A mythical place

I recently wrote of the response of Ulster Unionism to the campaign for Scotland’s Claim of Right.



Among the more bizarre suggestions by Lord Kilclooney was for Scotland to be partitioned.

Well drawing an arbitrary line through a country based on sectarian attitudes certainly worked remarkably well here on this island…

However, perhaps I was a little hasty with the Lordship’s idea.

There just might be one wee bit of Scotland that doesn’t fancy being independent of Westminster and; indeed, it might be best for all if they don’t experience freeeddummm.


Over the years, since I first heard of local protests at council house doors being painted green, Larkhall has become a mythical as well as a physical place, a bit like Dublin 4 in Ireland.

Such places enter the collective consciousness not just as a physical location, but a shorthand term for a world view.

For me “Larkhall” conjures up that that 1950s smug parochialism were everything in Scotland was in the correct place, especially the Fenians.

It is the human condition to resist change, even when that re-ordering is for the best.

This will be immediately understood by anyone who has worked professionally with addicts or has someone in their family with an addiction issue.

The addict denies that change is needed.

The dwindling crowds at Ibrox this season might give an indication as to how many in Scotland are addicted to anti-Irish racism and the fading brand called “Britishness”.

Could Larkhall be the home of the NewCo Rangers?

However, out with Larkhall Scotland is changing.

The days when people of Irish ethnicity would meekly sit at the back of the bus are over and those times will not return.

Young people in Scotland are consistently stating that they view themselves as becoming more Scottish and less British.

The auld sang may once more be heard after 2014, and in that scenario, the “quintessentially British football club” is something of an anachronism.

These are historic times for the country of my birth and for Rangers.

Suddenly many things seem possible.

Perhaps the NewCo will field a player in their first team who plays for the Republic of Ireland.

I doubt Lord Kilclooney or the denizens of Larkhall would approve.

Discover Phil’s dramatic play Rebellion