You’re probably wondering why I’ve gathered you here today. Mostly it was this
piece of “Journalism”, published in the Daily Mail, and linked to on Twitter by Muriel Grey, someone I have a good deal of time for. I think it’s worth having a look at, if nothing else then to see how Scotland’s movement for self-determination is pictured by the proponents of the Status Quo (Labour, The Conservatives, The LDs, The Orange Order, the EDL, Rangers Football Club and Nigel Farage.)
Basically it tells the sad story of how Scotland used to be a hell of a good country (quoting Easy Rider, of all things) and how it has become a bitter wasteland since the first IndyRef, a place of perpetual warfare between hard core Brittish Nationalists who value the Union with Britain above all else, and hate-filled uber-menschen Scottish Nationalists who see themselves as superior to all other nations, especially the big one south of them. Sort of like Star Wars, with the Empire recast as the Good Guys.
I disagreed with this, and wrote a response, and for some reason it hasn’t been published yet. I hate to see my words disappear, so here it is.
The problem with selective quotation, is that you lose context. In the movie, George (Peter Fonda) goes on to tell us what’s wrong with the country that used to be so good (and ironically, he’s speaking about 1960s West Coast America, of which Hunter S. Thomson could later say “So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high water mark — that place where the wave finally broke, and rolled back.”)
What’s wrong with the country, says George, is that it’s scared of what Billy represents:
George Hanson: What you represent to them is freedom.
Billy: What the hell is wrong with freedom? That’s what it’s all about.
George Hanson: Oh, yeah, that’s right. That’s what’s it’s all about, all right. But talkin’ about it and bein’ it, that’s two different things. I mean, it’s real hard to be free when you are bought and sold in the marketplace. Of course, don’t ever tell anybody that they’re not free, ’cause then they’re gonna get real busy killin’ and maimin’ to prove to you that they are. Oh, yeah, they’re gonna talk to you, and talk to you, and talk to you about individual freedom. But they see a free individual, it’s gonna scare ’em.”
And that, I guess, explains the 40 percent of Scots who see themsevles as hard core Unionists. I’d be interested to know how many supporters of Independence see themselves as hard core. Did the poll have those numbers?
Lastly, Stephen, I’m a man over 50 who’s never been a member of the SNP and voted Labour all his life. Go on, ask me what I think of Nicola Sturgeon?