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)