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Who is allowed to speak for, and to, Scotland?

7 May 2013

7 May 2013

I shall be on hiatus for the next week as I’m getting married on Saturday and I have an inkling that this is no time to be concerned that people are wrong on the internet.

I leave you with my latest  Think Scotland column in which I consider some of the topics raised by Douglas Alexander in the Judith Hart Memorial Lecture he delivered last week.

Douglas Alexander, probably the most thoughtful Scottish Labour MP (though I accept you may consider that only a minor accomplishment), delivered a typically interesting lecture last week. In it he suggested Scotland needs “a politics of opponents. Not enemies. We need a discourse of political difference, not a politics that descends into personal destruction.”

Indeed. Given the Labour party’s feelings towards the SNP – eagerly reciprocated, it might be said – this seems akin to wishing for the moon. Nevertheless, there is something to be said for Alexander’s call.

More interestingly, indeed more significantly, Alexander quoted the Candian intellectual Michael Ignatieff. According to Ignatieff, “In a court of law, standing determines whether you are allowed to participate in a legal action. In politics, standing also determines your right to be heard and accepted as a legitimate voice in the debate”.

The relevance of Ignattief’s argument to Scotland is not, I think, hard to see. The SNP’s boast of being “Scotland’s party” has always annoyed non-nationalists. There is a presumption to it that grates. Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that the SNP’s election victories have, in large part, been predicated upon a widely-believed view that the party can be trusted to “stand up for Scotland” (whatever that means). By implication, of course, all other parties do not “stand up for Scotland” and, therefore, are stuffed with questionable types, motivated by dubious goals and generally not to be trusted.

Labour, needless to say, is piqued by this. After all, Labour used to think that winning 40% (or so) of the vote in Scotland gave it the right to speak for the whole country. In this respect Labour supporters are merely receiving the kind of treatment they once meted out themselves. It is hard to feel too much sympathy for Labour.

Even so, Alexander was on to something. I was struck by something the nationalist blogger Kate Higgins wrote recently. Attending an event at Stirling University she described how she listened “to a number of young people… who felt they had to explain, regularly, that despite an English accent and itinerant childhoods, they considered themselves to be Scottish, having lived here for most of their lives. The fact that they felt the need to lay out their antecedents to justify their involvement and entitlement in this debate shocked me.”

I am glad Ms Higgins was shocked by this. But I doubt she should have been surprised. Many people whose backgrounds (often, it may be said, reasonably privileged) or accents are not “typically” Scots believe they must justify themselves in the fashion Ms Higgins found so shocking. They are only too aware that many of their notional, indeed real, compatriots are not at all convinced they actually are their compatriots.

Nor is this a matter of accent or background alone. The 400,000 or more Scots (or inhabitants of Scotland, if you will) who still vote Conservative have grown used to being traduced by many of their compatriots. If the Conservatives are declared an “anti-Scottish” party (rather than a party that merely has a different idea of Scotland’s best interests) then it takes no great leap of fancy or logic to deem their supporters “anti-Scottish” too. And if you are badged “anti-Scottish” then not only is there no need to listen to what you may have to say; you cannot expect to be treated as a full member of the community. Again, this is not a criticism of the nationalists alone; Labour have also long been guilty of this kind of talk.

It is a state of mind that punctures the view, so cherished by our blethering classes, that Scotland is an unusually open-hearted, generous, broad-minded place. Instead we are revealed as a narrow-minded, chippy, complacent kind of country still dominated by the unco guid.

But, perhaps especially in a small country, the struggle for political legitimacy is key. It determines who is “allowed” (by some process of mysterious alchemy) to “speak”. There are practical reasons for limiting the referendum franchise to those people living in Scotland. But the debate – and contributors to it – ranges rather more widely than our native moors. The peoples of England, Wales and Northern Ireland have reason to hope their voices may be heard (though not prove decisive) and so, of course, do Scots living in the rest of the United Kingdom or further afield. Many of them, after all, will have claim to a Scottish passport in the event of independence. This is their country too.

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Click here for the whole thing. I would add this too: it is quite something when the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is denied “standing” to speak in a debate about the future of the United Kingdom. Quite something too, when he seems to accept this denial and, even, perhaps, considers it proper.

Anyway, see you next week by which time all will be changed, changed utterly and all that.


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Show comments
  • allymax bruce

    Mr Massie, your article, of how this union with England, has always borne out these sneering prejudices, inherent in the English, toward Scots and Scotland, by the crass , stupid, and obtuse ignorance, shown on this comment forum. I genuinely believe the general perceptions of most English peoples towards Scots and Scotland, is amiable, unambivalent, and good. However, these comments below, that openly show the sneering prejudices of the ignorant, led by the dedicated malicious, prove this Union between Scotland, and England has always been fraught with disparate pretensions. In-deed, there are the ‘odd’ commenters on this forum that openly show their nasty hateful prejudices against what is their supposed union partner, Scotland, with no restraint; is there a facility to report these nasty hateful commenteds? Ultimately, this union was always going to be a union of disparate decencies. Seems to me, when Scotland is independent in a few years, a reminder in visiting passports must be stamped at the Scottish border with, ‘You’re not in England now!’

  • http://twitter.com/EdHart6 Ed Hart

    Addendum: Sorry, forget to wish the best for the bash!

  • http://twitter.com/EdHart6 Ed Hart

    If de Valera could fashion an independent, arcadian fairyland out of Irish Home Rule without any resources (other than people), there is no reason to suppose that Scotland couldn’t do the same with them. The SNP might have called the tune on the referendum but thereafter, win or lose, their position will be under far more scrutiny. Either way, they’ll still be expected to deliver.

    Cameron’s reluctance to debate with Salmond is one of his few sensible political decisions. As far as Scotland is concerned, the Tories are still the turd in the room. The greater his exposure to the public – in the run-in to the referendum – the worse the pro-union campaign is likely to do. The Scots are prepared to give the SNP a chance – if not necessarily to endorse a call for independence – precisely because of the consistent failure of the other three parties. Also, no minor consideration, there is a different ethos at work in Scotland. It’s a more cohesive place with less emphasis on the “I’m all right, Jimmy” mentality.

    The other thing going for Salmond is that he’s looking at Scandinavian models for post-independence rather than the tried and failed economic orthodoxy which has plunged the US and most of Europe into is present economic and political impasse. There is something to be said for not taking The Economist. Also, when Scandinavia tops most of the world’s indices for things that matter, why bother going out again in an Anglo-Saxon shower of golden rain when you don’t have to?

  • terregles2

    Gordon Brown just like his friend Cameron is too frightened to have a public debate with Salmond. Brown in Scotland to tell the Scots that they must vote no but too scared to have a public debate to convince them he is right.
    Pathetic.

  • Eddie

    Married? Really? Congratulations, I suppose (from a cynic). Happy honeymoon!
    Now the ishooooo:

    Everyone should be careful what they say online. I know 3 separate people who have been arrested and charged (then cautioned) by the police either for writing something on Facebook or sending an email (more than one counts as harassment). Usually business disputes or friends falling out.

    This chasing around after innocent people who have lost their tempers online seems to be the plods’ new role in the world – which no longer seems to be chasing and catching real criminals, from the hoards of them happily mugging and stealing anything that moves in London (most people don’t bother reporting these crimes – the police are reluctant to show up anyway…).

    It is target-chasing of the worst kind, and picking on the easy meet of generally good decent people who may have broken the letter of the law by posting something online or in emails (though often are morally correct).

    I despair at the state of the police. Can’t we send them all to an island in Scotland maybe? Can Salmond sell one? I am sure crime would go down in their absence. They could also eat the hedgehogs and ths we could avoise culling costs. But who will cull the hedgehog-hunters hmmm? Esp when they start breeding… (like in Jurassic Park, with helmets and sirens).

  • Ann Campbell

    The English have seem at least to be coming to realise that all politicians of the 3 main (in England) parties are corrupt, inefficient, self serving, dishonest gits. In two party tribal Scotland, this realisation has still to dawn, and there are many here who still believe the wee jumped-up toon cooncillors in Holyrood have the best interests of the voters as their main concern. It’s enough to make you weep.

    • terregles2

      Are you suggesting that the Scottish electorate should continue to let the corrupt, inefficient, self serving dishonest gits in Westminster mismanage and badly govern Scotland.?

      • Wessex Man

        well she’s closer to the political scene in Scotland than myself and is allowed her view and vote but I tend to agree with you

  • terregles2

    Seems odd that Cameron is saying so much about the need to defend the Union. Better together ??? yet Cameron is too frightened to have a proper public debate with Salmond.
    If the leader of the UK government cannot speak up for Scotland then who else can?
    Cameron keeps telling us we are equal partners in the union and we need England to make our decisions for us to remain strong.
    If he really believed that he would be happy to speak up in defence of Scotland in a public debate with Salmond.

  • Jambo25

    I submitted an article on this topic pointing out how prominent No campaigners are smearing the pro-independence side to delegitimise them and their arguments. I didn’t use bad language. I didn’t use racist language. I didn’t defame anyone but my posting has not been accepted and is not being displayed.

    We had a long article, published in the Telegraph outlining Douglas Alexander’s arguments, essentially, that those nasty cybernats were smearing people. We hear lots of claims like this and nasty pro-independence people like me ask, not unreasonably, for proof of those cybernat smears. We rarely get any. What we do get quite a lot of, however, are comparisons, by Labour MPs of SNP supporters to Neo-Fascists. Arguments, such as the one from Ian Smart , this week, that the SNP is equivalent to the Klu Klux Klan and very strong hints that the Scottish population, generally, has a strong streak of racism and must be controlled by government from London (A pretty racist contention in itself.).There are lots of crude personal insults posted towards Salmond, Sturgeon and other SNP pols. They aren’t difficult to find on various Spectator discussions. I came across a number which are current. Finally we have had death threats against Salmond and other pro-independence people posted on a couple of sites. We’ve had pro-Union posters wishing that Salmond’s father would die.

    These kinds of things are rarely remarked on or condemned by pro-Union writers. So, I’ll fling these question back to Mr. Massie, “Who is allowed to speak for, and to, Scotland?” Also, shouldn’t the pro-Union people at least try to control the nastier element in their camp or does that only apply to the other side?

  • Claire Geber

    Hundreds of thousands of people should immediately take up residency in ‘Scotland’ – at least 500,000, the population of a city – so that they can have the right to be Scottish and vote for the policies that will express their Scottishness. (Probably high taxes.) The incomers could be English, or excitingly polyglot and multicultural. We could all celebrate Scottish diversity and welcome the new nation into the international fold. What a glorious opportunity to redefine nationalism as humanism. Those crags and moors will be a Paradise.

  • allymax bruce

    Alex, guid luck will’ yer matrimonial; a man’s a man; for a’ that.
    Now, the politics; first-aff, thanks fir geein her maj Mz Higgins a drop; regularly seen on ra Unionist TV shows. She aye maks sense; but then again, she’s only up against Unionists!
    As for Mr Alexander, he complains that the SNP steal all the credit of representing Scotland’s welfare and prosper. Correct me, but only if I’m wrong, but Labour have completely destroyed this country! Labour ruined Scotland, and destroyed the UK. What is Alexander complainig about? It’s the policies that Scots people judge him and his evil Labour Party on, not feelgood soundbites!

    • Wessex Man

      oh do grow, what are you now inventing a new language? and do you honestly think the Labour Party collectively wake up each day and all think how can I be evil today!

      • allymax bruce

        Yes.
        Labour forced us into EU Lisbon, no referendum that they promised.
        Labour deregulated the financial system, and consequently crashed our economy.
        Labour told lies, manufactured secondary evidence, forced us to an illegal war.
        Labour – Kelly?
        Labour – Cook?
        Labour – Maxwell?

        Do you want me to go on? There’s plenty more!

        • Wessex Man

          I don’t particulary care, I am a member of UKIP, I just found your posting offensive to other human beings.

          • allymax bruce

            If you don’t care, then why are your toys oot the pram?
            And, who says you speak for ‘other human beings’?
            You are so filled with hate; is that a composite ‘mandate’ for UKIP members?

            • Wessex Man

              You naughty little person, I haven’t thrown any toys out og the pram, unlike I am a very reasonable person willing to see all sides of an arguement, it seems you can’t even remember half the things New Labour got up to and my previous comment still holds.

              Again unlike you I don’t hate anyone, too much effort to be filled with bile like you, I keep telling you that I and many English people wish you luck in your referendum but it just doesn’t seem to get through, still I’m not going to lose any sleep if a racist bigot boils over about my comments, it shows my comments are correct about you dear boy.

              • allymax bruce

                You’re a nasty racist liar; you’ve already stated you hate us Scots. You are a nasty trouble maker, that uses stupid name-calling to function your venting. There’s something very wrong with you; you have psychotic tendencies. You stalk people on forums; you’re very very ‘weird’!
                Don’t talk to me, on any forum, ever again;You are very, very ‘weird’!

                • Wessex Man

                  What a stupid little child you are, only in your hate filled dreams have I ever said that I Hate the Scots, in real life theres not enough time to indugle in such stupidy. So I’ll leave that to you, you seem very good at it, especially when you’ve lost the arguement.

                • allymax bruce

                  You called me a “stupid little child”; I knew there was something very wrong about you. I never lose arguments, I’m far to clever for that. I have proved you are a liar, a racist against Scots, and a very strange man; that ‘associates’ winning arguments/stalking, with children. You also stated you were a member of UKIP.
                  David Cameron was right about you, (UKIP), you are a weird lot of fruitcakes, and closet racists. And in your case, very strange men, that associate strong Scots men, with children!
                  Like I said, there’s something very very strange about you!

                • Wessex Man

                  You’ve only proved what a stupid ranting rage foaming little child you are. For you to accuse me of such things you’ve got to have them in your tiny brain. your prejudices know no bounds, I reckon you are an all time winner of racist of the year. If you were a strong Scots man you might have a case but your not you are a hate filled wally simmering in front of your computer reliving Braveheart in your feeble head.

                  I wondered where you got it from now you show your Cameronian tendentious roots! you are a Tory by golly, a rare thing in Scotland.

                  I also feel sorry for Alex Salmond if you are part of his brave new future.

                • Wessex Man

                  I miassed that bit “too clever” just nearly choked on my tea reading that, I bet you went to a special needs School.

                • allymax bruce

                  What a tool.

                • allymax bruce

                  There you go with your child fetish again; does UKIP know about this? Aye, UKIP; fruitcakes, nutters, and closet racists! Talk about rants, racism and rancid discourse; you are the registered copyright.
                  I’m beginning to think you protest too much; hmmm. That sounds alarm bells for me; I’m straight. I’m heterosexual; ………. get used to it !

                  Braveheart; oh-Yes, I love my Country Scotland; the best nation of peoples in the world, with a good honest SNP Scottish Government, socialist ethos value-system; predominantly untainted by Labour Party’s malicious & greedy Third Sector. We are resisting Labour’s hidden agenda to privatise social care; the traditional preserve of local authority, with Labour’s evil American owned Third Sector private corporations. You see, Wessex, Scotland is a unique phenomenon; we’ve essentially been frozen in time, with our archetypal Scottish values, and way of life. A pure, good, and true Nation of good honest peoples.
                  Braveheart, Yes; ………….. Freeeddomm !

                • Wessex Man

                  I’m beginning to think you can’t read English, is it because it’s English or maybe because you are a half-witted troll. The only clown around here is you and the only fool that seems to have to hold a nasty child fetish is you, I just knew that your views on Scotland would be based on Mel Gibson’s ridiculous movie Braveheart.

                  Thank the Lord that the majority of Scottish people hold views that polar opposite to yours, you are going to look such a fool when the Scottish people vote to stay within the United Kingdom.

                  Let’s not even go there about who caused this country to suffer one of the deepest economic depressions in history, oh all right let’s go there Blair and Brown proud Scots like you ably aided by Gorballs Mick Martin and “Dr” John Reid with Alistar Darling,Helen Liddell, John McFall and Nigel Griffiths. All good Bravehearts of Scottish New Labour. We could have done with resisting them as well.

                  I’ve found Scotland to be much like England with Mountains, you however are certainly a phenomenon and frozen in something.

                • allymax bruce

                  You’re like a bad deoderant; you get used to it because you can’t be bothered to change.
                  Mel Gibson is revered, venerated, and glorified in Scotland; Scotland luvs Braveheart Mel. He gets an invite to attend Scotland’a Independence ceremony at Holyrood. I would like Mel to buy a house here in Scotland, and tour about town, in his kilt n’ a’ that. As for all the Labour parasites you mention; they are traitors to our Country, people, and Nation of Scotland. People come from all over the world to live here in Scotland, and integrate very well; becoming Scots themselves. But the Labour Party are not considered Scots; they are traitors to us
                  You really want to be Scots; it’s obvious.

                • Wessex Man

                  The internet when first available was a fantastic way in which people could communicate, challenge the status quo hold despots to account and unfortunately allow halfwit trolls including you to achieve fame in their own house. It’s a price worth though.

                  I don’t for one moment believe that the Scottish people revere, venerate and glorify a drunken facist woman beater like Mel Gibson, you however in your tiny fantasy world probably do!

                • allymax bruce

                  You describe Mel Gibson as a drunken fascist wife beater; you use the same descriptives that stereotype Scotland’s football fans. Are you still smarting over us Scots coming down to your orchard Wembly, beating yer fitba team, and deflowering yer sacred Wembly pitch? Aye, what a day that was! Even Rod Stewart wiz hanging aff yer famous Wembly goalposts. There’s still Scots up here selling Wembly turf, net, etc; oor Mel would’ve been proud. You are very bitter; waiting for God?
                  You always reply to me with venomous comments; do you have an underlying premise? Or, like said before, are you simply a patient in psychiatric hospital?

                • terregles2

                  Tony Blair is the son of an English father and an Irish mother. His father was born to English people called Parsons then adopted by a Scottish family. Blair was educated in Scotland. Blair though is English/Irish by birth. He would not thank you for being called Scottish he was proud of his father’s natural English parents. His grandparents were English actors and the only reason Scottish people adopted Blair’s father is becasue they were on a theatre tour in Scotland when Blair’s grandfather was born

                • Wessex Man

                  I stand corrected terregles2, was he really proud of his natural English grandparants? he more than Prescott and Falconer did more to try and do away with England as a National entity and when Prescott and Falconer lost the North East referendum by such a wide margin that they never carried out anymore of their plans, he went ahead and established un-elected Regional Assemblies with no power. I often wonder what on earth all that waste is about.

                • allymax bruce

                  Yer a tool.

      • terregles2

        No they don’t wake up and decide to be evil. Scottish Labour wake up and do what they have being doing for decades. They wake up and consider how they can best further their careers rather than how they can best serve the people of Scotland who voted them into power.
        It was Scottish politicians who helped Tony Blair move the maritime border between Scotland and England in 1999 to the detriment of Scotland. This was just one more decision in a long line of many made to serve their own career prospects and not the people of Scotland.
        Labour are a busted flush in Scotland because Scottish voters now realise that Labour are only in Westminster to serve themsleves.
        The more votes the SNP pick up the nastier the Scottish Labour attack.
        They are in a deep panic about the prospect of falling off the political gravy train.

      • Eddie

        Scots is not a language, no more than Cockney or Northern English dialects. No matter what any dodgy academic dribbles into some research paper or other. It ain’t a language, innit? Dya get me blud?

        And Burns is the most over-rated poet ever – his writing was and is doggerel. Infantile pap which is constantly undergoing a makeover thanks to the latest tartan paint jobs.

        If he were not a focus for homesick Scots and other uber-nationalists, he would be almost forgotten by now – like Southey (who writes way better than him anyway!).

        • Jambo25

          Yes Eddie. Time to take your Librium again.

          • Wessex Man

            Well Jambo, if you think Eddie needs Librium what would you suggest for allymax bruce, he’s definately going to need something a lot stronger.

            • terregles2

              They are a good laugh though. Eddie is tops I love his outbursts.

            • terregles2

              I think both Allymax and Eddie may well be Agent Provocateurs. I must say I have never heard any other people either on the left or the right or in the YES or NO campaigns
              or indeed anyone spouting their agressive nonsense.

              • Wessex Man

                It’s good fun winding people like this up though!

                • allymax bruce

                  You are pathetic; and a weirdo UKIP nutter. Fruitcakes, clowns, and closet racists. Looking at your comments, we don’t want any of ‘your type’ in our Scotland. Stay doon in engerland ye weirdos.

                • Wessex Man

                  Go and take your Librium and have a nice rest

                • terregles2

                  I know it is hard to resist.

              • allymax bruce

                Agent Provocatuers, is that from another of your non-language language?
                So, a couple of wind-up merchants, eh; a typical English pastime, that belies a personal lack of worth. Or, typical psychological warfare techniques/methods used by ‘British’ intelligence; originated at Tavistock. But yoos fools wouldn’t know that; only a couple of veerins, with nothing better to do, but fantasise conspiracy theories. Yer janes bond is is fictional !

                • terregles2

                  It was said as a wee joke but I can see you are not laughing.Having said that I think you are on a bit of a wind up yourself.
                  I don’t know much about typical English pastimes as I am Scottish and a YES voter. Fortunately the others who I campaign with for a YES vote are not as aggressive and rude as you.
                  Some of them are English living here in Scotland and they are nice fun people. Glad to say I have not come across any nastiness either from YES or NO campaigners certainly no outbursts such as yours.

                • allymax bruce

                  So, let me get this right, you think it’s funny, a joke even, to slander Scots, and Scotland, and when Scots stand up for themselves, you think it’s rude of Scots to be just as rude back. Hmmm, it seems to me you’ve ‘accepted’ the ‘governer’s greatness’, to deride us Scots as too poor, too stupid, and too wee. I suppose you also think it’s funny, a joke, even, that Westminster ‘factor-in’ this degenerating psychological warfare to Scotland’a Barnett pocket money?
                  Vote Yes, by all means, but don’t tell me, and the massive Scots’ population it’s only fun, that Westminster, and those who aren’t poor, but also think it’s fun, to join in that fun, which jokes about Scots as poor, impoverished, and destitute. If people are rude to me, then I’m perfectly entitled to be as rude back. But, more than anything, I’m disappointed you believe you are validated to criticise me, while I’m not allowed to criticise you!

                • Wessex Man

                  Please see a Doctor as soon as possible!

              • allymax bruce

                You are a stooge; you’re not genuine. I think you are a malice-maker, on here to smear and degenerate Scottish independence.

            • allymax bruce

              Yer a tool.

              • Wessex Man

                Oh please learn English you troll.

          • Eddie

            Well, if I were Scottish I would just be sticking to my buckfast eh?
            Y’know, anyone who says what you have just said loses the argument – and also is mocking and bullying the mentally ill who do need librium of valium or temazapan or xanax. Alex Salmond looks half-pishhhed half the time anyway, and a few rips in the trooosers and he’d look really Rab C Nebitt, In fact, I think I have seeen his twin in a London park entrance begging for beer money: oh the metaphor for Scottish independece is wonderful!

            • terregles2

              Oh Eddie you are brilliant can’t wait to show this rant to my workmates tomorrow.
              Hilarious keep it up..

            • Jambo25

              I think you just confirmed my suspicions and proved them

  • FF42

    Good luck with your other Union. I am sure once you have tied the knot you will find life the same, but different – and better.

  • classieview

    Congratulations on tying the knot. Relief all round since it surely means that a generation from now, a third generation of Massie’s will be applying lashings of liberal virtue in what passes for the serious media – perhaps employed by a sibling of your esteemed editor Fraser. isn’t that how the media world works – it’s certainly sums it up in crony-ridden Scotland.

  • CraigStrachan

    Well, you didn’t wait very long after popping the question. A case of if it be done, when ’tis done, as well it were done quickly?

    All the best.

  • JPJ2

    “it is quite something when the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is denied “standing” to speak in a debate about the future of the United Kingdom. Quite something too, when he seems to accept this denial and, even, perhaps, considers it proper.”
    You are not that daft, Massie the Younger.
    Cameron is scared to debate Salmond head to head on the issue of Scottish independence.-it is as simple as that.

    • terregles2

      Salmond would be happy to have a public debate with Cameron but Cameron is too frightened. Cameron thinks if he keeps a low profile his new friends in Scotland the Scottish Labour party will fight hard to save the tories and the union.

      • Eddie

        To most people, Salmond is the SNP, and the SNP is Salmond – which does sound a bit like Rudolf Hess introducing H (not the one from Steps) at the Nurenburg rallies (ooooo he was sooooo Freddie Mercury…)
        Yes, some English people living in Scotland will vote yes – all the leftie romantics who dream of a socialist revolution, and realise they can never create one in England (outside of th GLC or the People’s Republic of Hackney etc).
        There are also many English people in Scotland who most certainly do not want independence – the vast majority of those in Shetland, for example, and the business community, who all dread a Salmond-ruled indepnednet Scotland with a tax and spend policy that will lead to disaster. Any independent Scottish pound would be worth less than the English one (as with Slovakia and the Czech Republic); businesses would leave an over-regulated Scotland to set up over the border; the English subsidy of Scotland would stop (at present every person in Scotland gets 10% more public funding than those in England and Wales) and the Scots themselves would have to pay taxes to pay for all that.
        It’s a lovely romantic idea tro be independent – I sometimes have a Passport to Pimlico moment when I’d like to make my house an indpendent state, free from the multifarious meddlings from the muppetts at the local council, liberated from the absurdities of the police and our silly legal system, cut of completely from the ruinous ravages of our sickk celebrity culture – I have a dream, indeed. The thing is – it’s just a dream and a fantasy, and i haven’t thought it through or costed it (oh look – I do have something in common with the SNP after all…) .
        But for small states it is not really feasible – which is why so many beg to be part of the EU or under US control. The SNP does not really want Scotland to be truly independent – but to be part of a Union with Brussels and ruled from there, with Salmond grinning like a quisling puppet in Edinburgh. He won’t be the puppet-master, that’s for sure – the banks will and the EU.

        • terregles2

          Your ignorance of Scottish politics and what is happening in Scotland at the moment is truly staggering. If you want to keep up to speed in Scottish politics try Newsnetscotland. You could also check out top 10 unionist myths debunked on Youtube.
          Please don’t stop giving us your political analysis though you are hilarious.

          • Eddie

            Your problem Terry Tangles, is that you spend all day long nattering with other SNP prattlers who are just like you and believe the silly fantasies you do. This reinforces your sense of rightness and makes you think – very wrongly – that all Scottish people agree with your loud and boorish Blimpery.
            Try talking to some normal people eh? People from the business community, who understand things.

            • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Smith/1539610494 Chris Smith

              Pardon me for jumping in Eddie, but I must correct you on your assumption that Alex Salmond will be ‘in charge’ after a YES vote.

              The simple truth, a truth that dare not be mentioned in Scottish Media, is that post independence a Scottish Election will be called and ALL political parties may Manifesto the people of Scotland. Alex Salmond may well be the Grouse eagerly awaiting the hunting season.

              This is not a one party race, in fact it is not even a one party debate. There are many labour supporters on the YES side as well, together with Greens and others.

              As for Scottish Business, I can assure you that there are plenty in the YES camp and proud to finance and endorse the campaign. You should enlarge your knowledge of the subject by at least looking at both sides of a debate. newsnetscotland.com would be a fine place to start.

            • terregles2

              Terry Tangles…………Oh Eddie you are a riot. I work in an office within the renewable energy sector where I do prattle a lot but the more I prattle the more business I bring in to the company and the more I earn.

              At my coffee break this morning I shared your Scottish political analysis with some of my colleagues. They are a mixture of various nationalities and a mixture of YES and NO voters.
              You cheered us up this morning. There was not a lot of boorish blimpery in the office but there was a lot of laughter at your Daily Mail type slant on Scottish politics.
              Please don’t stop, you are a tonic. You’re right up there with Tommy Cooper..

  • MichtyMe

    The Conservatives in Scotland are not genuine if they prefer dependency to independence and fail to support self reliance, self determination and national sovereignty.

    • GUBU

      It’s very kind of you to illustrate Mr Massie’s point so perfectly…

    • FF42

      It is just as “genuine” to make a self-confident sovereign decision to support the Union. Just as – if you will forgive the metaphor – Alex is making a self-confident, sovereign decision to form a union with the person he is marrying. A vote for the Union, if that’s what we end up going for, is just as valid as a vote for independence.We have the choice. I respect your preference for independence, but respect works both ways.

  • MichtyMe

    Yes the labourites hate the SNP with a venom that drives them into absurd positions, born of an over weaning sense of entitlement. Long ago when labour had the Tories as opponents and at elections small numbers of floaters would drift between but then the SNP arrived and took what “belonged” to them, not just votes, but “their” people. The SNP were “enemies” not just “opponents” who had stolen what was theirs and the hate grew and went deep.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Clive-Holland/100002026138268 Clive Holland

    One has only to read the vitriolic blogs in the Scotsman to realise how these Scots do not love each other. They all have a grievance. PG Wodehouse was right!

    • classieview

      A country resolutely in search of its own civil-war …and who is to stop it if the English decide to leave the northern tribes to it.

      • terregles2

        The northern tribes in 2014 will decide whether or not England stays in control of Scotland after 2014.
        If the southern tribes are not happy with that situation then they must form a new political party and campaign for independence for England.
        It is unlikely though that there will be much support from the mainstream Westminster political parties for English independence as the Westminster parties have access to the true financial figures for the UK

    • allymax bruce

      You do know it’s it’s lying Labour, and MI5 on the Scotchman; or are you utterly stupid?
      Re Scotchman, is owned by Americans & Zionists, (C. A. P. ), from The Republican Party, that are part of the International Marxists, (Zionists), that Chris Hitchens talks about. They want to own Scotland as its playground for them, the super-rich, and they promulgate the psychological warfare on Scotland’s readership through this brainwashing vehicle; the Scotchman. It’s all a load of brainwashing of the Scots peoples, by the super-rich foreigners that want to own Scotland, and the Scotch Labour Party are the pathetic communists, trying to fool us people into allowing Labour’s Marxist masters to own Scotland. Labour have no interest in Scotland, or Scots; Scotch Labour are only there to get themselves rich. But yoos cretins know all this anyway; ye’r only plying more brainwashing on us Scots. And trying smear and deride me is another part of yer stupid plan.

      • Wessex Man

        no one has to smear or deride you, you do a pretty good job yourself.

        • allymax bruce

          Here’s an idea, and it might sound radical to you, but, how about conforming with forum etiquette; you know, desist from directing comments to me, and of me, and then we’ll see if you are, or, are not, a lying, sleekit troll. STAY AWAY FROM ME. I DON’T WANT YOU COMMUNICATING TO ME.
          To find out the truth, look at my first comment, it was on the article; of which ‘the troll’ hitched on, and began smearing me. All my replies have been, in my defense, retorts to ‘the troll’. That in itself shows the troll is stalking me, trying to smear me. Like I said, Wessex the troll, stay away from me, or you are a malicious, lying, conniving troll!

          • Wessex Man

            Are you alright? didn’t the Librium work, why not try Prozac? If that doesn’t work you’ll have to try something stronger, maybe Horse tranquilliser?

            These trolls thet get everywhere don’t they? maybe a nice long lie down in a dark room will help. I’ll check how you are tomorrow.

  • Jupiter

    Are you getting married to a man or a woman?

  • Radford_NG

    Expats. have the right to vote in General Elections for 20 years after leaving the country.The same should apply for the Scottish Referendum.And only British Citizens should be allowed to vote.

    • terregles2

      Are you saying that if a majority of people living in Scotland vote YES then others who do not live in Scotland have the right to overturn the majority decision. It has nothing to do with being Scottish it has everythything to do with each person living in Scotland who is registered to vote whether or not they are of Scottish origin.
      English people and any other nationality who live is Scotland have more right to decide Scotland’s future than Scottish people who have left Scotland and no loger live here.

    • John

      I agree mostly-long term foreign residents should be able to vote and maybe excluding expats who been away 10yrs. Myself i’m a “not-a-expat” travelling abroad and expect to be doing so when the election is on. I can vote from abroad for the general election, but not the scottish elections or the referendum since these are elections within elected bodies.Never understood that bit. I don’t think it would be impossible, but trickly to define a scottish person. Birth records and previous electoral registrations to decide someone to vote as scottish. Residency is a good way, but not perfect.
      I’m considering flying in for the vote as i will still be registered

      as a side i’d to interested to read what the monster raving loony party have to say on the referendum. So far i’m not impressed by either sides hot air which seems to be going on and on

  • http://twitter.com/Waltroon Walter Ellis

    Good luck, young Massie. I’m sure your dad will make a splendid speech.

    Will you be wearing a kilt?

  • Sam Davidson

    Congratulations! A good piece too. As what you might call an “ethnic” Scot with a horribly posh English accent, I’ve always been given grim looks when declaring myself “Scottish” to more genuinely native countrymen (I live in Edinburgh). I understand why, of course, but it does make one feel a little rootless.

    • Vrai écossais

      One has to understand that, broadly speaking, having a Scottish accent is the one marker of being Scottish and not English/Welsh etc. That is why having a neutral or ‘English’ sounding accent raises eyebrows. I have lots of ‘posh’ friends who surprise even me by being patriotically Scottish and even (sometimes mockingly) anti English.

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