Scotland's English Clan

Murray Watson looks at the historical roots of a phenomenon few commentators have noted: the sizeable English presence in Scotland.

The English-based media routinely complain about the influence of a Parliamentary Scotia Nostra. The Labour Party has been dominated by Blair and Brown for more than a decade. The Speaker of the Commons, Michael Martin, is a Glaswegian. The Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy was born in Inverness. Tory leader Michael Howard – who is from Wales – has argued that there’s no justice in letting the Scots rule England. This kind of attack is not a recent phenomenon. Disraeli, in one of his spells in opposition, complained, ‘the Whigs are only maintained in power by the votes of the Scotch members.’ But viewed from north of the Border, attacks on the Tartan Mafia frequently raise quizzical eyebrows.

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