Cumbernauld to Malaysia



 Haward Soper is a commercial and contracts specialist


1) Why did you leave Scotland?

That’s easy. Work. I worked in a dying Clydeside shipyard once I left University and then in Oil and Gas fabrication in the Highlands but work began to dry up so I moved.


2) Where did you grow up and at what age did you leave Scotland?

I grew up in Cumbernauld , as it was being built , and then in Dullatur, just outside Cumbernauld, a village built by the Glasgow City Bank (the last British Bank to crash, in 1878, before the current crisis began). The big difference is that in the case of the City Bank the directors were arrested, tried and gaoled………….oh, for the good old days……….. I left Scotland in my early 30s.


3) What is your job/sector and how many countries have you lived in?

I am a commercial and contracts specialist and I’ve lived and worked in Scotland, England, India, Germany, the Netherlands and Malaysia.


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4) Do you show pictures of the Loch Ness Monster to the locals?

Don’t be silly………the locals are grown ups. I don’t tell them about three legged haggi either.


5) Which citizenship do you have and which languages do you speak?

UK and English with a smattering of bad German.


6) Has living abroad changed the way you think about Scotland?

It has changed the way I think about the UK. When I see pride in infrastructure development and in education and in manufacturing across the globe I fear for our future. We will soon buy petrol from the continent, gas from Russia and Norway and electricity from France because of our negative and nimbyish attitudes to infrastructure and manufacturing. Those are examples but our overall attitude to hard work, to engineering and science and to education really is one of finger pointing, contempt and ignorance. The poisonous UK press pushes this along nicely.


7) Are there any Scottish products you would like to be able to buy?

Black Pudding. That’s about all I can’t get in KL.


8) What about the independence referendum coming up? How will it affect you and Scotland’s international image?

It’s time we made our mind up. We like to moan about the neighbours, and there is much to moan about, but we also like the comfort of having a big brother next door. The ambivalence should stop.


9) Have you ever had problems or found that people treat you differently because you are Scottish?

In contradistinction to being English; yes. Otherwise; no.


10) Do you have any plans for living in Scotland again and have you got a message for Scots back home?

No; I want to live in Leicester, and watch cricket and drink English Ale.


Do you know a successful Scot who lives outside Scotland and who Scottish Times can profile? If so contact Ina Göldenitz on or call 00 44 (0) 344 7570




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published this page in Scots Abroad 2012-07-24 10:14:00 +0100