All around the north end of Aberdeen are little home made placards with ABE scrawled on then. They are fixed with cable ties to fences and lampposts. For the one person out there who hasn't heard, some Scots have the idea that 'Anyone But England' should win the World Cup.
Come on, people, this is just embarrassing now. What does it achieve to post spite and bile on the opposite end of the planet from the World Cup? The T-shirts were funny at first but the joke has worn thin now. Sad little placards perpetuating a one-liner that has long since run its course aren't amusing. They just look childish.
I don't care who wins the World Cup. I'm not English and support no team. If you support a team in the contest, good luck to you but really, this sort of football atheism whereby you pick a team and anti-support it is beyond silly.
Okay, there's that Scots-English traditional animosity but I know the areas these placards are appearing in. They are in Labour areas populated by people who vote Labour but have no idea what it means. I know many of them have never ventured further south than Stonehaven and they only went that far to get a deep-fried Mars bar. These are people who are born, live and die on one street, assimilating knowledge throughout their lives that extends to the location of the nearest off-licence, Lidl, pub, Cash Converters, Chavs-R-Us clothes shop and the dole office. That's all the education they desire.
Scotland didn't make these people what they are. Labour did. They are not all idiots. Some could have made something of themselves but Labour put a stop to that. Try to get out of that benefit trap and they'll slap you down hard.
The anti-English feeling is not universal across Scotland. It's mostly concentrated in Labour areas. In those areas, hate is fostered and division is exaggerated. Coincidence?
There are immigrants in this small town. Polish, Asian, Chinese, none numerous but all present. There is no racial tension among the locals. Nobody is stirring any. A few miles down the road, in the Labour-controlled areas, it's very different. There are people who hate people from the next street there. They have been divided almost to the point of total separation from everyone.
The ABE signs are a symptom of this. It's another artificially generated hate that has no real focus and no real meaning. It's hate by people who claim it's because of Thatcher, perpetuated by people who can't possibly remember Thatcher. It's far less common in SNP or Lib Dem areas. Not absent, but far less common. Then there is that old 'Culloden' excuse. Even though few know when or what it was.
Well, it was 1746 and it was the last battle fought on British soil. The Scots lost, not because the English were a greatly superior force (7000 Scots, 8000 English) but because that great hero, Bonnie Prince Charley, made a right Royal bollox of it. He had an army of brave and resolute men and could have won if he had listened to his officers. If it was in my history I wouldn't be bringing it up at every opportunity.
There's no point in this continual hate. There's no point in harping on about things you lost. Why don't I hear pub conversations about MacAdam or Logie Baird or Dunlop or the rest of those Scots who invented great things? They are never mentioned. No, all I hear about are times when the Scots had seven shades of crap knocked out of them, centuries ago, for which they still harbour a grudge.
Now we have the unedifying spectacle of 'Anyone But England' which is nothing more than childish spite from people who revel in being victims. "We can't have it so they can't have it". You should have grown out of that by the time you were five.
There are a lot of intelligent people in Scotland. A lot of potential inventors and businessmen. Where are they all? Locked in some crappy council flat, doped up on Stella and X-factor and cowed by their benefit entitlement. Why do I think they are in any way intelligent? Just look at how they run rings around the benefit system. They see the system, analyse it, find the flaws and loopholes and rip into it. These are not the actions of idiots. These are the actions of intelligent brains that have no means of using that intelligence other than criminal.
It's common to portray criminals as stupid. Many are, it's true, and left to themselves they'd be caught in no time. But when you criminalise an intelligent mind and drop that into the mix, it's not long before the smart one is running things. That intelligent one will recruit and control the dim ones, keep them out of obvious trouble and even arrange to look after them and their families if they are caught. Something like that buys a lot of loyalty. So does showing them how to play the system.
I know, many are thinking 'Don't be silly, you can't just control people so easily' but you are dealing with IQ levels lower than you will ever meet anywhere on the Internet. People who once worked as cleaners or factory floor sweepers or park litter collectors or public toilet attendants - and I am not disparaging those jobs, they are all essential. However, they pay less than Labour's benefits system and even those low-IQ folk can perform that little equation. Work hard for sixty quid, or sit on your backside and get sixty quid. A budgie could work it out. Then there's minimum wage which means that if the work isn't worth minimum wage, nobody will pay to get it done.
So what can they do? They can't get the jobs that pay more than benefits. They have no hope and no future. They are easy prey to the loan sharks and the gang bosses. Lend them money, get them in debt, call in favours to clear the debt (or usually, part of it).
What of the intelligent ones? Well, forget about the eugenics espoused by the Toynbee and her vile ilk. Being born on a council estate does not make you stupid. Nobody is born with their station in life tattooed on their forehead. People born into wealth can be idiots who spend it all and end up destitute. People born with nothing can save and work their way up. It can be done.
The benefits system is a barrier to that. If the current loophole-filled system had been in place when I was young, if I could have wangled enough money to live on the dole, I'd probably be there now. I'd rip my way through all kinds of benefits and it would not have been worth my while bothering with school or university or a PhD or a mortgage or the tax system or any of it. Once in, there's no way out. Earn anything and your benefits are cut by that amount, so work becomes pointless. I'd be earning though.
I'd show the less intelligent how to boost their benefits and take a cut as payment. They'd be better off and so would I. I'd run the tobacco and booze operations (not drugs, not me, but I'd know who was). I'd have an insurance system whereby you pay in and if you're caught on the rob, your family is looked after.
Would I associate with dodgy characters and out-and-out criminals? In the past, I have, because I had little choice. It wasn't the life for me so I worked my way out but it's easy to see why so many don't bother. Partly because it makes people feel as if they are doing something, partly because it's easy money, and partly because many of those people simply can't imagine looking after themselves. They need the state, or a gang boss, some kind of Godfather figure to tell them what to do next. They have never grown up because they have never been allowed to grow up.
It's hard to feel sorry for loud-mouthed chavs but step back and look at their behaviour. It is not adult behaviour. It's tantrums and fights and shouting and stamping. It's stealing and bullying. Scrawny little weasels claiming themselves as 'hard men' when they have never experienced a sharp tap to the solar plexus followed by an upswing to the bridge of the nose. Belligerent children demanding pocket money. They still cling to the teenage gang culture because they cannot move on from there. The intelligent criminals don't want them to. more than that, the socialists don't want them to.
People who are united in hate are easily led. easily controlled. You can get them to do anything. You can get them to gas other human beings and burn the bodies. You can get them to torture and maim innocents who are of the 'other'. You can get them to purge a population of the inconvenient and the opposition. All you need do is foster hate and that is never difficult. Look at the antismokers, listen to their words. Look at those who hate the fat and persecute the dim. All the same. All identical with those who made the ABE signs and put them up all over the north end of Aberdeen.
ABE writers, you are not patriotic Scots.
You are Labour's mugs.
The irony is that no matter how much you hate those you are instructed to hate, Labour will always hate you more.
They are professional haters.