Thieves and Beggars

A poster for the Eternal Jews Exhibition...

A poster for the Eternal Jews Exhibition…

By Mike Cullen

A scapegoat is a very handy thing. Hitler understood that. It gives you someone to blame, for everything, a direction for your pointy finger and probably even somewhere to park your bike.

So far, in this increasingly panic-stricken election campaign, us Scots have had to take “smelly jocks, subsidy junkies, leeches, racists, clear and present dangers, the enemy, English haters, lefties on steroids, baby killers to rival King Herod”, and now…”thieves”.

Wait a minute, that doesn’t seem quite so bad, does it? Thieves. We’ve gone from genocidal infant slaughterers to petty thieves. Watch out, middle-England, the jocks are here to steal your money, ha ha ha.

So goes the Tory’s latest poster campaign, on billboards throughout London, depicting a sneaky Alex Salmond creeping up behind some poor unfortunate middle Englander, his bony, pointy, crooked fingers reaching out like an arcade grabby thing to steal the poor hard-working tax-payer’s selfies of the Queen from his back pocket.

The slogan says “Don’t let the SNP grab your cash”. The political tactic is, on the surface, obvious: attack Labour’s weakness, which they see as SNP puppet masters, while appealing to those disenchanted Tories hiding up the back of the Ukip bus. But here’s the thing…appealing how? By utilising the Scottish stereotype, and solidifying it from vague smear of meanness into crystal clear out and out street thief.

Depending on your position, you’ll smile or shake your head at these hyperbolic slurs. Even the most dedicated Ukip flag-breeder doesn’t seriously believe that the Scots eat babies, (well, not raw, at least). But thieves…hmmm, maybe there might just be something in that…

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All’s fair in war and elections, you might say, but hang on a minute, this poster is not being broadcast to viewers in Scotland, the targets are Londoners. For whom the SNP is much the same thing as the Scottish. And correct me if I’m wrong, but I have this vague notion that there is a slight shortage of SNP candidates standing for election in London.

And there you have the problem. Peel away the veneer of electioneering, and underlyingly, you’ll find something much, much darker, a thing we’ve seen repeated throughout history. By accident or design, there lies underneath the insidious demonisation of a people. The chilling thrust of this campaign takes that old chestnut, the mean Scotsman, and turns it into a nut roast of royal proportions. I’ve posted on Facebook about this, and various excuses have emerged…”the SNP doesn’t represent the entire Scottish nation”. Do Londoners really make that distinction? “Oh, oh, it’s an election, everybody’s at it, it’s just the way elections work”. Well, it’s the first election I’ve lived through where every major party is involved in demonising an entire people, that’s true.

“By blaming a minority racial group for all of the country’s ills, the Nazis created a set of scapegoats who could be blamed at every opportunity for almost anything. In posters, art, cartoons and film, the Jews were equated with rats and caricatured as hook nosed misers, stealing money from the honest ‘Aryan’ German workers”. (brainz.org)

Yip, the tactic has been used before, to great effect, and all’s fair in war and elections, right? I can hear some of you now, grumbling that I’m over-reacting, taking this too far, and taken in isolation, you would probably be right. But next on the agenda come the cries of illegitimacy. You know this story. “You’re all greedy thieves, you’re trying to destabilise our country, you have no rights in our eyes, we refuse to recognise your right to vote, or to participate in our precious democracy, we will not allow it, we refuse to recognise your representatives, we’ll cast you out”. That happened in 30’s Germany to the Jews, and the threat of it rears it’s terrible head again, in the form of Tories and Libdems threatening to demote the Scots to second-class citizens by removing their democratic rights within the UK.

Scots voting for the SNP has been described by the Tories as an attempt to “sabotage the democratic will of the British people”. Em…we are the British people. We decided that last year, that we would remain a part of Britain, as British citizens. Which means we can vote for who we like, right?

I’m not going to even start discussing this absurd, idiotic notion that because you don’t agree with a certain party’s policies, you consider them to have less rights than you, nor will I discuss the obvious fear driving all of this – that the political awakening happening in Scotland might, gasp, spread to the rest of the UK.

I am going to say, however, that these tactics, going under the guise of happy electioneering, are incredibly dangerous. Not because they threaten the union, (which they do), but because they threaten to unleash that dark force that demonises a minority race within the country, that seeks to deny their rights, redact them from society, that turns them into scapegoats, to be feared, and ulimately, to be hated, with all the terrible consequence that brings.



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69 replies

  1. ”’ utilising the Scottish stereotype, and solidifying it from vague smear of meanness into crystal clear out and out street thief.” Yes precisely. A dormant thought, centuries old which is breathed quickly into life.

    ”I can hear some of you now, grumbling that I’m over-reacting, ” I don’t think so, and I’m not a conspiracy theorist. The sniggery little jokes we’ve all had about being tight, now become the monster we see on that ad above.

    ”Scots voting for the SNP has been described by the Tories as an attempt to “sabotage the democratic will of the British people”. Yes indeed and this links again to what we all know about the conflation of British and English. Ad nauseam. Now it appears with a vengeance.

    The English were never in fact ‘British’ – you can see it in language where everything in these islands is English and even the Head of State by naming herself Queen Elizabeth II denies Scotland’s existence. Whenever I’ve raised this with English people, I don’t just get disagreement as I expect, but blind rage and disbelief. This says much about the depths from where imperialism comes.

    • All this has, of course, nothing to do with demonising the English (the Welsh and Northern Irish are ALSO British) and that frequently badmouthed monstrosity, ‘Westmonster’ (and similar negative versions of the ‘mother of all Parliaments’ as it’s sometimes also been called)? As a tour-guide and teacher of EFL I frequently had to point out to (especially American) visitors or students from all over the world that ‘Britain’ was not ‘England’, or vice versa; but that was no fault of the English. Simply that what appear, close-to, as significant differences, e.g. between Belgium, Holland, Flanders, Wallonia and the Netherlands, tend to merge, from a distance, into, e.g. ‘Holland’. Where do Iraq and Turkey end, and ‘Kurdistan’ (is there such a place?) begin, the people and the territory? Are Georgia, the Caucasus and Grusinia (Isn’t that an invention of Bert Brecht?) synonymous? Name all the States of the US! Is Alsace French or German? And Lorraine? Is there such a place as Alsace-Lorraine? Are the Spanish and/or Portuguese Iberians or Lusitanians? What about the Catalans and Basques? Etc., etc. etc.

    • This poster is also up in Carlisle, I saw it today and couldn’t quite believe it. Presumably it’s up all over England (and Wales too maybe?).

  2. This is nothing new, the British media have done this in the past during the rise of the Home Rule party in Ireland during the 19th Century.

  3. The ruling classes are very afraid of what the future might bring, if the present mood in the country persists. The voters want change, but the Establishment don’t.
    As the fear increases, the measures taken to hold onto power and privilege, become a little more desperate, and a little darker.

    This has the potential for very ugly outcomes.

  4. It is indeed a dark turn by the establishment/ press/media.To behave like this will show their hatred, false or implied, for Scottish people in general. It belies the thought of democracy in this ” Union”, which is beginning to make it feel like an occupation, not a “Union” at all.

  5. Sadly true. I have recently compared the attitudes of the English based newspapers (and not just the obvious choices) to the attitudes of many whites in America when blacks started to demand equal rights. After the referendum the view seems to be: “You’ve had your little huff. Now it’s blown over stop demanding stupid things like being able to sit in the same room as us. Who do you think you are?”

    I’m English and I have lived in Scotland for 18 years, and it shames me to watch this happening. To a certain extent it makes me very nervous. Especially as some friends talking to me on a recent visit south spoke about “you lot”. Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud to be part of “you lot”, and in an independent Scotland would happily refer to myself as a Scot (of English origin). But there is undoubtedly a demonisation of all things Scottish happening on the part of quite a few English politicians and a fair bit of the English media.

    Thank God that the UK public has had a good chance to get a proper look at Nicola Sturgeon as, if you like, our PR counter attack. She’s doing a great job, and is such a breath of fresh air to be honest. Shame Patrick Harvie couldn’t have been at the UK wide debates too.

  6. No Mike, I’d say you’ve nailed it exactly.

    The current anti Scottish, anti SNP hysteria generated chiefly and currently by the Conservative party, but used on an ad hoc basis by all the establishment parties depending on who needs to be frightened today, is simply a dangerous, thoughtless political ploy to stay in power. All of the establishment parties love the smell of fear in the morning, its their favourite campaign strategy used either instead of, or in concert with divide and rule. The difference this time?

    Well firstly in this instance the target audience is the English electorate. An electorate primed by the right wing dominated media and their commentariat to suspect all things poor, radical, progressive or worse yet… foreign. The hope of course is that such fear of the other, in this case Scots/SNP, will deter people from voting for Labour in any numbers in those key marginals. The method? Set some dog whistle headlines, make up any old thing to fill column space, the more outrageous the better, apply some photoshop liberally and hey presto instant villain created for readerships to other and resent (rinse and repeat as often as required). I mean who needs policies to inform a campaign when you can direct people’s anger toward, and their vote away from, a handy set of scapegoats right?

    Secondly you have the unintended audience of the Scottish electorate themselves. Right on the back of a hard fought referendum, a now politically clued up and engaged Scottish electorate are looking on in horror as the government and establishment, who mere months earlier had begged them to stay, now turns on them like a rattlesnake and drags their democratic choices, their name and their culture through the Westminster sewers in pursuit of that big chair in Downing street. It used to be you could count on the fact that most papers had cross border titles and it was one message for this electorate and another for that electorate, no one being any the wiser. Not in this digital age its not.

    No, today thanks to the wonders of social media, the interwebby and hi tech communication we see what’s being said about us on both sides of the border and doesn’t it make eyewatering, not to mention informative and instructive viewing? You can see how party politics, government and the media really work to manipulate perception and influence voting. Its cold, deliberate, callous and utterly self seeking. No one who claims to represent a state body or the people in its care and exercises such a campaign of orchestrated resentment, between two neighbouring cultures in a supposed ‘partneship’, is fit to hold the post of leader. No system of government which exists upon such a structure of manipulation is fit to govern and no media worth its name as representatives of the fourth estate should be caught dead capitulating in the societal division and othering of their own readerships for either material or political gain.

    Yet here we are, same old, same old.

    • Well said, macart763, well said indeed.

    • Excellent article and an excellent response from macart673. Only a few years ago how many people other than those on the “inside” knew how the political system supported by the media actually worked? Now it’s laid bare for all to see and it stinks.

  7. Long overdue analysis of the racist deluge of hate being thrown out way. Not new of course.
    Have a gander at 18th century caricatures in the English press then about the Scot.

    As remarked by @barry the Irish had to contend with ugly stereotypes especially ‘Cummings’ in the Daily Express.His cartoons had them portrayed as mono browed thicko terrorists.

    But where are are ou r defenders….the Unionist Scotbut politicians? …The only voice that of the seedy ‘Lord Forsyth’…not because he loves his ‘fellow’ Scots, but like all the carpetbaggers pimping off W/Minister he’s worried they might turf him and the rest of the Caledonian brown noseon home yo think again.

  8. What if any reaction to the slurs on the Scottish nation/peoples from the no camp political or otherwise”silence is deafening” it shows me that we have a big rump of treachourous weaklings,something apparent for a couple of hundred years at least.

    • I voted NO and object to nationalism because it always has to have a hate figure.

      The Conservative party’s poster campaign is disgraceful as is the SNP’s making Tories and rich people and private enterprise the hate figures in Scotland.

      I say the same thing elsewhere on this thread but thought you would like an answer. I expect there are many that think that the nationalism has a monopoly on virtue and does not deal in hate, which is laughable

      I’ll add your insults – treachourous weaklings – t to the long list of others that have been made on this site alone. And you think that this is is not an example of hate? Gee if that’s the case I’d hate to have a compliment

      “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” as someone once said

  9. If Scotland is such an economic basketcase and we’re all subsidy junkies as Westminster claims, why is London so desperate to hang on to us then ? is it perhaps we’re voting fodder for the Liebour party and for the Conservatives, we’ve got natural resources ? The Power Elites are very interested in GOD ( Gold, Oil, Drugs ) unfortunately Scotland has oil and gas, I think that’s a curse not a blessing. Just look at all the wars in the Middle East, that’s where the oil is. They won’t permit us to leave.

    • Yours is a question I’ve been asking over and over again ever since Westminster first coined the phrase “subsidy junkies” to describe the people of Scotland.

      When you consider that we have had a succession of Westminster neoliberal parties forming the government at Westminster since 1980 and all in hock to the same ideology of selling off or getting rid of anything that appears to be a burden to the Westminster establishment, you would have thought they would have been falling over themselves to show us the door at the first opportunity.

      I think it has to be something far more important to Westminster than oil and gas revenues and a parking lot for their nuclear abomination which they could park elsewhere in the UK.

      If its true Scotland is subsided (and I don’t believe that for a minute) their motivation for keeping us so tightly held on to has to be something else and resting much deeper in their psyche.

    • … maybe if we do leave the merkins will come and ‘liberate’ us for our oil and gas?

    • The City owns much of corporate Scotland, which is offshore so not taxed. Offshore private equity ‘funds’ own our high profit energy firms, airports and ports. Equity treated as debt, and interest on latter, makes profits look lower than they really are. Whisky’s ‘£4bn’ exports grossly understated, as is value of millions of tonnes of aggregates. Oil & gas is only part of the picture. Scotland’s people and resources are being fleeced.

      It’s not just what is taxed that matters, it is what is not taxed.

      • own our high profit energy firms, airports and ports

        So are these to be nationalised or left in the hands of private investors?

        • They are not ‘investing’; they have borrowed money (e.g. so-called ‘equity’ funds) to buy and exploit existing mature assets, thereafter using the profits (derived from local monopolies) to pay interest on borrowings. Its known as leveraged acquisition. This typical UK and US type financial ‘model’ leaves little or no surplus remaining for ‘investment’ in new assets. New assets are long term and equity funds tend to be short term – 3-6 years in some cases. Hence Scotland has no new ports or new airports (e.g. runways) and is left with considerable outdated infrastructure. This is the reason our nation is not internationally competitive and the model acts as a constraint on employment nationally. It is not a case of nationalisation as remedy. In other countries when they privatise or concession infrastructure, they ensure the bidders commit to investing in new assets and new capacity over time so that the national economy can grow; its usually part of the privatisation contract. Successive UK governments have not done that; they simply sold the old assets off to their mates in the city and let them do what they want. Please keep up.

  10. After May 7th they can go and take a running jump.

    Westminster is dead and good fcuking riddance.

    Proud Scot-no buts!

  11. Insightful article. We were thought of as a “sub-nation” and now we are also “sub-human”. Its not a big shift, is it?

    ‘Proud Scots’ unionists probably revel in the insult; they think they are them.

  12. Great read Mike and totally agree…..I do worry about how far the establishment will go and the consequences of all this, ‘words are like arrows once shot they can never be retrieved’

    • What will happen now that the SNP seem to be the establishment in Scotland and seek to be so in Westminster? How about the arrows shot by nationalist at those who voted No in the referendum; the nicest thing that was said of us was we were stupid. Thanks

      • Granted, bad things were said on both sides, Barraload. But this is different, this is aimed at an entire people, not just a political side. It’s aimed as much at you as me.

        • Nope’ It’s a poster that features Alex Salmond and the SNP, neither of which under any circumstances I can ever imagine are to do with me. I still think it is not a good poster but that is a separate matter

          • You don’t see how aiming this exclusively at non-Scots can be construed as demonising the Scots? Ah well, I can’t force you to see.

    • Mike, your seeing something that’s not there

  13. I have been saying for years replace “Jock” with Black or Jew or even the “N” word …. and see how long they get away with it.

    • or how about Tory? I think the SNP have done quite well out of making them the hate figure for their beliefs.

      It is the dark side of nationalism wherever it is; whether of the left or right; there is always a hate figure

      • But I’m not talking about political insult exchanges, that’s to be expected. The Tories are not a people, not a race of people, they are a party, just like the SNP. There is a massive difference between political insults and the demonisation of a race of people, massive.

        • Is that target of the poster itself not just the SNP ? That’s what it says? So by your argument is that OK as party politics. I don;t think it is, in the same sense that it stirs up hatred to talk of all tories as bad.

          • You are just seeing what you want to see. Try and think outside the box and see it as others would see it. The people this is directed at outside of Scotland do not draw a distinction (even if you do!). We are all being tarred by this brush and that is the ugly truth. You sound like a typical Scottish Unionist (British Nationalist!!) who refuses to acknowledge that everybody else outside the UK thinks that England and the UK are the same thing.

  14. If comparing your political rival to the Nazis means you have lost the argument and shot off into the wilder reaches of hyperbole what does comparing yourself to persecuted Jews or in a response above blacks in the American South signify. The comparisons are obviously ridiculous and offensive. I really dislike the portrayal of us as a nation of victims. We are not, never have been and never will be and I strongly suspect the motives of anyone who says we are.

    • You don’t read History then ? Or maybe you don’t consider The Highlands as Scotland where over 200,000 Gaels were “cleared” between 1746 and 1920 and even later as part of the Scottish Nation ?

      It was only in the mid-nineteenth century that the second, more brutal phase of the Clearances began; this was well after the visit by George IV, when lowlanders set aside their previous distrust and hatred of the Highlanders and identified with them as national symbols. However, the cumulative effect was particularly devastating to the cultural landscape of Scotland in a way that did not happen in other areas of Britain.
      Elizabeth Leveson-Gower, Duchess of Sutherland, and her husband George Leveson-Gower, 1st Duke of Sutherland, conducted brutal clearances between 1811 and 1820. Evictions at the rate of 2,000 families in one day were not uncommon. Many starved and froze to death where their homes had once been. The Duchess of Sutherland, on seeing the starving tenants on her husband’s estate, remarked in a letter to a friend in England, “Scotch people are of happier constitution and do not fatten like the larger breed of animals.”

      So only the Highlands were victims ? And the oppressors were ???

      • Yes, deewal, the Highland clearances were an utter disgrace, inexcusable and unforgetable. My Scottish granny’s family were dispossessed by their clan chief and sent packing to New Zealand or England in her case where she teamed up with my English grandfather. This resulted in the eventual arrival of my dad and then me. The old folks were good, honest, simple hard-working people. She never forgot her Scottish roots and my grandfather never got over his terrible time as a soldier on the western front in the first war. I still miss them dearly even though I am also now getting on.

        But I digress. Much, much later on when I was a Councillor in England a serious dispute arose about the miss-use of common land. This required reference to the 1784 Enclosure Act for the area, which was a revelation to me. The scale of the land grabbing, displacement of people and steam-rolling of ancient rights just for the sake of sheep-rearing was staggering. And the consequent grinding poverty, squalor, evictions and workhouse experiences of the dispossessed was heartbreaking. All for the benefit of grasping land-owners and the aristocracy who were, and no doubt still are, Tories.

        So when I read in these columns generalised references to the ‘English’ described and vilified as ‘Conservatives’ by bitter and twisted Scottish nationalists I get very angry. Prick us, and we bleed as much as you do. The ordinary people of these islands, all of them, had to fight tooth and nail for just about every single advance and step forward out of their miserable lives and it was the Labour Party, to their eternal credit, which started that process. I have never supported the Conservatives in my life and take great offence at being lumped together with them by ignorant and ill-informed commentators, whoever they are and wherever they are from.

        So, in answer to your question – the oppressors were, and still are, an evil presence in our midst whether dolled-up in top-hats or tartan trews. They are the real enemy.

        • I agree with you, Hereward, but the demotic of politics unfortunately does not leave space for the many codicils and exceptions which would have to accompany all arguments. There is much in what you say which speaks directly to me and others no doubt. In my own mind I am well aware of who are our real opponents and recognise that there are many people in England with whom we empathise and who have in turn voiced their support and understanding of what motivates us. I have been out campaigning with English people for a Yes vote in the recent referendum, while we were all scowled at by groups of English and Scots on the other side, so the situation is, as you indicate, actually more complicated than it appears in the facile depictions by the media of this being just a nationalist movement.

          However, we are opposed by that same elite which ruthlessly exploited their own people, who do choose to depict this as a struggle between two nationalities. I actually don’t believe that the Tory establishment is actually all that nationalistic. Their true heartland is the realm of money. At the moment they are stirring up English national resentment with misrepresentation and downright lies, an old trick of the establishment to divide and rule. I have to confess that now and again, I, too have slipped unthinkingly into saying the “English” as if it was a generic term for our opponents. I can assure you I always try to correct myself because it does not represent what I feel. ( You are right about the Scottish aristocrats and landlords who mercilessly used their power to dispossess their own people. You should read Andy Wightman’s book, ” The Poor Had No Lawyers ” which demonstrates how much more disadvantaged the Scots were by the Scottish elite, than was even the case in England.)

          Independence is a chance to start anew with social justice the pre-eminent aim, but while campaigning again in the referendum, there were a few, a gallant few, Tories who joined us wanting a Yes vote so again I have to remember that Tories, too, have a right to promote their ideas in that new Scotland. It is simple pragmatism which has urged me, like others to see independence as the way to break free of a corrupt and broken Westminster. Sadly we haven’t been able to bring the community of England with us, but perhaps the English electorate won’t be all that long behind us in finding ways to revitalise politically. After all, even the IMF has begun to recognise the huge mistake which austerity has been…

    • Monty, if you strongly suspect my motives, what do you assume my motives to be? I’ve pointed out the parallels, I’ve evidenced them, and if you refuse to see them, I might equally question your own motives.

  15. I think calling Scottish people a race is weird, stupid and a wee bit insulting to people who actually encounter racism. Just wanted to point that out…

    • What? You do not consider the Scots to be a race? Are you for real? Do you even begin to realise that this is precisely the kind of attitude I’m talking about, where a race of people are dismissed, as if they don’t even exist? Really?

  16. Ugly, ugly, ugly.

  17. I fully agree with the sentiments expressed in this article but I’ve also been on here asking what it would feel like to be a Tory in an independent Scotland since they are among the pantheon of hate figures used by the SNP to attract support. “If you hate tories, rich people etc” vote SNP.

    If you’re minded to deny this go find a decent person who votes Conservative (yes they exist so avoid cheap jokes at their expense and no I have not and never will vote for them) and ask them how they feel. The argument that it is OK to demonise Tories but not OK to be demonised is shaky; neither side should indulge in this because it stirs up dangerous sentiments

    • The Tories are not a people.

      • Meaning, they are a political party, not a race of people. Enmity between political parties, I don’t have an issue with, really. I agree, however, that “hate” is never healthy.

    • Nice middle class LibDem balance you show here, Barra. We must at all times be fair and nice even to those who deindustrialised Scotland, who referred to workers as the ‘enemy within” that we should ‘get on our bikes”, and who accelerated the population decline of a whole country. They also tell us that the democratic will of the Scots is invalid. Can’t have those Jocks influencing the country……… Just for starters.

      Yes I’d like to find a decent Tory. Let us know if you stumble across one, and apologise nicely.

  18. I tend to agree to an extent with barraload,we should not be “demonizing anyone we should be showing them that we all in Scotland have the chance of a better society if we all pull to-gether for this.We are only a small nation but we have so much to offer not only our own but others,we need to convince the doubters that there is a better way forward for ALL.

  19. I think it is an anti-Labour poster (which appears to have achieved its aim). All the parties have their bogeymen of the moment. Whether or not you equate political parties with countrywide stereotypes, or the Nazi’s treatment of the Jews of all things, depends on your IQ.

    The poster looks like the Thatcher milk-thief one, when Tory voters were equated with ‘Southerners’.

    The poster is wrong on several levels, but sorry, I actually disagree with the thrust of this article. Equating the poster with Nazism is wrong on a lot more levels than the poster.

    • The difference between the Thatcher poster and this, is that the Thatcher poster was attacking a political figure and political party, not a people, as this poster does. You don’t look at the Thatcher poster and think of a race. You do with this poster. Massive difference.

      • To correct you, ‘Scots’ aren’t usually defined as a race except in articles such as your own (Scots are racial mongrels), and Thatcher really was identified with ‘Southerners’ by ‘Northerners’. It is not about race, it is about cultural stereotypes.

        Out of interest, do you think the French are a race?

        Sorry, but I think the direction of your article is even more dangerous than the sentiments of the Tory poster.

        • Wow, the Scottish people do not exist then? Is that what you’re actually, actually saying here?

          • No, I think Neil is making a sensible point re cultural stereotypes which I think is what people have reacted to here. the poster features Alex Salmond and says SNP. How is this a racial slur ?

          • No, that is not what I am saying, Mike.

          • And when you combine this stereotyping with threats to refuse to recognise the political will of the Scottish people? By threatening to take action to debar Scottish MP’s from Westminster? Is that too merely cultural?

          • Mike, i thought we’d settled the political will of the Scottish People in the referendum and that this election is about the UK parliament and UK issues in which every part of the entire country, constituency by constituency, decides what candidate they want to represent them.

            Nationalists always see issues through their narrow self interested lens; it is always about them.

            Others think the election is about defence, NHS, UK’s role in the world, and issues where how you vote is about trying to improve the lot of our entire country So the plight of folk in cardiff matters as much as those in carluke when it comes to deciding who to put in parliament. Sadly, nationalists don;t really care about others outside Scotland as everything is to do with their narrow perception of nation.

          • Congrats for dropping the racism. Thank God for small mercies.

            I would say the current political will of the Scottish electorate is the kind of democratic representation that is the political will of the N Irish electorate. Whether that is a good thing, or not, is debatable.

            The aim of the poster was to portray Labour forming a coalition with a regional party, with the regional party wanting the usual pork barrel in return. It is old hat, now. Distasteful? Yes – it plays on stereotypes, and Salmond’s own oft repeated mantras (burning people’s feet in fires…?), but it is on a level with Norwegians making jokes about Swedes, or calling the Tories Toffs for that matter, rather than the Holocaust. I find that more disrespectful than the poster.

            After 17,000 days on the Earth, I noticed that there is not really such a thing as stereotypes.

    • ” Whether or not you equate political parties with countrywide stereotypes, or the Nazi’s treatment of the Jews of all things, depends on your IQ.” Eh? There are plenty of intelligent people who have unpleasant views.

      Come on, Neil! Use your …IQ…?

      And of course it’s an antiLabour poster, but using the Scots as a vehicle to present foetid fears which many couldn’t even articulate. It uses the imagery of bigotry which many governments have done, including the Nazis.

      Tightfisted Porridge Wogs and Sweaty Socks like you and me know this.

  20. Barraload (says )
    April 30, 2015 • 09:43

    No, I think Neil is making a sensible point re cultural stereotypes which I think is what people have reacted to here. the poster features Alex Salmond and says SNP. How is this a racial slur ?
    ————————————————————————————————————–

    You continue to dismay, Barra. Let me spell it out for you.

    When a hooknosed Jew is depicted, it’ s not about him. It’s about his race or people.
    When a thieving Salmond is depicted, it’s not about him. It’s about his race or people.

    Your misunderstanding seems wilful.

    • Nope. Your determination to take offence is predictable. For the majority of Scots Salmond is not a national symbol. He’s a politician.

      As I’ve said the poster is as distasteful as all the hateful bile that is directed on this site to people like me who’ve the temerity not to buy into the nationalist group think. I condemn both.

      What do you think if the insults to Tories and people like me, then? Is this just knock about politics? Is calling me mendacious etc etc to be taken as a racial slur on Scotland

  21. trollers?

  22. The Times, on 9 March, 1964 had this excerpt in an article titled, ‘Immigrants Main Election Issue at Smethwick’ (p. 6): “If you want a n*****r neighbour, vote Labour” quoted by a Tory.

    I think we’re the n*****s now.

  23. Actually, I found an earlier one. The Tories using anti-Welsh racism on exactly the same theme as Salmond above except using Lloyd George:
    http://cameron-cloggysmoralcompass.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/is-british-conservative-party.html

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