You Do Not Exist

130531Games-30By Mike Small

You know they are scared now, don’t you? Deeply unsettled. Despite endless proclamations of “I’m a proud Scot but …” the reality of a deep-seated cultural self-hatred is seeping out. Self-hatred amongst the Love Bombs.

As the Commonwealth Games kicks off and the palpable feel-good factor kicks-in, Hamish Macdonell at The Spectator (‘The SNP might not realise it, but in sport, there’s a difference between patriotism and nationalism‘) writes:

“For some English viewers, the coverage from Glasgow 2014 might be more than a bit unsettling”.

Eh? Why’s that? Actually with the bulk of the BBC coverage it seems to have been co-opted and shredded of any political message (the latter probably being a good thing).

The problem, apparently is that “Here we are, just eight weeks from the referendum on Scottish independence and our screens are suddenly going to be filled with kilts, Saltires and songs”.

Yeah what a bunch of bastards we are with our flag and our kilts. It’s almost as if we feel like we have the right to exist. But that’s not the worst of it.

“Even the official emblem of the Glasgow Games – a jaggy thistle – seems to have been deliberately designed to prickle and get underneath those prissy white strips worn by the dastardly English. As a result, for the next two weeks it really will seem as if the English (as well as the Welsh and Northern Irish) will be competing in a different country.”

Here pictured (right) is the terrifying nationalist icon ‘Clyde’ the giant wobbly thistle that so worries Hamish and beside him the brutal 12 year old Beth Gilmour from Cumbernauld who created him. She’s clearly a Leni Riefenstahl in the making.

The message from The Spectator is twofold: ANY expression of self-identity is lashed to a visceral anti-Englishness and driven by Alex Salmond. No other explanation is conceivable.

The implicit and clearly aggravated sub-text is this: your country does not exist, stop pretending you have a right to be.

Two other examples rose in the past few days to reinforce this idea.

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Martin Kettle writing in the Guardian about Neal Ascherson, writes confidently:

“Scotland has not, by and large, been singled out for mistreatment or disruption”. The statement requires , apparently, neither qualification nor reference, it just IS.

“Nor, in spite of Scotland’s many real historic differences from other parts of the UK (and of the many differences within Scotland itself), has it become politically or ideologically a significantly different place from the rest of the UK.”

This assertion of Scottish exceptionalism, which comfortingly casts Scotland as a fundamentally more progressive, more egalitarian and more social democratic place than the rest of Britain, is an important and familiar theme of the independence debate…In reality, opinion polls show fewer fundamental differences of view between Scots and other British people than Ascherson and his fellow idealists allow. Just as importantly, devolution has long recognised Scotland’s right to decide a large range of issues about its own evolution anyway.”

Kettle is so besotted by this Bland Britain concept he staggers over into ridicule: “Where Ascherson is clearly right, however, is that the independence debate has energised Britain’s debate about itself. Obviously that is true in Scotland, and some of that debate has been the best revival of civic engagement in these islands for many years. But it is also happening in Wales and England …Only yesterday, a Commons committee proposed new tax-raising powers for English local government.”

That is, frankly, a hilarious leap from the energy, breadth and multiplicity of the Yes movement to a single Commons committee. There isn’t such a thing as ‘Britain’s debate about itself’ most commentary is scornful, ignorant or deeply patronising. To have debate about Britain itself would require a level of detachment and self-criticism among the English commentariat that is nowhere to be seen.

It’s a repeat of the same message: You have no distinguishing features. To think that you can be distinguished is to be ‘romantic’ or to think that you are ‘better than others’.

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But the prize for absurdist top-down policy wonk must go Demos think-tank who published an extraordinary variation. Scotland does not exist in this reckoning because we have different surnames. In ‘Scotland’s many subcultures’ researchers Richard Webber and Trevor Phillips ‘expose the myth’ of Scottish identity by revealing eight types.

They argue: “Clearly it in the interest of the SNP leadership to conduct the argument for independence on the premise that there is a single Scottish identity. No separatist movement has achieved its aims by highlighting the internal diversity of a would-be independent territory.

Scotland is uniform neither in terms of its ancestry, history and culture; that its electorate, just like that of the rest of the UK, is an amalgam of people of diverse origins who, despite the similarity of their physical appearance, derive from distinctly different cultural backgrounds; and that these differences may have a significant influence on people’s support for the concept of an independent Scotland.”

It’s a quite shocking analysis that is wrong from top to bottom and inside out.

I’m astounded it was commissioned, funded and published.

They very obviously haven’t done any research of the ACTUAL campaign being run, which is predicated, largely, on a multiple, inclusive, civic, internationalist worldview. It’s based on exploring celebrating and engaging with Scotland’s many many subcultures.

Ask Humza Yousaf, ask Aamer Anwar, ask Christian Allard ask Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh. Or ask Kampania polskiej społeczności w Szkocji – głosujemy na TAK!

It’s an offensive, lazy reductionist theory and it should be called out as such.

But at base it’s the same as Hamish Macdonell and Martin Kettle, the message is simple: you do not exist.

 

Scottish_Referendum_Figure1_v3-01

*

This campaign has allowed us to have a real long hard look at ourselves and ask some fundamental questions. It has been a revealing and a personally challenging period. But what’s more interesting is what others think of us, and in some cases, it’s ‘not very much at all.’



Categories: Commentary

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59 replies

  1. We’ve ‘existed’ since Athelstaneford in 832AD.

    Nae amount of denial will ever change that.

    • Not as “Scotland” though; it took centuries (and probably the unifying threat of Viking raiders) for Picts, Scots and Angles to even begin think of themselves as living in “Scot Land”.

      • True, though 832AD reputedly the first time Picts and Scots united in any form.

        Mr Tranter regarded it as the ‘birth’ of what became Scotland, I for one agree with his analysis

    • Actually Les you are mistaken: In January 2013 Westminster looked into this and concluded that in 1707 Scotland voted to become merely another region of an enlarged England. Scotland in otherwords voted itself into extinction. No right to UK assets, nothing. Nobody has challenged this finding that is why rUK England has unilaterally declared itself sole successor state after Scottish independence.

      • Nice troll attempt.

        Scotland did not vote. The nobility of Scotland accepted huge bribes and voted.

        There was no vote for the people of Scotland. They showed what they thought by rioting for several weeks after. A large army stationed on the borders was there to enforce the Union. Democracy didn’t enter into it.

        I don’t give a stuff what England calls itself after independence, rUK, UK, the Empire of London and the Scilly Isles, or whatever, that’s their problem, and good riddance.

      • No troll at all epicycle, check it out for yourself.
        I am not talking about ancient history, I don’t need a lesson on how to suck eggs either, I am talking about what Cameron’s mob are up to RIGHT NOW!
        While you don’t care what England calls herself, neither do I, but I do care that they are getting away with highway robbery and not a soul is doing a thing about it.
        Think about the £billions due to Scotland on independence from assets built together as the UK? Forget it, you don’t exist!

        http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2014/02/25/the-fiction-of-the-continuing-state/

      • In case you were wondering; according to HM Govt national audit office
        In 2012-13, the public sector (including local government) had assets of £1.3 trillion (i.e. £1,263,800,000,000).
        I’ll let you do the arithmetic on how much 8.4% of that comes to?
        Might be handy to have in your trouser pocket supposing you are looking for set up costs for an independent Scotland?

      • My apologies, Gordon.

        Should have read your post more closely.

        The red mist descended when I saw the bit about “Scotland voted…” I read that as implying we had a choice in the matter.

      • You encapsulate the entire debate/307 year old question with that, Gordon.

  2. I don’t see any problem in anyone describing Scotland, in particular, as “an amalgam of people of diverse origins who… derive from distinctly different cultural backgrounds; and that these differences may have a significant influence on people’s support for the concept of an independent Scotland.” (My ancestry is primarily based in the Lothians and Scottish Borders, for example; a 1,000 years ago they were part of a “middle kingdom” of Northumbria.

    Travel 40 miles in any direction in Scotland and chances are the landscape you see, the weather you feel and the accents you hear will alter radically. Which makes me wonder: how come their own map is such a vast geographical simplification?

    • And why would your ancestry have any bearing on this referendum?
      Folk from all over the world, never mind the British Isles, have a vote in September if they are on the electoral register. Ethnicity is just not a factor.

      I did say boo to one of the English athletes in the Commonwealth Games athletes’ village the other day: at the airport another was complaining that members of the London press were being a nuisance, digging for anti-English hostility from the natives. There was none, so I quietly said boo just to make him feel properly welcomed. He laughed and thanked me for my consideration.

  3. Gosh better not play the bagpipes in the opening ceremony.
    Maybe some London taxis? Just like the Olympics.

  4. oh well lets hear that good old scottish welcome to our English neighbours –GET IT RIGHT UP *** *** well the rest you can make up !! you can almost feel the cringe coming on and they will just have to grin and bear it yep our bloody flag whether you like it or not we don’t give a F/K live with it

  5. David Torrance’s article in The Herald on Monday was almost as bad as Martin Kettle’s. Aside from the ridiculous suggestion that serious constitutional reform is on the agenda in England (we all have access to UK media, it clearly isn’t), these people could do with showing Neal Ascherson a bit more respect. He’s probably the best journalist that modern Scotland has produced.

    • I think Neal Ascherson would probably be pleased that he has touched a raw nerve among the Brit nats. It shows he has made his point well if they are reacting like this.

  6. ‘Scotland’s many subcultures’ reminds me of the sinister attempt to identify behaviour, intelligence & attitudes based upon nothing but someone’s name & comes straight from the pages of the Nazi party’s, National Socialist Programme published in 1920.

    It was the beginning of a series of processes that identified people in such a way that they could be considered inferior, just by cataloging their names & comparing them to examples of Germans whom they considered, had pure Aryan blood.

    The hypothesis here is just as bizarre & frightful; Scotland can’t possibly be a nation because the names of the people prove that there are insurmountable social, political & economic differences between them, such that they cannot possibly work together & actually run their own country.

    In fact, while some names suggest superiority over others, none are so bestowed with sufficient acumen like England’s population for example, that one might conclude that they are collectively incompetent.

    This is one of the most racist publications I have seen for some time.

  7. Thank goodness the Olympic Games never once had references to cricket on the village green and Jerusalem then, because that would be imposing a very Anglo centric view on to all of the nations that make up these islands.

    panic is setting in in the no camp. Recently advertising in England for “activists” who will be bused up and paid ten pounds an hour to leaflet shows the depth of the panic.

    They may have the Goliath of the uk media; Thatcher’s former spin doctors Saatch and Saatchi and Blair’s spin doctors on board, but David’s and Davina’s are known to topple giants- on our side we have a nation who though the national conversation, are gaining in confidence and real aspirations for a better way, a fair Scotland. Social justice is the stone that will bring down the giant.

  8. No surprise at all about Trevor Phillips and co. They are part of the British establishment. They are trying desperately to dilute Scottish identity in the political arena. Which is actually very bizarre and funny, for the reasons that Paul Cockburn mentions. The MSM are part of the British state, I think the referendum has proven this beyond reasonable doubt. Hamish Macdonell and co cannot stand the thought of the people of Scotland thinking of themselves as a nation. This leads them to indirectly verbally attacking a 12 year old girl, Beth Gilmour, for having the audacity to create the mascot. This is insane, way beyond the irrational stage. This is detestation and sheer hatred for the very idea of Scotland, let alone of one which governs its own affairs. I really do fear for the people in Scotland if we vote No in September.

  9. Is it not the case that, most modern nations consist of various ethnicities, that migrated there over a long period of time. Therefore, Scotland is a nation like any other. So what’s the point of the above *cough*, research.

    • Agreed. What is the point in research when you are just stating the obvious anyway? Surely research finds things out and develops ideas?

    • Correct!

      Alba/Scotland has Picts, Scots ,Celts, Norse, Angles ,Eastern Europeans, Normans
      and French, plus all who have arrived in the last couple of centuries.

    • …and Flemings tae…

      • That’s what got me! How dare they suggest that our wonderfully rich and diverse mix of peoples, cultures, songs, languages, sub-divisions of languages, ideas, and sheer gallusness could be confined in ‘eight sub-groups’ or whatever it was. The sheer ignorant arrogance of these charlatans is breathtaking!

      • Heard of the seven sisters? Everyone in Europe can apparently trace their ancestry through maternal DNA to one of seven women in pre-history.
        My understanding is that the De Brus family were pre-Norman invasion Fleming migrants to Britain.

    • You have hit the nail on the head.

      Vote Yes to independence on 18 September and put the spring back in Scotland’s step.

  10. It’s interesting that the longer the Ref. campaign has gone on how the ‘NO’ narrative has developed…. First, ‘Proud Scot’ phase….then ‘Proud Scot but..’ , and now ‘Not Scottish at all’, even if you have a name like Hamish MacDonnell.

    What it really has revealed is the deep-seated fear and loathing seething within the ‘wannabe’ brits that dwell amongst us.

    These people, spend their lives cringing at anything remotely iconic of Scotland. Mention kilts, Saltire, bagpipes and their lips curl, spittle forms and curses rise from their constricted breasts.

    I have met the lumpen versions: often wearing bowler hats and sashes like comic, cargo cult natives. They bellow heathen hymns of hate and describe themselves as ‘Glaswegian British’.

    But if you think they are ludicrous and sad, their ‘educated’ middle class fellows, exemplify even more so, this Caledonian form of cognitive dissonance. They often speak in mock neo-transatlantic kelvinside/morningside accents, sneering at the ‘Braveheart’ stratum of Scottish society. They are nearly always new labour sychophants, who talk about how much more in common Glasgow/Edinburgh/Aberdeen has with Manchester for example. Despite never having lived there.

    They universally despise ‘teuchters’ unless they are buying their houses in some dying Argyllshire village. Many will be supporters of a Re-united Ireland or a free Palestine….but Scotland….come on!

    What is happening is that this disparate but unconscious group of brainwashed slaves are mentally imploding, as the inherent contradictions of their identity is being challenged and deconstructed by the grassroots campaign of ‘YES’.

    Hence the insane utterances and risible appeals to suppress our national spirit. They and the ‘British family’ are broken entities and now they are beginning to realise this fact.

    • Give the poor sowls a break Lochside, its divide & rule wrote large.
      These unfortunates have swallowed every piece of propaganda fed to them, to the extent that they proudly show off England replica football shirts to empathise with their Queen, the epitome of Englishness!
      I don’t suppose it matters that her mother was Scottish, or grand parents and spouse were German. Prince Phillip has a nephew Adolf named after his godfather, yes THAT Adolf.
      They day in daily read Establishment propaganda, see it on TV, hear it on the radio. They have been condition through life to accept it and to reject anything that contradicts the message;
      If you love the Queen of England, if you love the God she is sworn to defend, if you are proud to be British, if you are from working class roots, or on the other hand have aspirations to climb the social ladder, then an independent Scotland is anathema, and anything ‘too Scottish’ is subversive and basically evil.

      You have to hope that they might venture onto the internet and discover the real truth, and the facts, for themselves.

      No amount of persuading will shift their position, I’m afraid that they have to find these things out for themselves.

    • You are right Lochside, I am a Tcheuter through and through and I live in a dying Argyll toon and there are many hooses that are being bought, by what used to be called whyte settlars, you know you are mannie, however I am not sure of the PC term that I am now supposed to use. However, knocking the doors, the big hooses, the ones with the long drives, you arrive panting, sweaty and less than dignified. O choin, o choin. Wonder if anybody has canvassed Inveraray Castle yet?

  11. If you drill down to the DNA level,we are all the same(at least except for the Brit Nats who appear to be from a different planet).
    By their logic,there is no point in any of us having separate governments when the whole human race could be governed from London.
    I bet the Romans used the same arguments against the Gauls or Germani etc when their empire was in terminal decline.
    Is this the best they can come up with?

  12. Here was me thinking that Bella was being unusually cross. maybe the heat was getting to her. Then I read the essay in Demos. And it is more than offensive. It’s grotesque. I don’t recommend it to anyone with high blood pressure or average intelligence.

  13. I don’t think we should take a typically contrarian piece from the Spectator too seriously. Guardian opinion pieces which seem churned out by the dozen and have the life span of a butterfly and think tank reports don’t rate much higher and are depressiingly humourless where at least the Spectator however wrongheaded a piece might be do try to entertain and amuse. Most pieces in the London based media about the referendum seem more bewildered and bemused by the whole thing rather than giving any insight into what others think or what is going on.

  14. Discussing Irish emmigration to Scotland, the Education Scotland website makes the following point.

    With the partition of Ireland in 1921, the Irish became more embroiled in the politics of their adopted country. They overwhelmingly supported the Labour Party and this allowed them access to mainstream political life in Scotland.

    For over 90 years then, Irish Catholics have been supporting the Labour party in Scotland. Now and suddenly, according to the Demos paper, this community has remembered its (Irish) nationalist roots and rejected Labour in favour of Scottish independence :

    Turning to our analysis of the YouGov results, it was much to our surprise that the strongest majority support for independence was not among ‘pure’ historic Scots, but among people of Irish Catholic descent: with the latter being only 6 per cent net against independence, and historic Scots 16 per cent against. On the surface one might suppose this group would take its political lead from the Labour Party, for which it votes more consistently than any other group in Scotland.
    When one considers that electors from the same cultural heritage form the backbone of the Sinn Fein vote in West Belfast, this rejection of Labour’s position can be interpreted as a visceral opposition to the Union, to the Tory establishment and to Westminster. Thus ‘Yes’ voters among this group are likely to have very different motivations and to be expressing very different identities than the typical voter with an English or Welsh name; in fact they are supporting independence for the same reasons that they support Labour, a historic sense of oppression. What is significant is that the appeal of independence is driven more strongly by cultural and political considerations than socio-economic ones.

    Alternatively and more likely, it looks as if the Labour party in Scotland have finally managed to alienate one of their key/ bedrock groups of traditional supporters. If, in the event of a No vote, Labour in Scotland cannot win back ‘people of Irish Catholic descent’ then the days of Labour’s power in Scotland will be over.

    • What is this utter crap? I am “pure Scots’ with great grandparents on one side that were Iish immigrants long before thevturn of the 19th century…potato famine ring any bells. All my family were disenfranchised from any land they had in the last 3 centuries, most of our population mixed and varied have been expunged from where they come from by the corrupt and greedy. Incidently my great grandparents long lived though they were despite real poverty died in the 1960’s. They knew nothing of any referendums. Friends of ours arrived in Edinburgh with their 3 children n thec1970’s havibg survived on sugar and water on a boat for weeks to escape Pol Pot’s killing fields because the man was an engineer and the woman a school teacher. Their ekdest daughter got a Masters degree from Oxford recently, they are about the only social mobilty success story I’ve heard of post Thatcher thanks to help and kindness they so badly needed when they arrived.
      Fuck you and your bigotry you live in a different Scotland, what have you got tattooed on your knuckles ??? Battle of the Boyne fuck off
      and vefore you start a mixed race family in Scotland us also mixed religions, something that isn’t thankfully even relevant n the East of Scotland.

    • What is this utter crap? I am “pure Scots’ with great grandparents on one side that were born of Irish immigrants long before the turn of the 19th century…potato famine ring any bells?? All my family were disenfranchised from any land they had in the last 3 centuries, most of our population, mixed and varied have been expunged from where they come from by the corrupt and greedy. Incidently my great grandparents long lived though they were, despite real poverty, died in the 1960’s. They knew nothing of any referendums. I lived in England for 15 years cos as usual in Scotland , locals need not apply so my Dad found work in the north of England at a time when kids at school thought Irish and Scots were all terrorists. Familiar story in the playground these days for Muslim kids. Friends of ours arrived in Edinburgh with their 3 children in the1970’s having survived on sugar and water on a tiny boat for weeks to escape Pol Pot’s killing fields, because the man was an engineer and the woman a school teacher. Their eldest daughter got a Masters degree from Oxford recently, they are about the only social mobilty success story I’ve heard of post Thatcher thanks to help and kindness they so badly needed when they arrived. And later cos the International and local communoties were able to help get extended families together again after being strewn across continents.
      Fuck you and your bigotry you live in a different Scotland, what have you got tattooed on your knuckles ??? Battle of the Boyne fuck off
      and before you start, a mixed race family in Scotland is also one of mixed religions, something that thankfully isn’t even relevant in the East of Scotland any more. I can see who you fought for at Culloden, why not live there if you are so unhappy here.

  15. “Even the official emblem of the Glasgow Games – a jaggy thistle – seems to have been deliberately designed to prickle and get underneath those prissy white strips worn by the dastardly English…”

    Such cultural ignorance.

    If the thistle is to prickle anyone, it is those of us who are descended from the vikings.

    The legend of the thistle is that it enabled the Scots to mount a defence when one of our tender-footed forebears yelled out when standing on one in his bare feet, thereby providing an early warning of a stealth attack.

    Guess what? The thistle doesn’t bother us, and it has nothing to do with the English.

  16. Its truly a wonder to see the cascade of propaganda and piffle the Guardian is rolling out in defence of the rank and privilege of the British Establishent whilst at the same time purporting to be newsprint media proponents of social democratic government.

    How can these Guardian journalists sleep at night in the knowledge that they are cogs in a vile British Establishment wheel of conspiracy to destroy a golden opportunity to create a truly independent social democratic Scotland that could be a beacon of hope for the rest of the UK?

    Unless of course, they are really only masquarading as social democrats.

  17. At last we have a name, no more proscription. We are educated philisophical by nature, magnanimous, inventive and have deep routed creativity of all kinds. It is my belief that the people who painted animals in caves 30,000 years ago had the best eyesight and hand to eye coordination that would make they also ecceptional at finding food not just hunting but understanding and discovering therefor gatherers too. We are their decendants. We are the EXCEPTIONALS be proud. Unlike some tribes it was not about murdering others to succeed we survived through skill and ingenuity and we still have that.

    • Kirsten ‘we’? Just who do you think we are? Once you start down that road of ethnic superiority you are on a very dangerous path.
      Stick to our tradition of hospitality to freens and visitors; what a freen gets is no loss!

  18. I see poor old Orkney and Sheflands Isles get ignored or missed out as usual ….hey, it’s as if they don’t exist…spooky that! Ha! what pish from a bunch of banker worshippers, they can gtf. If we could put charges along Hadrian’s Wall and set them adrift towards their beloved USA I’d be even happier. Maybe the fracking industry would do that anyway ‘accidentally’.

    • Yeah you doubly don’t exist!

    • Scotland wasn’t always part of Britain, after wandering about on it’s tectonic plate approximately 410 million years ago it crashed into what is now today the edge of Europe and England in a mighty upheaval of compressed energy, flinging great slabs of stone skywards in a volcanic maelstrom that laid down the unique geological form that is Scotland today. The subsequent fault line between Scotland and England is approximately along the line of where Hadrian’s wall is today. A fault line that has condemned Scotland to exist conjoined to England bringing a whole new meaning to the word fault. At a time when Scotland is considering severing from England it is interesting to consider that there has always been two distinctively different land masses populated by equally distinctively different people. Perhaps the nature of each land and it’s respective challenges also shaped the nature and culture of the respective occupants.
      Enjoy your passionate contribution’s Kirsten. Regards James

      • James I think you may have missed the point here but a couple of points: The main fault where tectonic plates interacted between the US plate and the Scottish is along the Great Glen fault not Hadrian’s Wall. But in any event the difference in geology either side of the rift fault between the Solway and the Tyne is hardly evident on the ground.
        That out of the way; in the time since the last ice age when these islands were repopulated there have been any number of colonising influences on our bit of the British Isles. In this context British refers to the original Brythonic Welsh who are now confined to only a fraction of their original range.
        The infuence any of that has on September’s referendum is a big fat zero!
        My family has Scottish Irish English and Viking roots, in common with the majority. Most of our cultural identity is a modern construction invented for political reasons.

        What this referendum is about is not ethnic or cultural, it is political. We are a minority interest to an administration in London that regards us with varying degrees of disinterest to distrust and outright hostility or contempt.
        Be that as it may, our community of mongrel Scots drawn from a’ the airts an pairts o the globe have the opportunity and duty to take responsibility for running our affairs for the benefit of our freens and family.
        Our priorities are very different from those in the south east of England.
        They have quite different circumstances to ours, and cannot or will not see the harm that policies they find appropriate for them are toxic for us.
        We must be independent to give our community a better opportunity to live healthy prosperous and productive lives and to ensure our resources are handled for our benefit instead of being squandered in ways we consider anathema to our needs and priorities.

  19. I don’t know what is worse.

    The right-wing media’s failing attempts to link the campaign for self -determination with race or their concern that a celebration of a successfully run Commonwealth Games would drive voters to choose independence.

    Do they think we Scots zip up the back?

  20. I read the Demos report – and the other articles. I struggled to make sense of the Demos thing and thought I was lacking. I have looked at it again. It is trash. Thank you for reporting this.

  21. Well of course it was the official legal opinion of Crawford and Boyle, international lawyers commissioned by Cameron to advise the government on Scottish devolution that Scotland was extinguished in 1707, so apparently we have not existed for the last 307 years, and the Treaty of Union which guaranteed our institutions ‘does not sound as a treaty in international law’.

    See Appendix
    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/79417/Scotland_analysis_Devolution_and_the_implications_of_Scottish_Independan…__1_.pdf

  22. We are a country we are Scotland,and we were a country before England was known as a country,perhaps the Oxbridge historians have a wee bit of the jealousy in their blood.I am amused at so many of the “reporters” and columnists of the Fleet Street press.They have an idea and wont let truth nor facts get in the way of it,somewhere in the back of my mind there is a date of 652,maybe I’m wrong as I am often am, but Scotland was a distinct country then albeit of a few “tribes” or peoples,but they were joined in common cause to protect the loose borders.

  23. I had a look at the Martin Kettle article in the Guardian. Looks like he doesn’t understand the difference between a region and a nation.

    As for a debate down south about the British identity, I’ve not noticed one in the English Midlands. I’d love it if there was such a debate. We have a lot of catching up to do in England in terms of understanding what it means to be English and British. I recently set up a new blog precisely with that idea in mind – englishnationalconversation.wordpress.com. It’s aimed at English people only – no offence! Not sure if it will take off but am giving it a try.

    • Good luck to you. It strikes me that many people in England must dislike rule from Westminster as much as we Scots do. Self-determination for those areas of England outside of the Home Counties and the South East can only be a good thing.

  24. “…”…only 40 per cent of the proportion of the UK’s Scottish genetic ancestry continue to be resident in Scotland.”

    What a total load of bigoted, racist pish that whole Demos report was.

    Trevor Phillips was a fucking disaster at EHRC, and he’s certainly not doing any better these days.

  25. I don’t what’s worse, Bella, not existing, or existing asa dancing Tunnock’s Teacake…

    Where do they get these people from?

  26. Scotland will be Independent again. If not in 2014 then later but a delay will only extend the misery of those at the bottom end of society, a delay will put at risk our NHS, our free education and many other social benefits.

    The UK is finished due to London dominance created to suck the wealth to a few at it’s centre. A London society based upon greed and self interest. The remains of a 19th century version of the Roman Empire.

    The sooner we start to build a much fairer society in Scotland the better.

    The articles written by unionist hacks all assume we are focused on the past. Our history is important but what we can build to replace the rotten decaying system which currently damages the life’s of so many at present is the key.

    We cannot change the World. We cannot change the UK (the UK has changed Labour). However we can change our little corner and maybe, just maybe the ripples will spread out into the rUK and beyond.

    Scotland helped change the World in the past. It’s time to get off our knees and do it again.

    I’m voting YES for the generations to come.

  27. Reblogged this on Are We Really Better Together? and commented:
    “This campaign has allowed us to have a real long hard look at ourselves and ask some fundamental questions. It has been a revealing and a personally challenging period. But what’s more interesting is what others think of us, and in some cases, it’s ‘not very much at all.’”

    • Hugh: Why do you worry about what people you don’t know think about you?
      I would think its much better to consider what you think about yourself.
      If you don’t respect yourself why would you expect anyone else to?

  28. The implication seems to be ‘Scotland is so diverse, it makes no sense to have it as a nation’. How can these people at the same time think ‘England and Scotland are not really different; no need for an independent Scotland – the UK is a perfect fit for all’.

    I hope that an independent Scotland will do justice to the wonderfull diversity in its history and present people.

  29. >>They argue: “Clearly it in the interest of the SNP leadership to conduct the argument for independence on the premise that there is a single Scottish identity. No separatist movement has achieved its aims by highlighting the internal diversity of a would-be independent territory.<<

    Erm, howsabout the USA?

  30. Nice to see team England and Sir Wiggo proudly sporting the English union jack on their helmets at the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome, remembering the uproar at London 2012 over the appearance of the saltire with Scottish fans in the crowd.
    No host national anthem although I bet nobody saw an English translation of Freedom come all ye before it was sung at the opening ceremony.
    Better Together No Thanks handing out thousands of union jacks and the red arrows countermanded by the defence secretary to trail red white and blue smoke instead of the host’s colours of blue and white.
    No, let’s not politicise the games, eh?

    • I just noticed the Butcher’s Apron on top of the England cycling helmets. Didn’t anyone tell the team management that there’s a difference between England on the one hand, and Britain/’U’K on the other, and that Britain never has a joint team at the Commonwealth Games? If I’d been on the England team, I’d have raising merry hell about this. I’d rather lose under my own [English] flag than win under someone else’s flag.

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