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Last Updated: Monday, 6 October, 2003, 10:38 GMT 11:38 UK
English face Scots 'antagonism'
Border sign
Many people said they experienced anti-English jokes
Up to a third of English people living in Scotland think Scottish people are Anglophobes, according to a study.

Professor Bill Miller, of Glasgow University, spoke to more than 1,000 people who were born in England but now live in Scotland.

About 25% said they had been harassed or discriminated against by ordinary Scots.

"One third of them said the Scots were basically Anglophobic or anti-English," he said.

A third of those questioned said they frequently had to deal with anti-English jokes.

Refused a job

About one in six said they were frequently subjected to insults or abuse, although only 2% said this had left them frightened.

Professor Miller said that a "vast majority" of those he spoke to believed there was a conflict between the Scots and the English.

However, they regarded the conflict as less serious than sectarianism.

Some people believed that they had been refused a job because they were English.

Things have got no worse since devolution - indeed the figures suggest that things have got slightly better
Professor Bill Miller
In one case someone complained that his children had kitchen scourers dragged down their faces because of their nationality.

"We did find these shock horror tales and they do exist, but the frequency of them is not very large," he said.

"Mostly what the English have to put up with is verbal insults and widespread anti-English jokes - and, broadly speaking, they can live with that."

He said that the people questioned felt at ease living in Scotland, despite being aware of the "nagging antagonism".

Professor Miller said those taking part in the study had not noticed much difference in attitude since the creation of the Scottish Parliament.


"When you find a small country moving in the direction of greater independence and greater nationalism, you might expect to find that it was more antagonistic to minorities, especially a minority that's associated with the 'old enemy'.

"The significant thing is that that has not happened.

"Things have got no worse since devolution - indeed the figures suggest that things have got slightly better."

He added that a number of adults taking part in focus groups had told how their children's lives were being made difficult at school.

Sporting events

Childline Scotland director Anne Houston said she had seen an increase in the number of youngsters reporting anti-English bullying.

"They are not huge numbers of young people, but they can be quite serious events for them," she said.

The number of calls from children increased during the last football World Cup.

"Clearly we are concerned about the impact of the kind of behaviour that does go on around these sporting events and how that is then translated to children," she added.

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