Generation X (3)

I’ve been reading Labour websites. Don’t be surprised – some of the contributors are people I know and it’s a way of understanding the counter arguments since it seems all but impossible to get intelligent Unionists on this site. (Is that a more general phenomenon, do you think? I know there are the rabid anti-Nats, just as there are barking Nats, who pop all over up but is there a place where sensible Unionists go to converse and engage with doubters and put their coherent case for the UK?)

I dropped in on Labour Hame, Brian Wilson Writes, Anas Sarwar and Ian Smart and, although I didn’t exactly find my hand hovering over the No box on an imaginary ballot paper, it was revealing.

What emerged for me was how the differences aren’t really about the on-the-ground stuff like public policy so much as the way our radar is facing. It’s as if the top one per cent, as the sports gurus say, is what makes the real difference. It’s what’s in your head that counts, what you believe and where it points you. I’m a Scottish Nationalist which means I put Scotland first. It is the centre of my thought process and my ambition is for the Scots, all Scots, first and foremost, just as a British nationalist puts Britain first. Scotland is my starting point and from there I look outwards to the world, including the rest of the UK with which I feel a special family and neighbourly bond.

But I’m left with a clear impression from Labour people that, however pro Scotland they are (and I make no judgement on personal commitment) it remains the case that their ultimate loyalty is to Britain. I appreciate that is hardly earth-shattering news about unionists but it is the message that clearly resonates through the online pages so that while Scotland is under examination, to Labour the answer is always Britain. Even when it is a power devolved, it is only comfortable for unionists when it is bolstered by the back-up of Britain. Are we talking about the same thing? It could be that these different perspectives mean there is no possibility of minds meeting because we’re actually talking about two associated but different things. A nationalist envisages his country self-standing and dealing with other countries as equals but a unionist cannot imagine the country outwith the confines of the bigger state…not that he doesn’t want to, but can’t. Or if he can it is only to shudder at the awful possibilities…therefore it’s better not to go there. It is in itself a belief system and it is as powerful as nationalism and, there can be no doubt, as genuinely held. I sometimes find myself so sure of my own views that I puzzle over why anyone can disagree. But then it isn’t about economics, defence or currency at all, it is about outlook – which way you see the world, who you identify with and, as I’ve said before, belief. On this basis, believing your country should rightly be part of the UK isn’t really a rational choice at all, just as independence isn’t. Sure, you can make the case on incomes, welfare, education and health etc – on either side – but ultimately you aren’t going to vote for something you can’t believe in, in are you?

This Britishness can however sound suspiciously like anti-Scottishness to someone like me, although I acknowledge it isn’t meant as that. I picked up from LabourHame an article which played into the Ian Smart/Jack McConnell curiosity of inert racism in us Scots. Peter Riddell writes under the title Xonophobia and Independence about a friend who is leaving Scotland after many years and who gives us her views on what’s happening. She deals with workers rights in emergent nations so has an interesting outlook. Part of her piece about independence says: When the going gets tough… and it will … then the enemy without easily translates to an enemy within. Individual Russians, European immigrants, white farmers, Serbs or Asian traders come to signify all that is wrecking the dream.

Friends tell me that this won’t happen because Scots are different… this special pleading worries me even more. No nation is composed of ‘special people’. I’m not saying don’t go for independence – only do it in full knowledge and preparedness for the consequences and accept the inevitable 10 years or more of frustration and austerity which lie ahead of any new, small nation.

I’m with her on the idea of preparedness and a difficult transition – although I’m not convinced about the suggestion of lasting austerity – but it’s the first part that I struggle with. I bet she can point to countries where Russians or white farmers have become targets – the Baltic states and possibly Zimbabwe and I suppose that’s true of Serbs in the Balkans – but does that translate to Scotland? Is this a picture you recognize? Are Yes people hiding from the evidence obvious to unionists? Surely, in the previous examples people turned against their traditional enemy when independence freed up their hatred to do so. That would mean we will turn on English people. I don’t know whether to throw my hands up in mock horror or face the awful truth that the Scots are bigots awaiting our chance to hit Mr Jandoo’s shop in an Asian Kristallnacht. I’m sorry to trivialize the woman’s point but it seems a real shame that having lived here since the 70’s she is leaving with this idea of who the Scots are. Her final words are: After 37 years.. I’ll not be here to suffer it… or take the blame for what’s gone wrong …I’m British and will decamp over the border to enjoy my twilight years.

The originator of the article Peter Riddell and presumably LabourHame nominally at least approve of this argument, that a consequence of Scots’ independence will be outbreaks of racial hatred.

I’m not naïve. There is most definitely racism in Scottish society as there is everywhere but isn’t the point to eradicate it not encourage it? If it hasn’t broken out against English people in this age of austerity, how likely is it after independence? While writing I had the LabourHame page up on screen and could see a Twitter thingy, you know, a thread, in which various contributors, presumably some Labour and including journalist Euan McColm, who were, bluntly, sneering at Edi Reader for apparently suggesting there was no racism. They took a relish in telling her she was wrong with examples of language like “fucking monkey” and “fucking Afghan” that they had heard.  They are anti racists, of course, and it’s true we have to face the reality but should Scots revel in berating anyone trying to distance themselves from one of the ugliest manifestations of bigotry? Should we willingly shout aloud that we believe our countrymen are racists as if there is nothing to be done. Should we connive in a game that laughs at a movement’s claims of racial equality as if all it proves is that the Scots are just like everybody else so you can stuff your claims to be superior and your high-minded ambition and your welcome mat to immigrants because the truth is you’re no different?

I’m not sure Ed Miliband’s planned Immigration Bill, a priority for a Labour government, to create a tougher regime, and designed to win over voters, mainly in England,  worried about immigration, is quite the welcome mat that the Yes campaign envisages with the clear indication of an immigration and asylum system that welcomes and works (close Dungavel) in the White Paper. It seems to me there is a determination on the Yes side generally to reject the institutionalized racism of UK policy-makers…dawn raids, the sexual abuse of inmates and illegal death of Jimmy Mubenga. Why wouldn’t someone on the Left welcome that? Perhaps it’s that British radar again.

There is a active part of the Unionist campaign now to say Scotland isn’t different in any meaningful way, that it is a myth perpetrated by nationalists and the opinion polling supports that, they say. But I think first that the Scots rather like the idea of being different and more liberal than England even when it’s not entirely true and are open to being flattered. If I’m right then the Unionists make a mistake in denying it. But most importantly, it isn’t what people say to the pollsters but the policies they vote for that tell you what they like. And it’s here that Labour are proved wrong. Scotland has the beginings of a land reform programme, a public sector living wage, no compulsory redundancies in the public sector, a no privatization of health plan, a rejection of rigged PFI contracts, a fair voting system, free prescriptions and bus travel for the elderly and taxpayer funded tertiary education. Its policy is to be nuclear free – of energy and weapons. That is where Scotland is different, where it matters, in legislation affecting people’s lives. Labour’s British radar is even now turning away from the very things they themselves introduced in order to find some point of difference with the SNP but it is a contrived difference that only takes them further from the people who support them.

The real disagreement remains the top one per cent and it dictates everything else. It’s why I think the Don’t Knows, those who really haven’t yet thought if their deepest allegiance is to Scotland or Britain, are still there to be won, not by policy or even appeals to Nordic economic models, but through belief. It is the biggest test for Generation X and it’s winnable.

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35 thoughts on “Generation X (3)

  1. What a heart-warming piece of writing. Thank you, Derek.

  2. I read that piece too about three days ago – I would disagree that it is one of the more sensible unionist sites for a start they rarely publish replies that don’t agree the party line. I also thought that it was outrageous that someone who had spent 37 years in Scotland would move south for no other reason than because she is British, no one would be forcing Scottish Nationality on her. She just appeared to be a very stupid, shallow person.

  3. Roibert a Briuis

    WTF Derek…. tertiary education i am obviously unedumacated……is this Gaelic for sure its not Plain Scottish Speaking

  4. There is a lot of truth in this but I don’t think it is as simple as Scottish or British. There are genuinely many shades in between. And I think there are genuine feelings amongst some unionists that their Scottish patriotsm is questioned by those who argue for independence. The cybernat discourse is of course a calculated unionist strategy that ignores the trolls that plague all points of view, but one of the reasons they are so fond of it is because it rings true to them. They do feel their patriotism questioned, and maybe even have their own conscience questioning it too. A key part of their approach over the last 30 years has been to deny the very legitimacy of Scottish independence, but in their worldview what was good for Labour was what was good for Scotland. I am not being sarcastic, this was a genuine belief, that Labour delivered the NHS and would protect the working man (sic). And it is difficult to open up your mind to a different perspective when you have been publicly denying its legitimacy for tactical/self-serving reasons for many years.

    There are clearly many people who were born in England who are supporting independence, there were a good few voices at the RIC the other week. But it is also a reality that many folk who sound English have suffered from racism over the last decades in Scotland. I have a good friend who has lived in Scotland for 40 years, and used to support independence, but who has been worn down by too many racist comments. I believe that independence will help us to reduce such racism, but I also understand why there are some who are skeptical.

    The active unionists will probably never change, but I am not convinced that the undecideds will respond best to the rallying call of Scottish nationalism. It works for some folks, but they are mostly already in the Yes camp. We need to win some of those who have until now voted Labour (or who have not voted at all). This constituency will be swayed by some of the economic debate, but if they can be convinced that an independent Scotland is economically viable it is the democratic argument that will clinch their votes. Independence puts an end to Tory Governments imposing a right-wing agenda we did not vote for.

  5. What has struck me since the publication of the White Paper is the sheer savagery of attacks coming from Labour Party apologists (I was going to say from the left, but technically it’s from the right). If you consider the programme suggested for an independent Scotland, it’s the sort of stuff which wouldn’t have been out of place in a Labour manifesto from the 1960s. Perhaps that’s what upsets them so much, over the years they’ve constructed a narrative in their heads which portrays the SNP (and by extension anyone who supports independence) as right wing Tartan draped nutters.

    This is why they had to portray Labour for Independence as an SNP front as otherwise it would call into question so much of their belief system. There is little logic or sense in their criticisms, just take a look at the comments threads on the Scotsman web site. I think that one of the main issues for them is that as the party has fossilised they have become a bureaucracy where involvement in government and politics is merely as a stepping stone to career advancement. Their contempt for Holyrood shown by their putting up third rate candidates has caused them to be wrong footed by the more intelligent SNP leadership and they cannot see a role for themselves in opposition. They cannot see any of this and are sitting waiting for the people to realise their mistake and come back to the fold. They interpret the independence debate in party political terms.

    • So very true. And to answer an earlier poster I DO perceive these virulent BT supporters, who are mainly Labour councillors or paid activists, as traitors. How else can one describe people who claim to be patriotic Scots yet attack and demean Scotland and Scots at every turn.
      These people do not have altruistic socialist (or even Conservative) views, those flew away a long time ago. The reason they are so disgracefully against Independence is because they are career politicians and see their career opportunities disappearing overnight if Independence happens. And I presume there is a large element of that too in BBC Scotland at the higher levels. Their constituents, and good journalism, are irrelevant, only the Party (and their jobs and position) matter.

  6. What though Derek if we vote No and become Onenation as Ed Milliband and the Labour Party propose? What if my politics are to the left , believe in free education, no illegal wars, an NHS paid for by our taxes and run as a public service? If Scotland votes no, there is no voice on the left in England voicing similar views to mine (with the exception of non politician Ken Loach).Who will represent the like of me?
    What if I want my bank to be trust worthy , run with competence and keep my small but essential wage safe,not with the ethos banks have now ? Rev Flowers has just left my bank,so who in the majority in Britain will offer me an alternative?
    What if I don’t see immigrants as a burden but people to be welcomed just as the British are welcomed all over the World, who in Westminster is not talking about numbers,a drain on society etc,who will represent my view?
    There are approx 5million people in Scotland,approx 14 million in the ‘home counties ‘alone, whose voice will be heard? If a voter in Scotland feels their view is not being represented at Westminster,perhaps someone at Labour Hame could advise me which border do I cross to escape ?

  7. Labour do not agree that Scotland is a country but dare they say that to the majority of Scots who feel that their identity is Scottish only ?
    So it is all smoke and mirrors from them in the hope that people won’t realise what they are really about.
    This is the only explanantion I can think of as to why Labour politicians in Scotland support Tory governments in Westminster who act against Scotland’s interest.
    The British state and British Labour have served Scotland well in the past but have not done so for a very long time and are both well past their sell by date North of the border.

  8. Margaret Brogan

    After feeling rather discouraged about the prospects of a Yes vote over the last few days, for various reasons, I feel so much better after reading this. Thank you.
    I sent an email berating Channel 4 News for talking about Michael Gove as if he was the UK Education Minister and we all had the one education system. That helped me a bit too!

  9. If a proposal to build a half-decent transport network north of, what? – let’s say Princes Street – got as much enthusiasm in Westminster as the idea of a gorblimey supertrain from London to Birmingham does then I’d believe there was some practical benefit for Scotland in the idea of Great Britain (& NI). But I’d still vote yes, हां, sí, ہاں, да, יאָ, oui, ja, da, aye, whatever, partly for exactly the same reason no one in France would vote to become part of GB no matter how much enthusiasm Westminster showed for its road and rail networks, but also out of a sense of neighbourly concern, to encourage broad-mindedness among those naturally fair-minded folks in the South East of England.

  10. From my own experience, and from observing the Scottish political scene (not very well at times I must admit), Unionists seem to suffer from status anxiety. They want to be part of what they think is something better and bigger (the British state), and they have convinced themselves that Scotland is too wee, too poor, and too stupid. I do no think they genuinely believe this, but to be British they seem to feel that they have to be disparaging about Scotland. It creates some pain and guilt because they know they have to be negative about their own nation. You can see it in the No campaign when Darling/ Carmichael/Marra etc say “I am a proud Scot but.” It appears to be more prevalent among the middle and upper classes in Scotland. The result of the referendum will show if this group is prepared to actually pay the price for staying in the Union. If there is a No vote the price will be a very heavy one indeed, both for themselves and Scotland.

  11. It would be interesting to see the empirical evidence for post independence racism in previous examples of countries where independence is gained. Even international workers are capable of bias and bigotry. More worrying in recent times was the YouTube off cut from the Press TV documentary showing the rangers fans.

    Scotland has its fair share of bigots and racists. I suspect that the relatively low level of immigration by comparison with England might have something to do with it.

    I suspect I may be forced to consider leaving the country because I would be British in the event of a No vote.

    • “More worrying in recent times was the YouTube off cut from the Press TV documentary showing the rangers fans.”
      That was not racism, and hardly bigotry. It was fools making stupidly insulting remarks about their own kith and kin.

      “Scotland has its fair share of bigots and racists. I suspect that the relatively low level of immigration by comparison with England might have something to do with it. ”
      That is a ridiculous comment to make. England has relatively more immigrants than Scotland because,
      1. immigrants tend to settle near the point of entry to a country which in the UK is SE England, and then disperse if necessary to areas where there are jobs.
      2. There are relatively more jobs available of the type which immigrants can do as first jobs in SE England and London, eg seasonal jobs in the fields and factories in the agri sector in E Anglia, and hotel, waiting, and other service jobs in London.
      3. Scotland is little different immigrant wise than SW England, Wales, and N England. Most current immigrants are clustered around London and E Anglia. I know that because I live in the latter area for some of the year.

  12. My brother is planning to vote No, and he believes exactly what this woman – and George Galloway – believe: it’s only the benevolent restraint of Westminster that prevents Scots from assaulting immigrants (and Catholics) in the street. He likes to hear people singing in their own accents, but when Scots do it “it just doesn’t sound right”. In other words, he’s just ashamed of being Scottish. And that’s what Labour Hame are capitalising on. Too Wee, Too Poor, Too Stupid.

    Labour, of course, is also full of people who want to get into the House of Lords, and so are anti-indy because that will prevent them doing so. They literally would rather have a Tory govt in Westminster than a Labour govt in Holyrood.

    If they cared about their own constituents, they wouldn’t be so willing to sacrifice them on the alter of Unionism, whatever their motives for believing in it.

  13. Murray McCallum

    “It is in itself a [DIS]belief system and it is as powerful as nationalism and, there can be no doubt, as genuinely held.”

    The argument that an independent Scotland would somehow be more open to widespread, rampant racism in the face of adversity seems weak to me. Surely Scotland has had more than its fair share of adversity in the last century?

    Is there a statistical database or maybe even genetic research that the British nationalists are using to project this hypothesis from? To me it smacks of the ownership of language like “fair play”, “tolerance”, “doing the right thing”, “playing by the rules” … which would appear to have a global copyright by the British (in their own eyes at least).

  14. If you are right and they do feel their ultimate loyalty is to Britain and that Britain is represented by the Westminster system and all the baggage that goes with it you may have pointed up the problem with the present Labour party or at least its leadership. Their loyalty should be to the people and to their principles. The feeling I get from many of the Labour supporters I know is they see independence as a kind of ‘Sophies choice’ and it’s too difficult to choose to abandon Britain to save Scotland.

  15. I think we’re all on the same track but I don’t think you can class all labour voters the same. The labour for Independence web site proves otherwise. However, echoing a lot of what has been said, I do think staunch Labourites fall into at least two main categories probably with a fair degree of overlap. Those with a significant degree of self interest who are the product of the Unionist establishment and more or less institutionalised by it to the point they can’t countenance any other alternative and those who see themselves, and this is where I think you’re spot on with the belief system, as the champions of a philosophy which will unite the people and must therefore transcend Nationalism and the Nation State. The latter is surely the harder to break down through argument since its almost a faith issue and faith can often be blind.

    • The Unionists who say that they are against nationalism should be treated with suspicion in my view. Normally it is said to try and disguise the fact that they are nationalists themselves, British ones at that. Their professed internationalism usually does not extend beyond the White Cliffs of Dover…

      • As a former Labour voter, I agree with you muttley. If this international socialism really was a goal of the Labour party, then where are their plans to send all UK revenues to Brussels and accept a block grant in return? They ask this of Scotland within the UK, but won’t ever consider it at a UK level. Where is their concern for the workers of Europe? If Labour won’t publish such a policy, then they should drop this argument in recognition of the utter hypocrisy inherent within it.

  16. Even tonight Smart has tweeted – ‘Genuinely worrying that “Scottish must be better” is an argument.’ – meaning that if it’s Scottish it’s wrong to think that automatically it’s a better ‘product’. §1[ptrewq

  17. A dog cannot serve two masters.At dog agility training the trainer decided to demonstrate how my collie was well able to do the course, the problem was me. So my dog jumped and ducked to his command until about halfway round the course the dog stopped, looked at me and ran back to me. ” Yer dug’s wired tae ye” was the response.Seems to me that is Scot Labour’s dilemma. Where does ScotLabour’s loyalty lie? Scotland or the UK, and sorry but I just do not buy all that “Red flag” equalisation socialism pish about using Scotland’s wealth to ease the coming poverty of the UK.
    I suppose I’m wired to Scotland’s independence as my dog is loyal to me.Leafletting at the weekend an elderly lady accepted a Yes paper from me and said with a twinkle in her eye “I’m wi you son, I made up my mind when I was ten”.

  18. I’m idly curious as to what the Scottish 3-party politicians are going to do if there’s a Yes vote. Join in or oppose?

  19. Come the day, come the hour, this country will need the full open-house of political representation in the new Scotland and the many Labour stalwarts in the present set-up must be looking at this future and taking stock of the right timing to ‘cross the floor’.

    Just one we cautionary piece of advice to put to them – if your in the job, do the bloody job for Scotland and its people and forget the faux allegiances with the dominatrix partner we’ve put up with for so many centuries and been milked dry in doing so.

    BTW Derek – what happened? We were all mobilizing for you!

  20. It’s always interesting to read what your political opponents think and even more interesting to read what your political opponents think you think. Usually they get it wrong and in his piece Derek gets it very wrong.

    For a start the notion of country plays such a small part in my politics that it barely registers. That is where the understanding breaks down between Labour Party members and the left of the SNP – we have different starting points. I don’t think Scotland being part of the UK is any more emasculating than being part of the EU. To me looking in it makes no sense for a nationalist to argue against pooling our sovereignty within the UK but be for pooling it in the EU.

    Derek’s take on the twitter spat about Eddi Reader’s views on Scotland and racism is interesting too. As somebody who has worked with various anti-racist organisations I have come up against an incredible complacency in Scotland – very similar to Eddi’s – along the lines of there’s no need to worry because Scottish folk aren’t racist, we’re all Jock Tamson’s bairns etc etc etc – dangerous self-deluding nonsense and whenever somebody with a public profile starts spouting it it needs challenged. Derek, as a man of the left, should challenge it too.

    Finally, let me say that Scots are no different from anybody else in Western Europe when it comes to social attitudes. I don’t believe the average Scot to be any more committed to equality that the average Belgian or any less racist than the average Swede. Scots are no more committed to fairness than the English or Danes. We are part of a liberal Europe and share its values and aspirations. To suggest that Scotland is any fairer or more committed to equality than any other part of the UK or Western Europe for that matter is the empty bluster of a charlatan.

    • Greetings from Raleigh, North Carolina.

      You make a fundamental error in describing Scotland’s relationship with rUK as a pooling of sovereignty. Technically, the treaty says that it is, but practically it most certainly is not, thanks to the overwhelming desire of the UK-wide parties to appeal to Middle England. With the EU, even a country the size of Germany has to compromise with other nations to get its way.

      It is interesting that you suggest England is part of a liberal Europe. Really? David Cameron would not be out of place in the Republican party in North Carolina (the buckle on the Bible Belt, as a former US Senator once said). However, go back to John Major’s premiership. That would make him, I think, either a “Blue Dog” Democrat – business oriented and socially liberal – or, at a push, a northern Republican, like NJ Governor Chris Christie.

  21. Grahamski, If Scotland is no fairer nor more committed to equality than any other part of the UK can you explain the success of UKIP and the Tories in England and their utter failure in Scotland?

  22. I disagree with your premise………..

    “But I’m left with a clear impression from Labour people that, however pro Scotland they are (and I make no judgement on personal commitment) it remains the case that their ultimate loyalty is to Britain.”

    With most of them their ultimate loyalty is to the Labour party. I am not saying that loyalty to a political party instead of a country is better or worse – others can make that judgement – but it does explain the respective success and failure of the SNP and Labour at the last two Scottish elections. I can’t envisage anyone in the SNP (even Salmond) putting party before country whereas it’s a fundamental aspect of Labour in Scotland.

  23. You are over egging the pudding vis a vis racism in Scotland. It is no worse here than in most other European countries and is certainly a lot less than in present day England. I have lived in these places in recent years and I know. You are playing into the Ian Smart/Jack McConnell ideas of racism; do these two and others like them ever read anything apart from the Scottish and English Press or get out of Scotland to see what is going on in the wide world?
    I wouldn’t take the views of the woman you mention seriously as she is obviously anti-Scot with her views also formed by the Scottish and English media. She’s been living here since the 70s and she doesn’t even comprehend that Scotland is a rich nation? She thinks we are heading for years of austerity? She is a fool.

  24. Its safe to say that there are many reasons for a system of belief. LIfe experience, teaching or indeed some cases brainwashing, self education and self motivation play a big part for those with an independent turn of mind. Epiphany, the road to Damascus has been a factor for others, whatever the reason they are all felt on a very basic and personal level. The important thing is to remain as open as possible whilst staying true to yourself.

    Racism and bigotry are the running sore of all societies world wide. There are always those whose hatred thrives on difference whether based on race, religion or politics. Instead of celebrating our differences they become a tool in some hands to foster societal carnage and pain. That is the point though, the racist and the bigot use the difference to deliberately inflict pain, to cause conflict. They don’t see that difference can be a source of inspiration or solution.

    This referendum is about head and heart, needless to say I feel very strongly on both levels that Scotland should be an independent country. Or more accurately an interdependent country with its own voice in the family of nations and with our neighbours in these islands. Common sense and simple observation tells me that our country has many ailments both economically and socially. That our politics and priorities are drifting apart. The politicians in Westminster are the first and last port of call for responsibility to the current state of the union. They are/have been in charge of both the economy and the safeguarding of our society for generations. The question is simple: If we have such a successful state entity then why do so many still suffer within it? Why is it preferable to other more successful models?

    That such economic and societal ills still prevail in the 21st century UK when all around us are examples of how successful governments work should shame us all. There are many examples of small successful, modern nations of similar size to Scotland and who by any measure have a greater standard of living than our own. So why no move for change in our entrenched governance? Why no move to emulate these successful neighbours? What did we get wrong that they got right? Looking outward, looking toward different ways is a good thing IMO.

    Yet we are asked to believe this is as good as it gets and that there isn’t a better way for the job of sorting it. Hell even if there was it wouldn’t be this independence nonsense, trust us. Simple questions again. Why not and why should we?

  25. I want Independence but would settle for full DevoMax for the very simple reason that Scotland has been neglected by successive Governments who have concentrated wealth in the SE England to the detriment of not only Scotland but the rest of England outside the M25. There was supposed to be trickle down effect from the ‘wealth’ generated by the City in London. But most of it has remained stuck down there in the form of high house prices or disappeared into the accounts inshore and offshore of the already rich. There HAS to be a change.

  26. Alistair Mackinnon

    So grahamskis post makes explicit what Derek was indicating is a philosophy underlying Labour’s position in Scotland. Where this places the slogan often quoted by Johann Lamont – apparently leader of ‘Scottish Labour’ – “Scotland deserves better” – I wonder. Why should Scotland deserve better if JL thinks this is a statement worth uttering?

  27. In my experience any racism and bigotry I’ve noticed in Scotland has not been associated with Scottish nationalists, but with British nationalists. Leaving these aside, I have to confess a reverse antipathy – I think better of English people who oppose Scottish independence than of Scots of the same mind. The former are, at least, in support of their country’s interests, and presumably would see its subjugation to another as intolerable.

  28. I really enjoyed reading that article, and I can see where you are coming from. I certainly see that some of my friends are ‘No’ voters for no other reason than they say they are British AND Scottish. That argument winds me up no end, but I dont think its the case for most people.

    Maybe Im in a minority, but I have no patriotism in me. I dont particularly care what nationality I am, I call myself Scottish – but thats only because I dont have another term for my nationality. I dont believe Scottish people are more LEFT than the UK and I dont believe a country thinks the same throughout. I know people that agree with some of the immigration and jobs for benefits policies, and I know many that argue against the fairness of them. Some of these people are from the same family, so Im not truly convinced that Scotland is a LEFTY nation. I think thats just the voice coming from the vocal YES supporters.

    For me, I live in a home, in an area in a country – nothing more. I have my friends and lifestyle around me and this decision is about benefiting that and hopefully taking the first steps towards a better and fairer society for all. I have no issues with the UK, I simply feel that 1 in 5Million is a bigger voice than 1 in 60Million, and this vote gives us the chance to improve our society and ensure that Governments listen and are for the people.

    At the end of the day, this is just business. Its not personal.

  29. The position taken by Labour’s “leaders” in Scotland is simply the last manifestation of British Empire Loyalism. That’s why Margaret Curran can see nothing incongruous in her remark that Mandela’s legacy “is the capacity of people to govern themselves, and make the right decisions in their own interests,” For United with Labour, the Scots are not a people in any meaningful sense beyond the sentiment of the football terracings.

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