2007 - 2022

Media Notes Part 2: Identity, Extremism and the Independence Movement

In the second part of his Media Notes series Kevin Williamson reveals an unstated 3 point strategy of the NO camp; and the trap of the Scottish-British dichotomy.

“Identity –
is the crisis
can’t you see”

In the first of these articles I cast an eye over the mainstream media’s churlish reporting of Saturday’s Independence march. I ended the article referring to a Scotland on Sunday article the previous week. This was the one which castigated the Scottish Republican Socialist Movement (SRSM) for the burning of a Union Jack at an event many years ago. I suggested that the Scotsman publications were about to unleash a new approach in their shrill attacks on the Independence movement.

Perhaps the Scotsman editors read Bella. (As they should.) Or perhaps one of their number, Tom Peterkin, took umbrage at me for publishing his work phone number on Saturday and mocking him and his colleagues. Who knows. But today, anonymously, Peterkin went ahead and published a churlish little article in The Scotsman having a go at myself under the headline “Yes campaigner at Union flag burning”.

The article itself was a bit of a damp squid coming the day after Bella covered the same event. Peterkin could have helped himself freely to a pertinent quote but his journalistic integrity clearly didn’t stretch that far. Anyway, it was like getting savaged by a toothless poodle. But what is more interesting is the way the Scotsman have opened up a new line of attack on the Independence movement.

When the Scotland on Sunday ran their original “flag-burning” article on the SRSM it was done on the prompting of Jim Murphy MP who bragged about it on Twitter. At first glance it may seem bizarre that the Shadow Defence Minister spends time and effort (when he’s not filling in expenses forms) urging the Scotsman publications to attack a small leftist organisation like the SRSM. But there was method in his madness.

If Alex Salmond had shared a platform on Saturday with “flag-burning extremists” – so the story went – this would have been considered damaging. That the SRSM were never asked to provide a speaker for the event was conveniently omitted. (Another of Peterkin’s trademark fabrications).

The first upshot of the SoS article was, predictably, a circling of the wagons against the SRSM. Intriguingly, the SoS revealed an agenda wider than simply embarrassing the FM at a demo, or having a go at a small group like the SRSM. The giveaway line in the original article described the SRSM as Marxists who supported “violent revolution”.

At this point alarm bells should have been ringing but I guess no one wanted to rock the boat a few days before the Indy march. The description of the SRSM as Marxist revolutionaries could equally apply to the SWP or a number of other small leftist groups who support Scottish Independence. It could also apply to members of the SSP or Solidarity.  Or to Irish republicans. The list could grow and grow. Therein lies a problem.

Jim Murphy and the Labour Party have a long track record in isolating small left wing groups in order to prepare for an ideological assault on ideas they disagree with. In the 1980s the Trotskyist Militant Tendency were used as a stalking horse for ethical cleansing of the Labour Party. Within a few short years the Marxist left were expelled, Clause 4 removed, and finally all vestiges of socialism were abandoned. By 1997 a corporate-controlled US-compliant Blairite New Labour was ready to take over the reins at Westminster.

In recent months the Labour Party have watched with growing horror the unity of purpose within the Independence movement. This is a movement that has no intention of being sidetracked down the cul-de-sac of gesture politics. Murphy’s response has been to tug on the wires of the Unionist press to see if a wedge can be driven between the leftist/grassroots of the Indy movement and the leadership of the SNP.

The Scotsman has duly complied. The new agenda is to widen the net of those who can be classified as political extremists. Its a surefire bet the word “extremist” will play a large part in the vocabulary of the NO camp, rooted as they are in the methodology of New Labour.

For instance, the MSM propaganda wing of NO will be sharpening their nibs at the prospect of the upcoming Radical Independence Conference on 24th Nov in Glasgow. It wont be to report on the ideas discussed – as if – but they’ll be listening for a quote or two that can be made to sound “extreme” then thrown back at the FM, demanding AS distance himself from radical voices who seek, for example, to nationalise the oil fields, take land out of the hands of absentee landlords, or make Scotland a hostile environment for large corporations or private banks.

A healthy Independence movement needs its radical voices. A national movement for Independence has to be diverse and inclusive or it isn’t a national movement. There has to be space for trade unionists, school students and community activists as well as traders, company directors, businessmen, farmers and landowners. It has to include political parties of all hues, left, right and centre. It needs to include the fringes as well as the centre. As I wrote previously on Bella Caledonia in an open letter to Angus Robertson; 2014 is about bringing democracy home, the 2016 election is about policies. Its important not to confuse or conflate the two.

As the phoney war over procedure draws to a close the NO camp strategy has revealed its soul, bit by bit. Their objective will be to create rigid parameters in order to frame and control discussion. They won’t abandon the approach of ridicule and disinformation but their ideological set plays are firmly in place:

1. Both wings of the NO camp want the question of identity to be central to the Independence debate. This would channel a manufactured debate along a crude bipolar agenda of pitting Scottish versus British.

2. Both wings of the NO camp want personalities to the fore rather than ideas. It suits their purpose if Alex Salmond = Independence and vice versa. Personalities are more vulnerable than ideas, and easier to attack or ridicule. This approach is the standard propaganda model used internationally against all ideas or ideology which threaten to challenge the status quo: Shoot the messenger/Ignore the message.

3 Both wings of the NO camp fear grassroots campaigning that they can’t influence directly. For NO, the Independence debate must be conducted through the centralised conduit of the mainstream media where access can be controlled. The NO camp is afraid of radical ideas and would prefer to have these ideas contained for fear of contagion.

It is through this three pronged approach that we can view the minor stooshies around flag-burning and alleged “extremism.” The mainstream media and their corporate sponsors know fine well that EVERYTHING is up for grabs in a newly Independent Scotland. This, quite frankly, terrifies them. They will do everything in their power to marginalise, ridicule or silence any views that are considered threatening to the interests of the usual elites. If it means isolating and shunning a small Marxist group like the SRSM so be it. That’s how these things start. Call it Murphy’s Law of Ever-Increasing Exclusion.

From our perspective it is important that the debate is not dominated by a few high profile individuals no matter how articulate they may be. As many voices as possible need to be heard. Especially the voices of women, young people and the poorest in our society. These are the voices which are usually filtered out first. These are the voices that will say the unsayable. Thank goodness.

Finally, we need to truly understand and internalise how the shadow of Identity hangs over this debate like a vampire waiting to pounce.

Let’s be clear. Identity got us to where we are today. If Scots did not feel they had a unique identity there would be no referendum. Identity prepared the ground for the formation of the SNP, its subsequent development, and fanned a centuries old flame for Independence. Our unique Scottish identity is built upon our unique history, our languages and our culture. Identity is important.

But there is a paradox. The idea of a single homogenous national identity has gone. The twentieth century killed that one off. Scotland is a mongrel nation and gets more mongrel every day. Ten per cent of the population of Scotland is English. There are areas of Edinburgh where English people are in the majority. This is to be welcomed.

Similarly, feelings are mixed on what it means to be British. Personally, I don’t consider myself to be British. For me Britain isn’t a nation it’s a political state and not one whose foreign policy I’d like to be associated with. Yet others who live in Scotland feel very differently. Many enjoy being both Scottish and British. Some consider themselves English and British but not Scottish.

Ultimately identity is a personal matter not a political one which is why the 2014 referendum isn’t about identity. It doesn’t matter how many Union Jacks have been detoxified through sporting events or whatever. We aren’t voting on a flag but about where we locate democracy and power. Do you want to be ruled from London? Or do you want self-government here in Scotland. Yes or No. That’s what it’s boils down to.

In the months and years ahead the NO camp can wave the flag of Identity. But rather than sneering at the Union Jack, or worse, burning it, now is a good time to simply ignore it. Like the Scottish/British dichotomy it should play no part in the final outcome in 2014. I’ll reiterate this one more time: Whoever fights 2014 on the question of identity loses. Whoever fights on the relevant questions of power, democracy and possibilities wins.

We have powerful democratic arguments at our disposal. We have the ability to re-imagine Scotland. Let’s put them into service.


Comments (40)

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  1. David Moynagh says:

    To fight using the relevance of power and democracy does not exclude the usefulness of ridiculing the identities of the existing westminster tribe of tory led parasites and their self serving policies. Their very existence is considered more verminous than the plague and therefore is sufficient reason to aim for independence

  2. David Moynagh says:

    To fight using the relevance of power and democracy does not exclude the usefulness of ridiculing the identities of the existing westminster tribe of tory led parasites and their self serving policies. Their very existence is considered more verminous than the plague and therefore is sufficient reason to aim for
    independence. A fresh start indeed for Scotland. Fresh air which is free from the necrotic stench of tory and the dead corpse of the rotting blairite labour party.

  3. I have never considered myself British I am Scottish,and thats the end of it.I can see the smoke screens being lit but if I can see this I hope others can,and I also hope they understand that people like Murphy have only got self-interest in his mind,he wants to keep his millionaire life-style,and only cares for thaat.

  4. Michael Gardiner says:

    1, 2, 3 well put, very important

  5. The personal IS political, though. And how many in the Yes Scotland campaign will really resist the use of another flag, the Saltire, to express their personal identity?

  6. Doug Daniel says:

    “Its a surefire bet the word “extremist” will play a large part in the vocabulary of the NO camp, rooted as they are in the methodology of New Labour.”

    Aye, we had Willie Rennie yesterday on Good Morning Scotland trying to coax Lib Dem members in England to speak up in the independence debate, and not leave it to “extremists”. When pushed, he clarified that he was referring to people like the English Democrats and that he wasn’t trying to paint the indy movement as extremists, but the old “that’s not what I said, you’re understanding me wrongly” strategy has been wielded far too often by weasels of Rennie’s ilk. It was an obvious attempt at a smear, and unfortunately for Rennie, he has neither the skill nor the intelligence to pull it off properly.

    This series seems like an essential guide for the Yes campaign. With Lamont placing her party very firmly on the right, the independence referendum is now undeniably left versus right. Us against Them. The mainstream media now has even more reason to shift the centre of Scottish politics to the right, so we must be vigilant against such tactics – expect to see attacks on the ideals of universal services over the next two years on Labour’s behest. YES campaigners must read these media notes again and again.

    1. Rennie is undoubtedly, impressively – monumentally even – ineffective. However, in the NO campaign, he is a giant! Lamont and Davidson are even more ineffective. Can this campaign go any other way but YES?

  7. Lewsyn says:

    To some of us welsh…we still view Britain as what it technically is…a geographical island…the UK state is the state…..this helps cut off the identity issues here to an extent.

    Identity shouldnt matter, what matters is bad rule from a centralised London state that doesnt treat its peripheries fairly. England itself needs to wake up.

    Identity shoud

  8. Ray McRobbie says:

    Great article, but I couldn’t stop myself from posting this in response to one of the earlier sentences: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnXKVY-_i2c&t=1m5s 🙂

  9. Ronald Henderson. says:

    ”There are areas of Edinburgh where English people are in the majority. This is to be welcomed.” Please explain.

    1. Dave Coull says:

      How about “There are areas of Edinburgh where folk with origins in Ireland are in the majority”, would you have a problem with that? Or, “There are areas of Edinburgh where folk of Asian origins are in the majority”, would that be a problem? Now, it could be argued that immigrants ought to disperse themselves throughout the population, and that does tend to happen over time, but in practice to begin with at least all immigrants do have, to a certain extent, a tendency to stay close to others of their group (this also applies to Scots in other countries). So it comes down to, do you welcome immigrants, or don’t you? And given that immigrants account for a significant percentage of the population, and given that they have votes in our referendum, saying they are welcome is probably a good idea.

      1. I think you’re missing the point. He’s saying exactly that: anyone is welcome. It’s not about one’s identity; it is about what’s best for everyone’s life.

  10. Michael says:

    Great stuff, Kevin, but I wonder if you give the No side more credit than they’re due by suggesting the existence of a strategy. Isn’t it more a case of grabbing whatever happens to be in their reach and suits their case than actually formulating a plan? On the SRSM question my understanding is that they’re mainly run by someone in Canada and are no more Marxist revolutionaries than Brian Souter.

  11. Colin Dunn says:

    “The article itself was a bit of a damp squid . .”

    Like it 😉

  12. Castle Rock says:

    What bothers me about all this is that no one is speaking out against the constant stream of BritishEnglish intimidation and hate against the Scots. Maybe I’ve missed the articles in the Scottish press but where was the denunciation of the actions of the EDLSDLBNP skinhead thugs at the independence march? The Scottish press seems to ignore the hate of the EDLSDLBNP but will focus on something that happened in 2006 and try and use it to smear it against you. Bizarre.

    Where is the denunciation against all the nasty little racists that infest the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail who spew out their hate against the Scots on a daily basis? Why no outcry that this hate has crept into the comments in the Guardian? Is it okay for them to do this because in the eyes of the ‘establishment’ we’re just jocks so anything goes? Surely I can’t be the only one who finds this disturbing.

    I think Willie Rennie knew exactly what he was doing when he encouraged English people to speak up against Scottish independence at the LibDem conference. Take away all the party political games and he’s sent out a clear message to all those people on the Telegraph, Daily Mail, and ever more increasingly on the Guardian and Independent, that its open season on the Scots (the Brits will be okay as they’re seen as ‘one of us’ but even that will be time limited).

    Whether intentional or not, Willie Rennie has encouraged the extremists in England to get stuck in and we’ll not hear anything against it from the Scottish press until it’s much too late.

    1. James Coleman says:

      If you want to do something about it. Come and join those of us who already go to the comments pages you quote and fight our corner. It is not difficult to ridicule, put down and show up as extremists the type of people who frequent these places and to answer their crass claims with wit and knowledge, and even occasionally being just as nasty and insulting as they are. And I can assure you it has a huge effect because the articles and comments you quote are all a lot, lot, less racist and doltish than they were a year ago when I first started to do it.
      And please no comments on this from the ‘soft’ side of Independence. Nothing has ever been gained politically without FIGHTING for it. Soft words and soft soap will not gain anything.

  13. Kevin, when Murphy uses the term ‘Marxism’, what he’s doing is using it in a Labour Realpolitix weapon premise; I call it a ‘reverse premise’ argument. Reverse premise argument is where you take what you do, (in Labour’s case, everything negative), and smear your opponent with an accusation that they eare doing it; it’s like playground politics where one child says ‘you did it’, then the other child says, ‘no, you did it’; etc, etc.

    I’ve spent the last 5 years analysing Labour’s / Westminster’s ‘Realpolitix weapons of mass distraction; it’s pathetic, but they think if it can fool the basic ‘pleb’ then it is useful in controlling mass society.

  14. Tocasaid says:

    Quote: There are areas of Edinburgh where English people are in the majority. This is to be welcomed.

    I too don’t understand this. English folk live here – ok – but to ‘welcome’ them as dominant? Especially given the nature of many of these folk in some areas – middle to upper class and right-wing.

    1. The point is not where people come from. The point is that Scotland wants to be a democratic country which welcomes diversity and is able to demonstrate its social values without exception. That includes people of all persuasions. To suggest that somehow certain types (of course of peaceful nature) are not welcome is the kind of text book nationalism that should not be a part of this debate.

  15. Dave Coull says:

    Good article, Kevin.

  16. James Coleman says:


    “… Finally, we need to truly understand and internalise how the shadow of Identity hangs over this debate like a vampire waiting to pounce… ”

    I don’t see identity as any type of vampiric shadow over the Independence campaign. It is the raison d’etre of Independence. And ALL campaigns need their symbols so let’s wave ours vigorously.
    And you are exaggerating diversity in Scotland. Scotland is very much a homogeneous country of whom 90% think they are Scottish. That is a very high proportion; and many of the 10% English will return to England if Independence is achieved because they are not ‘settled’ here merely passing through, because of work.

    1. Dave Coull says:

      I think you’re on very dodgy ground saying “many of the 10% English will return to England if Independence is achieved”. I know quite a lot of English people who are SETTLED here in Scotland, and indeed quite a few of whom will vote for independence in our referendum. Besides, even if some of them are here “because of work”, are you suggesting they will no longer be able to work here after independence? What about the several hundred thousand Scottish folk who live and work in England, are you suggesting they will no longer be allowed to live in England after independence? It’s not going to be like when India and Pakistan became independent. There will be no significant population exchange.

      1. James Coleman says:

        Read my bloody post. Your interpretation of my comment is a far cry from what it actually says. I know there are a lot of English folk who ARE settled here and will vote for Independence and they are very welcome here.
        The rest of your post is nonsense and doesn’t deserve an answer.

        are very welcome here.

    2. James, I agree with you wholeheartedly; our Scots’ identity is our biggest propenent in re-claiming our Scottish independence.

      I’m very proud to be Scots; and all that nonsense about not winning our ‘Yes’ vote by ‘braveheart’ is basically a Marxist scare tactic.

  17. Dave Coull says:

    I did read your post, and I stick to what I said about your ASSUMPTION that MANY English folk in Scotland would leave come independence being dodgy. I have also read statements by English racists (for example in comments on the Daily Telegraph website on articles relating to Scotland) in which they have ASSUMED that MANY of the Scots in England would more-or-less have to leave England come independence. The thing we supporters of independence should be saying is that, regardless of what may happen in England, nobody will have to leave Scotland come independence, and we should not be making any ASSUMPTIONS about particular groups feeling they do need to leave.

    1. Tocasaid says:

      The problem with some of the English in Scotland is not their country of birth/ upbringing but their attitudes. Is it an accident that plush areas like Morningside or Marchmont are overhwhelmingly middle/upper class English?

      I worked for years in the schemes of Edinburgh are rarely heard an English accent – and if i did it was a working class one. The ‘problem’ some have with these sort of ‘English’ is mostly one of class. True, some may vote independence but many are hostile to Scottish – and especially Scottish working class – culture. Their kids and grandkids go to the best schools and even two generations down the line still speak with the same posh south of England accent. The racism and classism is there’s for the most part. As someone once said, if Scots were black, you’d see the racism.

      The Irish who came here, and some of my family were amongst them, were overwhelmingly poor. The English aren’t. There’s also the problem of where our government is situated. England has dominated our government, news and media for centuries. Dublin and Ireland has never done this – even in the days when you could travel from Cork to Sutherland and only speak Gaelic.

      1. “True, some may vote independence but many are hostile to Scottish – and especially Scottish working class – culture. Their kids and grandkids go to the best school and even two generations down the line still speak with the same posh south of England accent.”

        And your blatant, unapologetic racism and classism is better, how, exactly?

    2. James Coleman says:

      “… The thing we supporters of independence should be saying is that, regardless of what may happen in England, nobody will have to leave Scotland come independence,..”

      Only morons on both sides of the debate make stupid remarks about Scots having to leave England, and English having to leave Scotland in the event of Independence. No assurances need to be given because they are not needed.

  18. James Coleman says:

    To paulfcockburn
    Your reply to Tocasaid is a bit too strong, anti-incomer maybe, but racist, no. Anti-‘posh’ maybe as well but what’s wrong with that? That is a well known political view. And he is merely stating the facts.
    I believe the term racism is being used far too often to try to stifle healthy debate about Independence. It is getting to the stage where no-one can criticise the English (or the Scots) without the race card being brought into play.
    What Tocasaid has written could be applied to many areas all over England. People from around London and the South East sold virtual slums and council houses for ridiculous sums of money which enabled them to buy expensive property in other areas where property was much cheaper. The locals were and still are very unhappy with these ‘incomers’ who they describe in terms very similar to those which Tocasaid used. So why can’t Scots do the same?

    1. So, Mr Coleman, it’s wrong for middle class “English” to mock Scottish working class culture (that’s racism and classism), but it’s neither racist or classist to mock second or third generation-born Scots because of their “posh English voices”? I’m sorry, I really don’t see the difference. It’s also rather rich to start complaining about the “race card being brought into play” when Tocasaid effectively already put it on the table, not by “merely stating facts”, as you suggest, but doing so (as everyone does) from a particular political perspective.

      I am disgusted, though, by your apparent belief that because some people in other parts of the UK feel they can use negative terms about “incomers”, that somehow means it should be OK for Scots to do the same? It’s sad when people arguing for the positive of an independent Scotland feel they should have access to the vile arsenal of the BNP and EDL.

  19. James Coleman says:

    “… I am disgusted, though, by your apparent belief that because some people in other parts of the UK feel they can use negative terms about “incomers”, that somehow means it should be OK for Scots to do the same ,,,”

    There you ago again, stupid hyperbole because someone doesn’t agree with your perverted views about how the English should be treated in Scotland. (There! We can all do it. So calm yourself down and stop throwing insults at everyone. It doesn’t make your arguments any better.) And you haven’t addressed the question. Many of the English (not all) in Edinburgh and other parts of Scotland are ‘incomers’ no less than they are in other parts of England where they do not integrate and are criticised in similar terms as those used by Tocasaid but substituting ‘posh upstarts from London’ for English. And I know that because I lived in such an area in England. But by your flawed logic because they are English, Scots shouldn’t make the same criticisms of them. Why not, if their behaviour annoys Scottish people. Would it be OK if Scots used ‘posh upstarts from London’ instead?
    I have said here and elsewhere that those English people who are prepared to live here and make the attempt to integrate into Scottish culture are very welcome in Scotland.
    I don’t know who or what you are but I’ve seen a few of your posts on other articles where you jump in feet first without engaging brain to insultingly abuse some article or point of view which criticises your apparently beloved English culture. Just remember that Scots ARE allowed to speak against the English if we don’t agree with what they are doing.

    1. So, who’s being insulting now, making assumptions about me based on a few limited little scraps of information? Do a google on me; I’m not that difficult to find — as is my habit of deliberately playing Devil’s Advocate. For your information, just because I don’t agree with you, that doesn’t mean I’m stupid.

      I’m pleased to read that you have nothing against “those English people who are prepared to live here and make the attempt to integrate into Scottish culture”; but I can’t help but question what you mean by “Scottish culture”? Or indeed “integration”? (Doesn’t sound that different to me from those Tory right-wingers insisting that everyone coming to live in the UK should learn English and attempt to “be British”.) Would your “Scottish culture” include the neighbourhood watch schemes in Morningside and Bearsden, a Scottish Opera performance of La Traviata at the Festival Theatre, or the latest No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency novel by Alexander McColl Smith? Would your “Scottish culture” include the numerous television programmes, films and media (the vast majority of which are produced outside of Scotland) that millions of Scots consume, enjoy and even feel passionate about?

      For your information, your assumption of my “beloved English culture” is way off the mark; “beloved British culture”, I will admit to, though that is fading as (indeed) the whole concept of Britain fades into history — it is a part of my past, my upbringing, rather than my future.

      Come 2014, I will be voting yes in the Referendum. Does that surprise you, I wonder?

  20. James Coleman says:

    “… Come 2014, I will be voting yes in the Referendum. Does that surprise you, I wonder? …”
    Now that does surprise me.
    Meanwhile, as a person with leftish leanings, I do believe along with the ‘right wing Tories’ and most of the rest of the UK population that everyone coming to live permanently in the UK should learn English, and integrate into the culture of whatever part of it they are living in. And I believe the same should be true for those who move from one country within the UK to another. Many English in Morningside and elsewhere in Scotland fail that test.
    And you know very well what I mean by Scottish Culture. I mean that normal every day Culture which is well exhibited in Scotland but is seldom if ever portrayed on National BBC or other TV and radio unless it is an adjunct to some programme about England or the English. Why are there no historic dramas about Scottish history, great Scottish writers’ books dramatized, and even a few trivial daytime TV programmes with wholly Scottish voices on them. Oh yes. Occasionally there are wholly Scottish programmes; ‘working class porn’ which depicts the worst aspects of Scotland’s poor.
    But normally we get fed pap for the English masses. Constant programmes about Henry VIII, dramas from 2nd rate English writers about upper class English life If a programme or drama about Scotland is produced at least 50% of the people on it will be English. And if Scottish actors are used in programmes they will be urged (ordered (?)) to use anglicised Scottish accents. ‘National’ news programmes are full of London and SE local news, as if we care, and programmes like Newsnight are filled up with commentators from London media and Oxbridge; why not from some Scottish Universities, or even from colleges in other parts of the UK, ex M25.
    And what about the latest offering? A ‘school’ moved from working class Rochdale to working class Greenock but the pupils still talk with English accents. What is the point of that nonsense?

  21. Glad to know I can still surprise, occasionally! 😉

    Thing is, what you think of as “Scottish culture” is probably quite different from what I think and experience (as a liberal-leaning, born-and-bred Edinburgher), or that someone living in Inverness or Glasgow thinks.

    Scotland is by no means well-served by the London/Salford-based media, true — I can’t see BBC Scotland coming up with a drama of the quality of The Crow Road these days, but all broadcasting media tends to concentrate in particular areas. At the UK, it’s London; in Scotland, you’d often be forgiven for thinking that nothing much happens outside of Greater Glasgow (or the Scottish Parliament) if you go solely by watching random editions of Scotland Today or Reporting Scotland. Or even, for a laugh, Newsnight Scotland.

    Yeah; moving that school. Really can’t see the point of that, bar ticking a few boxes on a form somewhere.

  22. James Coleman says:

    Well I’m a Weegie although a far travelled and educated one, but no matter where I’ve been I have found most Scots including those few I met who were a member of the ethnic minorities have a very strong sense of being Scottish. And if Independence is achieved the constant neglect of Scotland’s Culture by the UK media will become irrelevent.
    Anyway Paul we seem to have reached the end of the road in this debate so I’ll sign off now.


  23. bill watson says:

    Its a good article Kev’. But. Theirs too many cunt’s picking up giro’s who are holding Scotland back. Its the Labour way. keep them poor and dependant.

  24. strange generic user title says:

    For the love of God – will someone please fix this shitey wee comments box, unless it’s intended to stifle debate, in which case I apologise.
    We should welcome as many home counties people here as possible, being as they are walking adverts for independence.
    I disagree with Kevin, it’s about identity – you can’t build a nation on collective low self esteem.
    Go anywhere in the world, they’ll have some snippet of recognition of something Scottish.
    Come back here and you’ll get told you’re not worthwhile.
    Of course it’s about identity, presumably Kevin’s focused on seizing the means of production so that we can manufacturer Greggs steakbakes on our own terms.
    Sadly, we’re going to have to endure a period of outrageous mediocrity and incompetence as institutions transition from colonialist outpost to national asset – if that happens. That’s the reality of the fear of “parochialism” coming in post independence, which is really a signifier for “people are going to suss me out”.
    Anyway, I wouldn’t worry what the Johnston press are going to say – the Scotsman morphs into the Sunday Post as we speak. If anyone there thinks they’re making a great case for the union by turning a once great newspaper into a pile of irrelevant, dribbling shite, they’re very mistaken.
    It’s about identity.
    Have you not seen that no one from Edinburgh signed the 100 strong protest letter to Creative Scotland ? (Leith disnae count btw but well in Tam). I see one prominent bloglisted cultural curator and energetic advocate for self determination was busy having his house sale featured in the Scotsman that week. Perhaps they were too busy to sign. Edinburgh is now going to be a cultural irrelevance for the next generation on the back of that, no matter what cargo cult nonsense gets pushed.
    It’s not about Identity ?

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