Coffee House

It’s not Doublethink to support Scottish independence and Britishness

20 May 2014

5:10 PM

20 May 2014

5:10 PM

I remember it well: It was in a 2008 debate on whether we should establish a ‘Britishness day’, when many of us were crammed into Westminster Hall to consider this question of great national importance. It was about the same time as Gordon Brown’s much mocked ‘British jobs for British workers’ and there were, therefore, many ongoing debates about what Britishness was supposed to mean and how it could be celebrated. During that debate I said that, (as we move towards independence) ‘all vestiges of Britishness may go and I don’t know what Britishness is’.

Pretty unremarkable, but these comments are now starring in any number of unionist productions, publications and columns (including Spectator blog posts) as the worst example of ‘Nat’ duplicity.

I was, in fact, in good company that day because—such was the general confusion about what ‘Britishness’ meant—the day that emerged as the favourite for this ‘Britishness day’ was the anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta. Now, this is indeed a supremely important day in history – but unfortunately not in ‘British’ history. The signing of the Magna Carta was in 1215, some 500 years before the idea of cultural Britishness even existed. The idea was quietly dropped.

It seems typical of the debate about Britishness. As an identity it truly is a peculiar construct, and one that is extremely difficult to define.

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For Michael Portillo it is simply ‘anti-fanaticism’. For nearly everyone else it’s about institutions such as royalty or things such as fish and chips.

While it is a curious social construct, Britishness is absolutely essential to the UK state. It was a necessary invention to ensure that a cultural sense of togetherness could incorporate the divergent ‘British’ nations with their own indigenous cultures. Because it came from the year zero of political union, cultural Britishness has become entwined with shared heritage and historic landmarks such as World War 2 and the founding of the NHS. This is a view of Britishness best summed up by Danny Boyle at the Olympic opening ceremony, when he so superbly almost re-defined the idea of a ‘heritage’ Britishness. This is an identity that is in grave peril in Scotland (and in trouble in England) if you look at the recent social attitudes surveys.

As we move towards independence it is right, then, that we in Scotland also reassess our relationship with ‘Britishness’ and find a positive place for it in a multi-cultural, diverse independent Scotland. In 2011, I attempted to do this by building on work that former MSP and columnist Andrew Wilson had done some 10 years earlier. He looked at how, in an independent Scotland, Britishness could be developed and enhanced by the two nations coming together as equal partners to build joint institutions. Like him, I came to the view that Britishness was such an important part of our historic experience that, instead of letting it disappear, we should continue to use it to help us inform our future independent journey and cherish its contribution to our national life.

At the time I got quite a bit of stick from people within the independence movement, who said that the whole point of independence was to rid us of ‘Britishness’. Since then we have passed resolutions at SNP conferences, warmly welcomed and applauded a lecture given by Professor James Mitchell who said in it that Britishness is ‘no threat to Scots’ and, I would go so far as to say, the independence movement has embraced a debate about Britishness that would have been unthinkable even a decade ago.

You would think that unionists would welcome all of this. Not a bit of it. Instead, they just see it as something sinister and cynical. Instead of engaging in debate, they trawl around for quotes they can use out of context and they seem determined only to indulge in pointless point scoring. I make absolutely no apologies for revisiting some of my the views I hold on Britishness (or any other issue) and am glad that we SNP members are individually and collectively prepared to properly re-examine and re-asses our views.

As for nationalism, I really couldn’t care less about it, whether the Scottish or British variety. I believe in inter-dependence, international solidarity and social democracy. I just happen to believe that the people who live and work in Scotland would make a better go of running our country if we had the normal powers of independence. Let’s turn the unionist caricature of a ‘nationalist’ on its head and positively define and apply it. If we are to be ‘nationalists’ let’s make it about all the things we can do and can achieve. Let’s unleash the positive ‘inner Nat’.

Surely my friends in the No campaign can engage in this incredible debate without the silly insults, misrepresentations, George Orwell references and charges of doublespeak. I have my doubts, though. They have a campaign to win.

Pete Wishart is the SNP Member of Parliament for Perth and North Perthshire

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Show comments
  • DGStuart

    Good grief, Wishart takes an inordinate number of words to say, well not very much really – vapid platitudes mostly.

  • black11hawk

    No doubt a descendant of the treacherous Bishop Robert Wishart.

  • Mc Kenzie

    Scot Nats who love Britishness
    Unionists who love Scottishness

    Load of s**t

    What neither of them seem to understand is that most of us couldn’t really give a toss about any sort of “ness”

    Just get on with your lives, have a good time and don’t bother anybody else

  • Stamford Raffles

    This is nonsense from Wishart. States that became independent from Britain
    down graded their British past and removed Britishness because they
    wanted a change in identity amongst their people. They feared a
    continuation of the British identity. Salmond’s separate Scotland would
    be the same. Britishness would fade away there. This is typical SNP
    Scot’s can have their cake and eat it stuff..Utter rubbish.

  • Iain Hill

    Let’s get independence under way, then discuss with the Emglish those joint projects which will undoubtedly benefit us both. We could call them something else to make things simpler and leave out British, as it seems to excite such confusing passions.

    • Richard T

      Supporting Independence unconditionally – damn the torpedoes, etc. – is a perfectly legitimate position.

      It’s one taken by only a small minority of Scottish voters, if years of consistent polling are to be believed.

      The rest seem to have a strong preference for having some clarity on “joint projects” before entering the polling booth rather than afterwards. As the SNP fully understand, hence the White Paper, soothing noises about continuing shared institutions, the increasingly desperate “bluff & bluster” narrative over CU, etc.

      Unfortunately, that’s all coming apart at the seams.

      Then there’s the interesting phenomenon of the new young voters being rather less enthusiastic about the separatist vision than the Dear Leader had fondly imagined in his Salmond Youth fantasies.

    • Tea and crumpets?

      What joint projects are you referring to? Currency? Naval bases? Can you tell me why you think it would be good to share a currency between 2 diverging economies? And why it’s ok to dock American nukes on the Clyde but not uk ones?

  • Paul Gillen

    Most of you people clearly haven’t read deeply enough into this, and there are so many BritNat comments, I’m actually in disbelief! There are numerous examples of countries around the World co-operating, in the best interests of their nations. Nations transcend boundaries, often, when there is a border. Just look at The Nordic Council, for example. You have Scandinavian nations co-operating for the best interests of their region, and this is exactly the proposal that the SNP have put forward. In fact, it already happens between Britain and Ireland, with the British-Irish Council. Institutions are key to the survival of any nation (e.g. the welfare state), and the SNP has proposed several ways for institutions to be shared in iScotland. Trust me, in an iScotland, you won’t be losing your British identity – and even today, there have been stories about Scots keeping British citizenship! Do keep up…

    • Allygally

      Right. So we’re British. And we want to stay British. And the way to preserve that Britishness is to leave the institutions and agreements and commitments that make us British and then form committees to stitch bits of that Britishness together again?!!!!!
      Frankly it’s nuts. It makes as much sense as the Nats other foolish idea of leaving the UK£ and then applying to re-join on worse conditions.
      Baldrick would be proud….

    • Tea and crumpets?

      I think the major difference is, they merely share ideas, not institutions or policy or currency. Norway, who everybody seems to love these days isn’t even in the EU. Being half Norwegian myself I can tell you they share a lot less enthusiasm with there neighbours than you may think. They have different languages, different currencies and the land mass of the Nordic countries is so large that it makes the “London is so far away, I have nothing in common with them” look simply ridiculous. They are literally different countries.

  • Allygally

    It’s not doublethink to be a capitalist socialist…

  • Allygally

    It’s not doublethink to support Rangers and also Celtic.

  • Allygally

    It’s not doublethink to believe black is white.

    • Scott Bowie

      actually it is.

  • The Masked Marvel

    Danny Boyle “superbly almost re-defined” Britishness? If one is a Progressive Statist, perhaps.

    “I believe in inter-dependence, international solidarity and social democracy. I just happen to believe that the people who live and work in Scotland would make a better go of running our country if we had the normal powers of independence.”

    But this is doublethink, isn’t it? Or have we also now superbly almost re-defined “normal powers of independence”? Will Wishart stand against joining the EU, then?

    “Inner-Nat”? Inner fascist, more like.

    • Scott Bowie

      this tired-eyed argument about how scotland wouldn’t really be independent if it joined europe can be easily dismissed.
      1. france, germany, spain, italy, denmark, etc…are these not viewed as independent countries around the world?
      2. we are currently a member of the eu, all we would be removing is the middle man of westminster.
      3. once independent scotland may negotiate to leave the eu at any time, much like england probably will after the next election. the difference is scotland would not have to blindly follow.
      how is seeking self-determination and a place at the table fascist exactly?

      • The Masked Marvel

        Oh, sure, they are “viewed as independent”. But, aside from Germany (for obvious reasons), they are becoming less and less so. Rest assured the status quo you believe you observe now will not remain intact. We know what the Eurocrats really want to happen. Some have been quite open about it. Anyone who believes otherwise is fooling themselves.

        “A place at the table”. How quaint, and how misleading. A place at the trough for your politicians, yes, and a gradual control over you from Brussels will be the reality. But by all means, go ahead and dream.

        Once Scotland achieves political independence from England (for that’s the underlying issue), do you think you’ll not face the same encroachments over budget, trade, immigration, jobs, and everything else? Or will you instead be demanding that the wealthier countries hand over some cash to pay for your welfare state and methadone clinics? One anticipates an amusing debate the next time Europe decrees everyone hand over the cash to bail out, say Spain or Italy. That’s assuming, of course, that it won’t be the Scottish banks needing recapitalisation. In five years’ time, will a euro be worth the same in a Scottish bank as it will be in a German bank? How much will you enjoy your “place at the table” then? Perhaps you won’t care, as it will seem like other people’s money to you, and you’ll have your ancient racial pride restored.

        Once the age-old hatred and resentment of conquest by the English has faded, what then? You’ll be a client state again, with precious little to show for it besides racial pride. It will be interesting to watch Scotland work to find something new on which to base your national identity. Other than the fact that it’s in England and populated by many Englishmen (and women), what’s the practical difference between your place at the table in Westminster and your imagined place at the table in Brussels? You have your won Parliament now, with no one but your own kind having a vote over much of your domestic lives, something the English do not.

        • Scott Bowie

          started reading, but realized it was just the usual self-absorbed, self-important english view that this couldn’t be about anything other than the english.
          silly boy, it’s about running our country, not the neighbours. climb down off that pedestal .
          the difference will be we get to make our own decisions, not you. i’m sorry you find that so upsetting.

          • The Masked Marvel

            Hang on, who’s self-absorbed?

            • Scott Bowie

              classic, so self-absorbed doesn’t even recognize it. are you currently on any medication?

              • The Masked Marvel

                Caveat suffragator.

  • RavenRandom

    Duplicitous cake and eat it nonsense: “we in Scotland also reassess our relationship with ‘Britishness’ and find a positive place for it in a multi-cultural, diverse independent Scotland” sanctimonious self-serving twaddle from a snake oil salesman.

  • weescamp

    I never refer to myself as “British” when I’m overseas. I can’t stand the ridicule and laughter.

    Last time I’d have happily called myself a Brit was when the E-Type Jag was introduced and Concorde first flew. Nowadays there’s nothing to warrant a claim of Britishness.

    • MichtyMe

      Perhaps in some places, such as America, unless wishing to have another conversation on the Loch Ness Monster or some such predictable subject best you just mumble about being from northern europe.

  • Eyesee

    I think it is entirely possible to be an Independent nation of Scotland and ‘British’, although I’m not sure why you would want to be. Perhaps, as I think Alex Salmond is promising, the welfare cheques will keep arriving from England after the split. The notion in the headline is also known as ‘having your cake and eating it’. Are all Scots now this thick, or do thick people just become politicians there? Is their idiotic looking ‘parliament building’ properly called The Asylum?

    • MichtyMe

      Why do you think that welfare cheques from England are needed. Welfare expenditure as a proportion of Scottish GDP and tax revenues is smaller than that of the UK. and the percentage of the population in work and economically active greater.

      • Scott Bowie

        they aren’t needed at all. scotland pays in way more than it gets back, people are realizing this and that is why the polls continue to rise.

        • monty61

          The point is not that Scotland pays in more than it gets back, but that with Scotland and England together the pie itself is bigger. Both are diminished if the petty Gnats get their way.

          • Scott Bowie

            um no, you fail entirely to see the point. scots pay in more than they get back. that isn’t equal. that means someone is getting more than their fair share. i’m sure england will be diminished, but scotland will gain, simply math.

            • monty61

              It’s you that’s got it wrong. This ‘Scots pay in more’ is nonsense, it all depends what you count and how you count it. But the key point is that pulling the plug on a hugely successful partnership will have negative effects on both sides – new friction in doing business, new transaction costs, duplication of public service functions, all sorts of inefficiencies. And please don’t tell me Wee Eck is about to unleash some great economic miracle because he has absolutely no plan beyond a few rounds of golf with foreign plutocrats.

              And in English it’s ‘maths’ (unless you some kind of American, perhaps?)

              • Scott Bowie

                i didn’t realize there were ‘types’ of american.
                i can safely assume from your ‘wee eck’ jab that you’re one of those tunnel visioned fellows that think an entire movement to restore one of the oldest nations in europe is all the brainchild of one man.
                the simple fact is scotland does pay more than it gets back, it’s quite easy to google.
                it’s no wonder you think the partnership is so successful when you receive the lions share.
                perhaps you’d like to come up north and tell it to the 1 million people we have living in poverty, 20% of an oil rich, export heavy nation living in poverty due to another country holding our purse strings. or perhaps you define the success of ‘partnership’ as parking one partners nuclear submarines 40 miles from its largest civilian city, in exchange though said partner at least has the decency to take all our oil from us, and spend it on vanity projects. yeah….the union is just fabulous.

                • monty61

                  Give it a rest. Scotland’s ‘poverty’ is relative and much talked up by the moaners and whingers.

                  I live in England at the minute but I didn’t leave the West of Scotland till I was in my 30s. I still go home often (Indeed I’ve moved home and away again twice, for work, to various countries).

                  What I see among Scotland’s urban poor is learned helplessness – there’s a self-pitying/entitlement element to parts of Scottish culture and a tolerance of bone idleness that simply can’t be laid at the door of Westminster.

                  It really annoys me when the dreamers go on and on about how Scotland will be this that and the other after independence – there’s no pot of gold at the end of the ballot box, just hard work and getting stuck in.

                • Scott Bowie

                  talk about self-loathing. somehow scots are lazy and dont want to work? they’re moaners and whingers? that it?…couldn’t possibly be there is no work, or that they have legitimate rights to complain…the difference is you think scotland has peaked and couldn’t do any better, i don’t.

    • monty61

      Brain-dead Kelvin McKenzie-type assertions like this do the pro-Union cause no favours. There are no ‘welfare cheques’ but the truth is both Scotland and England would be diminished if the union were lost. As for ‘all Scots being this thick’ well actually the strategy is to sucker in the disaffected ‘information poor’ as the educated dreamers need the to make the numbers – hence the ‘free money’ strategy. But the fact is there is not and never has been a majority for splitting away in Scotland and there won’t be come the referendum.

      • Eyesee

        Sorry, can I just query your attempt at insulting; does Kelvin McKenzie normally have a brain, but I’m a brain dead version of him? Scotland isn’t an independent nation. I keep hearing ‘Scotland’s oil’, but Scotland doesn’t have any oil. The United Kingdom government worked with private companies to build an industry. So the fact the oil is landed in Scotland allows a tariff to be charged, but too much and they will just extend the pipeline to North East England. Scotland has a poor banking sector, high levels of debt and an over-burden of unfunded social schemes. I don’t doubt that the Scots, certainly once the better part of the Union, could make a truly sustainable country, just not now. It would require as a prerequisite of course, to not have a lunatic Marxist in charge. As someone who is half Scottish I think the biggest insult to Scotland is not the odd jibe at the poor nature of Scotland currently, attracting the confected outrage you speak of, but rather the mere presence of Alex Salmond.

        • monty61

          It was intended to be insulting. The comment was sub-Kelvin McKenzie at best (ie utterly brain dead).

          • Paul Gillen

            Well, I guess the ignorant just resort to insults as their final tool, when they know their arguments are half-baked at best.

    • Scott Bowie

      i would suggest doing even the most basic research on goggle and outwith your london based msm, you will find scotland has in fact been subsidizing the uk for the last 40 years. secondly it’s not about alex salmond, it’s not an election it’s a referendum. your last few lines insulting the scots simply underscores the need for an independent country.

      • monty61

        Total rubbish. see above.

        ‘This ‘Scots pay in more’ is nonsense, it all depends what you count and
        how you count it (there are arguments both ways hence the equally
        ridiculous ‘subsidy junkie’ trope the Kippers go on about). But the key
        point is that pulling the plug on a hugely successful partnership will
        have negative effects on both sides – new friction in doing business
        (80% of Scotland’s ‘exports’ go to England only 5% the other way), new
        transaction costs, duplication of public service functions, all sorts of
        inefficiencies. And please don’t tell me Wee Eck is about to unleash
        some great economic miracle because he has absolutely no plan beyond a
        few rounds of golf with foreign plutocrats.’

    • Kitty MLB

      Alex Salmond most certainly wants his cake and to eat it. That is why he wants
      to keep the pound as a security blanket if things go wrong. The poor little
      fellow doesn’t quite realise that independence means a wee ‘ Little Scotland’
      going it alone in the big wide world and no special treatment from foreign countries such as England.

  • Tea and crumpets?

    Not related to this article, so I’ll apologise in advance. I saw mr salmond on the morning news this morning about the eu elections and had a thought. UKIP doing we’ll is an advantage to the SNP for obvious reasons. But what if the unthinkable happens, scottish independence and rUK independence from EU. Can a nationalist please tell me how a currency union would be good when one if the members is not in the EU. Why would you want this?

    • Tea and crumpets?

      Sorry for the spelling errors. Bloody iPhone

      • weescamp

        There are some of us that support Scottish independence that actually want our own currency from day one because we believe Westminster economic policy is heading rapidly towards another crash and we want out from under the malign influence of the Treasury and the City.

        But it’s a good question and I would assume the answer is that Scotland would rapidly move away from a currency union with rUK and set up its own currency.

        Actually the more interesting question is what happens if Scotland votes No to indy and then the UK votes to leave the EU even though the majority of Scots vote to stay in?

        • monty61

          UK won’t vote to leave the EU. What both of the petty nationalist parties (SNP and UKIP) have in common is that only dreamers and idiots buy their narrative.

          • Scott Bowie

            excuse me but there is an ocean of difference between the british nationalist parties and the scottish national party.

            • Tea and crumpets?

              There’s an ocean of difference between the libdems and the conservatives but they are still running the country together. The fact that every party is different is the whole point of a democratic society where they all have different views. But that doesn’t mean they don’t share some traits. Would you agree?

              • allymax bruce

                There’s no difference between any, of all the Westminster Party’s; they are all usury elitist-class drones, for the use of the super-rich Marxist corporate Capitalists; that’s the way ‘Britian’ has always functioned. That, only functions by using the masses to enfranchise the westminster Class-System of trickle-down largesse for the elite, to grief-stricken poverty for the poor.
                Scots & Scotland see this now, and will not continue to pay anymore Scottish pounds of flesh to finance their own poverty; and the elite’s Marxist Capitalist largesse.
                Yes for Independence is what will win in 4 months time.
                ‘get over it!’

                • Tea and crumpets?

                  Really, have you read the manifestos of the conservatives vs the lib dems vs the greens vs the monster raving looney party. I can assure you, they are not the same, as much as you would like to demonise them as such. As for ‘get over it’ , am I not entitled to my opinion? Do you think I should not stand up for what I believe in. Do you think your views and yourself are somehow superior to that of my own, or anybody else who cares enough to share their view. I thought this was ‘the greatest debate’? Where we should actively engage with each other. Not just give up on democracy because you say get over it and bow to you.

                • allymax bruce

                  You obviously can’t understand my comment you originally replied-to. Therefore, you should ‘debate’ your opinions on the Scotchman; more your level. I hope that answers your ‘question’, because I don’t want to be bothered with any more futile ‘punch & judy’ obfuscating ‘unionist-posturing’.

                • Tea and crumpets?

                  This is actually a tread that I started. So how’s about you read the whole thing then get back to me with an answer.

                • allymax bruce

                  Answering both your questions, together; I’m not a fan of Currency Union, (CU); I’d rather have a Currency Zone, but moreover, I’d rather have a Scots-own currency. I’d even accept the euro if it were available, than go into a CU with Westminster. Too many dirty-deeds have passed-as Westminster treaties.

                • Tea and crumpets?

                  Fair enough. It’s just I’m struggling to find anyone north or south of the border who wants it. Apart from mr salmond.

                • Tea and crumpets?

                  Are you a fan of a currency union?

        • Tea and crumpets?

          It’s a less interesting question really because there are no variables. If Scotland stayed by voting no, then it simply falls back to democracy, the majority rules. Simply on a larger scale. What if Shetland vote no to Indy? They currently vote lib dem and some say they didn’t get the gov they voted for either. Would you let them go? Of course not. I’m afraid to say scots are not above everybody else, whether that be English, welsh or Chinese. So if you vote to stay in the uk your 5 million votes don’t somehow count as double. One person, one vote. Simply as that. That is why the interesting question is why do the yes campaign (not yourself of course) want to Share a currency with a completely different economy? As for heading for a crash, that’s just wishful thinking on your behalf 😉

        • Fergus Pickering

          No problem. The Scots leave with the rest of us. Why would it be different.Scotland is like Kent, say. A region of the UK.If that’s what you choose. You can’t have both little man. You have to CHOOSE.

          • Scott Bowie

            scotland is not a region, scotland is a nation. google treaty of arbroath for some fun filled facts.

  • CraigStrachan

    What’s the SNP’s big idea after the Scottish people vote No?

    • monty61

      Toys out the pram and play the blame game I suspect.

      • CraigStrachan

        Probably. Just can’t see how they run like that in 2015. Or 2016 for that matter.

        • Scott Bowie

          what exactly is it about a party fighting for the rights of scots that so irks you?
          are you happy living in your fake democracy where scotland sits in silence while its resources are plundered by a country that parks it leaking nuclear subs near its largest city?
          i honestly struggle to see what you no guys think is so fantastic about being raped. perhaps you could list some positives here for us ?

          • CraigStrachan

            Well, Scotland is presently one of the most prosperous regions of the U.K, which is in turn powering out of the downturn as the fastest-growing major economy, and chalking up impressive employment growth as it does so. I see no reason to mess with a winning formula.

            On the question of nukes, I suppose I see why the SNP might want to disarm Scotland, but I hope you understand that not everybody shares Alex Salmond’s admiration for President Putin.

            • Scott Bowie

              you can go and tell the one million people living in poverty in a five million strong country what a winning formula they’re living under. the fact that scotland has been run by the snp under its own limited parliament i’m sure has absolutely nothing to do with this new found prosperity.
              as for putin, i suppose you were fine with cameron trying to enlist him to undermine scottish independence? cheap character smears will find you little sympathy here.
              i don’t doubt we’re one of the most prosperous areas of the u.k, my question is why give that hard earned wealth to someone else in return for a pittance?

              • CraigStrachan

                Scotland’s poverty rate is lower than that of the rest of the UK, although the prosperity is not new-found. It is built upon the firm foundations laid by Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s. I don’t recall Cameron trying to enlist Putin. I do recall Salmond expressing admiration for him, though.

              • Tea and crumpets?

                To someone else? I presume you referring to the rest of the hard working people of the uk? Or do you think scots are the only ones working in this economy? Why should I share my hard earned cash to a family in a poor area of glasgow just because they choose to live on the dole for 3 generations. Why? Because that’s the country we all live in, good and bad. I presume your referring to the oil wealth. Should the welsh, the Yorkshire folk and people from notts and from Ayrshire shared the wealth of coal when that was at a premium years ago. Yes. Because that’s the country we live in good and bad.

                • Scott Bowie

                  the problem is there are two countries.
                  it makes sense for countries to pool their wealth of course, what doesn’t make sense is for one to give far more to another. all under the guise of some happy flag-waving union.

              • Fergus Pickering

                They wouldn’t be living in poverty if they got off their fat Glaswegian bums and did a job of work.

                • Towzietyke

                  Watch this Fergus.. You obviously have a serious case Dailymailities or a dose of Telegraphosia..here is the cure…

                  http://www.actuaries.org.uk/news/pages/autumn-lecture-sir-harry-burns

                  Get the facts Vote YES!!

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Ah. What a Scottish penpusher says to an Edinburgh audience of like-minded penpushers. Those facts you mean.

                • Towzietyke

                  Have you watched it then..Obviously not!!

            • Maidmarrion

              Short wee memory eh?

              Cameron’s plea to Putin: help me stop Salmond

              EXCLUSIVE BY DAVID LEASK AND PAUL HUTCHEON

              Sunday 12 January 2014

              DAVID Cameron’s Government wants the backing of Russian President Vladimir Putin in the battle against Scottish independence, the former USSR’s leading news agency has reported.”

              From the Herald – if you care to google you will find many other references.

              As to the interview with Mr Campbell , despite many a twisted report , Mr Salmond said,

              “Speaking about the president’s reputation in the press Salmond said, “I don’t approve of a range of Russian actions, but he is more effective than the press he gets and you can see why he carries support in Russia.”

              For the media frenzy which followed one would think he had threatened to decapitate the Royal family .
              Sadly the MSM is not the bringer of truth and enlightenment.

              • John Ruddy

                yes supporting newspaper prints story that no other news outlet can find any evidence of.

              • CraigStrachan

                “the former USSR’s leading news agency has reported”

                LOL!

              • Towzietyke

                Vladimir Putin: The Times International Person of the Year..
                http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/europe/article3960759.ece… It’s in the Times so it must be true hahahahahaha

            • Iain Hill

              And you seriously believe any of that? Work out where the prosperity is going? Cui bono?

          • Richard T

            “Raped”?

            Do you have an unpleasant personal experience you wish ti share with us?

          • monty61

            Chippy nonsense. Just re-read that and get a sense of how idiotic it sounds. Scotland is hugely successful in the world. Raped? Plundered? Get a grip.

            • Scott Bowie

              how would you describe having your natural resources taken away from you and spent elsewhere, while you receive a small percentage back? i would call that plunder.
              the highland clearances, an act of genocide, and subsequent attempts at stamping out an entire culture. or how about the act of union itself, where a handful of bankrupt nobles sold the country down the river for gold, i’d say that would constitute the rape of a country.

          • Tea and crumpets?

            May I ask you Scott, have you ever been raped? I can assure you ask a rape victim about their experience, I can almost assure you A. It won’t be pleasant and B. You probably have never in your darkest nightmares ever gone through such torture. Please don’t refer to this democracy as such. A democracy, where 1 person gets 1 vote. A democracy which does listen to the people which lead to the Edinburgh agreement. If the people of Scotland choose to leave the UK it will be because of the fantastic democracy we live in. If you ever go on holiday to china, ask them what they think of our democracy. So please argue away with genuine ways in which to improve the country we all live in. But please don’t use such horrible words as rape. It’s incredibly insulting to both victims of such a horrible crime and insulting to the democratic process we are all enjoying now.

            • allymax bruce

              He can use the word rape if he wants; perfectly legitimate description for what London does to Scotland. Check your history !
              Besides, in Aristotlian terms, you are using perverse arguments to stifle political debate! In-other-words, stop attempting to constrain political discussion with your super-feminist, over-arching, over-bearing & over-hysterical disgusting Political Correctness. Go to the Scotchman if you prefer your political debates to be ‘moderated-to-mouse-squeak’!

              • Tea and crumpets?

                Also why should I go somewhere else? We are all supposed to be engaging in a debate. I didn’t like his tone as you don’t like mine. But if we all just ran away because we didn’t like the conversation nothing would ever get done.

                • allymax bruce

                  You ‘don’t like the conversation’ from Scott, because he points out legitimate concerns in his arguments for an Independent Scotland; (struggling to see yours for ‘Britian’!) Just look at his comment you try to brow-beat him on; he mentions ‘fake democracy’, being ‘plundered’, and ‘leaking nuke subs’, all happening to Scotland; and why should Scots think this is ‘fantastic’? But you chose not to engage in any of these perfectly legitimate concerns, but to try and demean his arguments on a ‘Political Correctness’. I’m surprised you haven’t called me racist, homophobic, bigot, (anymore from anyone?) yet. hence, ‘get over it’

                • Tea and crumpets?

                  I don’t know you, maybe you are a racist homophobe, maybe your not. But I think it’s wrong to point out ‘fake democracy’ as we do all share real democracy as I stated before. And as for nukes, since the u-turn on NATO, you will have nukes parked whether you like it or not. As mr salmond indirectly said, when he stated scotland would do as the Danes do. You don’t have to own the nukes to have them in your back yard.

                • allymax bruce

                  Wow; and you’ve got a vote. Scary.

                • Tea and crumpets?

                  Yes I know. I even went to a red brick uni, even though I went to secondary school. And I also earn a good living because I work hard. It’s shocking that I should be given a vote in a democratic society.

                • Kitty MLB

                  Well dear Ally, at least he brings afternoon tea.
                  So you will be well fed.

                • allymax bruce

                  Tony Blair; if anything happens to mine, it happens to yours also. I promise.

                • Kitty MLB

                  We will be alright dear Ally, both of us.

                • Scott Bowie

                  scotlands mps are outnumbered 10-1 by english mps.
                  how is that a democracy?

                • Tea and crumpets?

                  Because the population of England outnumbers scotland roughly 10-1. Thanks for backing up my argument of democracy. If you said 20-1, we might have a problem. But glad we agree 🙂

                • Scott Bowie

                  and why would any nation capable of running itself subject itself to being in a 10-1 minority? where one country outnumbers the other and is free to enforce its will on the smaller ones.
                  explain how that is a democracy?

                • Tea and crumpets?

                  Because the country we live in is called the United Kingdom whether you like it or not. One person one vote. I presume you do get the general joist of democracy. And as you rightly pointed out like Shetland is part of Scotland, so too is scotland part of the uk. That may well change as I said before, it’s because of this democracy that the referendum is taking place. And if the majority decides scotland should leave the uk then so be it. But you can’t exactly say there are soldiers on the streets telling you what you can and can’t do. As for the divide and conquer, some may argue that is what is happening right now. I’ll admit a great deal of the oil is not in Shetlands waters. But by your very argument why would the shetlanders want to leave the uk when they clearly vote lib dem not snp. We could go around in circles all day with this. But I guess your a die hard who fails to see that the rest of the people on the island as your fellow countrymen. Truly sad.

                • Scott Bowie

                  ‘whether you like it or not’ wonderful democracy there.
                  ‘One person one vote’ two distinct countries, see the problem?
                  ‘ presume you do get the general joist of democracy.’ and i presume to mean gist, and yes i do understand democracy, a country having a right to determine its own future through voting. currently scotland does not have that due to a much larger country pulling its strings. which part aren’t you understanding?
                  again with your nonsense shetland issue. the shethland isles are a part of the nation of scotland, just as the north of england is part of the nation of england.
                  ‘why would the shetlanders want to leave the uk when they clearly vote lib dem not snp’ it’s not a general election, it’s an independece referendum. that’s the glaring difference you are failing to see.

                • Tea and crumpets?

                  If Scotland gets Indy, do you think it would be fair to spend all of Shetlands oil on rejuvenating glasgow or the shitholes of the central belt? How often do shetlanders visit Coatbridge? Where would the democracy be in that?

                • Scott Bowie

                  i think you’ll find there is plenty of oil outwith shetland, but more importantly the shetland isles are a part of the nation of scotland that wishes to remain with the nation of scotland. suggesting any kind of split, or that the shetlands would prefer to be run by westminster over edinburgh is little more than the usual divide and conquer tactic.

                • Tea and crumpets?

                  So your happy to stand up for Shetland is part of Scotland even though they vote lib dem a unionist party and not the snp and take their share of the oil. But your not happy about people speaking up for the union of which Scotland IS apart of? That about it?

                • Tea and crumpets?

                  Even though their culture is not the same as yours? And they are outnumbered by scots far more than scots to the UK. Where’s the democracy in that? I’m afraid that’s double standards and quite apt for this article.

                • Scott Bowie

                  outnumbered by scots? they are scots!
                  stop trying to split our country up to suit your divisive needs, i don’t care if they vote tory, lib dem or anyone else, as long as they get a scottish government to take care of scottish needs.

                • Tea and crumpets?

                  They are british like you and me. We all live in the United Kingdom, we all have british passports. Stop trying to split our country up!…. You see how this works. Haha. Now don’t get your knickers in a twist. I just think it’s a shame how inward looking you seem to be. Myself half Norwegian, likes the fact this is an island nation and call me a romantic but I think we’re all the same. Even if you don’t.

                • Scott Bowie

                  it’s not an island nation, it’s two nations joined in a temporary union. that is the point you continue to fail to see. one nations policy makers outnumber the others by over 10-1. that is not a democracy, no matter how you try and couch it.
                  british refers to a geographic location, the scots will still be british after independence, just like the r.u.k.
                  as a half norwegian you should look at your own countries independence from sweden and the benefits it has brought.

                • Tea and crumpets?

                  I don’t think 300 years is very temporary. And it does refer to more than just a geographic region. Look at your passport. Unless you don’t like to travel? As for the benefits of the Norwegian Sweden split, that in itself was a very long time ago. And the only reason Norway seems so delightful today is simply oil. Before the oil, Norway wasn’t much more than a back water. So what you perceive are benefits are totally unrelated. Whereas this union is perhaps the biggest success story going. It just seems very selfish of you that all this boils down to is oil. The fact that it the oil was off the coast of anglia, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation. You would be very happy to take take take. Whereas I’m happy to share, with all our brothers and sisters and mothers and daughters across this island. Shame on you.

                • Scott Bowie

                  this is all getting very tiresome.
                  it’s not about oil, it’s about self determination, it’s very sad it seems to be the only decider for you in whether a nation is independent and happy is oil, i assume norway lived in abject poverty and misery then until its discovery? just wishing they could join back with sweden?
                  scotland offers far more to the world than simply oil, both economically and culturally. a culture and history very different than the rest of the u.k.
                  the british isles = britain in a geographic sense = scots are british, period.
                  you talk of sharing, is that the kind of sharing where westminster gets our resources and we get to park there leaky nuclear submarines right beside our largest city? or is it the kind of sharing where we share our young men and women in uniform and send them off to some war we didn’t want without having any say in the matter? is that the kind of sharing you mean?
                  no thanks, we’ll take our voices and our nation back to make with it what the people who live there want of it. not what someone else imposes on us.

                • Scott Bowie

                  this is all getting very tiresome.
                  it’s not about oil, it’s about self determination, it’s very sad it seems to be the only decider for you in whether a nation is independent and happy is oil, i assume norway lived in abject poverty and misery then until its discovery? just wishing they could join back with sweden?
                  scotland offers far more to the world than simply oil, both economically and culturally. a culture and history very different than the rest of the u.k.
                  the british isles = britain in a geographic sense = scots are british, period.
                  you talk of sharing, is that the kind of sharing where westminster gets our resources and we get to park there leaky nuclear submarines right beside our largest city? or is it the kind of sharing where we share our young men and women in uniform and send them off to some war we didn’t want without having any say in the matter? is that the kind of sharing you mean?
                  no thanks, we’ll take our voices and our nation back to make with it what the people who live there want of it. not what someone else imposes on us.

                • Scott Bowie

                  my reply seems to have disappeared, i’ll try again.
                  firstly british refers to the geography of the islands, they’ll still be british with independence. the ‘country’ you refer to is actually two countries, the kingdom of scotland, and the kingdom of england (sorry wales, you’re just a protectorate). therefore i’m not trying to split anything up, simply end a temporary union which no longer works in our best interests, if it ever did.
                  you mention being half norwegian i recommend you look at that countries own benefits since claiming independence from sweden. or do you see scandinavia as a country too?

                • Scott Bowie

                  show me some evidence of them voting to remain in the union?

                • Tea and crumpets?

                  Whilst I’m glad your engaging with me, I’m sure Scott can speak for himself.

                • Scott Bowie

                  actually i just got up to speed with this thread. as ally points out though you ignore the main drive of my argument and focus on a word. you may think that’s a smart tactic, but i’m sure others see it for what it is, changing the subject.

              • Richard T

                “perfectly legitimate description for what London does to Scotland. ”

                In what sense?

                • Scott Bowie

                  you could start by how london pulled the rug out from under the darien venture, telling english colonies not to deal with the scots and leaving them high and dry.
                  then there were the highland clearances, genocide by another name and the subsequent crushing of an entire culture.
                  more recently we’ve had the theft and squandering of our natural resources.
                  those should cover it.
                  just because history makes you feel uncomfortable, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

                • Richard T

                  Heh.

                  Darien was a clusterf*ck irrespective of English actions, and reflected a lunatic plan and incompetent management which wildly overstretched the backwards economy of a small peripheral country. The Clearances were undertaken overwhelmingly by Scottish landowners. And the oil was (and is, and in all probability will remain) British.

                  Meanwhile, Scotland as part of the Union saw colossal increases in wealth and a disproportionate share of the fruits of Empire, from colonial administration to trade to heavy industry.

                  Just because you read about it in WrongsOverScotland doesn’t mean it’s history, son.

                  Back to the original question through: what on earth has any of this got to do with “rape”?

                  btw, the term “genocide” doesn’t mean what you appear to think it means. Any good dictionary should set you straight.

                • Scott Bowie

                  with westminsters help i.e. allowing trade with colonies darien wouldn’t have been a cluster. it was a nation striking out to form it’s own empire, the westminster powers at that time did everything in that power to make sure their neighbours failed. including pulling the funding from english nobles who had helped fund it incidentally.
                  the clearances happened after culloden, the battle where ‘no quarter’ was famously shown to the scots. the same landlords you talk about were given lands and titles down south as reward for selling out their own countrymen.
                  undoubtedly we saw wealth under the empire, but we fought hard for it, so hard in fact we seemed to find our way to the front lines more often than not.
                  now the empire is over and we are no longer seeing great wealth anywhere but london as it spends our resources. (the oil is scottish, it lies within the territorial waters of the nation of scotland).
                  i see nothing wrong with ending a temporary union and making our own way in the world.
                  also you seem far more obsessed with the rape word than me.

            • Towzietyke

              Let’s just call it pillage then..

          • Fergus Pickering

            Lie back and enjoy it. They do pay fr the privilege and what else are you qualified to do?

    • manonthebus

      To have another referendum in three years’ time and in the meantime demand more financial powers from the UK. They may also want a higher Barnett Formula rate for Scotland.

      • CraigStrachan

        I see so the new big idea’s the same as the old big idea. You don’t think folk will be bored of it?

    • macs adams

      Nothing because it’s going to be the aye vote that wins the day.its not about the S.N.P it’s about Scotland and how we can build a better Scotland for our people .A Scotland that uses it’s resource to stop the thousands of old people that die from fuel poverty in Scotland each year in an energy rich part of the world it’s about the kids on the street being able to afford to follow there dreams with training and apprenticeships that leads to a greater Scotland.its about using the skills and hard work that Scottish people can do and the inventors that help the world out not just Scotland one search on Wikipedia will show what Scotland has invented it will blow you away.Lets have a yes vote and make Scotland great again

      • Tea and crumpets?

        I had a look. Absolutely marvelous achievements. But it is interesting that out of 117 of these listed only 3 were pre 1707. This in itself is surely a great way to show what this island can achieve together. Without the industrial revolution, scottish enlightenment may never of happened. And by the way Scotland doesn’t need to be great again. It already is.

        • Scott Bowie

          if england were being run by france i wonder if you’d still feel so enamored.
          two different cultures tricked into a 300 year union by a handful of ‘lords’, it’s natural for such things to come to a close.

  • Kitty MLB

    Oh your the fellow who wants independence but doesn’t want to think of yourself
    as ‘ little Scotland ‘ so wishes to retain Britishness. I hope that is correct.
    its all getting somewhat complex now for my teeny weeny mind.

    • Scott Bowie

      britain is the name given to the landmass of these isles. the english don’t own the name. someone born in scotland is as british as someone born in england or wales. why they would choose to refer themselves as such would be the real question.

      • Kitty MLB

        Oh thank you most kindly for the response. One does get very confused.

  • Tea and crumpets?

    What a load of rubbish.

  • monty61

    More utter rot from the Don’t Whatever You Do Tell The Truth and Frighten the Plebs / Milky Bars Are On US party. Britishness dies the day we allow these dissembling zealots to kill it. Most Scots aren’t fooled by this nonsense.

    • Scott Bowie

      there is a genuine grass roots in scotland filling village halls the width and breadth of the country. people are engaged in politics in ways they’ve never been before, new voter registration is at an all time high. why would you try and deny a people voting their will ?
      most scots are not fooled by the no camp. they’ve lived in the no camp for 50 years and got zip. we need change. i’m surprised a fellow brit would be so against it.

      • monty61

        You are in denial. I’ve been arguing with your narrow-minded sort since I was at school in the 70s (in Aberdeen if you must know). You refuse to see it but it’s the same petty minded nationalist impulse that drives the SNP and UKIP, the same blame game (whether it’s England or the EU as the big external baddie causing everything that’s wrong in the world), the same shall we say ‘creative’ use of numbers to make a twisted point, the same tortured logic that ‘nationalist’ isn’t really about hating (except deep down – and sometimes not very deep) it is. Fantasists the lot of you.

        • Scott Bowie

          oh for gods sake…it’s not about english hatred. stop being so self-centered. it’s about a nation having the right to run its own affairs, to have control over its own resources and elect a government it voted for. what on earth is so wrong with that?
          you’re the one drifting in and out of a fantasy.

          • monty61

            Not about hatred? Read your own posts, slit-your-wrists-reading-it victimhood in every one. All England’s fault, country raped and plundered, weans kept in poverty, not a jot of any kind of notion of personal responsibility.

            I have met a FEW Nats who I believe are genuine (misguided but genuine) but in the vast majority it’s chippy, small-minded, petty nationalist, victim-centric, anti-English bias that’s at the heart of their zealotry, whether they admit it or not. (That’s where the UKIP comparison comes in too BTW).

            Get your narrative straight if you want to be taken seriously.

            • Scott Bowie

              which part of my narrative isn’t correct?
              just because history is uncomfortable to discuss doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
              it also doesn’t mean we all still have to run around with blue face paint.

        • Towzietyke

          Monty61
          I lived in Aberdeen too born & bred… I campaigned for Donald Dewar ffs .. If only I knew then what I know now and how much conniving and shenanigans went on within the Labour party ..The lies and deceit hidden under.. “Top Secret”.

          McCrone1
          http://www.oilofscotland.org/mccrone_oil_reports.html

          McCrone2
          http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/referendum-news/the-secret-oil-report-we-find-the-crucial-report-advising-westminster-not-t.24189400

          The stealing of 6000sq miles of Scottish waters
          http://www.oilofscotland.org/scottish_politics.html#Scotlands_marine_boundries

          I will never vote Labour again while it is still controlled by Westminster.

          Anyway what’s your point? .. You are so hung up on SNP This is nothing to do with the SNP ..They are only the vehicle to get the referendum vote on the agenda.

          http://www.yesscotland.net/answers/ive-never-voted-snp-why-should-i-vote-yes

          To have the country run by the people who live in the country.. yeah jeez pure fantasy..

          There are plenty in Scotland who can see that it is a basic right of self determination, to be able to look after your own affairs, perhaps you should lift your head and look around.

          If you consider them “Fantasists” it is significantly preferable to the fanatics that inhabit the darker corners of the BT campaign.

          Anyway, if you don’t have a vote who gives a toss what you think..

      • Tea and crumpets?

        I think it’s a wee bit harsh to say we’ve got zip. I was zooming down the water flumes last night at inverness leisure after smashing out my lengths in the big pool, thinking to myself how good we have it here. Do you really think life is so bad? Are you on the breadline? Are you unemployed? My only real gripe in this world is the reluctance to widen the A9.

        • Scott Bowie

          okay we have less than zip 😉
          however why be the only country in europe run by another and given a budget far smaller than what we produce?
          why not assume control of the entire budget ourselves? because of some 300 year old con job?
          doesn’t really make much sense. i don’t see any other european nation allowing another to dominate it in such a way.

      • Mc Kenzie

        Scott – I admire your passion – really I do
        But I’d argue that lots of Scots are completely uninvolved in the indyref debate – the acitivists on both sides imagine that the whole country is alive with indyref chatter because they are immersed in it themselves

        But the reality is somewhat different – most folk disengaged and not interested

        • Scott Bowie

          that may be, but the vote will happen regardless, i write in the hope that others will see that things could be better for us.

  • you_kid

    Yes, UKIP is on track talking up ‘scandinavising’ Britain when in fact all they will get is a Balkanisation of it. Where is the British Tito when you need one?

    • Paul Gillen

      If you knew anything about Tito, it’s that he held nations together with an iron fist, and after his rule, the whole thing fell apart anyway. One leader ruling over separate nations with an iron fist is neither appropriate, nor legitimate!

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