Who WILL Speak for England? Tristram will

 

‘Who WILL speak for England?’ came the plaintive plea from the Daily Mail, only to be bombarded with a pleasing deluge of ridicule. But as the pent-up frustration of Little England was unleashed after David Cameron failed to restrain his own anti-European backbenchers, it looks like the full beast of English nationalism is about to be let loose. It’s not surprising to see desperate racists like Farage dog-whistle over “15 million Turkish muslims” massing on the border, and Richard North (his blog EUReferendum was rated by the Financial Times as the UK’s most influential political blog in 2006) is certainly feeling unrestrained talking of ‘dagos’ ‘kermits’ and ‘jungle bunnies’.

But amid the predictable outbreak of bigotry, and the unsurprising constitutional/geographical myopia (see above), there’s a deeper cultural sense of entitlement reaching out.

“Who WILL speak for England?” It seems Tristram Hunt will.

England, it seems, apart from getting such a terrible raw deal from Europe, and despite being ‘over-run by migrants’ (such utter garbage as refuted by David Milband yesterday) is suffering from an equally awful ‘democratic deficit’ within the British constitutional settlement.

Today he will argue not just for an English Parliament, but a cultural renewal in the face of an astonishing sense of vulnerability: “They value home, family and their country. They feel their cultural identity is under threat. They yearn for a sense of belonging and national renewal. Tradition, rules and social order are important to them. And, tragically, they feel that Labour no longer represents them, or understands their lives. In short, they felt we didn’t value England, and we’re not on the side of the English.”

CaXDL-TWcAAADmKAt a speech today at the Centre for English Identity and Politics at Winchester University, he will argue that England needs to mirror the experience of Scotland through the indyref, arguing:

“My instinct is that we need a proper English parliament. But some prefer regional assemblies, and the jury is still out on the new English votes for English laws settlement. But these are complex issues and no one can claim to have all the answers – so we should put all three on a ballot and let the English people decide.”

This is all quite incredible for several reasons.

His speech includes the lines: “Nobody who campaigned in Scotland during the referendum could fail to be shaped by the experience. It was to reconnect with the power and wonder of democracy, to see an entire nation debate and debate again its culture, its identity and every single aspect of its future.”

Well indeed – but not only did your party consistently rule out such a multi-option referendum for Scottish voters but the entire basis of the referendum came after over 100 years (or more) of agitation at a genuine democratic deficit. The very motivation for an English Parliament comes not from any real basis of grievance but as a reactionary response to Scotland changing from being a mute, culturally acquiescent backwater into something resembling a semi-functioning country. That idea, that experience was simply intolerable for most of the British establishment. It’s not enough for that project to have failed. It must be humiliated and the dominant relation must be exerted.

The idea that a comparable deficit exists in England is simply laughable to anyone who is numerate. It’s based on a sense of entitlement that borders on the pathological. It’s premise – that Scotland has an inappropriate say in English affairs, is simply wrong, as a research briefing from 2014 makes clear:

“Of approximately 3,600 divisions to occur between 26th June 2001 and 26 September 2014, 22 (0.6%) would have concluded differently had the votes of Scottish MPs not been counted. The note also compares, for each division since 2001, the lobby in which the majority of MPs per constituent country of the UK have voted to the lobby in which the majority of UK MPs voted. In the current Parliament the lobby in which the majority of English MPs have voted has coincided with that of the majority of UK MPs for 99% of divisions. The majority of Scottish MPs has coincided with the majority of UK MPs for 24% of divisions; that of Welsh MPs for 26% of divisions.”

_88066142_sun3As the rejected New Labour entryist group looks for  a new host, this embracing of an emboldened English nationalist strain is perhaps to be predicted. Given an articulated Billy Bragg style voice it could have a progressive direction. But with the overwhelming noise of xenophobia, both to the perceived European threat to the east, and to England’s neighbouring countries to the north and west, this seems unlikely. In the context of the dominant cultural narrative, perpetuated by the tabloid and broadcast media and with strong support inside and outside parliament, and with the rabid anti-European rhetoric being ramped up each day, this is a disaster for progressive England.

This paranoid tradition has some recent form. Explaining why he’s found public money to finance a huge Agincourt celebration, Chancellor George Osborne said in 2014: “It is also when a strong leader defeated an ill-judged alliance between the champion of a united Europe and a renegade force of Scottish nationalists. So it is well worth the £1 million we will provide to celebrate it.”

But if blaming someone else for your failings is a predictable and well-worn path, and the basis for an English parliament is based on a series of falsehoods, the very idea of a more federal Britain is also a myth. It’s a myth not only in the sense that a highly centralised, London-focused power base won’t ever allow it, but it’s also a myth in that, as the Kilbrandon Report stated in 1973:

“A federation consisting of four units – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – would be so unbalanced as to be unworkable. It would be dominated by the overwhelming political importance and wealth of England. The English parliament would rival the United Kingdom federal Parliament; and in the federal parliament itself the representation of England could hardly be scaled down in such a way as to enable it too be outvoted by Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, together representing less than one fifth of the population. A United Kingdom federation of four countries, with a federal Parliament and provincial Parliaments in the four national capitals, is therefore not a realistic proposition.”

EuroTrash

There are other myths at work here. Myths of internal British unity and myths of social security scroungers. We’re told that Nicola Sturgeon, Arlene Foster, Carwyn Jones and Martin McGuinness have written to David Cameron requesting he defers the EU referendum as it interferes with elections in other parts of the ‘UK”.

He won’t reply. This isn’t a family of nations. But also, arguing in the National today, Lesley Riddoch states:

CaW0JJFVAAAfhti“…anti-European arguments are disagreeable and uninspiring – generally based on naked financial self-interest, a thinly disguised fear of foreigners and a grossly exaggerated idea of the UK’s generosity as a benefits-distributing migrant-magnet. No matter how many anecdotes of social security-dependent East Europeans are trotted out, the facts are rather different. Migrant workers from the 10 countries that joined the EU in 2004 made a net contribution to the UK economy of £5 billion in taxes by 2011.”

This idea of ‘scroungers’ is mirrored in attitudes to Jockistan (see below).

As the media feed the frenzy of Tory ‘outers’ this vicious cocktail is likely to get worse. You’ve got to love the Express today wailing that the “SNP takes over TWO major Westminster committees – AND gets debate on Trident.” This sense of outrage that elected members from north of the border exist at all is a compelling and consistent part of the new political landscape.

scroungersIf the post-indyref settlement had lived up to the love-bombing, instead of widespread James Kirkup style hostility (‘Why doesn’t he just die’) – then this symmetry of myth-making against Scotland and Europe might not have had such traction.

Hunt also mis-understands what has happened. Today he argues that the referendum here “was to reconnect with the power and wonder of democracy”. In fact it was a political education in the power of the British state. As Neil Davidson outlined in the New Left Review:

“The odds were huge. On one side, the might of the British state, the three parties of government, Buckingham Palace, the BBC—still by far the most influential source of broadcast news and opinion—plus an overwhelming majority of the print media, the high command of British capital and the liberal establishment, backed up by the international weight of Washington, NATO and the EU. On the other, a coalition of the young and the hopeful, including swathes of disillusioned Labour voters in the council estates—the ‘schemes’—of Clydeside and Tayside, significant sections of the petty bourgeoisie and Scotland’s immigrant communities, mobilized in a campaign that was at least as much a social movement as a national one. Starting from far behind, this popular-democratic upsurge succeeded in giving the British ruling class its worst fit of nerves since the miners’ and engineering workers’ strikes of 1972, wringing panicked pledges of further powers from the Conservative, Labour and Liberal leaders. By any measure, the Yes camp’s 45 per cent vote on a record-breaking turnout in the Scottish independence referendum was a significant achievement.”

This is a very different picture than that portrayed by Hunt.

Davidson concludes that the Labour leadership might be recalling the words of that arch-Unionist Sir Walter Scott shortly before the Scottish General Strike of 1820: ‘The country is mined beneath our feet.’ Indeed it is.

‘Who WILL speak for England’ isn’t just a social media meme or a hilarious exposure of constitutional ignorance and arrogance. It does raise a more serious question: is England capable of building a progressive culture? Why is it enthralled to waves of xenophobia and can it overcome this phenomena? The European debate, and ts relationship to the Scottish Question will give us the answer.

Comments (32)

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  1. Michael says:

    Oh very clever, indeed, Mr Small. Very incisive writing. One of the best bits of commentary I’ve read for a while.

  2. muttley79 says:

    Hunt also mis-understands what has happened. Today he argues that the referendum here “was to reconnect with the power and wonder of democracy”.

    Well an independence referendum in Scotland was fiercely resisted and rejected by the British Labour Party for at least 50 years or so. So what does that tell you about the Labour Party’s attitude to democracy?

  3. Philip R Hosking says:

    It’s a depressing situation indeed and even worse for Cornwall, the only Celtic nation still not fully recognised as such and incorrectly administered as part of England. Imagine if Scotland were to be treated as if it was no more than another Devonshire or Wiltshire and perhaps you’ll grasp how uncomfortable a position Cornwall is in.

    1. Alyson Thomson says:

      Well, Cornwall has to do something about it then.

      1. K.A.Mylchreest says:

        Py mar gernewek yw Kernow y’n jydh heddyw? A nyns yw hi sowsnekhes ogas yn tien? Py les a via Keskuntelles yn-dann vestri an Tories? (Just asking).

        1. Philip R Hosking says:

          K.A.Mylchreest It certainly doesn’t help us when the SNP and Plaid call for people to vote for an English party, notably the Greens, in Cornwall at every opportunity and seem to studiously ignore the existence of Mebyon Kernow.

          1. K.A.Mylchreest says:

            I have actually voted for MK, but mainly because at the time both the local and national candidates happened to be personal friends. I felt they deserved my moral support even their efforts were little more than a futile gesture. Otherwise I’ve only ever voted SNP, pity they don’t stand outwith Scotland 😉

            Actually I fear for the fate of Wales after Scotland becomes independent. As a ‘foreign’ country, Scotland will no longer be able to assist their campaign for indy, any more than the RoI can do anything for Scotland now. Wales could find itself left alone to fact an aggressive right-wing English establishment, already riled up by the loss of Scotland and determined to take it out on Wales. E.g. by rolling back devolution, cutting funding, promoting English settlement and generally undermining what remains of Welsh national consciousness.

            As for Cornwall, it’s probably already much too late. MK’s aspirations seemed credible a few decades back, but appear to have got absolutely nowhere in the meantime. Much of what I fear for Wales has already happened in Cornwall. Let the Welsh look upon Cornwall as a terrible warning of what could befall them if they don’t get their act together PDQ, e.g. get over their failed love affair with the ‘Labour’ Party.

          2. Philip R Hosking says:

            You’re not the first pessimist I’ve encountered K.A.Mylchreest but I’m always curious about motivation. Anyway, leaving overplayed negativity wrapped up as wisdom aside who would have thought ten years ago that the Cornish would be recognised as a national minority, their language equally recognised and funded and the first bilingual pre-schools seeing the light of day. Cornwall isn’t Scotland, I know, but neither is it Devonshire or Essex. Both Wales and Scotland started the devolution race from the rather spoiled positions of being already recognised home nations with national sports teams. Cornwall didn’t. One can only speculated as to why the anglo-british establishment decided such favourable treatment for Alba and Cymru. It’s not like you were bomb planters is it?

    2. Donald Hodgson says:

      In the 2011 census out of Cornish population of 532273 only 52793 people said they were Cornish only, 5185 said they were Cornish and British and 459053 said they were not Cornish. When asked the country of origin 92.7% said England. Since 92.7% of the population consider themselves English
      what basis is there for a separate Cornwall?

      1. Philip R Hosking says:

        Since 2006 school children in Cornwall have been able to record themselves as ethnically Cornish on the annual Schools Census (PLASC). Since then the number identifying as Cornish has risen from 24% to 46%. The Department for Education recommends that parents and guardians determine the ethnicity of children at primary schools whilst pupils at secondary schools can decide their own ethnicity.

        2006: 23.7 percent – 17,218 pupils out of 72,571
        2007: 27.3 percent – 19,988 pupils out of 72,842
        2008: 30.3 percent – 21,610 pupils out of 71,302
        2009: 33.9 percent – 23,808 pupils out of 70,275
        2010: 37.2 percent – 26,140 pupils out of 69,950
        2011: 40.9 percent – 28,584 pupils out of 69,811
        2012: 43.0 percent – 30,181 pupils out of 69,909
        2013: 46.0 percent – 32,254 pupils out of 70,097

        Progress!

        Way back in the day how many in Scotland would have chosen Scottish instead of British as their sole national identity?

        1. K.A.Mylchreest says:

          It is indeed odd, Phillip. The flag is to be seen everywhere which along with your figures suggests some kind of national identity or at least a desire to disassociate from England. Yet politically there seems to be little difference from attitudes across the Tamar. Most vote Conservative, a few Labour or LibDem, and MK is really nowhere in the running. They are not some new party trying to claim a place in the sun, they are well established, have been around for decades now, but have really got nowhere.

          The same might also be said, but to a lesser extent about Plaid Cymru in Wales, they are a substantial established party, but even with the example of Scotland before them, have failed to shake Labour’s hold over the Assembly. What will happen to Wales, I wonder, when following Scottish independence they are left to face the full force of an increasingly annoyed and vindictive Tory England alone?

          As for Cornwall, it’s probably already way too far behind to ever catch up. I consider this a great pity nevertheless. It’s a shame there has never been a meaningful movement for federalism or similar withing the UK as a whole. That alone might have been able to head off Scottish indy, for a few decades at least. Now it’s already too late.

          1. Philip R Hosking says:

            Don’t have a crystal ball so I won’t venture such predictions; I’m just Cornish and not quite ready to give up the fight yet. To be frank, and I think we’ve crossed paths before ‘K.A.Mylchreest’, I don’t really know if I should debate with you or simply try to conjure you for the spirit of overwhelming negitivity that you are. Be gone worm tongue! might, after all, suffice.

          2. K.A.Mylchreest says:

            Perhaps we shouldn’t be having this debate here, but still …

            I would favour a Cornwall outside the UK, but unfortunately that seems to be less and less likely as time goes on. You’d have thought that the Welsh at least would have taken their cue from Scotland, but again unfortunately things are not so simple there. Plaid is still strongly associated with the language, and those non-Welsh-speakers who are getting tired of ‘Labour’ seem to be going in all directions, even to UKIP, heaven forbid.

            Remind me what percentage of the vote MK got at the last GE. I fear you may be a little out of touch (and over the water?) and seeing things through the rose-tinted glasses of nostalgia.

          3. Philip R Hosking says:

            I doubt you favour any such thing K.A.Mylchreest, that’s the point. You really are wasting your faux negativity on me. Sadly however, others may well be convinced to abandon Cornwall, and I think that is your desired goal.

            The forces of decentralisation, devolution, autonomism, anti-metropolitanism, call them what you will, are to be found across the globe, in abundance and in a multitude of forms. Of course their vitality and force does differ from place to place and age to age, but I hope you’ll convince few to abandon their justified struggle with your sour old face.

            Now, irrelevant old academics rubbing furiously on their crystal balls might decide that their is little hope (again however I would ask who benefits from the propagation of such pessimism), but if they really are opposed to the system you’d think they’d hold their tongues and let those motivated get on with ‘the lost cause’ anyway.

  4. David Lloyd George says:

    You do know that SNP policy backs an English Parliament?

    1. I don’t speak for the SNP …

      1. James_MacIntyre says:

        Both SNP and Plaid MPs, when asked, have supported a devolved English Parliament.

  5. Jake Gittes says:

    Superb piece. Should be compulsory reading for all.

  6. Campbell says:

    Why characterise Nigel Farage as a “desperate racists”?

    What is “racist” about anything that UKIP or Farage say?

  7. James_MacIntyre says:

    I actually don’t blame the Tories. I do think Labour’s doggedly ultra-orthodox rhetoric on nationalism (which becomes especially hypocritical whenever they talk about Britain). Every single revolutionary movement has had elements of nationalism within them. From South America to the Chinese revolution, elements of nationalism undoubtedly creep in. That’s the point of revolution.

    In this sense, Hunt is right. Being ‘British’ is an artificial construct and that there should be a dialogue about what it means to be English. I think an English Parliament would be a sensible idea. However, the Tories are using this for short-term political gain and certainly not to develop a federalist state. Labour have lost all backbone on these issues, and I get the impression that most of the Labour Party are so paralysed with fear and confused about their own identity that they do not know how to deal with changing moods in the United Kingdom. It is a disaster, particularly in England, where they are not developing a counter-narrative to the right-wing image of the “quintessential Englishman”. They instead look to be clinging dogmatically to a British identity, which has very different connotations in Scotland than it does in England.

  8. SquirrelTowers says:

    Excellent piece Bella. As an English woman who has lived in Scotland for about 20 years I agree wholeheartedly with the idea that England doesn’t need anyone to speak for it, it is essentially (by representation and population) the dominant party in the Union. I think the average resident in the south of England (where the bulk of the population live) just doesn’t realise this, they have no perspective of living where the ‘News from where you are’ comes from. The average Oxfordshire resident doesn’t know what its really like being ignored in the national media, political process and economic decision making for decades. Because of this don’t understand why Scotland might want Independence. Trying to explain the Indyref to family friends was difficult, they were polite but just didn’t get it at a fundamental level.

  9. Monty says:

    Hunt is out on a limb here. His arguments are at best confused, he clearly does not know what he really wants, he is out of step with all wings of the Labour Party and no real public appetite exists in England for this. This all sounds fairly desperate and I suspect apart from a few quickly forgotten opinion pieces will make barely a ripple in public debate.

  10. Chic McGregor says:

    We brought forward an item on our bucket list – a visit to Russia – mainly because of the developing political situation which looked like such a trip might soon not be possible.

    We were, of course, well primed with what to expect from the stream of information we had received from out TV screens over the years. Posters of Putin, restricted movement, police and military presence, massive propaganda and an oppressed and miserable population. However, as art and history lovers we were determined to visit the Hermitage before we popped our clogs.

    The visa application process itself did nothing to allay these fears. We had to provide detailed information regarding the when?, why? and where? for every country we had ever visited and for every job we had ever had, including your boss’s name and contact number and what you did, also any organisations you were a member of. But that was not all, we then we had to visit the Edinburgh consulate in person for an interview and to provide biometrics, fingerprints etc. for them to check. On top of that there was a large processing charge of about a couple of hundred quid.

    During the interview I remarked on how much more difficult it was to go to Russia than for other places in Europe and was told that it was a tit for tat thing and that Britain had instigated biometrics etc. first.

    When we eventually got there, the culture shock was more one of the reality there versus expectation rather than the one we had been programmed to expect.

    St Petersberg exceeded all expectations in beauty, art and history and the expected sinister undertone of an oppressive regime was entirely absent. No posters of Putin, no obvious police or military presence. Instead a rather laid back, easy going atmosphere was present throughout. Indeed the only portrayals we saw of Putin were invariably ‘cartoony’ and not very flattering on T-Shirts and mugs in market stalls and shops which I suspect were largely, but not exclusively, for the benefit of foreign tourists.

    But the thing we noticed most, was the absence of nationalist emblems. I think we only saw about 3 Russian flags in the whole holiday. And we were there the week before Russia’s annual WWII commemoration, yet on the TV we saw nothing about the war at all.

    In contrast to the UK this was astonishing where we have been subjected to wall-to-wall Union Flags and continual TV output about WWII for years.

    Especially when you consider that WWII was really a Russo-German war with the UK and USA very minor players who only got seriously involved after Russia started to break through on the Eastern Front.

    It made us realise just how disgustingly nationalistic the modern UK is.

    I think I now know what foreign visitors to the UK make of it and find it embarrassing.

    1. C Rober says:

      I recently had the fortune to give a back seat to a Russian backpacker whom also was from St Petersburg , multi lingual , would talk politics reluctantly but honestly. Thought there was only two football teams in Scotland though , so cant be that well educated.

      His idea on politics was , West threatens Russia , East Threatens Russia , European Missile shields , an unstable former member like Ukraine and Gerogia , or in house ex state terrorism within their borders – that just doesnt get News time on Western media. Russia fights Mujahadeem , west backs it , 30 years later West renames Mujahadeen to ISIL etc.

      I ended up having to agree with him on Putin , with those kinds of borders one would have and need some say in the politics of them , especially for the exports and imports , where sabre rattling is the only option to remind some rabid dogs of their power . After al there isnt any walls to differentiate the borders , they are open countryside and mountain for the most part. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borders_of_Russia

      Russia has one of the longest borders , nearby has India , China and North Korea touching it , all nuke capable , on the other side old comrades now friendly with the post cold war era enemies it once called allies to defeat facism. Adopting capitalism wasnt enough for the WEST , they had to be controlled with it , and no one can ever control the bear , internally or externally.

      As I age I start to ask myself if the true embargo against Russia is monetary , especially with shale , and of course the war on it from Oil states driving oil down to destroy American Shale , which has a direct effect on Russian oil and gas exports too.

      The last act of a dying empire is to resort to a Nationalist argument , to protect its sovereign status , and the wealth of the few that depend on it. That includes England as well.

      England doesnt want a Union with Europe , says it is an unfair system to England , bit like the Act of Union really. It has the most protected borders of any EU country , actual physical ones , and has removed any controls over them for financial reasons – not for EU schengen orders as the media would have you believe. But spain still has a physical border with Gibraltar though , so how does that slip unchallenged through Mr Cameron?

      Yet Scotland seems to readily want to sign up to the EU ,the SNP is looking for Scotland voting in majority to remain as a reason for Indy II , yet the EU pretty much told them to feck off pre indy.

      Unless Hollyrood is also sending an envoy around the same people that Cameron is , then the EU was right to say feck off in the first place , playschool politics is all Scotland has , glorified Councillors perhaps , it has no weight in Europe either as part of the Uk or independant of it.

      Hollyrood needs someone that is an elected president , just for international politics , over and above a first minister to do exactly that , and outwith all political doctrine. Someone to do the door knocking on any wanted integration into the EU , or the reason to remain part of it , where the FM is occupied purely with Scottish internal politics , a president would then be dedicated solely to politics of the international stage.

      Thats what Cameron is doing , he knows the value of being in the EU , and its not for the little people. He is greasing those wheels for big business , whether thats British Business we will have to see.

  11. Graham Ennis says:

    This is the “Endgame”, with a vengeance. The final downfall of a once great Empire, as even the outlaying parts of the “Homeland” break off and go their own ways. It will not be a pleasant process, but one where the English State descends into semi-fascism and authoritarianism, Civil liberties and Human Rights are repressed or crushed, and much else besides. The England of 2025 is going to be grim place.

    The Independence of Scotland is now inevitable. The question now is simply how long, and how. The Union is dead. The process by which it happens is going to be more than difficult. It could easily turn into a clone of the last Irish War, given the already well known incompetence, arrogance and stupidity of the British establishment and its elites. I would now estimate the risk of such a situation at 40% and rising. If the UK (England) votes to exit the EU, then this will precipitate an immediate and massive economic crisis in England. The UK economy, bluntly, cannot survive without the inputs of Scottish oil, export revenues in hard currency, etc. Estimates are that the balance of payments on the UK current account, already running at a large deficit will be about four times larger in that situation, leading to heavy collapse of the pound. The outcomes of this are obvious. The London Government will stop at noting to retain control of Scotland and it’s economy. The Scots will have a very hard choice, at that point, regarding how and how far to resist, and what the consequences would be. I am not being alarmist, merely stating that we saw all this before in Ireland, and that it shows every sign of history repeating itself. The SNP Government has got to start thinking deeply, right now, about these issues, and how to try and avoid them or mitigate them, but I think they are in fact simply ignoring the purple elephant in the room, on this one,. Discuss.

    1. Donald Hodgson says:

      C Rober the country that would suffer the most from a bankrupt rUK would be an Independent Scotland since 70% of its trade is with rUK. The statement that there isnt any English mass producers left is also incorrect. Try telling the workers at the Sunderland Nissan plant or at the Landrover Jaguar plants that they are not mass producing. You should also look at the Scottish financial industry which relies for most custom on people living in the rUK. There are many other Scottish industries that rely on the rUK market. It may take time for an independent Scotland to enter the EU and there may be opposition to entry from countries already in the EU.

  12. John Fullerton says:

    Frightened, poorly educated, bigoted, getting on in years? Why, these are simply English Trump fans. Trumpists.

  13. willie says:

    The days when England spoke and the world listened is gone. But the legacy mindset of the superiority of empire lives on. Belligerence borne of loss of status is a grievous sentiment and it shows. Xenophobic internally and externally, cooperation consenuality and mutual respect will never be the British way. Vainglorious poverty beckons for England so let them speak for themselves but not us.

  14. bringiton says:

    Well,he could try:

    Der Schottisch Mail
    Daily Record
    Scotsman
    Herald
    British Labour Broadcasting Corporation (Scotland)
    Ruth Davidson
    Willie Rennie
    ……..
    No shortage north of the border.

  15. JohnEdgar says:

    The National, February 3, notes David Mundell upbraiding John Swinney for “chancing his arm” over fiscal framework. And Mundell adds: “if there is any money raised in England, (he) aka Swinney will have a bit of that too.” Mundell is now a self-appointed person who will stand up for England. It betrays the Westminster elite and their Scottish satraps – here in the person of the Scottish Secretary who see the UK revenues in The Treasury ad English and not UK’s.
    In Mundell’s comment, the Welsh and Irish are excluded.
    The EVEL enactment shows the mask has fallen. Westminster is an English parliament first and foremost. Words betray inner thoughts and convictions or prejudices. Remember, the word Anglo precedes all treaties the UK makes. Even more distorted, Gordon Brown, former P M of short duration, and a Scot, could only see himself as a North Briton! A man in denial. Time to have a Scotexit from Westminster.

  16. John Page says:

    Great stuff again, Mike
    I remember during IndyRef and GE2015 Scottish Labour supporters saying they were proud of their party as they were socialists and internationalists who were superior to narrow minded Scottish nationalists…….I hope they are dead chuffed with this vision articulated by their comrade, Tristram.
    As has been rightly pointed out above, this is the endgame. In May we need an SNP majority backed up by a good cohort of Greens to finish it. We can do this.
    John Page

  17. C Rober says:

    Just wait until they need visas for magaluf , permission to take money out of the country and it being limited so no holiday homes , import and export tit for tat tax rises affecting fresh veg and fruit from the continent prices at the till.

    Plus all those businesses that supply parts to car makers , and remember there isnt any English mass producers left , all that is left is Services and Banking , which would be considerably harder to do as part of the power of the financial industry that is london – is through open door business policy in european banking.

    Knife , nose , Face.

    Oh the irony of St George being the flag of England , even its Saint much admired by the bigot set is imported and foreign.

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