A Scot in Englandshire

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The Englishman’s perception of Englishness, also the Borders of Scotland

Education, education, education

It is impossible for the privately educated Englishman, and some state school educated ones too, to accept Scots wholeheartedly as one of themselves for to do so jeopardises their status as Englishmen. The reverse is true for Scotland. We allowed anybody to vote for or against our sovereignty, even Englishmen as the quip goes, and look where it got us – still enduring England’s rule, or at least the alien governments England elects.

In his eagerness to be accepted, the naïve Scottish unionist loses touch with his roots. Today’s Scot has arrived at an identity by virtue of estrangement from his country’s heritage and customs. The only traces he has left is his local accent and a few dialect words, and for some his football or rugby club. For him voting English Labour or Tory comes easily. In the battle for power the unionist is a collaborator out of necessity.

Passing thoughts

That thought crossed my mind when the final analysis of the 2014 Referendum illuminated how many of the elderly voted to retain London rule. They believed the lies plied to them if they voted for independence and duly let slip their grasp on the nation’s future. Years of ‘British is Best’ propaganda had bored into their skulls.

You hope it has dawned on civil rights losers voters that for all their high-mindedness they were comprehensively duped. It stands as the greatest error they will have made in their life.

The Dark Side

Aging unionists thought that by banishing appeals to self-determination they could hold fast to a social fabric called Britishness only to discover too late it was the darker side of Englishness.  They’ll pass on uncertain of installing a bulwark against social chaos, and drift off to another place riddled with doubts. Their vision of their world was a delusion. The dark forces they thought they were resisting were the very ones they supported.

The No’s ought to have known better.

In an Englishman’s world a Scot welcomed as trusted friend is forever ‘Jock’, a mnemonic demotion to an amorphous group that talk ‘funny’ and are pathologically parsimonious with money – thanks to the myth generated by the fabulously successful faux Scot persona of the entertainer Harry Lauder. This perception of a dour and mean spirited race living off oats reduces Scots to a Hindu-like lower caste.

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These are not the faces of people yearning for equal political rights

Calm doon!

Now, before I inadvertently rile English readers I should add a couple of caveats to my hypothesis. I realise it can be fanciful to assume English give a damn about Scotland. They do not have to care. Scotland does not rule England, nor can it impose on England taxes or sanctions or an alien media as England can and does on Scotland. Scotland has no veto on English extremism beyond the power of a people’s mandate expressed in a plebiscite, that’s why unionists do all they can to suppress this mechanism.

The man and woman in the street, from Exeter to Newcastle, from Torquay to the Solway coast, are too busy getting on with their lives to think of Scotland’s archaic political situation. Daily they struggle with neo-liberal austerity, more accurately described as de-growth, a barely hidden attempt to halt the distribution of wealth to the majority. For the most part they are unaware of meritorious Scots in fine art, music, literature, and the sciences beyond a handful of television celebrities, actors and one tennis player.

Push them for an opinion on Scotland and replies range from ‘the individual’s right to chose’ to ‘damn whinging Scots’. Push English a bit further and you discover how much of their insidious class system still exists and how it infects their lives and Scottish society profoundly.

The thorny problem

What I am wrestling with here is something quite separate from being stuck in a social ghetto not of one’s making. I am discussing the wish to be accepted as a respected member of one’s own country, not to be patronised when in it or out of it, one’s culture rejected, one’s accomplishments and intelligence deemed of a lower order.

British, the all-purpose compensation. British, some think, makes us of equal status to any resident of the United Kingdom. Without realising it we’ve lowered our professional position or rank. In that lies the seeds of ‘The Cringe’, the feeling of inferiority.

This inferiorisation infects our every perception of ourselves. It infects our attitude to our institutions. We question if they can be as good, as respected as English institutions are internationally. We accept subconsciously they cannot be, otherwise why does the media promote English institutions consistently over ours?

An example: having a pocket version of London’s V&A museum in Dundee has been praised. That’s all very well, but it isn’t there to represent Scotland’s culture, or guarantee staff posts to residents of Scotland. It doesn’t actually advance the cause of self-governance one inch. What it does is advance the name of the V&A.

Unconsciously or otherwise we accept English as white supremacist, much as an African-American might his white counterpart. We exercise an undemocratic discrimination of our nation’s inhabitants, we judge them not up to some standard or other that we hold important. We are our worst enemy.

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The quality of Scottish education is unrivalled in the UK

Optimism is everything

It is quite remarkable to listen to a Scot schooled in the positive attributes of Scottish culture and customs and achievements. There is genuine confidence in their utterances.

So much of how we think of ourselves rests with our education. No surprise that Scotland’s opponents of democracy have launched a campaign to vilify it.

To begin with, the Scottish system refuses to employ untrained, unqualified amateur teachers. For good, sound reasons our higher education system will not entertain paltry two-year ‘honours’ courses but they are common in England.

The right to self-determination

The history of the Scot in the artificial construct called the United Kingdom is unique for this: that the question of our humanity and our rights have been a burning question for several generations.

Out of that dispute the venom of the epithet ‘sweaty’ is derived. (‘Sweaty sock’ – Jock.) The only category it can refer to is hard working Scots who do manual labour for a living, a category once exclusively kept for Irish ‘navvies’. In any event, the inclusion of a once proud nation within the confines of another nation’s power is why its effects are so frequently disastrous.

The power and the glory

English power and culture is an inescapable fabric of Scotland’s life. For Scots to have an ‘attitude’ towards England’s suffocating political priorities should not come as a surprise to English.

And yet when we do discuss acquiring better democratic tools to run our own country while still keeping links with England in trade and culture and customs, English are taken aback at the passion, the ferocity Scots employ to be heard. English feel insulted that we should reject the tremendous ill effects their presence has had, and still has, on our hopes and aspirations.

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Sweet, but English politics infect Scottish society, they do not reflect Scottish values

A confidence trick

The original confidence trickster given the phrase ‘con man’ was Samuel Thompson, (1821–1856) a swindler who dressed in best attire, three piece suits, silver topped cane, top hat, spats and silk handkerchief. He hung around New York’s posh streets and approached likely ‘marks’ asking “Have you confidence enough in me, sir, to lend me your watch for a day?” or by the same nuanced question “borrow some money?”

He exploited his victim’s sense of themselves. He knew well-heeled people place trust without guarantee in those who appear to be like them, who make them feel comfortable.  In many respects that is English neo-colonialism; we should place our confidence in England to do the right thing.

Unfortunately, we expect England to do the wrong thing. “Scotland’s flag, the saltire, has grown to mean re-establishing genuine self-governance for all, whether Scot or not, while England’s flag of St George has been hijacked by the extreme Right to represent racism and xenophobia.”

Those words are not mine. They are the words of an Englishman. The wisest know better than  a lot of Scots. Scots and English should also know this, that it is possible to be enamoured of English heritage and customs while hostile to its colonial mentality. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Good cop, bad cop

The celebrated English poet John Donne wrote: “No man is an Island, entire of itself. Every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main: if a clod be washed away by the sea Europe is the less…” (Devotions upon Emergent Occasions.)

Let us tell England in no uncertain terms no country is an island. Scotland will free itself from Englandshire’s grip to take its rightful place in the world’s affairs once more.

 

 

 

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22 Responses to A Scot in Englandshire

  1. “Sweaty” is just rhyming slang, simple as that. Sweaty sock = Jock. : )

  2. tintochiel says:

    Your best essays have the knack of putting my random, shapeless thoughts into an elegant and succinct focus, and this is another of those.

    I have relatives in whom The Cringe Is Strong: they ape their English “betters”, think The Times and Daily Telegraph are newspapers but wear tartan at weddings and go to Scotland rugby games (to support a team from the country they were going to leave if we had voted yes).

    Nothing other than the certainty of penury following Brexit would ever persuade these stupid materialists to choose independence, for they have been utterly brainwashed and are completely ignorant of their own history and culture. Blake’s mind-forged manacles have nothing on them, I can assure you.

    We no longer speak, otherwise I would love give them your essay and watch them read it, just to see their consternation.

  3. Grouse Beater says:

    I don’t understand the Telegraph reader who wears kilt and tartan to weddings, and hires a piper yet think themselves a sub-clan of English, an attire officially sanctioned as acceptable to English taste. Don’t they perceive they advertise they ARE inferior?

    Print and post my essay! And take note of their response, I’d like to hear it.

  4. diabloandco says:

    For some obscure reason ( at least obscure to this technophobe) your words of wisdom no longer come automatically to my e-mail – indeed I thought you had better fish to fry and had ceased output.

    I am delighted to see that you haven’t and continue to educate and review – I’m curious to see Stalin now.

  5. I think this is quite possibly your finest polemic to date, Gb.

    You know; earlier in my life I was one of those hapless Scots trapped in the twin jaws of British Nationalism and The Scots Cringe. I saw myself as a British Scot; proud of that Scottish identity, but accepting of my position in the greater British framework.

    Even as recently as ten years ago, having lived in England for a decade and a half by then, I would read (confession) the DM and those falsehoods about Scotland becoming a new DDR.

    And yet..and yet… inside me there was that conflict of emotions and instincts that many will recognise; “how the actual fuck can Simon Heffer get away with insulting my country and it’s people in this way”. If ever one deserved the hardest punch in the mouth a person could muster it is that offensive little man who in one of those poisonous diatribesuttered this little gem – “they would have made good Prussians”.

    For all that is two doses of xenophobia for the price of one, the implications of the statement are not remotely hidden.
    I think that was the first stirrings of the unraveling of ‘Britishness’ in my psyche.

    I had of course, serving as a policeman in England heard all the (on the surface at least) light hearted barrack room banter about ‘Jocks’, ‘Sweaties’ and rebuilding the wall, et cetera and took it in my stride, usually responding with some colourful ‘Industrial language’ of my own. One guy did refer to me as a ‘Frisp’ however and that one crossed a line, that may still trigger phantom pains in his jaw to this day…

    One thing that occurred to me early on was that every nationality or race seemed to have a derogatory nickname.
    Except the English. That one gnawed at me for a long time before I understood the context.

    Whatever, I ‘knew my place’ and continued as I always had until in late 2011 I first became aware through a friend of what was actually happening in Scotland.

    Shortly after new year 2011, I became aware in my general idle trawling of news media that Scotland was to have an independence referendum. This was out of the blue for me, being pretty much starved of information about Scotland even this close to the border.

    What really hit me hard was the negativity of the reaction almost everywhere. I actually found it incredibly offensive and for the first time I actually felt truly alienated by British Nationalism. Attempting to find decent Scottish news sources I came across Newsnet and shortly after WoS. Almost immediately I discovered the truth of McCrone and George Cunningham’s 40% gerrymander and having recalled my own shitty, opportunity-free youth in the Scotland of the early 1980s, I pondered what my life might have been had these dirty deceptions not taken place.

    I think it’s fair to say that at this point, all ‘Britishness’ died in me and vanished without all trace. For many years I had been increasingly troubled by the increasingly evident mediocrity of the British Way. Now I started to learn what was the root of the problem; a dual culture of social elitism which even at its core substitutes competence for connections, running hand in hand with an unending drive to enslave and exploit, be it in Scotland or Africa.

    I have no hostility towards the English people, merely these inbred elites who have so brainwashed, abused, and corrupted them to an utterly abhorrent mind-set of ‘England über alles”.

    It seems that in the world as it is today with an Anglophone elite imposing its imperium upon all but a brace few, we have not progressed beyond 1914.

    For the English Elites however it’s hard to see in vision and ethics though that have progressed much beyond say 1585…

  6. I now spot a few grammatical errors in my piece. I hope they do not detract from the content.

  7. ‘If you unscotch us, you will find us damned mischievous Englishmen.’
    Sir Walter Scott, letter to J. W. Croker, 19 March 1826

    Just tenement Scots, craving their master’s touch. Sad.

  8. Thank you for your essay, Grouse Beater. I’m bored by film, but I love your other stuff! I am now going to use this as an excuse for going off, sort of tangentially, on a rant.

    I have been considering for some time now the psychological aspects of the Cringe and the Cringe-producing propaganda, trying to observe it at work, analysing it, disentangling the strands of the various tropes used… We are swimming in an ocean of propaganda, whether we know it or not, and some of us drown in it. When the propaganda is internalized, it is also passed on, which makes the phenomenon self-sustaining.

    It is a classic example of a positive feedback loop. That loop is given another little kick to keep the clock ticking, to keep the mechanism going, with every Daily Mail article read, with every bit of BritNat pap and propaganda pumped out by our truly pish-poor excuses for proper, fact-based media, and swallowed by Jean and Joe Public.

    I am not going to debate whether the nakedly pro-Union, less evidently pro-Establishment, and covertly Cringe-reinforcing products of the State broadcaster are deliberately so or are the result of unconscious bias. It really does not matter, because the effect is the same. The important thing is to try to stop it, and if we can’t manage that – listen for the screams of totalitarianism, authoritarianism, and censorship right about now, and SNP TV – we must demand that our State-financed (and -run) public service broadcaster should at least reflect the point of view of that 45 per cent and more of this country’s people whose views and concerns are currently being implicitly censored by omission, and explicitly demeaned, disrespected, and misrepresented.

    It is a credit to our people that so many of us have had the Burnsian independence of mind to see through the lies, to stop blindly believing, and as a result stopped doing what we were doing to ourselves. All the while that we believed the propaganda – from whatever source it came – we were hating ourselves, whether we knew it or not, as second-raters, as failures, forever inferior – as you said, Grouse Beater – to REAL British people, i.e., real ENGLISH people.

    The real English people I call friends, those of them living in Scotland, support the cause of Scottish independence. The real English people I call friends who are not so familiar with Scotland unfortunately tend to subscribe to the “Scotland could never survive on its own” propaganda trope, insofar as they think about it at all. As I attempt to enlighten them, and their understanding increases, so does their sympathy.

    We should not forget that the propaganda is current down South too, though it is generally differently slanted. We should not forget that – specimen – Cameron’s use of the SNP as a bogeyman, his incitement of anti-Jock racism / xenophobia to spearhead his campaign, with the grisly spectre of a Labour-SNP alliance, such a massive threat to the Nation…

    Swift digression: Dennis Skinner told nothing but the truth when he described David Cameron as “Dodgy Dave”. Of course, even as Father of the House that Skinner is, the Speaker obliged him to leave when he refused to apologize for it… it was a statement about a politician’s political trustworthiness, not an ad hominem attack, and was entirely justified.

    The Cringe-generating and -reinforcing propaganda means that it should be no surprise that unthinking (and even some thinking) English folk call Britain / the United Kingdom England, and treat England / Britain / the United Kingdom (of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, to give it its full title) as not just synonymous, but as vaguely coterminous. This is not just a question of relative population, it is why the French – and most of the world with them, in their own languages – routinely call the United Kingdom “l’Angleterre”. It is why Unionist Scots – Scots who have swallowed and internalized the propaganda – call themselves British, deny an essential aspect of their own identities, their own selves, and tug the forelock, ape the imperial pretensions of their betters, wrap themselves in the flag…

    When they do that, however, they are aspiring to a status they can never hope to achieve. They will never be English. They are on a hiding to nothing.

    Cringe propaganda is also why Northern Ireland and its people – ignored, I think, in the minds of most, at least since the Good Friday Agreement ended the worst of the Troubles and until the fragrant Arlene became Theresa May’s éminence grise – are relegated to a status inferior even to that of us lowly Jockanese. It is why the Province is so notoriously divided between “Loyalist” / Unionist faux Englishmen and Englishwomen, “British” Irish people and their Irish Irish compatriots.

    What the Northern Irish Unionists are doing to themselves, by being forever loyal to a reactionary ideology that stifles their self-confidence, by forever shouting “No surrender!” – and don’t try to tell us they mean the Somme and Passchendael – by forever demanding the right to assert their right to march and intimidate, offend and alienate their non-Unionist compatriots, in fact alienates them, as a thinking Nornirish friend of mine once put it to me, from their own sense of their own essential Irishness. Their behaviour is self-harming.

    “England”‘s historical crimes in Ireland are well known. Nowadays, Northern Irish, sectarian Orangeism, like our very own Ludge here in Scotland, produce and consist of Cringe-ridden victims of a poisonous, self-harming ideology.

    I leave the Irish of the Republic, and the Other Side in Norniron, well alone for the moment – I do recognize that others are far better qualified to opine on Ireland than I am. Suffice it to say that I, like far too many of us, am far too ignorant of our intertwined histories on both sides of the Sheuch.

    Divide and conquer. And worse – we let ourselves do it to each other, be it in Scotland or over in Northern Ireland, and it is self-sustaining, and it takes an enormous effort of will to break the conditioning. Our Unionist brothers and sisters are suffering from a massive case of Stockholm syndrome… I hesitate to use the word “brainwashing”, as it is not an intense, time-limited process, it is something absorbed at our mother’s knee, in incidents throughout our lives, in accidents of fate, and the constant drip drip drip of propaganda in the media, adding to the ocean of propaganda in which our nation is immersed. To overwork that metaphor, just think how far the propaganda sea level rose in 2014 – the Vow being the high-water mark, I suppose.

    The Cringe-reinforcing propaganda is pernicious to the personal happiness, self-confidence and self-actualization of far too many among us. It cannot but be a factor in much of the mental ill health and self-destructive behaviours that are so unfortunately widespread among our people. What kind of message is it to give a depressed teenager that she is always going to be inferior simply by virtue of being Scots? Is it not quite enough already that her self-esteem, her sense of her own worth, is under constant attack from media messaging setting her impossible ideals for her own body image, her own beauty, reducing her personhood to her choice of blusher?

    We are talking about self-hatred, and destroying self-confidence. It is a crime to produce the propaganda that reinforces that Cringe, and it is a crime to act as an accessory to it. It is a moral imperative to fight it. Scottish independence will never be a cure-all – as if! – but for these many years it has been a cultural, social, psychological and moral imperative.

    Forget the economics. Economics and finance are details – important details, but details, and of waning importance once the divorce has actually occurred. It always takes divorced couples some time and effort to sort out their affairs, even when the separation is entirely amicable. Possible short-term pain for certain long-term gain.

    Besides, in the throes of the Scottish Enlightenment, our very own Adam Smith pretty much invented the modern science of economics, and we Scots as a people are no stupider now than we were then.

    In the greater scheme of things, money can’t buy you happiness anyway, and only a nation so cowed by the time-worn, threadbare propaganda of our own inferiority, our own lack of talent, our own lack of ability, could be so lacking in self-confidence, so ignorant of our resources, both human and natural, so unaware of our immense advantages in education, in intellectual and philosophical tradition, as to doubt our own ability to run our own affairs, to be so convinced of the certainty of calamitous failure.

    Even when “England” is well run, it remains true that countries are best run by the people who live there. The Americans know that. So do the Canadians, so do the people of all the former colonies of the Imperium.

    It must be terribly difficult for anyone to claim that “England” is being well run right now. Bung the DUP a billion quid or so to keep you in power, trash the Good Friday Agreement while you’re at it, and have Norman Tebbit come out of his crypt in the basement to say that the best solution to the border problem in Ireland post-Brexit would be for the Republic to leave the EU too, put Davis, Fox and Johnson in charge … all that makes it a dead certainty that whatever can go wrong, is going to.

    However – hang on a minute – I think I hear voices screaming that Scotland isn’t really a country, so there’s no country there for its loyal British subjects to run, except through their own parliament. Direct rule is best, right? For Northern Ireland, for Scotland, and for Catalunya?

  9. Grouse Beater says:

    Max Stafford: I’ve opened up your paragraphs and all reads well. More please!

    Eddjas Freeman – many thanks for an excellent contribution, a fine stand-alone essay in its own right.

  10. hettyforindy says:

    Excellent article Grouse, thanks.

    The attitude towards Scotland is actually at times just despicable. I am English, as much as you can be if from NE England, we never felt English there, but some very much do. At one time the NE Englanders felt an affinity with Scotland. I remember the old Northumbrian accent, a hybrid Geordie and Scottish, always sounded lovely. I doubt it exists now.

    The longer I am in Scotland, 28 years or so, the more I see, and feel the great injustices perpetrated by the English on Scotland. It continues and in fact the anti Scottish under the surface, and demonising of our democratically elected SNP politicians is not so much aimed at the people of Scotland, but is aimed at our neighbours south of the border. The old tactic of divide and rule.

    I met a very nice young man at an artists group last week, just new to Scotland and from London. He said, ‘furthest north I have been and I won’t be gooing further North’. Wow, go to live in a country and not want to explore it! He does really like Scotland he says, so get on a train and explore I told him. He seemed to think that our transport is ‘not very good for exploring’, except for Haggis tours. Not his fault, he will have been brainwashed into thinking that it is too cold to go further north, and perhaps a bit unsafe, and that our transport is expensive and useless in fact.

    If that is the case, he will have absolutely no idea about Scotland’s legal system, or education system, or parliament, or that our NHS is and never has been part of the English NHS. Nor what is devolved, and what is reserved to our colonial masters in London, a lot. Perhaps people newly residing here, could be given a welcome pack, explaining what their parliament does and doesn’t do, so what they can expect should they have a problem in any area of life here. What the council does, who the councillors are. So that could be part of a pack when you sign up to a GP practice.

    Does that sound too oppressive or assuming that people want to or should know these things? Many people born and bred in Scotland do not really know or understand devolution, or the voting system. Not sure it would be a good idea, almost assuming people are ignorant of how their new country works.

    People educated in the English private school system consider themselves British, not Scottish.

    I know of someone who volunteered beside some very young voters, being educated at a very very expensive private school in Edinburgh. The pupils, or students or whatever they are called in private schools, were told, by the head of the school in 2014, to vote no in the Scottish independence referendum, and in no uncertain terms! These schools are English in outlook, attitude and mindset, yet you hear them playing the pipes, and see them dressed in tartan at any ball or event they go to. They follow the English system, their term times, and I am guessing, curriculum? They are ‘charities’. One private school near us has a state of the art science centre, paid for by the lottery fund! It does not in any way benefit the community around it, an utter disgrace.

    Just one last thing, as I hate reading posts that are too long. It seems that most in my experience, of the top jobs, in galleries, field of science, environment, health etc, go to very well spoken English people. Nothing against them, of course, they are good people, but keep a listen out for a Scottish accent when you hear a CEO, or director, or curator, or anyone in a top position, and it is unlikely to be a Scottish accent you hear. It’s a bugbear of mine, even though I am English myself, I cannot understand it!

    Oh and when I knew someone, who was curating exhibitions for the Commonwealth Games a few years back, they went to all corners of the planet to find artists. When I asked why not find some Scottish artists, the answer? ‘Too parochial’.

    Having myself entered work into open shows this year, and seen the work which is accepted and wins the prizes, it is by and large the work about the local area, ie, about Shropshire, Yorkshire, London, Devon, even Newcastle etc. It fascinating to see that in fact. Always makes me think, hm, a bit parochial isn’t it.

    Sorry long comment, could say more, much to do.

  11. Grouse Beater says:

    Hetty – I know you’re being sarcastic but love the idea of a welcome pack! 🙂

  12. hettyforindy says:

    Thanks I see my comment appeared, not showing up on iPad. Yes, I guess no welcome pack is needed. People are aware enough without such things. Scotland, without it’s own broadcaster, news prog, is stuffed.

  13. Thanks, Hetty! To pick up one of the many good things you said – it is exactly true that too few of us know how our country actually functions, legally, institutionally and so on. One culprit is anglocentric education; another the Cringe – why bother studying second-rate, Scottish things when Englandshire is so far superior? – and a third is quite in-your-face: not teaching the natives about their own civilization and society, so that they are easy marks for subjugation, manipulation and control.

    That They do exactly the same to the Lower Orders down South will not, I am sure, have escaped your notice.

  14. It makes me wonder. If our media, refuse to take any stance apart from that of Scotland’s enemy; should we be considering direct action to disrupt the conduits of disinformation?
    And you can take whatever interpretation you like from that. 😉
    In Catalonia, we can see the true value of ‘the law’.
    It has become in all ways, the shield that bad men use to protect themselves against good people pushed beyond tolerance.

  15. Alex Holmes says:

    I put part of your post into a meme and shared it – along with the link – with 14 Indy sites on facebook. Thank you for this great piece GB!

  16. Grouse Beater says:

    Much appreciate the praise and the essay’s dissemination … hope to do better next time, but first am taking short trip to ghost of Franco’s Spain in days.

  17. Macart says:

    Neatly done Grouse.

    No. No, we are not second class citizens of the Uk, though we are treated as such. Technically we are partners in a political union. Historically we are no such thing.

    There is an appalling democratic deficit which has been mercilessly abused over the term of this relationship to date. Any reasonable person viewing PMQs or Scottish questions will regularly see Scotland’s representation to Westminster ridiculed, abused, insulted and dismissed as S.O.P. This attitude is enforced and and reinforced on daily basis by the media and its attitude seeded throughout UK society. The root of near every popular political myth and quite few besides on our culture and society, can be traced directly to the political practice of Westminster politicians and the popular mainstream media.

    There is no universe in which this could truly be considered a partnership of equals, a ‘family’ of nations and no, we really, REALLY, are not our brothers keeper.

    To be absolutely clear, I personally have never considered Scotland’s right to self determination as a need to be better than anyone, but as a need to be seen and accepted as an equal. A need and an opportunity to do better in our own right. Not an unworthy or unreasonable thing to aspire to you’d have thought.

  18. Grouse Beater says:

    Macart: “I personally have never considered Scotland’s right to self determination as a need to be better than anyone, but as a need to be seen and accepted as an equal.”

    Indeed. What troubles me are the many whose lives have been blighted by the English system of control, their blossoming careers or talents ignored because they were seen ‘not one of us’.

  19. Macart says:

    Grouse Beater: I don’t think the establishment ever thought that mindset through to its logical conclusion Grouse. When ‘not one of us’ is considered the norm, some folk (myself included), will take them at their word.

    When you boil the meme down to its basics, it is merely tribalism. Selective exclusion by any other name. To which my current response is… righto then. 😉

  20. Excellent piece yet again from Mr GB.Some wonderful comments as well BTL.

  21. Grouse Beater says:

    Thank you. 🙂

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