Unionism’s fatal illness

This weekend, the Sunday Herald reported that a number of those elected as representatives of the Conservatives and Labour in the council elections last week are members of the Orange Order. I’ve been told of a Unionist councillor in North Lanarkshire of a markedly Orange persuasion. There are certainly others. On social media over the weekend, an independence supporter unmasked a newly elected Conservative councillor as the owner of a notorious troll account which had been retweeting extreme right views.

In the weeks during the run up to the council elections there was a series of incidents in which suspicious packages designed to cause fear and alarm were sent to prominent SNP figures. The incidents are almost certainly the actions of a lone nutter, and didn’t receive much in the way of coverage in the media. But you could bet your rent or mortgage on the fact that had it been the other way about and it was Unionist parties receiving similarly suspicious packages seemingly from an independence supporter that it would have become a full scale national emergency and we’d be wall to wall in TV discussions and media reports about the cancer of terrorist violence lurking at the heart of the independence movement.

The response of Unionist supporters to these revelations has been to blame the SNP for the “Ulsterisation” of Scottish politics. It’s a bit like blaming black people for the Ku Klux Klan, or blaming gay people for gay-bashers, or indeed saying that sexual violence and abuse of women happens because the women are asking for it by wearing clothing that doesn’t cover them from head to foot. Although if they did do that then they’d be accused by much the same people of undermining Western civilisation by being overtly Muslim. It’s the common response of abusers the world over, whatever the abuse, blame the victims. It’s not the SNP, the Greens, or any other pro-independence party which is standing candidates who espouse the sectarianism of the Orange Order. It’s not the SNP, the Greens, or any other pro-independence party which is standing candidates who enthusiastically and approvingly retweet far right commentary. It’s not independence supporters who are lending their votes to such people.

This is not a disease of Scottish politics we’re talking about here, this is a disease of Unionism. The Unionist parties need to own up to this disease and to deal with it. They need to admit that they have a problem. They need to root out the bigots and fascists from within their own ranks. There’s not much sign of that happening, the footsoldiers of Unionism prefer to blame the SNP for every ill, including the ills that beset Unionism itself. If the SNP or another pro-independence party stood candidates of the calibre of some of those who were recently elected for Unionist parties, there would be a media outrage quicker than you could say, “There’s that Stephen Daisley on the doorstep with a photographer from the Daily Mail.”

As a case in point, an SNP candidate in Brechin was hounded by the Express newspaper for the crime of retweeting abusive tweets made by a Unionist troll, in an attempt to expose the troll’s behaviour. The newspaper ignored the troll entirely and focussed on the SNP candidate, implying in its hatchet job of a report that the offensive comments had originated with him. Yet actual offense originating from Unionist candidates is ignored and diminished, such as when a Moray publication loftily claimed the moral high ground by refusing to report on extreme right wing tweets sent by a local Conservative candidate.

Unionists blame the misbehaviour of their own parties’ representatives on the SNP. They’ve even coined a word for it, “Ulsterisation”, with the implication that the SNP is turning Scotland into Northern Ireland with all the violence and dislocation that entails. The term Ulsterisation applied to Scottish politics is deeply wrong on many levels. For starters it’s an insult to all those who died or were bereaved in the violence of the Troubles. It’s an insult to the democratic credentials of the Scottish people, and it’s an insult to the commitment to peaceful and legal campaigning that characterises the independence movement.

But it’s also profoundly wrong. The social divisions between nationalists and loyalists in Northern Ireland are tribal. They live in different areas. They go to different schools. They tell one another apart by different religions. They support different teams. A person’s status as a member of one community or the other is largely inherited, passed down through the generations for untold generations. There’s nothing remotely like that in Scotland. There are many Rangers fans who support independence. There are Celtic supporters who want Scotland to remain in the UK. Everyone has family members who have one opinion or another on Scotland’s constitutional divide, and opinions can and do shift.

It’s far easier for a Scottish person who previously supported the Union to shift their opinion and support independence than it is for a person from a Northern Irish loyalist background to come out as a supporter of Irish unity. And it’s equally easy for a person in Scotland to make the opposite political journey. The truth is that the term Ulsterisation is bandied about by Scottish Unionists as a deliberate ploy to discourage the disengaged from engaging with the question of Scotland’s constitutional position in the first place.

Unionism infantilises Scottish politics and Scotland. It turns Scotland into a non-country which isn’t important enough to be taken seriously. It turns Scotland into a region which isn’t capable of taking responsibility for itself. And Unionism infantilises itself too, just like a small child it lacks the moral capacity to take responsibility for its own actions. Unionists can’t admit that it’s Unionism which has a problem with sectarianism, bigotry and right wing extremism, because that means admitting that there is a problem with the contortions of North Britishness, it means admitting that supporting Britain and Britishness is a form of nationalism, and that would never do. But it’s Unionism which has an illness, and it’s a fatal one. The right wing nationalism of Unionism will be its end, and when it finally expires it will take the Union with it.

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86 comments on “Unionism’s fatal illness

  1. […] Wee Ginger Dug Unionism’s fatal illness […]

  2. Graham Fae Fawkirk says:

    Last sentence: here’s hoping, man. Incisive as ever.

  3. alanski54 says:

    Superb Paul.

  4. ockletycockletywitch says:

    Absolutely brilliant! I hadn’t come across the term “Ulsterisation” before – what an appalling travesty of what the Scottish Independence movement is really about. It is such a deviously cunning scare tactic and you address it magnificently. Thank you!

    • benmadigan says:

      I don’t think the term “Ulsterization” refers to what the independence movement is about. It refers to what Unionism is attempting to do to counteract and stop the independence movement.

      • Saor Alba says:

        Yes, I thought that was strange too benmadigan. However, I think ocklety has possibly just not written down accurately what was in the head. I hope so anyway.

    • muttley79 says:

      It has been promoted by the likes of David Torrance and others in the mainstream media.

  5. Al Dossary says:

    Paul, the problem is that in vast swathes of central Scotland we do live in different areas, we do have areas that ate largely divided along sectarian lines, we do go to separate schools and we do support different teams.

    Certainly in Lanarkshire and much of central Scotland, the ability to progress in the Labour party was to have a preference to the colour green. We are now seeing something similar for the color blue coming to the fore in the Tory party at local level.

    In the Tory party at least, these bigots will be kept at council level as useful idiots.

    In my home town of Wishaw the council actally built 2 primary schools on the same campus, with shared facilities rather than build one new inclusive school for the entire catchment area.

    Our children are politicised by the bigots on both sides at an early age by being separated at the tender age of 5 years old.

    Be it blue or green, in every class of 5 year olds there will be one or two kids who have been taught the doctrine on their fathers knee. As they get older, more and more of the kids in class succumb to peer pressure and swing towards the bigots – despite the fact their parents shielded them from it as children.

    As someone married to the youngest child of an orange order family of bigots (the only one of the 3 kids who did not enter the order), I am eternally grateful to my father that at the tender age of 10 he refused to allow me to go watch “The Rangers”. That single, defining act steered me away from the path of bigotry in my teen years. Prior to then I had been slowly edging towards the dark side.

    Instead I went to watch my local team with my then best friend from a different school. Separated at the age of 5 by the schooling system, but remained best friends right until the day his family emigrated.

    I dream of the day the SNP and Scottish Parliament decide to put a stop once and for all to the forced segregation of our children at age 5 and 13, but it is I fear a step too far even for them. Certainly the unholy alliance of Tory and Labour would vote against.

  6. Macart says:

    No one forced anyone to vote Conservative. A free choice was made. A choice made on values, not relevant to any necessary or applicable policy. A choice made on ideological nature of preference, not need, not care.

    Conservatives don’t really do ‘caring’ as we would recognise the term, and apparently neither do those who have lent them their vote. They are pretty good at exclusion, demonisation and othering. They also have an absolute gift for projection t’boot and they do kneejerk reactionary soundbite superbly.

    There shouldn’t be a soul in any part of these islands and certainly not in the country of Scotland who should be in any doubt what the Conservative party and conservatism stands for. They are the party of duty to the few, not the many (and that’s about as kind as I’m willing to be). There should be no need for any Scot, any reasoning caring human being from John O’ Groats to Lands End to mistake the motives or actions of any Conservative politician or those who believe as they do.

    Me? I’m a masses before classes kinda guy. Always have been, always will be.

    I believe that our politicians and representatives owe the public a duty of care. I believe they owe us their service, their loyalty and their honesty. We give them positions of power, responsibility and privilege. They, in turn, provide us with administration, protection and importantly that word I mentioned earlier… care. They put food on our table and we pay them to do it. Seems pretty simple and straightforward as deals go.

    Does that describe Conservative government or ideology to you guys?

    Maybe we should ask those who live in any deprived estate area? Maybe we should ask the disabled, or the bereaved who’ve just had their benefits cut? Maybe we should ask the sanctioned, the refugee, the EU resident, the young adults who can’t claim housing benefit?

    Maybe we should ask your high street clothing charities? Maybe we should ask those who run your local food bank?

    They might be able to tell us more about Conservative ideology and politics. What d’you think?

    Those who vote Conservative made a choice of their own free will. They know and knew full well who and what they voted for.

    They simply didn’t care.

  7. diabloandco says:

    Applause for both you and Macart.

  8. That’s a rather excellent summary, Macart. Little wonder that Paul’s seen fit to appoint you his trusted Lieutenant.
    It’s so true that those supporting the Tories appear to have collectively been subject to a humanity bypass.

  9. AnnieM says:

    It’s really starting to worry me a lot now. In 2014 the lies and the nastiness were pretty bad and they managed to frighten enough people into voting no. It’s turning into a whole new ball game this time.

    We know full well that this nastiness doesn’t emanate from any independence supporters, but how on earth do we get this across when competing with an entirely Unionist MSM?

    I completely concur with every word Paul writes, but I also know lots of people who will say, “Oh, these bloody Scots, they’re always moaning about being hard done by”. I often ask English people why they get so het up about Nicola and the SNP when it makes no difference to their lives outwith Scotland, but none of them can reply.

    What’s the answer? I wish I knew.

    • morag branson says:

      It will become increasingly clear to many more people how these new councillors behave, both towards the public and to fellow members of councils. It’s going to be harder to hide their utterances in a local setting.

      As for those down south, many, not all thankfully, just think of Scotland not as a seperate country, but part of greater England. If they cannot grasp the point many of us are making then they will not listen to reason I’m afraid.

      • Marconatrix says:

        AnnieM’s last para is easily illustrated by an exchange I had once with some relatives south of the Border …
        —–
        Me : Nice to see you all again, it’s been a while since I was last in England.
        They : Oh, we didn’t know you’d been abroad …
        —–
        And that really says it all 🙂

    • ockletycockletywitch says:

      I, too, have asked that question of Unionists. I was told by one such that Nicola is a “traitor” and should be dispatched like William Wallace! I, too, have been called a traitor for supporting her and the SNP. I asked how I could be a traitor for merely supporting the government of my own country and was told that there is no such “country” as Scotland and that my loyalty was owed to Westminster and not to a “devolved region” of the country it governs! They have answers, Annie, but not one of them makes any sense!

      • Marconatrix says:

        Here’s a fantasy I had the other night, maybe I’d eaten too much shortbread …

        Since the Union Scotland has in effect been ruled by England, but some old legal document came to light which said that after 300 years, in the interest of balance, the system would have to reverse, for say around 30 years based on population sizes.

        So for the next few decades the roles of WM and Holyrood would reverse. WM would become the EnglandandWales parliament, whilst Holyrood, beefed up by a small minority of token English seats, would become the superior all-powerful UK parliament. It would of course generously allow WM a number of strictly limited powers, although these might be overruled at times, despite a reverse Sewel convention.

        As a ‘thought experiment’ at least it’s an interesting idea. One advantage would be that voters in ‘South Britain’ would be able to vote SNP for effective progressive representation … and I suspect a fair few would do so gladly.

        Sweet dreams 🙂

  10. It came as a shock to me to discover that in my ward the Tory won at first count, Labour got in on the fourth count, and the SNP scraped in at the seventh. I always knew that where I live the demographic is generally older, more affluent, but it still came as a depressing shock to realise who my neighbours are. At least we have one progressive councillor to represent us.

  11. […] Source: Unionism’s fatal illness […]

  12. Brian Powell says:

    If they owed up to it and tried to root it out they would have nothing left.

  13. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    I said right after the disorder in George Square on the day after the 1st Indie Ref that this incursion was planned well be before the result was out.

    There were rumours circulation in OO circles that several known terrorists from the Proddy side had moved to Scotland to start the “organisation” of the locals.

    Which path the “organisation” would have taken would be determined by the actual result. Had the result been Indy they woul;d have attempted to make Scotland ungovernable and force a second Ref to change the result. As it was, the closeness of the result for staying made their demo a warning to the SNP of what would come.

    Police Scotland were very much aware of the people activities and were very vehement that they could and would control it as a Police matter. Certain types in and around Westminster were itchy to do an Ulster style takeover of Scotland, bite by bite.

    Remember who ran the Protestant murder gangs and kept the 6 counties divided in a civil war.

    It was their game plan there and is still a working plan, in their minds for Scotland. Having a lunatic Tory leadership and right wing agenda is a wee extra for them.

    • broadbield says:

      There’s some organisations, which seem to be founded on outright bigotry, that I would like to see banned. But that wouldn’t be very democratic.

      I also think it’s inconceivable that the security services and all the other dubious apparatchiks of the UK Establishment haven’t been and aren’t active in Scotland. I fully expect they have contingency plans should the unthinkable happen. We’ve seen it in the colonial past such as in Kenya with the so-called “Mau Mau”, Suez, Allende’s Chile, Iran/Persia, India and so on, wherever British Nationalist (& US) hegemony is threatened.

    • m.boyd says:

      The irony as i see it is that an independent Scotland could be much more attuned to the Northern Irish situation than a UK led by an Anglican Tory elite who are much more likely to back Irish unification.

  14. AnnieM says:

    Ruthie is now urging voters to use the GE to cut the SNP ‘down to size’ and that the ‘all powerful’ SNP can’t be allowed to ‘take Scotland for granted’

    Looks like the Maybot isn’t the only one on another galaxy!!

  15. Macart says:

    Well Jings! 😉

    http://archive.is/6HBuZ

    First a Macron victory and now a glimpse of the future in Germany?

    • Saor Alba says:

      Europe is the place to be.
      Rejection of the fascist, racist, bigoted right wing madness of the UK and America.

  16. Macart says:

    And then there’s THIS.

    SNP 105,000 more votes than 2012 Local elections.

    608,000 First preference votes

    To be confirmed.

    Oh dear Ruthie. 🙄

    • Patience is a Virtue says:

      Keep me right with some of the recent figures:

      Sat 6th May Guardian front page ….

      Councillor net gains:(across UK)

      SNP = +31
      Con = +558
      Lab = -320
      Lib Dem = -37
      UKIP = -114
      Plaid Cymru = +26
      Others = – 164

      So mission accomplished for the Conservatives as Borg-like their ultra-right wing (UKIP) is now re-assimilated.

      Peter Murrell advises ‘100.00’ more votes for SNP this time round and BBC news figues for Council election figures now published:-

      ‘The full results of last week’s Scottish council election have been published – showing the SNP won 32% of the first preference votes.

      The Conservatives finished second overall on 25%, with Labour on 20%, the figures showed.

      The SNP’s share of the vote was unchanged from 2012, with the Conservatives increasing by 12 percentage points.

      Overall turnout was 46.9% – higher than the 39.6% recorded in 2012.

      The highest turnout was in East Renfrewshire at 57.8% while Glasgow recorded the lowest at 39%.

      The SNP secured 610,454 first preference votes in last Thursday’s election – an increase from the 503,233 it won in 2012.’

      So basically a good showing for Council Elections n’est pas?…. but get out and vote in the General Election come rain or shine every man, woman and his/her dog and vote for your future.,,, the kind of Country you want to live in,.. have a say in… where your vote counts,

  17. AnnieM says:

    On the EU Citizens for an Independent Scotland FB page:

    Interesting that those who would tell us that:

    a) 55% voting against Scottish Independence is “decisive”
    b) 52% voting for Brexit means “the nation has spoken”
    and c) more recently described coming 2nd as “winning”
    …are now telling us that 35% for Le Pen signals “a nation divided”

    We’re not suggesting there are no divisions; That’s the nature of democracy. But we are questioning their arithmetic skills.

    Do we really want people with such poor numeracy keeping control of the purse strings?

  18. m.boyd says:

    I’m currently reading Chris Bambery’s history of the Scottish people- two things stand out: Firstly: King William is far more popular now than he ever was in his lifetime, He was particularly hated in Scotland for the role he played, or lack thereof, in Darien- where English interests were put first by his Executive. Secondly; the Orange Order was completely non existing in Scotland until mass migration from Ulster in the mid 19th Century and was therafter utilised by the Tories in the early 20th Century to break up strikes against the vested interests as the Tories sought to secure the liberal party votes as the infant Labour appeared on the horizon and the Liberals crumbled… it all sounds very familiar.

    • ockletycockletywitch says:

      Oh, but Darien failed because the “greedy” Scots over-reached themselves and couldn’t organise the proverbial event in a brewery, M.Boyd. It must be true because I’ve read it several thousand times in the Times OnLine comment threads … :-/ Such a pity that so many English folk know the square-root of bugger-all about Scotland’s ACTUAL history.

  19. Macart says:

    O/T For the pensioners.

    Remember Gordon Brown’s promises during indyref?

    https://archive.is/eSkvM

    There’s another chance to right this coming shortly.

  20. AnnieM says:

    Ffs, what’s May going to come out with next?

    Asked why she thought the Brexit process would strengthen the Union and not Nicola Sturgeon’s hand in seeking a second Scottish independence referendum, Mrs May said: “Now is the time we should be working together across the UK for the best result for the UK[in the Brexit talks] and not trying to pull apart.

    “It’s the tunnel vision of the Scottish Government in focusing only on independence that means they are not focusing on the work that needs to be done to ensure we get the best deal for the people of Scotland and the people of the UK as a whole.”

    • Robert Graham says:

      Aye a real sense of humor she has , when nicola was asked how her and the other representatives of the home nations meeting with mayhem went , i think she laughed and said well you are probably as wise as me , who knows ,i am no wiser than i was before i went in .

      • ockletycockletywitch says:

        Aren’t we all. May is a master of the art of saying the same “nothing” over and over again, occasionally couched in slightly different terms just to keep you listening.

  21. Robert Graham says:

    the bbc are leading on fake news and how to spot it , ha ha well if you want anything done call in the experts , Irony is lost on them isnt it .

  22. Paul, Macart, yet more insightful observations on the New Far Right in Scotland, all hearteningly 22% plus change of them.
    Excellent.
    Despite the ‘mock referendum’ surge by Davidson, she could muster less than a quarter of those who voted to her rallying call.
    It may be argued that to some who opted to vote Blue Tory, and read your observations on their motivation, would wholeheartedly agree that they did it for ‘selfish’ reasons, in an attempt to frame their ‘selfishness’ in moral terms.
    They studied hard at school, applied themselves, got qualifications, then onto Uni, college, started an apprenticeship, paid all their bills, worked hard all their lives, and never claimed State Benefits, brought up families, were good wives, husbands, partners, fathers, mothers; why should they care about scroungers on State handouts?
    They have their own family to think about. They’ll be looking after their own, paying for their education, clothing them, feeding them, helping their immediate family to get on in the world. Charity begins at home.
    They genuinely believe in the Natural Order of things.
    ‘The survival of the fittest’, or more strictly, given the parlous state that the UK is in, it’s every man for himself, until WM elects a Social Democratic Government.
    Many are a cooker breakdown away from a financial crisis. But they hang on in there, voting Tory.
    They like their social status.
    Work hard, ‘get on’ in your proven calling, climb the greasy pole, join the right clubs, be it the Masons, the Knights, the OO, the Tory Party, or Blair’s Red Tory Party at a pinch, demonstrate to those above you who control your progress in the company that you are a ‘good egg’, made of the ‘right stuff’’, and you’ll surely progress upwards, until you too will sit at the apex, looking down, master of all you see.
    Davidson calls it ‘aspirational’, others call it the dog eat dog rat race.
    You pays yer money.
    Those on the top and middle tiers of this social pyramid, the Elite comprising the wealthy, nobility, bankers, industrialists, church leaders, heads of the professions, universities, politics, are adroit at quoting passages from the teachings of whichever form of religious observance they follow to justify their philosophy in life, and rationalise their actions in scripture.
    They pooh pooh the comments of those who are ‘masses rather than classes’ sort of people, and dismiss criticism as class jealousy, or the ideology of simpletons.
    Talent will always rise to the top. The poor will always be with us. If you can’t afford kids use a condom.
    The Right Wing are perfectly happy with their lot; until their job is outsourced to China.
    Sam, many of us believe in a country to benefit the many, not the few.
    There have been numerous attempts to describe the hedonistic totalitarian dystopia which the Red Blue and Yellow Tories would impose on the UK in general, Scotland in particular.
    I think of Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’, 600 years into the future, where designer ‘bottle babies’ are bred in Hatcheries, genetically programmed by class from Alphas downwards.
    He described a World State and its ethos of “Community, Identity, Stability”. Strong and stable?
    Societal happiness triumphs over art, scientific freedom, individual thought.
    The world is a pleasure palace of promiscuity, orgies, let it all hang out, designed to counter the daytime drudgery of assembly line Fordism. Individual freedom is sacrificed and social conditioning leads to social stability leads to social happiness.
    When too much pleasure gets you down, residual unhappiness is resolved by taking an antidepressant and hallucinogenic drug called soma. Is this all beginning to sound familiar?
    One of the protagonists if memory serves is banished to the Falkland Isles where the non-conformity that got him there is the norm, and he has a jolly time, all things being equal.
    In Ray Bradbury’s dystopian peek into the future, ‘Fahrenheit 451’ ( the mean temperature at which paper ignites),his main protagonist Montag, is a Fireman, a member of a team whose job it is to hunt out books, which are illegal, and burn them.
    Written in the early ‘fifties as a comment on the McCarthy era, Bradbury predicted wall mounted TVs, and iPhones.
    Montag’s wife and her pals group together of an evening to watch the ‘parlour walls.’ They have no need of books, or individual thought and emotions.
    Today millions of UK citizens sit down in front of their wall mounted plasma screens and watch some folk bake a sponge. Two fresh faced Geordie Lads present a talent show, on which untalented people, who queued for days in their thousands just for the chance of ‘making it’ to the big time, only to face public ridicule and humiliation, is sold as mass entertainment. And the cheeky chappies who present it coin in millions and win awards for dumbing the nation down.
    It transcends irony that television has plundered Orwell’s 1984 for TV ideas.
    Big Brother ,which I confess, like fifty million fellow Brits, to never having watched, brings together a talentless bunch of egocentric nonentities, confines them in a compound, which the viewers can watch 24/7, each week voting off one of the ‘contestants’. Like the desperate contestants in Marathon Dance competitions in the US during the Depression, there is the lure of a cash prize for the ‘winner’.
    Doubtless Motag the Fireman’s wife and her suburban wives would sit at the ‘parlour wall’ watching bread and circus dross like this.
    Orwell’s dystopia was real enough. Winston Smith’s life was hell.
    Tobacco fell out of loosely packed cigarettes. The TV on the wall of his room was a two way transmitter. Big Brother was always watching. Room 101, another mindless show on BBC, derives its name from the torture chamber to which Smith is marched, and faces his worse fears; his face in a cage with rats, with only a wire mesh grille separating them.
    Conform or die.
    We have Fake News, Newspeak, the Thought Police, War is Peace, right now.
    Trump is Mustapha Mond – Resident World Controller of Western Europe, in Huxley’s Brave New World.
    In the works I reference hear, world wars are taking place, somewhere else. The populations are aware that the world is at war, they see and hear bombers flying overhead, but are short on detail. Sounds familiar?
    We separists are upsetting the applecart. It is we pesky nationalists and Social Democrats who are the problem.
    It is much worse than merely having ideas above our station. Some of us are educated, some have or had ‘careers’, in professions, own our own houses, have cars, go on holidays to foreign climes, (until April 2019 that is), watch the House Of Cards box set at one sitting, talk about it over the office water cooler with HoC cognoscenti, and may even have voted conservative in the past.
    Some of us have come from poor backgrounds, somehow managed to get an education or apprenticeship, and made our way in the world, yet do not subscribe to the selfish Davidson Carlaw Tomkins Fraser May Gove Lord Darling self preservation model.
    They are the 23%. We are many and growing.
    There are no Blade Runners, Montag the Fireman, or Logan 5 the Sandman hunting us down and burning our books yet. Scotland will not ne ‘Ulsterised’.
    The Tories have ‘peaked’, and Davidson knows that.
    We’re nearly there.

    • Macart says:

      Well said Jack.

    • FM says:

      Outstanding.

    • Archie says:

      Well said indeed!

    • Bill Dale says:

      Great post Jack. I believe though that Orwell’s Room 101 was named after an actual room at the BBC. Sounds appropriate doesn’t it?

      • I believe that you are right, Bill. The BBC influence is deep and lasting.

        • JGedd says:

          BBC’s Room 101 was immortalized as an artwork in 2003, before the original was demolished. It was supposed that this was where wartime meetings took place during Orwell’s time there. His experiences as part of BBC Eastern propaganda sevice are seen as the inspiration for his creation of the sinister Ministry of Truth in 1984.

          Orwell resigned, eventually citing as one of his reasons that he did not believe that propaganda actually worked where there was already resistance to the ideas it propagated. I think that we might agree with that conclusion. He created the character of Winston Smith as someone who could see through the lies of the propaganda and was therefore immune.

          Orwell did not really enjoy his time there, describing the ambience of the BBC as being “something half-way between a girls’ school and a lunatic asylum”.

          • I love this site! I didn’t know that, JGedd.
            Lies and propaganda at the Beeb? Who’d have ..but wait.

          • ockletycockletywitch says:

            You learn something new every day in this thread … well, I do, at least. Thank you, JGedd.

            • JGedd says:

              Just to add, that, as far as the BBC was concerned, Orwell left with their respect for his integrity. Orwell maintained that during his time with the Eastern Service, he had never broadcast anything that wasn’t the truth.

              However, the service was broadcasting propaganda mainly to India and there is such a thing as being selective with the truth, something which the BBC does to this day. Half a truth is as bad as a lie since it also distorts. Perhaps it was this that made Orwell uncomfortable. Saying that you haven’t actually told a lie when you are aware of the distortion of half-truth, might be small comfort to someone with integrity.

              By the way, regarding Orwell’s contention that propaganda did not work with those already impervious to it – he was referring to the Indian Independence Movement.

          • broadbield says:

            ….and as every schoolboy knows he wrote most of it in a cottage on the Isle of Jura.

    • Saor Alba says:

      Absolutely Jack. Gaun’ yersel’ man! What an inspiration you are, alang wi’ Paul and Sam.
      That was truly inspirational!

    • wm says:

      Fine blog Jack, with people like Paul,Sam, and yourself, what do we need to do to spread your words to people in my age group, who don’t access anything but the MSM and believe every thing they hear or read there. Even when I raise my voice to them they don’t listen.

  23. Tinto Chiel says:

    Ditto.

    Re Jack’s “dog eat dog rat race”, a famous Scot had this to say, and he knew all about O/O chicanery. It takes a few seconds to download but is still very, very relevant:

    http://www.gla.ac.uk/media/media_167194_en.pdf

    • Tinto, an excellent speech by our very own Jimmy Reid.
      I tried to lift some of the main concepts but with my limited IT skills and my steam driven PC, hopeless.
      Man’s inhumanity to his fellow man,siding with the perpetrators of ridicule against the victim. The rat race.
      And Mr Reid was speaking 45 years ago.
      Plus ca change.
      My eternal thanks for referencing this wonderful piece.

      • Saor Alba says:

        Hi Jack. Click on the link and when the document appears, simply click on ‘File’ at the top of your screen and then on the drop down menu, go to ‘save as’. You will have an option of where to save it – choose ‘desktop’. Then click on ‘save’ and the file will be saved to your desktop for you to access, simply by double clicking on the document icon. You can also extract details by copying and pasting as you wish to a word document.

    • Saor Alba says:

      I was there at that stirring address Tinto.
      I was in my second year of an Honours Degree in Molecular Biology. How proud we were of Jimmy Reid who was our new Rector. He left his imprint on us all.

  24. FM says:

    Paul, we seriously need to avoid being sucked in to this. It is a coordinated and deliberate plan that has been going on for months. We are never going to convince an OO member, nor any other far right nutter, to vote for independence. On that basis alone, as contemptable as they are, there is no point in engaging as it will be used against you. IMO.

    • ockletycockletywitch says:

      Sadly, I have to agree. I have had the “SNP supports IRA” argument stuffed down my gullet ad nauseam this morning. Some people’s willful blindness is beyond logic.

      • Robert Graham says:

        the first i saw of this was during the 2014 ref campaign , my first thought was , what the f/k are these people on about , gradually it dawned , divide and rule , it works most of the time , i think most people have got the message now , and a lot are not happy at being taken for mugs .

        • wm says:

          The tories have been playing that card (devide and rule) for decades. During the seventies the miners gave them two frights (1972 and 1974), Jimmy Reid also gave them a fright with his work to rule sit in.The tories were then defeated in the next Election. Their shadow cabinet sat and planned how they sort out these people. With Mrs Thatcher in the chair they set about planning the 1984 miners strike by closing pits all over the UK while building coal stocks every where, and at a cost of millions for policing, they devided and defeated the miners. This led to the demise of all manufacturing industries the rest is history.

  25. Robert Graham says:

    On a lighter note , I just caught Ming ,yes Ming the merciless being interviewed on TV . And then it dawned on me ,ha ha how could i have been so bloody blind and stupid .
    They dont have anything left , they are well and truly out of Ammo , in indy 2014 they threw everything at us , the VOW was the last throw of the dice .
    Every dire warning and calamitous event predicted if we voted YES , has come true , but it was because the mugs here voted NO , not because of us trying to warn them of things to come .
    Thats why ruthie and her unionist gang are frothing at the mouth ha ha no ammo left .oh dear .

    • Saor Alba says:

      That’s exactly so Robert. True Unionism rears is ugly and evil head.
      Wee Ruth is bathing in her own pish now. She is the main coordinator.
      The other two wee weans, Dugdale and Rennie, are merely the stupid puppets on a string.

  26. Daisy Walker says:

    Whit tae do?

    Keep on keeping on, doing what you have been, one bit of decency at a time.

    And as the stats are settling, oh look, we haven’t slipped back, have we. No wonder they’re blustering like b*ggery.

    Can I also highlight, for those of us on the east side of the country, we’ve never really bought into, or understood the whole sectarian thing. And we don’t like it. That includes a lot of the older tories with a small t.

    Thanks again Paul and the dug, brilliant as usual.

    • JGedd says:

      I think I found one possible explanation from reading Tom Devine. When Irish people began to arrive in sizeable numbers to work mainly in the west of Scotland – my own great-grandmother was one of those – there was no diocesan organization to minister to these new communities, Scotland being then a mainly Protestant country. The Church authorities in the Vatican decided to divide Scotland into east and west, the west given into the pastoral care of the Irish church and the East to be administered by the Belgian church. Until there was an established structure in Scotland then, for a time, the clergy in the west were sent from Ireland while in the east, parishes were served by clergy from Belgium.

      Of course, not all migrants from Ireland were Catholic, since Protestant Irish, too, had come to work in the west of Scotland’s burgeoning industries. Both communities brought with them historical enmities. Another reason for the difference between the east and the west was simply that a greater number of Irish people settled in the west where most of the industrial expansion was located after all. Therefore, the problems were more concentrated there, too.

      Anyway, I have to say that leaving religious problems aside, personally I have always felt the east coast to be a little ‘foreign’. Can’t quite put my finger on it, though! But in his book “Mither Tongue” Billy Kay remarks that though there is a class divide everywhere, only in Edinburgh did he encounter people who he took to be English because of their accent and way of speaking, but found that they were in fact Scottish, born and bred!

  27. Tinto Chiel says:

    “My eternal thanks for referencing this wonderful piece.”

    My pleasure Jack C and thanks for all your great, heartfelt rants, both here and The Other Place 😉

    Stuff like Jimmie Reid’s and WGD’s keep me going too. We are all facing a deeply unpleasant government with quite wicked intentions to the weakest in society and to those who pose a threat to its precious Union.

  28. And the source of Huxley’s title?

    “Oh wonder!
    How many goodly creatures are there here
    How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
    that has such people in it.”

    The Tempest.

    We continually challenge and harangue ‘such people’ who would destroy society and consign tens of thousands of our citizens to an early grave.
    They are beneath contempt.

  29. Alba woman says:

    Paul your piece and the subsequent responses are marvellous. I am definitely not alone with my thoughts of what is going on in our dear country. Folk have worked so hard over the years to shape a decent society for their children.

    The unionists have attempted to trample all over these efforts. it would appear that a sociopathic strategy has been agreed and implemented by the unionist leaders of the three parties plus of course the msm

    The things the Tories want from Scotland is somewhere to park Trident and our energy resources. Our children’s lives and futures are of no interest to them.

    Why Kezia and Wullie collude with all of this has to be a dark night of the soul for them.

  30. arthur thomson says:

    I worked full time for 50 years, as did my father before me and his father before him. My three children (in their forties) have worked full time since leaving school. I have six grand children who will no doubt follow the family tradition. We have all the advantages that come from year on year of hard work.

    Mind you, not a single one of us has physical or learning disabilities nor an addiction nor serious mental health problems nor serious illness nor a low IQ nor a debilitating sensory impairment nor an inherited debilitating condition nor prolonged unemployment nor abusive parents. Had we had any of these or other vulnerabilities our lives would have been so very different.

    When I think of the ‘something for nothing’ argument put out by the blue and red tories it makes me want to scream. Do these people really look at the predicament of hurt and vulnerable people and not care? Do they really imagine that only they have worked hard? Do they not realise that my family could match or surpass their work ethic any day of the week. Are they genuinely deluded or what?

    They are the self-righteous and they vote Tory.

    As my mother said, ‘what’s coming to them won’t go past them’.

  31. orri says:

    The shocking part of it all is that when discussing ‘Ulsterization’ originally it’s clear that some of the younger leading lights in the Conservative party aren’t actually referring to divisions within Scotland or violence.

    What was being discussed was a fear that in order to gain ground in Scotland the Conservatives, at a minimum, would have to do more than simply stick ‘Scottish’ at the start of their name and genuinely reverse the merger that took place in the 50s when the then Unionist party of Scotland fell off it’s perch.

    They​ genuinely weren’t talking about violence or the full implication of what the general public would take the phrase to mean. What they were talking about was how being in a different party would place a ceiling on how far in Government someone elected in Scotland might rise. For instance if Mundell was even remotely competent and charismatic he’d still have a snowball in hell’s chance at being Prime Minister.

    So to them it was nothing to do with the negative impact such a thing might have on the population and everything to do with their own ambition.

  32. orri says:

    http://www.conservativehome.com/thetorydiary/2016/05/conservatives-must-resist-the-ulsterisation-of-scottish-politics.html

    Has some choice phrases.

    ” In this article he remarks on how Scottish politics following the Northern Irish pattern makes a “fantasy” of Ruth Davidson’s claim that a Scot – or indeed, and Ulsterman or woman – could be Prime Minister.

    In another piece, he quotes a Tory MSP who claims that the Scottish Conservatives “need to continue to distance ourselves from London” – i.e. actively collude in the ‘Ulsterisation’ process.”

  33. Tedious Tantrums says:

    I’m also from the east but I lived west for a while. I’ve seen red,white & blue kerb stones and green traffic lights smashed etc. Etc. Etc.

    In the East we suffer from the old school tie brigade. They greatly distort the chances that people in the east have to put up with.

    In the last few days on the referendum I saw a very disturbing incident happen on BBC news. The article showed a young woman with a child in a buggy in the Meadows. She was asked about her views of the vote. She was obviously a Yah! She spoke well which was fine and then she burst into tears. Her world was threatened, probably for the first time ever. Her priveledged place in society was no longer guaranteed.

    At that point Independence became a huge threat. I’ve no doubt that the Yoons will go to any length to maintain the status quo.

    We have to over come the threats they will throw at us. However step we take is a step closer to our goal. They can’t hold us at bay because their greed, desperation and inborn elitism will eventually loose its power and there are more of us than there are of them.

  34. Macart says:

    Take it you’ve seen this on IDS Paul?

    CLIP

    That individual is a complete …..

    • john 58 says:

      Totally agree Macart !, I D S is a very sad individual and probably does not enjoy life with his impoverished warped values.

    • I’d contend that IDS considers the poor, disabled, pensioners, rape victims, widows, unemployed, low pay low skilled, zero hours workers to be ‘low value’ humans, and possibly all Scots citizens as well.
      We are being graded now…the underclass, the Proletariat, the herd.
      We nudge closer to their Tory Totalitarian heaven.
      The next few months should be interesting.

  35. Shinty says:

    From memory, did IDS not claim unemployment benefits before he joined the army (as an effing baggage carrier) and has spent his entire life at the expense of the tax payer (one way or another)

    I could have got him mixed up with some other odious Tory, but pretty sure it was him,

  36. Alba Laddie says:

    Just watching the nauseating clip of May on the brilliantly insightful “One Show”. That was some coup getting her and Woody Allen on the same gig.

  37. markrussell20085017 says:

    Didn’t realise Kirsty Wark was such a committed supporter of independence.

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