steepholm (steepholm) wrote,

London Calling to the Faraway Towns...

This is the kind of thing that makes one realise that British identity is only skin deep. It's just one example among many but, coming from a travel programme, and indeed from the lips of a man who (though English himself) has a name suggestive of goidelic ancestry and who, having been chained to a Beirut radiator for five years, might be expected to have a more cosmopolitan outlook, it grates the more. This is how John McCarthy introduced today's Excess Baggage:

New Year's Eve is of course seen first and foremost to be a Scottish affair, with Hogmanay being the main night of the year north of the border. However, rather than exploring Scotland's culture, today we're staying south of the border to celebrate England's heritage. The country's full of quintessentially English attractions, from castles to cottages, but do we appreciate what is on our doorstep?

English heritage (actually, why not English culture, like what the Scots have?) is fascinating, and well worth a programme; but if I were a Scot I'd be throwing porridge at the radio around now. This is meant to be the British Broadcasting Corporation, isn't it? Not the EBC? So what's all this about "staying south of the border"? And who are "we" exactly? And since when were castles and cottages more English than Scottish? (The fact that very few of the population of either country live in either a castle or a cottage is a rant for another time.)

Of course, by "our doorstep" he actually means London, not England as a whole - and of that I have ranted on other occasions. But I wish the BBC would try a bit harder to sound a bit less like the Clash.

Also, on a personal note (because that day is my birthday), I'd like to put in a plea for Burns night as the main night of the year in Scotland.
Tags: maunderings
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