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The Most Amazing Thing Of All

  • (Ian McCalmanTrad)

       We qualified for Italy, our season in the sun
       We tried to act surprised when we crashed out in Round One
       We always thought we'd win it though we're certified insane
       But Scotland qualified again

    Exciting days in Europe - the walls are tumbling down
    There's snow clouds over China, earthquakes in Frisco town
    The 'Eighties are all over, She's still at Number Ten
    But the most amazing thing of all - Scotland qualified again
    Glasgow's getting Culture, Rangers signing Mo
    There's sporting heroes turning blue, the Tories sign Sebastian Coe
    T.V. in the Commons drives me round the bend
    But the most amazing thing of all - Scotland qualified again

    The interest rates are rising, pressure on the pound
    Panama, Roumania - countries turn around
    Poll tax making enemies, Gorby making friends
    But the most amazing thing of all - Scotland qualified again
    It looked an easy section, Brazil had lost the knack
    And Sweden just play tennis, Costa Rica - the bastards!
    Amazing things have happened in nineteen eighty-nine
    But the most amazing thing of all - Scotland qualified again

    (as sung by The McCalmans)

    walls are tumbling down - the Berlin Wall fell in November 1989
    Culture - Glasgow was European City of Culture in 1989.
    Mo - former Celtic star Mo Johnston, signed by Rangers in 1989.
    blue - Tory Party colour.
    Sebastian Coe - British middle distance runner, gold at Los Angeles in 1984. Elected as the Conservative MP for Falmouth and Camborne in 1992.
    Poll tax - 'Community charge' introduced by the Thatcher government in 1989.
    Gorby - Michail Gorbachev, Russian politician who ended the Cold War and the Soviet Union.
    Costa Rica - beat Scotland.

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1990:] In Scotland, is that the most important thing? Of course it's not. But it made a nice wee song. (Intro McCalmans)

  • [1991:] The old rating system in Britain was the means by which citizens contributed to local government revenue. Each house or apartment was assigned by the local authority a 'rateable value' based theoretically on the value of the place if anyone wanted to rent it. [...] The new 'community charge' to replace the rates was [...] based not on property value but on local citizenship [...]. Since everyone living in the same area makes roughly the same use of the same amenities [...] then everyone should pay roughly the same amount to support these services. Under the rating system, some 45 billion was raised from some 14 million electors. Millions paid nothing yet benefited from the services; how much fairer to spread the cost of these services more widely among the 34 million local voters. That was the logic; but importantly close to the surface of the reforming Tory mind lay the following social vignette: decent Tory voters in nasty Labour boroughs being squeezed for unfairly high rates and constantly out-voted by squalid nests of four-to-a-council-flat Labourites who were featherbedded by rates rebates that acted as an open bribe to carry on voting Labour. The community charge, as its name implied, was about democratically equal fiscal responsibility within a given area. Opponents said that it was a poll tax, a straight per-capita levy. [The] employment of 'community charge' or 'poll tax' translates immediately into 'pro' or 'anti'. Within weeks of its introduction, only members of the Tory Cabinet and diehard loyalists were sticking to 'community charge'. [...]

    In the first year of the tax in Scotland, £158 million, or 16.3 per cent of the expected revenue, went uncollected. The next year, it got worse: by September 1990, almost halfway through the fiscal year, £769 million, or 73 per cent of the tax, had still not been paid. Attempts at arresting bank accounts and wages proved unsuccessful; in Strathclyde, 500,000 warrants had to be issued. Many refused to pay the second year's tax as a protest against subsidizing those who hadn't paid the first time round. In England and Wales, the poll tax was no less resented. (Julian Barnes, Letters From London 60ff)

Quelle: Scotland

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