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St. George Is Scottish

Fish-heid McMoonface’s acumen in foreign affairs “national pride” can be seen in his assessment of Putin he made to Alistair Campbell in a GQ interview from 14 March:

Asked about Mr Putin, Mr Salmond said: “Well, obviously, I don’t approve of a range of Russian actions, but I think Putin’s more effective than the press he gets I would have thought, and you can see why he carries support in Russia.”
Pressed on whether he admires the Russian leader, the First Minister said: “Certain aspects. He’s restored a substantial part of Russian pride and that must be a good thing. There are aspects of Russian constitutionality and the inter-mesh with business and politics that are obviously difficult to admire. Russians are fantastic people, incidentally, they are lovely people.”

An SNP attempt to militate this misjudgement is that the interview was conducted before the annexation of Crimea. Given that the interview was given at a point following several weeks of street protests across Ukraine and as Russia was beginning to deploy military forces as well as many years of the resurgence of belligerent Russian nationalism – and the Great Panjandrum himself had sought-out interviews on Russia Today – I am inclined to see this as the cry from a child who has eaten too much cake that their stomach hurts.

There appears to be a wider question of a deeply parochial view on “national pride” which sees any expression of it as a useful political tool. Some uncharitable souls might say that, whilst Scottish national pride is seen as a virtue, English national identity is treated with suspicion: not so, as we heard on St. George’s Day.

Alex Salmond will mark St George’s Day today by promising that an independent Scotland would champion the North of England to balance the economic might of London.
Speaking in Carlisle, Scotland’s First Minister will insist that the “social union” between the people of the four members of the United Kingdom would remain if the Scottish people vote to leave it in their September referendum.

So, not content with having done more than perhaps any individual in recent history to sow division between Scots, he is trying to do similar with the Englishes. I will go about on a limb and suggest he has been met with, at best, bemusement; at worst, lingering disdain from a population which, having been hectored at and blamed for all the shortcomings in Scotland for the best part of a decade, is unlikely to heed his call to retain the social contract.

A much more obviously toxic display of nationalist sentiment can be seen from Wings Over Scotland headed by former video games journalist, Stuart Campbell; much loved by SNP MSPs and the Yes Scotland flyer which popped through my door last week. The chronically indecisive Ergastophobe mused on Campbell’s exposition [1] as to why pro-Union Scots were anti-Scottish based on his own selected questioning.

Like Billy Bragg who preaches ersatz socialism whilst living in mansions, Campbell currently lives in Somerset [2] and has stated that he may well not relocate to an independent Scotland – again, like Billy Bragg – preferring the benefits of a Union is would deny to others.

Although my assessment of Stewpot is that mere disagreement with him elicits an overcoming sense of spite and near sexual levels of loathing bordering on clinical psychopathy – again, see Ergastophobe – I also suspect there is an element of his past with computer games which could be reset at will.

This tendency also can bee seen in the recent insistence from Yes campaigners that a vote for independence is not one for the SNP, despite everything from the personality cult around one man and the White Paper which coincidentally was based around many if not all SNP policies. I also doubt that many SNP MSPs will be resigning their seats on 17 September as a gesture of trust in acquiring a YES vote.

This also is displayed in the oft-repeated that retaining all the pooled resources and intra-UK institutions would be in “everyone’s best interest”, as Fish-heid NicMoonface predicts a free-trade zone as well as currency union would be.

The best, indeed only way to ensure this is to remain in the UK.

[1] Note, I use Ergastophobe’s articles – all of which link to Campbell’s own – so not to give the latter any more web-hits.

[2] Not Liverpool, which would be inadvisable given his still extant views on Hillsborough which even Kelvin Mackenzie has repudiated: or anywhere with a significant Irish population, given his view that “the North Irish are potato-brained halfwits” and that “Irish people [should] stay out of Scottish foodball”.