The opposite of blaming the English

The other night on Newsnight on BBC, arch conservative David Frum, a former speechwriter to George W Bush, made the ludicrous claim that Scottish nationalism was being funded by the Kremlin. Being a former speechwriter to the president whose only redeeming feature is that he was merely off the planet and not actually out in interstellar space like Donald Trump, Frum has of course got previous for not dealing with happenings here on Earth.

If Scottish nationalism was indeed funded by the Kremlin, it would save a lot of us bloggers and new media types from having to punt fundraisers, flog our books, or ask for donations. However Scottish nationalism manages to do quite well for itself without any assistance from regressive homophobic imperialist kleptocrats. We have quite enough of those in Westminster and are trying to get away from them as fast as our hairy wee Caledonian legs can carry us without getting into bed with their Russian equivalents. Actually we couldn’t get into bed with them anyway, what with the Russian government being notoriously homophobic and Scottish nationalism being as gay-friendly as a nightclub in Amsterdam.

The argument Frum was trying to articulate is that there is no real cause or basis to the desire for Scottish self-determination, it’s all being stirred up by evil people outside. Frum wants to make out that Scotland is nothing more than a little cog in the gearwheel driving the Axis of Evil. Why the Kremlin would want to support a movement that sees its natural allies amongst the 143 non-Russian nationalities of Russia, Frum didn’t explain.

The chances are that your average supporter of Scottish self-determination is going to be highly sympathetic to the struggles of other small stateless nations to achieve autonomy. You might just think that the successful establishment of an independent Scottish state might make the Chuvash, the Tatars, the Yakut or the Tuva, to name but a few, redouble their own efforts for self-determination and the assertion of their linguistic, cultural, and political rights.

In Scottish terms, Frum is a far right wing extremist. He’d find our Tory party dangerously liberal. In America, a conservative party led by an out lesbian is a contradiction. In American politics Frum is considered a far right neo-conservative, he’s not usually considered swivel eyed, but that’s only because they have Donald Trump as a standard of comparison. His insight into Scottish nationalism is less than that of your average Guardian columnist, but then, there’s no particular reason why he ought to be blessed with any great understanding of Scottish politics. We can just point and laugh.

The Guardian’s Martin Kettle is a different kettle of fishy fallacies. He gets paid very highly to comment on British politics, but as far as Scotland is concerned he’s as out of touch and clueless as David Frum. Today in the Guardian the former acolyte of Tony Blair has submitted a 1000 word article bemoaning the lack of opposition to the SNP and warning that in the future it’s going to be harder than before to blame the English. They get an easy run you know, that SNP that isn’t ever challenged by a Scottish media that is almost entirely united against it.

I’m sick fed up of people who should know better repeating lazy slurs that Scottish self-determination is all about blaming the English. Frankly, it’s racist. It plays on the ancient English stereotype that there is no content to a Scottish identity than a deep seated desire not to be English, that we have no culture, no language, and nothing to distinguish ourselves except a visceral hatred for our neighbours. The anti-Scottish sentiment that exists in England is dismissed as banter, yet anti-English sentiment in Scotland is not merely a dark canker that lurks at the very heart of the Scottish psyche, it’s all that Scotland has and all that Scotland is.

We don’t blame “the English”, Martin, we blame the Westminster parliament, which as a political correspondent you may have noticed is also the parliament of Scotland. The word Westminster is not Scottish cybernat code for England. Westminster is not an English institution, it just acts as though it is and that’s part of the problem. Westminster is the parliament of the entire United Kingdom, yet it’s a parliament in which Scotland’s voice is sidelined, marginalised, and ignored. Pointing that out and seeking a means to correct a lamentable state of affairs in which the highest authority for Scotland serves Scotland badly and doesn’t reflect Scotland’s choices is not “blaming the English”.

We don’t blame “the English”, Martin, we blame people like you. You may be English, but that’s not what we’re blaming you for. We blame you for your arrogance, your ignorance, and your self-regarding egoism that insists on believing that the question of Scotland’s constitutional settlement is all about you. It’s not about you Martin. It’s about Scotland, and what is best for this country that we, not you, live in and understand. It’s about us.

David Frum has an excuse for his asinine idiocy. Martin Kettle doesn’t. But the reason that Scotland’s campaign for self-determination is never going to go away is because as long as we remain a part of the United Kingdom, the ultimate powers that be and the opinion formers that they listen to will be clueless about Scotland, will care little or nothing about us, and will frame our country in lazy stereotypes that suit their own agendas and do nothing to improve Scotland.

Scotland taking responsibility for itself and seeking a means to address the problems in Scotland is the very opposite of blaming the English. It means Scotland will have no one to blame but itself. Scotland and her people will be responsible for our own successes and our own failures. But highly paid commentators in UK national newpapers find it preferable to keep repeating lazy racist insults than to try and understand what is going on in what is, or so they keep telling us, a much loved and valued part of their own country. Maybe the likes of Martin Kettle will come to understand that one day, but that’s only going to happen after the event of Scottish independence. All the Martin Kettles of this world do is give us greater impetus to reach that goal.


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38 comments on “The opposite of blaming the English

  1. Thank you for this. I noticed Martin Kettle’s article in the Guardian, but couldn’t bring myself to read it. He doesn’t have a clue.

  2. Saor Alba says:

    Thanks Paul for yet another “stoater” of an article. You have articulated exactly how I feel and, I am sure, how most Scottish Nationalists feel.

    My son and I were climbing in Knoydart 2 weeks ago and we came across an extremely likeable and intelligent young English lad who was walking up to Cape Wrath on his own. His name was Alex and we got talking while we stayed in a Bothy one night after a tiring day. Conversation turned to politics and this young man understood exactly our position and how Scotland had much more taken out than the UK put back in. He was also up to date with events and empathised entirely with our nationalism, having a deep understanding of our point of view and the fact that we deserved to be in charge of our own affairs.

    I am sure there are many like Alex down South, but the horrible racists in the media down there make it very difficult for for them. Kettle has no excuse for his idiocy, arrogance and his egotistic ranting.

  3. jdman says:

    I can never quite understand (or forgive) the deep lack of knowledge about Scotland by English commentators, I saw it first hand when I spoke to a very nice man who owned the cottage I rented from him in Devon some months before the referendum, and his complete lack of understanding of what the cause of independence was all about to be disturbing, as he (influenced by London based newspapers no doubt) saw the movement for independence as a petulant child railing against its parents, and once the referendum was won by the no camp the petulant children will get their comeuppance and be forced to grow up, his opinion was the usual fare of Scotlands to poor to support itself and without Englands generosity we would be a third world country,

    I think after several evenings and as many bottles of wine I left him a wiser and more respectful man than I had met a few days before.

    • Macart says:

      I’d reserve a special dose of contempt for those commentators who know exactly what they’re doing John.

    • Saor Alba says:

      If these commentators (like the racist idiot sitting next to Alec on Question Time last night) insist that they respect those who stand on their own feet, then the answer is very simple.

      This is EXACTLY what Scotland wishes. It wishes independence and to make and stand by its own decisions, for better or worse, without interference. Some of these so called commentators find this concept too difficult to understand in their egotistic sense of entitlement.

  4. alharron says:

    “I’m sick fed up of people who should know better repeating lazy slurs that Scottish self-determination is all about blaming the English. Frankly, it’s racist. It plays on the ancient English stereotype that there is no content to a Scottish identity than a deep seated desire not to be English, that we have no culture, no language, and nothing to distinguish ourselves except a visceral hatred for our neighbours. The anti-Scottish sentiment that exists in England is dismissed as banter, yet anti-English sentiment in Scotland is not merely a dark canker that lurks at the very heart of the Scottish psyche, it’s all that Scotland has and all that Scotland is.”

    Amazingly succinct.

  5. Macart says:

    Never heard of this Frum fella before, but it may be he’s mixing up his nationalists. I mean old Putin rides quad bikes, wrestles bears, does the whole outdoor leader in the wild thingy and loves staged photo ops. Then we have Ruthie who has a penchant for riding buffalos, quad bikes, tanks and isn’t exactly backwards aboot coming forwards when there’s a camera crew in the vicinity.

    Understandable mistake when you think about it. 🙂

    As for Mr Kettle? That London meeja bubble what are they like? As a breed they are Ignorant, arrogant, ill informed and over opinionated. Columns of condescending pish with zero research, insight, empathy or integrity. Their view coloured by looking at the world through the big smoke’s lens and generally informed by chain tuggers in Westminster with copy or sound bites ready to hand.

    Simply awful generalising and pigeonholing people isn’t it Mr Kettle?

  6. WeeChid says:

    I was in a café in Ruskington, Lincolnshire before Indyref. The owner rounded on me during a conversation with another customer re independence and started shouting “It’s cause you hate the English, That’s all”. I did try to explain the reality but she wouldn’t listen. I felt like leaving without paying.

  7. Tinto Chiel says:

    “We don’t blame “the English”, Martin, we blame people like you. You may be English, but that’s not what we’re blaming you for. We blame you for your arrogance, your ignorance, and your self-regarding egoism that insists on believing that the question of Scotland’s constitutional settlement is all about you. It’s not
    about you Martin. It’s about Scotland, and what is best for this country that we, not you, live in and understand. It’s about us.”

    I thought that summed it up perfectly. What about all the English people in the SNP, and those in the wider Yes movement we campaigned with? Strangely, we never have an in-depth Grauniad piece on those poor deranged types with a Sturgeonator chip in their frontal lobes. Cultists, all, presumably. Journalism in the MSM is totally dead, they just don’t know it yet, like everything else.

    In my experience, most English people below the dyke are astonishingly ignorant about Scotland, and presume we were subsumed into Glorious Greater England in 1707, rather than it being, at least in our eyes, a union of equals. Of course, most Proud Cringers in Scotland seem to believe this too, to their eternal discredit. Personally, I blame the “Scottish” Daily Express and Daily Heil.

    And today, to make matters worse, as I drove through Hamilton TC, I saw a Ruth Davidson stall, replete with shiny Tory Boys and Girls bussed in at great expense, no doubt, to shmooze the proletarian suckers in Auld Cadzow.

    I have actually met three Tory voters during the last three day’s canvassing. Well, I supposed somebody has to vote for them somewhere. The Establishment’s spent an awful lot punting their meretricious, grind-the-poor into the dirt, send-the-Syrian-children-back policies, after all.

    Enjoyed very much hearing you at EK on Wednesday, Paul, and your WGD is a stoater.

    Hoping for Red and Blue Tory wipeout on Thursday.

    God, I hate this Union.

    • Ann Rayner says:

      I hope the Tory boys’ and girls’ expenses will show up on Ruthie’s accounts. The Tories have form on this in the last GE as discovered by Channel 4 News

  8. […] Wee Ginger Dug The opposite of blaming the English […]

  9. benmadigan says:

    “It plays on the ancient English stereotype that . . . .”
    Today it’s the Scots. Yesterday it was the irish. Tomorrow it may be the Welsh or the Cornish.
    It’s nothing but British propaganda – divide and conquer –
    Recognize it and move beyond it

    • Marconatrix says:

      Taking up that cue (meur ras dhis Ben) …
      In 2002 the Cornish language (Kernewek) was granted minority status under Part II of the 1992 Council of Europe Charter for Regional & Minority Languages (ECRML). In the case of Cornish this amounted to little more than official lip-service, but a few salaried posts were established and a trickle of funding allocated to language promotion and development, work which previously had been almost entirely voluntary. After a few years government support began to be cut back and the present Tory government has now announced that there is to be no further funding, which I think amounts to a breech of their ECRML commitments.

      There is a petition to the UK parliament here, please show your support :

      https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/128474

      ¨First they came for the Cornish …” (and I think you know how that one goes …)

      PS. Apparently the SNP have tabled an Early Day Motion on this, anyone know the details?

  10. Tinto Chiel says:

    “Personally, I blame the “Scottish” Daily Express and Daily Heil.”

    Who is this Tinto Chiel idiot? Never heard of the BBC?

    Apologies to all right-minded tax-payers.

    😎

  11. Reviresco says:

    Amen

  12. Dan Huil says:

    Britnat ignorance and arrogance towards Scotland comes from both right and left wings. High time britnat wings were clipped.

  13. Ben says:

    Never underestimate someone’s ability to not understand something when their living depends on it

  14. pwest9 says:

    As a Scot living in Northern England I can only confirm that the English just don’t get it. Never mind the Labour Party or the dreadful Guardian writers, English Joe public just do not understand what has happened. We (Scotland) are having our Risorgimento and they can’t see it. The SNP are the vehicle we are using to free us after years of a Westminster jack boot on our necks. Northern England is not a lot different from Scotland but we don’t have the wherewithal to break from the strangle hold of the Westminster elite just yet.

  15. hettyforindy says:

    The good old Britnat empire, it’s gone but the unionists just cannot accept it.

    Thing is, this kind of tripe gets through to some, both north and south of the border. I have friends who have a very negative view of Scotland especially since the indy ref, and they live in NE england. I also know people born n bred in Scotland who talk their own country down, at any opportunity and the Graun is their bible. This pretendy lefty rag, confirms their insecurity, which somehow makes them feel secure, with Ukok telling them how to think.

    I have heard that the EU ref being so full on in the english news etc, that they don’t even know that the devolved countries are even having elections next week! More’s to the point, they just don’t care.

    Will they care when we are independent though, and their gravy train hits the buffers at the border, no more siphoning off Scotland’s riches and revenues, oops!

  16. diabloandco says:

    Great read – had I known you were précising Mr Kettle I would have saved myself the aggro of reading his article.
    As for the chappie Frum , what a chump.

  17. smilingvulture says:

    To be fair to Martin Kettle,he must get his 1st hand info off Severin Carrell

  18. Andimac says:

    Some of, in fact most of, my best friends are English. I’ve never hated England or the English but how I despise the Little Englanders. I recall, in a pub (where else?) in Manchester, I got talking to an old guy (I’m not young myself), English, ex-Merchant Navy, who told me re. the referendum, “Go for it, get your independence – we’ve got nothing here outside London – you can do it on your own, I wish we had your chance.” We owe it to people like that, and ourselves, to keep on keeping on. We deserve to take control of our own destiny and so do the English. No, don’t blame them – take them with us!

  19. Patience is a Virtue says:

    Thuirt math chompanach.

  20. Still can’t work out how they account for the many English Yes supporters/SNP members.
    Now please excuse me while I go self loathe for 10 minutes

  21. Proadge says:

    Wonderful piece, absolutely spot on. Thank you.

  22. Anti English ? .Its all they have left Sad.

  23. Steve Asaneilean says:

    Another good piece Paul. You are right Paul – those who shout “anti-English” at us are merely mirroring their own attitudes to Scotland and her citizens.

    They can’t quite come to terms why people wouldn’t want to be part of their Kingdom.

    I have now time for anti-English sentiment and there is not doubt that one or two Yessers are of that ilk. They must be called out for the racists they are.

    If all you have left to argue is that you are better than someone because of race, religion, sexuality or nationality then your views are worthless.

    Scotland is better than that surely.

    • Steve Asaneilean says:

      Typos – third paragraph should be “no time” rather than “now time”.

      Sorry

    • Robert Graham says:

      Eh The English are not a race , just an observation , so racism doesn’t apply .

      • Steve Asaneilean says:

        The Equality Act 2010 makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of race – “this includes the different elements of colour, nationality, and ethnic or national origin”

  24. muttley79 says:

    Scotland taking responsibility for itself and seeking a means to address the problems in Scotland is the very opposite of blaming the English. It means Scotland will have no one to blame but itself. Scotland and her people will be responsible for our own successes and our own failures.

    This has always been a curious phenomenon and feature of unionist/British nationalist thought. The comments above are self evidently true, and should be obvious to anyone. But this self evident truth is twisted into the surreal argument that independence for Scotland is a way of blaming the English! It is of course precisely the opposite as you say Paul.

  25. I always retort to Yoons thus, ‘I’m not anti-English. I’m just pro-Scottish’.

  26. Michael Dillon says:

    Great article, one of your best.

    • A clear case of the Dug calling the Kettles black, if you ask me.
      There has been no intellectual argument put forward by the Yoons against Scotland returning to self determining Independent nationhood.
      There is none.The Union is over. Westminster killed it.
      Hence the arrant nonsense and hatred from the Yoons over the past four years.
      Scotland will be subservient no more.

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