Nanny State in a Kilt

Sunday, April 12, AD 2015



I had realized that Scotland was ruled by a gang of daft leftists, but Christoper Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently for the Church that I have named him Defender of the Faith, brings home to us just how all encompassing it has become:

Charging Highlanders wearing kilts and waving Claymores?  Bagpipes?  Tossing the caber at the Highland Games?  Really good whisky?  For those of you who have similar thoughts, Brendan O’Neill takes great pleasure in introducing modern, real Scotland:

Well, if that’s how you see Scotland, you urgently need to update your mind’s image bank. For far from being a land of freedom-yearning Bravehearts, Scotland in the 21st century is a hotbed of the new authoritarianism. It’s the most nannying of Europe’s nanny states. It’s a country that imprisons people for singing songs, instructs people to stop smoking in their own homes, and which dreams of making salad-eating compulsory. Seriously. Scotland the Brave has become Scotland the Brave New World.

Jailed for singing songs?  Surely O’Neill must be joking.  Unfortunately, he’s not.

Last month, a 24-year-old fan of Rangers, the largely Protestant soccer team, was banged up for four months for singing ”The Billy Boys,” an old anti-Catholic ditty that Rangers fans have been singing for years, mainly to annoy fans of Celtic, the largely Catholic soccer team. He was belting it out as he walked along a street to a game. He was arrested, found guilty of songcrimes—something even Orwell failed to foresee—and sent down.

Seems its now illegal in Scotland to make opposing sports fans feel bad in any way.

It’s all thanks to the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act, which, yes, is as scary as it sounds. Introduced in 2012 by the Scottish National Party, the largest party in Scotland the Brave New World and author of most of its new nanny-state laws, the Act sums up everything that is rotten in the head of this sceptred isle. Taking a wild, wide-ranging scattergun approach, it outlaws at soccer matches “behaviour of any kind,” including, “in particular, things said or otherwise communicated,” that is “motivated (wholly or partly) by hatred” or which is “threatening” or which a “reasonable person would be likely to consider offensive.”

Catholic Celtic or Hibernian fans might want to leave their rosaries at home.

Even blessing yourself at a soccer game in Scotland could lead to arrest. Catholic fans have been warned that if they “bless themselves aggressively” at games, it could be “construed as something that is offensive,” presumably to non-Catholic fans, and the police might pick them up. You don’t have to look to some Middle Eastern tinpot tyranny if you want to see the state punishing public expressions of Christian faith—it’s happening in Scotland.

I sure am relieved that they don’t have a law like that here in St. Louis or the City Police would have to commandeer every bus in the metro area every time the Chicago Cubs came to town.  But what else can the haggis-for-brains Scottish National Party get its panties in a bunch about?  Well, there’s obviously smoking.

Not content with policing what soccer fans sing and say, the SNP also polices Scots’ smoking, boozing, and eating habits. It was the first country in the U.K. to ban smoking in public. Last month it announced that it will ban smoking in cars with kids. It is currently pushing through a ban on smoking in parks. And it has its eyes on smokers’ homes: if a public-sector employee, like a doctor or social worker, visits your home, he or she has the right to say that you should “not smoke when they are providing [their] service.” This, of course, is the ultimate goal of the global jihad against nicotine: to move from making bars, cars, and parks smokefree to making our homes smokefree.

Scotland has set itself the Orwellian-sounding goal of making the whole nation, every bit of it, smokefree by 2034. What will happen to any smoker still lurking in Scotland after the glorious dawn of the 2,034th year? It’s probably best not to ask.

And drinking.

Scotland is also plotting to put a sin tax on booze. The SNP blubs about the fact that “alcohol is now 60 per cent more affordable in the U.K. than it was in 1980″—that’s a bad thing?—and so it is pushing through the Alcohol Minimum Pricing Act, which will impose a state-decreed price on all liquid pleasures. It is trying to push the Act through, I should say: it’s being held up by a legal challenge from the Scotch Whisky Association which, understandably, doesn’t want the state telling it how much it should sell its wares for. I would say “God bless those whisky makers,” but I’m not sure how much you’re allowed to say “God” or “bless” in relation to Scotland these days.

Now that’s just wrong.  Oh and then there’s what Scots eat.

Scotland’s great and good also watch what the little people eat. Last month, BMA Scotland, an association of doctors, declared war on Scotland’s “culture of excess” and said ads for junk food and booze should be banned. The SNP wants to go further: it’s agitating for an EU-wide ban on junk-food ads, clearly keen that all the peoples of Europe, and not just poor Scots, feel the stab of its Mary Poppins extremism.

There is even—get this—a discussion in Scotland about making salad bars mandatory at restaurants. Yes, there exist actual officials who would like to force businesses to serve you vegetables, even if they don’t want to and you don’t want to eat them. Concerned that “Scots are 30 years away from reaching the World Health Organization target of five portions of fruit and vegetables a day”—apparently the average Scot only eats 3.5 portions a day—there is talk of “beefing up [get it??] the number of greens by introducing mandatory salad bars.”

Can’t leave out how they raise their children (this one is truly frightening).

And then there’s the authoritarian icing on the cake, if Scotland will forgive such an obesity-encouraging metaphor: the SNP’s Children and Young People Act. This Act plans to assign a Named Person, a state-decreed guardian, to every  baby born in Scotland, in order to watch him or her from birth to the age of 18.

Due to come into force in August 2016, the Named Person initiative is truly dystopian. Once, it was only abandoned or orphaned children who became charges of the state; now, all Scottish children will effectively be wards of the state under a new, vast system of, in essence, shadow parenting. In an expression of alarming distrust in parents, and utter contempt for the idea of familial sovereignty and privacy, the state in Scotland wants to attach an official to every kid and to keep tabs on said kid’s physical and moral wellbeing.

Hopefully, the Scots will, at some point, rise up and rebel against all this crap.  But until they do, I’m going to start referring to my dad’s European ancestors as Ulstermen.  Because Country-I’m Thoroughly-Embarrased-By-And-Would-Really-Rather-Not-Be-Associated-With-Right-Now-Irish is far too long and wouldn’t fit on any forms.

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10 Responses to Nanny State in a Kilt

  • You forgot about midwives being coerced to perform the murder of the unborn in abortion now…

  • It was not until x-rays disclosed that tar and nicotine coated the lungs and caused cancer was smoking no longer considered a pleasurable pastime, but an expensive medical cost. People just died. I am asthmatic and have an asthma attack when exposed to second hand smoke. Joseph Stalin died of an asthma attacked less than two weeks after he had his personal physician executed. Dependent children ought to be protected and so ought professionals who come to practice their profession in your home, like it or not when a person comes into your home you are liable for his well being. Second hand smoke kills.
    I am also allergic to alcohol and I miss the occasional wine or other hard drink so I shall not comment on this.
    Now, the most important part of my comment. Every person is dying. Each and every breath may be that person’s last breath. The state does not give life, but must protect life. The sign of the cross for a person who may have breathed his last breath, cannot legitimately be denied. The sign of the cross is necessary before every sports game. The hard ball hit me right between the eyes. Dark lines filled my head. I did not feel hitting the ground. I am still here but for anyone to deny me the freedom to make the sign of the cross that day, let him go to hell.
    Here is my take on the state:
    Isaiah 50:4-9
    4The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him that is weary. Morning by morning he wakens, he wakens my ear to hear as those who are taught. 5The Lord GOD has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I turned not backward. 6I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I hid not my face from shame and spitting. 7For the Lord GOD helps me; therefore I have not been confounded; therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame;8he who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who is my adversary? Let him come near to me. 9Behold, the Lord GOD helps me; who will declare me guilty? Behold, all of them will wear out like a garment; the moth will eat them up.
    No trial in absentia. The accused must be faced by his accuser in a court of law. Habeas Corpus. Even before the Magna Carta; even before The Declaration of Independence; even before the Constitution; even before the Declaration on Human Right of the United Nations. From Whom did these magnificent founding principles come but from God through Isaiah, who was put to death by tyrants and oppressors.
    Isaiah 43: 5-10: Fear not, for I am with you; from the east I will bring back your descendents, from the west I will gather you. 6 I will say to the north: Give them up! and to the south: Hold not back! Bring back my sons from afar, and my daughters from the ends of the 7: earth: everyone who is named as mine, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made. 8 Lead out the people who are blind though they have eyes, who are deaf though they have ears. 9 Let all the nations gather together, let the people assemble! Who among them could have revealed this, or foretold to us the earlier things? Let them produce witnesses to prove themselves right, that one may hear and say, “It is true!” 10 You are my witnesses says the Lord, my servants whom I have chosen to know and believe in me and understand that it is I. Before me no god was formed, and after me there shall be none.11 It is I, I the Lord: there is no savior but me. 12 It is I who foretold, I who saved; I who made it known, not any strange god among you; you are my witnesses, says the Lord. I am God. Yes from eternity I am He; there is none who can deliver from my hand; who can countermand what I do?
    The First Amendment.
    Civil rights of all nations are either plagiarized from God or formulated from the Bible, without giving God and the Sacred Scripture proper acknowledgement.

  • In 1866, my great great grandfather, George McLuckie, a Catholic Scot, left Scotland forever and came to the United States. He lived in Allegany County, Maryland. The two most significant towns in Allegany County are Cumberland and Frostburg, both of which are closer to Pittsburgh than Baltimore, Annapolis or Washington, DC.

    Thank you, Mr. McLuckie, for leaving that miserable country.

  • Every child ought to have a court appointed guardian insinuates that the child’s parents are critically insufficient or criminally negligent. The cost to the tax payers will be insurmountable. Every child does have a guardian appointed by the court. Every citizen acting for the common good in good will is responsible for every individual person as his neighbor.
    Every child ought to have a court appointed guardian gives the government the license to surveillance… I started to write a normal response when it hit me. Tying parental love and the loss of children to subjugation to the state’s bidding is ingenius. Pure genius. What devil thought this up?
    Ingenius, absolute genius, except that violating parental love and parental prerogatives to extort concessions, and subjugate the individual person who constitutes the state did not work for Hitler nor for communist Russia and on two points, the children will grow up and learn to reason (ask the grandchildren of the Holocaust victims if they love Hitler) and Scotland will lose its sovereignty and become a gulag. To threaten parents with the loss of their sons and daughters unless they conform to the state’s tyranny, let us say, of being taught in public school that 2+2=5, or that a man lying to his sperm is a natural expression of love, or that man is a beast without redemption, or that man has no eternal life, nor human rights endowed by their Creator; to subjugate the people to the dictates of the state by the threat of the loss of their children is diabolical.

  • The sooner the Scottish taxpayers have to start paying for all this the better. That’s the only hope of putting this train in reverse.

  • My grandfather Don Piper after who I am named, would be ashamed of his Highland Scottish heritage, having been a descendant of the pipers of the MacDoanld clan. He used to talk to me with pride of his ancestry and ingrained it in my persona.
    I am inclined to think that he would take that old Mk.II Lee Enfield .303 rifle that he brandished as he rushed ashore at Galipoli on that fateful 25th. April 1915 day, and run the attached bayonet up the loins of some of his modern so called loyal countrymen.
    What a disgrace, and an insult to all honourable Scotsmen – from William Wallis to Robbie Burns to those who helped establish the free world.

  • One thing not alluded to in all this: the Scottish National Party is a purveyor of pseudo-particularism.

    I got into an online discussion with some SNP partisans last fall and their reasons for Scottish secession boiled down to “we’re tired of being ruled by southern English public schoolboys”. Now run down the list of British Prime Ministers of the last 50 years and pick out the ‘southern English public schoolboys’. The only such specimen to have lived in 10 Downing Street since 1964 has been David Cameron, (whose paternal side relations migrated from Scotland to England a generation or so back). Maybe a third of David Cameron’s cabinet might be described as ‘southern English public schoolboys’. Masses of people in Scotland despise Margaret Thatcher (who bore little resemblance to ‘southern English public schoolboys’). David Cameron is the only public school boy to have led the Conservative Party in that time and the Labour Party’s leaders over the last 20 years have had backgrounds at least as tony as those of the Conservative Party.

    Now consider the public program of the SNP proposed removing Scotland from the UK but not removing Scotland from the EU or any other supranational body. The EU and derivatives of the Council of Europe can be quite intrusive and impose obligations on their members which are the antithesis of sovereignty. The elected officials in Westminster are unacceptable to SNP partisans, but the bureaucratic pustules in Brussels are fine-and-dandy.

    Now consider the public statements of the SNP press office, chock-a-bloc with denunciations of the United Kingdom Independence Party. What’s the point of one particularist organization attacking another? There wouldn’t be if local self-government was what animated the SNP (rather than a greater franchise for SNP bosses to piss away other people’s money on their clientele). However, to Britain’s bien pensants, UKIP is icky.

    What’s depressing is that the Scottish electorate falls for this poisonous humbug hook, line, and sinker.

  • The sovereign personhood of each and every person constitutes the state. The sovereign person’s taxes fund government. In our Preamble to our Constitution is expressed the purpose of our Constitution, the guidelines for government’s relationship with the citizens. If such laws that enable government officials to remove children from their parents are imposed, the framers of the state ought to enable themselves to sue the government for malfeasance, malicious behavior and for any injury. (Isn’t this what the gay agenda is already doing?)
    Un-emancipated, dependent minor children, a captive audience, have at least until emancipation plus several months, and then some, to sue for injury, if their parents do not or cannot sue as their parents or guardians. This ability to sue the government will be a force to maintain equal Justice and civil rights…freedom for all persons and sovereignty for the people as a nation. The Trial at Nuremberg was the victims of the Holocaust suing Hitler’s regime.
    Take a child from his parents and make the child a ward of a tyrannical government would cause injury. This injury must be indemnified. Being unable to sue for damages causes further injury. (If the LGBT+ injures your child and you cannot sue the LGBT+, then the child, when emancipated, ought to be free to sue the government that imposed such injury on him.) What makes the government above the law and giving a good account of itself? Do we not have a Government Accountability Office to account for money? Why not a government accountability office for injuries suffered at the hands of government agencies? Do not persons incarcerated unjustly, then, have indemnity? The people as a whole constituted the government. The people as a whole can and may be held accountable.
    In the Old Testament, God refers to Himself with a capital “G”. “I AM your GOD and you are men sacred to me”. ( I will find that notation) God refers to men as “the lesser gods”, small “g”, but, nonetheless divine, made in the image of Divinity. The anti-theist will reject his small “g” divinity because the atheist rejects his Creator. If the anti-theist’s atheism injures any other person, adult or minor, that person, the atheist, anti-theist, secular humanist or any of the ilk, Satan worshipper, becomes liable in a court of law for damages.
    The sovereign souls of the aborted, when allowed to know their aborters at the Last Judgment, will then be able to pursue equal Justice in the court of heaven. This is their prerogative and their just due.
    If Scotland pursues taking children from their parents, then let them be ready with a good account of themselves, equal to, or better than the damages inflicted on a minor child. I also hold with suing the state if self-defense is denied and the police fail to protect a citizen from crime. Your tax dollars at work.
    Let me too, apologize for the length of this comment.

  • Magdalene wrote, “You forgot about midwives being coerced to perform the murder of the unborn in abortion now…”

    In fact, the Inner House ((Lord Mackay of Drumadoon, Lady Dorrian, and Lord McEwan)) unanimously upheld their right to conscientious objection. Lady Dorrian said, “The right is given because it is recognised that the process of abortion is felt by many people to be morally repugnant. As Lord Diplock observed in the RCN case, it is a matter on which many people have strong moral and religious convictions, and the right of conscientious objection is given out of respect for
    those convictions and not for any other reason. It is in keeping with the reason for the exemption that the wide interpretation which we favour should be given to it. It is consistent with the reasoning which allowed such an objection in the first place
    that it should extend to any involvement in the process of treatment, the object of which is to terminate a pregnancy.”

    It was the Supreme Court (A UK court with an English majority) that reversed the judgment of the Inner House.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour: “It was the Supreme Court (A UK court with an English majority) that reversed the judgment of the Inner House.”
    The repudiation of the sovereignty of the people of Scotland in itself is reason to wish independence.

United Kingdom Still United

Friday, September 19, AD 2014


Groundskeeper Willie Weeping

Supporters of Scottish Independence came up short of their goal in the vote yesterday:

Scotland spurned independence in a historic referendum that threatened to rip the United Kingdom apart, sow financial turmoil and diminish Britain’s remaining global clout.

A vote for the 307-year union is a relief for millions of Britons including Prime Minister David Cameron, whose job was on the line, as well as allies across the world who were horrified at the prospect of the United Kingdom’s separation.

Unionists won 55 percent of the vote while separatists won 45 percent with 31 of 32 constituencies declared.

Political leaders of all hues agreed that Britain would be changed for good nonetheless.

Unionists cheered, kissed and drank wine and beer in Glasgow, Scotland’s biggest city where secessionists won, while nationalist leader Alex Salmond conceded defeat in Edinburgh, which supported the United Kingdom.

“Scotland has by a majority decided not, at this stage, to become an independent country. I accept that verdict of the people and I call on all of Scotland to follow suit in accepting the democratic verdict of the people of Scotland,” Salmond said.

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26 Responses to United Kingdom Still United

  • The result does not surprise me, nor am I particularly disappointed.
    The debate was never really about nationalism (whatever that means in a Scottish context); it was about self-government and local democracy. Most Scots want to see more of the decisions that affect Scotland taken in Scotland; not only that, but they want more of those decisions taken locally, rather than in either Westminster or Edinburgh..
    It is very striking that the area most opposed to independence was Orkney, with 67% voting “No,” closely followed by Shetland with 63%. They have no more wish to be ruled by the Central Belt than by Westminster. Dumfries & Galloway in the Borders on 66% tell the same story.
    Greater devolution from Westminster to Edinburgh, coupled with greater devolution from Edinburgh to the local councils will satisfy the aspirations of most Scots and, if that is what emerges from the referendum debate, it will be no bad thing.
    Those of us who support EU membership may see Westminster as a fifth wheel and support a “Europe of the regions,” but that is another story.

  • Hmmm . . . devolution of political power away from a remote centralized authority, giving greater franchise and decision-making capacity to states and municipalities. What a great concept! Maybe we should try it here in the States!
    Nah. It’d never work.

  • it was about self-government and local democracy. Most Scots want to see more of the decisions that affect Scotland taken in Scotland; not only that, but they want more of those decisions taken locally, rather than in either Westminster or Edinburgh.

    You’re going to need all your skills as a barrister to reconcile that assessment with the following: (1) Salmond proposed to remain in the EU and had no plans for withdrawing from the Council of Europe and the officious tribunals and commissions associated with it and (2) Salmond proposed to retain Sterling as the currency. (The possible explanation for the latter would be that proposing a new currency ‘ere you were ready to impose it would induce a run on Scottish banks) and (3) the official line of the Scottish National Party is to despise UKIP.

  • I think it basically boiled down to most folks favored security over uncertainty, no matter how attractive opportunity/independence may seem in the abstract.

  • Oh and Celtic got a decent away result in Austria! 🙂

  • Art Deco,

    Reliable estimates put the hard core Nationalist vote – those who demand nothing short of separation – at about 30%. The Nationalist victory in the 2011 elections to the Scottish parliament included a considerable number of voters disenchanted with Labour and, indeed, the Westminster parties. I do not believe this has changed significantly.

    One suspects that not a few “Yes” voters have no great love for the SNP, often sneeringly referred to as the “Tartan Tories,” but simply did not trust Westminster to deliver Devo Max (still a somewhat vague concept). Following independence, the SNP might well have seen a lot of its support evaporating. Likewise, it would not surprise me if not a few “No” voters go on to support the SNP in local and parliamentary elections, precisely because they are seen as the only party not controlled by the Westminster establishment.

    Finally, the EU is much more popular across all shades of opinion in Scotland than in England, especially the Social Chapter and Regional Development Grants. Ironically, if there is a referendum on EU membership in 2017, it could well be Scottish votes that tip the balance in keeping the UK in the EU. As for the currency, it was long SNP policy to join the Euro, until that was overtaken by events in 2008. UKIP is widely dismissed as simply the breakaway Thatcherite wing of the Tory party.

  • MPS, when I said you were going to need your skills as a barrister, I meant make an actual argument which reconciles those viewpoints, not give a laundry list of all the arbitrary opinions adhered to by Scottish voters and politicians.

  • Whew! Now, the UK doesn’t need to relocate its nucular weapons sites!

    High-fives all around.

  • Subsidiarity – Yesterday, Today and Forever.

  • “One suspects that not a few “Yes” voters have no great love for the SNP, often sneeringly referred to as the “Tartan Tories,””

    Scottish nationalists were originally conservatives until they learned that nationalism could be sold if alloyed with the infantile leftism so popular among a majority of the Scottish electorate. Anyone who views the SNP as in any shape conservative now is delusional.

  • From what I gather, both major parties in Scotland are quite to the left. Perhaps attachment to England is actually a moderating influence. And is Ireland any better?

  • Art Deco wrote:

    “Salmond proposed to remain in the EU…”

    Aye “independence in Europe” is almost as oxymoronic as “civic nationalism”! 🙂

    the results came in from the “SNP heartlands” in the North East

  • Donald R McClarey writes:

    “Tartan Tories”.

    It is a long time since that jibe carried any weight Maister McC. Informed opinion is that the last of them died out years ago. I myself was of that opinion.

    That said…

    You are aware I take it that, Dundee excepted, the Nationalists did surprisingly badly in what conventional opinion considers their “electoral strongholds” in the North East? Salmond couldnae even win a majority in his own Scottish parliamentary constituency! 🙂 Do not misunderstand. There are actually very significant numbers of Conservative voters in Scotland. But in the normal run of Westminster, Edinburgh and even local elections they stay at home because the Westminster first past the post and that particular form of PR used in the Scottish parliamentary electoral systems serve them very badly. They are so dispersed across the country that for many it was not worth while making the effort to vote. The referendum represented their first chance in a generation to have their vote count. But even taking this factor into account the Nationalists poor showing in their “strongholds” is still puzzling. Unless there has for over a generation been a significant part of their support that isn’t actually secessionist. Informed opinion was most certainly aware that their more recent electoral gains were of the “soft” variety but I suspect that their core vote was also much softer than any of us thought…?

  • Apologies to Michael Paterson-Seymour and Donald R. McClarey.

    I have only just realized that was quoted material I replied to above! 🙁

    By way of mitigation I was up until the we small hours after an evening of running OAPs to the polling and have had way too little sleep!

  • Scottish nationalists were originally conservatives until they learned that nationalism could be sold if alloyed with the infantile leftism

    Thus far, no indication this is working in Wales. Plaid Cymru has suffered from a slow but monotonic decline in its fortunes for about 15 years now. A couple of years ago, they installed in the leadership a lapsed social worker known for her bad attitude, loose morals, and lack of facility in Welsh Gaelic. To judge from their polls, it’s not working. At this rate, they sink to 4th party status in about a decade.

  • MPS avers that “UKIP is widely dismissed [in Scotland] as simply the breakaway Thatcherite wing of the Tory party.” Other times, he avers that UKIP is “neo-fascist”.
    It is the undying effort of the Left to paint anti-communists as fascists because fascists were anti-communist.

  • I don’t really care for “Rule Britannia” but how about Beethoven’s “Seven Variations on God Save the Queen” as a tribute to the NO vote.
    It was commissioned by a group of Scots businessmen styled the Board to Promote Arts and Manufactures iirc.

  • Art Deco

    Welsh nationalism is complicated by the language question, in a way that Scottish nationalism is not. There is, or was, a fear (well- or ill-founded) amongst monoglot English speakers that a knowledgeof Welsh could be made a requirement for the public service &c, at least in some areas, if not in all.

    I am told that one occasionally hears gaelic on police wave-bands in Glasgow; the force has traditionally recruited in the Highlands and Islands.

  • “God Save The Queen” is an awfully trite piece of music (and “Flower of Scotland,” is, if anything, rather worse)
    I remember when a new official arrangement of La Marseillaise was introduced, I think under Valéry Giscard d’Estaing. It was intended to be less martial. Well, the orchestra at the Comédie Française played it after a performance of Racine’s Phèdre with Jeanne Moreau (a fine stage performer in classical roles) in the lead.
    At its conclusion, a little stout man ran onto the stage from the wings, shouldered the conductor aside and, in the tones of a drill-sergeant, ordered, “Now, play the Marseillaise!” After a moment of stunned silence, the orchestra responded with gusto, the company and the whole audience joining in. I would not have missed that moment for worlds.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour wrote:

    “God Save The Queen” is an awfully trite piece of music (and “Flower of Scotland,” is, if anything, rather worse)”

    Aye. It’s no’ the best anthem out there I will grant, but it is our own nonetheless. And you are entirely correct about that dirge “Flower of Scotland”. “Yon’s a cheesy tune. You’ll no play that!” 🙂

    I love “I Vow To Thee My Country”. I wish I could find a recording with the very politically incorrect extra verse. Particulary in this year of all years. For a fleeting moment I thought I had finally found one only yesterday when I came across the full version of Beck Goldsmith’s recent interpretation. But it only used the first two lines of the extra verse…

    Best of all for me though, although unsuitable as an anthem I suppose, is the late and much missed Radio 4 theme. The “Londonderry Air/Annie Laurie” segent is heartbreakingly beautiful to this Scot who’s ancestors hailed from Ulster and Ayrshire. Daft I know, but I have always thought of it as Britain’s portion of some Ainulindalë…

  • There is, or was, a fear (well- or ill-founded) amongst monoglot English speakers that a knowledgeof Welsh could be made a requirement for the public service &c, at least in some areas, if not in all.

    About 20% of the population fancies it is fluent in Welsh Gaelic, of whom the number who do not speak English approaches nil. I’d wager ‘ill-founded’.

  • Kennybhoy,
    Thanks for the link to I Vow To Thee My Country with the various renditions. I had forgotten how beautiful the music with such moving lyrics.

  • Art Deco

    Something very similar was imposed by the Irish Free State, which had an even smaller percentageof native Irish speakers.

    Even now, as an Irish friend explained to me, “It’s still compulsory, but not as compulsory as it use to be.”

  • Something very similar was imposed by the Irish Free State, which had an even smaller percentageof native Irish speakers.

    I take it de Valera understood what his constituency would assent to and what they would not.

  • Art Deco wrote, “I take it de Valera understood what his constituency would assent to and what they would not.”
    De Valera was, in private life, a member of Conradh na Gaeilge. He had joined the In 1908 he joined the Árdchraobh, where he met his wife, Sinéad Ní Fhlannagáin, a teacher of Irish at the League’s Leinster College in Parnell Square, Dublin.
    Most of the leadership of Sinn Féin were members, even though few were native speakers. There was a strong feeling at the time that political independence of England would prove illusory, without cultural independence, in which the revival of the native language would play a vital rôle.
    Curiously, in Scotland, there was a famous clash around the beginning of the last century between the Highland clergy (including the celebrated “Enzie bishops”)) and the Irish immigrant clergy over the Gaelic chapels in Glasgow. The Irish were staunchly Anglophone. The Highlanders were engaged in a struggle with government over state funding of their Gaelic Elementary schools in the diocese of Argyll and the Isles and bitterly resented what they saw as a stab in the back by the incomers.
    Note: Enzie, in NW Banffshire roughly comprises the parishes of Bellie and Raffiven and produced no fewer than 11 bishops.

Another Vote For Scottish Independence

Tuesday, September 16, AD 2014

“The noblest prospect which a Scotchman ever sees, is the high road that leads him to England!”

Dr. Samuel Johnson

As faithful readers of this blog know, I am in favor of Scotland voting to break away from the UK.  Go here to read my reasons why.  I welcome Groundskeeper Willie to the cause, particularly because of his keen insight into the Scottish national character, as he demonstrates below in mentioning some of the mortal enemies of the Scots:

Update:  Ah, PJ O’Rourke has joined the chorus calling for Scottish Independence:


This coming Thursday the Scots will vote on whether to make Scotland an independent nation. And I hope they do because it will be a disaster.

I don’t say this as a prejudiced Irishman. Even though the thistle-arse sheep-shagger Scots swiped Ulster and sent a herd of Presbyterian proddy dogs and porridge wogs to squat on our land and won the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 by using unfair—indeed, unheard of —- organization, discipline, and tactics on an Irish battlefield. We Micks only hold a grudge about such things for 300 years or so.

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24 Responses to Another Vote For Scottish Independence

  • καὶ ἐχθροὶ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου οἱ οἰκιακοὶ αὐτοῦ [Matt 10:36].

  • How very true, which is why I usually recommend to clients that they do not go into business with relatives. (Like most people I am better at giving advice that taking it, since my son, unless he gets a better offer, will probably three years hence be joining me in my practice.)

  • Here is an idea that has raised it’s ugly head: “The [UK] flag at the moment is based on three Christian crosses, is that really appropriate for the demographic of the United Kingdom now? I am not absolutely sure that it is.” says Charles Ashburner CEO of the Flag Institute.

  • Congratulations! McClarey & McClarey!

  • National character trumps any so called United country which has lost (legislated away) most sense of the integrity of character, along with that of the nation.

  • It does not need to be a disaster, but Salmond and the Scottish National Party will do their bloody best to make it one in their drive to create employment opportunities for the second tier professional-managerial types and ruin Scottish labor markets and housing markets more than they have been to date. One trouble with it is that it’s much more driven by petty and unjustified resentments and vain poses than by an interest in local self-government. The latter could be advanced by general devolution within the UK and withdrawal from carbuncles like the EU and the Council of Europe (which is precisely what they wish not to do in Scotland). See also the hostility of the SNP to UKIP, which shows their true colors.

    The irony is that the UK is about the least problematic multinational state there’s ever been. The obvious candidates for a velvet divorce in the occidental world are the two halves of Belgium and the two halves of Canada (who are not facing vigorous secessionist movements as we speak).

  • My head says “NO!” But my heart says “YES!”
    And, like any self-respecting Gael when it comes to such matters, the heart rules.
    A! Fredome is a noble thing!
    Fredome mays man to haiff liking.
    Fredome all solace to man giffis,
    He levys at es that frely levys!
    Freedom is a noble thing!
    Great happiness does freedom bring.
    All solace to a man it gives;
    He lives at ease that freely lives.
    ~ John Barbour, The Brus

  • Art Deco wrote, “One trouble with it is that it’s much more driven by petty and unjustified resentments and vain poses than by an interest in local self-government. The latter could be advanced by general devolution within the UK”

    This would need some solution of the “West Lothian Question,” posed by Tam Dalyell, MP for West Lothian. At present, Scottish MPs can vote on English laws affecting, say, health or education, even though health and education are devolved to the Scottish Parliament, so those laws would apply in England, but not in Scotland. One solution would be the creation of an English assembly/parliament, or even assemblies for the English regions with devolved powers, although no one at Westminster seems particularly keen on that idea.

    More fundamentally, the whole question of the constitution of the UK would need to be addressed. At the moment the Uk has an unwritten constitution, not that it would be difficult to write it down. Here it is – “(1) Parliament can make and unmake any law whatsoever, including the laws governing its own composition and duration and (2) No person or body of persons can make any law, unless authorised by Parliament to do so.” That is the sum total of our constitutional law.

  • although no one at Westminster seems particularly keen on that idea.

    Well, maybe they ought to get busy and write the enabling legislation: one for the North, one for the Midlands, one for the West Country, one for East Anglia &c., one for London and the densely settled Home Counties, one for the rest of the Home Counties and stray southern counties. While you’re at it, get out of the EU, the United Nations, and the Council of Europe. I cannot see that it’s necessary to muck about with the British constitution in general, bar kicking Tony’s cronies out of the House of Bourgeois Lords and annulling all Euro-legislation.

  • like any self-respecting Gael

    Who got stuck with one of those blah Scandinavian patronymics. My sympathies.

  • Actually, Anderson is one of the most common surnames in Scotland, unconnected to any Scandinavian derivation. It’s derived from Mac Ghille Andrais (Mhic Giolla Andrais), also MacAndrew, which is Gaelic for son (or follower) of Andrew (the patron saint of Scotland).

  • But its definitely an Anglicization of Gaelic patronymics. So, yeah, it’s a rather “blah” surname by comparison to many of the others.

  • Never mind, Art. I misunderstood what you were saying.
    Yes, certainly, the Scandinavian influence on the development of English led to my unfortunately non-Gaelic surname.
    Oh well. Still one of the most common names in Scotland.


  • Britain can give the Scots something better than independence–quarantine!

  • Ah, Scotland…..homeland to some of Mr. McClarey’s ancestors…and some of mine.

    There is an online Catholic magazine, Regina. It is an excellent publication. The latest issue is about Scotland and its Catholics, incluidng its Catholic and anti-Catholic history. There is an article about clan Lamont – a clan loyal to the Catholic faith who often paid for it with their property and their lives. All of their ancestral homelands have been taken or sold off. What I found interesting is that one of the sept families – a family that belongs to the clan – is the McLuckie family – my mother’s family. So, I’m a member of clan Lamont! Interestingly enough, the chief of clan Lamont today is Father Peter Noel Lamont, a Catholic priest of Rydalmere, Australia.

    Soooooooo…I have another great grandparent who fled his/her homeland to escape repression/persecution (Warsaw was under the Czar’s thumb, the Kulturkampf treated Catholics like garbage, and the Scots were, well, they were Scots).

    Today, September 17th, is the 75th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s invasion of Poland.

  • Micha Elyi : “Britain can give the Scots something better than independence–quarantine!”
    I do not comprehend you comment.
    “Britain can give the Scots something better than independence–friendship”

  • Penguins Fan

    The British government treated the Highland clergy with great savagery after the failure of the ’45. Of the priests who had accompanied the Prince, Rev Mr Colin Campbell of Morar was killed at Culloden, shot down by Hessian mercenaries, whilst trying to rally the fugitives. Rev Mr Allan MacDonald, rector of the illegal, but tolerated seminary at Scalan, near Glenlivet was imprisoned for a year in a military garrison and then ordered to leave the country. Scalan itself was burned on the orders of the Duke of Cumberland, as a “nest of traitors.” Rev Mr Aeneas McGillis of Glengarry was put to the horn (outlawed) and fled the country. Of those who had stayed at home, but had “prayed for the Pretender,” Rev Mr Neil McFie of the Rough Bounds, Rev Mr Alexander Forrester of Uist and Rev Mr James Grant of Barra were bundled on board ship and deported to France, without the formality of a trial. Rev Mr William Harrison of the Rough Bounds was later captured carrying dispatches and similarly deported.

    Bishop Hugh MacDonald, who had made himself odious to government by blessing the Jacobite standard at Glenfinnan was prosecuted on the charge of being a Jesuit, priest, or trafficking papist in 1756, the first such prosecution in a century and banished, a sentence he ignored.

    Bishop Hugh Macdonald had to rebuild the Church more or less from scratch. Himself the son of Alexander MacDonald of Morar and of Mary, daughter of Ranald MacDonald of Kinlochmoidart, he recruited mostly among the Highland gentry; ordained ad titulum patrimonii sui [to the title of their patrimony] and unpaid, they stayed with relatives, or with influential friends, and served their native place. Thus we have Alexander MacDonald of the Scotus family living in Knoydart; Austen MacDonald of Glenaladale in Moidart; Allan MacDonald of Morar’s family living in the Morar area; James MacDonald, son of John MacDonald of Guidall in the Rough Bounds, and so on. Bishop Hugh was succeeded by his nephew, John MacDonald of Morar.

  • Now’s the day
    And now’s the hour

  • Mr. Paterson-Seymour,

    Clan Lamont members were killed by clan Campbell members – 136 at Dunoon in 1646 – not the English. This comes right from the clan Lamont website.

    It’s a shame clan Lamont did not have the Polish Hussars to defend them. The Husaria would have smashed the Campbells, Cromwell and his army, the rest of the anti-Catholic Scots and English and anyone else in their way. Don’t believe me?

    Pray tell, just out of curiosity, to which clan do you belong, Mr. Paterson-Seymour?

  • According to the time zones, there are five hours after the 8:00 AM announcement for the eastern US to hear results from the electronic voting machines.

  • Penguins Fan

    The Seymour family is not Scottish, but French, originally from Sint-Maur-des-Fossés in the Île-de-France. I have seen old records where the name is variously spelled Saint-Maur and St Maur.

    The numerous versions of the Seymour arms contain blue (azure) fleur-de-lis (“clove gillyflower” in Scottish heraldry) on a gold (or) field.

    Originally vassals of the abbey of St Maur, they borrowed them from the arms of the abbey, but reversed the tints. In the abbery arms, they were gold on blue. It was very common for vassals to include a reference to their superior’s arms in this way.

Scottish Independence

Sunday, September 7, AD 2014

Well, the Scottish independence referendum is up for a vote on September 18.  I suspect that if the referendum supports independence that such a move will be an economic disaster for Scotland, combined with a socialist government whose economic forecasts seem to owe just as much to Groucho, Harpo and Chico as they do Karl.  Having said that I am all in favor of Scottish independence.  Why?

Depriving Labour of 63 Scottish MPs would probably ensure Tory government in England for the foreseeable future and that would be good for the US both in foreign policy and trade.

Socialists are completely dominant in Scotland and probably will be until they have total power to cause the type of disasters that socialists routinely bring about when they govern unchecked.

Scotland has bred since World War II generations who believe that a socialist utopia can exist in Scotland if it were not for malevolent forces south of the border preventing the building of paradise.  They view Mel Gibson’s Braveheart flick as a documentary. Time to put this myth to a test.  Vote Yes for Scottish independence if you have the misfortune to currently reside in the land of some of my ancestors.

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41 Responses to Scottish Independence

  • Yes, It’s all the fault of the sassenachs.

    I had an uncle who was Scottish – came to NZ and married my aunt. He was from Edinborough – served in the Royal Engineers in WW2 and was a good bloke- died a year ago. But anyone south of the border in UK was still a sassenach. 🙂

  • I suspect that if the referendum supports independence that such a move will be an economic disaster for Scotland, combined with a socialist government whose economic forecasts seem to owe just as much to Groucho, Harpo and Chico as they do Karl.

    The problem is not sovereignty per se, which has been conceded often enough in the post-war period without inducing economic disasters, but the dispositions of the Scottish National Party and the impulses behind it (many of which are puerile).

  • I think deep down the Scottish National Party are pragmatists. If they achieve independence they will wake up to the economic realities, they will realise the price of independence. They will likely switch to being the party of big business interests. Salmond will try to lure foreign investment with the promises of an unregulated economy.

  • Don the Kiwi
    “Sassanenach” (actually “Sasunnach”) means “Saxon” and, in the West Highland and the Islands, it is used indifferently to refer to English speakers, English and Lowland Scots alike.
    Matthew C
    The SNP are widely dubbed the “Tartan Tories.” Not a few people will support them until Independence and then vote for what they see as more radical alternatives.

  • I shall be voting for independence
    1) If the UK want Trident nuclear missiles, I would prefer them to be based in the Severn, the Solent or the Thames, rather than the Gare Loch and Loch Long. For too long, Scots have been regarded as expendable.
    2) An independent Scotland is much less likely to involve itself in dubious foreign adventures, from Suez to Iraq and Afghanistan.
    3) There is a strong possibility that the UK, as presently constituted will leave the EU; an independent Scotland will certainly be a welcome member. I am a strong supporter of EU membership for personal reasons (it allows me to practice law in France as well as Scotland), as well as regarding it as good for Scotland.
    4) I do not want to be governed by a Tory government, especially with a neo-fascist party like UKIP, as the tail wagging the dog in a future coalition.

  • “For too long, Scots have been regarded as expendable.”

    Balderdash. The threat of a conventional nuclear war is close to nil. If there were a nuclear war, the prime target in the British Isles would of course be London.

    “An independent Scotland is much less likely to involve itself in dubious foreign adventures, from Suez to Iraq and Afghanistan.”

    Considering the way that anti-semitism has taken hold in Left Scotland I would not discount the possibility of a Scottish government getting involved in the Middle East on the side of groups opposed to Israel.

    “There is a strong possibility that the UK, as presently constituted will leave the EU; an independent Scotland will certainly be a welcome member.”

    Scottish nationalists and the bureaucrats in Brussels are definitely on the same wavelength of governments controlling every aspect of life.

    “I do not want to be governed by a Tory government”

    Unsurprising considering that Scotland is now going through a Leftist fever dream. Let us all know how Scotland feels once it wakes up.

  • “Not a few people will support them until Independence and then vote for what they see as more radical alternatives.”

    Cattle thievery seems to be in the Scottish genetic makeup. It will be less popular I think once the Scots are reduced to picking each other’s pockets and the rich flee en masse south.

  • Gosh, talk about believing brave heart being a documentary brings a wry smile. I have to say I saw a Brit documentary just last evening on public tv that told us partial and slanted info about Charles 1 and about Cromwell.
    A straightforward press, like an unbiased history seems impossible. The “U” part of the “UK” might never have really been true. Despite all the population sent along to effect that change.

  • The Scots are a resilient and intelligent but damned hard-headed lot, as my namesake lineage will attest, back through Sarnia, Trenton (where there is still an “Aiken’s Road” out by the RCAF base) and so on, to the forbear who left Aberdeen in 1715, allegedly to avoid prosecution for piracy against the erstwhile un-unified English crown.
    It is hoped that independence is gained and the spankings ensue immediately. Learning the hard way has ever been a great Scottish talent.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour does have a rather elliptical point about the Trident missiles.
    Most of the large Royal Navy bases are now in Scotland. There appears to be some sentiment in England that the Trident should be retired should Scotland secede. Most of this sentiment is being driven by the economics of moving the RN bases south, but there does seem to be an undercurrent that the English would rather have the missiles in Scotland than in England. A similar attitude can be found in the U.S., where New Yorkers love the U.S. Air Force – in Nevada.

  • “Most of the large Royal Navy bases are now in Scotland.”
    Where they have been for a very long time. After 1904 France was no longer a potential enemy so the main naval base became Scapa Flow. In times of heightened tension the Tridents would not be in their bases but rather at sea. London would be a main target of a nuclear strike in any case against the British isles, no matter where the nukes are located. The main reason to attack Scotland would not be the subs but to take out the oil industry.

  • As far as I can see, there are two or three serious reasons for voting for Scottish sovereignty.

    1. The country’s dimensions, settlement patterns, and general level of affluence are adequate. New Zealand functions passably (and now has a full set of domestic financial markets) with a population just north of 4 million, a key metropolis with a population of about 1.3 million, and without membership in any superordinate bodies. Scotland is more populous, more affluent (near the UK mean in domestic product per capita) and has an urban hierarchy which includes a key city just a shade smaller than Auckland (which would, in an American context, support a university hospital complex), a secondary center, and a half-dozen small cities. The country is overly dependent on oil and gas exports.

    2. A sovereign Scotland could craft an immigration policy in the interests of rank-and-file Scots, not in the interest of rent-seeker business groups, malicious political parties, malicious ethnic lobbies, or the social work industry.
    3. A sovereign Scotland could craft commercial and healthy and safety regulation better adapted to local concerns, craft better social policies and restructure the institutions of common provision.

    And what do you tell us, MPS? You want to stay in the repulsive EU, which would sabotage the second object and much of the third. (And, while we’re at it, the SNP are ‘tartan tories’ only if you fancy the Kirchners in Argentina are political soulmates of John Major).

  • Art Deco wrote, “And what do you tell us, MPS? You want to stay in the repulsive EU, which would sabotage the second object and much of the third.”

    Quite a few Scots (including me) benefit from the free movement provisions of the Treaty of Rome. In addition, the Common Agricultural Policy benefits and will continue to benefit Scotland’s hill-farmers (of which I happen to be one).

    The population of Aukland is 1.42 m. The population of Glasgow (Scotland’s largest city) is 0.598 m and that of Edinburgh is 0.495 m) The total population of Scotland is 5.327 m, almost all of it concentrated in the Central Belt, from the Clyde to the Forth. The Highlands and Islands (two-thirds of the land area) contain 232,000 inhabitants, most of them in the two cities of Aberdeen and Inverness.

  • Don, I don’t think that the English attitude has anything to do with an attack, for the very reasons you list. It’s money (“let’s put the NHS first!”) and fear of nuclear cooties (“oh no, they could drop a missile on the pier and a little plutonium might leak out!”). Yeah, I’m ridiculing nuclear concerns more than they deserve, they are valid concerns, but only up to a point.

    Art, very good points. However, could the Scots really be expected to stick with point #2? Even if they stayed out of the EU wouldn’t they in the end succumb to the importation of people to prop up the social net?

  • For those interested, the latest polls

  • MPS, you’re lost in the distinction between administrative city limits and the whole metropolitan settlement. Demographia puts the Glasgow metropolitan settlement at 1.182 million.

    As has been remarked in many other places, the welfare benefits of liberal trade regimes are real but small. Leaving the EU means you retreat from that tariff schedule to one characteristic of the EFTA states. Switzerland is in passable condition without EU trade preferences. Agribusiness subsidies are bad business bar to counter-act the effect of…other countries’ agribusiness subsidies. You can stop paying for the Brussels subsidies and pay for your own, or attempt to amend your tariff schedule to take account of other countries payments to farmers.

    Your real problems will be to get a Scottish central bank up and running, persuade the corporation operating the bourse in London to open up a Scottish subsidiary in Glasgow, adjust to the loss of service export revenue as the RBS group relocates its headquarters to London, work out a supervisory architecture with Clydesdale Bank &c regulating printing and distribution of pound notes, get a contract with the Royal Mint in Wales to issue Scottish coin; and work out a regulatory architecture for your banks, finance companies, trust companies, insurance companies, and securities firms (maybe just copying extant British legislation). You’ll need the co-operation of the British government and you’ll need to issue bonds to the Treasury in London to take your share of Britain’s public debt (which bonds they might insist be denominated in Sterling with an enhanced coupon). You might also need exchange controls for an interim period until the Pound Scots finds an equilibrium value against Sterling and the Euro and the U.S. Dollar. Then there’s the question of what standards have to be met for EU nationals to retain residency permissions…

  • This could be really interesting and fun, if Franz, Duke of Bavaria, ascends to the Stuart throne, becomes monarch of Scotland, restores Scotland to the Church, and continues his tradition of dachshund parades on his birthday….there is no down side to this!

    As someone descended from both Scots (Alex Cruden) and Bavarians, I think this is good news!!

  • Art Deco

    All parties accept that it will take some two years to finalise the arrangements leading u to formal independence.

    I expect an important part of those negotiations would be Scotland’s share of common assets and common debts.

    Scottish coins already circulate and the three issuing banks, Bank of Scotland, Clydesdale and Royal Bank of Scotland already hold 100% reserves of Bank of England notes in their Issue Department to cover their note issue. There is no reason why there could not be an informal currency union, of the kind that existed between Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg before the advent of the Euro. Re-joining the EU would probably require adoption of the Euro, a requirement for new member states, although a transitional period could be negotiated.

    I have no doubt that the French authorities will give favourable consideration to those Scottish citizens resident or working in France, who lose their EU citizenship as a result of independence – I own a pied-à-terre in the bd Raspail, near the Luxembourg Gardens, which the estate agent described as “a wonderful piece of old Paris, with a wealth of period features” and my Law Agent’s wife (the ex-Minister) as “somewhere Toulouse Lautrec might have stayed – when he was down on his luck.” I am sure the Faculty of Advocates and the barreau de Paris will come to some agreement about rights of audience, for those who already have them as agrégés. In fact, I see myself picking up a fair bit of work from Scottish ex-pats in France (my main client base there), who will want advice on their legal situation.

    Any Scottish government will support hill farmers, for ecological reasons, if no other. The moors need grazing. Anyway, like our Scottish Black-Face sheep, we are a hardy lot!

  • Crusader

    At the gathering at Glenfinnan on 19 August 1745, when Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his standard, the Highlanders, according to one report, “threw their bonnets in the air and huzza’d 3 different times, crying alowd long live K. James the 8, and Charles P. of Wales, prosperity to Scotld and no union.” Stirring stuff!

  • Donald R McClarey wrote, “In times of heightened tension the Tridents would not be in their bases”

    And their stores and nuclear arsenal would be at Loch Long, about 50 miles from where I stay.

  • ““threw their bonnets in the air and huzza’d 3 different times, crying alowd long live K. James the 8, and Charles P. of Wales, prosperity to Scotld and no union.” Stirring stuff!”

    Which went down to abysmal defeat, largely with the help of Lowland Scots who sided with the English. Stirring stuff indeed.

  • MPS wrote: “1) If the UK want Trident nuclear missiles, I would prefer them to be based in the Severn, the Solent or the Thames, rather than the Gare Loch and Loch Long. For too long, Scots have been regarded as expendable.”
    If MPS does not want Trident nuclear submarines, then MPS is not entitled to the protection that their deterrent capability provides. Nor for that matter are the Scots if that too is their wish. But being socialist, their affinity for communist China and ex-KGB agent Putin would be entirely understandable.
    Paul Primavera
    Former United States Nuclear Submarine Sailor

  • I agree that the indepence of Scottland shouldt be purely based on romantic sentiments and a sortal own impression of history , but who wants to move to segregation does it at least without war now , and the balance between centralisation and decentralisation is still not made as how everyone wants it , so in that prespective I find it interesting think any decesion rissing from this refferendum shouldt go on , and might be tollerable with England it’s stand towards participation to the Europian Union , and hopefully a bordercontrol and costums will not follow from it but new ideas to work on the co-opperative collaborations with still the lovely stereotyping culturale’s I wish Scottland the best and what decision I can not decide as a Dutch but also proud Groninger sometimes realy dissapointed not by Kingdoms but egocentric politics !

  • Damm hopefully my first comment did get trough mediation , but a not is what went missing in the first sentence of what I wrote my excuse only for that , and hopefully right under it .

  • Scottish coins already circulate and the three issuing banks, Bank of Scotland, Clydesdale and Royal Bank of Scotland already hold 100% reserves of Bank of England notes in their Issue Department to cover their note issue. There is no reason why there could not be an informal currency union, of the kind that existed between Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg before the advent of the Euro.

    First Minister Juan Domingo Salmond fancies you’ll all retain the Sterling and the British government refuses to co-operate. You’d best go to plan B which means those three banks are franchiseurs in lieu of a public printing and engraving plant. It should be evident at this point that the Euro is poison.

    Sorry about your condo in Paris, but I’ll wager the frogs’ll steal it from you pour encourager les autres.

  • If MPS does not want Trident nuclear submarines,

    Striking the same attitudes, just like New Zealand ca. 1985. I wonder of Salmond is planning on dumping his wife if favor of his secretary the way David Lange did.

    Col. Salmond supposedly entertains notions in his head that he should be another ‘soft-power’ pest in the mold of Olof Palme and Pierre Elliot Trudeau instead of doing the sensible thing and contracting with the British Foreign Office to provide diplomatic and consular services most places, maintaining legations in Scotland’s 30 or so principal trading partners, and staying out of the most obtrusive international organizations because they’re rotten to the core.

  • Apart from Faslane, there are no major naval bases in Scotland; the main RN bases are at Portsmouth and Plymouth (Devonport). Alex Salmond sees Faslane as the base for his proposed Scottish Defence Force which he claims will safeguard jobs there. However, the MoD has no plans to relocate the SSBNs and any attempt to do so would be resisted by NATO (to which the British deterrent is committed and which Salmond says he wants to join) and by the United States. So they’re not going anywhere.

    Similarly, the army component which (apart from the Scots Guards, stationed in England and the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, stationed in Germany) consists of four regular battalions (the fifth is only maintained at company strength) and two territorial battalions is part of the British army and will remain so, not least because the officers and soldiers would be unlikely to transfer their allegiance to another flag and be relegated to the status of a Home Guard. The RN and RAF will certainly not transfer any of their assets, so Salmond will be recruiting from scratch, and for some years now it has been difficult to recruit in Scotland.

    An independent Scotland will not get UK defence contracts or be party to shared US/UK intelligence.

    The Labour Party has brought a lot of this upon itself but if it is returned to power next year after a ‘Yes’ vote (as well it might, since Cameron’s credibility will have been seriously undermined, and until 2020 it will still have the Scottish MPs) it will be less conciliatory to the SNP than the Tories would be. I can see it getting nasty.
    Most Scots with skills and talent will no doubt come to England, leaving the rest more welfare-dependent than ever.

    Meanwhile both major Parties are desperately trying to bribe the Scots to stay in the Union (using English taxpayers’ money, of course).

  • Most Scots with skills and talent will no doubt come to England, leaving the rest more welfare-dependent than ever.

    Most with ‘skills and talent’? You foresee an entire population of unskilled labor and welfare dependents? Is that minimally plausible?

    For the record, gross value added per capita in Scotland hugs the national mean, as does labor-force participation, unemployment rates, and worker productivity indices. Public sector employment is somewhat hypertrophied and extractive industries are more consequential than you’d prefer (if you’re prudent).

  • Donald R McClarey wrote, “Which went down to abysmal defeat, largely with the help of Lowland Scots who sided with the English. Stirring stuff indeed.”

    The national spirit is, perhaps, best summed up by the war memorial in Glasgow’s Broomilaw, where so many members of the International Brigade embarked; because, for many Scots, the war against fascism began, not in 1939 or 1941, but on 17 July 1936.

    Topped with Arthur Dooley’s bronze statue of La Pasionaria (Dolores Ibárruri), it bears the inscription, “better to die on your feet than live forever on your knees.”

    It is the spirit that survived undaunted the defeats of Flodden, Pinkie Cleugh, Killiecrankie, Sheriffmuir and Culloden.

  • ‘… for many Scots, the war against fascism began, not in 1939 or 1941, but on 17 July 1936’. More delusional thinking. The Spanish Civil War was exactly that, and needs to be understood in the context of Spanish history, not viewed through the distorting lens of 1930s ideologies. It was no more a war against fascism than it was a war against communism. By 1936 Stalinist terror was at its height and had already accounted for millions, whereas Hitler had barely started and Mussolini was hardly one of the 20th century’s mass murderers. Yet the intellectual Left fell over themselves to lick Stalin’s boots.

    Nor was Franco strictly speaking a fascist. Ironically 1939, which saw the end of the Spanish Civil War and the beginning of World War II, also saw the two totalitarian ideologies allied with one another.

    It is true that of the 20-odd battles fought between the English and Scots between 1066 and 1746 most resulted in the defeat of the latter, but then most took place on English soil. By the way, in his list of glorious failures, MPS omits one of the most important, that of Dunbar (3 September 1650).

  • “many Scots, the war against fascism began, not in 1939 or 1941, but on 17 July 1936.”

    That is understandable. Murdering thousands of Catholic priests, brothers, nuns and bishops would have been popular on both the Scottish far Left and among the extreme anti-Catholic bigots that, alas, have never been in short supply in Scotland since the Reformation.

  • La Pasionaria in her autobiography wrote of her visit to Moscow in the early 30’s “To me, who saw it through the eyes of the soul, it was the most wonderful city on earth. The construction of socialism was being managed from it. In it were taking shape the earthly dreams of freedom of generations of slaves, outcasts, serfs, proletarians. From it one could take in and perceive the march of humanity toward communism.”

    She wrote this while Gulags were being errected and the Stalin-made famine in Ukraine was taking place.

    Now maybe MPS should have comments about La Pasionaria on the “Evil on the March” thread rather than here.

  • Topped with Arthur Dooley’s bronze statue of La Pasionaria (Dolores Ibárruri), it bears the inscription, “better to die on your feet than live forever on your knees.”

    Why do you have a statue of a Stalinist hag in Glasgow? Shouldn’t that be toppled and sent to the scrapyard?

  • MPS seems to be a fellow-traveller who would have visited the Soviet Union with the Webbs and enthused about it (ignoring the starving people on railway platforms) and then ostracized Malcolm Muggeridge for reporting the truth. His opinion of Bonaparte reveals his lick-spittle adulation of tyrants. I notice he claims to practise law, and yet is not listed by either the Scottish Law Society or the Scottish Bar. He also claims to be a Scottish hill-farmer and (improbably) a Catholic.

    I would ask him to reveal his true credentials. I am quite prepared to reveal mine, but I must confess I have had my suspicions about his bona fides for some time.

  • I would ask him to reveal his true credentials.

    The point of using a pseudonym is to restrict the discussion to issues and not discuss yourself. ( draws on British sources as well as North American ones and finds no example of that surname).

  • Not so. Pseudonymous commentators do discuss themselves. From this thread alone I know more about MPS than he does about me, assuming of course that he is telling the truth. And I don’t hide my identity. Everyone knew who Lewis Carroll and mark Twain were.

  • Not so. Pseudonymous commentators do discuss themselves.

    No, they discuss fragments about themselves which are not identified with a particular person. I assume from his fragments that he’s retired. There are only about 10 working barristers in Scotland admitted prior to 1975 if you’re all that curious.

  • “Apart from Faslane, there are no major naval bases in Scotland”
    Well, to quibble, the former Royal Naval Dockyard Rosyth is no longer owned by the government, but it still does all of the refits and decommissioning of Britain’s nuclear subs and is the construction site for the new carriers. The Vulcan Naval Reactor Test Establishment is still operating – for now – in the north of Scotland. Neither should be considered to be not major, especially in regard to their support for the submarine fleet.

  • Don’s point about sectarianism is a good one. Twenty years ago an intelligent and well-informed Scotsman told me it lurked just beneath the surface and in an independent Scotland would come to the fore. The eminent (Catholic) composer James MacMillan has said much the same thing. Most of the Orangemen in Northern Ireland are descended from Scottish protestants who emigrated there in the 19th century to work in the mills and shipyards. With the possible exception of Liverpool, with its Scots-Irish population, England (which has ten times the population of Scotland) is markedly non-sectarian.

  • So far from lurking just beneath the surface, sectarianism is on prominent public display in the “Old Firm games” or soccer matches between Rangers (Protestant) and Celtic (Catholic). Witness the controversial Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012 enacted by the SNP government and which Labour in Scotland is pledged to repeal.

  • Pingback: Another Vote For Scottish Indendence | The American Catholic

Burleigh Defends the Pope

Friday, September 17, AD 2010

My second favorite living historian, Michael Burleigh, who has written stunningly original works on subjects as diverse as Nazi Germany, religion and politics in the last two centuries,  terrorism, and morality and World War II,  has taken up the cudgels against the despicable attitude of many Brits of the chattering classes regarding the visit of the Pope to the Island next to Ireland.

Under normal circumstances, one might say “welcome” rather than “receive”. But the multiple sexual scandals that have afflicted parts of the Catholic Church have created a window of opportunity for sundry chasers of limelight – including human rights militants, crusading gays, Islamist fanatics, and celebrity God-botherers – to band together to “arrest” the Pope under laws so obscure that few knew they existed. Because child abuse is involved, rather than the more widespread phenomenon of homosexual predation on young men, these manifestations will receive much media attention, especially from the BBC, to the guaranteed perplexity of a less involved general public in a nominally Protestant country. It will require some effort of mind to tune out this noise to hear what the Pope will be saying.

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3 Responses to Burleigh Defends the Pope

Are you ready for Pope Benedict's next gig?

Monday, September 13, AD 2010

Preparing for Pope Benedict’s journey to England and Scotland later this week, Catholic bishops have likened the Pope to the headline act at a series of gigs in a ‘cringe-worthy’ guide, exposing the Church to new heights of ridicule.

The Daily Mail reports (September 12, 2010):

In a list of ‘useful terms’ in the official booklet, the three open-air Papal masses – the most solemn occasions of the historic trip – are referred to as ‘shows’ or ‘gigs’, terms normally associated with rock concerts.The document also compares the clergy who organise services – known as liturgists – to ‘performers’ or ‘artists’ …

The unusual glossary raises fresh questions over the handling of Pope Benedict XVI’s four-day visit, which starts on Thursday and has already been mired in controversy.

The Church is distributing thousands of copies of the glossy, eight-page booklet produced by the Papal Visit Team, overseen by Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols. Its cover carries the official slogan of the visit – the first to Britain since 1982 – Heart Speaks Unto Heart.

Insiders said the pamphlet is aimed at workers from companies arranging events, police officers, broadcasters and journalists who may not be Catholics and are unsure about the Church’s rituals and beliefs.

Thomas Peters (The American Papist) puts the Bishop’s phrasing in the most charitable light:

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8 Responses to Are you ready for Pope Benedict's next gig?

  • I see it as condescending to the press

    And? The press has thought that the pope wore green to show his support for environmental causes. People attacking the papal visit team forget the endless bounds of stupidity and ignorance shown by the press. While “gig” & “headline act” might be a stretch, it’s not unthinkable and the rest of the terms I believe I’ve seen used before in previous coverage of catholic events.

  • Michael,

    The press has displayed abominable ignorance at times. There’s no denying it. But this should be seen as an opportunity to lift up and educate. Instead of providing a brief-but-substantial dictionary of Catholic terminology, the Bishops’ take the opposite approach by ‘dumbing down’ the language.

    Treating the readership as if they were in elementary school only encourages this ignorance. An elementary paper like USA Today could have done a better job.

  • Yeah, this is tough. Probably better off having said nothing. The real scandal in my mind is that too many Catholics seem to think of the sacred items in the list like the “similar terms”.

  • I hope he is “taken care of”….so to speak.

  • And by taken care of, I mean given great accomodations!!!

  • “it’s hard to see how this type of glossary can be received as anything other than an insult to the reader”.

    I don’t find it hard at all: this is an insult to the Eucharist and to the Mass. This is not an “explaining” of anything to anyone, this is a willed banalisation of the sacred for the sake of appearing “hip” and “connected”.

    I also suspect that those who have thought this genial initiative have no clear idea of what a Mass or what the Eucharist is. If they had had it, they would have never dared to make such comparisons.


  • Apparently, we’re wrong. It’s not to the press, it’s the people producing the Papal Event-people for whom “gig” and “headline act” are common usages. This appears to be a hatchet job.

    See Thomas Peters who has a statement from the Papal Visit team and the document in full:

  • I still can’t see your argument, Denton.

    The last page of the document is delirious even following the pages of the documents.

    No one in his right mind would ever dare to make any comparison whatever between a Mass and a “Gig”, and say that for a non-catholic the one may have the merest resemblance to the other.

    No one has ever tought or said that the last page is everything there is in the document, it is not about that.

    As for the affirmation that there is no intention of being patronising, this is more than risible. The explanations made in the previous pages make the last page even more offensive for a journalist, not less.

    The last page could have been cut out entirely, and no one would have missed it. But no, the “see, my Mass is a kind of gig” part had to be inserted.



Sunday, July 25, AD 2010

A lookalike of the Protestant Reformation leader John Knox will welcome Pope Benedict to Scotland. Mike Merrit reports for the Daily Record (UK) July 25, 2010:

The actor has been hired by the Catholic Church to play the leader of Scotland’s Protestant Reformation in a pageant of the country’s historical figures. …

Knox’s surprise inclusion by Catholic Church leaders follows accusations that this year’s 450th anniversary of the Reformation is being ignored by the Scottish Government.

The Reformation of 1560 revoked the Pope’s authority in Scotland and banned Catholic Mass. …

A Church of Scotland spokesman said: “It is a sign of a healthy nation that diversity within the Christian community is something to be celebrated as opposed to a source of division and struggle.

“It is a gift to those of us of a Protestant persuasion that by including this figure, the Catholic Church is contributing to the celebrations of the Reformation.”

(Regular roundups of news relating to Pope Benedict’s September visit to the UK may be found here).

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5 Responses to Awkward.

  • Ah, John Knox. I agree with this passage on him from the Catholic Encyclopedia:

    “As to Knox’s religion, it is sufficient to say, without questioning the sincerity of his convictions, that the reaction from the Catholicism of his youth seems to have landed him outside the pale of Christianity altogether. Permeated with the spirit of the Old Testament and with the gloomy austerity of the ancient prophets, he displays neither in his voluminous writings nor in the record of his public acts the slightest recognition of the teachings of the Gospel, or of the gentle, mild, and forgiving character of the Christian dispensation. Genial, amiable, and kind-hearted he may have been in private life, though it is difficult to see from what premises his panegyrists deduce his possession of those qualities; but the ferocity and unrestrained violence of his public utterances stand out, even in the rude and lawless age in which he lived, as surpassing almost everything recorded of his contemporaries, even those most closely in sympathy with his political and ecclesiastical views.”

  • God Bless the Highlanders who resisted him and his creed.

  • “It is a gift to those of us of a Protestant persuasion that by including this figure, the Catholic Church is contributing to the celebrations of the Reformation.”

    Isn’t ecumenism grand! 😉

  • My thoughts entirely Chris. 🙂

  • Gad – what a horrible person I must be, just looking at my “picture”.

    I am really much better looking than that – maybe a little older 😉

    Perhaps I should forward a photo……..?

Age of Martyrs

Tuesday, June 2, AD 2009


Hattip to Southern Appeal.  The executions of Saint John Cardinal Fisher and Saint Thomas More as portrayed in The Tudors.   It was largely because of the courage that these men showed, and the courage  hundreds of other men and women demonstrated who were martyred under the Crowned Monster Henry VIII, his son, and Bloody Elizabeth, that a remnant of the Catholic faith survived for centuries in England, Wales and Scotland, in the face of bitter persecution, until Catholic Emancipation in 1829.

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4 Responses to Age of Martyrs

  • I posted a similar comment over at Feddie’s, but it is unfortunate that they got More’s line wrong: it is “… the King’s good servant AND God’s first.”

    It is important to remember that the obligations are not mutually exclusive. More believed he was serving the best interests of King and country by remaining faithful to God and the Church. In the same way, we best fulfill our patriotic obligations when we remain faithful to what God asks of us.

  • Much prefer the portrayal of Thomas Moore’s martyrdom in A Man For All Seasons.

  • I loved that movie, “A Man for All Seasons”. Thank you for reminding me of it, Anthony.

  • I loved that movie, “A Man for All Seasons”. Thank you for reminding me of it, Anthony.
    Sorry… forgot to say great post – can’t wait to read your next one!