IT LOOKS LIKE we're all Scandinavian again. The First Minister has returned in triumph from Reykjavik to announce a new Scotland-Iceland trade deal. Apparently we are all going to go on holiday with each other. (Of course bilateral trade deals by EU member states are illegal, but let's not have a small detail like that rain on Sturgeon's pretend parade.)
Lesley Riddoch, our contemporary Bard of progress, has proclaimed in The Scotsman that the Faroes and Iceland are oor natural allies to develop the Arctic and power the world with interconnectors. Smashing stuff you'd think.
Let's not be churlish and dwell on Riddoch's private school education, graduation from Oxford with PPE or indeed winning the student union presidency. Instead we should focus on Scotland's achievements on saving the world. We should celebrate new Arctic shipping routes made possible by global warming, celebrate decarbonising our economy (by shutting down coal stations and importing power from England, but never mind) and of course we should celebrate our shared culture...
"The Arctic is full of tiny independent nations, devolved sub-nations and dispersed communities with strong cultural identities. Most have more powerful parliaments than Scotland -- indeed the Danish family of nations offers a far more relaxed model than the controlling UK - accepting diversity and devolution instead of denying it."
Oh I see. We're getting to the meat it seems. Or so it seems. Scotland of course is struggling in the world if you are a Nationalist. The last indyref sought to define Scotland as simply a place of residence, where anyone could be Scottish by virtue of being able to vote SNP or even Green if they so wisely chose to.
Suffice to say that vision did'nae sell too well.
So what is this common culture we profess to have and suddenly need? Am I Nordic if I'm a Polish or Chinese immigrant? And what on Earth is Faroese diversity when it's at home? Is it genetic; aversion to Fin whale blubber, or simply various attitudes to the smoking of puffin? Iceland has such issues with "diversity" – its dating sites offer software to ensure you aren't sleeping with your cousins by mistake... even the SNP has managed thus far without digital assistance.
The languages of Nordic countries are...wait for it...Germanic. All of them. We even had Norn spoken in Sutherland villages for a while, hey maybe we could...actually, no, let's not. Scotland is no more Germanic than any other part of the UK. It is less diverse than the West Midlands if culture is considered, and let's not even start with how Scotland does not have devolution. Never have I heard such guff as Scotland being as Nordic or Arctic as it wants to be. It means nothing.
There is one aspect of Iceland and Faroes we should note. Neither are in the EU and they both seem quite happy about that... maybe Riddoch and Sturgeon should see the real positives instead of the imaginary ones.
There's really nothing here beyond triple distilled, chill filtered blood and soil nationalism trying vainly to rebottle itself. We've seen it too often to be fooled otherwise.
Fear not me McHearties, there is a Saltire flying over the Arctic Ocean already. It's the Naval Jack of St. Andrew, flying from the Russian fleet.
If the knowledge of the Yoon Navy keeping you safe from Russian aggression doesn't make you feel warm and cosy, one wonders what ever will.