Kelvin Mackenzie has been scotbaiting in the Sun again. Or at least in its English edition. Kelvin thinks that he’s allowed to spew anti-Scottish racism, oh sorry ‘banter’, because he’s got some Scottish ancestry. This makes it all just fine. He’s not going to get abused on a London Tube or commuter train when someone hears his Scottish accent, because he’s not got a Scottish accent. The last Scottish accent in Kelvin’s family tree is safely dead, and so is Kelvin’s common decency.
Kelvin wrote a piece defending Trump’s oft-stated desire to build a border wall with Mexico, and to insist that Mexico pays for it. He thinks it would be a grand idea to rebuild Hadrian’s Wall to keep us out, and he wants us to pay for it. Strange thing, these English nationalists are always going on about Hadrian’s Wall even though it runs in its entirety through England. Rebuilding it would cede a large chunk of the far north of England to Scotland. Mind you, Londonavelgazers like Kelvin don’t really know the difference between Scotland and the extreme north of England. They think the north begins at the M25.
Kelvin thinks that England won’t be able to collect on the costs of rebuilding the wall, on account of the fact that Scotland is a penurious basketcase. Oh the laughs. Oh the wit. Oh the bantz. Far more good would come to the world if someone could build an impenetrable wall around the Sun’s offices. I wouldn’t even insist that they paid for it.
The right wing in England is fomenting hatred, not just against the usual suspects, migrants, muslims, and gay people, but increasingly against Scots too. It’s the attitudes and opinions of the likes of Kelvin Mackenzie which led to the SNP’s Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh being booed on BBC Question Time on Thursday night for the temerity of wanting to discuss Scotland in an English political forum. Watching BBC Question time reminds us that we need to be more concerned about the shit over this side of the water rather more than worry about the arsehole over the Atlantic.
“You’ve got to let me talk about Scotland, David,” said Tasmina as she tried to make the point that Scotland voted to remain a part of the EU and our needs and voice must be respected in this supposedly equal partnership of nations that fancies itself as a United Kingdom. The audience groaned and some booed. That’s our reality. That’s our place. Never mind special treatment, never mind a special deal. Even mentioning Scotland provokes resentment. There is no United Kingdom, only a sullen and resentful England and a Scotland that’s told to shut up.
You might imagine that the host, employed as he is by a British Broadcasting Corporation which has as one of its aims and goals to foster cohesion between the nations of the UK might have told the audience to hush, to show some respect and consideration for the fact that not everyone in this disunited kingdom wants to leave the EU. That he might have acknowledged that in this family of nations there are different views. But no. This was David Dimbleby and this was the BBC.
Tasmina was corrected by David who intervened to inform her that she was a representative of the SNP not of Scotland. Well I say corrected, what really mean is patronised and slapped down. She was told that she doesn’t speak for Scotland after all. David knows more about what counts as Scottish opinion by virtue of the fact that he’s a London based broadcaster. I can never remember him intervening to tell a Labour or Tory MP that they were only representatives of their party and not of all of their constituents, irrespective of which party they’d voted for. And the reason I can’t remember it is because it has never happened. There isn’t a constituency in the whole UK where everyone who voted voted for the sitting MP, but in Unionistland the government of Scotland and Scotland’s MPs don’t have the right to voice the opinions of the majority of Scotland’s voters. When they do they are met with groans, and boos, and resentment.
It was resentment about Scotland daring to speak its own mind that led some UKippers to promote a petition calling on Scotland to be voted out of the UK. The petition received significant support, but only because it was hijacked by Scottish independence supporters with a sense of humour. Scotland needs to be voted out of the UK because Scotland no longer shares British values, those would be the values of intolerance, racism, hatred of foreigners, xenophobia, militarism, and the fetishisation of a fleg. After all, if you’re so insecure in your nationhood that you feel the need to prefix everything up to and including a cake show with ‘Great British’, the chances are you’re not going to be very tolerant of parts of the UK that want to do things differently.
The UK government has now officially responded to the petition. The reply speaks of the need to respect the result of the 2014 referendum in Scotland, but it’s silent on the result of the 2016 referendum in Scotland. The majority in Scotland who voted to remain a part of the EU don’t count. Only some majorities in Scottish votes need to be respected. Those would be the ones that happen to agree with what the British state wants, those that don’t receive the Great British Flick Off and get consigned to rot behind the Great British Wall.
Kelvin Mackenzie wants to rebuild Hadrian’s Wall, but there’s already a high wall around Scotland. It’s a wall that contains our opinions and silences our voice. It’s a wall that hides us from view and keeps us out of mind. It’s a wall that guarantees that Scotland’s place is a subordinate one and that we’ll be slapped down if we try to escape its bounds. Kelvin Mackenzie doesn’t need to build a wall to contain and diminish Scotland, the British state and the BBC and the rest of the Londonavelgazing media have already built one for him.
Audio version of this blog post, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/wee-ginger-dug-11th-nov-2016
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