Fury, denial and intellectual poverty : the state of British nationalism in Scotland


Possibly it was an outbreak of masochism, or a curiosity verging on the foolish, but the other day, using a burner account, I had a peek at anti-independence social media to get a feel of where the opposition is at. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting a huge amount, but I was shocked by the complete lack of anything approaching an analysis of why the political landscape in Scotland lies as it currently does. Such an analysis is vital if opponents of independence seek to remove what they see as the ‘threat’ of independence permanently from mainstream Scottish political discourse.

Instead what I found is that right wing Anglo-British nationalism in Scotland is characterised by fury, denial, and an abiding sense of victimhood. Blame for all these ills is heaped squarely at the door of the SNP, the other pro-independence parties scarcely seem to register with them and the existence of non-party political support for independence is not acknowledged. Any attempt to point out the manifest short comings, never mind the outright lies and corruption of this Conservative Government is airily dismissed as “grievance mongering.”

It is striking that there is absolutely no attempt amongst opponents of independence to discern why support for independence should be at the level it is, given what die-hard British nationalists believe to be the self-evident advantages of Westminster rule. You might imagine that understanding this would be vital to devising a strategy to halt the independence movement in its tracks and to put it into reverse. However all there appears to be is a furious anger at the SNP for “stoking up division” and a supposed anti-English racism, the ‘proof’ for which is deeply contrived and seems to consist of evidence free assertions that references to “Westminster” are in fact code for “the English” with no recognition of the political reality that as part of the UK, Westminster is a parliament with authority over Scotland too.

There is no recognition whatsoever that the actions of the main British political parties following the 2014 independence referendum might have played any part in creating the level of support for independence which currently exists in Scotland. All there is is a burning resentment that the SNP “refuses to accept the outcome of the 2014 referendum,” again there is no apparent awareness of other pro-independence parties or of civic Scotland in pushing for a second independence referendum, insofar as this is acknowledged, it is explained away as being because they are in the pocket of the SNP. No one in Scotland who supports Scottish independence or who believes that it is a democratic imperative that there must be another independence referendum is thought to have any sort of agency of their own. It’s all because of some all powerful SNP pulling the strings of Scottish society like some evil puppet master.

There is outright denial that the failure of the Westminster parties to honour the promises and commitments which they made as part of Better Together have any role to play in creating the current level of support for independence. Indeed there is rarely any acknowledgement of any failure at all on their part. Brexit is waved away because apparently “we all knew” it was a realistic prospect in 2014, and in any case Scotland didn’t vote against Brexit because it was a UK wide vote, so it’s irrelevant to them how people in Scotland voted. Equally there is no recognition that the Conservatives have been assiduous in their unilateral attempt to undermine and subvert the devolution settlement despite the promise that Westminster would not “normally” make any changes to devolution without the express consent of Holyrood.

We are dealing with a peculiar species of alternative reality which is angry and confused about the realities of modern Scotland and which lacks the conceptual framework to engage with it in any meaningful way. It’s a British nationalism which is putting all its eggs in the basket of refusing to accept that there can or will be another vote on independence in Scotland, because even though they would angrily deny it, they have no intellectual ammunition to win that debate.

The denial extends to outright denial of the existence of British nationalism, never mind a recognition of its dominance in the modern Conservative party. The only nationalism in Scotland is Scottish nationalism. Yet just this weekend Liz Truss, the front runner in the Conservative leadership contest denied the existence of the union and even the existence of Scotland as a nation in its own right, casually overturning generations of Scottish Unionist political thinking. Truss announced that she intends to personally take the post of Minister for the Union and said “We are not four separate nations in an agreement of convenience, as some would have us believe. We are one great country which shares a history and institutions, but also family and friends, memories and values.”

That is an explicit declaration of British nationalism and an outright denial that Scotland is a member nation in a union of nations. Truss went on to claim she would ensure that her policies were implemented in “all corners of our country,” adding “For too long, people in parts of our United Kingdom have been let down by their devolved administrations playing political games instead of focusing on their priorities. If elected prime minister, I will deliver for our whole country.”

This is an effective declaration of war on the devolution settlement , note that Truss cannot bring herself to accept that Scotland or Wales are countries in their own right, and certainly cannot acknowledge that they have governments, no, they have “devolved administrations”. This is what the Anglo-British nationalism of the modern Conservative party looks like, as it alienates the entire UK from Europe and identifies the parliaments in Edinburgh and Cardiff as enemies. If the Conservatives cannot win political power in Scotland or Wales through the ballot box, then the Welsh Senedd and the Scottish Parliament must be bludgeoned into submission using the Conservatives’ Commons majority which is of course based upon their English seats. But apparently pointing that out makes you a racist.

Yet British nationalism does not apparently exist when you are a British nationalist, even as British nationalist politicians wrap themselves in the British flag and make explicit denials that Scotland is a nation. One British nationalist social media account I came across expressed itself perplexed by the term British nationalist and asserted no such thing existed. Yet the account used a photo of Winston Churchill in its header and was friends with other accounts which draped themselves in Union flags, although of course, given what Truss has just said, these are not Union flags at all, but rather the flag of “one great country.” That’s not nationalist at all, oh no.

The intellectual poverty and denialism of much of the opposition to independence makes it singularly ill-equipped to fight another referendum campaign. That means that when there is a vote, as there inevitably will be, Better Together 2.0 will have nothing to draw on except anger and fear and the vacuous British bullshit of the Conservatives – with Starmer’s Labour running along in the Tory wake playing catch up. As soon as the vote is called, they will have already lost.


albarevisedMy Gaelic maps of Scotland are still available, a perfect gift for any Gaelic learner or just for anyone who likes maps. The maps cost £15 each plus £7 P&P within the UK. You can order by sending a PayPal payment of £22 to weegingerbook@yahoo.com (Please remember to include the postal address where you want the map sent to).

I am now writing the daily newsletter for The National, published every day from Monday to Friday in the late afternoon.  So if you’d like a daily dose of dug you can subscribe to The National, Scotland’s only pro-independence newspaper, here: Subscriptions from The National

This is your reminder that the purpose of this blog is to promote Scottish independence. If the comment you want to make will not assist with that goal then don’t post it. If you want to mouth off about how much you dislike the SNP leadership there are other forums where you can do that. You’re not welcome to do it here.

You can help to support this blog with a PayPal donation. Please log into Paypal.com and send a payment to the email address weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Or alternatively click the donate button below. If you don’t have a PayPal account, just select “donate with card” after clicking the button.

Donate Button

60 comments on “Fury, denial and intellectual poverty : the state of British nationalism in Scotland

  1. raineach says:

    There are 3 arguments against Independence
    1. We Love You [2014]
    2. You Don’t Exist [seems to be where we are now]
    3. We’ll Kill You [date to be supplied]

    • Steven says:

      Truss is in for a nasty shock politically and personally if she continues on this tack. A supine BBC and a right wing mainstream MSM will not hold her to account, meaning we will have to do it for them.

  2. Albis says:

    “Ein volk, ein reich, ein fuhrer-ess” is what the Truss really meant. Nae chance, hen.

  3. Statgeek says:

    Better get the ducks in a row, and have all the answers ready for the fear stories. If there’s a single one they can’t get an answer for, that’s the one they’ll fix on like a rabid pack fighting over its last meal.

    (Quite an apt epithet, really.)

    Let’s be sure that our questions are well documented too. A list of Brexit benefits please. Explanations for record high energy prices for a nation that is a net producer of energy. Whether “Strong and Stable” was really just a couple of dodgy English lawyers. Oh, and let’s not forget why it is more important to push legislation for electoral reform to alienate voters in the name of voter ID, than to push for legislation for electoral reform to prosecute politicians who lie, cheat, profit, and who also kill the people that voted for them (i.e. Covid mismanagement, to name one).

    The past three years have been a series of own goals at Westminster, and they have proved their inability to deliver on almost everything, but the obsequious media can’t see past the system, or the team they’re on, so they prop it up.

    Surely it’s time Scotland had its own media? Surely it’s time that Scotland had a media that didn’t rely on handouts and scraps from the table of the English license payer? A parcel of rogues might be a little dated. How about a Zoom meeting of rogues?

  4. Dr Jim says:

    When there is no reasoned argument against a proposition those who oppose it are only opposing the people who proposed that proposition
    The redefining of words to mean something offensive to those who uphold this position of opposition for lack of argument against is a common tactic, the word English for example is now defined by the opposition to independence as only a word that they or those who support them should be allowed to use, if anyone else uses the word English it must be taken as an insult, there’s your grievance and division politics right there, for they can insult, malign, denigrate all things Scotland or Scottish because they’ve taken steps to protect the word English, now redefined to mean something Scottish nationalists mean offensively when they speak that word, reverse racism in action

    • Statgeek says:

      Elected representatives laughing at slavery of one half of the wonderful Union. I wonder if Unionists laugh at this, or cringe, or double down on their fear?

      • Dr Jim says:

        Notice in particular over time how the English and British Nationalist representatives denigrate and mock Scotland and all things Scottish far more and with more volume than they would dare with, say, Russia

        Kinda tells you who they respect more

      • Eilidh says:

        Per Wikipedia she apologised for any offence caused by that comment about Scots being forced into slavery. Well just saw the above video and her comments greatly offended me. Wikipedia also tells she is now financial secretary in the treasury so in the government. Slagging off the Scots when you have a surname Frazer would be funny if it was not so pathetic. She is just another arrogant Tory scumbag.

        • Not-My-Real-Name says:

          ” she apologised for any offence caused by that comment about Scots being forced into slavery”

          Apology not accepted….as sure it was not sincere….she needs to own it…she wrote it…she said it….and she relished it ….and indeed the laughs that she generated….

          Cheap laughs at our expense yet again……and no question that she wrote it in her maiden speech to get a laugh from other Tory MP’s while also trying to embarrass and belittle the SNP MP’s…..and indeed ALL Scots.

          Just imagine what they say BEHIND our backs…if she thought this was acceptable to write, say out loud in the HOC, expect others to listen to and hope they laugh at it….her contempt, ignorance and anti Scots attitude came over LOUD and CLEAR.

          • deelsdugs says:

            I’m sure her, meant to be ‘cheeky eyebrow uplift’ is forever etched on her smarmy face…

  5. “[Truss] We are not four separate nations in an agreement of convenience, as some would have us believe. We are one great country which shares a history and institutions, but also family and friends, memories and values”


    How Putin’s Denial of Ukraine’s Statehood Rewrites History

    …Putin’s speech, which went on for nearly an hour, was a new twist in the long-running battle to define Ukraine’s place in the world. In it, Putin set out his belief more forcefully than ever before that Ukraine is intrinsically Russian…

  6. davetewart says:

    Will truss copy this from churchill

    I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes. The moral effect should be so good that the loss of life should be reduced to a minimum. It is not necessary to use only the most deadly gasses: gasses can be used which cause great inconvenience and would spread a lively terror and yet would leave no serious permanent effects on most of those affected

    • Golfnut says:

      The Welsh will be fine, just us then.

      • Welsh_Siôn says:


        Tongue in cheek, I guess, Golfnut.

        Mind you – how’s this for a whizzo wheeze:


        Canal shipping water from Wales to England named in honour of Boris Johnson could solve drought say senior Tories

        15 Aug 2022 3 minute read

        Senior Conservatives are floating the idea of a ‘Great Boris Canal’ named after the outgoing Prime Minister to transfer water from the north of Wales to the south of England.

        The £14billion plan was first suggested by Boris Johnson when he was the Mayor of London but according to the Daily Mail senior Conservatives are now pushing the idea again after parts of England were declared to be officially in drought.

        “Senior Tories yesterday said the current droughts meant it was time to review the plan,” Brendan Carlin, the newspaper’s political reporter said.

        They quoted a spokesman for the environment department Defra who said that “inter-regional water transfers can play an important role in moving water from areas of the country with plentiful supplies to those with high demand”.

        The water would be shipped from the south of Scotland as well as the north of Wales as these areas receive significantly more rainfall than parts of England, “to create a giant ‘natural water grid’ across the UK”.


        • Alex Clark says:

          That’s awful nice of them to invest all that money in Wales so as they can help themselves to welsh water. The spokesperson for Defra also conveniently forgot to mention that areas in the South of Scotland are currently experiencing water shortages of their own.

        • Golfnut says:

          Not really, I have always taken Cymru to mean ‘ civilised ‘ while we were known, well as something else.

          • Welsh_Siôn says:

            Indeed – please distinguish between:

            Cymru < *Combrogenes 'the land of the compatriots' (Cymraeg)
            Wales < *Wealas 'the land of the foreigners/slaves/Romanised ones' (Anglo-Saxon)

            • Golfnut says:

              Interesting, I almost put ‘ friendly people ‘ but since it aligned to closely with Gaelic I thought you might be offended. I apologise for infering the Cymru were civilised.

        • Welsh_Siôn says:

          Gives a whole new meaning to ‘pooling resources’, eh, Scotland?

          * Bitter sardonic laugh *

        • Tatu3 says:

          This last paragraph made me laugh
          “South West Water said it was now fixing about 2,000 leaks a month, with a third happening on customer supply pipes, which were being repaired for free.”
          It’s their job surely to fix the pipes, that’s what the customers are paying their water bills for (cleaning and supplying), as the water comes out the sky for free

          • Bob Lamont says:

            Sorry but nope, once within the property boundary it’s the owner’s responsibility, the same applies in Scotland.
            The domestic leaks however are diversion to the greater issue, the 1,300+ leaks on THEIR own network PER MONTH which is the greater tragedy – They were not repaired in the first place because it was cheaper to lose the water than pay for the repair, and they actually boasted about it as a “cost-effective” policy for many years.

            Comparative leakage across England is 141 Litres/head/day, Scotland 84.

        • indy2019 says:

          They wouldn’t dare build an open canal, would they? The possibilities are endless!

    • ArtyHetty says:

      Yep the othering of Scotland right now is extremely dangerous and is orchestrated by the British (English) state ops. They attempt to portray the ScotGov and the SNP as somehow rogue, off the rails, as Rees Mogg said, ‘Scotland is a failed state’. It is state then? Scotland is a state when they want to demonise the democratically elected government in Scotland, otherwise it’s a ‘region’ of England. Colonisers take over ‘failed states’, by force, to take their resources usually.
      Churchill was evil he had Indian soldiers tied to the front of cannons and lit them, blasting actual human beings to bits. He also said ‘let them starve’ when told the Indian people were ‘starving’. He deserves no respect whatsoever.
      Truss is very dangerous indeed.

    • British hero.


      The 10 greatest controversies of Winston Churchill’s career

      But you know back then things were different! I mean people who suffered racism didn’t mind it because everyone did it. That made it fine. Gassing the natives was not controversial as the natives had no issues with it as everyone was gassing them. Slaves were happy with slavery because it was normal etc.

      That’s correct right? That’s why we shouldn’t criticise Churchill yes?

      Racism is always racism and racists like Churchill are extremely unpleasant people with no excuse for their behavior. All that happens is sometimes the racists manage to get themselves into power and claim it’s ok.

    • Lovely guy Churchill


      Churchill and his uneasy Irish legacy

      …As First Lord of the Admiralty, in August 1915, Churchill, with poor military planning, led thousands of young Irishmen – like lambs to the slaughter – to their deaths at Suvla Bay in Gallipoli.

      In May 1920, as a key member of the War Office, Churchill was responsible for the recruitment and deployment of the Black and Tans and the auxiliary cadets; two ruthless emergency police forces set up to crush the IRA. Both treated the law, and the Irish civilian population, with contempt.

      During World War II, as Britain’s prime minister, Churchill spoke about saving the Irish “from themselves.” In his victory speech, Churchill turned sourly to Dublin’s role, patronising de Valera’s government, whom he claimed had frolicked with fascists, despite their so-called neutrality. He even insinuated that Britain could have taken Ireland by force during this uneasy period, but refrained from doing so out of goodwill, honour and decency.

      ‘We shall gas them in their jungles, round them up in concentration camps… machine gun them down in their potato fields…’

      The guy was first class imperial scum. The British Reich covered 1/4 of the planet, and was greatly admired by Hitler.

    • Dr Jim says:

      On the English murdering the Australian Aborigine Churchill expressed his regret at doing so but explained the necessity of it

  7. davetewart says:

    Reads that way as the buffoon has called us that as well and the truss is the continuity candidate.
    Recent poll says what we suspect, the party will vote for her as she is white and english.

  8. Interesting interview with Michelle O’Neil on the topic of British nationalism. Of course you will notice that the British media constantly ask SF politicians about the IRA, yet never ask the DUP etc nor the English parties about their terrorist wings (UVF, UDA etc and army / security forces respectively) even though these were responsible for 48% more civilian deaths than republicans paramilitaries, with these mainly comprising of native Irish people, unsurprisingly for an occupied territory.

    In occupied territories it is always the natives that get the sharp end of the stick, and N. Ireland was no different.


    Michelle O’Neill: ‘What I won’t allow is the unravelling of the Good Friday Agreement’

    …For many in Westminster, ripping up the Northern Ireland protocol would be a shocking break with the UK’s history of respecting the law. For O’Neill, the British government has never been trustworthy. She cites a proposed amnesty over crimes committed during the Troubles, “to cover up the fact that they killed our citizens . . . These people have form.”…

    This is not Stormont’s first stalemate; the last one was precipitated by Sinn Féin. Does the Good Friday Agreement itself need reform, so that the executive can function even when one major party boycotts? O’Neill pushes back. “You have to realise where we’ve come from . . . the nature of this place, the fact that it discriminated against people from the nationalist background. All those checks and balances are necessary.

    The GFA of course wasn’t about ‘stopping the IRA’; they still want reunification and that’s not happened. It was about ending the persecution of the Irish population by the racist British, so making IRA violence unjustifiable in the eyes of most of the electorate. It’s why the DUP opposed the GFA; it made Irish people equal to British. Irish unionists (more moderate UUP) backed it while the British nationalist supremacists didn’t.

    Now that Scots are outvoting the British in Scotland and the Irish / neutrals are doing the same in N. Ireland, so the British want to reverse devolution / the GFA, and give power to the minority unionists / British so they can persecute the Scots / Irish again, such as by removing the right of these to self-determine.

    Johnson idolised the ‘lets gas the natives’ Churchill.

    • William Davison says:

      The political wing of the U.V.F. is not the D.U.P. it is the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP). So few people vote for it that at the last count I think it had two local Councillors, one in Belfast, one in Coleraine. The U.D.A.once had a political Party, namely the Ulster Democratic Party, virtually nobody voted for it, so it became defunct. Sinn Fein and the I.R.A. are part of the same Republican movement, many Sinn Fein politicians are former members of the I.R.A., according to the police the I.R.A.’s Army Council still exercises a controlling hand over Sinn Fein. That might explain why Sinn Fein are asked about the activities of the IRA. By the same token, I’ve heard the Belfast representative of the PUP asked frequently about the activities of the UVF.
      During our so-called “Troubles” the IRA and other Republicans were responsible for 57.8% of deaths, Loyalists for 29.9% and Security forces for 9.9%, the IRA total included 639 civilians and 151 other Republicans. I think it is worth saying that during the “Troubles” the vast majority of Nationalists voted for the SDLP, a Party completely opposed to violence.
      There is a certain irony in Michelle O’Neill talking about the unravelling of the Good Friday Agreement, it certainly has been unravelled by the introduction of the Protocol, but this unravelling has been entirely in favour of Nationalist aims and aspirations, so she should be delighted that it has been unravelled, though perhaps a little queasy that international law has been broken in doing so.

  9. The British nationalists are the unfortunate product of their upbringing. They are disengaged from any other view but the family or institutions they belong to, rather like a cult, and so they have a blinkered loyalty to their tribe, religion, the monarchy, the state, the military and the union. They do not expose themselves to or engage with any other thinking. They are indoctrinated. This Tory class-ridden society uses this to their advantage to set “working class” people against each other through the Daily Mail, MSM et al, thereby entrenching misplaced loyalties. Misogyny goes hand in hand with all of the above, hence placing Nicola Sturgeon in a prime position to be the target of their wrath.

    • Most people who self-id as British are perfectly decent folks, notably in England where migrants of even second, third… generation are not really allowed to be English, so are left with British. Our British are a bit different, with ‘new Scots’ iding as Scottish more than Brits, with our strongest Brits being orange types.

      But the ruling British class is basically varying degrees of English nationalist with some wannabe English shoe shiner ‘British’ from the last colonies as hangers on. These people still have the mindset of Churchill; an imperialist view of the Brenglish as superior and born to rule other countries. We are really seeing that now with the attempts to overturn our elections and hand victory to the losing British parties.

      Unfortunately, the British press does fill English folks heads full of rubbish about the celtic nations. This was so very evident when I was speaking at a big joint birthday party of some friends to some nice centre left English folks. They were like ‘but why do you want to put up a border?’. I was ‘I don’t, I want to take down 30 or so that English voters put up that we Scots didn’t want’ while noting I was half Irish and my wife French. I also said ‘What do you want Scots to do? Only English people can change their government. We are just 8% of the population and never decide the UK government!’. They did come around and see the logic when confronted with the truth from lots of nice Scots they met who were saying the same thing.

      But what can you do when the English press e.g. pretends it was only the IRA shooting and bombing in the troubles when the British side killed 48% more civilians? When the IRA primarily targeted the opposing military / paramilitary forces, yet the British deliberately targeted civilians to cause terror but this is never talked about? Much of the problem is lying by omission, which is what the BBC specialises in, resulting in people having only one side of the story presented as the truth.

  10. deelsdugs says:

    Well done Paul treading the trenches of the brainwashed sycophantic and nauseating ‘not nationalists’

  11. Hamish100 says:


    I agree with some of your proposition but give me the source to your last paragraph.

    Approximately 60% of the dead were killed by republicans, 30% by loyalists and 10% by British security forces.

    Responsibility for killing[40]
    Responsible party No.
    Republican paramilitary groups 2,057
    Loyalist paramilitary groups 1,027
    British security forces 363
    Persons unknown 80
    Irish security forces 5
    Total 3,532
    According to Malcolm Sutton’s Index of Deaths from the Conflict in Ireland:[262]

    Of course the majority of deaths were to the Irish.

    • I did clearly state ‘civilian deaths’ Hamish. The IRA primarily targeted the ‘opposing armies’, i.e. loyalist paramilitaries and the British security forces.

      The British primarily targeted Irish civilians, which field support for the IRA and caused them to primary target those responsible in what became a vicious circle.

      % of victims that were civilaians:
      85% British paramilitaries
      51% British security forces
      35% Republican paramiliaries

      • Somehow posted again before completing / spell checking!
        Graph: https://postimg.cc/s1Ky8zdg
        Data: https://www.wesleyjohnston.com/users/ireland/past/troubles/troubles_stats.html

        The pattern was exactly what you’d expect for an occupied territory. The natives are persecuted and fight back against the foreign (English mainly in this case) troops enforcing the persecution. As the troops can’t find who they are fighting because they are guerrillas, so they terrorise / kill civilians in revenge, increasing support for the guerrillas. And on it goes… The Germans did the same in France.

        Only with the GFA did Irish persecution largely stop, and they were granted the same rights as the British. The IRA had no excuse then.

      • Hamish100 says:

        I think your play with words is rather selective. Murder either way? A bomb going off doesn’t distinguish between the unlucky Humans standing nearby.

        You never quoted your source either.

        • My source is quoted above. I believe it’s the same source as yours?

          In war, there is a clear distinction between a civilian and an armed combatant. The troubles were a guerrilla war. The IRA overwhelmingly targeted combatants on the opposing British side; well armed troops that were out to imprison, shoot and kill them and innocent civilians. The British troops / paramilitary were deliberately targeting Irish civilians to punish the Irish population and goad the IRA into giving themselves away. MI5 even colluded with British paramilitaries in the hope of having them murder the Irish PM; an act of war by the UK on Ireland if it had occurred.

          The IRA did kill many civilians (35% of victims) as bombs are not discriminate as you say. It was murder. I simply noted that civilians were not their primary target, but opposing armed troops were. This is in stark contrast to the British (51% of victims civilians for security forces), notably the paramilitaries who deliberately targeted civilians (85%) as the statistics show.

          You are absolutely correct that in terms of total deaths, republicans killed 60% and British 40%. However, British forces / paramilitaries signed up to fight the IRA with the former paid for it. A solider takes money to fight and kill. In this case, English troops were an occupying force in another country killing natives of that country for money. They went out hunting IRA paramilitaries with the intent of capture or shoot to kill. Nobody forced them to join the army. Anyone doing so would be well aware they’d be likely sent to the province at some point. This is a very, very different case to innocent civilians just going about their daily business.

          If the British wanted to reduce deaths, they should not have sent in troops to collude with British paramilitaries to kill civilians. It goes without saying that if their had been no British troops on the ground, there’d have been no British troops dead, and a lot less dead civilians. What stopped the killing was democracy and civil rights, not guns and bombs. The troubles could have been completely avoided by simply giving the rights to Irish people afforded by the GFA to them back in the 1960s when the IRA had basically ceased to operate. Instead, the Brits violently repressed the civil rights moving and the IRA became active again to retaliate.


          I am only interested in factual discussion of what happened given the one-sided portrayal from the British press. This is key to understanding what the GFA is really about, and what is happening in NI right now, and what will happen in the future. We do not live in isolation and the right if NI vote for reunification is closely tied to our own right to self-determine. I expect we will both go basically at the same time as NI is not in union with England, but with GB. Wales by contrast is like Scotland in that its relationship is/was first and foremost with England.

          The statistics of troubles deaths are exactly what you’d expect for an occupied territory where a native population is politically represses and discriminated against, including with violence. Be it the Israeli West Bank, NI occupied Europe in WWII… all the same patterns are seen. If Scotland was occupied, we’d have an SRA targeting the English army and Brenlgish troops attacking our civilians. It’s not about making excuses or justifying; just understanding history so it does not repeat itself. But the imperialists in London don’t learn such lessons unfortunately.

      • William Davison says:

        As an inhabitant of Northern Ireland who lived here for most of “The Troubles” I’m very grateful that the IRA were so careful in their targeting, nevertheless they still managed to kill 639 civilians, as opposed to 454 members of the army and 30 Loyalists. God help us if they hadn’t been so careful is all I can say! I apologize for the sarcasm, but I struggle to think of any positive contribution any of these outfits (IRA, INLA, UVF, UDA) made to society here, other than an entirely negative one. I hold them all in contempt. In terms of support for the IRA, it should be said that during their campaign, the vast majority of Nationalists voted for the SDLP, who were totally opposed to violence. A lot of statistics have been bandied about, mine are drawn from what is considered to be the standard work on the subject namely, “Lost Lives : The Stories of the Men, Women and Children who died as a result of the Northern Ireland Troubles,” compiled by David McKittrick, Seamus Kelters, Chris Thornton, Brian Feeney and David McVea.

    • Anyway, the lesson is that people must be equals and key to that is right to democratically self-determine. That is the line between peace and ‘war’.

      The troubles in NI were a direct result of the British not affording that right to the Irish population, but instead using their dominance to gerrymander the system and deny Irish their basic civil rights.

      Hence my warning about the direction of the UK government in now doing exactly that both here in Scotland and in NI. It is madness to prevent the Scots / N. Irish / Welsh voting for independence if that’s is their will. It can only lead to serious trouble at some point if pursued. Denying the right to self-determination is just not an option in a peaceful democracy, no matter what you put into domestic law.

  12. BSA says:

    The Unionists may not have to do much to win. Their ally is fear, ignorance and inertia. The independence movement still has to produce the convincing and accessible case on the viability of independence and still has to inspire people with it. So far there is not much sign of that and not much sign of any individuals who can lead that case with real authority and charisma. They will be facing a huge media onslaught of lies and threats where quality will be far less important than quantity, while the independence case will be suppressed across the whole media and where in the few forums where the case can be heard it can simply be shouted down in the ignorant style of Ruth Davidson. A referendum can still be won and won well but so far you have to be nervous about some aspects of the independence effort. 2014 was not lost by the wider movement, it was lost by inability of the SNP leadership to nail the basics. .

    • Golfnut says:

      And yet England voted for brexit with a promise on the side of a bus. There is no better argument for ditching this union than brexit, the incompetence of westminster and Johnson’s cabal, the pandemic and the current financial meltdown and profiteering engineered by and for the already rich.
      What say you.

      • Welsh_Siôn says:

        I say, ‘Aye’.

      • Dr Jim says:

        The English were not afraid of losing their livelihoods because they don’t understand that the UK they live in is a fictionalised propaganda country and not a global leader as they’re constantly brainwashed into believing, so to them there’ll always be an England mighty and great.

        Scotland on the other hand has never in its history ever really trusted English rule but accepted it pragmatically as long as we could earn a living and not be too bothered by direct interference as long as we believed the Labour party was genuinely protecting us from the dastardly Tories, which we weren’t because as we found out the Labour party are just the familiars of the Tories and why both Labour and Tories relationship with Scotland is over finished gone, a dead parrot

        The arrogance that all three of the London parties share is that one day Scotland will vote for them again once they’ve convinced us all that being Scottish is a terrible idea and British is best

        Like that’s ever going to happen again in anybody’s lifetime

    • grizebard says:

      Please do try to be “glass half-full” rather than “glass half empty”. The SNP leader at the time is now held by the most vociferous complainers to be the very person to win next time? Go figure. And the person leading the party now was the same person who most helped deliver IR1, and is the one who will assuredly deliver IR2, in one form or another.

      While support for independence is still hovering around the 50% mark, that is because (with all due respect to The National) there is no widely-read/viewed pro-independence news source, while Unionism gets a sustained “free pass” by virtually all the media. On that much at least we agree, I expect.

      But a full-on independence campaign is another thing entirely. Despite the several faults great and small of the campaign last time – and for me the most significant failing was the lacklustre and self-effacing role played by Yes Scotland’s chief exec Blair Jenkins – the main thing to keep in mind is that the substantially increased public access afforded the pro-indy case during a full-on campaign is not to be casually discounted. (Whether out of excessive pessimism, self-doubt or whatever.) It nearly succeeded last time anyway, and put almightly frighteners on British Nationalism, and moreover did so from a virtual standing start. Next time we start on an equal footing, and better prepared. Subsequent events have very visibly left British Nationalism desperate to avoid a new public consultation of any kind. That is quite an achievement.

      Let’s not forget that one ray of sunshine in the current situation is that the public are fully exposed to the headless-chicken negativity of Unionism, and virtually starved by a positive case for independence. (?!) Which might at first glance seem counter-intuitive, but it means that when a plebiscite comes around and a full-view indy campaign starts in earnest, ordinary people are going to get nothing but yet another dose of stale brose from supporters of a visibly-stagnant Union, whereas from the independence side a complete demolition of a trail of Bitter Together broken promises plus a complete fresh revelation of the many benefits of managing our own affairs. Public support being already on an equal standing, effectively an open goal awaits. Hence Nicola Sturgeon’s self-confidence we can win.

      That’s not to say that this is a complete shoo-in. The public case needs to be presented professionally and attractively, and above all must include a polished, convincing and popular non-political partner to the FM to lead the successor body of Yes Scotland.

      • Dr Jim says:

        Blair Jenkins was indeed the pasteurized purified petrified delivery man given the greatest task in recent Scottish history, and he boldly led the independence campaign with all the talent of an invisible man whispering in the darkness
        What he had to say, when he said it was correct, but he said it with all the silent confidence and surety of a man making sure his main job at the BBC would still be secure when it was all over, translated into Glaswegian *He wisnae even therr, ma granny coulda done a better joab and she’s deid*

      • Statgeek says:

        And let’s not forget the international support Scotland will have, not least from EU nations, no longer being so chummy to keep the UK Gov onside.

  13. grizebard says:

    Seems to me that when you examine the current reactions of British nationalists to the prospect of independence, what immediately springs to mind is that they are now in the first stage of loss: denial. It’s as if they are already subconsciously accepting what they are consciously denying.

  14. Bob Lamont says:

    On reading “Instead what I found is that right wing Anglo-British nationalism in Scotland is characterised by fury, denial, and an abiding sense of victimhood”, I found myself thinking on how Brexit evolved using much the same mechanisms, probably because the same crew are behind it.

    Britishness was a creation intended to supplant regional identities, but it wasn’t “plucky little Britain” who famously beat the Germans single handedly in 1945 despite them calling them “ze Britiish”.

    Irish Nationalism rose off the back of the inhumanity and greed of London Tories, the same is increasingly evident in Scotland, NI, Wales, and sections of England.
    Sadly the once solidly democratic and proud Labour Party have become so immersed in the power games of the London establishment that you’d struggle to find differences of any real substance when it comes to their world view – British.

    You only need glance at what the BBC in Scotland present to Scots as news to appreciate the extent to which propaganda dominates the media – The Tory vote in 2019 was ca 29%, of which probably 10% are actual members, yet for weeks now a private member vote by 3% of the Scottish population has been front page news.

    If someone wants to call themselves British or Tory that is their choice, woe betide them trying to tell me I am.

    • Dr Jim says:

      I don’t know what the results of the census were in regards to nationality but I would imagine in general that folk like to identify with the country they were born in or chose to adopt at quite a young age, and *British* isn’t a country and it’s never really been an identity in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can speak for themselves of course but I’d guess the mood in those places would be pretty much the same

      In England there is still quite a lot of embarrassment about being English so accepting the invented Britishness label is easier for some to wrap themselves in than others

      Can you imagine say a country like France being told they have a new name, a new flag and a new national identity? they’d be bringing out the head chopper machine to lop the haircut right off any president who suggested such a thing
      Germany could’ve even tried it after the war I suppose but in truth I don’t believe they would have gone for that either given that what happened to those folks was a similar engineered plot by a bunch of people just like the Tories in England to invade their own country and change their identity to something they weren’t, and that being German was who they were and these other guys were the bad guys to be gotten rid of and they’re happy to be who they were in the first place, and a good thing too

      Wherever we go in the world we’re still who we are

  15. bringiton says:

    What the London establishment fear most about “losing” Scotland is that England will no longer be able to pretend it is the UK.
    The loss of self importance will be a complete meltdown for England’s Tories in particular.

  16. James Mills says:

    When the imminent Indy referendum comes what are the issues that The Union will argue are the reasons for the Scottish people to vote to remain ?

    ”The broad shoulders ” of the UK economy ?
    Inflation ?
    Energy prices ?
    Competent Government in the face of a pandemic ?
    Freedom of movement in Europe ?
    Brexit benefits ?
    Honourable and trustworthy Government ministers ?
    A peerless PM ?
    Workers rights protected ?
    Human rights protected ?
    A compassionate treatment of asylum seekers ?
    A liberal Press ?
    A blue British passport ?
    The Queen – God Bless Her ! She is confident that we will ”think carefully ” about our decision ( just as she did when secretly avoiding legislation that might impact on her finances ).

    Perhaps we will be urged to ”Stay with us , Scotland ! ” – but , like Bowie , this argument is dead !

    Maybe we will be Love Bombed by C-list celebs ? Or just bombed by Lisa Nandy ?

    We may be charmed to stay by great Scots :
    like Rape-clause Ruth – if she can afford the diesel for her tank to drive up from the HoL to defend her country ;
    or that rabid independence supporter , Anus Sarwar , who will fight to the death to protect the independence of Pakistan ;
    or wind-swept but still handsome Neil Oliver may threaten to leave us and take his scarf and hair with him .

  17. jfngw says:

    The media, particularly the BBC, are promoting these Tory party broadcasts as if it is in some way about democracy (they even refer to it as the hustings). This is a masquerade to try and fool the public there has been some democratic choice and the new leader is a legitimate PM despite there being no actual election and where only a tiny percentage of the public can vote.

    It’s a bit like before suffrage when when voting was restricted to a certain demographic, effectively Tory & Liberal voters. I feel they would like to return to these times where effectively only unionist had a vote, there gambit now is you can vote but we will just ignore it. No doubt we will hear the BBC Scotland again declare the Tories are the winners when they come a distant second in Scotland.

    If you want the BBC Scotland news you may as well go directly to the Labour & Tory party websites, or a quick look at what FOI’s are being requested. In fact the FOI’s have turned into a fishing exercise by the media as it’s cheaper to get the government to do their research, you can do all you ‘investigative’ stuff without leaving your desk.

  18. Dr Jim says:

    There is only one argument for independence that trumps every collection of economic arguments the unionists can present

    An Independent Scotland will keep the total of its own taxes to spend on the policies of the governments Scotland elects, within the union no such opportunity is afforded to Scotland, we get the politicians and policies England’s voters select, and those politicians decide how much of our own taxes Scotland is allowed to keep and how much England keeps from us to spend on what they want *on our behalf*

    This system has never worked because the politicians of England do not require the votes of Scotland to be elected to the UK government, and in over 50 years if Scotland had never even cast a vote in any general elections the same politicians and political parties would still have won in England

    So Scotland is not only in a position of never being able to win, Scotland is in the position of never breaking even, we are outnumbered 10 to 1 by the voters of England in a FPTP system rigged to make certain that Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland can never outvote England on any matter whatsoever, that is not a union of equals, that is a dictatorship by the many over the few, even if it were a benign dictatorship (which it’s not) that is still unacceptable in democratic terms

    Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland do not have immigration powers for very good reason, even if each of our 3 countries had grown in population by just a couple of million each that would cause a nightmare scenario to the rigged political system in England that controls our lives because we would have more power, and the *UK* can’t have that now can they

  19. JP58 says:

    Off topic I had to laugh at Liz Truss’s latest sermon on the Union – ‘we are not 4 nations but 1 UK & the Union is not a marriage of convenience.’
    I don’t know what she was taught in Paisley but most historians would consider the 1707 Union of Parliaments (post Darien as we are constantly reminded) very much a marriage of convenience. If Liz does not think Scotland is a nation I alsodon’t think she absorbed much of local culture when she lived in Paisley.

Comments are closed.