2007 - 2020

Unionist Realism

elide
verb (used with object), e·lid·ed, e·lid·ing.

1. to omit (a vowel, consonant, or syllable) in pronunciation.
2. to suppress; omit; ignore; pass over.
3. Law. to annul or quash.

Do You Exist?

It’s the sort of infuriating question that’s been bugging philosophers for centuries [TL:DR the only evidence you have that you exist as a self-aware being is your conscious experience of thinking about your existence]. Anyway let’s drop the cod-existentialism and just look at the fact that Scottish and British politics has taken a strange turn. If devolution was an assertion of existence, independence is about stating that not only do we exist – but we want to have agency and purpose: we want to do something. In most parts of the world such claims aren’t considered unusual. But having tolerated us for a few years the anglo-normative world of UKania has now grown weary. Having failed to counter claims that establishing a functioning democracy would be a good idea, the forces of Unionism and Conservatism are resorting to a different tactic altogether, which is basically to argue that we don’t really exist.

This pops up everywhere, and has been a background noise for some time (about three hundred years or so).

You can hear it when you are told that Scots isn’t a language, or that nobody speaks Gaelic. You can hear it when you are told that Shetland or Orkney or Dumfries might ‘break-away’ – because it implies that Scotland isn’t really a thing. You can hear it when you are told by Jacob-Rees Mogg that ‘there is no border’ or that Britain is just ‘one country’.  You can hear it in the disorienting reference to ‘the North'(which means Newcastle not Golspie).  You can hear it on the radio every day with the ‘voice’ of our cultural and civic and business leaders. You can hear it in wry humour of James Robertson’s The News Where You Are. You can hear it when you are told that matters of health or education, law or social policy can and indeed must be the same across the UK. You can see it when – such as in 2012 – the major Edinburgh Festival exhibition mounted by the National Galleries of Scotland Van Gogh to Kandinsky: Symbolist Landscape in Europe, 1880-1910 contained not a single Scottish artist, not a single Scottish work of art. You can see it when the Edinburgh International Festival is organised around the English school holidays.

You could see it when the National Museum of Scotland manages to put on a major exhibition about the Jacobite Rebellion  – the first for decades – without reference to gaelic language. Not only was gaelic language and culture central to the worldview of the Jacobites, their defeat led to the languages annihilation and the systematic destruction of a peoples culture. To exclude it from the narrative was both ahistorical it is also culturally ignorant and politically retributive. It is as some have described it: an act of “linguistic and cultural erasure.”

It’s a background thrum.

Occasionally it’s hilarious, such as when Lord George Robertson made his famous claim that we (literally) don’t have any language or culture.

You can see it in the absurdist recent example of the state broadcaster cancelling the First Minister’s daily briefings on the local (national) response to the global pandemic. This was intolerable for them.

It’s not that the elected leader is from a particular party, it’s not that she’s using and abusing the platform (she clearly isn’t) it’s the fact that she is an elected leader; that’s what’s intolerable. Her existence suggests our existence and that’s not okay. It may be that, as Lesley Riddoch suggests today that : “It seems less than a coincidence that plans to curb the FM’s broadcasts were announced days after the first Scottish visit by the BBC’s new director-general (and former deputy chairman of the Hammersmith and Fulham Conservative party), Tim Davie.” I don’t really know.

You can see it in poor Jackson Carlaw’s covid-hysteria when he claimed (prior to his unseemly exit): “It is ridiculous to suggest Nicola Sturgeon could close the border. There is no border – we are one United Kingdom.”

Without definition you don’t exist. This is the point.

Some of this conscious deliberate and malicious. Some of it is unconscious. Some of it is generational. For some Scots this cultural cringe is endemic and saturated into their worldview.

For many politicians who tasted high office prior to devolution, London was the place of work. Scotland was the place you returned to at the weekend. London was the place of power, London was where things happened. London was where decisions were made, Scotland was where the wife and kids were. This was true for generations of politicians and surely informs Labour’s strange attitude to Holyrood. It’s only in that context that George Robertson’s comments can be understood. Scotland exists, sure, but only as a sort of joke, only as a sort of non-space.

This phenomenon has taken a new turn but it’s not exactly new. Way back in 1969 George Davie wrote of a writer betraying a point of view that takes for granted that modern Scotland does not bear thinking of at all. [1]

In ‘Nationalism and the Philosophy of the Unthinkable’ he wrote:

“It seems to me an evident proposition that one will not be able to think clearly about the prospects for Scotland within the Union unless one can at the same time imaginatively bear in mind the contrast with the prospects for Scotland outside the Union … When a writer, typical of the last generation – Professor J.Y.T. Greig in his Life of David Hume – proclaimed that modern Scotland was unthinkable apart from the Union, his words betrayed a point of view which takes it for granted that modern Scotland does not bear thinking about at all.”

The problem with all of this You Don’t Exist stuff is that it’s exhausting and leads to a reaction which is reductive and repetitive. When all this shit is over I think we can expect a liberation from constantly having to reassert ourselves.

Imagining yourselves and imagining a better future isn’t therefore an abstraction, it’s essential. This isn’t some ontological game its an effort to Manifest ourselves into existence.

The most important thing Thatcher ever did was to declare: “There is no alternative”. The phrase was used to back up Thatcher’s claim that the market economy was the only system that works, but more importantly it declared that the debate was over. Similarly the well-worn phrase “it is easier to imagine an end to the world than an end to capitalism” (attributed to both Fredric Jameson and Slavoj Žižek) encompasses the essence of capitalist realism: the idea not just that capitalism is the only viable economic system, but that it is the only imaginable one.

We are faced with the same challenge, just as we have Disaster Capitalism we now have Disaster Unionism in full operation, and just as we face Capitalist Realism we also face Unionist Realism in which the Union is presented as an immutable fact of life. It is presented as some kind of natural state of being and is resistant to challenge by the reality of thousands of examples from around the world. You can see this again and again through discussion of GERS through discussion of a post-oil economy or through any discussion about currency. For these people a future Scotland is not just unthinkable it is literally unimaginable. This is a thought that is core to most of the hardcore unionists now engaging in propaganda to defend the indefensible. The real question is not whether they believe it or not, the question is, will we?

 

 

[1] Davie’s is a response written to a set of seminar papers published (under the title ‘Discussion’) on pages 204 to 205 of Wolfe, J. N., ed., 1969, Government and Nationalism in Scotland, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. It was reprinted under the title of ‘Nationalism and the Philosophy of the Unthinkable’ in Edinburgh Review, no.83, 1990 and published in Nothing is Altogether Trivial (1995). My thanks to Murdo Macdonald for this reference.

Comments (52)

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  1. Richard Easson says:

    Thanks for that. James robertson hits the nail on the head, but if one is to knock the ball back into THEIR court then under the terms of their UNION England does not exist either and any mention of that defunct country should be ELIDED. I am sure they would all agree wholeheartedly to its extirpation.

  2. John Learmonth says:

    ‘London is the place of work, London is the place of power’ zi think a lot of people in England would agree.
    London is (arguably) the worlds greatest city but its located on a small island and so sucks the lifeblood out of the rest of the UK , whether its Scotland/Wales or the North of England.
    Even when/if Scotland gains its independence young people with ambition will always be attracted ‘down south’ whether they live in Dundee or Halifax.
    Its not ‘England’ thats the problem but the over concentration of financial/cultural/media power in London and unless a system of internal passport controls are introduced soviet union style I’m not sure what anybody can do abòut it.
    So fast forward a few years, Scotlands independent but your a young person fresh out of uni…….where you going to go to realise your dreams?
    Great for London not so good for the rest of England/Scotland/Wales
    p.s at least football power isn’t concentrated in London its about the only thing that isn’t.

    1. David Stevenson says:

      With Scotland resuming independence those wishing to do so may find opportuniy in Paris, Berlin. Sao Paulo, anywhere ! [maybe even London, assuming it still exists]

  3. Dougie Harrison says:

    Mike, this is spot on. When you combine obvious anger, and wide intellectual understanding, you write at your best.

  4. Graham Ennis says:

    This will only get worse and worse. Be prepared for an absolute Blitz of Goebbels type lies, deceit, and half truths, already in action, to expand massively over the next 4 years. (Next uk election then). The French Vichy Government did the same in France, during the occupation. So what is to be done. Basically, standing up and being counted. Being visible, being heard, and being hard. As the Irish discovered, constitutional politics will only take you so far. After that, comes harsh reality.
    The noted thinker and writer Franz Fanon, in his classic “Black Skins, White Masks” set it all out. In Scotland the problem has been made worse by the near eradication of Gaelic, the social deprecation of Scots, and the suppression of much history and culture, especially, until recently, in the schools, even the universities.
    As Fanon said, when you reach the point that you cannot denounce the oppressor except in the language of the oppressor, as you have lost your own native tongue, they have won. Hence the campaign for Welsh, which has now resulted in 50% of students leaving secondary school speaking fluent Welsh, and this is climbing relentlessly.
    In Scotland, it is already too late for this, and the memes infected into Scottish heads about their presumed inferiority, of being “Too Poor, Too stupid, too small”, to be a state and a people, is relentlessly hammered home. Scotland has been under the satanic influence of a cultural and political incantation, a spell, that has corroded confidence and pride.
    So what is to be done: (As Lenin Said).
    Lots. Scots Pride, Scots identity, and Scots bloody mindedness, whenever the Quislings in Scotland open their mouths. A relentless counter pressure needs to be built up, of no apologies, no acceptance of UK culture and thinking that harms Scotland, no acceptance of any attempts to snatch back powers from the Edinburgh Government, etc etc… (This last is already underway, due to BREXIT). A total cultural and political mass offensive, not under National Party control, but a grass roots and autonomous movement. The sheer shame and disgrace that there was no SNP Part conference this year, nor is there likely to be, as the media covering enraged grass roots party members who want radical policies and are not getting them. Small Saltire badges to be worn, and a host of other things, and a grass roots, independent movement for another Referendum, autonomous, and bloody minded. Separation from the UK is not going to be a nice twee middle class tea party. It is going to be very nasty. Nothing else makes the UK establishment sit up and take notice. I say all this as an Irish citizen, whose own family experience was a bitter one.
    People have to take on board that sooner or later, there has to be a massive confrontation with the London Regime, unflinching and relentless, until they are forced into line. No more “Being Nice”. Being very bloody minded when you are confronting Tories is historically proven.
    I think, in these times, that people should also read between the lines of what I have written. Most will fill in the gaps. Preparation must be made, for the inevitable, Catalan type experience that is coming to Scotland.

  5. Eoghainn Macleoid says:

    First the thinking, then the fight

    1. Graham Ennis says:

      Totally agree.

  6. Niall McDevitt says:

    A very thoughtful essay. I’d suggest that one aspect of Disaster Unionism is the endless projection of disaster onto Scotland. Look at George Gallowglass’s would-be vote of No Confidence in Nicola Sturgeon – the most popular leader on the island. Or the linguistic racism of Effie Dunce blaming Gaelic place-names for getting lost on the road to Fort William, thus calling for the cancellation of the bilingual signposts. Or the blubbering of Neil “whair’s ma CBE?’ Olivet as he imagines Boris Johnson receiving the unfriendliest welcome since Edward II. There’s always an implication that Scottish unionists live south of Hadrian’s Wall, and Scottish nationalists north of it. The former affect embarrassment at the barbarism of the latter. They are the worst Scots – snitching on their own country to next door neighbour England.

    1. Wul says:

      Effie got lost going to Fort William! ? Jeez, that takes some doing. Here’s some directions for anyone else making this trick journey:

      Start at Charing X in Glasgow. Join Great Western Road (clue in name) stay on same road until you reach Fort William. Done.

      Those dastardly Gaelic mafia!

  7. Anndrais mac Chaluim says:

    The question isn’t whether or not ‘Scotland’ exists; the question is how it exists.

    ‘Scotland’ is the set of values, institutions, laws, and symbols through which those of us who identify as ‘Scots’ imagine our social whole; an imaginary through which we create our ways of living together and our ways of representing our collective life.

    The trouble with ‘Scotland’ is that it’s an intersubjectivity, a constellation of conflicting polarities. George Gregor Smith called this condition an ‘antisyzygy’, in response to the view – especially that espoused by figures such as T.S. Eliot – that there’s an absence of coherence that would distinguish ‘Scotland’ as a ‘nation’. The trouble is that no subjective conception of ‘Scotland’ or self-identity – including this one – transcends this forcefield of intersubjectivity to qualify as a candidate for authenticity; there is and can be no ‘true’ Scotland in the absolute sense, but only an ever-shifting incoherence of rival ‘Scotland’-s.

    The idea that ‘Scotland’ is a zig-zag of contradictions, an ever-shifting forcefield of opposites, sits ill with any of our varieties of tradutional heritage nationalism; but it can be accommodated within the framework of civic nationalism. Within this framework, our differences – ideological, linguistic, cultural, genealogical – become irrelevant and our nationality becomes not a matter of heritable identity but purely a matter of formal citizenship. We’re ‘Scots’ for no other reason than that we participate in the forms through which we, in all our myriad non-identities, live together in a civil society; that is, a society in which our conflicts can be accommodated short of violence.

    The great attraction (at least to me) of ‘Scotland’ as an imaginary is that it sweeps away to hell all the nativist nonsense associated with heritage nationalism, of Scots and Gaelic, of the Scottish spirit, bloodlines, and other reactionary Scots-wha-haiverins. Postmodern ‘Scotland’ is a global society; our heritage nowadays lies as much in Africa and Asia, in England and Romania, as it does in Caithness and Clydeside. ‘Being Scottish’ is now as much to do with Urdu and Cantonese as with Scots and Gaelic, with Majan Dyabe Sisse as with Cináed mac Ailpin; perhaps more so.

    It’s as this ‘antisyzygy’ that, whether we like it or not, and irrespective of whatever hopeful self-images we project for ourselves, we’re manifesting ourselves into existence.

    1. Interesting Anndrais … I certainly agree that “‘Scotland’ is a zig-zag of contradictions, an ever-shifting forcefield of opposites” and that’s a defining feature. And we’re certainly a post-modern society and a multi-cultural one, at least in part. I dont really buy that having a sense of your own history culture and languages makes you ‘nativist’ though. Your own framing (which i quite like) that it’s as ‘antisyzygy’ “we’re manifesting ourselves into existence” is itself drawing on part of our cultural heritage.

      1. Anndrais mac Chaluim says:

        Aye, reflexivity is the epistemological reef on which I continue to founder.

        But that’s a good thing, when every thought or action thus ‘bends back on’, refers to, and affects the entity that instigates that thought or action itself. Because then that entity is itself transformed. Reflexivity is how we grow as individuals and how cultures evolve.

        So, interpreting ‘Scotland’ as an ‘antisyzygy’ is indeed a prejudice, an horizonal limit, the framing of which I need to overcome.

        But where did I say that having a sense of your own history, culture, and languages makes you ‘nativist’? Identifying ‘Scotland’ with the history, culture, and languages of one’s own ethnic group is nativist; having a sense of that heritage isn’t.

      2. john burrows says:

        I have noted a common theme, in the formation of nation states, or when a momentous choice is thrust upon a society, of a renaissance, or enlightenment, which grips the general populace with a fervor, prior to embarking on a new path.

        In some cases, the forces of reaction can intervene to misdirect the enlightenment i.e. the banks swindled us all in 2008, but its immigrants the poor and the sick who everybody should be angry with. Not forgetting ‘lefty luvies.’

        But a boundary has been broken between competing groups within Scot’s society that is overwhelming personal ideology. It is increasingly obvious to everyone with a functioning brain, even in North Britain, that the UK is a total basket case and is completely off its nut.

        Scot’s by nature are skeptics. We have been grappling with this question of independence my entire political life. The vote in 1979 was the first time I exercised my franchise. Even that vote took us decades to acquire from Westminster. We are and will continue to be pragmatic. The question of independence has weighed on us now for almost 100 years.

        The problem for the Union is that it represents an Imperial Britain that no longer exists. It also can no longer disguise its overriding guiding policy that beatings shall continue until morale improves. I doubt even the new Baroness could sell that.

        My guess is that the Scot’s will force their hand in May. Johnson will exit stage left, to avoid the blame. It doesn’t help that he is poison to the greater part of folks in this neighborhood of the Union.

        They’ll laughably fall back on Gove. The only politician who is loathed more in Scotland than Johnson.

    2. Lorna Campbell says:

      It is quite possible to be local and national, national and international all at the same time, Anndrais. I don’t know about your imagination, but it must be very limited if it cannot stretch from the local to the international. Of course we are a multi cultural society, but that is eminently possible while still being aware of one’s own cultural heritage. Most native Scots today will have both Gaelic and Scots ancestry, even if they Iive in the Central Belt, for example. Your imagination fails for me when you fail to explain why colonizers always – but always – undermine the native cultural heritage and languages – often by claiming that they are irrelevant to the multi cultural society nature of the society that they are colonizing and making multi cultural, thereby destroying an entire history of culture: the First Nations of the Americas?; the Aboriginals of Australia?; and many, many other cultures that have been wiped off the map. It’s odd that that, while being influenced by the colonized’s culture in some ways, the colonizers always seem to keep their own culture, and often fight to retain it against the colonized’s desire to throw off the most culturally destructive aspects of it for them? Kind of saying that there is not really room for the colonizers’ and the colonized’s cultural existence, and, often physical existence – and we come back to your trans women versus natal women analysis: “there ain’t room [on] this here [planet] for both of us. It can be applied to all aspects of existence – under your microscope?

      1. Anndrais mac Chaluim says:

        Leaving aside the vexful question of whether those aspects of Scotland’s cultural heritage that were devalued in the 18th century were undermined by colonists or by the North Britons themselves, the idea that aboriginal cultures were wiped off the map by European colonists is an anachronism, both in Bella’s sense of reflexivity (the idea of ‘culture’ is a Europeanism that frames non-European aboriginalities in European terms) and in the closely related sense of attributing something to a period to which it doesn’t belong. Only retrospectively does it make sense to speak of European colonists wiping out ‘cultures’ (which, like the petrol engine, hadn’t been invented); at the time, European colonists were only intent on wiping out people so they could settle the land they occupied.

        Maybe, in both cases, you’re conflating ‘colonisers’ and ‘hegemons’.

        1. Lorna Campbell says:

          Of course colonizers want the land that the colonized hold, Anndrais, and that goes without saying. I have stated many times, and I stand by it, that England-as-the-UK wants Scotland but not the Scots. To suggest that only in retrospect can we attribute the desire to wipe out the culture of that indigenous group is itself retrospective because, even at the time, the wiping out of cultural aspects of the native people’s culture was very much deliberate and with a purpose: to undermine the confidence these people had in their own culture and to superimpose one’s own. The hegemony comes later, the colonizers being the advance guard. As for culture itself being retrospective, don’t you think that certain peoples have certain cultures which they hold to be theirs? Why should the Scots be different?

          Sometimes, the undermining and destruction was/is an unintended consequence of colonization, often because the colonization itself is not seen as such. I would suggest that this is Scotland’s position in relation to the overwhelming Anglicization process that has been underway for a number of years now . It is not, and should not, be construed as being, racist or anti English to say so. It is merely fact. Often it is quite unconscious, like being told that independence is out of the question because we are part of England, as I was during the referendum. That Raj mentality is, I would suggest fairly endemic in some English Scots and was reflected in the almost 75% rUK NO vote in 2014. What is to be served by denying that reality?

          To an extent, yes, the Gaelic culture was certainly undermined by both from outwith and from within Scotland, but I think we have to be honest and say that it was the aftermath of the ’45 that really began the undermining the Gaelic culture in earnest, and that did not come from within, but certainly from without. Much of the present-day undermining of Scottish culture, whether Scots or Gaelic, Highland or Lowland or Island is coming as a result of actions and policies of the Scottish government which is, or so it still claims, with less and less justification each year that passes, the party that stands for independence. High-powered cultural, administrative, legal and academic careers are advertized furth of Scotland, just as, during the Raj, administrative, legal and commercial careers were advertised in Britain. If you do this consistently, you will gradually replace Scottish cultural, etc. leaders, movers and shakers who have Scotland at the fingertips with people who have no knowledge of the country or its cultural, etc. life, ergo why the surprise that anything Scottish is simply not ‘seen’. For most of our culture leaders, it probably doesn’t even exist.

          Our higher education system once boasted the ‘Democratic Intellect’ as its cornerstone. It would shock many Scots to know that Scottish academics these days are probably in the minority, certainly in the higher positions within our universities. Same goes for more or less every aspect of our cultural life, where the movers and shakers are drawn from outwith Scotland. Now, we could say that is a good thing and means we are not parochial. Or, alternatively, we could recognize it for what it is: a cultural hi-jacking that exists nowhere else to anything like the same extent. Indeed, I cannot think of another country that would tolerate such a cultural mugging. But, hey, we’re Scots and any protest about anything that is about us is met with a frown of censure.

          1. Anndrais mac Chaluim says:

            “As for culture itself being retrospective, don’t you think that certain peoples have certain cultures which they hold to be theirs?”

            Yes, certainly. Within the modern European universe of discourse, certain peoples can be said to have collective customs and achievements and particular forms of collective intellectual development.

            However, this figurative use of ‘culture’ dates only from the mid-1860s, though the notion was prefigured in Herder’s concept of ‘das Volk’ in the later 18th century. Prior to that, and prior to the extension of the European hegemony to the world at large, peoples could have had no conception of their having a ‘culture’ as such or, indeed, of being ‘a people’ in the ethnic sense. These are all 19th-century European categories.

          2. Arboreal Agenda says:

            Is there not a confusion here between the significantly increased movement of people generally to find work and a new life and the idea this is a ‘cultural hijacking and mugging’? You are ascribing a metaphorically ‘criminal’ colonial rationale to people applying for and getting jobs in Scotland in academia and ‘cultural life’. How would you intend to stop it? I work in academia and have sat on interview panels – you employ the best person for the job regardless of nationality, race, gender etc etc – the implication of what you are saying is that that should change. Or are you implying some intrinsic bias in those who make appointments towards the English and other non-Scots? I’m trying to get my head around what this ‘colonial’ conception really consists of and where it resides in these examples.

          3. Anndrais mac Chaluim says:

            No, there’s no confusion. We’re talking here of how ‘Scotland’ exists as a constellation of cultures and of how this plurality calls for a civic nationalism rather than a traditional heritage nationalism or nativism. Bella has pointed out that my analysis founders on the reef of reflexivity, while Lorna has objected that it fails to explain why colonisers always undermine native cultural heritage and languages. I don’t think that, in so objecting, Lorna was referring to the people who migrate to Scotland as a land of opportunity as ‘colonisers’; I think she was rather referring to Scots and other Europeans who migrated to places like Africa, America, and Australia.

          4. Graham Ennis says:

            There are two kinds of English resident in Scotland, those who live there exactly because Scotland is not England, and they cannot stand the place. They love Sctland, for life quality, the people, etc. The other kind can only be described as WHITE SETTLERS. Imagine white Rhodesians moved several thousand miles North. They love the status that Unionism brings them, have a lot of concealed contempt for the natives, and fight like tigers to prevent Independence. They have an overweening sense of entitlement. Also unconscious arrogance. They are like Ulster Unionists. So we have an implacable block of settler elements. What to do with them after independence is a major problem. Many will resort to support of the London Govermnent, if independence has to be fought for. Such people should lose their scottish citizenship and voting rights. The worst ones, expulsion. (The recent Irish War is an example of what happens. ). Also, the quasi-Nationalists in the SNP, who are now very comfortably off, ignore there own grass roots, and refuse to hold Party conferences where the SNP base met get angry and indulge in nasty behaviour before the TV and Media. Meantime, Alba is sliding into a silent confrontation like the Catalans. It is going to be a very hard faced time for the next three years, people need to face reality. A senior Irish Republican once told me that “Violence is to politics, as gold is to banknotes”. Got that?….the mere threat of violence is a poerful force, always to be held in reserve unless absolutely unavoidable. Che’ said that all possible democratic and peaceful routes must be tried first, before fighting. Otherwise it will not be supported.
            In these circumstances, there are tripwires. One is the forthcoming stripping of powers from ScotGov. inevitable. Its going on right now, with the BREXIT issue. It will spread from there. what will the SNP do about this, or even can do?. Very little. It is going to take the masses , autonomous, and angry, to terrify the UK Government. The police in Scotland must not give in, like the Catalan police eventually did. There must be a grass roots network, en-mass, outwith the SNP, and beyond its control. If this is done, the UK Government will probably make concessions, and things can go back on track. If not, then remember that banknotes are written promises. Gold is real gold.

          5. Anndrais mac Chaluim says:

            I think you’re on the wrong thread, Graham. The fascism thread is attached to another article. We’re discussing pluralism and democracy here.

          6. Graham Ennis says:

            Hi and land is paramount. The horrible phrase “Blood and Soil” sadly defines Ireland, the land of which I am a citizen, and a 30 year war, (Unfinished yet) that shed much blood for the land and its people.
            The issue of land is a dark force, and it would be a constant problem for the next 100 years, if not resolved. I am pointing out uncomfortable things. Democracy also means that Berwick, which wants to join Scotland, should not be left behind, and no real work has been done on the practicalities of a real EU border. (As of January, Scotland has a non-EU border, if independent. Much else. It might be educational to research the border history. Its a classic lesson in imperialism. Also, fascism is the looming spectre that is now over-shadowing England. Its moved so far to the Right that people there are really worried. There is also a hard line Fascist element in the Scottish Tories, and other elements. The SNP has broken their direct power, but the fear that the SNP has of the Scottish land owning Oligarchs means nothing has been done there, either. There power must be broken. They are feudal, anti-democratic, etc etc. I quote the very first decree of the Soviet Government: “The land of Russia is hearby nationalised and now belongs to the state, without compensation. ” What a lovely idea. Its called “Eminent Domain”, and in Some American states its the law. Ultimatly, thoise state goverments can do as they wish, for the common good.

          7. Anndrais mac Chaluim says:

            Your rhetoric reminds me very much of that which the National Socialist German Workers’ Party employed in its rise to power in the 1920s and ’30s; in fact, substitute ‘Bolshevik’ for ‘fascist’ and ‘Jews’ for ‘White Settlers’ and it would be virtually identical.

          8. Graham Ennis says:

            A genuine Scottish workers party, which Labour once was, is now long gone.
            It needs to come back, but I see no simple route for this to happen.
            The SNP has become basically a Middle class party, so far as the managing officials are concerned.
            It is now in thrall to the Oligarch Land owners, who can only be described as nasty creatures. It really is a case of blood and soil. Scottish blood, scottish soil, all seized by violence. No see-able chance of the SNP doing anything whatsoever about this. They cringe and cower, when the Oligarchs snarl at them.
            No land tax either, with vast areas devoted to violent hunting sports, with no restored forests, no green food farming. No peat bog recovery for the greening of the land. Typical. but utter silence from the SNP leadership. As I said before, democracy in rural areas is a joke. Most of the people were forced off the land years ago. Democracy is very much an urban matter these days, and the Labour party is rotten to the core, and unionist. Much more, but Lorna is right, a socialist National Scottish Workers Party is now essential. The workers of Scotland have been disenfranchised.

  8. Lorna Campbell says:

    Excellent, Ed. I recall an Indian gentleman being quoted in a book I read once: he was an apologist for the Raj, and he stated that the Raj had made India what it was; that it had been a poor, backward place before colonialism, or words to that effect. He, of course, had benefited personally from said Raj. That, in the end, is what these Vichy Scots believe in: personal benefit/enrichment/promotion. Little else.

    I wouldn’t be too surprised that Scottish artists and works of art are excluded: so, actually are Scots; the cultural environment of Scotland is almost wholly English-run; and that is spreading to every other area of our working lives, too, to the extent that barely a programme on TV these days does not require several English-accented people to explain to us about our own history, geography, society, natural environment, etc., from a rUK population, in Scotland of, we are told emphatically, no more than half a million, and half of those retirees. We don’t talk about this except in whispers because to do so opens one up to accusations of racism and anti Englishness, the perfect silencers. We are being elided.

    As for Unionist apologist extraordinaire, George Robertson, if ever a man was promoted beyond his ability, it was he. The most intellectually-challenged people in any organization are always promoted above those with ability, in the good old UK. Those with ability must be kept where they are most useful and that is at the bottom, preferably, supplying the ideas and hard work that others, of lesser ability, take for themselves. It is called the ‘natural order’. Why wouldn’t the establishment promote Mr Robertson? Like a well-oiled robot, he will never think for himself.

    I am being very cynical today, but recent events in the Scottish government and the SNP appear to show that Westminster does not have the monopoly on corrupt practices and brainless orthodoxy. If I have offended anyone and fallen foul of Humza Yousaf’s ‘hate crime’ bill, I don’t give a flying whatsit.

  9. MacNaughton says:

    If C19 and the greatest recession ever and Johnson and Trump and the Internal Market Bill were all not bad enough, last week the Queen farted after lunch…

    Apparently, the Queen was sitting on the throne, whiling away the time as she likes to do, and then suddenly her Majesty let out this huge, ripping fart, which flattened the ears of her corgis, and blew over one of her courtiers, and rattled the teeth of one of her advisors, a fart which echoed out throughout the whole of Buckingham Palace even startling some people outside taking photos….
    What will be the constitutional consequences of the Queen’s fart?
    It is the first royal fart of Queen Elizabeth’s reign.
    Three British Prime Ministers have come out and said that the Queen does not fart, has never farted, so it couldn’t have been her…
    David Cameron is on the record as saying: “Now look here chaps…”
    Gordon Brown: “It’s all about poohing and sharing”
    Tony Blair: “We invade anyway”
    The BBC are commissioning a special programme to take the heat out of the first fart reported in almost 70 years to issue forth from the royal throne, and possibly try to blame it on the corgis…
    Nicolas Witchell is writing a book on the fart, trying to blame it all on anybody but the Queen…
    Harry and Meghan have dissociated themselves from the fart..
    One of the Queen’s predecessors, Edward VII, was known worldwide for his farting prowess and speculation is mounting that Prince Charles may reintroduce farting from the throne as a royal prerogative if he ever makes it onto the throne…

  10. Lorna Campbell says:

    While I agree that ethnicity, as such, is a 19th century concept in the West, Anndrais, the various peoples of the Americas, who, generally, share a similar DNA, did, indeed think of themselves in ethnic terms – and long before the white people arrived. Almost every tribe referred to itself as ‘the people’ in an exclusive and mono cultural way. To us, the American tribes appear to be similar, but their cultures are quite different in many ways, albeit they share many characteristics. The Ancient Egyptians, in their writings, did refer to others as non-Egyptian, and the Greeks were conscious of sharing many characteristics, gods and culture, while maintaining their city states and their separate identities – i.e. as ‘people’ distinct from other ‘peoples’.

    In Scotland, I think we are so interwoven throughout, today, with strands of the different cultures – Gaelic, Scots, Picts, Viking, etc. – that we could be termed as a ‘people’, and our cultural heritage recognizable as an established entity. People arriving from other cultures and origins usually lay their own unique overlay on the existing culture at any given time, and that adds richness to the mix. I am no blood and soil nationalist, but I think we are seeing something very different Scotland now in that Anglicization is rapidly changing the cultural landscape to such a degree, and with such rapidity, that we are in danger of losing ourselves, and that is partly because we appear to value those aspects of our heritage that are ‘Scottish’, for want of a better word, with disdain or carelessness – our land heritage is owned almost exclusively by non-Scots or Anglicized Scots of a certain class; our cultural, educational, heritage institutional can no longer really lay claim to being ‘Scottish’ in the sense that, while other countries have established criteria for protecting these institutions from too much outside influence, ours are wide open.

    Almost any television interview these days of the head of any of these institutions will, almost invariably, be that of an English person, and even in TV programmes of ordinary people, the 10% of English people supposedly in Scotland is vastly over-represented by those who appear on our screens with English accents. You get the impression that you are in England, not Scotland. I am not saying that many English people do not love Scotland or are not mindful of our culture and heritage, etc. – sometimes they are more so than we , ourselves, are – but that it cannot be healthy for our ‘Scottishness’ and healthy sense of ourselves to be so under-represented. Contrary to meaning that we are a welcoming, open people who appreciate the contribution of others, we are so careless of our own culture and heritage that we do not look after it. We literally ‘cringe’ before what we evidently regard as the dominant political culture – which is English British. I would challenge anyone on here to offer another country where this happens with so little regard to the fundamental culture and mores? Is it deliberate or otherwise?

    1. Anndrais mac Chaluim says:

      “[W]e are seeing something very different Scotland now in that Anglicization is rapidly changing the cultural landscape to such a degree, and with such rapidity, that we are in danger of losing ourselves…”

      Jings, this is exactly the same claim that Little Englanders make in relation to immigration down south.

  11. Lorna Campbell says:

    Graham: I don’t believe you are a fascist, but I think you are a blood and soil nationalist, and they are not the same thing. As a 13-year-old, I joined the SNP, and I was definitely a blood and soil nationalist at that age, albeit I never had the slightest notion of colonizing or invading anyone else, or even of being the best. I felt that we could be better than we were, and it was all those pink areas on my school globe that alerted me, at the tender age of eleven, to the fact that we, the British, were colonizers and invaders and cultural vandals. I felt ashamed and angry with myself (us) at the same time, and I wanted Scotland not to be part of that.

    As I grew up, so did my perceptions of what being Scottish meant, until I matured from blood and soil nationalism to civic nationalism, but always aware that we are a small nation of just over five million, and that we had to be vigilant against political and cultural ‘take-over’. Today, I feel that that is what is happening, be it ever so unconscious – and I don’t believe it is always unconscious. I had my eyes opened in 2014, during the indyref campaign, and I felt deeply hurt by the vicious allegations of racism and anti Englishness that were levelled at me and others who wanted nothing more than to see our nation an independent state, like most of the world’s nations. Until you actually come up against that, you really have no conception of a hostile element in your midst, and I do understand your definition of two different strands of rUK settlement in Scotland, and I believe you are right when you say that one strand is uncomfortably similar to the ultra Unionists of NI, albeit it is not solely rUK, but also partly our own Scottish ultra Unionists, who, when you think about it, are the same Scottish people as the NI ultra Unionists.

    I believe that we have done ourselves no favours at all with our fundamentally self-denying and self-harming lack of cultural protection, heritage protection and land protection. These protections, which every other European country appears to have, are not anti rUK; they are pro Scottish. The is not fascism. It is self-preservation, but the Unionists and English Nationalists like to conflate the two, but never, of course, from their own perspective. The stark truth is that England’s ruling elites have always been invasive and cultural vandalism – look at how much of our ancient documents and relics and symbols of our nationhood were stolen by the English monarchs and taken away to London, never to be seen again – but, this time, it is a migration of undoubtedly talented people who have no experience of our culture and heritage and education principles. Even our legal system is now under attack. This is not awarding a job to the best and brightest, not when the jobs are not even advertised in Scotland, and although some, fresh new blood is always desirable, it is not desirable to disdain existing Scottish talent. This is opening up our institutions, on an unprecedented scale anywhere in Europe, to rUK head honchos and blocking our own people who have been steeped in ‘Scottishness’ since birth. That is cultural vandalism and nihilism just as objectionable and retrograde, albeit under the radar, as any Taliban destruction of an ancient temple in Syria or Iraq.

    1. Anndrais mac Chaluim says:

      I suspect he’s fascist material, Lorna. He certainly sounds like a fascist; different words, same old tune.

      1. Lorna Campbell says:

        Anndrais: I think you make the same mistake as so many in Scotland. Look around you. You, too, Arboreal. Give us examples of other European countries where their own land, heritage, culture, educational mores, etc. are not protected? You will look in vain. That is the point that I believe Graham is making, and it is certainly the point that I am making. Only, uniquely, in Scotland is it somehow racist and anti English to wish to protect your own institutions that make you Scottish as opposed to English. Other nationalities simply do not have the same impact as Anglicization does because Anglicization is perceived by so many to be the pinnacle of achievement, a sickeningly cynical and perverse attitude.

        We are a small nation, and if we do not protect our institutions, we will soon cease to exist – by our own careless disdain and cringe. It makes me smile when people say that Johnson and his Tories are threatening Scottish existence covertly, because he really doesn’t have to, in that it is being achieved in an overt way; we have aided and abetted our big neighbour to do so for years now, in a different way. You can have people come to Scotland to make their home here, Arboreal, without their being enabled to undermine your culture, mores, etc. With other nationalities, we seem to be able to absorb them and become enriched by them, but not Anglicization precisely because of its colonial nature (which we share to an extent) and because of the perceived ‘rightness’ of Anglicization as being the dominant state of being in the UK – the natural order, if you like.

        No, it is not the same as Brexit, Anndrais, because everyone in the EU is an independent country and can choose whether to be assimilated or otherwise, as the UK has shown. In Scotland, we do not have that luxury because any move towards protecting our institutions is deliberately construed as, and promoted as, narrow nationalism, and even fascism. Much of that attitude stems from our own ultra Unionist base, but it is equally prominent in rUK circles, too, albeit not in every rUK person, far from it, but enough to tip ‘Scottishness’ into inferiority – both deliberately and unconsciously.

        It is almost incredible. It won’t hurt till it does,and it won’t stop hurting till it does. Displaced peoples always hurt in their psyche, in their souls, till they don’t anymore. Ask any member of the First Nations, ask any Australian Aboriginal. The passing of time – history – wipes the slate clean when the displaced people no longer know their own history/culture so cannot mourn it. That is why colonizers deliberately and with malice forethought, seek to destroy it.

        Just as you almost said, Anndrais, the ‘fight to the death’ between natal women and trans women might eventually lead to the extinguishing of natal women completely. Will anyone mourn our passing? Undoubtedly, but the colonizing, crushing, cultural ‘Taliban’ that is the vicious and bullying trans lobby, won’t let it last too long, just as, if and when the Scots are finally a tiny minority in Scotland, few will be allowed to remember. You don’t need a microscope to appreciate the true nature of human rapaciousness and its utter ruthlessness in pursuit of any given goal. It is the survival of the fittest, but just not in Darwinian terms.

        1. Anndrais mac Chaluim says:

          Yes, unfortunately, heritage nationalism is still a thing in most (if not all) modern European countries. We Europeans generally still prefer to assimilate our ootlins to our own native cultures rather than evolve through integration. Integration in a process of interpenetration and fusion in which persons and groups acquire the memories, sentiments, and attitudes of other persons and groups and, by sharing their experience and history, are incorporated with them in a common cultural life. If you want the theory, I’d refer you to Hans-Georg Gadamer.

          It’s in this regard that I argued at the outset of my intervention in this thread that there is no ‘true’ ‘Scotland’ in the absolute sense, but only an evolving integration of the diverse experiences and histories that make up its globalised population, and that civic nationalism reflects this politically better than ethnic or heritage nationalism does, let alone the Blut-und-Boden nationalism of the fascists, which is just an abomination.

          1. Lorna Campbell says:

            “… It’s in this regard that I argued at the outset of my intervention in this thread that there is no ‘true’ ‘Scotland’ in the absolute sense, but only an evolving integration of the diverse experiences and histories that make up its globalised population, and that civic nationalism reflects this politically better than ethnic or heritage nationalism does, let alone the Blut-und-Boden nationalism of the fascists, which is just an abomination… ” – Anndrais.

            No one is interpreting the protection of heritage/culture as fascism or blood and soil nationalism except you. All societies have, in reality, an evolving integration, and nowhere is that more obvious and prevalent than in the US, where all but the First Nations peoples are immigrants, but it also had colonization. Just as the white, European Americans practised ‘Manifest Destiny’, so do all colonizers, whether they recognise themselves as colonizers as such. With a tiny population like Scotland’s it is quite impossible to practise evolving integration on a large scale. It would rapidly become a take-over and colonization by any other name. This is where your theory falls down because it can only work on large populations who are able to absorb and integrate successfully. Past a certain point, in a small, stable population, colonization destroys the original heritage/culture and any large, dominant large scale immigration/migrations must lead to a diminution of the existing heritage/culture, and, from that, flows damage and displacement of the existing population and their culture/heritage.

            We have seen it here in Scotland, in recent times, with the almost total eclipse of the travelling people’s culture and heritage – despised as inferior and non-conformist. Settled people drive around the countryside now, in caravans, pitch tents and throw up huts and bothies, and live like nomads, completely oblivious to the irony, and certainly completely oblivious to the pain and misery and loss suffered by the travelling people, many of whom have been shown to have ‘Pictish’ DNA, so a double whammy, although it could also be termed an ‘evolving integration’ – one literally forced upon the travelling people. To simply shrug that off and state that it is somehow a good thing is akin to saying that genocide of a people is a good thing because it clears them out of a country/land for others – as the Kurds are routinely slaughtered to ensure future peace in places like Syria, Iraq and Turkey. You seem to imagine that being displaced and marginalized by a larger, more vociferous and ‘pushy’ culture is somehow a ‘good thing’ and a gentle experience and meeting of cultural and other experiences, but it can only be that if it is done willingly by the indigenous people, snd not in a pushy, bullying manner, otherwise it is colonization, plain and simple. As a (probably) white, possibly non-Scottish, but certainly Anglicized, educated, middle-class (probably) male, your experience of being either displaced or colonized or considered inferior, must be, by definition, limited. As the saying goes, only the winners ever write the history; the truth dies with the dead, or, in this case, displaced/colonized, etc.

        2. Arboreal Agenda says:

          To cut to the chase then, with independence you propose a quota on English immigration and then some kind vetting process as well to get the right kind of people? How else would you stop the Anglicisation because even if wholly benign in relation to Scotland and Scottishness, the migrants would still be English and bring their mores and national heritage with them: you’d have to have some kind of commitment not to do that, or something. In England, exactly the same arguments go on about immigrants from Islamic countries and elsewhere who want to hold on to their own heritage. The levels of immigration into England are significantly higher in general than in Scotland. The have a point about the size and power of England compared to Scotland and the danger of Scotland, even if independent, of being subsumed by more and more (disgruntled) English moving north but at the end of the day, if you really fear that, you have to have a concrete way to stop it. Ironically if England is outwith the EU and Scotland was in, freedom of movement would not apply – England would be an ‘international’ nation to Scotland with a potential hard border to the passage of goods and people with immigration checks, the lot.

          One point – it is illegal not to advertise for posts locally for a university position and I suspect many other institutional appointments so I don’t understand what you mean about jobs not being advertised in Scotland. As for the general point don’t you think you need actual statistics to support your assertion about an English take-over of significant positions in cultural life and elsewhere? Just saying ‘open your eyes and look around you’ isn’t going to cut it.

          1. Lorna Campbell says:

            Arboreal: you tread a fine line in offensiveness. I am aware that it is illegal not to advertize jobs widely, but I also know that other countries, whilst welcoming fresh blood and new blood, have ways and means of protecting their cultural and natural heritage. Perhaps Angela Merkel’s decision in the German Bundestag, to welcome a million refugees into Germany passed you by? She could not have done so unless immigration and migration laws were already in place which she and her government were able to expand and change to allow for such a large, single influx. Germany was a nation of 10s of millions, and, by and large, it has been a relatively successful integration, as the earlier, large Italian and Turkish immigrations and integrations have been. Every country has immigrants and migrants. Every country has immigration policies. The UK did when it was part of the EU and we had no hard border with the rest of the EU countries, as did the EU countries themselves. There never has been a time of such large movements of displaced peoples since WW II.

            However, that is not what we are talking about in the case of Scotland, is it? We are not talking about people migrating because they have been displaced through war or the kind of Third World poverty that we do not see. You seem to think that I am being exclusionary. No, I am not. There are English people of whom I am very fond, and a number are in my own family. They do tend to be those who have made a home in Scotland and who want to be Scots of English origin. I have also had the misfortune to meet a number who have been dismissive of, if not downright hostile to, Scottish independence and who see no particular merit in anything Scottish at all and who would even deny that Scotland is a nation. If you have not encountered them it is because you haven’t been paying attention.

            I don’t look down on other people and consider them my inferiors. It is simply not in my DNA to believe that I have the right to decide the fate and future of another people. I do not believe that Scottish heritage, culture, etc. are superior to those of others, but neither do I believe that they are inferior. No actual analysis of numbers of rUK people in top jobs in Scotland, or even middle jobs, has ever been done. Thy wouldn’t dare because of what it would show. I am also well aware that many English people occupy very ordinary jobs, too. My point is that, if the cultural, heritage, educational, etc. are predominantly occupied by people not of Scottish origin, then it stands to reason that their distinctive Scottishness will not remain.

            If I am wrong, and all these jobs are occupied predominately by Scots, then, perhaps you could explain the propensity of TV interviewers to winkle out people with English accents in every programme about Scotland and its culture and heritage, its environment, etc? In one evening’s viewing of several programmes on or about Scotland, the average was two to three people with English accents to one Scot. If this is not deliberate or if the people do not, in reality, occupy these cultural and heritage, etc, positions, perhaps you would care to explain what effect this has on Scots who are not hearing their own accents, not being told their history, whose cultural experiences are being translated by someone who has not shared their heritage? This would not matter if it was only occasionally, but it is every day. Do you think this makes Scots feel a glow of inclusivity and civic pride, or do you think that many of them must be wondering if any Scots occupy positions of cultural importance at all, in their culture?

            When you go to France, do you try to find all the nice, wee traditional eating places, the traditional bakeries, restaurants, shops, etc., to visit French cultural heritage, or are you happy to eat McDonald’s and visit featureless metro pubs and American hypermarkets – a holiday indistinguishable from home, but with sun and shouting at the natives when they don’t understand you because you cannot be bothered even trying to learn a few words of the language? Do you switch on French television and hear a German telling you all about France? I don’t think so. If you still don’t get it, I cannot help you. No one on these threads has mentioned anything about sending English people home or taking away their voting rights or any others. I have supported human rights my whole life and I would never sit back and ignore any transgressions on that score. Equally, I will not sit back and see my country’s varied culture and heritage diminished in pursuit of some pan UK ‘oneness’ that can only ever result in the swallowing whole of the three satellite nations and the emergence of an English hegemony. Maybe it is barbaric to even want to retain your own culture and heritage and ‘Scottishness’, but, please, don’t try and make out that all that extinguishing of such, leads to paradise on Earth. It usually just leads to another culture lording it over you and yours, and being made to feel like a lesser human being because you have the gall and nerve to utter a squeak of protest. That is your 100%, genuine fascist, blood and soil (someone’s else’s, of course) outlook masquerading as nirvana. Empires have been playing that stuck record for millennia.

          2. Anndrais mac Chaluim says:

            “If I am wrong, and all these jobs are occupied predominately by Scots, then, perhaps you could explain the propensity of TV interviewers to winkle out people with English accents in every programme about Scotland and its culture and heritage, its environment, etc? In one evening’s viewing of several programmes on or about Scotland, the average was two to three people with English accents to one Scot. If this is not deliberate or if the people do not, in reality, occupy these cultural and heritage, etc, positions, perhaps you would care to explain what effect this has on Scots who are not hearing their own accents, not being told their history, whose cultural experiences are being translated by someone who has not shared their heritage? This would not matter if it was only occasionally, but it is every day. Do you think this makes Scots feel a glow of inclusivity and civic pride, or do you think that many of them must be wondering if any Scots occupy positions of cultural importance at all, in their culture?”

            But the point is, Lorna, that, from the point of view of civic nationalism, those people with English accents, insofar as they participate in the civic life of society north of the border, ARE Scots. That’s what ‘being Scottish’ means nowadays; it’s got nothing to do with heritage or where you were. Scots are of all sorts of different pedigrees and heritages. Why should any one be privileged over all the others?

    2. Graham Ennis says:

      Hi Lorna,
      for the record, I am anti-racist, worked at international level on Human Rights during the American “War on Terror”, and was nearly killed by them for doing so. I am an irish citizen, and proud of it. I am very much for a mix of cultures, and of constitutional and civil rights for all. I also went right through the Bosnia War, doing aid and support for the Bosnians, who are about 70% Muslim. I nearly died there, as well. Fascist, I am not. My economics are marxist, my politics nationalist, radically social democratic, and I see so many heartbreaking things in Scotland,. that echo Irish history. The Scottish land oligarchs have no moral right whatsoever to the land, as it came to them by way of scottish blood, mass deportations, and extreme violence. They are the fascists here. Scotland needs a radical socialst/social democratic party, with radical policies to right the wrongs. Genocide is still genocide. When does it stop being genocide? after 100 years?….a crime is a crime, forever.
      But in Ireland, what happened to us was a genocide. The famine in Ireland was like Stalins “Famine” of the Ukraine. The last Scottish clearances, and the scottish famine that was part of it, (totally suppressed, its not in the history books). are linked. this is factual. Blood and soil in both Ireland meant the shedding of the blood of the indigenous, seizures of land, destruction of national cultures and languages, and much else. Our blood, and then “Their” soil. read the story of the Irish land league history. We need one in Scotland. It will not happen, of course. What a mess.

      1. Anndrais mac Chaluim says:

        Well, you might not self-identify as a fascist, but you certainly sound like one.

        1. Lorna Campbell says:

          Anndrais: Graham is not a racist. You display a profound lack of understanding of his words. I am afraid that the truth of the matter, as far as Scotland, Ireland, Wales and NI are concerned, England’s ruling elites are colonizers par excellence and brutal oppressors of the culture of others in these islands. The is our greatest problem today. If England itself could just face up to its own shortcomings, its own lamentable history towards others, and if we, in the satellite nations, could lift our heads high enough, we would all be the better for it. Even today, England-as-the-UK cannot help itself: it must dominate; it is England’s tragedy, and it is a mindset that has migrated to all other parts of the UK. Ours is that we allow it to exist, let alone encourage it to flourish by our supine and salivating obeisance to it.

          1. Anndrais mac Chaluim says:

            He may or may not be a racist. But if he’s going to appeal to the ‘Blood and Soil’ slogan of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party and to advocate for things like politicising the security services, stripping unpatriotic dissidents of their citizenship and/or expelling them from the country, the use of political violence, and the elevation of the State to the status of eminent domain, you’ll forgive me for thinking that he sounds like a fascist.

          2. Graham Ennis says:

            Dear Lorna, I am now being clearly denounced as a fascist on here. I have posted very clearly on here, what my politics are, and I fought the Serbian Fascists in Bosnia, ran the campaign against Serbian Fascist ethnic cleansing in the UK, etc etc…Yet it seems I am regarded as a fascist. All because I speak hard words on the land question in Scotland. Thanks for saying I am not one, but really, where on this site do I complain about this?….
            Graham

          3. Anndrais mac Chaluim says:

            Drop the Editor an email at the address at the foot of the page, Graham.

          4. Graham Ennis says:

            Many thanks Lorna.
            All this talk of democracy, as if it were something that floats about and has no actual roots issues like property rights, equal distribution of land, restoration of the appalling eco-devastation of forests in Scotland from useless shooting moors, now urgently overdue. Apart from a heavily mortgaged house or flat, most people have very little. They are waged workers, with no feelings of being rooted into the countryside, or that it is in any way “Theirs”. Much else, as well. If all the oligarch land was nationalised, and distributed into cooperatives, small forests, green farms, etc, Scotland would be a very different place. Scandinavian visitors are shocked at how de-populated the land is, and what has happened to it. The situation in Scandinavia is very different. Lesley Riddoch has set this all out very clearly. The same with housing: Labour built very few houses in the decade before the SNP took power. A public council dwelling, at non market prices, is as essential to a functioning democracy as a public health service. That, and a basic living allowance, instead of meagre social benefits, are a like requirement. it would be cheaper, in the long term, and produce a stable society. Democracy is rooted in things, and places, as well as ideas. Others on here are very theoretical, but short on practical bedrock issues such as this. But for saying this, I am a fascist?…omg…. Graham

  12. Lorna Campbell says:

    “… But the point is, Lorna, that, from the point of view of civic nationalism, those people with English accents, insofar as they participate in the civic life of society north of the border, ARE Scots. That’s what ‘being Scottish’ means nowadays; it’s got nothing to do with heritage or where you were. Scots are of all sorts of different pedigrees and heritages. Why should any one be privileged over all the others?….” – Anndrais.

    Not if they are parachuted in without a modicum of previous knowledge of Scotland and appreciation for its unique cultural heritage, they are not. Most stay a few years to bump up the CV a bit and depart as suddenly as they appeared. Privileged? Well, aren’t they privileged? What if you are a young Scot with an outstanding degree in Fine Arts or theatre direction, etc. and cannot find work in Scotland? Of course young Scots will always travel and might even remain elsewhere. We are a small nation with a limit on certain types of opportunities. However, if your young graduates rarely have much chance of finding careers within their own country because these are given to metropolitan types from the south, that is a very different situation. Switch on the TV on any night there is a programme on about the RSPB, about the natural environment, for example, and you will discover that, sometimes, there are no Scots present at all. Are you saying that no Scots graduate ever looks for jobs in these areas? I know from experience that they do. So, why so few? Because people are impressed with ‘big’ CVs, quite literally barring Scots from these jobs in their own country, assuming that, because you have worked for a large organization, much larger than anything to be found in Scotland, you are automatically the best person for the job. Big is best.

    I appreciate that many Scots go south to find work: journalists, MPs, doctors, all kinds of professionals and non-professionals, but if we uprooted the entire Scottish population and placed them in England, they would occupy an area similar in size to Yorkshire, so the comparison simply cannot stand, and, if we are going to bear the cost of educating our young people so that they have to move south, or abroad, for work, and become our biggest export, then that is a costly exercise in short-sightedness and stupidity – as has been the cutting-back on university places for nurses, teachers, dentists, and so on recently, leading to a dearth of professionals from within Scotland when they were desperately required.

    You are conflating the natural and welcome influx of new blood that takes place everywhere with a virtual saturation of new blood in specific areas which tend to be the cultural heritage areas. If the rUK population in Scotland is 10% as claimed, how on Earth can so many occupy careers and jobs in these areas at the level they appear to (if they don’t, I am open to being corrected), and why should that not be damaging to both Scottish opportunities to work in their own cultural heritage areas, such as theatre; museums; galleries, historical heritage, natural heritage, television, and so on – all the areas where a people might be expected to realize a strong sense of who they are and what they share?

    It is a fact that other countries, in Europe, in particular, understand that England is rife with an aggressive form of nationalism; it is only in England itself that this not recognized (or admitted) for what it is. That this has always been the position of England in relation to the other nations in the British Isles cannot be denied because our mutual histories show this to be the case, more or less over a thousand years. Why do you imagine we were allowed no voice on Brexit after the referendum? Why do you imagine we are not being given a S30 Order right now? Why can’t you extend that kind of exclusionary behaviour to cultural hegemony, too, which may be nothing other than an English/Scottish Unionist perception that Scotland is part of England-as-the-UK, a George Robertson evidently does?

    In other words, we are experiencing a cultural take-over, aided and abetted by Scots themselves, that, in the end, will achieve what conquest or political take-over could not – and that is a cultural extinguishing to the point where the nation, Scotland, literally becomes no different from the nation, England? As Mike Small says, when a national exhibition/festival, etc. is everything but Scottish, and the country is no more than a conduit for other cultural expressions, at the end of the day, your ‘revolving integration’ of Anglicized norms is nothing short of colonial expansionism.

    That is why the Irish laid down the foundations for a national language, Irish Gaelic, and institutions that would be founded in, and expanded upon, in Ireland itself, when they set up the Irish Free State. Cultural giants like James Joyce, a Protestant who never experienced any religious bias in Eire, even as Catholics were experiencing oppression and suppression in the North, called it ‘narrow nationalism’ and moved out of Ireland. I think that, in the end, he was the narrow nationalist who couldn’t see beyond the end of his nose, only his nationalism was of the Anglicized variety – which, of course, is never nationalist with either a small ‘n’ nor a capital ‘N’, is it?

    1. Graham Ennis says:

      Lorna, this is bang on, and you are correct. I remember seeing in Ireland, in the early sixties, children running around Dublin in raggedy shorts and shirts, and bare foot.
      Today, Ireland has 150% of the GNP per person of the UK. It is just above Norway, and is the leader for GNP in the EU per population. Dublin is a modernised major European city. The emphasis on Irish identity has created all this. People are proud to be Irish. Its a free Celtic State. Contrast this with Scotland, that is not where it should be, and not progressing as fast as it could. With no real control over currency, exchange rate, economic policy, interest rates, and firmly under the financial control of the London Banks, Scotland is NOT a free Celtic state. Nor will it ever be, if it does not get independence within five years. By then it will have been firmly atgtached economically to a crippled and semi-detached English state, after five years of BREXIT, which Scotland will also suffer. The SNP has clearly become to comfortable in Office, and has no signs of wanting to campaign for another referendum. If the SNP campaigned on a platform in the next election, of it being elected to start an Independence process, as they would have had a majority of the vote, There would be a clear path under international law to freedom. However, looking at the attitude of the UK to international law, recently, it is quite clear that this would trigger a Catalan reaction from the UK Government. We all know what that means, which is probably means large scale post election disturbances, and the UK’s well prepared plan for dealing with what they would call an uprising. The inevitable result of that is eventually, armed resistance, from the hard core of Scots nationalists with military skills and experience. (Read up on the recent 30 year WAR in Ireland. ) I am NOT being alarmist. I am being realist. The Anglicisation of Scotland is a major tool that the London Government uses. So also I recommend people read the book by Franz Fanon, white masks, dark skins, which spells all this out clearly. He went right through the Algerian independence war. The clock is now ticking. In five years of BREXIT, the London Regime will be exactly that, a Regime. It will not bother them in the slightest to use what ever degree of violence is required to stop the scots, and to restore “Normality”. Comments please?

      1. Anndrais mac Chaluim says:

        So, if Ireland is so great, why have you lived in Brighton as an Englishman for so long?

        1. Graham Ennis says:

          Interesting that you have found out where I live. how did you do that?…my town is not listed in this blog. I smell a rat, methinks. Also, I am not English. You living in Nigeria would not change you into a local nigerian. Get that,
          I am getting a distinct vibe that you are from 77 Brigade. Are You? you have information about me that is not on here
          either that or you have been searching me on the web. Thats called spying, I think, in your case.

          1. Anndrais mac Chaluim says:

            If I participated in the civic life of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, then – yes – I would consider myself Nigerian. I was in fact German for a while, way back when.

            I presume that, as a long-term resident of the UK, you participate in the civic life of that community. That makes you British, albeit of Irish descent.

    2. Anndrais mac Chaluim says:

      Yes, they are; even if they are ‘parachuted in’ (By whom, by the way?). Irrespective of where they come from, for how long they stay, or what their heritage happens to be, for as long as they participate in the civic life of the community they will be ‘Scots’ and enjoy the same civil rights and obligations as any other Scot. That’s civic nationalism for you!

    3. Anndrais mac Chaluim says:

      I’ll just add, before the editor pulls the plug on us, that one of the beauties of civic nationalism is that it allows for dual or even multiple nationality; it also means that you can switch your nationality almost at will. I love the idea that you can switch nationalities like you can switch your energy provider.

  13. Can I strongly suggest to all in this thread that they take a break and tone it down?

    1. Anndrais mac Chaluim says:

      You’re going to have to shut it down, Ed.

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