The myth makers of Westminster


I wouldn’t normally give the oxygen of publicity to anything published by the extremoyoons of the laughably misnamed A Force For Good. They’re the tiny wee group of far right zoomers who stand at independence rallies and shout abuse at indy supporters while thon guy with the manky shirt preaches with a megaphone. They make Ukip seem like open armed welcomers of all things Islamic.

You can get a good idea of the contents of their website if you imagine a bus full of wasps which is on fire and has been driven into a nursery school attached to a children’s hospital. Only without the zenlike calm which that mental image implies. My attention was drawn recently to an article which makes even the batshit zoomery which is the baseline state for this grupiscule seem like a sedate outing in scientific reasonableness. The claim that the union is really 5000 years old.

The basis of this claim is that Neil Oliver said so on the BBC, so it must be holy writ. More exactly the extremoyoons are getting confused between cultural areas and political unions. Back in the Neolithic, a megalith culture spread across the British Isles, seemingly having its centre in Orkney. What A Force For Good don’t mention is that this culture also spread beyond the British Isles to France. Later on in the Iron Age, the British Isles were a part of a common Celtic culture and language area that stretched across Europe from Ireland and Scotland to the Balkans and Turkey. Funnily enough A Force For Good are not arguing that this means we need to remain a political union with the EU. I wonder why.

Culture areas are not political unions. They don’t even provide evidence that all the areas which participated in the culture area belong people speaking the same language or possessing the same ethnic identity. One of the most clearly defined culture areas in aboriginal North America was in the Pacific North West. All the inhabitants of this area participated in a unique culture distinguished by totem poles, the potlatch ceremony, religious beliefs centring on a raven god, and had similar maritime based economies. They were all closely linked by ties of trade and exchange. However the area was also home to dozens of different languages, and dozens of different tribal groups which fought and warred constantly with one another. There’s no reason to believe that the British Isles during the neolithic era were any different.

What this illustrates is that opponents of independence base many of their claims in romanticised myths. Yet that’s precisely what they accuse independence supporters of. Myth-making is the foundation stone of anti-independence arguments. The biggest myth of all perhaps, and one that is deeply beloved of British nationalists, is the myth that Scotland is financially dependent upon the UK.

The real nature of this so-called financial dependence has been revealed by the McCrone Report, which has just been published by The National newspaper. The report has been available online for a while, but this is the first time that it’s been published in print in a Scottish newspaper. Until now, the Scottish press have preferred to pretend that the McCrone Report didn’t happen. That’s because the report reveals that this isn’t a union of equal partners, it’s a hostage situation. The purpose of this supposed union is to keep Scotland poor and dependent. It’s to ensure that Scotland remains a reservoir of natural resources and skilled labour for the rest of the UK.

The Herald, you know that ahem ‘neutral’ newspaper, responded by publishing a short statement by Gavin McCrone himself. The report’s author says that the report was never hushed up, as it was a confidential report for ministers which was never intended to be published in the first place. I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty much like the definition of hushed up to me. Whether the report was hushed up, or was always intended to be confidential is semantic nitpicking and makes no material difference. Information about the true state of the Scottish economy which could have had a substantial impact on the debate about independence was still kept a secret from the people of Scotland by the British establishment. Yet again, supporters of the British state have to resort to sophistry.

However the point here is that those government ministers for whom the report was intended continued to tell Scotland that it was a subsidy junkie which couldn’t afford independence, and continued to minimise the economic potential of the oil to Scotland, and still minimise the contribution that Scotland has made to the UK’s finances, despite knowing that over the course of the past 45 years Scotland has been a net subsidiser of the UK. That’s the point. The issue here is not what Mr McCrone thought was supposed to happen with his report, the issue is what successive British governments did with the information that it contained. They kept it from the people of Scotland who pay their wages in order to ensure that the people of Scotland kept paying their wages.

Neither is the issue that we should be trying to move away from the exploitation of fossil fuels because of the environment and climate change. Of course we should. Nor is the issue that circumstances have changed and therefore the report is a less relevant assessment of Scotland’s economic potential today than it was when it was written. Well duh. Of course. Way to go to point out the obvious there guys. Absolutely no one is arguing that the McCrone Report remains an up to date assessment of Scotland’s economic potential in 2019. That is not and was never the point.

The point is that Westminster flushed Scotland’s wealth down the toilet of the City of London, and they are now telling us that we’re too poor to leave them. They’ve impoverished Scotland, yet insist that we need to trust them with our finances and economy. It’s like having a partner who spends your inheritance on drink and gambling, who brings you to financial ruin while he drives about in an expensive car which he won’t let you have the keys to, and then he tells you that because he’s spent all your money that you’re too poor to leave him.

The point is one of trust, or rather the lack of it. If the British government is prepared to lie to us to the extent revealed by the McCrone Report, if it is prepared to keep the truth from us in order to prevent the people of Scotland making an informed decision about their future, then it’s legitimate to ask what other information the British government is withholding from us right now. We have a government in Westminster which patently does not trust the people of Scotland, as evidenced by the fact that it has been proven to keep vital and relevant information from us about the economic potential of Scotland. Therefore the question raised by the McCrone Report is why should the people of Scotland trust the British government? Why should we believe a government which has repeatedly lied to us and which has been proven to lie. What proof do we have that they have changed? The answer to that last question is none.

Unions imply equality, trust, and good faith. There is precious little of that in Westminster’s dealings with Scotland. The real point is that this is a so-called union that is based upon lies, myths, and deception, and as such it is no union at all. In that respect the myth-makers of Westminster have more in common with the zooming extremists of A Force For Good than they’d care to admit. When what Westminster tells us doesn’t add up, it’s time for Scotland to subtract itself.



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21 comments on “The myth makers of Westminster

  1. […] Wee Ginger Dug The myth makers of Westminster I wouldn’t normally give the oxygen of publicity to anything published by the […]

  2. Andy Anderson says:

    A well known phrase is “there are lies, dam lies and statistics”. A new version maybe that “there are lies, dam lies and our glorious union”.

    Good article Paul.

  3. Why do the people of Scotland trust the UK government? Half of them – give or take – do not.

    The other half are, possibly too stupid to understand the complexities of grown up thinking, too deeply ingrained in sectarian (sub)cultures which make them dependent for their identity on blind obedience to the crown, too terrified by the usual scaremongery they read in the paper or hear/see on the broadcast news, too unwilling to think for themselves and instead seek obscurity a herd mentality, or so financially dependent on the Londoncentric economy they are terrified by Scottish autonomy.

    I knew about the Crone Report, but read it in full this morning for the first time. The fact that all this has been known by the establishment and powers that be for over forty years and yet they continue to pedal the myth that we are too poor to survive independently, means they are not now, nor will they ever be worthy of trust.

    One rather marginal point made in the report seems particularly pertinent here; the only thing standing in the way of Scottish independence is English Bitterness and British Nationalism. Seems about right.

  4. Robert Graham says:

    maybe my memory is playing tricks but i have noticed recently any attempt at basing the argument on actual truth and facts has well an truly gone out the window , I have never in my life read and witnessed so many bare faced lies , its as if a switch has been flicked , Hey Guys Look we can say what we like and not one News outlet will care , in fact they will Cheer us on now isn’t that great
    A very sad day if this ever becomes the norm , I believe they are taking their Cue from the top Mrs Mayhem and her gang of crooks are setting the standard , follow closely what she says it seems to come naturally to this woman she cant bring herself to come even close to telling the truth .

  5. Macart says:

    Couldn’t agree more.

    Successive governments of the UK didn’t exactly do this for the good or betterment of Scotland’s population either. They did it for theirs. They did it purely for the interests and advantage of the political system. They did it for a number of reasons tbf. It was after all a magic money tree so far as they were concerned.

    Whether Labour or Conservative, the sovereignty and primacy of Westminster parliament came first in their eyes. The gentleman’s club. The cushy hegemony. The right little earner.

    Folk want to know why Westminster’s answer to the question of Full Fiscal Autonomy, Federalism and a partnership of equals has always been no?

    That’d be mainly greed and political advantage then.

    • It’s jusrt approaching 6.30.
      I think I’ll tune into the Sally/Jackie half hour.
      surely McCrone will get a mention, or is it potholes, carpark charges, death of children by pigeon droppings or school music lessons tonight?
      See that Bad SNP. Whit ur they like?
      Great piece,Paul.

      • No, not a word on McCrone, but the headline news in Scotland was…car ownership has topped 3 million.
        David Henderson got the gig presenting this important but hardly hold the front page five minutes of nothing really.
        I noted that as he stood freezing in the darkness on an M8 flyover in Glasgow City centre that he had a nasty graze on his forehead.
        Was this self inflicted when he bashed his head off the wall as he was handed the script for this diversionary piece of twaddle.
        Of course car park charges for workers got a mention.
        Alberto Costa was sacked as Mundell’s PPS today because he had the temerity to attempt to persuade his own Blue Tory Government to include safeguarding the rights of UK citizens working travelling or settled in the EU post Brexit.
        We had to have Neill Lennon ascending the throne at Parkhead first, INEOS repairing the ‘Forties pipeline which will ensure its future into the middle of the century, so McCrone was right, there’s black gold in tham thar seas for decades to come.
        Glenn Campbell was outside WM and Distorting Scotland edited out Costa’s speech in Parliament, and Glenn summarised its content for us al…aye right.
        No interview with Mundell who must have been the man who issued Costa with his P 45?
        Of course not.
        BBC Distorting Scotland needn’t even try any more.
        Martin will ‘balance’ the news at 9 o’ clock tonight, to dead air, the main reason for BBC Jockland.
        Nobody will be watching it.
        You are correct, Paul.
        We shall no longer be mugs, subservient serfs held in check as England’s Cash Cow Colony.
        BY the Chief, the campaign for Indyref 2 must be on the front foot. We must give them no peace nor quarter.
        When they lie and threaten, we make sure that the whole of Scotland realise that they are being deceived and bullied.
        I can’t see The Clunking Fist and Lord Darling of Flipper campaigning, can you?
        The Herald is a pathetic husk of a ‘paper now.
        I will not rue its inevitable demise, and I took this once heavy weight broadsheet for fifty years.

        • patziwinter says:

          Thank you, Jack, for taking one for the team and watching the travesty that is presented as news for Scots. This confirmed that it was as patronising and twisted as expected without me having to suffer through it and relieved my husband of the anxiety that his beloved television might be smashed to smithereens before his eyes. You have our gratitude.

  6. deelsdugs says:

    Excellent again Paul.

    I’m sure they’ll have an extended Neil the Knob, (he really infuriates me, and I was hoping he might have been in Orkney last July so I could stand behind him wielding my mattock, with intent, whilst he flicked his hair back) ‘Great British’, Neolithic Orkney programme on again very soon, just to try and remind us that ‘Great Britain’ has always existed…aye right…naw it husnae. I’m not the only one who frequently rants at any bbc facebook post-thing which appears in my newsfeed that has him in it trying to shove this down our throats…we ancient students of archaeology, and Scottish cultural studies cannae hack the nonsense. He’s an embarrassment.
    He’s also paid by the high heid yins who think it’s just fine and dandy to knock us down, steal the wedge and tell us we’re thick…no, we’re no. Word is, they employ him because of the ‘look’ – the hair – and that he’s really a very quiet chap…🤔🙄

  7. JGedd says:

    I remember the documentary featuring Neil Oliver about the recent archaeological discoveries at the Ness of Brodgar with him continually referring to the nearby mainland as Britain. Never once – as far as I recall – did he ever refer to it as the Scottish mainland. Of course, zoomers latch on to that kind of coded message and Mr Oliver knows that too.

    It seems that just about anything is up for appropriating to the British nationalist narrative including prehistory, using ‘Britiain’ and ‘British’ at a time when there were no nation states. I wonder what they will make of recent DNA investigation which seems to suggest that we are not descended from the megalith builders after all, but that there was population replacement by incomers from Europe whose origins were in the Pontic steppe. None of us are British then?

    Trying to make political capital from what happened in the distant past is nonsensical and I wish they would stop it. It only makes them look stupid and very obvious.

  8. Melvin says:

    There is a belief in the “unionist” community the flute
    Playing , bowler hat veriaty that independence is a “catholic thing” I heard a guy say it. It’s unbeleivable that thoughts like that take hold. It really says something about the British nationalists . You know the type that organise the bbc to put them on the front row, in a “non partisan way” this pure vile bs . When you so poisonous and ingrained that your life revolves around it. It’s medieval and shows a complete lack of intelligence, no questioning and no moral compass .

    Why is Scotland so blighted by these so called British. The fact that they believe it even when told that I am an atheist. It’s really quite disconcerting and makes you understand why people resort “ diplomacy by other means”

    How are we going to get them to understand that they are suffering from Stockholm syndrome . Scotland is a rich and open society. It’s just a pity that we have thieves and liars in the British state as neighbours.

    • Charles McGregor says:

      It is not so long ago when catholic voters were mostly SLAB supporters, when many of the high profile SLAB politicians were, in fact , catholic.

      But a weak (Lab) is a long time in politics as someone once (didn’t) say.

      Many years ago in Greenock,as an indy supporter in the dark days, I came across flat occupants with crucifixes or pictures of the Pope on the wall who told us the SNP were the ‘Proddy Party’ because the SLAB boys had told them that and in the same block of flats people with pictures of King Billy or the Queen on their walls who told us the SNP were the ‘Papist Party’ because the SLAB boys had told them so.

      That, and car ferrying old folk from care homes to the poll stations, with the promise of a cup of tea and a biscuit, when we were not even allowed to deliver leaflets into care homes, was the SLAB tactics of the time.

      Long may they rot.

      • patziwinter says:

        Indeed, Charles, much of what you say echoes the themes going around in the West End of Glasgow in my youth. I recall being told that priests preached “vote Labour” in the chapel. I didn’t know what happened in a chapel but, even at eight or nine years old, it seemed an unlikely tale..

      • m iyd says:

        Interesting point re the carehomes. I heard in my area, rural Perthshire, the Tories were going into care homes to warn the elderly folk that they would lose their pensions if they voted for Independence in 2014!

    • Ask any English person what country they come from not one will say Britain.

  9. bringiton says:

    Britishness in Scotland seems to attract those of an authoritarian mind set,
    i.e, those who subscribe to might is right and their legitimising of violence as a means to an end.
    Scottish independence represents a threat to these attitudes as they would be marginilised and seen as being extreme crack pots (some of them are definitely on the crack and the pot!).
    Rule Britannia.

  10. patziwinter says:

    Reblogged this on Patzi Winter and commented:
    Wee Ginger Dog on the publishing of The McCrone Report

  11. Clachangowk says:

    Westminster Government?? Much too positive.

    I always refer to the Westminster Regime

  12. I note that Jackson Carlaw and Richard Leonard have joined forces and are burning books and effectively banning pensioners and those of a weak bladder from the Granite City.
    The Red and Blue Tory Council is shutting libraries and closing public toilets.
    Never mind as long as the drinks cabinet is well stocked.

    Other Red Blue and Yellow Tories the length of our land are depriving children of a warm midday meal.
    Meanwhile A Blue Tory List MSP Jamie Greene has swanned off to the Caribbean on a wee winter warmer of a jolly: he must think that he’s one of the Windsor Clan.

    They are on the verge of extinction.

    For the Many not the few; for the just about managing, unless like me, you are in your seventies and get caught short in Aberdeen.

    Yet more chipping away at the social fabric of Scotland by the Brit Nat Multi coloured Tories.
    Any statement from Mundell on his sacking of Alberto Costa?
    He voted against the SNP motion to take No Deal off the table because the Bad SNP want a No Deal outcome so that they can call a second Referendum?
    Who the hell voted for this self serving idiot?
    I note that Mama Davidson is staying well out of the road; wonder why?

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