The Words Of The ‘Better Together’ Campaign

unionist alliance better together

Unionists: what great bedfellows they make

The Unionists have called their campaign “Better Together”, but it’s a dismal campaign based on fear, negativity and old fashioned bullying. Better Together’s message is little better than someone telling their friend, who is being abused by their partner, to stay together “for the sake of the children”. Alternatively we can compare their words to those of an abusive partner standing over their spouse shouting the words, “You’re nothing without me and you’ll never amount to much” before hitting them. These are the words of the ‘No’ Camp.

For the last couple of weeks, Unionists have sought to personalize the independence campaign by insisting that a vote for independence is a vote for Alex Salmond. Two days ago, we had the Bank of England governor, Mark Carnage Carney claiming that currency union is “incompatible” with independence. Carney’s words are those of a Mafia soldato who’s running a local protection racket.

The three stooges leaders of the main political parties at Westminster flew up to Scotland to conduct some ‘love bombing’ sorties. Cameron’s words were, to be honest, pathetic and patronizing. He claimed that the independence vote was being seen in the same way as a general election and urged the Scots to turn their backs on the idea. He pleaded “I care far more about my country than I do about my party. I care hugely about this extraordinary country, this United Kingdom that we have built together. I would be heartbroken if this family of nations we have put together – and we have done such amazing things – was torn apart”. Shame, then, that successive Tory governments have worked so hard to tear the country limb from limb. In The Guardian Cameron is reported to have said:

The rest of the world “looks on with awe and envy” at the modern British achievements such as the National Health Service and state pension system, Cameron said.

This is the same National Health Service that he and his ministers are working hard to abolish through privatization. Such words fall on deaf ears.

St. John Major was also in Scotland telling voters that the country would be “diminished” on the world stage. Such empty macho words fail to impress.

Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister spent his time in a Liberal Democrat friendly area in the Scottish Borders where he invoked the name of Gladstone.

“People say this is all last minute, [William] Gladstone was campaigning for home rule in the 1880s. This is something my party has been campaigning on for generations.”

Such insincere words make him look like yesterday’s man.

Ed Miliband, the Labour Party leader performed his schtick for a Labour crowd where he told his activists:

Let me say: this thirst for change is shared across the United Kingdom.

We cannot carry on with an economy that only works for a few people at the top and doesn’t work for most people.

A Labour government will act.

Changing the way our country works and tackling the injustice we see is at the core of the Labour Party’s programme, and the contract we have set out with the people of Scotland.

The last Labour government aggrandized itself and continued the work of Thatcher. Given that his party will continue with the present government’s cuts, there is no reason to suggest that Labour will rediscover its socialist backbone any time soon. We want change but do the Westminster parties want the same thing? I doubt it. Such words make him look shallow.

The Orange Lodge will be marching through Edinburgh to rake over old coals and summon up the dead from their graves. Their words come from the dead language of a long-deceased Empires and its silly rituals.

UKIP’s Nigel Farage, who was last run out of Edinburgh with his tail between his legs claimed that Scottish independence is driven by “anti-Englishness”. His party wanted to abolish the Scottish Parliament, so anything he says can’t be taken seriously because his words are those of a Little Englander.

The banks have threatened to quit Scotland but then they are based in London, so their words have a hollow ring to them.

The supermarkets chains like Asda and retailers like John Lewis have threatened to increase prices if the Scots vote for independence. Their words are those of blackmailers looking to extract the last ounce of flesh from their victim.

North Korean dictator and Scotch whisky drinker, Kim Jong-un, apparently feels “positive” about Scottish independence, but his words were seized on by the corrupt Tory press (and no doubt MI5 and MI6 too) as evidence that Alex Salmond is a commie spy.

These are words and words have power. Politicians choose words for specific reasons. Sometimes they are deployed to shape people’s thoughts. Sometimes they are used to express violent intent. For the last 4 years we have heard the same kinds of words ‘cuts’, ‘slashing’, ‘hardworking’ and we’ve grown weary of them.

Whatever the outcome of the Scottish referendum, there will be demands for greater autonomy in the English regions and there will be demands for a new political settlement. It is inevitable and there is nothing Westminster can do to stop the juggernaut. We will have new words to replace the old words.

The genie has been released from his bottle and he doesn’t want to go back in. He wants to make some mischief. These are my words.


Filed under Government & politics, Scottish Independence Referendum

44 responses to “The Words Of The ‘Better Together’ Campaign

  1. “it’s a dismal campaign based on fear, negativity and old fashioned bullying”

    In reality that’s all that holds any society together fear and bullying. People like to pretend it’s great ideas but really all that holds us together is fear. Fear of what will happen if we step out of line, cynicism of the alternatives, fear basically of being alone.
    Really no socialist should be in favour of dividing up the Union. After all if one Union doesnt work why should any other? If democracy doesnt work on a big scale why should it work on a small scale? I’ve seen small democracy up close. Dont advise it. Still illegal to be gay in many Carribean countries and they have differemt immigration laws for men and women and while there is a sort of Barbados national health service it’s very very basic and you still need cash to go to the doctor. People in Scotland may be poor but its not like Ireland where you see the middle classes openly begging too.

    The SNP and Scottish Nationalists are in the end just crypto fascists and always have been – a grievance ideology based on biased history They have one aim – FREEDOM! But what does it mean? Of course they should have the choice to join or leave the Union but the Nationalists lie that Scotland has no self determination because it is in the Union when actually it just pools soverignty as we do with the EU. Nationalism is a political dead end.

    • “Really no socialist should be in favour of dividing up the Union”.

      Actually many socialists north and south of the border supported Scottish independence. In fact, the Scottish Socialist Party and Solidarity both supported independence. The Union was established for the purpose of Empire. It was also created to stymie any attempt (it’s in the blog) by Scotland to choose its own monarch.

      At the risk of repeating myself, the SNP and Scottish Nationalists aren’t “crypto-fascists”. The real crypto-fascists and dyed-in-the-wool fash are unionists.

      Here’s an example

      The Independence campaign had vision and ideas. These things were noticeably absent from the Unionist camp, which could only resort to scaremongering and bullying.

      Common Weal

      Do the Unionists have anything like this? No.

      “In reality that’s all that holds any society together fear and bullying”.

      Absolute rubbish. The state uses these means to dominate discourse and to marshal people’s emotions to persuade them tor support needless wars and head off social unrest that they, themselves, have created.

      • “The Independence campaign had vision and ideas”

        What like the 3 Plan Bs? It had no ideas. Well, it has one idea. FREEDOM! But what that means beyond social isolation is beyond me. The Union was not just established for the purpose of Empire but for the establisment of free trade. Free trade is essential to peace. It was also an attempt to end hundreds of years of pointless Anglo-Scottish wars in which neither side was an innocent
        But people like you believe in a sick, perverted, twisted, malignant world of half-truth and biased history in which you see yourselves as historical victims free from blame and the sins of empire. The truth is very different. Imagining you were socio-politically dominated absolves you from the guilt of colonial ambition. But is really true?

      • Your dissembling knows no bounds. I supported Scottish independence because it has shaken up the establishment in a way that UKIP could never manage. Why? Because they are the establishment. The independence referendum has already opened up new discourses. People are beginning to ask questions about the governance of this country. But people like you are averse to change. This takes the biscuit:

        Free trade is essential to peace.

        You’ve been spending too much time around right-wingers who believe that free trade actually exists. It’s a chimera. So-called free trade countries go to war with other free trade countries all the time. The Opium Wars were all about free trade. The triangular trade was justified by the same notions of free trade. People like you accept economic dogma without question.

      • Okay, I’ll give you a theoretical example. Imagine all the economic problems aren’t a problem and it all works out…? Imagine for example that Salmond succeeds and prevents anyone from “privatising” the NHS and by some major technological breakthrough the oil fields in the North Sea turn out to be more full than anyone imagined and the Scottish economy is filled with magical oil.

        Holyrood pumps loads of cash into the NHS and the Scottish NHS becomes the envy of the world. At the same time time the rUK NHS is privatised and starts to go downhill.

        Mr McNowt lives in Carlisle and is at busy work one day when he has a massive heart attack. He is taken to Dumfries hospital and undergoes live saving bypass surgery. He then remains in a coma for a month running up the Scots NHS health service bill. Eventually someone realises he’s not Scottish. What happens? Do they charge him the money up front and make him claim it back under his E111? Is there a reciprocal health service agreement between the rUK and Scotland…? Is he shipped as soon as possible to a rUK hospital even though he’s in a critical condition?

        If the Scots health service was so much better than the rUK service would rUK people not start becoming health tourists in Scotland …? At this point the Scots government would have to have stringent controls on who used their service or turn people away or maybe even border controls.

        Isn’t it controversial enough the NHS’s controls on those outside the UK at the moment and its occasional refusals of unpaid for care without the problems of doing the same thing within the same island. The same problems would also happen for every shared service. You dont have to be an expert in logisitics to realise that this would be a nightmare … because it is making Socialism National. At least the NHS is actually pan-national socialism.

        Also if Scotland dissapears because it’s not getting what it wants what’s to stop other parts of the UK splitting off for obscure historical reasons. Scotland might be on the edge but empirically, mathematically and sociologically someone’s got to be on the edge or there’d be a series of small one party states. And after you’ve broken the UK up into a series of baronial fiefdoms they’ll still have to politically work together … so what’ll happen is they form some kind of political and economic association and start electing leaders from within it again and before you know it you’re back to square one. In the mean time all the military would split up and start invasions on each other again. The UK may have consitutional and political problems but it’s not completely random. It was forged by geopolitical need. Like all political associations it’s base principle for foundation was that my enemy’s enemy is my friend. The English didn’t subdue the Scots – everyone just gave up fighting each other because it’s ultimately completely pointless.

        Yes, National Socialism is what the SNP is. Socialism has to look outwards and inwards and if it doesn’t it isn’t socialism. It’s something else…

      • Yes, National Socialism is what the SNP is. Socialism has to look outwards and inwards and if it doesn’t it isn’t socialism. It’s something else…

        You’re still ploughing the same tedious and dishonest furrow. Just out of interest, was Saddam Hussein the new Hitler?

        The English didn’t subdue the Scots – everyone just gave up fighting each other because it’s ultimately completely pointless.

        And the Act of Union didn’t come about because of bribery and coercion? My, what a selective and slippery grasp of history you have. But you’ve also unwittingly revealed an attitude of English superiority over the Celtic lands of these islands. No wonder the Scots want independence.

        Anyway, let’s go back to your thesis that free trade is “essential to peace”. In 1976, the free trade nation that’s the United States dumped loads of cheap rice onto the Liberian market, thus forcing domestic producers out of business. The free trade government of Liberia did nothing to ameliorate the situation and were literally forced to accept the US’s rice because of the free trade agreement between the two countries. Eventually things grew tense and the autocratic government (a partner of the US) of William S Tolbert was overthrown in a bloody coup. Nearly 20 years of dictatorship and civil wars followed. That’s your free trade. It’s free for some but not for others. It’s warfare by economic means.

      • “bribery and coercion?” All society is held together by bribery and coercion – I dont see anything wrong with that. In the end it is just diplomacy. The rest of the UK puts money into the broken Scots economy in 1707 … this is “bribery” not a bailout because that’d hurt your national pride. A vocal minority didn’t want to join the union – yes, they had to be coerced. Without that coercion there would have been more suffering and misery. The truth is in 1707 the majority did want to join the Union but the isolationists sow a narrative that this was a fix and the two countries stayed together for 300 years out of bullying in the teeth of the evidence via selective history because it fits their narrative. They are the same subsection of society who is today saying the ballot was rigged etc. Ludicrous of course … for one thing how can you rig an election by 200,000 and another wasn’t the Scottish Government responsible for the count making it the First Minister’s responsibility? but in such paranoid minds it is always someone else’s fault.

        Some trade barriers are neccessary but it should always be a long term aim to end protectionism. The fact that it isn’t the only thing neccessary to peace doesn’t mean it is not a good thing.

        I am not all over the place. I’m trying to get you to understand an emotional truth that re-errecting a 300 year old border and telling people to live differently either side and treating them differently is fundamentally absurd. Either the Scots become more wealthy in which case they have to figure out how to stop others cashing in on that wealth which is not very socialist, or they become less wealthy and it is a doomed scheme. With a 500,000 English disapora in Scotland and an 800,000 Scottish diaspora in England how could it work and what’s the point?

        Wasted breath though.

        But it is wasted breath.

      • Yes, you are all over the place. Your take of the 1707 Act of Union is typically unionist. I suppose you’re going to tell me that the English didn’t pay for Daniel Defoe to spy on the Scots.

        A vocal minority didn’t want to join the union – yes, they had to be coerced. Without that coercion there would have been more suffering and misery.

        “Minority”? Think again. The overwhelming majority of Scots people were opposed to union. It was only the nobles who were in favour.

      • ““Minority”? Think again. The overwhelming majority of Scots people were opposed to union. It was only the nobles who were in favour.”

        The overwhelming majority of people had no say about anything. How do you know? Did Lord Ashcroft run an opinion poll in 1707? It is only the middle classes and the rich who ran society in the 18th century. So okay as there was no universal suffrage in 1707 we eventually ran a referendum. What did we discover? The majority believed in the Union. And since when has one state not spied on other state? The truth is it’s easy to say the poor were all against it because there is always very little evidence recorded of what the poor always thought in the 1700s. No one asked the English poor what they thought of it either. But 300 years of peace bar Bonnie Price Charlie’s dumb escapades suggests that possibly actually a lot of people did think it was a good thing on both sides of the border

      • No, the majority didn’t “believe” in the Union. Besides, the word ‘belief’ indicates that the union is an article of faith to be worshipped.

      • Well Boswell thought it was a good thing. That’s one person. Given the highly sectarian and divided state of the nation at the time it would have been suprising if everyone had been enthusiastic. If the Union had not taken place there would undoubtably have been another war.

      • Boswell and… anyone else? Clearly the Scottish aristocracy thought it was a good thing with all that English gold and silver stuffed into in their vaults. And Daniel Defoe? He was paid handsomely to stir up trouble. Your portrayal of Scottish-English tensions seems to indicate that it was the Scots who were the aggressors at all times. I don’t buy that. English intentions were always expansionist and the border between the two countries was always disputed.Oh and wasn’t it the English who imposed language laws on Scotland and Wales?

      • ” English intentions were always expansionist and the border between the two countries was always disputed”

        All Eurpoean Governments were expansionist in the 1700s including the Scots goverment. What do you think the 30 years war about? The Reformation brought an end the Holy Roman Empire an in the middle of 17th century this politically destabilised the whole of Europe. The English Civil war wasn’t unique if was a side show to the collapse of the political order of the region. Millions of people died. 20-40% of the population of German was killed in the 30 years war. Yet two countries sign a peace treaty in 1707 and it’s entirely wicked evil English colonian expansions. It’s hard to think of a more wicked perversion of the truths of European history. Actually the union of 1707 reached peace by allowing a greater degree of religious freedom throughout Britian. Of course society was still hugely sectarian but all the politics of the era about Episcopalian vs Presbyterian church government which were the mechanisms by which the poor and middle classes expressed their opinion to the elite and ruling classes has been deleted and it has been boiled down to a simplistic creed that England bullied Scotland into signing a treaty they didn’t want. The reality for the government of Scotland is it was either siding with France against England or reaching a peace deal with England. They did the latter. Maybe that agreement has had it’s day but to paint it as purely a piece of political bullying of the lower orders is a massive historical lie

      • You still haven’t grasped the fact that the only people who wanted the Act of Union were the Scottish aristocracy and the English ruling classes. It was opposed by the vast majority of Scots, and whether or not they were allowed to vote is immaterial.

        The Empire, as has been previously asserted, was not a force for good. It enriched the ruling classes, while the working classes continued to work for poor wages in appalling conditions.

        “Maybe that agreement has had it’s day but to paint it as purely a piece of political bullying of the lower orders is a massive historical lie”.

        I’m dealing with historical materialism here. The Act of Union was passed by the Scottish parliament because its nobles were bribed and coerced to do so.

        Just as well I haven’t brought up the Highland Clearances, eh?

      • “You still haven’t grasped the fact that the only people who wanted the Act of Union were the Scottish aristocracy and the English ruling classes”

        That’s because it’s not a true. It’s a crude historical and political oversimplication. All Rich Yes and all Poor no. A nice little mantra for the hard left but it lacks historical evidence. The fact that there were protests does not prove what percentage of the population were for or against. No one can know this and I doubt that most of the poor actually cared about what the rich or the politicians were up to at all. Same as today 2 million No, 1.45 million Yes… 600,000 …”We dont care what country we live in just leave me alone I cant be arsed to go out and vote”.

      • No, it is true. I realise that this departs from the Anglo-centric narrative and thus sticks in the craw.

      • It is debatable. James Hamilton had toothache and the Presbyterians and the Jacobites couldn’t collectively decide on a plan B. Lots of petitions were signed but in the end there were those who were willing to go along with it in the end subject to certain assurances. Large grassroots movements are not “the people”. They are just the most organised of the people. The truth is that we dont know the true level of engagement or what people really thought but then given that very few of the poor had any education did it matter what they thought anyway? The early objections to universal suffrage that it was not wise to give the vote to people who had been kept uneducated were not without foundation.

      • Well, bringup the Highland Clearances if you want. Much of it was akin to what went on with the Enclosure Acts ine England and the Exportation of “troublemakers” to the colonies… but … it has to be said that the predominantly Catholic population that were ethnically cleansed in the highlands …well, some of them had been trying to bring down the state. Had they had their way I doubt they would have behaved much better. The Catholic Church had been openly trying to destroy the English government since Pope Pius V’s “Regnans in Excelsis” in the 1570s sometimes almost managing it. Of course the majority of people who just wanted to practice their religion were not involved in any such machinations but they were used and manipulated. Politics and Religion were highly intertwined until well into the 18th century …it’s only after the Union of the parliaments that the Whigs and the Tories find anything else to talk about except church services they should be going to. But of course what they’re really talking about through church governance is the local internal power structures. Before the 18th century there just is no mechanism for sorting out political disputes except killing other people and I’m pretty sure that if the Jacobites hugely ill concieved plans to put James II back on the throne had come to pass there would still have been the same level of conflicts – just different conflicts. As a child I always used to find the Orangemen’s worship of William of Orange hilarious but as an adult I’ve started to see the sectarian conflicts of the 15th-19th centuries through different eyes. There’s a larger truth that as the populations started to rapidly expands and industrialise society had to change very rapidly. The propaganda I was fed as a child about how Catholics were persecuted by Protestants is ture but it’s sort of half a story. What is interesting is that while the reformation in England is top down the reformation in Scotland is bottom up and during the civil war this philosophy gets exported to England causing all kinds of political instability. And even that is hugely oversimplifying it.

      • There is a difference between the Inclosure (sic) Acts and the Highland Clearances. The former enclosed common land and denied ordinary people the right to grow their own produce. The latter was a form of ethnic cleansing carried out under the guise of economic necessity. One effect of the Inclosure Acts in the 18th century was the closing down of traditional fairs. Many of the performers from these fairs found their way to, what later became, the music halls.

      • No they were both forms of social cleansing carried out under the guise of economic necessity. The purpose of the Inclosure Acts was to evict people and/or put their rents up. Although I’ll give you that the Highland Clearances were slightly more ethnic in nature the effects for many people were similar. 6.8 million acres of land was enclosed – nobody cared where the evicted went. As everyone migrates to the towns (or just migrates) this results in a massive population explosion in the 19th century when the population shoots from just about 8 million to nearly 30. Realistically though the old methods of farming could not sustain the increasing population. Gary Delaney used to do a joke about how if all the Irish Americans were to return to Ireland there wouldn’t be room for them insinuating half of them had simply imagined their Irishness… one day I pointed out to him that while there is some truth in this that is exactly why they had left – there was such a population explosion they couldn’t all have stayed there because they literally couldn’t all fit there and subsist there if they’d stayed there anymore.

        It’s interesting isn’t it that in 1600 the population of Scotland was about 1 million and the population of England about 4 million. Today the population of England is 60 million but the population of Scotland still only 5 million. So the population of England has increased 15 times and in the same period the population of Scotland has increased only 5 times. Interesting, dont you think?

      • “The latter was a form of ethnic cleansing”

        I’d also point out that we cant have ethnically cleansed any Scots unless we actually ARE and ethnicity ourselves. Which kind of holes your argument that the English aren’t an ethnicity below the waterline..

      • As far as Nation states go faith is all there is. There’s no rational reason for drawing any border on a map – it’s just a belief. When people stop believing in Britain it will cease to exist. Salmond is bang on the money here when he says A Nation is a nation when it overwhelmingly feels its self to be a nation. There really is no more rationality to it than that. Anywhere.

      • “But people like you are averse to change.”

        Yes, I am averse to change because I find it better than wading up to my armpits in other people’s blood. Still when you’ve whipping up ethnic tension enough to turn Scotland into the new Northern Ireland you will have the satisfaction of saying “Well, it upset the establishment”. However, the truth is that other people are cheap to you.

      • So you’re in favour of keeping a moribund system in place instead of moving into the present? Great. Let’s keep those honours with ’empire’ in the title, even though the Empire is no more. While we’re at it, let’s hang on to the unelected House of Lords. Just what I wanted to hear.

        You still persist with the notion that there’s a Scottish ethnicity. There’s a Scottish culture but it’s not the same as ethnicity.

        But how about the English? Are they an ethnic group? Well, not really. The only people who crap on about the ‘indigenous English’ are fascists and UKIP.

        L’empire est mort. L’union est mort. Vive la république!

      • “But how about the English? Are they an ethnic group? Well, not really. The only people who crap on about the ‘indigenous English’ are fascists and UKIP.”

        No, I can trace my ancestors back to 1066 they came over with William I … it’s quite possible because my mother had an unusual name. They didn’t add up to much but they can be traced. It’s not actually that difficult when you get past 1600 as there are only 4 million people. Mass immigration is a fairly modern 20th century phenomenon. I think I have an English ethnic identity. I certainly feel it when I go abroad and people tell me I’m English and I dont think there’s anything BNP or UKIP about that – it’s just who I am. But yes, my family were indigenous and there are many indigenous people. Athough her family emigrated to Australia when she was young Brian Damage’s wife is indigenous too … her family also go right back to the Normans. It’s not a particularly useful thing to anyone to be but the idea that there aren’t indigenous English people is nonsense. Of course it’s a National identity and an ethnic identity but that’s not a contradiction. No one tells Jewish people they’re not Jewish because they dont have a Israeli passport. They have a common Jewish ethnic identity. There are many people who have little or no Jewish cultural links who feel a connection to each other just because of their shared ethnicity. Just the same as a pan-African enthnic idenitiy. Yes, I’m ethnically English …get over it

      • You’re still confusing the concept of ethnicity with culture. Besides, identity is what you want it to be.

      • They are interlinked. You cant put bigotry into boxes. The government tried to do that when they made incitement to racial hatred illegal… only to find that people had walked round the edges of the law by inciting religious hatred and other forms of hatred which are really just circumlocutory ways of expressing the old resentments. Eventually more and more people decided that they deserve the protection of racial hate laws till now even the goths and emos are trying to jump on the bandwaggon …it seems it’s not the poor dears choice to dress like idiots. But if you extend hate legislation to cover everybody not just the most vulnerable …what’s the point in it? It’s just more legislation.

        No, identity is not what you want it to be. As T E Lawrence would say : a man can anything he wants but he cant want what he wants. Identity is what other people percieve not just what I self define myself as. For example when I go shopping with Ava the security guards follow her round because she is black and when I’m in the Carribean amongst a majority black population people look at me differently because I am the alien one. I dont have to say, dress or do anything particularly for this to happen either because it is a human response to someone who looks biologically different with reference to their historical and social knowledge of those people. Our minds do it automatically in an instant. It’s an impulse that can be controlled but never eliminated.

        What Civic Nationalism attempts to do is split of historical and social knowledge of a large group of people and say that there’s no biological/ethnic dimension to this. It’s an obvious lie that a kid of two could see through. Even if you were to accept that the Union of 1707 was a bad thing why would you want to keep banging on about it if you dont think that the people in the present are responisble for what happened in the past and the only connection the people in the present can have to the people in the past is biological. So yes they are dissing my ancestors to diss my race. In my view.

        And yes I think we are a race the English. Got our own racists, haven’t we? Therefore there must be something identifiable racially about us. Same as when you go on a plane with Italian people – they look different to me and it’s not just down to how they speak or their clothes. You can laugh at Nigel Farrage with his English props : pints of beer, tweed tackets, red roses but at least he is intellectually honest about his xenophobia. Same with Nick Griffin. Mr Giffin actually believes that other races are racially inferior – it’s rubbish but credit to the man he sticks to his guns. Whereas people like you and Salmond play with ethnicity because in your world of trying to force your constantly rejected political opinions on those that dont want them the end justifies the means ….but really … is it all really not just a wee bit racist to say there’s a huge fundamental difference between the English and Scots and bang on about 1321 and 1707? Well, I’m not fooled and I doubt most other people are really…

        Anyway what has devolution achieved except multiple layers of government that all blame each other. It’s no wonder really that Independence is so attractive to some people …after all isn’t one government enough. Who wants two? Let alone the multiple complicated layers of local, regional and central government the UK has got – one of the most complicated in the world. But what does any of it actually achieve?

      • What on earth are you talking about? You “can’t put bigotry into boxes”? What does that mean?

        You seem to forget that there was no, I repeat,. no ethnic dimension to the referendum. Anyone living in Scotland was entitled to vote. That wouldn’t happen if Little Englanders like UKIP were to announce an English independence referendum (as if that would happen).

        Identity is what you make it. Michel Foucault claimed that identities are socially constructed, meaning that they are not fixed. A Geordie, for example, will see themselves as Geordie first, English second and British third. They may well have other identities. People also project attributes onto others and these attributes are based on a pseudo-Darwinian notion of phenotypes. As someone of mixed parentage, I get this all the time. Two of my previous girlfriends thought I was Arab.

        Comparing the SNP to the BNP is absurd. The two parties have little, if anything in common. The SNP is an avowedly capitalist party with a social democratic mask. The BNP are a mix of Empire Loyalists and out and out fascists.

        But you mention devolution and “layers of government”. You do realise that Thatcher centralised a great deal of power in Westminster? She abolished the metropolitan countries, not for economic reasons, but because they opposed her. Her petulance and autocratic style of leadership brooked no dissent.

        The Scottish referendum was always about more than just independence as far I’m concerned. It’s about democracy and it’s about changing the quasi-feudal political system we have in this country. Westminster needs to be changed. We need a proper proportional voting system and not AV, which was the worst of all compromises. Cameron knew this when he offered it.

      • “You seem to forget that there was no, I repeat,. no ethnic dimension to the referendum”

        I dont believe that. I dont believe the SNP can give the National Trust a whole load of money to take kids to Bannockburn and Culloden and say there’s no ethnic dimension to it’s mantra? I mean Culloden? What’s anyone got to be proud of about Culloden? It’s a political disgrace to both nations?

        Anyway yes, Mrs T hated local government. So do I … I mean what’s the point of the London Assembly …? It can never outvote the Mayor because there is a 66% threashold? so Boris and Ken just sits there laughing at their impotence and gloating while knowing they are in effect an elected dictator. At least the GLC had some form of meaningful democratic structure. And even if you want a Scottish parliament why does it need 129 seats for only 5 million people? Surely that’s overkill. I hate all local politicans … well, some of them are alright but largely local government is a dustbin for people with meglomaniac ambitions that can only come from having a free meal ticket but no actual power.

      • You still confuse ethnicity with culture. Why?

        The London Assembly was provided as a sop to those who demanded a revival of the GLC. The GLA is a toothless beast.

        And even if you want a Scottish parliament why does it need 129 seats for only 5 million people? Surely that’s overkill.

        You’ve clearly never looked at the Northern Ireland Assembly, the Dail in the Irish Republic or, dare I say it, Manchester City Council.

        local government is a dustbin for people with meglomaniac ambitions that can only come from having a free meal ticket but no actual power.

        Maybe, but that’s no reason not to have local government. Political power in this country is far too centralised and that is a real problem. Megalomaniacs and small men also dominate Westminster. No?

      • “You still confuse ethnicity with culture. Why?”

        They are confused by definition.

        I’m not against local government I just dont think it should be allowed to pass any legislation. Any such legislation is unlikely to come under proper scrutiny and I dont see the logic in having different laws in different parts of the country introduced by local cliques. The Feudal system seems wrong. I mean there was the lovely Witenagemot which is almost proto-democratic and then along comes William I and invades and makes it all top down again. But when you think about it the Witan’s most important task was to prevent invasion and domination which shouldn’t be that difficult on a naturally fortified island so something had gone horribly wrong … I think they spent all their time talking about their own places in the powerbase but no time at all worrying about little things like the Kingdom’s problems.

      • Really? You can trace your family back to 1066? Are you trying to tell me you’re a blue blood? That would explain why you’re so defensive about the current quasi-feudal system.

        There are many ethnicities and cultures on the African continent or are you suggesting that all black Africans are the same ethnicity?

      • No, I’m just scum. They all just lived in the same village and never went anywhere so it’s easy. That’s what people did. What they were told. I think one of them burnt down a workhouse at one point, someone built some cars once and there were a whole load of well … people who varied from minimal importance to labourers

  2. I mean

    It wouldnt be so bad if they had anything much historically to be agrieved about but while they go on like they were colonised it is simply historically not true. God alone knows what they’d be like if they’d been genuinely historically persecuted. Someone should tell them they’re not even runners up in the suffering olympics but second to last. Still it makes all that white guilt of Empire go away doesnt it if you can decieve yourself you’re a historical victim. The truth is they were never bullied into it in 1707. The same large minority who tried to shout everyone down then are the same people who will be saying 2014 was a fix. People who’s real dream is to make the pool smaller so they’ll be bigger fish. Scottish Nationalists are just the political mirror of UKIP. Their real problem is with any pan-nationalism. I mean what were they going to do after leaving? Join Caricom?

    • Nonetheless, Scotland has been dominated by England for the better part of 300 years.

      Scottish Nationalists are nothing like UKIP. That’s absurd. UKIP are Little Englanders who get nostalgic for the Empire and many of them are racists. That’s not the case with the SNP.

      The Empire is dead and it’s not coming back.

      • “UKIP are Little Englanders” The SNP are little Scotlanders. If Salmond and Sillars wanted to leave the UK to join the Euro as an independent state that’d be one thing but they want to leave and cling onto the pound which is ridiculous. Really Salmond knows he needs his own currency and central bank but he wouldn’t say it because he knows it would be political hara kiri. When he starts being honest with himself and with other people he and Ms Sturgeon might actually get somewhere but they’d rather tell people a load of lies and cross their fingers than be honest that in the short to medium term it would be financially hard. They are Socialists and Nationalists…. Nationalism mixed with Socialism ends in one place because inevitably it means you have to decide who is IN and OUT of your civic society … and usually the reality is there are no logical grounds for this – it’s just ethnic. Sorry but we all remember Andrew Dewar telling party members that “imperial England” had no right “to criticise the actions of any other country” in 1939 …it’s always had links to the far right and with Salmond and Sillars going round ranting they’re going to unilaterally declare themselves independent anyway the “civic” mask is slipping from their nationalism. If they want to be taken seriously they need to clean up their act. That said watching a lot of teenagers with blue and white faces crying does remind me of the academic who claimed that the Smurfs are crypto fascists…

      • Like the Unionists haven’t lied? Get real.

        They are Socialists and Nationalists…. Nationalism mixed with Socialism ends in one place because inevitably it means you have to decide who is IN and OUT of your civic society

        I smell wilful bullshitting (or trolling) here. The SNP aren’t Nazis and any comparison to UKIP is intellectually dishonest.

        and usually the reality is there are no logical grounds for this – it’s just ethnic.

        There’s no such thing as an “ethnic Scotsman”. Likewise there is no such thing as an ethnic Englishman.

      • “There’s no such thing as an “ethnic Scotsman”. Likewise there is no such thing as an ethnic Englishman”

        Yes there is an ethnic Scotsman is someone who was born in Scotland like Tony Blair. He doesn’t stop being a Scotsman because he’s emigrated. But making Scotland Independent would make the 800,000 Scottish disapora in England have to chose their National identity. Which would I suppose mean that the Scots in England would be expected to renounce their ethnicity because unless they became UK citizens they wouldn’t be entitled to public services or something … civic nationalism pretends it’s to do with abstract history and geography but common sense and emotional sense says absolutely no one can get emotionally worked up, inspired or involved by such totally abstracted concepts. What do they all feel a sense of belonging because they fill in a tax return to Holyrood or something? Please…

      • You’re all over the place. I never said “ethnic identity doesn’t exist”. Pay attention. There is no Scottish ethnicity: the Scots, as a people (like the English) are formed from a series of invasions and inward migration. The Gaels (Scotti), the Norse, the Picts and the Anglo-Saxons make up Scottish ‘ethnicity’.

      • I think Scottish is an identifiable ethnicity in the meaniful sense of the word. There were no major invasions except by the English for near on 900 years. If there isn’t any identifiable ethnic difference what is the point in becoming a separate state? I think there is such a thing as Scottish ethnicity and English ethnicity. The Picts haven’t existed as a separately obvservable identity since about 900. That’s as daft as me going round calling myself Iberian. The truth is you dont want to admit it is an ethnicity because if you did the concept of civic nationalism as intellectual would fall apart

      • You confuse ethnicity with cultures. Easily done. But then I can see that you’re trying to paint the SNP as an ethnic nationalist party. Now that would be laughable.

        Change is coming whether you want it or not.

      • “There’s no such thing as an “ethnic Scotsman”. Likewise there is no such thing as an ethnic Englishman.”

        There really is you know. If ethnic identity doesn’t exist – If for example it is stolen as happened as a byproduct of the slave trade it is necessary to reinvent it via organisations like Ligali which create pan-national ethnic identity for people who’ve lost their original ethnic or national identiy. Are they wrong in promoting “socio-political and spiritual empowerment of African people with heritage direct from Africa or indirectly via African diasporic communities”? No. And neither is it wrong to admit that there is and English and Scottish genetic, cultural and ethnic heritage and diaspora. There are many different types of ethnic identity… On the box on the forms it say White English / Caucasian. That’s an ethnic identity just much as being African Carribean. If it wasn’t no one would ask for the data.

        Sigh …take about so PC you cant get out of bed in the morning.

      • Sigh …take about so PC you cant get out of bed in the morning.

        “PC”? Yeah, if you say so. 😀

        Do you think ‘race’ is biologically determined too?

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