Monday, January 16, 2012

Alex Salmond’s Anglophobic racism

Is there much more than a letter between the SNP and the BNP? Both are nationalist parties: both seek to enforce separatism, propagate insularity and practise protectionism, all under the guise of benign patriotism. And both are led by racists.

Let us imagine that Nick Griffin discovered that curry may first have been eaten in Britain and only later popularised by Asians. What if he then declared: “I don’t mind the Asians claiming curry as their own, as long as they leave us our country.”


This was Alex Salmond’s precise reaction to the seismic revelation that haggis may first have been eaten in England. And he went further (as is his wont): detecting an opportunity for political hyperbole, this trivial piece of culinary history became akin to a ‘land grab’; an unwarranted political threat by ‘the English’ on ‘our country’. Go to parts of Birmingham, Leicester, Luton, Bradford or Tower Hamlets and dare to talk of ‘the Asians’ making a ‘land grab’ on ‘our country’, and you’ll soon find yourself in court.

What, then, if a colleague and senior adviser of Mr Griffin then accused those who did not agree with his nationalism of being ‘anti-British’?


But any Scot who does not agree with the Salmond brand of nationalism is a traitor. Indeed, all Scottish Unionists are traitors. The SNP haven’t used that word, but they might as well have done, for what else does an allegation of being anti-Scottish mean to a patriotic Scot?

It is curious that we repudiate British nationalism while tolerating Scottish nationalism. After decades of bloodshed and civil strife, Irish nationalists have been welcomed into the fold of the enlightened, and Welsh nationalism is tolerated because it’s basically as warm and fluffy as the sheep. In these constituent countries of the United Kingdom, nationalism is synonymous with patriotism. But underlying them all is a deep antipathy towards some alien other, namely the English. What exactly is the difference between Nick Griffin’s racist outbursts against Asians and Alex Salmond’s nationalistic enmity against the English? Do they do not both represent a form of bigotry?

UKIP are not infrequently derided as closet racists, petty little Englanders and xenophobes for seeking the secession of the United Kingdom from the European Union. Their backward-looking insularity is self-evident to the progressive, enlightened, globally-minded establishment. The BNP are undoubtedly racist for seeking to exclude non-white people from their ranks and for advocating the primacy of the ‘indigenous Caucasian’ (or 'ethnic groups emanating from that race’). Understandably, the non-racist, non-sectarian UKIP often get a little irate when their brand of ‘extreme Right’ is mentioned in the same breath as the BNP’s more robust brand. Peas in a pod, some say: the one leads to the other.

But why is Alex Salmond not cast by the media as a little Scotlander, a petty anti-English xenophobe or a racist? Certainly, if one were to spout the bile he does against any minority ethnic group, one might just find oneself accused of inciting racial hatred. But Anglophobia is apparently not as illegal as Islamophobia, or as abhorrent as Europhobia. Indeed, it appears to be quite a respectable and legal pursuit, even by politicians.

We all know what the media and the entire establishment make of a white politician renowned for his ‘persistent contempt for Pakistanis’. Such irrational scorn based on nothing but skin colour is rightly to be reviled. Yet Alex Salmond is noted for his ‘persistent contempt for the English’, and is simultaneously lauded as ‘the best politician in Britain’.

The eminent Scottish composer James MacMillan accuses Alex Salmond of inciting racial tensions, and the entire SNP leadership has a history of ‘anti-English bigotry’. Which is curious when you consider the lengths to which Mr Salmond is going to eradicate sectarianism in Scottish football.

Why is bigotry to be outlawed from the Ibrox Stadium or Celtic Park but tolerated, encouraged and positively embraced at Holyrood? Sectarianism is as vibrant across political movements as it is across religious denominations. It is bigotry, discrimination or hatred which arises from attaching importance to perceived differences between subdivisions within a group. Together we are a United Kingdom, with a shared history, philosophy, industry, religion and literature. Agitate and exaggerate the differences, and the rhetoric leads to enmity, hostility and disunity. The spirit that hates the Protestant or the Roman Catholic for their religion is the same as that which hates the English for their polity. Sectarianism is sectarianism; nationalism is nationalism; evil is evil.


Blogger Gnostic said...

Salmond is a politician and nearly every politician in the UK is a twuntish chancer.

'Nuff said.

16 January 2012 at 08:01  
Blogger HowardA said...

And reason for the different media treatment is taboo.

16 January 2012 at 08:11  
Blogger Terry White said...

Thoroughly agree with the sentiments in this article.
One thing troubles me though and it relates to views expressed herein a year or two ago regarding 'gay' people. I don't recall quite the same tone then. Is it, I am wondering, that these sentiments do not apply to that section of the community, that they are somehow outwith such considerations? If so of course it rather undermines the argument. Which in all other respects I agree with.

16 January 2012 at 08:21  
Blogger Thomas said...

Salmond is an opportunist, and his stoking of anti-English sentiment wholly unpleasant.

There is no equivalence, though, between Scottish ( or Welsh or English ) nationalism and the aims of the BNP. Britain is already an independent country, the others are not.

The main point of these swipes at England is not to provoke Scots resentment, it is to provoke English chippiness. "Fine then, have your independence, see if we care" . Like a husband who has heard that his wife may be having an affair.

And judging by this article, Salmond has yet again succeeded. Scots don't want independence. Poll after poll shows that. Don't play into his hands- ignore the subject, let the referendum happen and his reason to exist will be gone. Easy.

16 January 2012 at 08:29  
Blogger bluedog said...

Typical London-based Unionist tripe, Your Grace, designed to keep the Scots feeling inferior and in their place. Wee Eck's a genius too, at least that's what he tells us, and he'll free Scotland from its English colonial overlords. Nae doot aboot it.

Time for a wee dram after gettin' that off ma chest, Your Grace.

Your communicant is a rabid Unionist and has been trying to understand the motivation of the SNP campaign for some time. Your communicant concludes that it is an expression of cultural superiority and integrity. So yes, racism is a part of the mix, ironic really because Wee Eck is not ethnically Scottish.

There seems to be a sense that England, and by England the SNP means very specifically South-East England, has descended into a sort of Chavish hell, and a multi-cultural, multiracial hell at that. Essex man is not welcome in Edinburgh, neither is Tower Hamlets man, and the SNP is saying to the UK, stop the world we want to get off.

One suspects that this genteel and anti-materialist cultural expression is very much limited to the better suburbs of Ednburgh and Kelvinside in Glasgow. North and west of the Great Glen in the largely Catholic Highlands and Islands, the SNP intellectuals have long found the support of the masses, and in the Catholic suburbs of Glasgow too. But Wee Eck is no fool, and he knows he has a certain tiger by the tail.

His clamp down on sectarianism may well be motivated by a fear that Scottish politics could suddenly divide on a Catholic-Protestant axis. Support for the Union could easily become an east-coast Protestant cause with the Catholic west-coast backing 'independence'.

In short, whether Scotland leaves the UK or not, an unintended consequence of the SNP campaign may be a very bitter divide in Scottish society.

16 January 2012 at 08:31  
Blogger graham wood said...

English & Welsh taxpayers subsidise Scotland to the tune of about Billion £10 p.a. and Treasury figures show Scots are better off by £1,500 a head in terms of public spending than the English.

SNP and Mr Salmond's bluff should now be called. Let him decline the subsidy, call for a binding in/out referendum on the Union, and justify the development of 'Dev-Max.
The truth is that the majority of Scots do not want to break the union for obvious reasons, and many English wish to terminate it because of whingeing, ungrateful Scots.
It's the economy stupid.

16 January 2012 at 09:05  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Your Grace;
Remember the Stone of Scone. Broken by Scottish Nationalists in 1950 whilst stealing it from Westminster Abbey.. In November 1996 the Stone was returned to Scotland on the orders of the UK government (John Major?) and it is now on exhibition at Edinburgh Castle. It will be returned to Westminster Abbey for coronations. Yeah right!

16 January 2012 at 11:12  
Blogger Fourfolksache said...

I always thought you were a clown - I just didn't know you were a nasty little Englander.And your analysis simply supports the need for Scots to be totally separated from Westminster.
Just wait til your Northern English brothers come to the same conclusion!!!

16 January 2012 at 11:32  
Blogger bluedog said...

'Just wait til your Northern English brothers come to the same conclusion!!!'

See what I mean, Your Grace? It's all about south-east England and London.

It's my belief that England needs devo-max as much as Scotland.

16 January 2012 at 11:45  
Blogger Jon said...

I should state an interest here. My partner is a Scot, and I regularly tease him about his prospective deportation should the Scots get independence.

But let's be real here. There are two, entirely separate, factors at play. Reality, and fantasy.

Reality is that Scotland gets a great deal from the Union. SNP supporters dispute the Barnett formula, and they dispute the maths of oil and welfare or the geology of its running out so let's ignore those (as interesting as they are). Let's simply point out that hundreds of thousands of Scots find work all over England, and vice versa, and that this is to the benefit of the populace of both countries. Imposing what many now regard as an artificial barrier between the two countries would stymie labour mobility and reduce economic opportunities for all. In a rational debate with an SNP supporter who wants to submerge themselves in the EU's free labour pool, this ought to be the end of it, since they seek labour mobility for their populace to move to Portugal - why not to Surrey?

But the debate is also irrational, and this is where this post is important, Your Grace. The SNP has successfully painted a picture of a "post ethnic" Scotland. This is how they avoid the accusation of racism, by including all skin colours and religions - and they've done a great job of it in some respects. When phrased like this, the SNP moves from being a nationalist movement to being basically an economic pressure group - out to get whatever it can from Westminster and harrumphing about every obstruction whilst lauding every concession - it's a win- win sort of politics.

So our argument with the SNP is almost like one of those arguments on your blog, where some commenters quote Catholic doctrine, and some others quote JS Mill - we are arguing with the SNP at cross purposes. The simple fact is that Alex Salmond has found a visceral politics which communicates with his electorate at a deep seated level and which no Unionist has yet found a way to match. He isn't right - I strongly believe he's wrong, but the methods we choose to argue with him simply reinforce the mutually exclusive narrative he spouts that either we hate the Scots and want rid of them, or we cling to them as a oil- filled life raft and would sink without them.

Salmond plays Scotland's national insecurities like a fiddle. The Unionists sound like a burst bagpipe to many Scots' ears in comparison! I'm deeply worried for the state of both my union and the union of the kingdoms.

16 January 2012 at 11:47  
Blogger Hereward said...

The EU must be delighted with their Scottish friend. Nothing they would like better than to fragment the Union and destroy Britain. It would be a step towards their long term aim to replace all national boundaries with trans-national groupings. eg. Kent & Sussex plus Northern France becomes TransManche (language French?) Mind you according to maps leaked in 2006 it wouldn't do the Scots a lot of good either since they wouldn't survive intact. Some being grouped with the Scandinavians and others with the Irish and Atlantic fringe.

Anyway, 27 nations and growing is far too many for effective subjugation. How about 10 YG?

16 January 2012 at 11:47  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

So what are you saying, Cranmer? Ban the SNP under the incitment-to-hatred legislation you go nuts about regularly? How about banning yourself as a Little Britainer for all the bile you spew against the European Union? Or is that different, somehow?

Here's something to think about. Outside hotels in Ireland nowadays, it's not at all uncommon to see, among the other flags of the world, the Cross of St George. Nobody thinks much about it, or gives it any more thought than they do to the flags of Australia, France or the USA. However, it's a brave hotelier who would put up a Union Jack, because that's just asking for your windows to be put in. Of course, the Union Jack is not the flag of England, it's the flag of the UK, and the UK is the problematical entity,not England in and of itself - despite odd people who call themselves native English - because the UK is, was, and always will be Greater England, not the marriage of equals that its supporters would have us believe. Scotland is not an English county, and I don't see how it is at all unreasonable for Alex Salmond to say as much. If there is racism involved here, it's not coming from the SNP.

16 January 2012 at 12:32  
Blogger Berserker said...

In the World at One last week a gent representing the SNP told us (with a straight radio face) that Scotland was subsidising the UK. Not a word from the Beeb interlocutors like what about the Barnett formula and how they would pay for defense and so on. If you say something often enough and with no challenger from the spineless Beeb Guardianstas some will believe this nonsense.

When I sojourned in Australia for a few years the classic cry of "whingeing poms" sometimes came up, but the English hardly ever complained. It was the moaning Macs who whined about everything. They always do out of Scotty land. Why do they leave in the first place?

I for one would not mind a bit of TransManche... oh la la, the fertile fields of Normandy and Brittany plus Southern England would be nice little grouping. Ditch the Scots and Welsh; the tatooed hordes of 'oop North' and the drain on benefits and the NHs that these wild lands engender and Bob, c'est mon oncle!

16 January 2012 at 13:00  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

2014 is a clever choice of date. Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup both hosted in Scotland. Most significantly is the World Cup. The Scots still haven't forgiven us for 1966!

In my experience, and I've lived in Scotland for 23 years now, anti-English sentiment is at its height during the World Cup. One dare not display the Cross Of Saint George during this tourament and every pub you enter is supporting the team playing against England. Incidents of asaults on the English rise too.

So think of the 'pride' up here when the Commonwealth and Ryder Cup come to town. Add to this hostility against the English and we have the 'Braveheart' factor.

The Scots are a proud folk and do resent the Act of Union and what led up to it. Apart from that sentiment the majority go little further in their thinking. For example, Ranger's supporters are anti-Irish nationalist and, on the one hand claim they are 'Unionists'. In the next breath they will then want 'Independence' for Scotland.

The wording and the date of the referendum are significant. And for 16 and 17 year olds voting - well!

Question: when will Cornwall, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Mann and parts of Brittanny claim seperatist status as a 'pan-Celtic' people? There is a movement for this.

16 January 2012 at 13:07  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

This was Alex Salmond’s precise reaction to the seismic revelation that haggis may first have been eaten in England.

You're kidding, right? Someone actually wants to take credit for inventing haggis?


16 January 2012 at 13:20  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

This is the Scottish anthem that will be ringing throughout in 2014. Cameron needs to be aware of being pigeoned holed into the role of King Edward who is "sent homeward tae to again"

Flower of Scotland
O Flower of Scotland,
When will we see
Your like again,
That fought and died for,
Your wee bit Hill and Glen,
And stood against him,
Proud Edward's Army,
And sent him homeward,
Tae think again.

The Hills are bare now,
And Autumn leaves
Lie thick and still,
O'er land that is lost now,
Which those so dearly held,
That stood against him,
Proud Edward's Army,
And sent him homeward,
Tae think again.

Those days are past now,
And in the past
They must remain,
But we can still rise now,
And be the nation again,

That stood against him,
Proud Edward's Army,
And sent him homeward,
Tae think again.

O Flower of Scotland,
When will we see
Your like again,
That fought and died for,
Your wee bit Hill and Glen,
And stood against him,
Proud Edward's Army,
And sent him homeward,
Tae think again.

Also, one can expect Jacobin and anti-Jacobin sentiments to surface. Hence the moves against 'sectarianism'.

The following verse, although used for a brief time and never part of the official National Anthem, is peddled about by some as part of the extant anthem to this day:

Lord, grant that Marshal Wade,
May by thy mighty aid,
Victory bring.
May he sedition hush,
and like a torrent rush, Rebellious Scots to crush,
God save the King.

The counter in 1745 was the following:

God bless the prince, I pray,
God bless the prince, I pray, Charlie I mean;
That Scotland we may see
Freed from vile Presbyt'ry,
Both George and his Feckie,
Ever so, Amen.

This is the cauldron that awaits - a volatile mix of religion and nationalism.

Mental note
Time to head for home!

16 January 2012 at 13:24  
Blogger Oswin said...

To break the Union will be a crime against history. I cannot bear the thought that it is even to be considered. I implore the Scots to remain!

16 January 2012 at 13:27  
Blogger Berserker said...

Is Dave playing the long game with Alex Salmon? Does he secretly want to exit the Union? Is this, dare I say it, a bit of 'divide and rule'?

16 January 2012 at 14:04  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

If Scotland did leave the Union, effectively losing all the Labour seats in Scotland, we would have a permanent Conservative Government in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. I wonder why Labour are against it?

16 January 2012 at 14:22  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...


I agree the Union should remain intact. But a crime against history? Some Scots folk consider the Act of Union the real crime.

The argument will only be won North and South of the border through hard facts about the costs and benefits, not by sentiment. Personally, I struggle at times to see what England gains.

Lets be honest, the South East of England subsidies the rest of United Kingdom in much the same way as France and Germany are having to support the Euro. The real crime is that nobody appreciates this but instead wants to winge and moan it and break free.

16 January 2012 at 14:28  
Blogger Oswin said...

Carl Jacobs @ 13:20

Harrumph! There are few things finer than a quality haggis, mashed potatoes, yellow 'cattle bagie' (neep) and lashings of butter.

Long live the Union!

16 January 2012 at 14:40  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo: my family 'Kept the Border' for centuries; when I say a 'crime against history' I know what I'm talking about. I should have added: ... and a blight upon our future!

The Union is above and beyond economics; it is a sacred trust.

16 January 2012 at 14:54  
Blogger Demetrius said...

Um, an animal innard stuffed with offal, some chopped meat and some cereals? My guess is that they have been around ever since hominids found out how to put something in a pot over a fire and cook it. As stupid arguments go this one is Premier League.

16 January 2012 at 14:57  
Blogger Oswin said...


What ''stupid argument''? I was merely correcting a point of Colonial ignorance, and not asking for yours! Beware of Greeks bearing crits, eh?

16 January 2012 at 15:06  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Your Grace,
Whilst I understand where you are coming from with this post I am not sure of the wisdom in linking these two in terms of offence. Nick Griffin is just a nasty racist and blatant with it, pandering to those who quietly still dislike having them foreigners living here.
Alex Salmond is however just a virulent Nationalist who’s concepts, it was thought, were supposedly being swamped in the tide of anti nationalist feelings spreading across Europe. But no, like the former USSR, Canada, Ireland and many parts of Africa, tribal identity arises.
Just as would not want to be governed by a German woman or a French man, I can partly understand their claim, but that is before they count the cost!
Unity can survive where there is a common purpose..Financial security has been such a tie as well as common security. The Scottish Highlanders exemplified themselves during the various wars they fought in with the rest of the GB
The Westminster Government has given Scotland significant indipendance, but like a petulant child, they want more..
Salmon has opened a can of worms amongst his people I fear and if they follow his rhetorical outpourings I feel they will regret it sooner or later.

16 January 2012 at 15:23  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

"Harrumph! There are few things finer than a quality haggis, mashed potatoes, yellow 'cattle bagie' (neep) and lashings of butter."

Surely a contradiction in terms?
Sheep's heart, liver and lungs, with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, salt, with stock, and simmered in the animal's stomach. Yuk!

And the Scots 'address' the haggis with poetry too!
Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the puddin'-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak yer place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o' a grace
As lang's my airm."

Besides, what about the other great Scottish invention of the 20th century - a deep fried Mars Bar?

16 January 2012 at 15:37  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

I deplore anti-English rhetoric but if Scotland is given a referendum I will probably vote for independence unless the third option is allowed. My reasons are because I see it as a quick way out of Europe and because I believe in politics being more local. The current system is so beaurocratic that it is no longer representative. I hope that England follows suit. Also I think we need to take away the excuse that England can be blamed for all our ills. It can certainly be blamed for some but Scots labour MPs can also can also be blamed for ignoring democracy and voting on English legislation whereas English MPs have no say in Scotland. I see independence as the possible start of a new partnership. With reagrd to political rhetoric to rouse the voters, MPs of all party's north and south of the border have been doing that as long as I can remember.

16 January 2012 at 18:11  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Your Grace. An observation by the Inspector. The Scottish Assembly was a shrewd move to keep Scotland in the Union. Had Dublin been given similar in say 1912, the Irish Republican Brotherhood would have become a mainstream right wing party. ‘Sinn Fein’ would have become a cultural movement and the IRA, would never have existed. Importantly, all of Ireland would still be in the Union.

So, the Assembly has taken much of the steam out of Scottish independence aspirations. Salmond knows this and is not missing a trick to keep his flame going. But the question is, who steers the SNP. There are no other notable spokespersons that come to mind. Could it be the next time the man has flu, it’s ‘there is no one available to comment’ from the SNP ?

Rather reassuring that when it comes down to it, the deciding factor will be Jock and Isla Public, that quiet family who just get on with their lives…

16 January 2012 at 18:43  
Blogger bluedog said...

Some excellent insights today, Your Grace. Jon as ever is well informed and astutely rational, Dodo has a life time of experience north of the border and the Inspector makes a good point about Ireland.

Mr Jon will be familiar with the concept of path dependence, which is a smart way of saying, you can't turn the clock back. One senses that everyday is reinforcing the existing path of Blair's devolution and that there are now only two channels leading to the future; total fragmentation or a looser partnership along the lines of Salmond's devo-max. Rigid defence of the status-qo is not an option.

The great mistake being made by English commentators is the vilification of Salmond and a tendency to under-estimate him. Salmond is an intelligent original thinker who as Mr Jon says, 'plays Scotland's national insecurities like a fiddle'. In addition, what Salmond is doing now is his life's work and he has had years to think about every aspect of the task ahead in achieving his goal.

This gives Salmond an inherent advantage in negotiating with the UK government, and in particular, with Dave. Despite his Scottish descent, Dave is an Englishman who grew up in west Berkshire and holidayed in Spain as a child. He is therefore probably a little embarrassed by his Scottish descent as it makes him a wee bit less English. Certainly Dave gives the impression of completely lacking any deep understanding of Scotland and the drivers of the SNP.

This brings us to the proposed meeting between Dave and Salmond to discuss the referendum. Your communicant is afraid that as Dave pads up and walks out to take the stand for the United Kingdom as a patriotic Gentleman he will be bowled from behind the wicket by the ultimate Player. Out for a golden duck, no less. Remember the meeting in Europe on December 9th, when Dave had no plan, waited until 3.00 am before making up his mind, rejected the proposed EU constitutional amendments (rightly so), but couldn't explain why to the rest of the EU?

Winging it with Salmond won't work either. Dave needs to understand devo-max, which is the way ahead to retain the Union. If applied equally to all parts of the Union, devo-max gives England the parliament it needs. The absence of an English parliament in the Blair devolution model has infuriated the English electorate. Which is why English opinion is now a bigger threat to the United Kingdom than the SNP, if the polls are to be believed.

16 January 2012 at 20:03  
Blogger Nibor said...

Get used to the idea .
England on her own . The UK no more .
No permanent seat on the UN Security council (hopefully filled by India ) .

England not in the EU . England not expected to intervene , subsidise , interfere , bail out , pass an opinion on, take sides on other nations troubles .

England run like a normal country , looking after its own interests first , only signing up to what benefits her citizens , not what benefits diplomats .

English people richer , happier , confident and able to look after their own affairs .

16 January 2012 at 20:56  
Blogger Paul Twigg said...

I have to say as an English man I am totally torn here.

On one hand I think that the 300 year old union is something to be cherished and worthy enough to fight for. I would remind Dodo that the Scots were as much a part of helping the UK control a quater of the globe's surface along with the Irish , Welsh and English(Nova Scotia, New South Wales, the Duke of Wellington was technically Irish). Also I would remind Dodo that after the Union Scotland became a new 'athens', i.e a centre of cultural learning and invention and industry (Adam Smith, David Hume etc, etc) .

However that is old history and reading the reaction from some posters here and from many other media outlets, I also feel like saying 'let them leave in good faith and on good terms'. If the Norhern Irish, Welsh, Scottish or English no longer wish to keep the Union together, for goodness sake let us not let it become a bloodbath like Yuogslavia.

I personally resent that this is being portrayed as an English vs Scottish matter and that the inference is that it is nothing to do with the English. In fact relationships go both ways and therefore it is an Irish, English, Welsh AND Scottish issue.

I think that to keep the union alive, the problem lies not with Scotland but England. England is the only part of the UK which has not had devolution. It is time for an English Parliament, hopefully not in London. We bascially need "home rule all round" and that includes England. A similar solution can be found in the Dominions of Canada and Australia.

If England doesn't get a Parliament then the UK will end.

And to be honest I just don't know if I am in favour of the Union or not at present. I sort of swing both ways on this matter.

PS- I think Alex Samond is a smug git and his party are little Scotlanders who have no clue about how to govern a potentially sovereign Scotland. But those issues :

1. Will Scotland be a republic?
2. Will Scotland keep the pound or join the Euro?
3. Will Scotland join the EU, be part of NATO?
4. Will Scotland take on the £140 billion share of national UK debt and take on the £2.5 trillion liabilities of the RBS and other failed Scottish banks?
5. Will there be border posts ?
6. Will the SNP nationalise the property of BP?

...Can be left for another time!!

16 January 2012 at 20:56  
Blogger Paul Twigg said...

OK, if this good enough for the BBC, then I think it's good enough for Cranmer (And I was thinking of the Inspector and Dodo at the time) :

William Wallace Scottish Rebel song (from horrible histories) :

"I am William Wallace
My life was a mystery
Some say born twelve seven two
Some say twelve sixty three

Was dubbed Malcolm of Paisley
Maybe Alan from Aire
Did I have a wife or no?
Do you really care?

They say I had a big, red beard
But all you need to know
I was a Scottish rebel
And the English were my foe

William Wllace, Scottish rebel!
This is war I cried!
Many English fought me
And many English died!

I took against the English
Back when I was fairly wee
'Cause an Englishman called Selby
Bullied my whole family
It upset me, so I struck him dead
Well, wouldn't you?
Then an English sheriff came along
Guess what, I killed him too!

They say he killed my wife
So he deserved what he got
Then England's King Ed came for me
Ooh, I'm scared! Not!

William Wallace, Scottish rebel!
Possibly six feet seven
But all that really matters is
I sent Englishmen to heaven!

Forty thousand English came
To Stirling Bridge for me
They had to cross a narrow bridge
To get to us, you see
We held them off, pushed them back
It was no contest
Bridge collapsed, hundreds drowned
Of course I killed the rest!

I celebrated Stirling Bridge
Another Scottish win
By decorating my sword
With the English general's skin

William Wallace, Scottish rebel!
Scottish legend too
Fought for Scottish freedom
Was a hero through and through

Here's where my rebel story comes unstuck
At Falkirk defeated, I'd run out of luck
Spent seven years playing hide and seek
Captured, sent to London, tried for treason
What a cheek!

King Ed hanged me, then a lovely touch
Pulled my guts out, guess he didn't like me much!

William Wallace, Scottish rebel!
In Scotland my heart lived
Though sadly, my head wound up
On a spike on London Bridge!

Ooh, that smarts!"

16 January 2012 at 21:26  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

The BNP are undoubtedly racist … for advocating the primacy of the ‘indigenous Caucasian’

The BNP Constitution (3.2.3) pledges to restore and maintain ‘the Indigenous British as the overwhelming majority in the make up of the population of and expression of culture in each part of our British Homeland’ so the BNP certainly advocates the primacy of the indigenous British in the sense of them forming the principal population of their homeland.

But, why should that be seen as racist? Why is it racist for the British to have a homeland but not racist when Black, Brown and Yellow people have homelands? Is it cos we is White?

16 January 2012 at 21:34  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

The Rottenborough Declaration 2012

"His Majesty's government view with favour the establishment in Britain of a national home for the British people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that everything shall be done that prejudices the civil and religious rights of existing non-British communities in Britain.

16 January 2012 at 22:29  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ DTKD (22:29)—No need to establish a national home for the British; we already have one. For our children’s sake, we should keep it in good repair.

16 January 2012 at 22:39  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

The Rottenborough Declaration 2012 - Amended

"His Majesty's government view with favour the re-establishment in Britain of an exclusive national home for white British people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that everything shall be done that prejudices the civil and religious rights of existing non-indigenous, non-white British communities in Britain and all efforts will be directed at removing said alien communities."

16 January 2012 at 22:52  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

The Dodo Declaration

I shall prove myself free of the taint of racism by disadvantaging my own race. After all, why should I give a toss what happens to Britain after I’ve kicked the bucket?

16 January 2012 at 23:34  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

Mr Rottenborough

I've accurately represented your position, why misrepresent mine? Is Christianity a race? Do tell, what is 'race'? Is it a division between 'white' and 'non-white'? What about the shades in between - such as the Jewish people?

17 January 2012 at 00:35  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

The Scots are far too intelligent to vote forindependence UNLESS some weaselly deal is obtained whereby they walk away Scot free of their share of the debt Gordon Brown ran up. Salmond's bluff should be called, but with cast iron certainty that they leave the union saddled with a proportionate shre of the UK debt. I suggest this should be calculated based on the additional subsidy they have reveived for decades , and include reparations from Gordon Brown's selling off our gold at the bottom opf the market, which I coantine to believe was done from anti-English resentment.

Scottish independence will also solve the West Lothian problem for ever, and probably lead to permanent Conservative government in an independent England.

We will need a plan to stop Scots benefit claimants migrating south from a bankrupt socialist scotland though.

17 January 2012 at 12:50  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo @ 15:37

Such ingredients are not then excellent???

Get some down yourself soonest, is my advice.

You'll be a new man Dodo, and probably a better one a'that; a goodly portion might quell your hallirackit haverings. Think on man, the contentment of it!

Now hush, else Demetrius will be having at you too. ;o)

17 January 2012 at 15:15  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

Between you and me, I actually do enjoy haggis.

Tell me though why do the Scots insist on calling swede (light orange in colour) 'turnip' or 'neeps'(white in shade)?

17 January 2012 at 20:22  
Blogger Kieran E said...

Salmond is lauded as the best politician in Britain for his skills as a canny political operator - that his opponents recognize this even when, like this article, they deplore what could be seen as almost racist comments regarding the English, is probably a sign it is true; he can be remarkably offensive, hold views detested by others, but as a politician he is formidible.

That he is a great politician, is not necessarily a compliment, and may just be said in recognition that terrible or not, he is not your typical lightweight.

17 January 2012 at 20:51  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

Maybe Salmond appears better than he is given the rest of Scottish politicians, sorry bunch of ex-public servants that they are.

I would love to slap his smug, fat face. I'm human!

17 January 2012 at 22:22  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo @ 20:22 :

Well done that man!

A swede has white flesh, whereas, as you say, a neep/bagie has yellow/orange flesh, and has a more distinct taste. I'm not at all sure, but I suspect that the white Swede is the more recent addition to the family; but I really have no idea as to the etymology.

18 January 2012 at 13:10  
Blogger DeeDee99 said...

Salmond can't be challenged on his anti-English bigotry by either Westminster MPs or the mainstream media for the very good reason that none of them will ever acknowledge that England and the English exist.

When have you ever heard Cameron, Clegg, Deadwood or any Westminster politican refer to England or the English .... I would hazard a guess the answer is NEVER. The same goes for the BBC.

We are not supposed to exist as a race let alone a nation. The Scots, Welsh, NI, Irish are all allowed a racial identity but not the Englist.

The reason is that the EU wants to divide England into 9 regions - divide and rule. If a strong English identity exists they will find it very difficult to achieve.

18 January 2012 at 20:33  
Blogger shane said...

Anglophobia is an accusation hurled with ever-increasing frequency at patrons of Scotland's national rights, but your Grace's imputation of this peccant prejudice to such an eminent political personage as Mr. Alex Salmond is as impertinent as it is implausible. The reasonings which animate Mr. Salmond's separatist sentiments are contingent on premises so alien in their constitution to characteristically English conceptions of civic conventions that your Grace's delineations of the First Minister's motivations, and those of his supporters, proceeds from a hazardous venture unavailingly attended with incapacitating impediments. The unsympathetic sketch which your Grace has deigned to draw is so monstrously discordant with motivational actualities that farce and parody compete among themselves for meriting the distinction of constituting its overriding descriptive attributes and may indeed justly be dismissed as savouring of caricature. Comparisons to Mr. Nick Griffin of the British National Party are invariably unpleasant, but this particular equation could not conceivably be any more unwarranted. What variety of demonic spirits inspired this gratuitous gratification of mankind's mendacity? I beg your Grace to consider whether such audacious incursions on common sense are genuinely necessitated by the circumstances.

19 January 2012 at 17:21  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Lancastrians and Yorkists?

20 January 2012 at 01:56  
Blogger Jon said...

Shane - why would you say that?

20 January 2012 at 11:47  
Blogger Garve said...

I've recently been heartened by a number of articles which reflect a realisation from both sides of the Scottish independence divide that a reasoned examination of the facts will produce the best result for Scotland and the rest of the UK.

Then I read this one. This is the most odious article I've read in months.

Alex Salmond is not an Anglophobe, it'd be much closer to the truth to call him an Anglophile. He regularly talks of his love of England and the English people, believing we would make great neighbours.

The SNP is not Anglophobic - it has a great number of English members, including some elected to Holyrood and Westminster.

Wanting to run your own affairs is a perfectly natural aspiration for any group of people, whether you call them a region, a nation or a country. It may or may not be the best bet in this case, but it certainly does not deserve the slant you place on it.

Comparing Alex Salmond to Nick Griffin because they both have 'national' in their party name carries the same weight as comparing David Cameron to Nick Griffin, because they both talk about 'British' a lot.

This article advances the arguments not one whit, but goes a long way to exposing the author's bitterness.

21 January 2012 at 12:33  
Blogger Dodo the Renatus Dude said...

Garve said ...
"He (Salmond) regularly talks of his love of England and the English people, believing we would make great neighbours."

Your are either stupid or a liar. Salmond plays on anti-English sentiment in Scotland. He can't even bring himself to support England if they're playing football against Saudi Arabia!

Love of England? Do me a favour!

21 January 2012 at 18:10  
Blogger Garve said...

That's a pathetic example. Do Man City fans support Man Utd when they're playing Chelsea because they're both from Manchester? Do England fans support Germany when they play Brazil because both are in the EU?

I support England in test cricket, but in football or rugby union I consider them our biggest rival and wouldn't support them against just about anyone.

If you always support Germany when they play non-EU opposition, then perhaps your argument is justified, but I doubt many of the commenters on here agree.

22 January 2012 at 10:04  
Blogger Dodo the Renatus Dude said...

He's the 'First Minister' of Scotland within a United Kingdom and the claim was he "loved" England.

Fair enough, support Scotland when they're playing against England or opposition that might affect Scotland's prospects in a group stage match. But opposition regardless of the opponent? Before moving to Scotland and encountering the seething hostility towards the English team I always supported Scotland.

As far as the EU goes, I feel no personal allegiance to it and it is not a United State. And neither do I claim to love the Germans!

22 January 2012 at 17:02  
Blogger J. R. Tomlin said...

What a pathetic piece of hatred coming from a supposed Christian churchman. And how deep did Cranmer have to dig to come up with a supposed piece of anti-English rhetoric from FM Salmond. HAGGIS? He made a joke about the English claim to have first made haggis.

Of course, he ignores the FM's comments about his fondness for England and his support for English autonomy and the concept of an English parliament.

The claim that the "British" do not endorse nationalism is absurd. In that case, why do they oppose the breakup of the Union. That IS nationalims--the support of a nation.

This piece comes across as bearing a lot of hatred and prejudice towards Scots. The good bishop would do well take heed to his own advice not to emulateNick Griffin, because that is exactly what he is doing in his attack on the right of Scots to have and run their own nation.

22 January 2012 at 19:38  
Blogger Jon said...

Garve "Wanting to run your own affairs is a perfectly natural aspiration for any group of people, whether you call them a region, a nation or a country."

What if Orkney and Shetland decided that they wanted to remain in the UK? Would Scotland, deprived of the bulk of its oil at the prospect, respect their wishes? After all, they have a far better claim to be a region or group than "Scotland" which is a rather artificial creation, comprising no single ethnic group, dialect, language or cultural identity (even as much as Alex Salmond pretends otherwise)? After all, Lowland Scots have far more in common with Geordies, in whose Kingdom of Northumbria many of them once dwelled, than they do with Highlanders!

The logical endpoint of your proposition would divide the UK into the kind of regions that the EU envisages (albeit I would suggest with more historically resonant names). I'm not opposed to federalism at all, personally, but I do think that you should think through the reasons that you're giving.

23 January 2012 at 13:17  
Blogger Garve said...

Jon, Scotland's borders (Rockall and Berwick aside) have been pretty much well defined since 1468. I don't think you'd find any part of the country where the populace was in any way confused about whether they were in Scotland or not.

The 'what if' question about Orkney and Shetland is often asked, but if there is any popular support for that option, I've never heard of it. Also, there is a misconception about the oil. Islands which are a disconnected exclave of a country don't normally benefit from the same amount of maritime territory - see page 29 of this document from the European Journal of International Law ( for an idea of how the North Sea would be divided in that case. Scotland would still own the vast bulk of the current UK oil fields.

As to whether the EU should be subdivided further, I really have no opinion. I'm keen on Scottish independence which I believe is the best option for us. Other nations need to make their own decisions.

23 January 2012 at 13:52  
Blogger Jon said...

So - what's so special about 1468? Alex Salmond wants to hold a referendum in 2014 because it's the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn (amongst other, less crass reasons) - history has a long memory!

I'm not bothered about the oil for England, but with an independent currency (and why would the rest of the UK continue to allow monetary union? - this is absurd!) increasingly valuable from oil, your economy would become more not less dependent on it. I'm just saying that, since the Scottish Banking Crisis of 2007, I've heard all sorts of explanations for how the Scottish economy would survive after independence and post oil - whisky is often chief among them. None would really pay the bills, as I'm sure you know (hence all the waffle about an arc of prosperity and Scandinavian alliances!).

For a nation with such a proud history, there isn't a lot of reason being applied to this decision so far, but rather a great deal of emotional tripe.

From my perspective, I'd rather the Union stayed together for primarily practical reasons - it's a lot of faff to separate for really very little benefit over fiscal federalism. But if the Scots do go their own way, I doubt I or many in England will notice much. I'd say good luck and just get on with it so we can all move on.

23 January 2012 at 18:10  
Blogger Garve said...

Jon, 1468 was when Orkney and Shetland were signed over to Scotland by Norway.

Scotland has huge resources - as well as hydrocarbons there's vast renewables potential and reserves of fresh water, both of which our big neighbour to the south will need in the decades to come.

I've no doubt of our ability to thrive - if Denmark can for instance, so can we.

23 January 2012 at 20:50  
Blogger Jon said...

Garve, that's good. As long as the SNP would respect the wishes of any local populace who wished to remain in the union.

You're right about the vast resources, but they're quite far away. Southern England has an energy interconnector with France and its nuclear reactors (and I understand that more are possibly in the works in the North sea too). We can buy our energy from anywhere.

As to other questions, I see no reason why the Bank of England should continue to act as lender of last resort to the one remaining Scottish bank which isn't in public ownership. As to RBS and LBG, why would the UK government not pass special resolutions to move their headquarters (and with time the workforce) away from such a potentially unstable jurisdiction? Indeed, why would the large call centres and processing centres outside Glasgow for HMRC not be moved to Swansea?

As I said, either way, I wish you the best of luck with it all. Scotland has a phenomenal history of enterprise which recent history has belied. Maybe this will re-emerge with independence - so much the better.

But please - let's not have any more of this nonsense about no borders, or the BoE supporting Scottish banks. If you want independence, please do it properly. Otherwise, you'll be like a divorced husband who insists on hanging around the family home!

And like a decent divorcing husband, I'm sure you'll be paying your alimony - for the debts we ran up to save your banks, and for the interest and principle on the loan we paid off to stop your entire nation going bankrupt after its misadvernture in Darien! I see no reason why the good people of the UK should be saddled with that!

25 January 2012 at 17:03  
Blogger Garve said...

Oh dear Jon, you were doing well there for a couple of paragraphs.

We'll pay our share (8.6% by population) of the UK's debts as they stand at the point of separation. We'll also take an 8.6% share of the UK's moveable and foriegn assets. We won't be taking on the entirety of debts or liabilities of any banks - the UK as a whole was happy to take the taxes from them in the good times and to take the responsibility of regulation, so the rUK must share the burden in the bad times. The good news though is that we won't be asking you to pay us back all the excise collected from Scottish oil over the last 40 years.

25 January 2012 at 18:44  
Blogger Jon said...

Ha ha, Garve. Your First Minister has proposed that Scotland should leave its debts behind, so 8.6% is a nice start. Scotland has shared in the tax riches of the city, and in the dramatically lower debt servicing costs from being kept afloat by the prosperous south east - so your oil arguments, as I explained further above, can be largely ignored.

I like this argument - the SNP is always scrupulous in its application of the Barnett formula, most recently in insisting that money going to regenerate two of the poorest boroughs in the UK as part of the Olympics should see Scotland get an additional bung. So how's about this:

It only seems fair, I'm sure you'll agree!

26 January 2012 at 18:45  
Blogger Garve said...

I'm not actually authorised to conduct these negotiations with you, but I'm sure no one will mind.

The Barnett formula gives a rate of approx 10.25% at the moment, so we take 10.25% of the debt, and of course 10.25% of the moveable and foreign assets. Seems fair enough.

26 January 2012 at 20:58  
Blogger KhaleejiKat said...

I would go as far as to align him in the same vein as Hitler. The man is vile, pure and simple vile.
He thinks he is Scottish and woe anyone who disagrees with puritanical, Nuremberg rally style outburst of visceral filth and hatred.
He should be locked up for inciting crimes of racial hatred.
I don't think I despise anyone on this planet more than this creature.

20 August 2012 at 20:58  
Blogger Richard McHarg said...

Seldom have I read such an ill-informed and inaccurate piece of rubbish as this.

Most of the posts are just as bad, but if you are fed lies by your press, then I can understand it, almost! England does not subsidise Scotland, and why the continual animosity due to a desire to govern ourselves? You act as if you want a war with us as a result!

Alex Salmond is not an anti-English racist, and the SNP is not an anti-English party.

I'm a member of the SNP and I don't have an anti-English bone in my body. I have English relatives and friends, many living here, and all those that do voted SNP last year.

The SNP has many English members, activists, councillors, MSPs and MPs. This would not happen if we are racists.

We seek political self-determination for all the people of our nation, irrespective of origin or religion. This has nothing to do with anti-Englishness.

Don't confuse any criticism of England or the Westminster establishment as anti-Englishness. Is criticism of France or Germany anti-French or anti-German?

Time for you lot to grow up and get your research sorted out! My 11 year-old son could do a better job!

20 August 2012 at 22:47  
Blogger S MacK said...

So the Scottish independence movement is motivated by hatred of the English ? Quite frankly sir, I find that offensive. By your logic I assume you also believe the anti-racism movement is motivated by hatred of white people, that women want equality because they hate men, and that gay people want to marry because they hate Catholics.

The campaign for Scottish Independence is NOT about England or the English. Nor is it even about Alex Salmond or the SNP. It is about giving back to the people of Scotland their fundamental right of self determination.

Your petty mud-slinging antics are vile, repugnant and offensive, particularly to the many English people living in Scotland that support independence. It is only indicative of the simple fact that the Unionist cause has no reasoned argument for Scotland remaining tied, therefore you resort to vomiting bile.

Those of us supporting independence do so because we have clarity of vision and hope for the future that is not marred by blind jingoism and glorification of a has-been empire. You ought to be very ashamed of yourself. Your Grace indeed ? Disgrace more like.

21 August 2012 at 11:52  
Blogger Richard McHarg said...

Khalijikat, I think you need to establish the facts before you make such a fool of yourself.

Could you prove any of what you claim in a court of law?

How do you come by this opinion?

Provide me with one racist comment from Alex Salmond?

The SNP is a left-of-centre social democratic party. I would remind folk on this site that Salmond was elected to his post last year with a thumping increase in seats and share of the vote, and again, this year, the SNP increased its numbers of councillors and share of the vote.

As a party, we have members from all over the world and of all faiths, including a Muslim MSP. We are opposed to nuclear weapons, imperialism, illegal invasions and support the rule of international law. We govern for all the people, because the people are sovereign; unlike England, where sovereignty lies with Crown and Parliament.

The referendum is not shaping up as the SNP versus the Rest. The 'Yes' Campaign includes the SNP, the SSP, Solidarity, the Scottish Green Party, some trade unions and many other parts of Scottish society. There is now a Labour Party group for independence, and the STUC support more powers for our parliament. Many voices in business have already come out for independence and there will be more to follow. Lib Dems and Conservatives are also starting to put their heads beyond their party's stances. It isn't evolving along party lines, irrespective of what your papers say.

Other posters go on about the history of this, the anniversary of that, the UK is good together blah, blah, blah. We simply want to govern ourselves from our own capital city, while controlling and growing our own economy and controlling our own foreign policy.

Turning things around, how about moving the UK's capital to Edinburgh for the next 305 years, with all the civil service jobs, the jobs in the City, etc.; all the UK's infrastructure control and decision-making based in Edinburgh, and the whole UK economy serving Lothian (the area around Edinburgh) and geared for the benefit of this area?

This is nothing personal, so why are you all ranting as if it is? Do you see it as a challenge to English imperialism? Why are you all getting in such a twist about it? It's baffling!

I'm not hearing the same level of vitriol re any referendum for the Falkland Islands to remain under the control of the people who live there.

21 August 2012 at 13:39  
Blogger Richard McHarg said...

As for the stupid comments re Orkney and Shetland, I would point out that they are part of Scotland. They entered into the Union as part of Scotland, and they'll leave the Union as part of Scotland. It is the result over the whole of Scotland that counts, not area by area. International Law will be called upon to protect our sovereignty.

If you want to go down that route, perhaps we should offer parts of England the option to become part of Scotland. Perhaps the Isle of Wight, Berwick, Carlisle, Northumbria? Yes, it's a stupid idea, isn't it?

The Treaty of Union is a treaty between two independent nation states, and is therefore an international treaty, governed by international law. It is not the right of England, or anyone else, to stop us dissolving this union, just as we would have no right to stop England dissolving the union. We did not give up our sovereignty in 1707, irrespective of how much Westminster would have us believe otherwise.

Just for the benefit of the ill-informed out there, Scotland wasn't bankrupt in 1707. The Darien investors were hard up. Scotland had a very small national debt and the burghs were still trading. What we inherited from the Union was England's massive war debts; debts that were ultimately partially cleared by Scottish tax payers. There is also the small issue of English troops stationed in the north of England, ready to invade had the Scottish Parliament voted against the treaty. Don't think for a second that what you read in your history books, written from an English viewpoint, is, in fact, the whole truth.

The London-based media has taken SNP-bashing to a height that is itself verging on racist. They are also lies. The only people stoking any racist sentiment are the right-wing illiterates in the London papers and the BBC.

Comparing Salmond to Hitler is puerile and impossible to fathom. He does not rule the SNP, never mind the Scottish people. He is our political leader because we, the people, put him there. He has the strongest political mandate of any leader in the British Isles, and he is a democrat. That is how we do business in the SNP, and that is how we have taken that on in government.

Others call him an opportunist! If that was the case he would have joined the Labour Party rather than spend decades in opposition.

Salmond is a highly intelligent man and a skilled politician. His command of his brief is astonishing. His views reflect the wider opinion in Scotland, not the other way round. To-date, he has not ordered one British soldier into battle, or sanctioned an invasion of another country without a UN mandate. He is not suggesting turning Scotland into another North Korea, or whatever crap is the flavour of the week.

Any future decisions in an independent Scotland will be for the government of the day to decide, and it will be for the people to determine that government.

What most of you know about Scotland, never mind Salmond, could be written on a postage stamp, but the sweeping nonsense of the imperial mind-set is alive and well in England. Fortunately, most English folk are more concerned with their own lives and get on with it. Given the facts, they'd support, en masse, our right and intention for self-determination! Scotland is not a colony, but a country, with its own cultures and aspirations. We don't all use London as our benchmark. After all, it isn't my capital city! We will not be dictated to or bullied by Westminster.

If you don't like it, then tough, but it doesn't make us racists!

21 August 2012 at 13:40  
Blogger Paul Wilson said...

But British Nationalism against Europe is OK though. I will be voting Yes as I regard Scotland as a country not just a region of greater England.

16 December 2013 at 17:39  
Blogger George Gissing said...

You may now say "I told you so"

17 September 2014 at 14:31  

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