustice is what puts Scotland at its greatest disadvantage, and restoring the 50p tax rate will start to fight that.
Every austerity measure that Cameron and George Osborne make is being presented in Scotland as the English starving us.
Northern Ireland must, in future, be absorbed into the Irish republic. Wales and Scotland must advance from devolution to full independent status. The four nations of these islands must commit themselves absolutely to the project of a United Europe.
I’d happily cover the British Open every year until St. Andrews slides into the sea or Scotland runs out of beer, whichever happens first.
Anyone who seriously wants to keep Scotland in the U.K. must seek to stop the rise of the SNP, not to fuel and encourage it.
Secessionists, whether in Scotland, Catalonia, Quebec or anywhere else, invariably assume that a person must either be Scottish or British, Catalan or Spanish, Quebecois or Canadian. What about those who feel they are both?
I just read an 800-page history of the Scottish Enlightenment and, honestly, I may as well just start it again now, because I cannot remember a single thing. I can barely remember where Scotland is.
First and foremost, Scotland is my home, and I do consider myself Scottish, but I also feel very British, and I hope that Scotland stays within the Union. I have a real concern about independence.
I’m not against accents – my husband’s from Lancashire and has a rural Lancs accent. We’ve just got back from Scotland yesterday, and I love that Highland burr.
Golf is a working man’s sport in Scotland.
There’s a real emphasis on being witty in Scotland, even in crime novels.
People in Scotland want the parliament but don’t give a toss about the elections.
Scotland is the Canada of England!
Who could think that children from the pockets of Himalaya sing folklore from Scotland and vice versa? Such an education in the initial years develops compassion and mutual respect for each other’s skills.
Due to the reliance on the old heavy industries in many parts of the country, it makes perfect sense that we need to spend more money per head of population on welfare support in Scotland.
Iain Duncan Smith
When New Labour came to power, we got a Right-wing Conservative government. I came to realise that voting Labour wasn’t in Scotland’s interests any more. Any doubt I had about that was cast aside for ever when I saw Gordon Brown cosying up to Margaret Thatcher in Downing Street.
If Scotland is to have the power to fix its income tax rate for the whole country, England needs a body that can fix its income tax rate for the whole country.
What is good enough for Scotland is good enough for England. Fairness demands no less.
After I’ve been in America for a while, I get homesick for Scotland.
Like a lot of expatriate Scots, when you want to be called Scottish, it’s useful. I see myself as being without nationality, as a European: my region is Scotland; my nationality is European – isn’t that a very Alex Salmond thing to say?
If you make a film about a pig farmer in Wales and you are a huge hit as the pig farmer’s wife, the next thing is you’ll be asked to do a film about a sheep farmer in Scotland.
Kristin Scott Thomas
I lived for a year in Scotland. British sign language is very different from American.
I. King Jordan
In 18th-century Scotland, the main event was the Jacobite rebellion under Bonnie Prince Charlie, so that seems like a nice dramatic backdrop.
For months, people have been asking my views about the Scottish independence referendum, and I’ve been saying, ‘It’s not my country; I don’t live here. Much as I love Scotland, I think it would be inappropriate to express a personal opinion regarding Scottish politics’.
You have to go to Scotland at all times of the year – in order to appreciate the times when the sun does come out.
Both Plockton and the Isle of Muck in north-west Scotland are incredibly beautiful. Sadly, Plockton has been discovered by tourists because it’s where they shot Hamish Macbeth.
Donald Trump’s own mother Mary escaped the bone-crushing poverty of Scotland’s remote Outer Hebrides for the promise of New York in 1929.
When I was a boy during Thatcher, you watched elections and wept in disbelief as the whole country turned blue, Scotland turned red, and we still got the Tories.
If you put a frog in boiling water, it’ll jump straight out. If you put it in cold water and gradually bring it to the boil, it’ll sit right there until it dies. Scotland has been sitting in England’s gradually boiling water for so long that many people are used to it.
Clearly, if it is sensible to hold a referendum on independence, it is crucial that we have one on marriage. It is the only way the country can move forward on this issue. Let all those who have a view on this subject place their trust in the Scottish people and let Scotland decide.
In Scotland over many years we have cultivated through our justice system what I hope can be described as a ‘culture of compassion.’ On the other hand, there still exists in many parts of the U.S., if not nationally, an attitude towards the concept of justice which can only be described as a ‘culture of vengeance.’
In Scotland, Catholics have raised their voices against sectarianism and intolerance directed against the Church. Clearly, these actions show that freedom of religious expression, a basic human right, is not upheld in our midst as widely and as completely as it should be.
A glass of whisky in Scotland in the thirties cost less than a cup of tea.
Catherine Helen Spence
My grandparents were far more English in their manners than they were Chinese. For example, we spoke English at home, had afternoon tea every day, and my grandfather, who attended university in Scotland, would smoke his pipe after dinner.
Melrose is the finest remaining specimen of Gothic architecture in Scotland. Some of the sculptured flowers in the cloister arches are remarkably beautiful and delicate, and the two windows – the south and east oriels – are of a lightness and grace of execution really surprising.
The natural barriers between England and Scotland were not sufficient to prevent the extension of the Saxon settlements and kingdoms across the border.
I have met in my life two big destroyers: Gorbachev, who destroyed the Soviet Union, and Cameron, who destroyed the United Kingdom to some extent, even if there is no wave of Scotland to become independent.
Margaret Thatcher’s decision to use Scotland as a testing ground for the poll tax was arguably the most disastrous attempt at fiscal engineering since London slapped the stamp tax on the American colonies in the 1760s.
My favorite instrument is the snare drum. In Scotland, the snare drum is very prominent in Highland bands. The Scottish style of playing is in my blood. It’s a very powerful instrument, but it can also be soothing, like velvet. It’s a real challenge for composers.
If the Scottish people decide to opt for independence, it would not be a good idea for Scotland to maintain a very rigid link to the pound.
The reason I say ‘never say never’ is because I do not think that there should be another independence referendum in Scotland – I do not think it’s in their interest – but on the other hand, I am a big believer in devolution.
I think as much as people talk about Scotland as being a place where it’s raining all the time it’s a fantastic country. Considering it’s such a small country you have to realise how successful it’s been in the world of motor sport.
In the 1990s, from the estates of Scotland came the phenomenon of Irvine Welsh. ‘Trainspotting’ demanded its place not only in the high ranks of contemporary fiction but as a describer of a Britain that literally and metaphorically was in a deep mess.
We can have enhanced devolution – greater powers in Scotland – but within the strength, security and stability of the United Kingdom, and I think that’s what most Scots want.
If you’re part of the Network Generation, you don’t have to belong just to one nation. Dual identities come easily to these dual screeners. They fear a separate Scotland would be a narrowing, not a broadening, experience.
Scotland and England may sometimes be rivals, but by geography, we are also neighbours. By history, allies. By economics, partners. And by fate and fortune, comrades, friends and family.
Politics in Scotland is far too important to be taken seriously.
In Scotland, the indication is that for the Westminster elections at least, Labour voters are satisfied with their government.
All nationalism is based on racism and hate. I’m Scottish; I was born in Scotland, as my parents, as my grandparents.
Scotland is the only case in the world where the poor part of a territory wants to separate from the rich part. If independence came, one option is to keep the pound as its currency, so that all economic decisions will continue to be taken by the Bank of England.
Scotland forms a crucial part of our Armed Forces which should not be jeopardised by rushed cuts or a rush to the exit from the U.K. Defence jobs are vital to the Scottish economy and yet independence puts thousands of jobs at risk.
It is not whether an independent Scotland could go it alone and develop its own defence forces – of course it could – but what sort of forces would they be?
Robert Frost had a house in Bennington, Vermont, and I had a friend, the poet Mary Ruefle, who was the caretaker of it when it was owned by Norman Lear, the TV producer. She got a grant to go to Scotland, and she had to be gone six or nine months, so I moved in, and my job was just to make sure the ravage didn’t overtake the place.
In the Church of Scotland, Episcopalian, you don’t have to believe in Heaven, but you definitely have to believe in Hell.
In Edinburgh, there was a lovely little Episcopalian Church of Scotland church on my way to the theater, so I used to pop in there and soak up the atmosphere.
There is magic in Scotland. It’s country with a lot of pride and bravery. I feel lucky to have been born into that.
Witches were burned and killed in Scotland and England for centuries before what happened in Salem.
Although I don’t live there anymore, Scotland is a great place for the people coming over to visit and to tour around the Highlands, because it is a very magical place.
We in Scotland need fiscal responsibility. Quite simply, we need to be responsible for what we raise in tax and what we spend in tax.
In 2003 Scotland had 36 new business registrations per 10,000 adults. It’s still the same.
If you want to find out more about Scotland you can also read: