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Issue 31 - The enemy within

Whisky Magazine Issue 31
June 2003


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The enemy within

Richard Jones reveals the terrible truth: the ‘auld enemy' may have been involved in the production of your treasured dram

In the beginning, God created the earth. On the second day, while he was making his countries, God discovered a small island off a continent he'd decided to christen ‘Europe'.

“I know,” thought God, “I shall make this land an area of outstanding natural beauty. I shall bless it with lochs and glens, crystal clear waters and rivers teeming with wild salmon. I will name this country ‘Scotland' and shall bestow upon the nation my favourite drink ‘whisky', the water of life. I shall bequeath major reserves of gas and oil to bring its people great wealth and Aberdeen-Angus cattle so that they need never go hungry.”

When he'd finished his work, one of the angels turned to God and said,

“Hang on a minute. Why should Scotland be blessed with all these natural treasures? Aren't we making life too easy for its people; shouldn't they have something to test them?”

And God replied, “You haven't seen who their neighbours are yet.”

OK, the joke might almost be as old as the earth itself, but it neatly captures the ancient rivalry between Scotland and England. There's so much ‘previous' between the two nations, it's difficult to know where to start.

In more recent times, you have to turn to subtly different forms of conflict: the Tartan Army's invasion of Wembley after their football victory in 1977; Paul Gascoigne's wonder-goal on the same stage in Euro ‘96; or the cultural devastation reeked on their English neighbours by the likes of Sheena Easton, the Bay ...

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