The desperate hysteria of British nationalism

Shut up. Wheesht. Don’t dare imagine that you can voice your views. You’re a vile nationalist, a supporter of independence, and that means you’re the same as an English gassing Nazi. I say so and I’m British, which means I’m not nationalist at all. Being British means not being nationalist, that’s why the UK doesn’t even mention itself on its own stamps. If you don’t want Westminster to govern Scotland it’s because you’re a moral degenerate and an anti-English racist. Scotland would be a basket case without us. A snakepit of internment camps. A wasteland of bare supermarket shelves. A cultural desert with no Doctor Who or Harry Potter. Scotland can’t be allowed to govern itself because people who want independence are all incompetent racist fools who hate everyone. Every single one of you. No one wants you. You’d be nothing without us.

Shut up. Go away. Go back to your politically biased websites and The National and leave my unbiased and balanced BBC, my Herald, Scotsman, Record and Daily Mail alone. Stop oppressing me by existing. Stop victimising me by pointing out my hypocrisy. Stop persecuting me by mocking my bigotry. Stop trying to silence me by answering back. I’m the real victim here. I only have 36 out of 38 newspapers and all the telly news to back me up. I’m being marginalised. Help, help, I’m being oppressed.

That’s a pretty accurate summary of where British nationalists in Scotland are these days. Although you shouldn’t call them British nationalists. They oppose Scottish independence because they hate nationalism you see. Except British nationalism, which is better than all other nationalisms by virtue of not being nationalist at all. There are still many British nationalists who delude themselves that they back the non-nationalist option in the Scottish constitutional debate.

There is a non-nationalist option available, but it’s not supporting the British state, it’s to campaign for the abolition of all states and for one world government. In the absence of that, supporting Scotland’s continuing subordination to the British state makes you a British nationalist, whether you accept your nationalism or not. Just because you’re deluding yourself doesn’t mean that the rest of us should be co-dependents in your delusion. It doesn’t mean that the rest of us are oppressing you because we refuse to be complicit in your fantasy. You can dope yourself up on the imaginary opium of non-nationalist British nationalism all you like, but you’re still every bit as much a nationalist as a supporter of independence.

There seems to have been a ramping up of the British nationalist hysteria over the past year. They are more shrill, more frantic, more irrational than ever before. Their accusations are ever more outlandish, their slurs ever more ridiculous. They’re becoming ever more unmoored as the British state itself becomes unhinged due to Brexit. It almost makes you long for the calm and quiet reason of George Calamity Robertson who only warned of global catastrophe if Scotland became independent, or the rational and careful thought of that Tory MP who warned that the rest of the UK might have to send the RAF to bomb Scotland’s airports. Well, almost. But not quite.

Back in 2014, the Better Together campaign was infamous for its scare stories and its threats, but it did manage to tempt many with a positive vision and vows of what Scotland could get from the British state in return for a No vote. It was still credibly able to portray itself as a non-nationalist option for those who hate nationalism, those who don’t know the difference between the two distinct political concepts that the English language conflates as “nationalism” – the aggrandisement of an existing state, and the desire for independence for a people who don’t currently have it.

Opponents of independence can’t credibly do that any more. You can no longer pretend that supporting the British state is the non-nationalist option when the British state is breaking us all on the wheel of the intensely nationalist project that is Brexit. Well you can. But only if you’ve drunk deep from the draught of the Scotland in Union cool aid, the soma of the Scotsman. You can only maintain that fiction by having recourse to ever more unhinged hysteria.

When you’re reduced to claiming that independence supporters are Nazis who hate the English, you’ve already conceded that you have no dignity or substance in your arguments. It’s the political equivalent of wearing your Union jack knickers on your head and sitting in a corner muttering “wibble”. You can make yourself believe all sorts of things when you’re sitting in a dwam of nostalgia fuelled self-righteousness, the rest of us still see you sprawled there with the drool dribbling down your chin and the urine stain on the crotch of your trousers.

British nationalist attacks on independence supporters have increased in venom. It’s because they have nothing positive to say. Ask them where their answer is to the challenges facing Scotland, and they have none. All that they can suggest is that Scotland continues to trust that those who got us all into this Brexit mess will get us out of it. All that they can suggest is that we sit back passively while others are the agents of our destiny. All that they can suggest is that Scotland would do even worse. But all they are doing is expressing their own lack of faith in themselves.

Next time round there is nothing that opponents of independence can credibly present as a positive argument for Scotland remaining a part of the UK. There can be no second vow, no second promise of greater and better devolution. All they’ve got left are scare stories, threats, and an increasingly unhinged poison. It now turns out that it was a well known opponent of independence who was behind the recent complaint to the BBC which resulted in the shutting down of pro-independence YouTube channels. They have no arguments of their own, so they seek to silence ours. They are terrified of us.

The anger of British nationalist attacks on supporters of Scottish independence are a symptom of a British state and its supporters who know that they’re losing the argument. It’s a fear of an independence movement that hasn’t gone away, and which will enter the coming campaign with the support of half the population. They know that their grasp on Scotland is slipping. When you are reduced to making claims about independence supporters that are demonstrably untrue, you’ve already lost.  When you are reduced to trying to shut us up it’s because you have no answer.

Their hate only makes us stronger. We’re winning.


This weekend I am speaking at the launch of Greg Moodie’s new book Cool Scots. The book launch will be downstairs in the Yes Bar in Glasgow from 2pm. Entrance is free and everyone is welcome.

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44 comments on “The desperate hysteria of British nationalism

  1. Wow! Just … Wow! Utterly brilliant and absolutely accurate. How can anyone with a functioning brain cell possibly NOT see through the BritNat bullshit now?

    • Andy Anderson says:

      The trouble is Wendy that I know two people that are serious Brit Nats. No matter what I say they just keep up the same non specific statements. There are many more regrettably. I find it odd that genuinely intelligent seeming people can not listen to a counter view and investigate. Their belief system is odd in my opinion.

      Luckily for me there are a good few soft no’s that have listened and are listening.

      • Ealasaid says:

        I have recently been approached by a couple of No voting friends wanting to know more about the Yes side of the argument. They have been horrified by the total contempt being shown to Scotland over Brexit and are even more shocked about the current stories of food shortages etc. They tell me they will definitely be voting Yes next time.

        The turning point is very near, if it has not already been passed.

      • mumsyhugs says:

        I have a brother in law and sister in law just like your two Brit nats. Just can’t stand being in their company and their “I’m alright” attitude. 😦

      • Ann Christie says:

        I agree. I’ve just had a dispiriting afternoon with a good friend and Labour voter. She is anti- indy and SNP. Normally I try to stay away from politics but she started about baby boxes. We are both ex health professionals so I was a bit gobsmacked at the “useless, pointless exercise” comment. As the “discussion” went on it ranged to the antisemitism attacks on the Labour Party & Corby. I raised the point that Corbyn was a threat to the Establishment,hence the virulence of the attack, which she agreed with. So I said it was interesting that she could accept the point when it was to support Labour but not about the SNP. She accused me of only listening to fake news, that she didn’t want indy and if it happened she would leave the country. And she was serious. She will not change her mind and it is pointless me getting upset and angry as she has a right to her opinion, however wrong I might think she is. It’s frustrating she can’t see what I do, even more so because in other ways I enjoy her company. I’m sure I’m not alone in this experience, and I’m also sure that others know how much it hurts when you are made to feel somehow aberrant by no longer having the same beliefs as someone you are close to. I would be interested in how others have dealt with it, as I would like to keep my friend.

        • The only way I can handle it, Ann, is to say to my English Unionist friends (and being English by birth I do have a few!) that politics is a “no-no” between us and refuse to be drawn on the subject. It’s hard … especially when I am ITCHING to show them where their beliefs are based on lies and fallacies … but it is the ONLY way I have been able to maintain some deeply-valued friendships. The road was rocky to start with but it works now.

        • Ann, your post stripped down to the emotions, and values involved in your ‘discussion’ with someone with whom you have had a long close relationship.
          I hope that you are not offended when I suggest that you have been through a lot together.

          ‘Dispiriting afternoon’.
          ‘good friend’.
          ‘Labour voter’.
          ‘ex health board professionals’.
          ‘bit gobsmacked’.
          ‘useless pointless exercise’.
          ‘threat to the Establishment’.
          ‘accused me’.
          ‘listening to fake news’.
          ‘leave the country’.
          ‘not change her mind’.
          ‘getting upset and angry’.
          ‘right to her opinion’.
          However wrong…she is’.
          ‘she can’t see what I do’.
          ‘I enjoy her company’.
          ‘I’m not alone’.
          ‘others know how much it hurts’.
          ‘made to feel some how aberrant’.
          ‘no longer having the same beliefs’.
          ‘someone you are close to’.
          ‘how others have dealt with it’.
          ‘like to keep my friend’.

          Are you going to the Gathering at the YES Bar in October?
          If so, I’d enjoy talking about this more.
          WE can’t all be supporters of Scottish Self Determination.
          Even those who have helped us through some of our darkest hours may support the Union.
          This ‘good friend’ ‘hurt’ you and made you feel ‘aberrant’
          You ‘enjoy her company’, she is someone to whom ‘you are close’, and you want ‘to keep my friend’.
          Perhaps you can do both.
          Rip my lungs out if I am ‘way off beam here.
          You are not alone, believe me.

          • Kenzie says:

            I know how this lassie feels, Jack. My B ‘n’ L (a good socialist, he says) no longer speaks to me, consequently neither does my sister – but to be fair, only because of her husband, not because of any political divergence.

            This will set people against each other, but I take heart from the fact that we have right on our side.

            • Kenzie, both you and Anne mention that your Bro-in-law and her close friend are Socialist/ Labour Supporters.
              So am I.
              It is argued that the drive for Scottish Self Determination transcends Party Politics.
              I suspect that you got caught in the cross fire between The Labour Party in Scotland and the SNP, whose policies, frankly, both reflect our broad based tendency towards a Civic Society where Health, Education, Policing, Emergency Services and so on must be publicly owned, as is water, public transport etc..
              The sticking point is of course whether you support the United Kingdom as a country, or see Scotland as a country in its own right.

              We are an Amazing Technicoloured Dreamcoat in the independence movement.
              From a’ airts and pairts. It is our strength.

              You have a problem because you sister won’t speak to you because she is understandably taking her husband’s side on this.
              Is it a ‘value’ problem, about which you can do nothing to remedy?
              You neighbour painting their porch shocking pink may offend your ‘values’.

              Or is it a ‘tangible’ problem?
              Are you barred from seeing your nephews and nieces, for example?

              If it were me, I’d arrange to see them, tell them that I had a problem not being able to see them and their children, because of the rift over independence, and tell them how you feel about that.
              Gutted, no doubt.
              All you need is love.
              Agree to disagree.
              As I observe, it would be a queer old world if 100% of Scots citizens opted for Self Determination.

              The Twilight Zone even.
              There’s nothing you can say that can’t be sung.
              Is there karaoke in the YES Bar?

          • FM says:

            Jack, I love reading your stuff. Ever since The Herald you are an absolute stand out.

        • Guybrush Threepwood says:

          Why not try this with her:

          Tory governments would be far, far less likely in an independent Scotland. We have a natural centre-left majority in Scotland and a PR system which more accurately reflects the wishes of the electorate. 75% of Holyrood MSPs are anti-Tory (this is despite the Tories enjoying their best election result in decades).

          Even if the Tories achieved the impossible and became the largest party in Holyrood, the other parties would be able to form a coalition of progressive governance. Scottish Labour and the SNP would never be forgiven by their voters and party members for allowing a Tory government to form in Scotland.

          Even our Tories are not as vile and right-wing as their Westminster counterparts. Ruth Davidson is opposed to the UK Home Office’s hostile environment and has criticised the fact that students are included in immigration statistics.

          The Westminster political system is archaic and not fit for purpose. The right in England hold far too much political influence and power in society (especially among the English press). The Tories have dominated UK politics over the past 100 years and it took Labour around 100 years to win back-to-back elections. Essentially the UK is a Tory dominated union.

          Ask your friend if long periods of nasty, Tory governments are worth enduring for for the sake of the odd Labour government forming?

          Social attitude surveys show there are no major differences between views in Scotland and the rest of the UK, but the political menu we Scots get to choose from is far more progressive and modern. Our political class is generally speaking more progressive.

          Finally we would have a written Scottish Constitution which could enshrine progressive politics into Scots Law, essentially neutering the Scottish Tories.

          Labour gets rid of the Tories for 5 years – Scottish independence gets rid of them forever.

  2. john 59 says:

    Excellent writing Paul ,every word bang on and completely accurate . What threats do have left now for us ? , I really shudder to think . The too wee too poor may be vomited up again but in a different and more frightening guise ,probably aimed at the young folk as well as the elderly, and lets not forget the chronically sick and dying because I feel Westminster see them as ” fair game” Do we really terrify them this much , or is Scotlands resources just to
    good to have them wasted on the ” Jocks” . We had all better be prepared for an odious onslaught with threats on everything we Scots hold dear.
    This is a War in everyway apart from killing unless they try and Kill our spirit and our will .


    ps no apologies for my reply ,I am fuming !!!!!


  3. […] Wee Ginger Dug The desperate hysteria of British nationalism Shut up. Wheesht. Don’t dare imagine that you can voice your views. You’re a vile […]

  4. susan says:

    Spot on Paul. I’m sick and tired of the constant twisting of our desire for independence. It’s nothing but projection on their part.

    • Andrew Gallacher says:

      Thanks. Wings You Tube channel is back up and the interview on radio Scotland with John Beattie today was good, but the BBC is still trying to fudge the issue as nothing more than an automatic legal response to a complaint. I don’t expect to get many signatures, but at least the petition is another outlet to engage some people with the issue. Thanks again.

  5. Andy Anderson says:

    Paul you imply in your article that you know who the anti Indy Brit Nat is. Can it be made public?

  6. Robert Louis says:

    THIS; “They oppose Scottish independence because they hate nationalism you see. Except British nationalism, which is better than all other nationalisms by virtue of not being nationalist at all.’

    Is the REAL problem with those who oppose the restoration of Scottish democracy and independence. They delude themselves into thinking British nationalism and waving the union jack is not actually nationalism at all.

    It is also a large part of what is wrong with England right now.

  7. the British Nationalists are so scared of our one independence-supporting newspaper that they cover it up with another paper or turn it back side out. It’s only one newspaper out of half a dozen others but it still seems to represent an overwhelming threat to our No-voting brethern.

    They haven’t sussed that those of us who buy it know to look for it and put it back into its proper place on the rack. They only manage to hide the truth from the casual browser for a few minutes maximum. That seems to sum them up.

  8. Andy Anderson says:

    One of the ‘great’ British Nationalists from our past, Winston Churchill must have had a period of enlightenment because he once said this:

    “Of all the small nations on Earth perhaps only the ancient Greeks surpass the Scots in their contribution to mankind”

    If only our Brit Nat fellow citizens could even grasp a small percentage of this truth. Not that I am biased!!

  9. Rebecca says:

    Excellent article as always Paul. Their desperate opposition will only make us stronger. Independence is coming.

  10. Macart says:

    Yes. Yes we are winning. 🙂

    Yes, they are British Nationalists.

    They are supporters of a state and practice of politics which is becoming increasingly brutal, intolerant and public. Some are even proud of that fact, or perhaps it was some other group of proud British types seig heiling their wee hearts out in George Sq. back in 2014.

    When their government of choice (and it is THEIR CHOICE) rolls out legislation for benefits condemned by the UN, tears up existing national and international agreements to suit personal advantage and ideology. When their parliamentary representation can commit any venal act under the sun and simply slide on through the other side because they have enough patronage from the media and corporate world. When they insist that their definition of patriotism is based on who to hate or alienate. When they then insist on placing entire populations into a constitutional and economic mincer, I’d say they’re over qualified for the post of dictatorship personally. Also personally, not the kind of nationalism I find appealing. (as in, not EVER)

    But then I would say that.

    How and ever, right NOW we’re currently living through the hardships of austerity UK. We’re all well aware of the massive growth of foodbank culture and the extensive cuts to benefits and services. As remarked above, we’re also well aware of the threats to devolved settlements and agreements. These things have affected the lives of millions across the UK to date. Very shortly they’re going to look like the good old days of plenty and fuzzy warmth. Brexit won’t care who you are. It’s going to visit each and every one of us in every household the length and breadth of these islands. Livelihoods, life chances, lives, are ALL going to suffer.

    In Scotland, we may only get one chance to avoid the worst of that economic and constitutional tsunami before it hits or takes full effect.

    Mibbies time some folks stood back and… reassessed their worldview.

  11. Andy Anderson says:

    Me thinks that the Poo will need to hit the fan first for most to wake up.

    Apart from the 16% devaluation of our currency and the knowledge that many businesses have started to leave already the majority as yet have no idea what Brexit means.

    You are correct bad times are coming. Be prepared everyone, store food and household goods, if you travel get currency now etc.

  12. Iain says:

    Braw stuff, weegingerdug. The proverbial “Eagle in a henhouse”

  13. Jason Smoothpiece says:

    Slowly more people are moving to yes.

    Folk who are not politically aware and even soft nos are sniffing the air. Many are working people who find it difficult to maintain any standard of living, while the rich get embarrassingly richer.

    They hear the British Nationalist regime announce that austerity will last another 50 years and of course the little disaster that is Brexit.

    Once the rationing starts that should get the attention of even the thickest in Scotland.

    They hear people like us talk about unfairness and anti Scottish bias up till now to the less aware it was just noise then the state propaganda unit also known as the BBC recklessly score an own goal handing over clear evidence of what we have been preaching about.

    Taken together the evidence is presented to the less aware people showing where they and their families are headed if we remain a colony of England.

  14. Macart says:

    What happens when the media and false narratives choose your government for you.


  15. FM says:

    The para’ that begins “Back in 2014..”. Many thanks.

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