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Who cares whether English commentators like or respect Scotland?

29 July 2014

3:18 PM

29 July 2014

3:18 PM

Because the Commonwealth Games are a thing and because newspapers need to fill their pages every day it is natural, even unavoidable, that they have in recent days been stuffed with pundits pontificating on the political significance of the games. Being a mere and humble freelance hack I wrote one such piece for the Daily Mail earlier this week even though I also stand by my suspicion that the political implications of these games are much too easily and keenly exaggerated.

But that does not mean all such commentary is worthless or lacking interest. Here, for instance, is Lesley Riddoch writing in today’s edition of the Scotsman:

[A] subtle and powerful political point has been made with every waking moment of these Games. Scotland has finally established parity of esteem with England in the eyes of fellow champions, broadcasters, commentators and billions of onlookers across the world.

At long, long last, this is what it feels like.

Of course the headlines have been coming thick and fast – “Euan Burton wins gold as Scotland dominate judo”, “ten more medals on Day Three”, “Scots match best-ever Games gold tally”, “Huge Commonwealth flotilla on River Clyde”, “Swimming hero Ross Murdoch delighted with bronze”, “Scots continue the Goldrush”.

But the tone has changed. BBC commentators accustomed to English sporting achievement, with odd Andy Murray-like exceptions, sound different. At long, long last, in interviews, commentaries and occasional bursts of enthusiasm, there is the sound of respect.

Och, poor Caledonia, so hodden-doon for so long but now so bouncy and respected and, ooh look, they like us, they really, really like us! Gie’s peace. I am minded to think there’s something demeaning about this Sally Field patriotism but perhaps that’s just me.

In the first place, life’s far too short to give a stuff about Gary Lineker’s tone. In the second, it’s a shilpit patriotism – or nationalism – that measures its self-esteem in terms of the respect afforded it by others. That’s something that comes from within. It is not, or should not, be conferred or require validation by anyone else. Not even the English, bless them.

Still, it is a belief widely held on the pro-Yes side of the independence debate that Scotland suffers from a crisis of confidence. Low self-esteem holds the country back and we’re all too easily persuaded we cannot do anything right. Moreover we’re far too quick to assume that if something is Scottish it is also provincial or second-rate. (Many things are second-rate but they’re not made so by virtue of being Scottish.)

All of which, because politics corrupts many things it touches, leads some Yessers to think that anyone voting No this September lacks confidence in Scotland. A No voter, you see, bears the mark of the Scottish cringe and if that’s not obviously or prominently displayed on his napper it surely scars his conscience.

Nonsense of course but the sort of nonsense in which many people want to believe. Yes we can is far from the same thing as Yes we must. And confidence is, in any case, the stuff of fairydust and magical highland unicorns. One may, for instance, be so serenely confident in Scotland as to think independence unnecessary.

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That’s not talking Scotland down. At least not necessarily. It could even be construed as talking Scotland – and Scottishness – up. A sense of identity – and of worth – need not be improved or otherwise bolstered by tinkering with our constitutional status. We are who we are and will, you know, remain so even if we vote No.

Indeed, just as it is Scots who are likely to raise the ghosts of the 1966 World Cup so as to pretend to be greatly affronted when the English (increasingly rarely) do so themselves so it might be said that it’s nationalists who pretend Scotland is at present a sadly put-upon place. Just a wee place, you know that, if not too poor, just might be too stupid to vote for the glittering, ennobling, future promised by independence.

Of course it’s nice when other people pay you attention and nice when they say nice things about you. Nice, too, if they realise some of their more cliched expectations are unfounded. But we knew Glasgow was a swell and handsome city all along and it is made neither more swell nor more handsome by the fact visitors to the dear green place now appreciate this themselves.

But if we can generalise about these things – which the rules of punditry say we must – we might admit that we’re not very good at doing moderation. We swing from abject lamentation to soaring triumphalism with precious little in between. From Whaur’s your Wullie Shakespeare noo? too It’s shite being Scottish.

The truth, of course, is that most of the time most of life lies somewhere in between these poles of immoderation. And it will continue to do so regardless of the referendum result. Most aspects of most lives will go on mostly as they did before. There is no magic genie. Something is neither better nor worse by virtue of being Scottish. It just is and deserves to be measured on its own merits. Alasdair Gray’s oft-quoted saying Work as though you live in the early days of a better nation is a grand thing but the work is much more important than the nation.

Many of us, after all, do not consider ourselves surly lodgers in the Union and so the idea that we’ll be ipso facto cheerier people after independence strikes us being a mildly preposterous notion for the excellent reason that we’re perfectly, if also modestly, cheery souls right now. And it really doesn’t matter what people on the BBC say.

Sure, it is annoying when David Dimbleby or Jeremy Paxman gets something wrong about Scotland but, really, so what? We get plenty of things about England wrong too (not the least of which is under-estimating England’s relaxed liberalism). And anyway, nothing is so tedious as the national sport of grievance-seeking.

Parity of esteem? A new and surprising development? Only for those who can only measure Scotland and Scottishness by reference to other places. Only for those who fret about these things. Only for those who, in some respects, display a surprising lack of confidence in ourselves. Because if you were really relaxed and comfortable about these things you wouldn’t have to make any kind of deal about them, far less this brand of faux-surprised, near-mawkish, kind of deal.

This Scotland small? No, not really. This Scotland dependent upon a Yes vote? Not at all. A generous and confident and expansive and relaxed sense of who we are – and what we may be in the future – is not confined to one side of the referendum stramash or the other.

They like us! They really, really like us! Well, fine. Bully for them. And, if you like, for us. But going on about such things says more about us, alas, than it does about them.

 

 

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Show comments
  • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

    The concept of Union has always meant security from outside invasion. What else would bring two diverse cultures together, the Celts of Scotland and the Anglo-Saxon Normans of England? And the threat of foreign invasion is more subtle today, even unseen, because the enemy is weak in numbers, hence the enemy’s need to conceal its identity. Who is this enemy that threatens Britain?

    The enemy is within and without, and are Marxists who’ve co-opted the political parties of the West, including the West’s leading institutions, from the media to religion. We know this to be true not only because we were warned of the enemy within by KGB defector Major Anatoliy Golitsyn in 1962, but because the West’s institutions failed to warn its populations that the collapse of the USSR (and East Bloc nations) was a strategic disinformation operation, as proved by the West’s failure to not only verify the collapse, but de-Communize the Soviet Armed Forces officer corps (which was 90% Communist Party officered in late 1991), and failure to de-mobilize the six-million vigilantes that assisted the Soviet Ministry of Interior and militia to control the populations in the larger Soviet cities.

    The West’s fate depended on verification of the collapse of the USSR, verification’s absence proving co-option of the West’s institutions. On the Soviet side, there could be no collapse when (1) the Soviet Armed Forces officer corps remained Communist Party dominated; and (2) six-million vigilantes continued to control the population.

    In order for Scotland to decide on Union or independence, Scots must be armed with all the information that’s necessary to make the correct decision. The co-opted media will not present the facts as laid out above.

  • Cymrugel

    The simple fact is that Scotland DOES lack self esteem and has done so for a long time.

    It is made perfectly clear to Scots that their nation is the junior partner in the UK and that the nation is effectively nothing more than England writ large.

    If this were not the case the referendum result would not be in doubt as Scots would see no reason to allow this unequal relationship to continue for another second.

    Why should Scotland not want the admiration of other nations or seek to win it?
    England/UK brags and swaggers at every opportunity. Why else would the government have approved spunking billions of pounds worth of taxpayers money on the recent Olympics; we are forever being told about what a leading nation the UK is and show we must “lead” Europe, the world etc, etc, as if the entire globe waits breathlessly for the pronouncements of the British prime minister.

    The debate on independence has revealed a stark division in Scotland between those like Mr Massie, who are doing quite nicely under the present regime and who are in fact quite annoyed at having their applecart wobbled and those who are either not doing well or who think Scotland’s welfare as a nation is not best served as a client state of its larger neighbour.

    Instead Massie and his ilk demand that Scotland be so robust; so larger than life confident that it needs none of the props and confidence boosts other nations take for granted and which England/UK seizes at every opportunity.

    If this were the case the union would be long gone and exist only in histories of when Scotland faced hard times as a satellite state of the imperial UK.

  • Mac48

    Excellent article. Lesley Riddoch seems to be losing her marbles, with her increasingly desperate attempts to convince us that there’s some sort of great awakening of a long-slumbering nation going on. In particular her obsession with the idea that we’re all Scandinavians at heart, in the face of all obvious indications to the contrary, is getting to be embarrassing. We’re doing all right in the Commonwealth Games, though the increased tally of medals has as much to do with the Scottish organisers’ clever choice of sports for 2014 as any great surge of sporting prowess across the nation. There won’t be any judo, apparently, at the CG 2018, presumably because it’s not something the Australians excel at. But the great success of CG 2014 is the extraordinary enthusiasm and support of the Glasgow people – always willing to put body and soul 100% into any big event in the city – and that has nothing to do with being Scottish, it’s just the way Glaswegians are and always have been. Transfer the games to Edinburgh and it would be OK, but you’d notice the difference.

    • Lido

      Generalising about people based on where they’re from? I’m sure you’re more intelligent than that.

  • ADW

    Private Eye’s Phil Space is alive and well, calling himself Alex Massie these days for some reason. Is the Speccie really that short of willing contributers that it has to use this column filler?

    • ChuckieStane

      Well Mr. Massie as good as admitted it was filler with his declaration as a “mere and humble freelance hack”.
      It is very easy to spot when Alex is writing with conviction and when he is paying the mortgage.

  • kenneth jamieson

    very poor article, i think it matters that there is not one Scotsman or woman on the BBC panels, the games are in Glasgow, i thought we were british, i thought we were better together, it seems we’re just english, or we just have to listen to them waffle on about england, strange when you out the radio on for the games it’s all Scottish, so we seem to have commentators good enough for the radio but not for tv, that is an insult, Scotland needs to wake up.

    • ekeane

      Serves the talking heads at BBC VoteNoScotland right. Hope it has brought the true situation home to them. It is very weird sitting in Glasgow watching and hearing what’s happening a mile away through the prism of a guest nation.

      • Jambo25

        I think it’s hilarious. The BBC obviously thinks that its Scottish employees (Apart from cuddly Hazel.) are incapable of clicking a mike button on and off. The quicker this farcical organisation is scrapped the better.

        • ekeane

          Hazel Irvine hasn’t been based in Scotland for 15-20 years. It’s serendipity that one of the army parachuted in from London happens to have the local accent.

          She’s been presenting sport since before Gary & Clare knew what end of a microphone to hold, so I’m sure she’s come in useful for knowing how to pronounce things. If only they’d ask.

          • Jambo25

            Thanks. More backing for our joint point.

    • Jambo25

      It certainly showed on a couple of event commentaries where The British Broadcasting Corporation’s talking heads pretty much treated Scotland as ‘the other’.

    • Mac48

      Don’t you think expertise in the sports in question is more important than accent? BBC Scotland’s small team of TV sports commentators has people who know all about football, rugby and a few other sports but the Commonwealth Games includes a vast variety of sports that need expert analysis and frankly most people watching will want to hear people who are chosen for their knowledge and ability to sound enthusiastic and articulate wherever they come from. There are Scottish presenters there, but nationality shouldn’t come into it, especially while we are all British. You separatists seem to think we’re already independent. Be patient, then (in the unlikely event you win) you’ll be able to fill the airwaves with bonny Scottish accents talking about subjects they know nothing about and no doubt you’ll be happy.

  • FrankieThompson

    If the comments on your article are anything to go by, Alex, I think you might have to resurrect the “respect agenda”.

  • beenzrgud

    The people make a country great, not the other way round. Whilst the Scots have a great track record of achievement, if they don’t have the self belief and motivation to achieve their aims now then I doubt they will after independence. I’m very sceptical of the idea that they will get much more opportunity to “achieve” post independence than they have at present.

  • Gwangi

    I am 100% sure sports lovers all over the world are enjoying watching TV coverage of the Commonwealth Games from Scotland, England… For that is what they will say and think.

  • Gwangi

    Very astute article. The same permanent pity party and craving of victimhood status exists in Wales and also much of northern England. People do so adore being victims, don’t they? According to the YES nationalist fantasists, nasty English upper class persons oppressed the salt of the earth Scottish population for centuries – an utter delusion. Robert the Bruce was a thug who murdered his way to the throne, and all these battles the Scots commemorate were one aristocrat with a mercenary army fighting another: the Scots oppressed themselves, the numpties. But fare easier to blame ‘the other’ – in this case the English, but it could be blacks or Jews or anything. Nationalism is vile.
    But wait. Wouldn’t the English-hating YES SNP bigots have refused union with England in the first place? And now they are celebrating the legacy of that in the Commonwealth? Like all nationalists driven by hatred, the YES campaigners are both unpleasant and confused… They should also remember that most symbols of Scottishness (tartan, highland games, romantic images) were mostly cobbled together by English Victorians and Walter Scott in the 19th century. Before then, what of that existed even?

    • Wessex Man

      oh dear, you are going to come in for such abuse later when the Cyber Nat nutjobs get up!

      • Jambo25

        No he isn’t. He is merely going to be asked for proof of his claims. He will not, of course, be able to give much or any.

  • flippit

    I hear Usain Bolt has said the games “are a bit s**t”. Also heard that the medal tally is just about the highest but that the medal disciplines have practically doubled since the last high? Still, it’s been refreshing to see the colours and design ( a lot of Scots hated them but I think the colours have been great) and a massive Tunnock’s teacake? Mmm, fantastic. It’s obvious though that everyone is being very careful to say things right so as not to upset anyone. It’ll be a better day when people can just say what they want and Scots will just shrug and say yeah, right.

    • Jambo25

      Actually, if you calculate the number of medals available by the number of teams taking part then, even on that fairly abstruse basis, this is by far the most successful Scottish Commonwealth Games ever.

  • Dr Lisa Boehm

    I suppose it is an unfortunate coincidence for Mr Massie that his Conservative fellow travellers in the Times should run a front page blaring Glasgow is s**t, and the Scots’ stupidity will bankrupt them, just as his own piece was published. But in any case the esteem with which Tories hold the Scottish people was never in doubt.

  • Freedom

    Only because England has dropped in esteem. Not much of a victory, then, for anybody.

    • ekeane

      It’s oft quoted by people in Scotland, but you couldn’t be expected to know that. 😉

      • Freedom

        Who knows why? It’s a very odd statement.

        • ekeane

          “Work as if you live in the early days of a better nation” is an “odd statement”?

          That perception would go some way to explaining why England is such a peculiarly grim, fearful miserable, grudging, shoot-the-wounded, no-use-trying, don’t-vote-there’s-no-point, handwringing, passive, back-harking nation at the moment. How different to the England of my childhood, where people looked to the future as something potentially better, something they had a hand in themselves.

          • Freedom

            I think you may be over-interpreting there. It’s an odd statement because of the ‘as if’ — to me it gave off the flavour of something unreal, a sort of con-job we should do on ourselves. Also: why the word ‘work’? Why not ‘create’ or ‘strive’ or even ‘live’? What does the worker get out of it if he just works, even if it is ‘the early days of a better nation’? Put it this way, I’m an American and I can’t imagine an American saying it, even though it potentially fits.

  • Terry Field

    What on earth possessed them to wear their little flat hats and walk those agreeable doggies??????
    The countryside is very fine; what a shame it is not populated by English people. Without fried Mars-bars.

    • AndrewMelville

      Please don’t write comments when you’re drunk and wearing your St George bra and panties.

      • Terry Field

        Oh please!
        Someone HAD to comment on that quite absurd get-up; a kind if Wallace and Grommit offering – Wallace a la Hollywood and the wodey-film with that strange American faux-celtic actor.
        The present offering in Glarsgo is really quite strange – ‘come on in Europe’!!!!!!!!!- Cyprus!!!!! – and only a little bit of it!!!!!!!!
        Aaaaaaaaaaaaargh.
        It’s all TOOOOOOO funny.

        • AndrewMelville

          I quite like the Inglish – I just never know how much to tip them. I keep an Inglishman in the cupboard under the stairs in case I need someone to run to the shops to get some messages.

          You on the other hand are a prime example of why not all Inglish children should be taught to read and write. Certainly a selection from among the brighter ones should be made and they should be taught. I’d even let them mix with their betters – after all quite a few Inglish wenches were made with child in previous Scottish visitations, there is every reason to believe that some pockets of Scots genes exist in some quarters of Inglund. But for the rest, it is no kindness to try to teach them to ape their betters. It only leads to hideous garble as you have written.

    • LeKeer

      I’m English, and feel compelled to point out to others that this dolt is not representative of the rest of us – just as a few idiots from Scotland on here are not representative of their countrymen.

      And Terry Field, if you want to get into the sartorial aspect, have you ever seen a Morris dancer? Not our finest moment.

      • Terry Field

        Ah wee laddie – da ne tell the werld yon ENglish ancestordom!
        AN WHY would ye thunk ma nom-de-ploom makes me English???
        Wrong agin!!!!

  • anyfool

    The Scottish should for their own good vote yes, the promised extra powers if they vote no will eventually lead to either a drastically reduced Scottish presence in Westminster or a parliament in England, either way Scotland will lose almost all its influence that it currently has.
    Out will go any chance of a Scottish led government, Brown saw to that they might be granted a minor ministry probably one created for them, but regardless of the result no Scot will ever become Prime Minister again.
    Labour were your only chance and they have shown their true colours in this campaign, they think you cannot be trusted and the Conservatives
    Your future is in your own hands as an independent country otherwise you will be a larger Northern Ireland with almost no say on your future.

    • Wessex Man

      Why on earth should any UK Government be ‘a Sottish led Government’, the last Scottishled government 1997-2010 should ensure that no Scot should ever be in charge of the UK Exchequer ever again!

      We camn only hope there is never a ‘Scottish Taliban’ in the words of Fleet Street ever again!

      • anyfool

        I never said there should, I was merely trying to appeal to the undecided, especially the Labour scroats who hanker to spread their peculiar type of destructive governance to the rest of the country.
        Every weapon should be used to persuade them to leave, even appeals to the little pride that Labour supporters have, they will vote no because they are in reality weak people who cannot think for themselves and wait to be told what to do, a lot like Labour voters here.
        It is only Labour supporters changing their minds that will enable a yes vote to win.

        • Wessex Man

          In that case I forgive you.

  • Terry Field

    These Scottish gams seem to be a Home Office social engineering effort as much as they are a sporting event.
    It feels as strangely artificial as a Nuremberg Rally.
    A celtic dog-walking fest.
    Very odd indeed.

    • ekeane

      These home-nation Games, you mean! Tsk, tsk!

  • allymax bruce

    ‘Sally Field patriotism’ ?
    You’re a fukken hack Massie; Lesley Riddoch writes beautifully. Just look at how she structures her point; “subtle and powerful political point. .. At long, long last, this is what it feels like. … in interviews, commentaries and occasional bursts of enthusiasm, there is the sound of respect.”
    Dude, you can’t write like that; I see you in you a smoke-filled room, whirls of smoke eventually clearing to witness your trenchcoated frame. Hunched-over a typewriter; punching in your arguments of contention, with pointed accuracy; expelling everybody and everything.

    • global city

      Blah, blah, blah, blah….. who cares?

    • CraigStrachan

      Lesley Riddoch overwrites and is just a wee bit pompous.

      Alex Massie, with his years of internet experience, writes lean and couthy.

      • AtMyDeskToday

        “Alex Massie, with his years of internet experience, writes lean and couthy.”

        You’re clearly a fan. Somewhat prone to wholesale, fulsome exaggeration though. For myself, as you would say… no thanks.

        • Wessex Man

          I never in my worse nightmares imagined that Massie had fans!

        • CraigStrachan

          Well, fan or not, you’re here boosting his traffic!

          • AtMyDeskToday

            I have an open mind to opinions. You have to read before judging the content to be garbage.

  • HookesLaw

    Its not as if Scotland has not hosted the Games before. I think this is the third time.

    • justejudexultionis

      Scotland previously hosted the games in 1314 when Robert the Bruce defeated a much larger English army.

      SAOR ALBA

      • Terry Field

        Oh do go away, be independent, wear wode and kilts and hairy undies and fry your mars bars – you are SO booring!

        • AndrewMelville

          Ever consider going off “benefits” and getting a job?

          • Freedom

            Maybe he can’t. In which case, show some compassion, perhaps.

            • AndrewMelville

              Folks such as Mr Field have as their chief ambition an ardent desire to reach retirement age, because many other “benefits” kick in, and because scrounging off the state’s taxpayers becomes sort of almost respectable.

              • Freedom

                Interesting that Bismarck instituted the old age pension at 65 because… that was when most people of his era died!

                • AndrewMelville

                  Which is why the pensionable age should be pushed back sharply!

          • Wessex Man

            Ever consider that it’s you that might be a a little chippy?

            • AndrewMelville

              Away and burn your cakes, Thomas Hardy boy.

              I’ve tried to like the Inglish, but it is so hard. Even when I succeed I can never be sure it isn’t just pity that I feel.

              • Leither

                I manage to like the English. It’s easy; just don’t be a narrow-minded idiot and stop defining people on their nationality. Job done.

                • AndrewMelville

                  Picking up on ironic jokes has never been a key strength of folks such as yourself, Leithie.

      • Wessex Man

        The rematch at Flodden Field certainly won the Gold!

      • FlyHalf

        Are you sure that’s a well-thought out, relevant answer?

        I’m not convinced. Thankfully I’m sure that England and the rest of the world knows you’re a minority, and not representative of the rest of us in Scotland.

  • Earlshill

    I fervently hope that the Scots vote Yes in September. Why? Because it will break the false identification with Britain and British which the political establishment has used for the last 100 years to deny proper national identity. Once the English see that the Scots are able to identify themselves as a physical national entity, with a distinct culture and clear borders, then no one will be able to deny English self determination.

    • HookesLaw

      Rubbish. We are all of us far better off together. All have achieved a lot together to the benefit of all. You just have a big chip on your shoulder. Sad.

      • Andy

        It is not rubbish. You explain to us all why the Fascist Labour Party did not give England devolution ? Why should Scottish MPs meddle in English affairs when English MPs are denied the same rights regarding Scottish affairs ? It was a blatant piece of gerrymandering by the Fascists and come what may on 18th September this needs to be resolved in the only way it can be – an English Parliament. If the Scots vote to remain, fine, but let them be in no doubt that the status quo is not an option and the Scots will have to accept that. If they leave, fine. And they need to understand that they ought to be more conciliatory towards the English in their attitude and manner. Perhaps they could learn that not everything wrong in Scotland is teh fault of the English: a lot of it is the fault of the Scots themselves.

        • Alexsandr

          well the barnett formula and the west lothian question need sorting at the very least.
          it seems to me the people not in England get a better deal from the government than the English. Should be equal.

          • global city

            England was not allowed a parliament because the EU plan is to break it up for administrative reasons into regions.

            Remember the regions?

            That’s the EU…and nulabour.

            • DaHitman

              Because they knew an English Parliament would be nearly as powerful as the UK Parliament thus everyone has one but the English

              • Wessex Man

                Please explain and expand on your argument, are you saying that because an English Parliament would be looking after the interests of more people than Scotland or Wales then we should not a the same democratic rights as the Scots and Welsh.

                • DaHitman

                  It’s simple, Scotland has 5 million people, Wales 3 million and N/Ireland 3 million. Now Labour thought giving them a Parliament each wouldn’t be a threat to the Union (mistake look at Scotland now) but they didn’t want the English to have one because an English Parliament would represent 50 MILLION people, that would be a threat to the UK Parliaments power.

                  See it is quite simple when you open your mind and think

                • Wessex Man

                  There’s no need to shout you know, you can explain your hatred of all things English in normal print.

                  The smaller states of the USA don’t seem to have a problem with California, so why should you have a problem, the only reason that you don’t want England to have it’s own Parliament is for the same reasons that Reid and Brown didn’t, an acute hatred of all things Ehglish.

                • DaHitman

                  I’m sorry I didn’t realise just how thick you are, I’ll repeat myself again for your benefit,

                  THE ENGLISH ARE THE ONLY ONES IN THE UK WITHOUT THEIR OWN PARLIAMENT, WE SHOULD HAVE ONE TOO.

                  That isn’t being anti English, that be being very pro English you retarded idiot

        • DaHitman

          “why the Fascist Labour Party did not give England devolution ? ”

          Because they knew an English Parliament would be nearly as powerful as the UK Parliament thus everyone has one but the English

          • Wessex Man

            Mmm, your argument is just that, not very democratic are you? Much like my old mate the unelected Lord Falconer, another jooly Scot who said. “Watch my mouth there will never be an English Parliament!”

            It really amuses me that people like you see nothing wrong with that.

            • Andy

              Like BBC 5Live which had a ‘debate’ on governing England. The panel was that pompous p*ick Ming Campbell for the LibDems (sits for North East Fife, Scotland), the dour Jim Murphy for the Fascist Labour Party (sits for East Renfrewshire, Scotland) and John Redwood as the token English person (sits for Wokingham in Berkshire). Needless to say Campbell and Murphy thought the English shouldn’t be allowed to govern themselves in the same way as the Scots. They both favoured the balkan option. The fact England was a unitary state long before Scotland was meant nothing to these two prats. One does really want to ask what bloody business it is of Campbell and Murphy how England is governed and by whom.

              • Jambo25

                I doubt that England was a true unitary state long before Scotland.

                • Wessex Man

                  You know we were.

                • Andy

                  It was. And it was far richer. Why do you think William the Conquerer so coverted the English Crown ? England was a well run and rich state.

                • Jambo25

                  No one denies that Anglo-Saxon England was a well run state by early Medieval standards. Its also probable that England was the richest state in Western Europe. That, however, is not the argument here. Its whether England was a true unitary state before Scotland. That is far less obvious.

            • DaHitman

              So you think the Scottish, Welsh and N/Irish having them but the English not is democratic, are you on drugs are were you dropped as a baby?

              Oh and FYI another Scot, Gordon Brown also turned it down for us English because I was speaking the truth, they don’t want the English having any real influence.

              THINK BEFORE USING THAT KEYBOARD, IDIOT

      • justejudexultionis

        Like the invasion of Iraq? What a fantastic achievement that was!

        • HJ777

          Yes, the government of a seceded Scotland would never have made any decisions you don’t like.

          • Jambo25

            It wouldn’t you nincompoop because as Unionists like you keep on telling us we wouldn’t be able to afford any armed forces.

            • P_S_W

              Not all unpopular decisions revolve around war.

            • HJ777

              You start with throwing insults, as usual. Just remember that next time you start complaining about people not being sufficiently nice and respectful to you.

              Where did I say that a seceded Scotland wouldn’t be able to afford any armed forces? Or could that be just another of your untruthful assertions?

              They would be rather less effective than those of the UK, of course.

              • Wessex Man

                I expect they are all bad tempered because they havwe raging hangovers.

          • Jambo25

            It wouldn’t you nincompoop because as Unionists like you keep on telling us we wouldn’t be able to afford any armed forces.

      • terregles2

        We don’t sound a very jolly united group from what is written on this forum.
        Someone has just accused anyone who disagrees with them as being an inbred.
        Mmmm…..doesn’t sound like a very happy union to me. If any of my children were as rude as some supposed adults here I would be worried.

    • global city

      What can I do? I am British, not English.

      • justejudexultionis

        Go and live in Saint Helena?

        • global city

          It seems to be you who is demanding that we all remain inbred!

      • Terry Field

        Accept you have made an error.
        Become German.
        Much better.

        • global city

          Well, I do have some German blood so that’s an option. I could also declare for the republic and claim my place amongst the Oirish! It’s rather complicated this stuff without the benefit of a millenniums claim to blood and soil.

          • Wessex Man

            so in fact you don’t care much about being British at all.

            • global city

              No! I’m stuck with this ‘British’ thing that nobody on here seems to much care about. I have never been uber anything really, when it comes to this identity fixation stuff. I actually feel more Liverpudlian than anything else. My ‘blood line’ is nothing more than an intellectual understanding of the actuality and is certainly not part of any volke-claim!

              My initial point was a serious one though. What’s to be done about the British part of England?

              I am British…. or as the banner used to say at Anfield ‘We’re not English, we are Scouse’. It’s complicated in this new era of blood and soil.

              • Wessex Man

                It’s simple really if you were born or if you live in England which is part of Britain.

      • Moderator

        So you are an immigrant or decedent of?

        • global city

          Yes. Along with most people in the city, though this would be tempered by the fact that most of the Irish stuff took place when Ireland was part of the UK. My lineage does not go back to King Alfred or good Queen Bess…..what do you do?

          As I said, it is difficult this ‘identity’ stuff.

          • Wessex Man

            No it’s not, it’s not like your have to put your hand over your heart and pledge your support to your country every day.

            The Liverpool footballers born in Liverpool have no problem playing for England the land of their birth, so it shouldn’t be ‘difficult’ for you.

    • James Richardson

      For all those who fancy a good laugh at the expense of the nationalists http://theoccasionalpigeonuk.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/ukip-and-snp-in-shock-merger.html

    • flippit

      Thing is, we English see ourselves as self-determining now. We might moan a bit about Scottish MPs representation at Westminster, but we’re too much bigger to feel really diminished by it.

      • Wessex Man

        I would suggest that you are a tad out of touch.

        • Andy

          I would agree. Home Rule for ENGLAND !

        • global city

          as I said above. That sort of uber-Englishness is quite a recent manifestation… and seems to be rather forced and stilted, reacting to perceived sleights and recent political developments. How can I adjust my sense of identity in response to this…..why SHOULD I?

          • Wessex Man

            I can do no more than refer you to the Greatest PM we ever had.

            “There is a forgotten, nay almost forbidden word, which means more to me than any other. That word is ENGLAND.”

            Sir Winston Churchill said those words before you wereprobably born.

  • http://owsblog.blogspot.com Span Ows

    Being mainly English with a quarter Welsh I think it wonderful that Scotland is doing so well: the main reason of course, which any of the athletes and sportsmen will tell you, is Team GB spending, training, strategy etc. A fine advert for Union!

    • Jeanne Tomlin

      At the Commonwealth Games there IS NO ‘Team GB’. The sports in the Commonwealth Games aren’t even all the same as in the Olympics. What a pathetic attempt to do exactly what the article dismissed and disparage Scots and Scotland. Unlike the author, I do think it matters.

      • http://owsblog.blogspot.com Span Ows

        “At the Commonwealth Games there IS NO ‘Team GB”

        (facepalm) deerrrrr…

        I KNOW!!! Are you telemachus in disguise? Can you read? Are you bitter and twisted, exactly the type to make the English ‘hate the Scots’? READ what I wrote: “which any of the athletes and sportsmen will tell you”; I have heard it at least half a dozen times and I have only seen about 2% of the coverage!

        Question: do you think Scottish sportsmen and women have benefited from the hundreds of millions invested in Team GB? If your answer is ‘No’ then don’t bother replying…

        • Inverted Meniscus

          “Are you Telemachus in disguise?”. Brilliant. Impossible to tell given that the abject stupidity of her reply was worthy of that master of idiocy himself. All that was missing was reference to the “charisma” of Ed Balls.

        • kenneth jamieson

          NO i don’t.

          • HJ777

            So Kath Grainger didn’t then?

            I can tell you for a fact that she thinks otherwise. As does Chris Hoy.

      • HJ777

        But many Scots competing live and train in England using GB training facilities and expertise. That’s the beauty of the union.

        • Wessex Man

          That will get you quite an earful later on!

          • HJ777

            Your prediction was correct.

            It brought out all the CyberNat nutters. It was the normal process – they start with spurious arguments which ignore the facts, then move on to grievance culture and blame, quickly followed by a transition to hurling abuse when their arguments are exposed as fallacious.

            They all seem to be cut from the same cloth. Inbreeding, do you think?

            • Wessex Man

              I don’t think it’s inbreeding, I think given the time that their comments start appearing, they all been down the Pub together or they are part of part of a trial brain washing programme by the Fat Controller.

              We have seen the result sadly!

        • kenneth jamieson

          HJ777, that is exactly why we need Independence.

          • HJ777

            Perhaps you could point me towards some examples of countries with less than 10% of the population of the UK that can either afford, or can justify the same investment in training facilities as Team GB?

            • ekeane

              Perhaps you could point me towards where the UK, with only a fifth of the population of the USA can either afford, or can justify the same investment in training facilities as the USA?

              Oh, wait – it can’t. Yet the UK public don’t even seem to care about it! Rather than amalgamate with the US team and pay a share of their training facilities and fly over there to train, for some reason the Brits would rather have their own sports teams. How odd!

              • HJ777

                Because the Uk has sufficient critical mass to produce the athletes required and to fund the facilities. One of the problems the Americans face is that they need multiple training facilities because of the sheer size of the US.

                • ekeane

                  LOL, you’re talking as if the UK is some great world-beating behemoth like China or the US. The 2012 Games was hugely more expensive than the Uk could actually afford. Just as well the home-team advantage worked to the extent it did. In reality, the UK is a mediocre, minor sporting nation.

                  The difference is, in Scotland we know we’re a minor sporting nation. We’re OK with it. It shouldn’t prevent us (as in the past something mysterious has) from capitalising on the coaching and sporting excellence that does turn up in niches where it did. In swimming and tvelo cycling, for instance, where Scotland was outperforming the rest of the UK decades ago.

                  The natural place to site the GB’s swimming & cycling facilities in the later 20th century was Scotland. Yet that excellence & expertise was let fizzle away. All the thousands of weans of school age who could have provided that critical mass never got a track or a pool to practice in at all. In fact, these were years of mass closures of such things in Scotland.

                • HJ777

                  Actually, the UK is a highly successful sporting nation at or near the top of the tree in many sports, much as you would like the opposite to be true.

                  The Scots I know (and I am part Scottish) tend to like to win, in my experience. Kath Grainger (whom I know) is a winner by nature. You might be happy to be a failure, but you don’t speak for most Scots

                  And the grievance and blame-someone-else culture so beloved of CyberNats makes an appearance. It took longer than usual but it always comes out in the end.

                • Wessex Man

                  Yes i’m convinced that you are now.

        • Moderator

          Many English live and train in Kenya, Spain, the US etc. Political union has nothing to do with it.

          • HJ777

            And the vast majority do not, especially in team sports.

            • ekeane

              An independent Scotland wouldn’t be paying ten percent of the cost of the facilities, coaching and medical facilities outside Scotland, for a start. That’d save us some money.

              You’ve just argued the Chris Hoy Velodrome out of existence, by the way.

              • HJ777

                Yes, you could replicate 10% of the facilities specifically in Scotland. That would likely guarantee the same success, wouldn’t it?

                You comment on the Chris Hoy velodrome is weird. No idea what you are talking about. I never said there shouldn’t be any facilities in Scotland.

                • ekeane

                  You comment on the Chris Hoy velodrome is weird. No idea what you are talking about.

                  Well, it does clear things up when you admit you don’t know the what you’re talking about, or even the basic context. If only you’d done so ooner.

                • HJ777

                  No, I admit that I don’t now what YOU’RE taking about.

                  You don’t appear to know what you’re talking about either, or you would have been able to explain.

                  Nothing I said could reasonably be construed as arguing against the Chris Hoy velodrome. But then you don’t want to be reasonable, do you?

                • Wessex Man

                  I think you are talking to a slow person.

          • ekeane

            Many English live and train in Kenya, Spain, the US etc. Political union has nothing to do with it.
            Does “the English” taxpayer pay ten percent of the cost of building the facilities in Kenya and Spain? Just asking.

        • ekeane

          After Alan Wells did so well, people hoped that maybe it would be capitalised on with some GB athletics facilities located in Scotland. After David Wilkie won six gold medals, people thought maybe the GB facilities we all pay for might be located here, since UK swimming facilities were so dire he’d had to train in the US. But no, decades went by and nothing happened. Graeme Obree — remember him? Changed the chape of racing bikes? — again, something was clearly going on in Scotland, but it has taken a couple of decades, Chris Hoy’s gong and some Arabs to actually get something built here.

          Your beauty of the union — beautiful indeed, getting ten percent of all these facilities in London paid for by Scottish taxpayers all these years, and speaking as if it’s a favour to “let” Scots use them.

          • HJ777

            It’s entirely your invention that anyone has claimed that Scottish taxpayers are paying for all of the facilities in London or that anyone has said that anyone is doing a favour letting Scots use them.

            They are GB facilities and anyone from the UK who meets the standard is equally entitled to use them. Neither are they all (or even mostly) in London.

          • rationalobservations?

            The Scotland parliament does not balance it’s budget and has run an annual deficit of several £billion each year of its existence.

            The projected annual deficit of a socially, politically, economically and monetarily separated brand new non-aligned independent sovereign state of Scotland; exceeds £3 billion per year AFTER THE MAXIMUM POTENTIAL OIL REVENUE due to Scotland is accounted for.

            The myth that Scotland somehow “subsidises” the rest of the UK has long been busted by the evidence based facts.

            In the unlikely event that a majority of UK citizens of the furthest north vote to leave the UK sovereign nation of their birth and heritage, the “spend, spend, spend” policies of the Separatist Nonsense Party will need to change to the “cut, cut, cut” policies of the Seriously (short of cash) Nasty Party.

      • HJ777

        I was at the British Junior Rowing Championships the weekend before last.

        It was great to see so many scottish clubs and schools performing so well, competing alongside clubs and schools from other parts of the UK.

        Now tell me why you want to deny them this opportunity.

        • Inverted Meniscus

          Because she is an purblind ignorant cybernat nutter.

        • kenneth jamieson

          how will Independence deny them this? are you ok?

          • HJ777

            Because the rules – which are perfectly clear – would forbid them from entering, just as they forbid entries from Eire.

            It would also be a pity that they would no longer go to Strathclyde Park in rotation (which is where they would have been this year had preparations for water sports events at the Commonwealth Games not prevented it).

        • ChuckieStane

          HJ, it was also great to see Scotland’s rowers get gold medals in 17 events as well as winning the senior men’s and womens’s events and the overall team event at the Home International Regatta held in ….Cork, which as we all know is not in the UK.
          The success of New Zealand and Australia across so many sports show that sports can and do flourish across the globe even if not part of the UK.

          • HJ777

            I’m quite aware of the Home International Regatta as one of the juniors from my club (in England) raced there (for Scotland). But it’s an international event, so wouldn’t be affected.

            Of course, it’s hardly top level international rowing, is it? The top Internationals are busy preparing to represent GB at the World Rowing Championships in August. Wouldn’t it be a pity if Imogen Walsh’s chance of a gold medal was taken away because she wouldn’t be allowed to race for GB with Kat Copeland in the boat?

            • ChuckieStane

              Just think how good an elite European squad would be. With funds from the EU and the pick of European talent they would be unstoppable. Team Europe could dominate in virtually every sport.

              Maybe not?

              International sport is not all about winning.
              At the sevens on Saturday the biggest cheers in the ground were for Sri Lanka and Uganda when they scored against South Africa and Australia.

              Honecker’s DDR, Ceausescu’s Roumania and Breshnev’s USSR all tried to show their nations’ greatness through sporting achievement. Who can forget the achievements of Nadia Comaneci or Marita Koch? But is the winning of golds the only measure of a nation?

              TeamGB spent £500m on elite sports to gain success at London 2012. Intelligently, the funds were targeted at sports were success could be most easily influenced by finance. We all had a great time cheering on the victories.

              Yes it would be a pity for Imogen Walsh lost out on a chance of gold, but how much greater an achievement it would be if she could find a Scottish partner and they achieve success together? New Zealand show that size isn’t everything

              • HJ777

                They were sympathy cheers for Sri Lanka and Uganda. The South African supporters were the happy ones, however.

                The funding was aimed at sports where success was more likely – nothing to do with whether the result is more easily influenced by finance.

                Have you asked Imogen Walsh whether she would prefer a Scottish partner rather than the truly outstanding Kat Copeland? Would Kath Grainger have done? I think their replies might surprise you. Would they have ever got to that position without the support of GB training facilities?

                • ChuckieStane

                  They may have been sympathetic cheers but they were great moments of sport – just like Scotland’s two minutes of competitiveness when NZ were two men down.
                  I don’t imagine for one second that Walsh or Grainger’s replies would surprise me and they are entitled to their views.

                  I am afraid I disagree about the targeting of finance. Sports where technology could make a difference were targeted and why not?
                  The Australians may have sneered that TeamGB’s success was largely in sports where you sat down (equestrian, cycling, rowing), but there is no point throwing money at marathon running or sprinting where nature has stacked the deck against us.

                • HJ777

                  They were hardly ‘great moments of sport’. No-one is going to be showing them on highlights programmes in years to come.

                  Imogen is very glad to be in the boat with Kat Copeland. It was a case of Kat Copeland and who else. Similarly Kath Grainger will tell you of her magical doubling with Bebo.

                  Technology did not make a difference in rowing. The rules explicitly rule out any technology that is not available to all crews and teams. Empacher and Fillippi will (and did) sell their latest boats to anyone and C2 and Croker their oars and sculls to anyone. When it comes to analysing the physiological side of the sport, rowing is no different in the technology used to analyse to any other sport.

                • ekeane

                  Would they have ever got to that position without the support of GB training facilities?

                  Would the GB training facilities ever have got to what they are with a ten per cent smaller budget and no Scottish contingent? It does go both ways, you know. GB facilities aren’t something charitably bestowed on Scottish competitors.

                • HJ777

                  A minute ago you were claiming that they are all paid for by Scots. Now you acknowledge that Scots pay a proportionate share, which is as it should be because Scots have equal access.

                  A 10% smaller budget wouldn’t be critical. Scotland on its own, however, couldn’t afford a ten times bigger budget to replicate the same facilities.

                  Who claimed or implied that GB facilities are charitably bestowed on Scots. I made it clear that they are facilities for athletes from anywhere in the UK but you, apparently, want Scots to be prevented from using any that are outside Scotland.

                • ekeane

                  I didn’t see ayone claim “they were all paid for by Scots”.
                  I think you made a sterling effort to misconstrue it, though – well done, you!

                  You keep making this starnge point that on its own, Scotland could not afford a ten times bigger facility as if that is an argument. By the same token, England on its own can’t afford a ten times greater facility – so why not just join team USA?

                • HJ777

                  A reminder of what you wrote as you have a short memory:

                  “…all these facilities in London paid for by Scottish taxpayers all these years…” . No mention of any other taxpayers in the UK as a whole, specifically just Scottish ones.

                  And most of the facilities aren’t in London anyway. But hey, who cares about being accurate with your facts? Not you.

                  Team GB has demonstrated that it can achieve success based on its current budget and facilities. You have not demonstrated that the same success could be achieved with a budget just 10% of the size, hence you are trying to distract attention to avoid answering the question by making irrelevant and ridiculous points about joining the USA.

                  In case you hadn’t noticed, Scotland is part of a state called the UK. The UK, or England, is not part of a state called the USA.

                • ekeane

                  But of course you would have to be a terrifically stupid person to believe that I was claiming that Scotland paid for the whole UK sporting facility.

                  A person of normal intelligence would simply read it and understand that it could be more accurately phrased, but the meaning was quite clear.

                  Either you are a terrifically, monumentally stupid person who cannot cope with a slight carelessness in a phrase and who eschews the obvious, rational and accurate meaning for a literal and wildly ridiculous interpretation… or you’re just engaging in childish and dishonest posturing which you appear to think would convince other readers.

                  Either way, you’re too foolish to waste time on.

                • HJ777

                  It didn’t take long, did it?

                  When the Cybernat arguments are comprehensively dismantled, you move on to grievance culture and blame and then shortly after you resort to hurling abuse.

                  Same pattern every time.

                • Jambo25

                  Says Mr. insult. Its pretty simple. People will stop insulting you if you stop insulting them. as it is its fair game on you now. You bring it on yourself.

                • HJ777

                  Says the man who wades in first with insults and then complains that others insult him.

                  The difference is that I present arguments and you don’t. Call answering a coherent argument with insults ‘fair game’ (see your friend ‘ekeane’, for example, who just started hurling insults when his arguments were forensically exposed as fallacious) if you like but you’re not fooling anyone but yourself.

                  I know a total hypocrite when I see one and you are a total hypocrite. You have presented not one argument on this thread – just insults and points-scoring. As usual.

                • ekeane

                  Who claimed that anyone “wants Scots to be prevented from using any [facilities] that are outside Scotland?
                  Oh, yeah YOU did. What a strange attribution to make.

                  Why, it’s almost as if you’re making up another blatant and ridiculous straw men and imagining that other readers cannot see what you’re doing. Oh, wait – you’re doing just that.

                • HJ777

                  Come off it.

                  Which nations outside the UK are allowed access to team GB training and coaching facilities in England? And you do advocate leaving the UK, don’t you?

                  One of us is being blatantly ridiculous – it’s you.

                  You seem to think that you can leave the UK yet still retain everything from the UK that you like. Do you take Scots for fools?

      • John Clegg

        You totally missed his point!!!! Dope.

      • Inverted Meniscus

        You take stupidity and ignorance to fantastic new heights. You could compete for team GB if idiocy is ever accepted as an Olympic sport.

  • Calzo

    I think you make a folly by suggesting all people currently on the No side are of equal confidence and comfortableness with the current set-up as yourself. To me it is clear to see that a sizeable group of people are currently swinging this vote in favour of the Union and that is those people who are sympathetic to the notion of self governance but have a lack of faith in the ability of Scotland do better on it’s own.

    In that respect the success of the games could be a mildly significant factor in pushing some of those people from No to Yes. I doubt this would be worth more than a percentage point or so but maybe that’s all it will come down to.

    • ChuckieStane

      A good point Calzo. Many luekwarm No voters I know would prefer independence but have bought into TWTPTS or have genuine concerns about their jobs.
      Mr. Massie’s portayal of No voters as people cheerily content with the union does not apply to them.

      • Wessex Man

        It’s a job to know what Mr Massie supports or not, he seems to change his view on a daily basis.

  • FF42

    For once I agree with Lesley Riddoch. I love England, but I have to accept English in general don’t care much about Scotland. They don’t mean us harm, but mostly they are indifferent. England is a bigger country and that’s just how it is.

    It takes a certain self confidence to see that it is nevertheless in Scotland’s interest to join forces with people who much of the time don’t notice you are there. It’s nice to get respect, but at the end of the day you do what’s in your interest and what you think is right. England won’t respect Scotland more for being independent,but we still need a good relationship with them, no matter the degree of separation.

    • https://belasariust.wordpress.com/ solly gratia

      You miss the point. For most English Scotland is a good few hundred miles away, it’s not somewhere we just pop up to like going to London, Bournemouth or York. My wife went on a coach trip to Scotland with her mother recently, the journey there lasted most of the day with pit stops. But they loved it when they got there. I was stationed briefly at St Andrews when I was in the RAF; I loved it, stocked up on John Galt books in original editions and visited Dundee. But it’s too far away for casual acquaintance and all we get is bloody Hogmonnay and Ballymorey on the TV. Scotland has mystery, which will entice my wife and I to visit it properly in time. Familiarity breeds contempt. Who visits Birmingham or Newcastle for fun? Play to your strengths.

      • HJ777

        I can assure you that lots of people visit Newcastle for fun. It’s a bit of a party city.

        It is also very prosperous, contrary to the belief of some.

        • HookesLaw

          And the countryside around Newcastle is beautiful as well.

          • HJ777

            Yes, Northumberland and County Durham, both of which I know pretty well, are delightful.

          • Alexsandr

            Bamburgh castle and Holy Island i put top of the list.

            • HJ777

              and don’t forget Cragside

              • Alexsandr

                funny both Cragside and Banburgh castle were Armstrong projects!

            • Terry Field

              Yes – magnificent – and NOT Scottish.

        • Alexsandr

          yes but when you get to Newcastle you are still a long way from Berwick, and the dual carriageway stops somewhere near Morpeth.
          Even when you get to Edinborough/Glasgow, its still a long long way to Inverness and even further still to Thurso.
          So its not the place you nip to, its a major expedition.
          and you have to pass the road to N Wales, the peak district, the Dales, the North York Moors and the lakes on the way so the temptation is to not bother.
          some nice places once you get there. And some awful dumps.

          • Jambo25

            It takes my son about as long to drive to Cornwall as it does to our place in Dumfriesshire. He live4s in the London area.

        • global city

          perpetuated by the political jerks it insists upon electing.

      • terregles2

        Come up for the independence party in September you will be more than welcome. My English neighbours here is Scotland are campaigning hard for a YES vote and they have a coach load of their relatives coming up from England after the referendum.
        They are hoping it will be a YES celebration but if it goes the other way the party is still on.

        • Inverted Meniscus

          Will there be room in your bathroom for all three of you to have a party?

    • HJ777

      I don’t much notice that Cornwall or Manchester (to pick two random examples) are there most of the time (and people in Cornwall and Manchester probably don’t that I’m there most of the time).

      Scotland is no different.

      • Jeanne Tomlin

        In one way Scotland is very different. Scotland, unlike the regions of England, happens to be a nation.

        • Inverted Meniscus

          That’s right and its part of the United Kingdom and still will be this time next year. Bad luck you will just have to keep on moaning and being utterly preposterous.

        • HJ777

          You are both tiresome and irrelevant.

          How likely you are to notice another part of the UK – day-to-day – depends largely on proximity. So, for example someone living in Berwick-on-Tweed (in Northumberland, England) is much more likely to notice and be interested in what is happening in Berwickshire (Scotland), and vice versa, than a person in Berwickshire is likely to notice (or be interested in) what is happening in Caithness.

          On the other hand, I, for example, am much more aware of what is happening in Glasgow than I am in what is happening in Norwich even though I live more than twice as far away from the former because I am part-Scottish and have immediate family living in Glasgow. Similarly, I have Scottish neighbours – she always knows what is going on in Edinburgh and Aberdeen and her husband knows more about what is happening in Glasgow. They have nothing but contempt for the separatists, by the way, citizens as they are of the United Kingdom..

          • Moderator

            South Berwick is part of Scotland, it only became part of Northumberland in 2009.

            • HJ777

              Berwick-on-Tweed, which is what I was referring to when I said Berwick-on-Tweed, is in England.

              • Moderator

                South Berwick is also called Berwick upon Tweed. It is a Scottish town administered by an English local authority.

                • HJ777

                  It is in England, south of the border with Scotland.

                  Sorry to confront you with facts.

                • Moderator

                  Internally it is, but when Scotland regains its independence the border goes back to the Tweed….

        • terregles2

          Jeanne you are very brave to put forward any argument for Scottish independence. This is not a forum for civilised debate all you will receive is abuse.

          • HJ777

            That’s rich coming from you.

            Is the sky still falling? Is everything you don’t like still “discredited”. Is it still all a plot to make Scottish people radioactive?

            • terregles2

              Thank you for confirming the truth of my comment to Jeanne.

              • HJ777

                Your comments and truth do not belong together in the same sentence.

                • Jambo25

                  And you are still carrying on as though insults are really rational debate which merely lights up your sour Tory titness.

                • HJ777

                  Says the hypocrite whose contributions to this thread have consisted of nothing but insults and are devoid of any reasoned contribution.

                • Jambo25

                  Certainly as far as you are concerned. You should be given as good as you give out.

                • HJ777

                  Says the hypocrite who gets his insults in first – to various contributors – and then complains when people aren’t nice and respectful to him.

              • Wessex Man

                Although good to see you back, HJ777 has not confirmed any of you comments. He merely told the truth or is that not allowed now?

            • Jeanne Tomlin

              A division exists whether you like it or not. Scotland is an individual nation with its own laws, its own police force, its own NHS, its own educational system. What it now needs is the ability to run the rest of its own affairs without the interference of Westminster.

              • HJ777

                It’s not “interference” by Westminster. Scotland is part of the UK and the UK government is based in Westminster.

                Like it or not, Scots like it that way.

              • Andy

                ‘A division exists whether you like it or not. ENGLAND is an individual nation with its own laws, its own police force, its own NHS, its own educational system. What it now needs is the ability to run . . . its own affairs without the interference of SCOTS.’

              • Inverted Meniscus

                You have lost that one I’m afraid.

              • Colonel Mustard

                England is an individual nation too but its affairs have been presided over by Scottish, Welsh and Irish MPs in Westminster. Scotland has its own parliament as well as MPs in Westminster. The last Prime Minister was Scottish, as was his Chancellor.

                I think your books have regressed your mind to the Middle Ages.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  An overly generous assessment of her intellect I think Colonel.

              • Adro

                It’s own NHS? Pull the other one.

                Scotland has it’s ‘own’ NHS in the same way that East London, or any other English county does. In name only, the funding comes out of central government coffers. And the simple fact is that Scotland already receives a subsidy to the tune of about £1800 per head, which goes on spending like this.

                So its not really ‘interference’ is it? It’s subsidy, and help. Scotlands populace is on average older & sicker than the rest of Britain and therefore needs that extra spending, which Scotland alone could not afford long term.

                Also, as an Englishman, I am sick to death of Scots claiming things are so bad under Westminster. You have a devolved administration with competency for a large proportion of the domestic portfolio, so in reality if you have a problem, its likely not due to ‘Westminster meddling’ but the idiots elected in Edinburgh.

                Then again, if you want to go, do so. It’s your right to vote for it, and it’ll save the rest of us some money.

            • Inverted Meniscus

              Yes I can confirm she is still a hypocritical cybernat.

          • Jeanne Tomlin

            I realise that, and I expect nothing but bile on the occasion when I vote here. Fortunately, I can brush it off since we know exactly where it is coming from.

            • Wessex Man

              You by your own words stir others to counter your arguments, you then pretend that you are as white as driven snow and butter wouldn’t melt in your mouth. In fact you like slush on a major raod and the butter has become rancid.

              • Inverted Meniscus

                Perfect.

            • Inverted Meniscus

              As if cybernats like you don’t do bile and abuse.

            • Colonel Mustard

              That’s rich coming from you.

            • Adro

              ‘We know exactly where it is coming from’ – What is that supposed to mean? Is this another one of those moments where Nat supporters blame the nebulous evil of ‘Westminster’ as the root of any criticism, legitimate or otherwise?

              If there is one thing I love about the Nationalists, it is definitely your paranoia. Anyone, be they from business or a respected think-tank, or elsewhere who criticises the half-baked white paper or other nationalist schemes is either payed up by ‘Westminster’ or ‘doing Scotland down’. My favourite was the SNP nutter who declared that the only reason that Scots voted for UKIP was due to ‘English TV’ coming across the border. I don’t even like UKIP, but that was the most pathetic thing I’ve ever heard.

              Alastair Darling was right – certain members of the Yes campaign sound so paranoid they belong in North Korea.

          • Inverted Meniscus

            No she is monumentally ignorant with a chip on her shoulder the size of Hampden Park. You cybernats have lost and are finished so get used to it. You will all just have to meet up on a wet Tuesday morning in a dreary cafe and reflect on the fact that it is your jaundiced and preposterous postings that have scuppered the Yes campaign. I see you are just as hypocritical and sanctimonious as ever. A cybernat banging on about “abuse”. Pure comedy Gold.

          • Colonel Mustard

            I would not have called that an “argument” for Scottish independence. It was just a rather mean-spirited assertion that whilst Scotland is a nation England is not. England is a nation but it doesn’t have a government.

            • terregles2

              Scottish independence will then also be fairer for England. Sounds like a win win situation.

              • Colonel Mustard

                It’s an unknown but I doubt very much the UK Government plans to devolve power to England or give us our own parliament. Currently the EU and Westminster puppet government plans are to devolve power to English regions which is a different thing entirely.

                That is why I thought Tomlin’s comment especially spiteful. One might have thought she would have some empathy but in reality she is just an Anglophobic bigot despite her denials.

            • terregles2

              I think Jeanne was responding to Scotland being compared with the English regions of Cornwall and Manchester.
              Was it not the person who said Scotland was no different from Manchester or Cornwall who was being nasty,?
              If Scotland and Wales are independent and Ireland is re-united then England would have its’ own government and surely that would be fairer for all of us.

              • Colonel Mustard

                “If Scotland and Wales are independent and Ireland is re-united then England would have its’ own government and surely that would be fairer for all of us.”

                It would but it won’t happen. The Union would have only broken down in Scotland. In Westminster it would be alive and well and kicking us as usual. You don’t really think all those Scots MPs, civil servants and quangocrats are going to pack up and head north do you?

                • terregles2

                  Of course they would head north if there is a YES vote. Scottish MPs would remain in Westminister until the final agreement to separate is signed in 2016. They cannot leave before then because up until 2016 Westminster is still governing Scotland in the important policies like defence, immigration, social security and foreign policy.

                  After 2016 all Scottish MPs are redundant in Westminster.You are rid of them forever. I think Scottish independence is something that both Scotland and England should be celebrating. We will both have more democratic countries as a result.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  “After 2016 all Scottish MPs are redundant in Westminster.You are rid of them forever.”

                  I’ll wait to see if and when it happens but I expect a goodly amount of typical Westminster fudging, especially if Labour get in next year. They won’t want to give up those MPs.

                • terregles2

                  They might not want to, but they would not have a choice.
                  The 59 Scottish constituencies MPs seats would no longer exist in Westminster.
                  Westminster MPs would be reduced by 59. It would be 59 seats gone forever never to return.
                  An Irish MP from Dublin could not turn up in Westminster and have a place there. They are an independent country. It would be imposible for them just as it will be impossible for an independent Scotland to have any MPs in Westminister.

                  There are 59 Scottish MPs 40 of them are Labour.
                  Scottish independence will enable you to get rid of 40 Labour deadwood MPs.
                  I reckon you should be celebrating along with us on the 19th September. I know i would be.

    • HookesLaw

      An absurd notion to pretend that the English do not notice that Scotland is there. here we have yet another debate where people show how they live in a fantasy land.

      • Wessex Man

        Oh do one you miserable old git!

    • Colonel Mustard

      I’m English, live in England, where I was born, but love Scotland. I prefer Edinburgh to London. My best friends are Scots and all of them proud Scots and Unionists. When I attempt to defend my own national identity here I am called ‘racist, ‘bigot’ and ‘Little Englander’.

      During the American Revolution the term Britons was used to describe the Scots, English and Welsh soldiers of the British Army. It was used proudly, confidently and with a sense of shared comradeship and brotherhood.

      • Inverted Meniscus

        Well that’s quite enough common sense and decency for one day Colonel. No doubt our resident Labour Troll will be along later with a budget of denigration and assorted nonsense in reply.

      • Jeanne Tomlin

        Funny how no one except Unionists go on about being ‘proud Scots’. That is worth pondering.

        • Inverted Meniscus

          Funny how whatever you say, you never cease to boor the rest of us to tears with your pedantry and mean spirited pointlessness.

        • Colonel Mustard

          Er, I define them as proud Scots, they define themselves as Unionists. I have not heard one of them “go on about” being ‘proud Scots’.

        • benbecula

          Maybe it’s because we are patriotic, and the SNP “nationalist’s” are fake.

        • HJ777

          Better than being sour-faced separatists.

          • Jambo25

            Or a piece of supercilious Tory scuzz like you.

            • HJ777

              You really did get out of bed the wrong side this morning, didn’t you?

              I’m not a Tory, by the way, but I have long since given up hope of you getting anything right.

              • Jambo25

                BNP then, no doubt.

                • HJ777

                  As I said, I have long given up any hope of you getting anything right.

      • Jambo25

        At about that time Scots were subjected to what would now be called fairly vile racism from English hero figures such as Hogarth, Wilkes and Johnson.

        • Colonel Mustard

          My comment was positive. Yours is negative.

          • Jambo25

            Mine is accurate. I could have added the comment made by James Wolfe near the start of the slightly earlier 7 Years’ War on why Scottish, particularly Highland troops were useful to Britain’s (England’s as I’m sure Wolfe would have seen it.) war effort. I believe it was “No great mischief if they fall.”.

            • Colonel Mustard

              So is mine. Wolfe was one officer. There were plenty of others.

              • Jambo25

                Read Linda Colley’s ‘Britons’.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Have done but she is a borderline lefty so her view of British history tends to revisionist, partisan and subjective, in part motivated by a desire to influence a modern British narrative – and sell books. Also a lot of what she peddles as history is anecdotal and interpretative, especially from visual imagery. And her focus is social rather than military.

                  But I would not argue strongly against her basic premise that Britain was a state defined against Europe, an island nation with a strong navy rather than large army, a hub of commerce and a direct rival to France. Although it would be interesting to ‘modernise’ that against the current situation.

                  Also, I prefer primary sources when it comes to the British Army.

                • Jambo25

                  Read Norman Davies ‘The Isles’ then. A good piece of popularising history and a very necessary corrective to SDimon Schama’s execrable ‘History of Britain’.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Not impressed I’m afraid although the fact that he is in opposition to the ghastly Parenti on Stalin is a saving grace.

                  Next…

                • Jambo25

                  I’m pretty sure that both Colley and Davies are very distinguished historians. Far more so than you.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  They are.

                • Jambo25

                  So I’ll trust their views and my own education as an Historian.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  You can do what you want and I can make observations. Your “intervention” pretty much amounts to “Ya boo, I’m cleverer than you and so are these other people”.

                  zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

                  Meanwhile I’m also suspicious of people who need to air their credentials to support an argument they have created themselves.

                • Jambo25

                  It lets people who is operating from a basis of invincible ignorance (you) and who isn’t (me).

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Yeah, right. It also lets people know who has the biggest head.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  They are.

          • Jambo25

            Your comment was at best ambiguous. At best, totally misleading.

            • Colonel Mustard

              No it was not. But you try to find argument in everything, even observations.

              • Wessex Man

                Colonel

                I admire you your stamina!

                • Colonel Mustard

                  I thank you. The struggle is hard but we must not give up. They depend on that.

                  Right and the truth will triumph.

                • Jambo25

                  Why? He’s wrong.

    • global city

      Self pitying nonsense, in order to give more credence to something that you have not quite spelt out. I grew up feeling more affinity to Glasgow (and Dublin for that matter) than with Manchester or Leeds.

      Why should somebody from Bristol share something with a Geordie that they are blind to sharing with a Scot…or indeed, a Welsh person literally just up the road?

      • Blindsideflanker

        Because if they are a student they have nothing in common with Wales Scotland or NI, and that goes for a lot of things.

      • Wessex Man

        By your comments someone from the Highlands have nothing in common with the Glasgow Edinburgh belt, oh hang on a minute.

    • Jambo25

      Or, it might be the case that rather large numbers of us: possibly a large majority; don’t give a toss what the English think.

  • john

    What is the “Commonwealth”? Did we vote for it? Who cares about its fatuous games in some bleak Scottish city?

    • https://belasariust.wordpress.com/ solly gratia

      I tire of this continual faux heroism we are bombarded with, about actors and sportsmen. You like sport? Great, get on with it, leave me in peace.

      • Alexsandr

        sportsmen. people who are good at PE and never stop bleating about facilities and funding.

      • Colonel Mustard

        I must admit that the wall to wall BBC coverage of the Games is a bit OTT. Also their presumption that everyone enthuses about them as much as they do in a sort of Blue Peter/Doctor Who way.

        • Wessex Man

          It’s called a Jolly Colonel and it’d paid for by you, me and everyone else who owns or rents an house in this UK even if we choose not to watch any of the rubbish that BBC broadcasts.

          • ekeane

            The BBC could have save a helluva lot of money if they had used the disporportionately large sports staff that already work at Pacific Quay, and filled in the gaps with folk from London. Itnstead they do i’s the other way round: one PQ presenter that I’ve seen actually presenting something.

            Instead, they imported London’s BBC Sport department wholesale – big expense big names like Balding & Lineker (a footballer & a jockey…?) Dozens of BBC people on expenses, staying in the best hotels, even if all they’re doing is links.

            • ChuckieStane

              Its the BBC way – hundreds to Glasgow, hundreds to Brazil. In neither case were the BBC doing the sports production.

              • ekeane

                Oh, yeah – I seem to remember years back – the OB process was effectively privatised when there was a whole raft of selloffs of BBC divisions. I never knew how complete it was, though.

    • HJ777

      Why do you think Glasgow is bleak?

      Parts of it aren’t very nice, but parts of London (or any other large city) aren’t very nice.

      My daughter lives in Glasgow (in the West End, near Kelvingrove) and it is spectacularly pleasant.

      • HookesLaw

        Yes Kelvingrove is very pleasant and just a very short drive out of Glasgow you find yourself on the shores of Loch Lomond. But parts of glasgow are indeed the pits. It has also got or is getting a much needed southern by pass.

        • Alexsandr

          Easterhouse. Ugh!

          • CraigStrachan

            Easterhouse has come along. A bit.

        • HJ777

          The big mistake that was made in Glasgow was to cut it through with motorways and to prioritise the car. The M8 through the centre should either be closed or turned into a tunnel.

          Glasgow has many lovely wide streets but they are dominated by motor vehicles, either driving or parked. They should get the Dutch in and it would be a lovely city to travel around on foot or by cycle. It would be better for those who really need to drive too, as there would be less congestion.

          • global city

            replaced the population with commuters.

      • Wessex Man

        Because he’s probably never been there, it’s the same with an awlful lot of Scots and they all probably know where the best bars are in Magaluf!

        • john

          Have so!

          • Wessex Man

            good for you.

      • john

        OK I got carried away. It’s not that bleak but looks that way from the affluent purlieus of London.

        • HJ777

          Large parts of London look that way from the affluent West End of Glasgow.

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