Saturday, 15 November 2014
Friday, 17 May 2013
If a politician from another country comes to Scotland and offers an alien political philosophy to Scots, especially one containing homophobic or racist elements or overtones, they may reasonable be asked to go home, i.e. back to their country of residence, where they vote and live.
I would not hesitate to offer that advice to one from America, England, Wales, Ireland or indeed any country across the globe. I would not hesitate to offer it to a Scot who was an MP for an English constituency and resident in England who chose to interfere in Scottish politics, e.g. Eleanor Laing MP.
(N.B. I do not suggest for a moment that Eleanor Laing is either racist or homophobic, or a sympathiser with UKIP – simply that she is a Scot who is a Tory MP for an English constituency who has made various anti-independence, pro-union comments in the Commons.)
This is not on the basis of race or nationality, but on the basis of politics and country of residence, i.e. where their home is.
But a nasty attempt was made across the media today to conflate this legitimate advice, in the Farage case - who would have been told exactly the same if he had been a Scot - with the undoubted racism of telling someone who lives, works, votes and is domiciled in a country to "Go back where you came from!" based on ethnic or geographical origin.
It was implied by Magnus Gardham in the Herald - “Anti-racists shouted, apparently without irony: ‘Leave Scotland, go back to England” - (approvingly(?) retweeted by Torcuil Crichton of The Record) and by Andrew Neil on The Daily Politics. (see video clip)
Friday, 1 February 2013
Among the writers of English prose I most admire is P.G. Wodehouse, and one of his most-quoted – and misquoted - lines is this one -
It is never difficult to distinguish between a Scotsman with a grievance and a ray of sunshine
It has been used to support almost every conceivable position on Scots and Scotland, usually pejoratively and often highly selectively. It is a favourite among Englishmen who like to patronise Scots, and among unionist Scots who like to patronise nationalist Scots (the ones who believe their country should be independent, like most other democratic countries across the globe). It is used to justify reaction to near-racist abuse – vitriol passed off as humour.
For the delightful ‘Plum’ (P.G. Wodehouse) – the least racist of men, despite his unfortunate wartime experience with the Nazis, caused by his naivety – it was just another keen observation of human character and character types.
I have long realised and commented on what I call the politics of insult, and its power to create a reaction and galvanise opinion. I can track it from reactions to my YouTube videos, tweets and blogs. In fact, one of the factors that converted me to nationalism in the first place was the systematic patronising and insulting of nationalist Scots, and indeed Scots in general by Westminster.
Of course, there are many who feel it is an over-reaction and demonstrates a lack of humour to react. My feeling is they don’t know their history in respect of racial and political ‘humour’, especially of colonial Britain, of Ireland, and of that fermenting decade, the 1930s, especially in continental Europe.
Last night's ‘joke’ by a member of the Lancaster Question Time audience, and the audience’s reaction to it is a recent example – a clip post less than 24 hours ago is currently running at over 3100 hits, and has provoked a torrent of comments. Here it is, plus just a few from my collection – there are many more …