Honour and dishonour

Thatcher’s former Governor General of Scotland, Ian Lang, made a wee speech in the House of Lords in which he said that Scottish independence would dishonour all those who had fought and died in the UK’s assorted wars.

As far as I can discover, Ian Lang has never seen active service in the military.  Instead he’s made a very lucrative career for himself in Tory politics, followed by his pretendy Lordy title and a series of directorships.  According to Businessweek, the privately educated Lang has amassed a very profitable portfolio of part time directorships which bring him in over £240,000 annually.  It’s the natural career path of a Tory poshboy.

So I asked my other half what he thought about Lang’s intervention.  Himself is a former Royal Marine who saw active service in Suez and Cyprus, two not especially honourable episodes in Britain’s imperial past – but we’ll gloss over that.  He killed people, his friends died, and he got some shiny medals for his pains.  After leaving the Royal Marines he served for 25 years in the Metropolitan police, where he continued to protect the likes of Ian Lang.

The other half is English, not a person of Scottish parentage who happened to have been born down south, he’s yer actual Englishman with the yew wot accent and everything.   He fully intends to vote yes in September’s referendum.  His exact words on hearing Lang’s comments were:  “Lang can go fuck himself.  He doesn’t know what honour means.  He won’t tell me what I fought for.” 

I wish I hadn’t asked, because the other half then went into an extended rant about how a former Thatcher cabinet minister has no business telling anyone what is or is not “honourable”.  It’s pretty rich for an exserviceman to be called dishonourable by a man who spent his career betraying working class servicepeople and took a leading role in a government which slashed the services those servicepeople now rely on when they are infirm or disabled.

All across the UK, frail and elderly ex-servicemen are left lying for hours  in their own shit because care provision has been axed.  Where’s the honour when you reek of stale urine Ian?  Thanks to Ian Lang and his colleagues, former soldiers freeze because they’re forced to choose between eating or heating.  Where’s the honour Ian?

If that’s the honour Ian Lang speaks of, who is dishonouring who?

If anything, my partner fought for the Britain of consensus, the Britain of the NHS and the welfare state, the Britain of free education, the Britain that cares for the infirm, the disabled, the elderly, and those who’ve been dealt a bad hand by life.  He did not fight for the Britain of ATOS, the Britain of cuts and privatisation.  He certainly didn’t fight for the Britain of illegal wars. But that’s the Britain Lang has created, and now he has the audacity to claim that we dishonour the selfish nasty and narrow little Parliament that is a tool of the misrule of those who know no honour, only profit.

No Ian, we are not dishonouring servicemen by voting for independence.  We are honouring them, because we’re protecting them from your betrayals, your cant, and your lies.  With independence we can create a land that really is fit for heroes.  We can preserve those good parts of the postwar consensus that you have made it your life’s work to destroy.

We are dishonouring YOU Ian, because dishonour is all you and your so called “Lords” deserve.

I do hope the Daily Mail is listening, because this particular instance of cybernattery comes from an English ex serviceman who has never used a computer in his life. 

23 comments on “Honour and dishonour

  1. Paul, in my humble opinion, that is your best yet!

    • memaw says:

      If only we could get this out in the MSM. Everything you say is true.I agree with The Tree of Libery, your best yet.
      My partner is also an Englishman who is voting Yes. In fact he was convinced long before I was about the case for Independence.

      • Memaw, that is an interesting fact, why is it easier to convince a foreigner (forgive me but I don’t know what other word to use) about the benefits of Independence than it is for a home born Scot? I should add my best friend is English and he is committed as me about Independence.

        • Smokeball says:

          The ‘foreigners’ do not have a national inferiority complex which makes them think they can’t do it. When I was fairly new here – a long time ago – I found the Scottish independentistas stood out as having the same national confidence that the English, and other nationalities too – assume as a matter of course. This was unusual among the Scotish population as a whole.

    • weegingerdug says:

      Thanks – I am seriously annoyed by Lang’s shameless hypocrisy, and so is the other half.

      • memaw says:

        Having just watched STV ‘ s interview with Lord Forsyth, re. Lang’ s speech: I was disappointed that he was not asked why redundancy is being forced on personnel just before they would qualify for a pension. What honour there? It is truly despicable that service personnel, supposedly valued when doing their job are immediately seen as expendable when it suits the Government. Never mind dishonouring the dead surely we should honour the living.

  2. bearinorkney says:

    A fine old rant straight from the heart. It’s a toss up between your blog and “Wings” as my first port of call.
    Lang made an arse of himself and helped persuade a few thousand more to vote’Yes’.
    They have a death wish.


    Said better than I ever could.

  4. ElaineS says:

    God bless yir other brave half!! No matter what happens if the UK splits up, brave lads like your bonnie lad, my son who lives in England and has toured twice in Afghanistan and those lost to all the British/UK wars……….we will never ever forget them or disrespect them. We all possess pasts and our past after Independence would always be when we were part of the UK. Like everything in our past, there’s good memories and bad memories and things and people we will never forget……..they are the people in our forces who we will never let anyone forget………even when we are an Independent country. How can we ever dishonour our forefathers that lost their lives for the British Isles……it will still be the British Isles even if Scotland is Independent. A kingsized numpty Lord who’s only worried he’ll lose his £300 a day perks in the Lords.

  5. Jeannie says:

    So well said, Paul. Just so well said.

  6. Eilean says:

    I served 16 years in the army. Plus 20 years in Strathclyde Regional Council / Scottish Water providing a public service for little reward. What has Lang done to deserve a quarter of a million quid a year? And he gets to dress up as Santa now and again!

    “Lord” my arse! The sooner Westminster becomes a “wee thing” (copyright J. Lamont) the better.

  7. Will Mcewan says:

    Let the bastard go to the Scottish National War Monument in Edinburgh and read the huge books with the names of the 128,000 Scots in the Scottish line regiments who died for absolutely nothing in the First World war.
    What the clearances started in the Highlands the First War finished off, robbing huge areas of rural and highland Scotland of nearly all the young men and the children that would have followed them. He will see whole families of brothers neatly recorded in those big books. But not only the boys from the country. He can count the estimated 40,000 men recruited in the Glasgow area who died, many of them on their first or second day in action – and many of them not yet sixteen years old.
    The absolute horror of the First World War hit me a few years ago as I idly counted the names on the War Memorial on the green at Inveraray. I paused as the count passed ninety. In this tiny town! The population of Inveraray and the immediate area around it in 1914 was around 900. It lost nearly all its young men, probably as the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders fell at the Somme or on the attack on Beaumont Hamel.
    No great mischief if they fall. No great mischief if they fall!
    Scotland owes Britain nothing.

  8. chicmac says:

    To suggest that Scots in an independent Scotland would somehow forget or fail to acknowledge or honour the past bravery and sacrifice of British soldiers is just about the lowest depths of political depravity I have ever encountered.

  9. joe kane says:

    British Gulf War Illness veterans were one of the patient groups used as guinea pigs in the development of the neoliberal biopsychosocial disability denial ideology now practised on the whole of the long-term sick and disabled community of the UK by the DWP and Atos.

    The MOD hired psychiatrists to change a physical illness, and the signs and symptoms of a physical disease, into some kind of nebulous psycho-social disorder which deliberately steers well-clear of doing actual proper scientific medical research on the veterans’ ailments to find out what actually causes them. Dismissing physical illness and disabilities is big buisness for private medical insurance companies and helps government departments (MOD, Dept of Health, DWP) save on their budgets.

    To this day the MOD refuses point-blank to pay out war pensions to 90% of veterans whose health was compromised in the first Gulf War, deploying a variety of DWP-Atos style excuses most of the population will now be familiar with.

    Ref –
    Gulf War veterans ‘refused war pensions’

    Petition on government website –
    HM Government must Recognise Gulf War Syndrome / Multi Systemic Disorder Illness

  10. Macart says:

    Your other half is not wrong.

    First class post.

  11. Perhaps some of those Scots who were killed in the First World War would have said that they were fighting for their country, but if they had been asked “Which country is that?” would have answered “Scotland”. It dishonours their memory to use their sacrifice in the way Lang does.

    Another reason why many in Britain supported Britain’s entry into the war, and rushed to volunteer, was the German invasion of Belgium. Lang wants to exploit the memory of men who died so that a small nation might be free to hinder the freedom of another small nation.

    In the Second World War, people were were fighting against fascist aggression, not for the Union. What real interest could Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans, Free French and Poles, amongst many others, possibly have had in the continuation of the Union? Whether Britain should be one state or two or more has not been an issue in any conflict, outside Ireland, since the last Jacobite rebellion ended at Culloden.

    If the casualties amongst Britain’s armed forces are to be invoked in the independence debate, perhaps we should be asking why a disproportionately high percentage have been Scottish.

    • Alan says:

      The Jacobite rebellion was not about whether Britain should be one or more states. It was about whether the monarch of Britain should be the Italian Catholic or the Dutch Protestant.

      • May I correct you. Not an Italian but Scottish-Polish. As for his Catholicism, he turned Anglican in his drunken dotage, got a pension from the British State, yet somehow manage to end up buried in St Peter’s. And to think some romanticize such pathetic parvenus….a republic should fix that malady.

  12. Willi Mcewan says:

    Yesterday’s abominationfrom langremided me of a wee poem/song I wrote years ago when we invaded Iraq and which I had forgotten. One verse I wrote summed it up for me

    When they’re lookin’ for sojers
    They aye know where to come
    To Govan, to Craigmillar, to Gibbshill, to the Drum
    When they’re handin’ out the funerals
    The Jocks aye get first turn
    Hope I get back to my Angie
    Dave McEwan hill

  13. Awesome post – it is hienously offensive to suggest we wouldn’t honour our military servicemen & women in an independent Scotland – frankly, as far as I’m concerned they’d be held in higher esteem than in ‘Great’ Britain – there’s nothing Great about it…how many wars have our soldiers fought and died in, in conflicts Westminster saw fit to get involved in?!? Cracking rant, and thankyou for posting…as usual I love reading it!

  14. In the first world war Scotland lost, proportionately, nearly as many of her citizens as Turkey. By turning this into a “patriotism game” Mr Lang dishonors their memory. Being an ex-satrap of the BritState he will be well acquainted with the ignoble.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s