Is it me or have we finally seen the dropping of the British Unionist mask to reveal the English Nationalism that hides behind it? Since British PM David Cameron and the coalition government in London issued their soon-to-be-amended diktat to First Minister Alex Salmond and the SNP administration in Scotland about the forthcoming referendum on Scottish independence journalists and various fellow-travellers in the British media establishment have gone into a frenzy of nationalistic chest thumping. Each seems eager to outdo the other in the levels of vitriol and venom directed towards all things north of the border, while simultaneously proclaiming the importance of the “Union” and of “Great Britain” (or do they mean Greater England?).
For instance bulldog-granny, Melanie Philips, devotes a lengthy article in the Daily Mail extolling the virtues of British Unionism and the British Union, by attacking Scotland and everything Scottish that makes up that so-called union.
“…opinion polls have now shown that support for Scottish independence is actually higher among the English than the Scots — with one poll even showing that a majority of English people want to get shot of Scotland — while just about every such survey reveals that the Scots themselves would vote against it.
So it would appear that the nationalist Mr Salmond will have his work cut out trying to persuade the Scots to wave goodbye to England, while the unionist Mr Cameron will have his work cut out trying to persuade the English not to wave good riddance to the Scots (if, that is, he ever deigns to ask them).
You can see why it’s happened. The Scots know they stand to lose big time if they divorce themselves from Westminster.
For its part, however, England is fed up to the back teeth with the Scots pocketing a whacking subsidy from Westminster while constantly — and offensively — whingeing about England.”
Notice the language? The Orwellian uses of certain words designed to influence and assuage the in-built prejudices of the average Daily Mail reader? Just look at them: “get shot of Scotland”, “good riddance to the Scots”. And what about “the Scots pocketing a whacking subsidy from Westminster”? Is there a bible of anti-Scots terms somewhere that all these English nationalistic hacks work off?
“And if Scotland has a referendum on its independence, then, in any just universe, the rest of the UK must vote on the proposal, too. For while those five million Scots may argue that they have the right to decide how they are governed, they do not have the right to break up the United Kingdom regardless of the wishes of the remaining 55 million of its citizens.”
So the people of Scotland are to be denied their democratic rights? The voice of a historic national unit, a recognised polity, is to be simply disregarded and silenced by the cries of the English chattering classes?
“Nevertheless, there is undoubtedly a strong nationalist feeling in Scotland. Much of this is based on the fact it is a historic nation with several features which distinguish it from England and Wales, such as its legal system, religion and educational and cultural traditions.”
Oh, so you do recognise Scotland as a separate nation then, with several key differences from England? Just not the most important key difference – the right to democratic national self-determination.
“The fact is that England needs Scotland just as Scotland needs England. But they need to pull together as one country in a relationship of equals.
And there’s nothing like hard cash — or the loss of it — to concentrate the mind.
By casting his line with the juicy bait of a legally binding referendum, Mr Cameron caught this Salmond neatly on his hook. Now the Prime Minister should also dam the river of Westminster cash if this most puffed-up of fish is to be served up on a plate and the Union saved”.
A relationship of “equals”? Is there anything in Melanie Philips’ article that would lead one to believe that she genuinely believes that the Scots are equal to the English? Does her language, her use of certain key words and phrases, the sub-violent tone of the whole piece leave an impression of equality and respect? Or is this rather just another defence of Greater England, a piece of propagandising no different from the type made in times past by those who defended a Greater Serbia or a Greater Germany? British Unionism is simply a form of Greater English nationalism and is quiet distinct from any form of progressive English nationalism. It is a nationalism of territorial acquisition and cultural eugenics, a nationalism of an assumed order of natural selection and of natural superiority; of superior and inferior peoples and nations.
If the article by Melanie Philips represents how “British Unionists” hope to promote the continued existence of their so-called United Kingdom over the next two years, by denigrating the very nations that comprise it, then the Scots have won their cause already.
- The Partition Of Scotland? (ansionnachfionn.com)
- Official: More English than Scots want independence for Scotland (dailymail.co.uk)
- Opinion: Speaking up for Scots – a referendum on independence needs democratic legitimacy (libdemvoice.org)
- Hang on, Mr Salmond. The English MUST have a say on Scotland’s future too… (dailymail.co.uk)
- English Parliament and Scottish Independence (richardaitkins.wordpress.com)
- Moore calls for Edinburgh referendum summit with Salmond this week – stv.tv (news.stv.tv)
- Letter From Europe: The Move by Scotland to Go It Alone (nytimes.com)
- Scots Wha Hae! The battle for independence (independent.co.uk)
- A Stand-Alone Scotland (thedailybeast.com)