A few years ago, Frankie Boyle suggested that Scotland should become an Islamic Republic but that it would mean we’d have to treat our women better. I know, it was a joke but it played to a negative stereotype of the Scots which is increasingly under attack by facts on the ground.
Stereotypes take a long time to change. Comedians and, sometimes, TV drama writers, continue to characterise Scots as violent, drunken and mean. Similarly, the Welsh, are regularly portrayed in negative ways. In sharp contrast, ethnic and religious minorities are treated with care and, after some time, the Irish are rarely stereotyped in the ways they were in earlier times. Is it because we, the Scots and the Welsh, is not independent?
Reports that domestic abuse in Scotland have dropped from those of 2016 by 6.1% may suggest another example. The figures are still horrible though. Between December 10th 2017 and January 7th 2018, there were 4 799 reported incidents, down from 5 111 over the same period the previous year.
Not only are reports of domestic violence falling in Scotland but they are falling well below those of England. See this diagram from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation in 2017:
From: ‘UK Poverty 2017 A comprehensive analysis of poverty trends and figures’ Report by the JRF Analysis Unit
Domestic violence is, for all age and deprivation-level groups, lower in Scotland than in England. It would be really interesting to have a precise gender breakdown for the Scottish figures to compare with the shocking level in one of the groups above – 10%!
I’ve already reported on other changes which challenge the negative Scottish stereotype. See these:
Racial hate crimes increase by 33% in England & Wales while falling by 10% in Scotland: Who says we’re not different?
Scotsman headline is untrue: hate offences against Jews in Scotland are extremely rare by contrast with the rest of the UK?
Scotland’s homicide rate falls by 47%, is lower than the rate for England and Wales and has fallen faster than many other countries in the ten years of SNP government
Extracting the positives for Scottish Government from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation report on Poverty which you are unlikely to hear of elsewhere: Lower poverty, better qualified workers, lower domestic violence, smaller educational gaps and eating just as much fruit!
Scotland takes nearly 26% of Syrian refugees settled in UK with only 8% of the UK population
UN condemns UK Government’s ‘human catastrophe’ on disability rights but praises Scottish Government’s actions
Footnote: I’ll do a separate report on how safe Scottish university cities are by contrast with those elsewhere in the UK. It’s shocking.
The former Strathclyde Police Violence Reduction Unit did sterling groundbreaking work in this regard, and, despite the problems of Police Scotland and the exaggerations of the unionists (who, with a conditional objection by the LibDems) favoured its creation, the VRU has continued. John Carnochan has now retired, but continues to preach the gospel and the current leader, Karen McCluskey is a formidable, assertive and articulate advocate. Projects like Navigator based at Glasgow and Edinburgh Royal Infirmaries – you know, the hospitals described in a box pop in one of our papers, as having ‘scenes worse than Syria and Iraq’ – have quietly supported victims of crime and, as important, have persuaded others that there are other ways than violence, by getting them involved in useful activities which develop self respect, fellow feeling, and independence.
During the city riots in England, during Mr Cameron’s Premiership, the Unit was invited to Downing St to discuss approaches, because their had been no disorder in Scotland’s cities. Mr Cameron had condemned the violence in BRITAIN’s cities until Alex Salmond pointed out the absence of rioting in Scotland. Of course this was met by derision by the Tories and their media mob, and some of the Scottish branch tried to show that the kinds of youthful misconduct that occurs in all cities, towns and even villages, was ‘riotous behaviour’.
Yes I remember that well.
Hi Alasdair – am I correct in remembering that Police Scotland ‘lent’ several hundred Police Officers to one or more of the English Police Authorities? To ‘lend a helping hand’ in undertaking routine duties whilst the local Police were rather involved trying to stem the periods of looting (and sadly some elements of fire-raising as I recall) in their own patches? – (By the way – I’m positive baron Mike Watson would have been somewhere else at the time!). In view of the ‘helping hand’ from Police Scotland the Cameron attempt to paint the episodes of street rioting/looting/fire-raising as UK -wide phenomena was particularly galling.
Lido, I do not recall the ‘lending’ to which you refer. However, lending officers between different authorities is not unknown. Some time ago, I had to attend an event at the Palace of Holyroodhouse and there were officers from Lancashire and Essex on the entrances.
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They also tried to teach New York polis to be less trigger happy.