Why AA Gill is a 'Tosser'

By Deborah Hobson

“Fee! Fie! Foe! Fum! I smell the blood of an Englishman”. The words of the nursery rhyme from children’s favourite Jack and the Beanstalk would sit well with writer and critic AA Gill whose new book “The Angry Island – Hunting the English” has caused a storm of protest among internet bloggers.

Author Gill, feature writer and critic for the Sunday Times, and columnist for other newspapers, was born in the Scottish capital, Edinburgh, where he lived for the first year of his life.

He has spent the 50 or more years since “rubbing up” against “the lumpen and louty, course, unsubtle, beady-eyed, beefy-bummed herd of England”. His tirade gets worse. In Gill’s book, he identifies himself resolutely as a Scotsman and, in painstaking detail, describes why he hates England and its angry “tribe”. Now, penning a book which so overtly exploits national differences and tensions within Britain will undoubtedly prove a money spinner for Gill and his publisher. His outburst is on a par with the intemperate anti-Welsh one from the Weakest Link’s Anne Robinson who was threatened with prosecution for inciting racial hatred. Predictably, Gill’s controversial remarks have provoked the very type of fury on these shores that the writer says he detests, further souring cross-border relations. Bloggers reflect this rancour.

Stuart Parr, on his blog Wonko’s World, says that “in the book he (Gill) talks about his good fortune to spend two weeks north of the border which made him better placed to expose the venereal cancer at the heart of the English. He mocks the apparent English tendency to hold a bold assertion of the past rather than something that stands the test of time. This is something that is ironically at the heart of the Scottish identity Gill loves so much but he mysteriously fails to mention this. Given the opportunity, most Scots will happily tell you how they defeated the evil English at some battle in the 17th century and completely miss the point that they have achieved absolutely nothing of any importance or interest since. Instead, they will go on hating the English, whom they blame for their own incompetence.

’Angus’ Gill says that the English like queues, losing at sport and nostalgia. He doesn't mention the Scottish knack of losing to the worst sporting teams on the planet at everything except curling and caber tossing. There are quite a lot of prominent tossers in Scotland, AA Gill being one of them”.
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1 Response to "Why AA Gill is a 'Tosser'"

Lauren

Wed, 04/26/2006 - 10:03
<p>All so true but at the same time I can't help but love the guy. He's a true&nbsp;blue&nbsp;Victor Meldrew and, to be honest,&nbsp;we English folk seem to love to hate. His column in the Sunday Times Magazine has me in stitches every time. I&nbsp;cringe with embarrassment for the devistated owner of the restaurant under attack of Gill's knife-edged words. And those brilliant bitter phrases just seem to tumble out of him like piss from a racehorse.</p>