The fearbomb hat-trick

There’s something that’s been bugging me for a while.  It’s Irish people.  Not that Irish people bug me, far from it.  It’s the total absence of discussion of Ireland and the Irish in the context of this debate Scotland is currently having about who is furren and who isn’t.

Speaking personally, and I’m quite sure my sentiments are shared by the overwhelming majority of Scots, Irish people are no more nor less foreign than English people or Welsh people.  Which is to say, not very foreign at all then.  People who know what tottie scones and sodie breid are can’t possibly be foreign, even if they do call them potato farls and soda bread.

So the question I keep coming back to, when I hear Unionists warn in the direst terms about the awfulness of us becoming foreigners to the rest of the UK and breaking those shared bonds we have, is what exactly is it we share in terms of culture, identity and history with the Welsh and the English, but not with the Irish as well?  Because all those shared things are shared quite independently of the bonds of the Westminster Parliament, which seems to be the only bond in the equation – we’re bound by their decisions and don’t have much in the way of remedy.  More a shackle than a bond.

The bad news for the Better Together mob is that the only single answer is “the Royal family”.  It’s dubious whether the Windsors could be considered “culture”, though they are a parasitic growth which could be grown in a petri dish, so I suppose that’s culture of a sort.

However Irish people tend to have quite strong opinions about the British monarchy, especially those in the northern bits, but it’s also far from foreign amongst those in the Republic.  This is not something you often find amongst people in properly foreign parts.  Properly foreign foreigners have no more interest in the Windsors than the average Scottish person has in the King of Thailand.  Can you name the King of Thailand without Googling it?  No.  Neither can I.

In any event we’d still have that particular circus after independence, what with Liz already being Queen of Scots quite separately from her claim to the throne of England – or to give her her more accurate title north of the border, “Queen of Those Scots Who Give a Shit About the Monarchy”.  There’s more than a few Scots who fully intend to press for us to go down the Irish route with respect to the Windsors just as soon as we get independence, so republican sentiments are not really something we can be told we don’t share with Ireland.

This can only mean that citizens of the Irish Republic are foreigners who have cunningly disguised themselves not to seem foreign at all.  So even if we do end up as foreigners to the rest of the UK if we vote for independence, we can just borrow the cloaking technology from Dublin.  Sorted.

However some clown in the Telegraph was opining the other day that since the UK is a constitutional monarchy where the sovereign is bound to act on the advice of the Prime Minister, Davie could have a wee word in Liz’s shell-like and advise her not to become Queen of Scots after independence.  Bash. Kapowie. Blam.  Take that Scottish separatists.  You’ll be proper foreigners without the Queen.

Peter Oborne, who apparently gets paid for this stuff, wrote:

“Cameron has already denied Scotland the pound sterling. He is entitled to deny the Scots the House of Windsor, especially since the Scots had their own separate monarch before James the VI and I unified the crowns of England and Scotland in 1603.”

He then goes on to suggest Scotland invites this mad auld Spanish bat to become Queen, the conveniently titled Duquesa de Alba, because she’s a direct descendant of the Stuarts and has an unfortunate resemblance to Phil Spector in drag.  At first I thought he might be making a witty play on the wummin’s title and the Gaelic name for Scotland,  but that would require some actual knowledge of the country Oborne is so ready to denigrate.

His staggering lack of understanding was already illustrated in his first sentence, when he said Cameron had “denied Scotland the pound”, so I should have realised.  Scotland can’t be denied the pound, we can use it without Westminster’s permission – and we can leave the debt behind too.  This might not be the preferred option of the Scottish Government, which proposes to be studiously reasonable and helpful to the UK Treasury post-independence, but it sure as hell is mine.

The only reason Oborne mentioned la Duquesa is because she’s stinking rich.  Obscenely rich.  This allows him to make a Metropolitan sneer about how she’d be able to bail Scotland out.  Oborne, like the rest of the London commentariat, suffers from the quaint delusion that Scotland is the Big Issue Seller of Europe, dependent upon the charity of good people like him.  And we jolly well ought to be grateful.  Someone’s in for an unpleasant shock after Scottish independence, and it’s not going to be Scottish people.

Nevertheless, I’d like to add my wee voice to Oborne’s plea to Cameron to tell Liz she can’t come over all queeny in Scotland.  It would save Scottish republicans the bother of having to campaign for a republic post-independence, and it would piss off Scottish monarchists no end and drive them into the yes camp.  So it’s a win win.

We’ll have our Dublin made not-foreign cloaking devices, a Scottish republic, we’ll still use the pound and have no national debt.  Thank you Westminster for giving us the hat-trick.  Can we have more of these fearbombs please?  They’re really pretty tasty.

25 comments on “The fearbomb hat-trick

  1. Morag says:

    Paul, have you seen this?

    It’s the Ireland Act 1949. It says the following.

    “Republic of Ireland not a foreign country.
    It is hereby declared that, notwithstanding that the Republic of Ireland is not part of His Majesty’s dominions, the Republic of Ireland is not a foreign country for the purposes of any law in force in any part of the United Kingdom or in any colony, protectorate or United Kingdom trust territory, whether by virtue of a rule of law or of an Act of Parliament or any other enactment or instrument whatsoever, whether passed or made before or after the passing of this Act, and references in any Act of Parliament, other enactment or instrument whatsoever, whether passed or made before or after the passing of this Act, to foreigners, aliens, foreign countries, and foreign or foreign-built ships or aircraft shall be construed accordingly.”

    That’s something that should be more widely talked about.

  2. Morag says:

    Oops, Andrew, great minds think alike.

  3. Steve Bowers says:

    Phil Spector in drag, Jeeez !

    That’s not a good image to put into someones head this close to dinner time

    By the way, do you know someone who can dick around with video and add bits, cos I’ve got some good ( I think ) ideas for piss taking but an bowff with technology ?

    • weegingerdug says:

      I know a couple of folk, I can pass your email address to them if you’re agreeable. It’s not something I know much about myself.

    • Clatchard Craig says:

      Well, my curiousity was piqued enough to carry out an image search for the lady in question. I can save the readers some distress by reporting that Wee Ginger Dug is accurate in his choice of imagery.


      • She was a looker when she was young, I think.

        Nae furry black and white ears an aw.

        • Clatchard Craig says:

          The Duquesa isnae bonny but that’s not the important point point here. Certain people say that she has a claim to be the monarch of Scotland. Thanks to the Act of Settlement of 1701 any number of European aristocrats can make a similar claim. Why is our current Queen accepted as ‘legitimate’?

  4. Marian says:

    I fully expect as we get closer to independence day that Westminster will tell Scots that we are not getting any of the oil reserves because some YES Minister mandarin has written a report recommending that Scots shouldn’t get control over it because we will just go out and irresponsibly spend the revenues on a sovereign wealth fund or some nonsense like that rather than cutting taxes for the already rich or invading some distant poorly defended nation because the UK wants to display its “clout”.

    Oh and anyone who is a Scot and happens to be a member of the UK armed forces won’t ever be allowed to end their service and return home to Scotland because a Westminster Mandarin writes a report that says the UK can never win any wars again without them.

    • weegingerdug says:

      I’ve already seen a few comments from Unionists in newspapers’ comments sections which claim that Scotland won’t be “allowed” the oil fields. They seem to think it’s a UK asset that they can prevent us getting after independence, wee sowels. They don’t seem to realise that the rest of the UK can no more hang on to oil and gas reserves in Scottish waters than an independent Scotland can claim a share of gas fracking reserves in Surrey. Scottish oil and gas is a territorial resource. It quite literally comes with the territory.

      • Jim Wylie says:

        I read somewhere that Jim Callaghan created a ‘fifth’ UK territory in the 1970’s, consisting of the continental shelf, not being part of any other specific UK country, and it is perfectly possible and perhaps even probable that this will be claimed as part of rUK territory. It could be challenged in international courts, but that would take an eternity, and the result would be uncertain.
        England will revert to being a really bad enemy. Trust nothing they do or say.

        • weegingerdug says:

          For the purposes of tax revenues, the UK Treasury treats the North Sea as an “extra-regio” territory, separate from Scotland or England. This was done in order to reduce the apparent amount that Scotland contributes to the UK Exchequer so they could keep telling us we were subsidised by Westminster. However due to the existence of two distinct legal systems in the UK, the Continental Shelf Act 1964 and the Continental Shelf (Jurisdiction) Order 1968 defines the UK North Sea maritime area to the north of latitude 55 degrees north as being under the jurisdiction of Scots law. The vast majority of the oil lies in the area administered by Scots law. This remains the case despite the fact that the UK currently regards the entire UK North Sea as “extra-regio” for tax purposes. This has no standing in international law, and is purely an internal administrative measure within the UK.

          There are international treaties which govern the division of sea areas between adjacent states. The rUK has no legal claim to any part of Scotland’s waters. Threats they’d keep the oilfields are baseless.

  5. The absence of the Irish dimension has also baffled me for a while. It’s not just the foreigner stuff. It’s also that in most areas (such as border controls and currency), it’s most likely Scotland will follow the example set by Ireland, at least in the medium term, so a lot of Better Together’s scaremongering can be dismissed with a brief reference to Ireland.

    Furthermore, a lot of the unionist propaganda implies (although they never spell it out clearly) that Ireland made a huge mistake by leaving the UK. If life as an independent country is so scary, surely Ireland would have been better together, too. It’s just a bit strange that no Irishman I’ve ever met has advocating reunification with the UK.

  6. Can some explain to me (like I’m a five year old) the significance of the “Ireland isn’t a foreign country” thing, feel I’m missing something here.

    • weegingerdug says:

      Unionist politicians are always claiming that after independence, Scotland would become “a foreign country” to the rest of the UK. Prior to 1948, independent Ireland was officially the Free State, and technically was a “dominion of the (British) crown”. However Ireland declared itself a republic in 1948, so the British monarch was no longer its official head of state. In response, Westminster passed the Ireland Act in 1949. Section 2.1 of that act states that despite the fact that Ireland is independent and is not “one of His Majesty’s dominions”, that for the purposes of all UK legislation, Ireland would not be a foreign country, and citizens of the Irish Republic would not be considered foreign citizens. Legally, Irish citizens are not foreigners in Scotland, England, Wales or Northern Ireland.

      Better Together refuses to explain why the status of “not foreign” was granted to the Irish Republic, but could not be granted to a newly independent Scotland, even though, unlike Ireland, we would retain Liz as head of state, would seek membership of the Commonwealth, and membership of NATO (though that’s SNP policy, not what I would prefer myself, but that’s by the by), and we won’t have achieved our independence by fighting a war with the British army.

      It’s just one of the thousands of contradictions littering Project Fear’s arguments which they’re hoping Scottish people won’t notice.

  7. bookie-from-hell says:

    funny,intelligent,informative thx

    what worries it’s downright ugly (bribes,the N word,springtime for hitler job,with 7 months to go,god knows what else the union is going to throw Scotland’s way.i trust no poll,but maybe it’s better that way,a surg of left wing feeling sweeps the union in its tide.

  8. yerkitbreeks says:

    Och, widna worry aboot oor Queen – she’s nae profligate up here, mind when she came to Holyrood wi’ her hat and handbag instead o’ a’ them robes aifter her coronation.

    The irish are watching :–the-implications-for-ireland

  9. […] Paul T. Kavanagh in his excellent blog Wee Ginger Dug, talked about the Irish. He said they’d be bugging him. Not in an NSA kind of way, but rather in the way that they’ve been ignored in this whole debate. […]

  10. […] Paul T. Kavanagh in his excellent blog Wee Ginger Dug, talked about the Irish. He said they’d be bugging him. Not in an NSA kind of way, but rather in the way that they’ve been ignored in this whole debate. […]

  11. […] Paul T. Kavanagh in his excellent blog Wee Ginger Dug, talked about the Irish. He said they’d be bugging him. Not in an NSA kind of way, but rather in the way that they’ve been ignored in this whole debate. […]

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