Tuesday, 16 October 2012

How Will The Unionists Cope With The Commonwealth Games?


The PM arrived, the FM greeted him on the doorstep of St Andrew's House, the deal was duly signed and the press acted according to plan by photographing every stage-managed move.

All is well with the progress of the independence referendum and if one commentator is correct (I think it was Brian Taylor), then Mr Salmond will have control over the details of the various campaigning parties.

Last night I had a telephone call from an English friend who has lived in Scotland for nearly 50 years. One of her interests is politics and for the past few years we've discussed the pros and cons of independence during our regular chats.  Last time we met she was still dithering - floating is the political term I believe - and wanted much more information about the financial structure of an independent Scotland.

However, the conversation started with her in full scunnered mode, which can only be described as full volumed assertiveness: "That's it. I'm voting yes and I will not change my mind."  Had she been reading something which gave  information about the financial aspect or had my persuasive skills finally won her round?  No to the first point and laughter to the second was the answer. Patiently I waited for the reason and I didn't wait more than a couple of seconds. "Did you see David Cameron on television at teatime?" (I didn't get a chance to answer before she continued), "Britishness, Britain, I'm British London politicians keep telling me.  No, I'm not, I'm English and proud of it.  I'm sick of being told I'm British and did you hear a politician on radio this morning correcting himself by initially saying English then speedily changing to British?"

She has a point. My Norwegian friends and my Swedish ex-sister-in-law would never describe themselves as Scandinavian and my German and Swiss friends would never call themselves European if they were asked their nationality. Why does London insist on calling everyone in the UK British and ignoring the national identities?

It's done in an attempt to cement the idea that Britishness is what holds the UK together but my friend's decision shows it's having a detrimental effect.

The constant referral to the Olympics and what Team GB achieved is part of the brain-washing strategy.  Anyone with an iota of common sense realises those who participated in team GB had no option - there wasn't the choice to be part of a Team Wales, a Team Northern Ireland, a Team Scotland or a Team England.

The 2014 Commonwealth Games will give the four countries of the UK the opportunity to participate in the name of their own country and feel just as proud as they did when they took part in London 2012.  But I wonder how the unionists will cope once the Commonwealth Games come to Scotland. Will they continue to call all UK participants British or will they have to face up to the fact that a vast majority of the UK's inhabitants prefer to refer to themselves as Welsh, Northern Irish, Scottish or English?


Quiet_Man said...

I came to the conclusion that I'd rather be English than British over 16 years ago during the European Football championships. It was further cemented by Blairs disgraceful devolution solution which gave all parts of the UK a say in their own affairs save for one country, yes, you guessed it, England, the only country in the EU without its own parliament. Since then the UK governments decision to force Britishness down my throat has increased my resistance to being British save only on my passport.
I wish the Scots all the best in their attempts to get away from the UK government, at least you're being asked...

JimS said...

The invention of 'Britishness' has nothing to do with Scotland, England or wherever, it is because of mass immigration and the need to persuade us that there we are all immigrants and there are no 'First Nation', indigenous or aboriginal peoples on these islands.

One of the interesting differences between, say, American, Canadian or UK politicians is that the former stick American or Canadian into just about every paragraph whereas over here we never needed to. The reason being that our colonial cousins were trying to form a 'nation' out of disparate peoples. In the UK 'we' knew who 'we' were.

That was fine for our cousins in the 19th and early 20th centuries where immigrants arrived to 'live the dream' and often changed their names and mother tongues to follow that dream. The 'dream' is now failing and increasingly Hispanics in the US see themselves as 'spanish' and see no reason to adapt. Similarly odd sects like the Amish were easily accommodated and to some extent adapted but now much larger numbers of Muslims see no reason to adapt in dress, language or belief as they, after all, are 'right'.

Foolishly, a hundred years too late, Europe has adopted the US model but times have changed. Improved communications means that the exiled diaspora no longer has to adapt to survive but instead can be parasitic on the host community.

In part the drive for Scottish independence is driven by the realisation that its pedigree is under threat. However the referendum is too late and the franchise mis-directed; people of Scots birth and heritage living just miles over the border will be excluded and 'new Scots' be they from Pakistan or Poland will be included.

As part of the Union, Scotland and its peoples were recognised by the other members of the Union and the reverse applied. First the EU came for the Scots and nobody stood up. Then it will come for the Welsh and nobody will stand up. Then finally it will come for the English 'regions' and it will be too late. Scotland will have its district council putting the local edge on the EU diktat. There will be no Scottish, Welsh, Irish or English people, just citizens of the EU state temporarily residing in the northernmost district of the 'British' Isles. Enjoy your freedom and culture while you can.

Anonymous said...

You put a somewhat Scottish slant on the politicians use of 'British/Britishness'
The words Scotland/Scottish are frequently used by Westminster. The words you never hear are England/English. For if politicians use those words they acknowledge the political existence of England. And that would never do!
Listen to Gove wittering on about education 'in our country, this country' His portfolio is Englands education. He wants those listening to think it's UK education.
This goes on with all politicians when referring to policies devolved away from Westminster.
There are four countries in the Westminster politicians UK. Scotland, Wales, N.Ireland and Britain.

RMcGeddon said...

quiet man...your passport says 'EUROPEAN UNION' at the top. Before saying UK etc below. You're an EU citizen before you're British. According to your passport.

Team GB came about 36th in 1996. I don't remember much about how great GB was then.

I think the BBC plan to largely ignore the Commonwealth Games despite sending hundreds to cover the games in Delhi.
I think there's going to be a year of celebrating Britain in WW1. Weird.

Clarinda said...

Please correct me if I'm wrong - my 'research' is somewhat superficial - but I gather that altering the franchise to allow those whose country of birth is Scotland but who work elsewhere in the UK not to have the right to vote in the 2014 Referendum has been dictated by Westminster not Holyrood. It was considered too complicated to arrange. However it is entirely in the power of Holyrood to grant the franchise -details yet to be finalised - for resident 16/17 year olds. Judging by the articlate and measured young man, Andrew Dean, from the Scottish Youth Parliament, if he reflects even a quarter of the quality of the political insight of our future generation who wish to exercise their right to vote - we have little to worry about.

I think I recall Mr Salmond mention on a number of occasions that Scottish Independence may indeed have the serendipidous effect of bolstering a more robust demand from our English neighbours for better political representation on their own 'independent' basis.

I gather that the BBC coverage of the Commonwealth Games in 2014 will be somewhat flimsy - strange after the UK - sorry, British, according to the BBC etc. - successes at the London Olympics.

Weekend Yachtsman said...


We had one team in the Olympics, team GB; we'll have four teams in the Commonwealth games.

We manage to follow Six Nations rugby quite OK.

We have separate teams in the football world cup too, though clearly only one of them ever gets anywhere ;-)

It's all "we", please note.

Why would anyone find this difficult to understand or deal with?

Joe Public said...

A letter from Chris Barmby is published in today's Torygraph:-

"Alex Salmond has missed a golden opportunity for a decisive vote in favour of independence. He should have insisted the English take part in the referendum."

Elby the Beserk said...

"Why does London insist on calling everyone in the UK British and ignoring the national identities?"

But they don't - this only applies to the English. The Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish are given full recognition of their nationalities, but these days, we are meant to be ashamed for being English.

I'll add this one in as well; Brown was the exception, being the only Scot ever to have disavowed his heritage, when in a TV interview in the USA just after he saved the world, the Prime Moron stated that he was "North British".


Brian said...

Blame the lack of an Olympic Team Scotland on the International Olympic Committee's Olympic Charter as revised in 1996. Section 34 Country and Name of an NOC
1 In the Olympic Charter, the expression "country" means an independent State recognized by the international community.
2 The name of an NOC must reflect the territorial extent and tradition of its country and must be approved by the IOC.

subrosa said...

QM, I'd never even thought about being anything other than Scottish until the start of the politically correct nonsense.

subrosa said...

I remember Tony Blair and Gordon Brown made speeches along those lines Jim.

subrosa said...

Indeed the post had a Scottish slant Daggs, but perhaps I should have said my English friend is most certainly English and proud of it.

subrosa said...

Aye RM, I writing a post about that right now. Just having a wee break. :)

subrosa said...

Clarinda, my research isn't even superficial but I will try to read the whole document before the end of the week.

subrosa said...

I do note it's al 'we 'WY.

My simple point in the post is that 'we' are all British nowadays, although as QM said earlier, the Scots do get more of a mention than the English since this nonsense began.

subrosa said...

We definitely would win it then Joe. :)

subrosa said...

I agree the English are badly let down by Westminster Elby. It surprises me that they don't make more of a stooshie about it.

subrosa said...

Thanks for that Brian. Good research, as always. :)

redcliffe said...

Being anti Westminster and being anti English are not the same thing.

I genuinely think if the pollies in London did not play the role they do that people in Scotland and England would support each other in sport far more and that as a by product it would get a mutually guaranteed 12 points up and running in the Eurovision song contest, with Ireland getting 8 or 10 from both.

As an example of my mixed messages, I find I support English golfers almost as much as Scots, perhaps because the ommentators are not up themselves about being the best and can see merit in people from all over.

Yet at soccer I like to see Adrian Chiles and company squirming so I cannot bring myself to wish them quite as much success. The arrogant Westminster like in attitude commentators make me want them to lose, not their Englishness per se.
I suspect I am not alone in that.

Sean O'Hare said...

Why should the Irish that live in the North call themselves Northern Irish? They are just Irish surely?

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