For the last month or so BC has been annoying people on Twitter and elsewhere by continually bringing up the issue of linking to, and or #ff (Follow Friday-ing bloggers). So who are we talking about and why are we doing this? By Mhairi McGregor.
The Scottish independence movement is dominated by the left, the centre-left, and now the green-left coalescing around a set of political and cultural norms and assumptions. Amongst them is the idea that we are all Jock Tamson’s Bairns, a mixture and proud of it. Close to this is the idea of Scotland as a country with a distinct sense of the importance of social justice, in particular this is expressed by the policy put forward that anyone can become a Scot on independence, and further backed-up by the differing policies on immigration (frequently overridden and ignored by the Brit State). Commentators would call some of these assumptions ‘romantic myths’ and point to the wide spread of these attitudes still today. A more positive view might suggest that the complete failure of the far-right and the BNP, the ‘S’ DL and others to create any foothold in Scotland is precisely due to the ongoing aspirations for an open, multicultural society that still lie at the heart of Scottish identity.
The argument has two more key aspects. Having travelled the world, colonised, settled and integrated in every corner of the globe, having suffered from the clearances and ‘economic migration’ how can we turn around and offer anything less than a welcome to people from other places trying to make a life in Scotland? And finally, Scottish Nationalism has always been predicated firmly on a belief in internationalism that probably springs from the realisation that as a small nation we are never going to dominate (nor aspire to as the French, the British, the Russian or the Americans). If your small and insignificant it pays to respect other peoples cultures.
So we shouldn’t be giving a platform to or promoting racists, particularly those who shame the independence movement by writing one day about the merits of home rule and the next on the colour or creed of people coming to or resident in this country.
Dark Lochnagar is one such blog, Sub Rosa another. Dark Lochnagar thinks the Milibands are part of a Marxist-Jewish conspiracy. Sub Rosa supports Angela Merkels view that multiculturalism is dead (‘It had to be said’) They write: “The belief that vast movements of people across the globe is somehow the way to go for the human race is madness. It is the way to create tensions, jealousies and animosity and implant them into a society on a grander scale than when “home” was where the tribe were, once upon a time.” Well that’s clear enough.
Dark Lochnagar writes about a Migrationwatch report: “Don’t say you weren’t warned and as the immigrant population explodes, the ‘BRITONS’ will be gradually displaced in a mish-mash of cultures which will obliterate our own British, white European one. My only consolation is that I won’t be here to see it and neither will my children, because I don’t have any.” Read it here. Well that’s a consolation.
Why is this important? Thirty-eight people have died in asylum- and immigration-related deaths in the last 18 months across Europe. Dungavel remains. While we have idiots like Labours Michael McCann, while we have the far-right operating amongst the orange disorder, Sarkozy expelling the Roma and a German leader like Merkel spouting forth, we are in dangerous times. While we remain tied to the racist British State its essential we make clear a different approach. It’s vital that here in Scotland we articulate a progression vision for our country.
You can write what you like (provided it doesn’t actually promote violence). And I’d defend your right to write things I totally disagree with. But this is a call for people to disassociate themselves from these and others, de-link to them, don’t #ff them, stop promoting them and get on with promoting the cause of an open democratic and outward looking Scotland.
At Bella we will link to people we disagree with, we will invite people with differing views to have a guest editorial, we will engage with people with widely different perspec tives. What we won’t do is give a platform for racists.