Polly Toynbee agus sgleò na mòr-chathrach


Mar as trice tha na h-aithrisean agus na beachdan a tha nochdadh anns na pàipearan-naidheachd à Lunnainn air poileataigs Alba agus ceist na neo-eisimileachd ag innse dhuinn barrachd mu thuigsean Lunnainn seach thuigsean Alba fhèin. Tha sin fìor gun teagamh le colbhaichean a’ Ghuardian; ged a tha cuid (John Harris, Deborah Orr) a’ sealltainn gu bheil iad mothachail air farsaingeachd agus iomadachd na h-iomairt Bu Chòir, tha sealladh cumhang  na mòr-chathrach  – sgleò metropolitan provincialism – a’ cuingealachadh lèirsinn cuid eile, leithid  Martin Kettle agus Michael White.  Bho chionn ghoirid, tha an t-sàr Ghuardianista, Polly Toynbee, a’ togail a guth. Mar a bhiodh dùil, tha i ri seann shoisgeul a’ Phàrtaidh Làbaraich, agus tha Là an Teàrnaidh faisg:

But the second question is whether the yes voters who have written off Westminster politics are right. And the answer to that is no. I strongly believe social democrats are better together, confronting a common enemy – the forces of social injustice and social neglect – on both sides of the border, and convincing voters that more equality is better for all. Cameron’s party has not won an election for 22 years, and I doubt they’ll win next time either. It’s no time to give up on a British social democratic future.

Poilidh an aona-phuirt a’ seinn a puirt a-rèist. Ach lean i oirre:

As for Britishness, it’s a rum thing. I took down my old copy of the National Song Book. My generation in our school tunics used to sing Charlie is My Darling and the Skye Boat Song along with Men of Harlech and The Harp that Once Through Tara’s Halls. We sang these sad calls for freedom from the four corners of Britain with equal gusto: I wish children still knew the old songs. Those sentiments are universal.

Ach cha robh Polly daonnan cho romansach nuair a bha i a-mach air poileataigs na h-Alba agus na Cuimrigh. Seall mar a sgrìobh i ann an 2000:

Scotland, Wales and Ireland have all moulded themselves a comfortable identity out of their victimhood, all having suffered slaughter at the hands of the ‘English’ (however defined). This has been embellished with dollops of ersatz folklore, most of it Victorian or later inventions – kilts, druids, eisteddfods, bagpipes, harps, shamrocks and by imposing dead languages on wretched children who should be learning live ones. But if that’s what they want, so be it. As subjugated people, if this is what it takes to restore their self-confidence, far be it from the English to snigger.

Agus roimhe sin, ann an 1995, chuir i a’ cheist, ‘What would it be like to live in an independent Wales? At best it would be a Welsh heritage theme park’. Bhruidhinn i air ‘the antics of Welsh language enthusiasts . . . who send their children to special primary schools where everything is taught in this useless language – a madness at a time when Europe beckons’.

Cha do ghlac ceist na Gàidhlig aire Toynbee gu ruige seo, a rèir coltais, ach cha bhiodh e duilich a beachd obrachadh a-mach. Gu dearbh, faodar an t-slighe smaoineachaidh seo a leantainn air ais gu athair an libearalachais anns an 19mh linn, John Stuart Mill:

Experience proves it is possible for one nationality to merge and be absorbed in another; and when it was originally an inferior and more backward part of the human race the absorption is greatly to its advantage. Nobody can suppose that it is not more beneficial to a Breton, or a Basque of French Navarre, to be brought into the current of the ideas and feelings of a highly civilised and cultivated people — to be a member of the French nationality, admitted on equal terms to all the privileges of French citizenship, sharing the advantages of French protection, and the dignity and prestige of French power — than to sulk on his own rocks, the half-savage relic of past times, revolving in his own little mental orbit, without participation or interest in the general movement of the world. The same remark applies to the Welshman or the Scottish Highlander as members of the British nation.

Tha meadhan ann, ma-thà, agus iomall, agus tha cuid de chànanan is cultaran ‘nas co-ionnan’ na cuid eile.

‘Scottish referendum: shared values matter more than where the border lies’, The Guardian, 19.9.2014

‘We can be English without falling into the racist trap’, The Guardian, 12.1.2000

‘What would it be like to live in an independent Wales? At best it would be a Welsh heritage theme park’, Radio Times, 23-29.9.1995

John Stuart Mill, Considerations on Representative Government (1861)

Comments (8)

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  1. A Bhella chòir, tha mi air mo dhòigh mun bhlogroll Ghàidhlig agaibh. ‘S e fìor roghainn nan làrach Gàidhlig a th’ann gun teagamh, gu seachd àraid “SeoFocanIontach” an àigh!

    Nach math gu bheil sibh a’ cur a leithid de shùim ann an seann cànan na h-Alba.

  2. So sorry I cant converse in the Gaelic.I say yes to independence why deny a better social system to 5.3 million Scots because you cant convince the rest of them in the south? we can by example convert them,show them the way and let Scotland progress we need change to progress.I am also certain that there will be no more powers to Holyrood and I will be surprised if Holyrood retains its present powers or indeed survives as a seat of government.

  3. Tapadh leibh airson an alt inntinnich a tha seo. Ged a tha mi eòlach gu bheil e ann, cha do smaoinich mi air na briathran metropolitan provincialism gu ruige seo. Tha sinn air an t-uamhas dheth fhaicinn bho chionn ghoirid. Ged a tha meas mòr agam air Channel 4 News agus an t-sealladh eadar-nàiseanta a th’ aca, tha e daonnan air a bhith a’ cur dragh/ioghnadh orm nach eil ùidh sam bith aca (no nach robh ron an reifreann) air dè tha tachairt ann an Alba. Chuala mi gun robh ‘Ceann-cinnidh’ aca mar chontributor an oidhche eile…chan fheum mi càil ràdh mu dheidhinn sin. Agus BBC Northern Ireland ag innse dhuinn an-dè gu bheil beatha simplidh aig muinntir Leòdhais agus an neach-naidheachd aca a’ crìochnachadh artaigeal cho daft sa leugh mi a-riamh leis an seantans seo: ‘Life on Lewis might mean cultural isolation, but few who live there would have it any other way.’

    Cha d’ thug mi mothachadh roimhe air briathrachas Polly Toynbee agus cho mi-thuigseach a tha i mun chùis (tha cuid de na rudan a bhios i a’ sgrìobhadh a’ còrdadh rium). Ma tha ise a’ smaoineachadh gun do chruthaich/dh’atharraich sinn ìomhaigheachd ar cultar airson ‘comfortable identity’ a chur ri chèile gus ar cuid ‘victimhood’ a chur an cèill, chan eil mòran eòlas aice air eachdraidh, no dol a-mach Iompaireachd Bhreatainn bho mheadhan an 18mh linn deug. Co-dhiù, tha sinn cleachdte ri parochialism muinntir nan naidheachdan an Lunnainn mu Alba, na Gàidheil agus a’ Ghàidhlig. Ach chan eil sin a’ ciallachadh gum feum sinn a bhith sàmhach mun ghnothaich! Mar sin, taing a-rithist.

  4. Neil McRae says:

    Saoil am faca sibh Broon’s Broadcast air BBC Alba a bhon-dè, le fo-thiotalan Gàidhlig a’ dèanamh sàr-amadan dheth?


    Anybody see the referendum broadcast on BBC Alba, with the mistake-filled Gaelic subtitles? Broon’s words of wisdom actually enhanced!

  5. Dean Richardson says:

    Any chance of an English translation, please?

    1. Marconatrix says:

      Here you go :

      As often as not reports and opinions which appear in London newspapers regarding Scottish politics and the independence question tell us more about London’s understanding of these subjects than they do about those of Scotland herself. This is without doubt true of the Guardian’s columns; although some (John Harris, Deborah Orr) appear to be aware of the breadth and variety of the Yes campaign, others (Martin Kettle, Michael White) have their outlook restricted by the narrow view of the metropolis, by the glare of “metropolitan provincialism”. Recently Polly Toynbee, that through-and-through Guardianista, has spoken out. As you’d expect, she comes out with the old Labour Party gospel, and the Day of Deliverance is near :

      “But the second … future”

      Polly harping on the same old string once again. But she continues :

      “As for Britishness … universal”.

      But Polly wasn’t always that romantic when holding forth on Scottish and Welsh politics. Look what she wrote in 2000 :

      “Scotland, Wales … snigger”.

      But before that, in 1995, she asked, “What would it be like to live in an independent Wales? At best it would be a Welsh heritage theme park.” She spoke of, “the antics of Welsh language enthusiasts … who send their children to special primary schools where everything is taught in this useless language — a madness at a time when Europe beckons.”

      The question of Gàidhlig does not appear to have engaged Toynbee’s attention so far, but it wouldn’t be difficult to figure out her opinion. Certainly this direction of thinking leads back to that father of liberalism from the 19th century, J. S. Mill :

      “Experience proves … nation”.

      There is a centre and there is a periphery, and some languages and cultures are “more equal” than others.


  6. Wilson McLeod says:

    You can get pretty much get the gist of it from the various quotes from Polly Toynbee and John Stuart Mill.

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