The politics of jimmy wigs


The Uncle Tam is the Scot who tries to ingratiate himself with the English upper and middle classes by pandering to all the worst racist stereotypes which are current about Scottish people amongst sections of the English population. There’s a long list of them, the drunken Scot, the begging Scot, the ungrateful Scot, the chippy Scot, the nostalgic Scot, the violent Scot, the incomprehensible Scot, the self-pitying Scot, the grievance-mongering Scot, the tight-fisted Scot, the dour Scot, the sullen Scot, the vegetable-phobic Scot, the English-hating Scot, and the humourless Scot who points out that these tropes are indeed racist stereotypes and nor merely harmless banter.

Some Scots who have moved to England feel the need to effect to despise their fellow country men and women in order to make their new English colleagues and acquaintances feel more at ease with the quasi-foreigner in their midst. They torture their accents, they come down with bad cases of irritable vowel syndrome, they distance themselves from any manifestations of overt Scottishness in order to highlight that they are not like those benighted Caledonians back in the Auld Country.

It’s interesting to note that the reverse never happens. English people who move to Scotland retain their English accents even after many decades of living here. That doesn’t mean they’re not accepted, not at all. But what it does tell us is that those Scots who move to England and effect Anglicised accents are doing so on purpose. They’re doing it because they’re ashamed, because they seek to ingratiate themselves, because they wish to downplay their Scottishness in the face of the anti-Scottish stereotypes which are rampant. And yet it’s supposed to be Scotland which has a problem with anti-English racism. Anti-Scottish racism in England isn’t a thing, we’re frequently told, it’s just a spot of banter. Yet it’s Scots who move to England who demonstrably alter their behaviour, not English people who move to Scotland. What does that tell you?

Michael Gove never got that accent in a fishmongers in Aiberdeen. Every time he opens his mooth he is trying to persuade the social circles amongst which he now moves that he’s better than the rump lumpen mass of Caledonianry that he left behind, because he and his like have adopted the mannerisms, vocal inflexions, and attitudes of the English upper class, wholesale. By doing so they confirm the beliefs of the British ruling classes that Scots require British rule in order to save us from ourselves. We can only progress within the UK by ceasing to be Scottish.

But people like Michael go beyond that, they also feel the need to denigrate the rest of us in order to aggrandise themselves. That’s what was responsible for Michael Gove’s extraordinary exercise in self-loathing broadcast on Channel 4 in 1992 which has recently been unearthed. If you haven’t seen it, it’s on The National, here.

And because someone has kindly uploaded it to Youtube, I am able to embed it here in all its self-loathing horror.

The wannabe Prime Minister tells us that we are unattractive creatures, inarticulate drunks on the Embankment, given to begging on the London Underground and wheedling spare cash from our English betters. Even in Parliament, he loftily informs us, a Scottish accent is invariably accompanied by an outstretched palm.

Mikey trotted through the racist stereotypes held by some in England about the Scots, and by apparently espousing them reassured those who held them that they can’t be racist because the same views were being aired by a Scot. By so doing he validated and reinforced them. A black person, an Asian person, a member of any other ethnicity or national group, would have had far greater self-awareness. No one does self-loathing like the North Briton in full flight from their Scottishness, those tartan bedecked court jesters at the court of union, reducing a nation to jimmy wigs and buckie bottles.

They are the uncle and auntie Tams and what they prove, unwittingly and unconsciously, is that this so-called precious union, this supposed family of nations, demands that those of us who are not English accommodate to English culture and identity, because the converse is unthinkable. The problem has to be our accent, because it can never be their ears.

Back in 1997, when the campaign for the devolution referendum was in full swing, Newsnight on BBC presented a debate from the ancient Scottish Parliament. Assorted Scottish worthies gathered to discuss whether Scotland required a new parliament. One of the questions that they were asked was whether Scotland had influenced England to the extant that England has influenced Scotland. The North British worthies who dominated the room agreed that it had. They they all were, discussing Scotland in the English language for the benefit of an English audience. None of them paused to consider that had Scotland really been as great a cultural influence on England as England has upon Scotland, that English ears might be quite comfortable hearing Scots, and would put any failure to comprehend down to their own poverty of listening skills and not to the supposed incomprehensibility of a Scots tongue. The truth is that the cultural accommodations demanded by the UK’s supposed family of nations are all in one direction.

What is true of culture and language is just as true of politics. Scottish politics are expected to accommodate to the political requirements of England, the converse is unthinkable. Scotland is expected to surrender to whatever form of Brexit the rulers of England impose, but it is inconscionable that the Brexiters of England might be asked to forgo their demands because Scotland doesn’t wish to leave the EU. Scotland is to be bent out of shape to accomodate England’s political will, and if Scotland complains it can only be because the Scots are ungrateful and chippy beggars. All that is on offer to Scotland within the UK is the politics of jimmy wigs.

Michael Gove’s childish pandering to anti-Scottish tropes tells us plenty about him as an individual. But it also tells us that Scotland as a whole can only exist within the UK by virtue of being deformed, denigrated, and despised. As long as Scotland remains a part of the UK, our politics, culture, identity, and future will always be subordinated to the demands of a British establishment which holds us in contempt. It makes Uncle and Auntie Tams of all of us. As long as Scotland remains a part of the UK, we’ll be the jimmy wig on the top of the island. Michael Gove might think that Scotland is a joke, but it’s only with independence that we can prove that he’s the fool.

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41 comments on “The politics of jimmy wigs

  1. JSM says:

    Reblogged this on Ramblings of a 50+ Female and commented:
    My dad was English and to me, he sounded Scottish but to friends, he sounded English!

  2. Daisy Walker says:

    He’s the Scottish Torie’s number 1 choice apparently for PM – they think because he’s Scottish he will appeal to Scottish Voters.

    Not once that video gets circulated – the Tory Uncle Tam right enough.

    Hope we can take a leaf out of Lead By Donkeys playbook and get some billboard posters of the cringing wee creep.

    And what is it about that party – Rory the Tory’s another one you wouldn’t let anywhere near the kids or your sister. Creepy bams one and all.

  3. Shetland knew Norman Lah-mawnt as “Norman Lamunt”. Apparently, back home, David Mahndehll belongs to a family known as “Munnel”….as in Hyacinth Bucket.
    Time to read “TheTwa Dugs” again.
    How long before all this ends???

  4. Jan Cowan says:

    Brilliant piece of writing. Puts Gove and his ilk where they deserve to be – in with the jokes..

  5. If England decided to hold a referendum on whether England should be an Independent nation again, would we Scots have the power of veto: ‘Noo isnae the time’.

    We do not need England’s permission.
    Gove is a chinless little nobody.
    He’s a Scot so the 120,000 blue rinse Miss Marples won’t vote for him.
    Raab is Jewish, so has no chance. Esther McVey has a Scouse accent, and she’s another woman; no chance.
    Matt Hancock looks as though he couldn’t tackle a fish supper, never mind the EU 27. Next!
    Leadsom the Mother Courage had her chance and blew it with the Childless May aberration.
    Rees Mogg wants to be Puppet Master, not the Puppet, besides it all sounds like really hard work for the spawn of Bertie Wooster.
    I predict a Boris Coronation, unless Spreadsheet Phil or Stephen Barclay rise without trace.
    I doubt that we can wait until the second half of 2020, as NS hints. (when are we going to fire the3 starting gun?
    We go without Mundell’s blessing.
    It’s either that or I raise an army and march on Edinburgh Castle.
    Gove really is a little obsequious shit.

  6. Bob Lamont says:

    Was this not Gove’s wooden attempt at satire in something called “Stab in the Dark” or similar?
    Perhaps it could be re-screened as “Stab in the Back” or “Alas poor Boris”
    Can’t stand the man, nor Mundell for that matter…

  7. Interpolar says:

    That was a hideous video on any terms. It reflects worse on Gove than on the audience, who frankly didn’t seem to find it very funny.

    I wonder if he should submit himself to the same standards and imagine himself as others see him? …

  8. Terry callachan says:

    Bob Lamont. Correct it was stab in the dark it was creepy , pathetic stuff.

    This is the best writing by weegingerdug yet , absolutely spot on , brave and resolute , well done indeed.

    • Cubby says:

      An anti English racist complaining about anti Scottish racism. Thats you Terry old boy.

  9. Welsh Sion says:

    We have them, too, aka Dic Sion Dafydd:

    And as for language, WGD, you should of course highlighted how certain English ears have often denigrated the Celtic tongues (and others) of these islands over the centuries – and indeed, some monolingual dinosaurs continue to do so,

    See also …

  10. Macart says:

    Fella reminds me of Kaa from Disney’s Jungle Book movie.

    Can’t think why. 🙄

  11. Brilliant post! Michael Gove as the butt of jokes is always a hit with me

  12. bringiton says:

    I really believe that Brexit has finally put an end to the idea of being British.
    The UK has been reduced to it’s component parts and the Scottish wannabes who cloaked themselves in the Union Jack in order to further their personal interests are now in no man’s land.
    No country for old men/women or Scottish Tory wannabe PMs.
    One nation now only extends to Berwick beyond which,There be Picts.

  13. benmadigan says:

    that was a horrible video.
    Gove is a rather nasty type.
    Don’t forget he wrote a vicious pamphlet against the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, saying it was a ‘rigged referendum’ and ‘mortal stain’

    Neither Scottish or Northern Irish nationalists have any hope of understanding from this individual

    PS Paul – with regards to “Some Scots who have moved to England feel the need to effect to despise their fellow country men and women in order to make their new English colleagues and acquaintances feel more at ease with the quasi-foreigner in their midst. They torture their accents,They distance themselves from any manifestations of overt Scottishness in order to highlight that they are not like those benighted Caledonians back in the Auld Country.”

    If that’s like the Irish who emigrated “across the water”- it was in their best interests to imitate and acquire an English accent quickly so as to fit in.
    They looked like the English in colouring, They had the same background in schooling, BBC and press exposure,
    A survival mechanism, if you will. And who could blame them or complain?

    “they come down with bad cases of irritable vowel syndrome”,

    I do not believe you have really appreciated extreme cases of this syndrome until you come to Unionist NI – not England.
    It is particularly marked among ladies of a certain age – you can listen to their strange strangulated pronunciation of English as they strive to convince the listener that a)they are English b)they are upper/ upper-middle class and c) they are better than you – whoever you are.
    The English don’t fall for it, the native Irish don’t, real toffs/academics/experts from either side don’t, working classes think they are a sort of Hyacinth Bucket.
    Yet they think they are wonderful – true English

    I wonder what sort of split personality develops among such people.
    How much does the mask cost in psychological terms?

  14. Charles McGregor says:

    You have to feel a bit of pity for someone so screwed up though.

  15. Iain says:

    There used to be a female equivalent of Gove, a Labour MEP called Jenny Buchan who continued to speak in a Scottish accent but to publicly remind Scots that we needed to be guided by the English and so he saved from ourselves. Punch (I think) had a great edition around the 1979 devolution fiasco in which Aunty Tom and her (funnily enough) anti-EU views were outlined. Actually, she was more like Kate Joey than Michael Gove but just as risible as both.

  16. Les Cunningham says:

    Arguably, the desire by some Scots to ape the English has not been confined to those who have moved to England, according to a song I remember listening to back in the sixties.

  17. Platinum Blondie says:

    I didn’t recognise him at first. He sounds Scottish, so when did he scour his vocal cords to effect the wierd sounds he now makes?

  18. Dave Albiston says:

    Gove seems to have worked on eliminating any trace of a Scottish accent. It’s still detectable in that video but it’s now disappeared entirely. I wonder how he talks to his adoptive parents who have broad Doric accents.

    I suspect that he would like to eliminate all traces of Scottishness from the people of Scotland.

  19. deelsdugs says:

    Another hard hitting truth be post Paul. Excellent.

  20. paul mccormack says:

    Just how RACIST is that? Shocking, I know, but it really only goes to show how culturally subjugated we are and have been. In my book, Blacking up, or wearing a jimmy wig amount to the same thing. Both are unconscionable. Monstrous. This is the equivalent of watching ‘Love thy neighbour’ and the toe-rag should be exposed as such.

    This drip drip shit even still happens as on HIGNFY the other night, when there was a lame crap joke delivered by Victoria Corn Mitchell (yet another entitled nepotistic Z celeb) about a scotsman leaving his loose change on a train and having to go back to get it. The tumbleweed was audible.

    As ever, I’m with Jack Collatin on this. Gove really is an obsequious wee shite.

  21. Macart says:

    Apparently the Tory leadership candidates are going to have a telly debate… (sigh) FFS!

    Leadership… Uh hunh! Leading what to where and how?

    Not entirely sure they’ve been paying attention you know.

  22. Graeme says:

    Although I agree with everything you say, I have to admit that I personally do alter the way I speak to English people in England, not because I’m ashamed of my accent but because I have a strong Dundee accent and I do it to make myself understood clearly,

    Very often I’ve had people talk to me in their strong accent and I can barely understand a word they say, so I think it’s good manners to understand that our accent isn’t always easily understood in other parts of the UK in the same way it isn’t fair to go to say France and expect everyone there to understand English particularly our version of it

  23. George Drever says:

    I’ve often observed that there are some of ‘us’ who HATE being Scottish.

  24. ArtyHetty says:

    A very nasty piece of work, one of those jumped up insignificant and irrelevant squirts who is given a platform by the English compliant media. Disgusting.

    I always wondered where the term, ‘Scot free’ comes from. It is used still, I saw it recently I think in a US series that we sometimes watch!

    Always seems to have been used in a negative sense, as if Scotland’s people take freebies, or get off ‘Scot free’, for what? Anyone know the true meaning? It might have a different meaning come independence!

    Oh and let’s not forget the English rejecting our Scottish notes. I knew a ( no voting couple!) who accepted one of them effectively being held hostage at a garage in remote part of south England,
    ( when the teller flatly refused to accept their Scottish notes) a couple of years back, while one had to drive to an ATM to get some English notes! I would have said’ call the cops if you like, but you are not keeping my partner hostage, I am offering you legal tender’! The Scottish cringe is alive for some!

    I am originally from North England, after 30 years in Scotland, I am Scottish. Having read a bit about the history of Scotland, I find the treatment by the English, of past Scots and the country of Scotland, absolutely abhorrent.

    The damage of 300 years to Scotland in such an unequal so called union, is being repaired slowly, and against huge odds, with a government who works FOR Scotland. We cannot allow the Britnats to reverse that, which is why independenceis the only option now.

    Saor Alba.

  25. Mark Russell says:

    Brilliant. If Mickey did become the next PM and decided to take a weekend break to Glasgow to celebrate, I’d book a ticket. A couple of years ago, giving evidence at a Crown Court criminal case, I was stopped several times by the judge and asked to repeat what I’d said. As she became more exasperated, she asked: “what language are you speaking in?”, “do we need an interpreter?” and “haven’t you heard of queen’s english, Mr Russell?”.

    Deeply regret not telling her to fuck off. (I’ve worked and lived away from Scotland for 30 years and never had a problem being understood, even with a Fife accent)

    Gove is an arse-licker – and will have been playing to a receptive and appreciative audience. One that associates every Scottish accent with his sentiments. Personally, I’m in favour of kidnapping the wee shite and keeping him in a care home in Kelty for the rest of his days, hooked up to a 24 hour supply of Largactil. But as for the rest? Do what I should have done with the judge.

  26. Welsh Sion says:

    Sharing, though no doubt most here will have had their copy, too. Please share with those who have not.


    Independence bill

    Referendum bill

    Dear Sion,

    Earlier today we published the draft legislation that will pave the way for a new referendum on Scottish independence.

    The legislation will set the rules for any referendum held in Scotland – such as who gets to vote and how the campaigns will be regulated.

    Within this parliamentary term, I am determined that Scotland will have the opportunity to choose to be an independent European nation.

    Throughout the Brexit process, Scotland has been treated with contempt by Westminster. Our efforts to find compromise and protect the interests of the people of Scotland, have been ignored.

    Now, we face a choice between two very different futures. On one hand, being dragged out of Europe against our will and locked in to a hard Brexit with all the risks that will entail.

    On the other, Scotland choosing a different and better path. As an independent country, Scotland’s future will be in Scotland’s hands and we can play our full part in the international community.

    The SNP has a mandate for a referendum on Scottish independence, is the new platform for our independence campaign – visit the website to sign the independence pledge, download Yes materials and get active.

    We’ll soon announce more ways to get involved more directly in the campaign. You can keep up to date with all the latest developments by following Yes on Facebook and Twitter.

    Now is the time to start conversations with your friends, family and neighbours.

    Together, let’s make it happen.

    Nicola Sturgeon
    SNP Leader

  27. Macart says:

    Has anyone clocked Sajid Javid’s latest squawk? Apparently if he’s made PM he wouldn’t ‘allow’ Scotland a referendum.

    I’ve mentioned the callous arrogance and ignorance of the Westminster mindset before right?

    • Welsh Sion says:

      That Javid ‘squawk’:

      • Macart says:

        A Tory right enough WS. So not big on self awareness or irony at the best of times.

        His party and system of government have dropped the peoples of these islands into an economic, societal, political and constitutional mincer. Yet he won’t ‘allow’…

        That’ll end well. 🙄

  28. velofello says:

    My career took me to many countries, I never found any difficulty being understood, other than with the English. I did notice when I was moved to senior positions that this difficulty- with English staff ceased.

    It is a deliberate put down.Tip, ask the smart arses to repeat themselves as you didn’t understand them.Its fun, believe me,

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