England Out of the Closet

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In a difficult day manhandling broken fences blown down by gale force winds – there’s a profound metaphor in today’s chore that will become obvious shortly – I had occasion to answer a poster on a social network site. He was, bless him, doing his best to discipline anarchic contributors to the site over their propensity to express dislike of the English.

“We do not hate the English!” he scolded, adding we, the Scottish nation, should stop saying so in different ways, and not hand our political opponents ammunition to fire back at us. Well, his remark is somewhat misleading.

The reality is, we deplore the way English disregard Scotland.

They ignored Scotland for generations until Margaret Thatcher arrived on the scene. The Grim Reaper on horseback surveyed what she assumed was hers, and she did not like what she saw. She took notice only long enough to remove Scotland’s industrial base, its great ship building and its steel works, and mused awhile as she destroyed its unions who helped distribute its wealth. She took away its pride, or so she thought.

England prefers to ignore Scotland still.

That might be all very well for the common man and woman hard at work bringing home the bread, busy building a life, feeding their children, but for the ‘British’ and ‘Royal’ institutions I have to deal with supposedly founded to serve all of Great Britain, ignoring Scotland is completely unacceptable.

The only regard Westminster feels obliged to have for this nation is in the wealth that it takes from us, in taxes, natural resources, and our youth for English wars.

This has been the relationship in epitome all my life, and arguable since 1707. Not until Scotland gets ‘uppity’ or ‘chippy,’ a people’s justifiable democratic protestations made public, do they take notice, but only in ways that suppress dissidence.

If you are English you can be forgiven for being surprised that the Scots have a problem with Westminster rule. After all, it is only natural, for if you have never taken notice of something you will not know it exists.

For the same reason English journalists betray their ignorance continually by expressing incredulity at Scotland’s demands. Surely Scotland is happy in the Union, they ask, oblivious themselves until then, told by their editor to cover Scotland’s political awakening with a hasty ephemeral article.

By the same token, if you know nothing of Scotland’s political outlook and cultural diversity, everything it demands to create a fairer more just society will seem to upset a laden apple cart, particularly when you have been led to believe England subsidises Scotland in everything including its television programmes.

The truth was made clear over the course of an intense two-year Referendum debate. It must come as a shock to many English and just as many Scots: England takes the money Scotland makes and gives it an allowance.

To dampen political ardour Westminster tosses a few scraps of power to Scotland, and then insults it by tying the scraps to a fishing line. We bite, (55% of those who voted bit) and are reeled back in again. A cynical, crass Cameron strolls out of Number 10 Downing Street the morning after the Referendum, balls high, to announce any new powers granted must give way to English votes for England.

Scotland, implored to stay in an unhealthy union with a country that has little regard for its future, is told it will be what it has always been, a second-class participator. Once subservient always subservient. The price for a few paltry new powers is complete passivity. This is what Westminster calls love and affection.

Westminster politicians came out of the closet.

The Conservative party began its General Election campaign today by issuing an enormous billboard poster of former Scottish First Minister, Alec Salmond, looking at a miniature Ed Miliband, Labour leader, in his breast pocket.

The poster will backfire on the Tories. The image has Salmond the respected statesman, a man of political weight, gravitas, and wisdom, almost handsome in a serge blue suit – he is all of those things – the antithesis of how he was depicted during the great democratic debate. Back then he was anything ugly a quick manipulation of Photoshop could conjure.

Miliband is depicted as many see him including some in his own party, a man stunted of growth, a sort of plastic toy politician, small enough to fit into a pocket.

By that image they admit the great issue is one of England versus Scotland.

Foolish English journalists see the new attitude as suiting the Scottish National Party’s goals. They see rebellion not as democracy swinging into action, but as SNP organised mischief. That is arrant nonsense.

The SNP is a political party that arose from a grass-roots movement.

The SNP is doing what it was elected to do, look after the interests of its electorate irrespective of their political persuasion. Its momentum issues from Scotland reacting to what it sees and dislikes in England’s contemporary affairs: the crushing of the Welfare State, the privatisation of schools to a Victorian template, the demonization of the poor and the vulnerable, food banks as a normal way of existence, the largest portion of wealth held in the Swiss bank accounts of the elite, the permanent implementation of neoliberal orthodoxy, the rejection of Europe, evil wars and wars and more wars, the incessant, continuous rattling of sabres, trillions spent creating weapons of mass destruction to kill people who have done us no harm other than resist British and American imperialism.

Aggression abroad, aggression at home.

Bloody England is perpetually at war.

Journalists scream blue murder at Scotland’s assertive character. “If Scotland rules England I can foresee the Thames foaming with much blood,” says one, sounding like a Hollywood honky playing a ‘red Indian’ in a cheap cowboy film, echoing the death throes of a former discredited Tory politician, Enoch Powell. At last, they admit they are racists.

“The seeds of tyranny being sown in Scotland” exclaims a newspaper headline. Boy, are they scared witless. Do they realise they are looking at their own reflection in a mirror?

“The terrifying prospect of Scots ruling England is now all too real,” bewail frightened Englishmen. “A doomsday alliance,” screams another. “What price democracy now?” Scotland is accused of stoking the fires of English nationalism as if hatred of foreigners and the racism of Ukip, and the odious BNP and EDL never existed. Somehow or other it is Scotland’s fault life in England sucks.

If Scotland returns more SNP seats than is palatable to England, so goes the current English drum beat, England will urge its almost indistinguishable opposing political parties, Labour and Conservative, to unite to keep the SNP behind the Antonine Wall, and protect the crumbling United Kingdom.

To hell with the Scottish vote, keep it out. Moral and political dissent is to be crushed.

The truth is the reverse. Scotland saw what England was becoming and did not like it one bit. We wanted a different society, a different politics. The last things Scots want to do is run Westminster. English alarmists are crying wolf for their own malicious purpose. Reject the European Union, reject the Irish, the Welsh, the Rumanians, the Poles, the Scots.

Is there anybody on this planet English feel comfortable to live among them?

The end of the Union – a new Treaty agreed. Don’t panic, Mr Mainwaring. Posh Jocks and career Scots intent on the House of Commons, civil servants educated at elitist schools, Gothic Fettes, rural Glenalmond, each hoping for a dry existence in diplomacy, can still look south for a career. As faux-Englishmen they will be happy with English votes for English laws. Anyhow, an interchange of medical men and scientists and engineers can continue to be the basis of any exchange of mutual expertise and knowledge.

Scots do not give a toss about power over England.

A marriage of equals, what marriage? Upstairs downstairs? Scots staff must enter the Earl’s mansion by the tradesman’s door. England inhabits the palatial pile, its architecture and objet d’art an attraction to tourists. Scotland has the tied cottages, barn, stables and outhouses. We trim the arboretum, plant flower beds, spray roses against disease, see to the greenhouse and vegetables, and cut the lawn. England keeps ownership of the estate and all in it. That is the order of things. That is the English class system.

England ruling Scotland for over 300 hundred years for the greater good of England’s coffers is fine and dandy, as natural as water flows downhill. We were all educated to believe it was part and parcel of a shared union, a shared responsibility. Scots ruling England as part of an economic union of equals is thoroughly repugnant and abnormal. That is what that poster represents. Remember the British sponsored advertisement driven through the streets of London, “Are you an alien – then go home”? It was meant for Scots too. No one should be in any doubt; had English been given their own referendum they would have voted for separation en masse.

On the evidence before them I trust our English friends see the light.

I for one, utterly reject English intolerance of things they brand ‘un-English.’ We want our children to inhabit a better society, to nurture it well because all the political structures not there now will be there for them to exploit and develop under self-determination. And if we can win the right to shape our own civilisation again perhaps the English will learn a thing of two of how to behave.

Now is the time to prove that traditional Scottish ideals are more than rhetoric, and that Scottish society is too healthy to permit the stifling of dissent to continue. The only way to protect our democracy is to elect as many SNP MPs to Westminster as we can.

Do not lament the loss of false affection. Be pragmatic. Welcome a better relationship.

No point in removing  face paint just yet,  child - you will need it for the dancing very soon...

No point in removing face paint just yet, child – you will need it for the dancing very soon…

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30 Responses to England Out of the Closet

  1. Well said. Hopefully Scotland will be an Independent Country in the not too distant Future.

  2. jdman says:

    The wife and I enjoy visiting stately homes /gardens in England as there are a great many more to visit in England than Scotland even when you account for the greater population there are just so many more to visit in any given area in England,
    We visited Devon a couple of years ago and stayed for two weeks , we couldn’t visit all the stately homes in the 30 mile radius we normally set ourselves as there were more ancient piles worth a visit than days in our holiday, in fact my wife calculated there were more places to visit in Devon alone than in the whole of Scotland, even driving through places like Wigan (yes Wigan) the air of (old) wealth is apparent in the grander buildings/homes/pubs ect,
    Dont get me wrong Glasgow ,Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee all have some of the most wonderful buildings built during the Empire but go out of those conurbations and there is a dearth of (obvious) wealth unless you look to castles built before the union.

  3. Grouse Beater says:

    Can’t disagree with that, John. I have friends in an Exeter family, godfather to their young son, Aaron, they understanding of Scotland’s plight wishing us well, myself as often complimentary of English traditions as I am a fierce critic of English arrogance. They understand why Scotland is living a political half-life, and they don’t believe the black propaganda they are fed. I always hope they represent the majority.

  4. Calgacus says:

    Your articles just keep getting better GB. Thank you.

    • Grouse Beater says:

      Some come from a rush of emotion over the injustice of it all.

      • Jacqui says:

        It’s amazing that you can express it so well, whereas I regularly scream silently & have an overwhelming urge to jump up & down. Thanks for sharing your fine words

      • Grouse Beater says:

        Thank you, Jacqui. I will do better next time. 😉

        Pass them on, a postcard of passion.

  5. Shared far and wide- great writing thanks

  6. Grouse Beater says:

    🙂 Sharing is good, compliments always welcome.

  7. Like Robin McAlpine said over at Bellacaledonia “What if Scotland has Computers?” Well we have and thank god for that! Some sterling articles being generated by the fifth estate that put the fourth estate to shame.

  8. hektorsmum says:

    I remember my Mother in Law returning from a short break in Norfolk saying that there should be tours run from Scotland to show people how the other half live and I would agree with her. I have kept my visits to England to a minimum, just never wanted to see that much been to the Lake District and to York but that is it, otherwise I have been passing through and for preference I would rather go other ways.

    I have been exposed to the English on several Cruises and have decided never to go on another where they are in the majority. P&O are launching Britannia and they can keep it for me, I am not alone, way back in 2007 met two separate sets of people who had received so much abuse at the dining room table that they never used it for the rest of the cruise and of course our famous incident at the Vasa Museum when we were booed for simply saying we came from Scotland.

    I think it is hilarious that so much fuss is being made of a group of people who will represent those who elect them, but then they are seen as threatening the Establishment in Britain. So sad that people can be manipulated in this way but then they are being manipulated with regard to those they are told are taking their money be it the poor, those who are disabled are considered to be fiddling and of course the Scots.

    This has become a dysfunctional country and the sooner Scotland gets the hell out of it the better.

    • There are also plenty of English (mostly Northerners) who find it morally unconscionable to keep half of a nation in a relationship that they find repugnant. We all need a damn good chat to thrash this out. Possibilities need to be explored such as the North of England federating with Scotland..radical ideas on democracy, off the endless GDP growth madness and emergency tackling our carbon emissions. If we get this right these could be inspirational revolutionary times

      • hektorsmum says:

        Please believe me I have met many people from the North of England who have been wonderful both in reality and on the Net. I would hope that I have not come over as nasty to the whole of England because it was not meant as such. I would say that the biggest culprits all hailed from the South apart form the “ahem” gentleman who was from Huddersfield on our Viking Cruise last August who was really out to cause trouble but did not get it from us. We should be adult enough to split without all this hooray. I have been to Bratislava in Slovakia and they managed a velvet divorce. This is merely a treaty which has run it’s course and has been broken so many times since the start.

      • Lawrence Anderson Burley says:

        In regard to the North, have other visitors to this blog noticed the recent “Campaign for the North”… showing that Northern England is waking up also!
        See: http://www.campaignforthenorth.com

      • Nice one Lawrence..there’s tons going on at the moment and I’m assured even more in a short while. Yorkshire is streets ahead of the North West when it comes to autonomy out Lancashire will be catching up fast.

  9. Grouse Beater says:

    I know of folk on holiday in Spain, or looking for a property to purchase, deliberately going out of their way NOT to meet or to live among expats.

    When I go to Spain I am there to work, or if time to sightsee, searching out Moorish, Roman, or local history, and the ubiquitous tapas bars. English who’re interesting as people are in England, in places such as Somerset, Norfolk, Devon and Cornwall, invariably with a trade skill unmatched elsewhere.

    English met abroad usually were introduced. There are some I avoid because they have nothing to occupy their minds except tittle-tattle and loose gossip. Easy to spot them, folk I have nothing in common with, living half-lives under a blazing sun, refusing to learn Spanish other than, una cerveza, Juan, por favor!

    • lol I’m English and I avoided us like the plague living in Oz and South East Asia but you’re right some English areas are brilliant, warm, deeply funny people..Southampton..Bristol..most British ports have good open minded less racist English. But generally I’d give us 6 out of 10….Scots I’d give a 9..crackin folk AND you come with scenery lol

  10. Really well said..gotta say though as a Northern Saxon we’ve got fantastic relationships with many indy Scots..our mutual freedoms are vested in each other, we want a Northern Republic and an end to the morally reprehensible shytehole that Westminster is. We in the North West have more in common with our Scots brothers and sisters than we do with Southerners. The peoples devolution movements in the North are strong and will only get stronger as, although many English are politically naive about this, the Union is over, the Scots killed it 🙂

    Its really important to we build on these strong links..we’ve got to come up with a whole new way of living together to hopefully last a more enlightened and happier 300 years. You’d be surprised how possible it could be that you’ll soon not have a Union left to leave.

    Keep up with stuff here…. http://wp.me/p5IODN-2N

    • Grouse Beater says:

      Fine sentiments, Mancunian. I have a feeling once our revolutionary zeal has established a Scottish republic, and we have time to recuperate, we can assist with arranging a Northern Republic. 🙂

      • Look forward to it and in the meantime you’ve got a whole load of Northern English who will move heaven and earth for Scottish freedom

      • hektorsmum says:

        I agree, too many people in the North of England have been dumped just like us. I would also say not many people have got the opportunity of being educated as to what is happening in Scotland. I said during the Referendum, this was our wee revolt, well it hasn’t stopped and it won’t till we are independent.
        One of my husband’s bosses was a racist gentleman from Brighton, hated coming up here, so when he got off the train if Fife he was not impressed with it being a Kingdom. Hahaha.
        Mancunianspring, we will not forget you.

    • Grouse Beater says:

      MS – Did your site publish information on a fracking gas leak that the press ignored? Can you give me the co-ordinates? Many thanks. GB

  11. Grouse Beater says:

    My wife got into a discussion with some north of England colleagues who resented Scotland’s aspirations yet wanted greater autonomy for themselves. Two-faced, or what?

    When she pointed out they lived in a ‘region’ and should lobby Westminster, she lived in a country and had a right to a different system, she was told she was a racist.

    No matter how she explained two countries were linked by a Treaty they still rejected the legality.

    There it is again – The UK is England, therefore Scotland IS England. The reverse does not apply.

  12. Wee Jonny says:

    A belter yet again GB.

    Divide & rule. It’s worked for the British establishment for hundreds of years. It worked for the bastards again in September.

    The thing with that is though since then I’ve saw more and more people go after the bullshitters on Twitter and Facebook when they’re caught lying to “their” public. A prime example of this was when Magrit posted that she had voted against fracking and hoped that the SNP would join her. The responses she got truly put a smile on meh puss.

    Hopefully more and more people see through this Eng v Scot stuff for what it is – pish.

    • Grouse Beater says:

      Ms Curren is an atypical Labour machine politician, all mouth, strident, utterly vacuous.

      When you look at their background, their curriculum vitae, you see, despite all the bluster and finger waving, the speechifying, the accusations, they have achieved bugger all for those they ‘represent’!

  13. YESGUY says:

    Grousebeater. 🙂

    Your getting better and better every article. i love the reading and recognise i am gaining an education even our uni’s could never give.

    Your speak the same language . YESSERS quickly learned this and if the English could do the same then the elitism of Wm would be a thing of the past.

    As regards the racist stuff. It’s WM and the MSM who continually pump this shit out to divide us. More and more English are seeing the drivel. Once the scales drop theres no going back.

    Too many English believe Scotland is ” owned” by them. I remember a liverpudlian laughing at the referendum because he thought if Liverpool decided to go for indi it would stupid. No one told him there is a difference between a country and a city. Sadly many still have this blinkered view.

    And i have brought back the YESGUY moniker. I tried to have a more neutral attitude when discussing politics and the name pissed many off, but the rhetoric increased . The anti-Scot drivel is in full flow and now the gloves are off. I am a YESGUY.

    Always. And my country will have independence . For my kids and my grandkids. , A new addition yesterday, a boy . healthy and happy.

    We will do this for the kids GB

    Great blog. 🙂

    • Grouse Beater says:

      Thank you. I’m forced to think deeper since we lost the plebiscite.
      Anyhow, hope you like the newest essay up on the board now: A Paean of Praise for Scotland. Feel free to send it to friends and kin folk.

    • Justin Fayre says:

      Looks like there is another example of the ‘unconscious arrogance’ coming up.
      Not content with the usurping of the British National Anthem as the English Anthem at football and rugby matches, this year’s Rugby World Cup is being held in England apparently.
      Media and Press are raving ecstatically about the World Cup coming to England, how England will show the rest of us how to put on a show. Posters and advertising material have been readied.
      Only problem is a great number of the fixtures are being staged at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Walesshire

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