Trying to kill us but not with kindness

It’s been obvious for a good while now that the Labour Branch Office in Scotland is composed of an angry and embittered bunch of British nationalists who are united by only three things: their utter inability to comprehend that their British nationalism is in fact nationalism, their unshakeable conviction that they have an absolute entitlement to Scottish votes, and their pathological loathing of the SNP. The only thing that your average Labour politician hates more than the SNP is another average Labour politician.

Labour’s fall from grace with the Scottish electorate is therefore just a phase that the country is going through, and all that the Branch Office needs to do is to keep with the tried and trusted formula and eventually voters will come flocking back to their true home. All that is required is to find an SNPbad story that’s big enough and bad enough, and no one will ever think about Scottish independence ever again.

The rest of the party takes their cue on all matters Caledonian from the Branch Office. Hence the statement from Labour chair Ian Lavery at the party conference on Monday, “We need to kill off the nationalists in Scotland and regain that great country.” Are you feeling the love there? Here we are, four years down the road, and Labour is still spouting the same sentiments as the unlamented Ian Davidson who claimed that after a No vote in the referendum all that would be needed would be to bayonet the wounded. Almost 20 years ago, George Robertson claimed that the introduction of Labour’s specially pauchled devolution would succeed in killing Scottish nationalism “stone dead”. How’s that working out for you then?

Can you imagine the outrage, the headlines, the TV programmes dissecting the cancer lurking at the very soul of the Scottish independence movement if some SNP politician had said, “We need to kill off the Unionists and regain this great country?” There would be a special edition of Scotland Tonight with a panel of very sad and angry Labour, Tory and Lib Dem politicians clutching their pearls and bewailing the monster that nationalism creates. There would be anguished editorials in the Herald, the Scotsman, the Record, the Press and Journal and the Courier. It would be the lead story on Reporting Scotlandshire for three days running. There would be a clamour for apologies and resignations which would not cease even after some heads had rolled.

But it was a Labour politician who said it about the SNP, so that makes it all just fine. Scottish politics always comes with a heavy dose of British nationalist double standards. Anti-Scottish remark from an English commentator or politician, just a spot of banter, complaining about it make you dour and humourless. Anti-English remark from some random punter on social media, a deep dark evil lurking at the very heart of the Scottish psyche.

Ian Lavery’s tactless choice of words is precisely what we don’t need in politics. Coming as it does from a party which has just stated its intention to overrule the will of the Scottish people as expressed at the ballot box, it’s not just unwelcome and unhelpful, it’s also deeply worrying. If Labour is sincere in its desire to regain Scotland at the ballot box, it can only do so by engaging with the concerns of voters who seek Scottish independence, not by threatening to extirpate them. But Labour doesn’t want to engage, it just wants the whole issue to go away. It doesn’t understand it. It’s still hurting at the rejection. It hasn’t passed beyond denial in the stages of grief.

What is it with British nationalists and violent metaphors? It must be something to do with the cognitive dissonance involved in pretending that your nationalism isn’t nationalist at all. Or possibly it’s all that anti-Catholic banter. If you don’t actually sing about being up to your knees in Fenian blood it’s just a joke. Let’s be honest here Labour, if you are incapable of recognising your own British nationalism for what it is, you’re never going to be in any position to challenge a Scottish nationalism that at least has the virtue of knowing what it is and what it stands for. Truth always defeats self-delusion.

It is an abiding and deep rooted trope of British nationalism that it’s not nationalist at all. That’s why they call themselves Unionists. The British conceit is that the UK is a family of nations, and therefore it transcends narrow nationalism, but we all know that is a lie. In more recent years that conceit has extended to the multicultural population which has developed in the UK after WW2. The truth is that British nationalism is the respectable face of English nationalism. It’s union flegs in Tesco. It’s interminable telly programmes about the Royals. It’s Brexit, bloody Brexit. British nationalism is a nationalism which is incapable of seeing the truth about itself because fundamentally it’s a nationalism of denial. The Loyalist sectarianism of Northern Ireland and the West of Scotland is a disease of British nationalism, but British nationalists prefer to portray it as two warring tribes with the British state as some disinterested father figure holding their jaikets. Give me an honest Scottish civic nationalism any day of the week over this delusional dreamscape of Ukania.

Labour supports Brexit, a project which is nationalist to the very core of its conception, yet still tells itself and the rest of us that as an organisation it’s opposed to nationalism and stands for solidarity. It’s a peculiar concept of solidarity when it ends at the White Cliffs of Dover and depends upon being ruled by the Westminster Parliament. It’s an even more peculiar concept of solidarity to demand that the only proper role of socialism in Scotland is to sacrifice itself on the altar of the British state and to save England from itself when that country keeps persisting in voting for Conservative governments.

Labour sincerely believes that it has a right to Scottish votes. The fact that Scotland has turned its back on the party, especially that West of Scotland Catholic community which once voted for no one else, is a source of genuine hurt and confusion to Labour in Scotland. They really don’t know where they went wrong. There they were, doing the same thing for decades, parcelling out MPs seats and cooncils to their pals, and then those pesky nats came along and stole all their voters. It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

So here’s a message for Labour, and I’m not even an SNP member. You can’t kill us off, because you can’t crush hope. The great victory of the Scottish independence movement in 2014 was to do something for working class people in Scotland that Labour forgot how to do decades ago, to give us hope. The best that Labour can offer is more of the same, a brief respite from Conservative rule, a respite that can only be achieved by a Labour party that apes the Tories in order to appeal to the Sun reading voters of Middle England. There is no hope, no poetry, no vision, no dream. That’s why Scotland will never come back to Labour, because Labour has no soul. We dream of something better. We’ve learned how to hope again. Labour can’t take that away from us.

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76 comments on “Trying to kill us but not with kindness

  1. […] Wee Ginger Dug Trying kill us but not with kindness It’s been obvious for a good while now that the Labour Branch Office in Scotland is […]

  2. Tol says:


    Scottish Labor now appears the fullest expression of the morbid insecurity of an abusive partner.
    (A gas-lighting bully when it gets its own way…but a tearful victim when rejected).

  3. Tol says:

    I see the “Union” rides again.

    I was full of excitement to see what language you would use once you stated “Union” was no longer part of your vocab…given your gift with language.

    I am happy to wait a little longer for you to figure out what to replace unionist with. In my imagination its on par with Zoolander’s “Magnum”. Mythical, beautiful and wonderfully mocking of Unionist’s marshmallow grandiosity.

    • weegingerdug says:

      I deliberately used the word unionist in the hypothetical example of the SNP politician because “Unionist” is what British nationalists call themselves. As indeed I pointed out in the piece.

      I’ve already replaced “Unionist” with “British nationalist” in my own vocabulary. It’s not what they call themselves though, is it.

      • Tol says:


        I like the notion that there is power in a name. Hence, isn’t there a power in not using the name the bully hides behind and calling them the way they really are?

      • Aicha cisse says:

        Shared on Ian Murray’s Facebook ( a few times ).

  4. hettyforindy says:

    Paul, your title, should it say ‘to kill us’ instead?

  5. hettyforindy says:

    Did Lavery actually freaking say ‘we need to kill off the nationalists in Scotland’? Because if so, he is threatening, inciting even, murder. It would mean something different if he said, to kill off nationalism, but ‘nationalists’. Woah, scary.

    • Tol says:


      Scary indeed.

      I find it strange that YES takes on “National” to start with. Isn’t YES just seeking ACCOUNTABLE DEMOCRACY. Sovereign people have the right to that level of self-determination.

      It is one of the problems with “YES” taking on the moniker of “National”. Just because it is in SNP’s name does not mean you need to adopt it. This is a classic example of where YES needs to stop letting Westminster define the terms of the debate. They will always skew it against you.

      • Tol, I prefer Self Determination/Independence.
        It is of course, the Scottish National Party, of which, like Paul and many contributors here, and elsewhere, I am not a member.
        We are nearly there.
        There will come a time soon, when some prominent Scottish Labour, Lib Dem, and even decent conservatives, with a small ‘c’, will opt for Scottish autonomy.
        The alternative, No Deal Bull Dog Brexit and ensuing 1984 Dystopia and Isolationism, will surely make many step back from the brink.
        I use ‘alternative’ as in the original sense, the Latin, ‘alter’, the ‘other’, where there is only a choice of two options.
        We either govern ourselves completely, or we become a colony of our neighbour England, and become subject to its rules, regulations, and dominance, for all eternity.
        The Red Tories would kill Scotland.
        The Blue Tories believe that they have already killed Scotland.
        The Lib Dems believe that they would put Scotland out of its delusional misery.

        A choice of two.
        Self Determination or Subjugation..

        • Tol says:

          @Jack collatin

          I totally agree, the choice is that stark.

          With “ACCOUNTABLE DEMOCRACY” I was trying to:
          – Express the fundamental core issue.
          – Remove it from any of the language of UK’s Brexit.
          – Diminish opportunities for casting it in a negative light.

          Perhaps I am mistaken, but isn’t root of the issue that Scotland (1 of the 2 sovereign parties to the Union) is never able to exercise any democratic mandate in the UK unless it aligns with England. I.e. Scotland’s wishes and the rights of its citizens will always be subjugated to the will of the English. Hence, in this system, there can never be “ACCOUNTABLE DEMOCRACY”

          When Cameron called EVEL…I would have loved the SNP to play the system they had been dealt and forced a vote for a speaker voted for by the majority of Scottish MPs when the house split for Scottish issues. That would have sent them apoplectic.

          • The tears had not dried from our cheeks, when at 07.00 am, 19th November 2014, Cameron stood outside Number 10, and announced EVEL to the gathering throng of Hacks and Broadcasters.
            It didn’t require any subtlety.
            Scotland is back in its box.
            Later that day, in George Square, the Brit Nats ‘celebrated’, metaphorically bayoneting the wounded Nats.
            We demand that Scotland be recognised as a nation, an independent state, once again, governed by a Parliament of Scots MPs, elected by the citizens of Scotland, for the benefit of the citizens of Scotland, accountable to the citizens of Scotland.
            It is beyond belief that we continue with the current colony status, where we get what the English, and their Anglo Scot Collaborators Up Here vote for.
            There is no way back for ‘Scottish’ Unionists.
            I reiterate.
            Why don’t they just travel to Edinburgh, this morning, empty their desks, and resign en masse?
            Baillie, Lamont, Gray, Dugdale, Marra, Lennon, Kelly, Never-Weres, cluttering up our Parliament, costing tens of millions, for no return whatsoever.
            ‘I Hate the SNP’ is the criterion to get on the Brit Nat Gravy Train.
            You’ll never be in Government: money for old jam.
            They are beneath contempt now, the lot of them.

  6. hettyforindy says:

    Excellent, Labour’s sense of entitlement in Scotland must be very deep rooted, they can’t handle that the people of Scotland have seen them for what they are and for what they didn’t do for Scotland, still don’t and never will do for Scotland. Load of scheming troughers.

    They need to live with it, and accept their faults and the consequences of their destructive actions. .

    To talk about ‘killing nationalists in Scotland’! Labour, you are an utter disgrace, and quite clearly dangerous to Scotland if you can use that kind of language and not feel deep remorse for it.

    You are right Paul, imagine if anyone at all connected to the SNP said that about Unionists, ( Britnats). There would be hell to pay!

  7. […] via Trying to kill us but not with kindness […]

  8. Andy Anderson says:

    Labour who? Are they still about?

  9. Stookie says:

    Ukania, I like that. At first it made me think of that peter sellers film (can’t remember name, need to google!) but The Land that Time Forgot is probably nearer the truth

  10. susan says:

    Labour showing their true colours; just another colonialist party. Anyway Labour can’t let Scotland go as it needs our resources to fund its grandiose plans. That’s the truth of the matter.

  11. Iain says:

    Labour are truly the torys little helpers, they helped to stem the tides of revolution in England’s little colony where all the money comes from.
    They make all sorts of fantasy promises, but never deliver.
    We are still waiting for the house of lords to be abolished (First promised 120years ago).

  12. Macart says:

    Now that’s a rapid QED moment. I’d literally posted about this type of language on last thread. Helpful of some party type to provide an example (and it just had to be Labour), which neatly underlines the point.

    Here’s the thing for the hard of thinking party type. If you aspire to govern a population, a life of service and care for… people? It’s mibbies a bad plan to state you’d kill half of your employers. It’s also mibbies a bad mission statement from anyone in what’s effectively an interview situation..

    Worth a thought? Hmmmm?

  13. This, Paul, is your finest.
    And that’s saying some.

    • Macart says:

      He’s not wrong. 🙂

      I’d posted this on last thread Jack, but given the helpful nature of some of the political class…

      Yes we’re angry, hurt, frustrated and impatient. One or all of them and in no particular order.

      We were lied to and defrauded in both referendums. There are multiple changes in constitutional circumstance thanks to Labour and as expected, Labour would not only deliver Scotland’s population to the Brexit it didn’t vote for, but they’d hold the people of Scotland hostage in a political bear trap with no redress at the ballot. Worse. There are folk out there so eaten with tribalism and blind unthinking hatred, they’d happily vote for all of that without thinking what it means for them and generations to follow. And yes, even though they are victims too?

      They’d remove your inalienable human right to choose. To define yourself and your government. It doesn’t get much more serious.

      The only way you stop it, (and it can be stopped) is to show them what the true meaning of unity and standing together is all about. To show them what care and cooperation is all about.

      Just like our host, I’m sick of it too and for the very same reasons. To the point where I can’t read a paper or watch a news item anymore. To the point where I’m done arguing or debating politics with folk who talk about ‘game’ analogies. About winning, bayonetting the wounded or killing off this that or the other. It’s seen by this political class as a competition.

      A competition. Your lives.

      Yes, there are morons out there who speak in those terms. I know what politics should be and frankly folks it doesn’t exist in the United Kingdom. Not anymore and I’m not even sure that it ever did.

      It’s about care. It’s about keeping those in your care safe, putting bread on the table and a roof over their heads. It’s about tending to their hurts. It’s about service. Not a lot of any of that to be seen in today’s media and an absolute dearth of it anywhere near a Westminster politician. They’re a bit busy stabbing each other in the back playing that game of theirs.

      Compassion doesn’t need a rosette.

      There is only one answer and most readers of this site know what that is by this point. I’m hopeful that some folk with pull in the SNP are also paying attention to these sites. We know what we want and what we need. Don’t take too long.

      • Indeed, Sam.
        Passion doesn’t need a rosette either.
        This is the fatal mistake that the Red Blue and Yellows make.
        The YES movement is a multi coloured rainbow alliance, comprising all political stances, beliefs, faiths and none.
        We are everywhere.

  14. Ninian Fergus says:

    Two days ago, in the west end of Edinburgh, I was approached by two feral, shaven-headed subhumans, who ripped my SNP badge from my jacket, then my YES badge from my backpack, followed by shouts of :”We’re f…… Better Together”, “We f…… hate the SNP”, and “God Save the Queen”. There is a huge underclass of such creatures in Scotland that many are unaware of, and I find it very worrying, not to mention frightening.

    • The Brit Nat Brownshirts, Ninian.
      Every fascist State has them.
      It will get worse, and the Usual Suspects will turn a blind eye.
      We live in an occupied cash cow English colony now.
      Kill the Nats indeed.

      • Ninian Fergus says:

        Spot on Jack. I’ve been politically aware for well over 50 years now, but only now am I truly worried.

        • Keep safe, Ninian.
          ‘Forgive them, for they know not what they do’.
          They are the pawns of an evil master.

          • hettyforindy says:

            The Britnats in UKgov are very capable of also planting little gits like that to abuse and create fear.

            You just have to look at what the US have done to Latin America to see what they do for another countries’ resources etc. Particularly Venezeula at the moment. The US pay young people to riot, or give them drugs even. They also hand them sophisticated masks, and allow some to fall at the front line, but the innocent have suffered greatly, and violently.

            We will not allow the Britnats to attack people on the streets of Scotland! Always always take photos, they can be found that way even from a distance…

    • hettyforindy says:

      God that sounds terrible, please report it to the police it could be on CCTV. I had a bad experienec in the street last year, not related to indy, but took photos of the person once I was at a safe distance, they are now on a database with the police. I wonder if those little s***s were local? Do not ever put up with abuse, in fact, that would be assault! report it it’s not too late.

      • hettyforindy says:

        PS I wear my YES badge around Edinburgh, I get dirty looks, very few smiles, but will not be stopped from wearing it, not by anyone.

        • I wear my France World Cup ’98 baseball cap, with saltire and Scotland emblazoned on it everywhere I go. I am in the West, but nobody has dared to challenge my right to wear it.
          But there are brownshirts on the street who have tacit permission to harass, that’s for sure.

          • robert harrison says:

            Yet in England wearing anything with the Scotland emblems or flag on it instant dirty looks because I was wearing a team Scotland top when I was still down there during indyref1 and i remember the stinkeye I got from the locals walking around wearing it.

  15. Margaret Barrie says:

    Thank you, Paul, thank you. You articulated exactly how I felt yesterday and you’ve just spoken again, so well, my sentiments today. Greatly appreciated.

  16. Steve Ashton says:

    Delete ‘nationalist’ and substitute ‘Jews’ and he’d be out of the party faster than a drunken sex pest groper. Substitute ‘Muslims’ he’d be in jail for incitement. Substitute ‘kaffirs’ he’d be on his way to Guantanamo. Substitute ‘bankers and Tory politicians’ and he’d probably get a statue raised in his honour after the revolution he started. Double standards indeed, but there none so blind as those who choose not to see. Sad.

  17. Robert Harrison says:

    English nationalists never change any other national from any country spouts that level of bigoted crap they are a fascist a xenophobic a bigot yet an English person it’s OK it’s just banter that hypocrisy pisses me off to no end and hence my zero respect and 0 trust for England and it’s people theres no words to describe that mindset they have that makes my blood boil the English of England can continue down there suicide path for all I care they’ve finally running out of places to run from the evil within there own country because they will never face it because they deny it’s existence even when it’s right in front of them.

  18. From federalism to genocide in one week, that’s some jump even for Labour! Ian Lavery, a labour MP for an English constituency who has clearly no idea what is happening in Scotland has just suggested “killing off Nationalists,” that’s me, my wife, my 3 sons and my newly old enough to vote granddaughter. Only two of us are SNP supporters by the way. Astonishing that they think they will win votes in Scotland with this? Then again maybe it was only the Catholic Nationalists he was talking about, it’s hard to tell with labour these days.

  19. chicmac says:

    Great post again Paul, agree with you entirely.

    I wonder, if we crowdfunded it, could a psychiatrist be engaged to analyse the symptoms of the average Scottish British Nationalist activist? The self loathing, the insecurity, the aggression, the delusion, the denial, the control freakery, etc.

    With no qualifications whatsoever in that field, my own gut feel is it would most likely fit the profile of an abusive partner in a relationship but it would be interesting to have a professional clinical diagnosis and perhaps some insight into how the malady might be treated or dealt with.

    • chicmac, greed and lust for money.
      No charge.

      • chicmac says:

        There are most likely many middle class No voters (last time) for whom that applies but that is within the range of normal human behaviour. The task there is simply to convince them that they will be financially worse off without independence. Very doable IMO.

        I’m more concerned about those who are so consumed with self loathing for their own people and country that they are willing to accept any level of denigration or financial disadvantage to keep their fellow citizens subjugated and humiliated. That lies outwith normal human behaviour patterns and therefore difficult to understand. Unknowns to me are; How many are there like that? How did they come to be that way? What manner of psychosis is it? Can it be treated and how?

        • chicmac,

          From ‘1984’ Part One

          “ the Records Department, where Winston worked, they were dragging the chairs out of the cubicles and grouping them in the centre of the hall opposite the big telescreen ,in preparation for the Two Minutes Hate.

          The next moment a hideous grinding speech, as of some monstrous machine running without oil, burst from the big telescreen…

          It was a noise that set one’s teeth on edge, and bristled the hair on the back of one’s neck.
          The Hate had started.

          As usual, the face of Emmanuel Goldstein, the Enemy of the People, had flashed on to the screen. There were hisses here and there among the audience.
          Goldstein was the renegade and backslider who once, long ago, how long ago, nobody quite remembered)had been one of the leading figures of the Party, and then had engaged in counter-revolutionary activities, had been condemned to death, and had mysteriously escaped and disappeared.’

          ‘He was the primal traitor, the earliest defiler of the Party’s purity. All subsequent crimes against the party, all treacheries, acts of sabotage, heresies, deviations, sprang directly out of his teaching.
          …Then the face of big Brother faded away again and instead the three slogans of the Party stood out in bold capitals:

          WAR IS PEACE

          For Goldstein, substitute Salmond and now Sturgeon. For the Party, read the Brit Establishment.
          Brainwashed into neurotic conformity;
          The drip drip drip of SNP BAD from the Dead Tree Scrolls and the broadcast media.
          Two minutes Hate has become 24 Hour Hate.
          There are psychotics in the Brit Nat Ranks of course: they have lost all touch with reality, and cannot be cured.
          Neuroticism can.
          In 1984 Orwell’s world is one of constant wars, just like our war on terror, drugs, crime.

          The treatment, chicmac?
          Self Detremination.

  20. Cubby says:

    Labour = British Nationalists = colonialists.

    No Scot could or should vote for this party.

    • Tol says:


      I am honestly curious. How do you define the term “British”?

      I have been asking lots of people…MrMalky is the only one I see who has a coherent answer.

      • chicmac says:

        Yes, that is a classic case of one word meaning different things to different people and different things in different times/circumstance.

        For example, you often see the slogan ‘Scottish Not British’ even though Scotland is part of the British Isles.

        I mean, you wouldn’t ever see a Norwegian wearing a T-shirt which read ‘Norwegian Not Scandinavian’ would you?… … or would you?

        Let us, for the sake of argument, imagine a slightly different, pseudo but plausibly ‘could have been’, history.

        At one time, Norway was under the rule of Sweden, their fight for independence was a straight, clear struggle to free themselves from Swedish control. That’s what actually happened.

        However, if we imagine that Sweden had also gained control of Denmark and Finland and had done so for some time and had, in their own minds at least, succeeded in converting those subjugated countries to Swedish habits, language and mores so that the term ‘Swedish’ and ‘Scandinavian’ became virtually synonymous then, in those circumstances, it would not be impossible to have seen the slogan ‘Norwegian Not Scandinavian’ feature in Norway’s struggle for self determination.

        There is a synonymity between the word ‘British’ and ‘English’ for many people.

        I regard myself as being Scottish in the political sense and British in the geographical sense.

        After independence, in a short space of time, I think most Scots will once again be happy to describe themselves as British in the geographical sense as that synonymy fades.

        • Tol says:


          Thanks so much for replying.

          Would you mind me asking how you see the following…

          – Are Britain (or British) and the British Isles the same?
          – Does Ireland = British?
          – How does British = British Isles square with people from the commonwealth who refer to themselves as British?

          Scandinavia is not a parallel of British as Scandinavia is a term that has one meaning. It is a definable geography that has cultural and language ties.

          • chicmac says:

            But that is exactly the point I was making. ‘Scandinavia’ retains its geographical meaning only because it was never usurped and conflated by a Sweden dominating and controlling the 4 countries because that never happened.

            That was a hypothetical, contrived situation to illustrate where the modern confused meanings of ‘Britaish’ arose. The term ‘Britain’ was used as a geographical term long before Union. For example in the Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedy (by Dunbar) when political enmity between Scotland and England was at its height. People in Scotland and England regarded themselves as ‘British’ in a geographical sense.

            It goes back much further than that and probably originates from a word used by the islanders themselves at the time of their first recording into history by Greek and Roman classical commentators. In both Latin and Greek, the main island was referred to as Great Britain and Ireland was referred to a Little Britain. More commonly still the British Isles were referred to as the Isles of the Ocean.

            The modern political meaning of ‘Britain’ (actually the United Kingdoms of Great Britain, Ireland and France originally) stems from the Union of 1707 (James the 6th and 1st would have liked the term to be recognised after the Union of 1603 but he was pretty much on his own on that one).

            It is at that time that a political entity commonly called ‘The British State’ came into use.

            To answer your questions.

            On a geographical basis.

            Anyone inhabiting the British Isles is logically entitled to call themselves British.

            This also applies to Ireland but because of the modern political association, i.e, the British State, the Irish, understandably, do not like the term so it is avoided when dealing with Ireland.

            Your third point, I’m not sure if you mean people from the Commonwealth (or elsewhere) living in the British Isles or people who are not and have never been in the British Isles but who consider themselves ‘British’ in the political sense because they qualify for a ‘British’ passport (currently entitled ‘Passport the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’).
            My view in the first instance is that they are geographically ‘British’ in that they live here. They should be able to become politically recognised ‘British’ citizens as well after normal residence length requirements.
            Those who have never as yet lived here but qualify for British citizenship are not, obviously, geographically ‘British’ but their political recognition should make it easier for them to come here, should they so choose, and therefore become ‘British’ in the geographic sense. Although the recent ‘Windrush’ decision suggests that that may not be as easy as it should be.

            But we are getting away from the main point, which is the conflation of English=British which has come into being.

            That is the main reason why Irish and some Scots reject the term.

            I am happy to accept the original geographic meaning of ‘British’ for myself but I am unhappy, although coerced, into accepting the political meaning of it because of the contrived synonymity, ‘Britain’ = ‘England’ which never happened in Scandinavia re the largest country Sweden.

            • Tol says:


              We are really hitting the rubberyness of the word here.

              The problem for YES is the word is too slippery – Not only do people morph the meaning mid-argument – Your opponents rely on audiences overlaying the other meanings during any argument. Its as if the word itself defuses your attacks.

              If as you do, adopt “BRITAIN” to mean the British Isles – then “BRITAIN” cannot also stand for the UK government as the Irish government would, in your definition, also be a British government. However, you have now excluded all the British citizens in the British Overseas Territories

              I would also note that officially, The Ordnance Survey defines “BRITAIN” as “England + Wales”
              Hence, Great Britain = Scotland + Britain
              and by extension Scotland and Ireland are not part of Britain.

              For YES, at no point does “BRITAIN” stack up as a viable term for the UK government as there always exists a contradictory meaning (i.e. a definition of Britain that does not include all areas of the UK – or too many area).

              Britain, Great Britain and the British Isles are not the same thing and shortening them to Britain only allows England to infect (and cognitively lay claim to) the larger geographies. It is a expunging of the indigenous Celtic arc.

              As you point out the Irish have jettisoned the term and YES should as well. It is not fit for purpose. Of course Westminster likes this term. They have used it for centuries as a linguistic slight of hand that is part of controlling their empire. YES needs to question – does it want to given them this free kick.

              • chicmac says:

                Let me be clear. Anyone can describe themselves in any way they want and for whatever reason they have. That is an individual decision. What others might try to insist they are described as is irrelevant to the individual.

                I am happy being described as British in the geographical sense.
                I am happy being described as European in the geographical sense.
                I am not happy, though have to accept for the time being, being described as British in the political sense.

                But it is not for me to dictate to others which definition they should or should not be happy with.

                Since you have clarified that in your third point you meant politically British citizens in British Overseas Territories then of course, being politically British they can use the word in that context.
                But, and ‘overseas’ is a clue here, does it make logical sense for them to use it in a geographical sense?

                I’m no expert on such matters but I believe France has overseas territory which they regard as being fully part of France, return elected representatives to the French Government, e.g. Guadeloupe is a French Department, but does the UK have overseas territories with that kind of total incorporation?

                If so, in that instance then I should think a description of British in their case could sensibly be extended to incorporate a geographic meaning, at a stretch. Geo-politically British?

                Anyway, we have strayed very far from my original intent which was to consider why the original geographic term ‘The British Isles’ and ‘British’ has morphed into unacceptability for some whereas this has not happened for Scandinavia.

                I would have been happier if you had commented yea or nay on my suggestion that it is mainly down to the difference in history where a synonymity, British=English, has taken place. To the extent where for many foreigners ‘Britain’ and ‘England’ are interchangeable where you see phrases like ‘The Brits and the Scots’.

                • Tol says:


                  I totally agree, people have the right to call themselves by any term. But just as artist can’t control how a viewer sees their work. Using a name that others hear as something else (the direct opposite of what you want to be) doesn’t help you.

                  This is a parallel to the Wendy problem. Once a boys name (e.g., Wendy or Shirley and more recently Robyn) becomes a popular girls name it stops functioning as a boys name,

                  • chicmac says:

                    We seem to have converged although, living in Kirriemuir I feel duty bound to point out that the common belief here is that the name ‘Wendy’ is contended to have been invented by J. M. Barrie and inspired by a young girl of his acquaintance who called him ‘Fwendy wendy’.

  21. Frank Gillougley says:

    Everything that Jack Collatin, Macart and Paul Kavanagh says and many others. The double standards that exist within the establishment are just the tip of …

  22. Macart says:

    This twitter thread.


    • This man thinks that the Red Tories will go with a specific pledge to outlaw Indyref 2 in the next UK GE manifesto in the clear knowledge that at least 455 of the potential voters who voted YES will not vote for the Red Tories?
      I observed before:
      He is a jumped up Shop Steward woefully out of his depth, at the shallow end of Branch Office politics.
      He needs a handler at all times.
      The Red Tories’ Malcolm F..Tucker must enjoy giving him the hair dryer treatment.
      He is simply not up to the non-job.

      • ‘455’? ‘45%’.
        I’m ranting again.
        How long will the Back Room Boys and Girls let this man front the Branch Office?

      • Macart says:

        So, in the space of two days there’s been a threat to remove Scots sovereignty. A threat against half of Scotland’s population. A sectarian scandal and a statement of intent by one Labour wit to ‘win back’ *their* UKIP voters.

        Conference going well then.

    • Jan Cowan says:

      Yes, Sam. I listened to that interview on GMS. Where do they learn to dodge the question without the slightest pause? That only comes naturally to a born liar.

      • Macart says:

        Oh they get schooled on evasion techniques Jan. How to handle interviews, that kinda thing. Also helps of course, when yer interviewer has the choice of going easy or not. Depends on the editorial O.P. of the day.

        Regardless, the message from Labour over the past few days is beyond depressing. They’ve made it abundantly clear aren’t fit to govern ALL of a population and by their own statements they’ve made it quite clear who they deem fit to live in *their* world.

        Their choice.

  23. Col says:

    Maybe we scot nats should be I’m scot but,buts. I’m Scottish but I’m also British but I don’t want England to run my country anymore so I’m voting to return powers from Westminster to holyrood. Simples

  24. Marconatrix says:

    “… threatening to extirpate them”
    That’s a nice fancy word. Will we be seeing extirpation camps?

  25. Clapper57 says:

    Omit…..suppress….diminish……..distort…….MSM oblige in failing to report the many misdemeanors committed by Unionist political parties and their members.

    Highlight…..encourage…..increase…..explicit….MSM oblige in seeking out , via their cough cough ‘some’ sources aka Unionist parties members, information provided by these sources as headlines and articles in the press and news reports in televised media in respect to the SNP .

    Unfortunately we have a percentage of the public reliant on MSM for their information thus they are oblivious to the double standards , as referred to by many on here, deployed by both the Unionist politicians and their respective parties AND the supposed FREE PRESS…. Lol …..a la MSM.

    Last night I watched Scotland Tonight and the STV news headlines which followed the programme. There was nothing on Miles Briggs… fact the last part of Scotland Tonight covered the BBC drama The Bodyguard…….a far cry from the Mark McDonald and Alex Salmond news stories which were given priority and top billing in both cases on this same programme

    This exemplifies their priority and bias….thus the seriousness and method with which this Miles Briggs case was investigated….. via an in house investigation by the Tories……is deemed a non story by the media and not worth investigating or challenging……….really ?

    The STV news that followed also chose to omit this story …..story dead… quickly ? Even with the comments by The Rape Crisis centre ? Nothing to see here……….sorry but no one can say they, the media , do not use different methods for the SNP and Unionist parties….actually there was also NOTHING mentioned on Scotland Tonight re Andy Kerr’s comments at labour conference and they , Scotland Tonight, actually covered the Labour conference in their show !……… wonder I wanted to put my foot through the TV….frustrated and angry does not cover how I feel re these devious tactics being deployed by a media blatantly sympathetic to the cause of the Union.

    Yet social media is apparently the culprit in spreading fake news and exploiting people……really ?

    We really should get those currently reliant on MSM onto the internet ….that is the key to them seeing there is TWO sides to all stories and they need to get more savvy and selective in their sources of news and information.

    If they do not they will be in eternal ignorance as to how much they are really really being manipulated and lied to by the current sources they have chosen to use as reliable and trustworthy sources of news and information.

    • Cubby says:

      There are two main categories of British Nationalists in Scotland.

      Cat 1. The Britnats who knowingly do the lying. THE BAD

      Cat 2. The Britnats who unknowingly are being lied to non stop by the Cat 1 Britnats. THE MISINFORMED STUPID


      For completeness I may as well mention Cat 3. Cat Boyd THE PHONEY Independence supporting Britnat.

      Scotlands own story the bad, the stupid and the phoney.

  26. Ken Clark says:

    Another great piece, Paul.

    The scales are falling from more and more Scottish eyes, helped, ironically, by the language of Britnats at all levels.

    Yesterday’s Courier had a letter from one of the usual suspects, questioning Pete Wishart’s assertion that SNP ministers are being snubbed at Westminster.

    He described the SNP as, “sworn political enemies of the British State”. He obviously didn’t think it through, or being so blinded by his hatred failed to realise the logical extension of his comment results in half of Scotland’s electorate being his, “enemies”.

    The cognitive dissonance you remark on is there, with representatives from Scotland accused of being anti-British.

    God only knows the levels of frothing to be reached after the announcement of another independence referendum.

    Popcorn and tin hats at the ready.

  27. grizebard says:

    We dream of something better. We’ve learned how to hope again. Labour can’t take that away from us.

    Exactly so. Couldn’t have said it better.

    All that Labour can do is to try to kill that hope by stirring-up disengagement and disillusionment. What a miserable end to the one-time party of “progress”.

    Well, we are holding out for something way better than that.

  28. Dan Huil says:

    Labour, like the tory party, is imploding over brexit. Britnat parties are at their weakest. Time for Scotland to get radical. Time to kick the britnats when they’re down. It’s what they deserve.

  29. Cubby says:

    Labour Building Britain
    For the many(England) not the few(Scotland, Wales, N Ireland)

  30. Kat hamilton says:

    Well done Hetty…as an outsider from ‘the west’, i would say that’s a pretty much a typical view from the capital…been to a few rallies there and haven’t felt the love. Seen the numbers or passion that’s been on show elsewhere…maybe I’m being a tad unkind but Indy 1 voting figures show Lothians and auld reekie pretty much Brit nat territory and will be a tough nut to crack…Hopefully I’ll be totally wrong and see things have changed on October 6th…time to wake up Dunedin…

    • James cheyne says:

      They just love Scotland,they just don’t want the people that come with it ,this talk reminds me of the highland clearances rhetoric prior to cleansing Scotland of its Scottish people,

  31. James cheyne says:

    They just love Scotland,they just don’t want the people that come with it ,this talk reminds me of the highland clearances rhetoric prior to cleansing Scotland of its Scottish people,

  32. wm says:

    One of your best Paul, and I agree with most of the comments.Tick/tock.

  33. Stookie says:

    Slightly delayed but thanks Jack that’s the movie!
    Noo ahm away tae watch it. Where’s the popcorn

  34. Thanks, Paul, and I entirely agree with your comments… you cannot look to the future when dreaming of the past: whatever you imagined it to have been? – reality will not comply!

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