Brothers and sisters are natural enemies. Like Englishmen and Scots! Or Welshmen and Scots! Or Japanese and Scots! Or Scots and other Scots! Damn Scots! They ruined Scotland!
– Groundskeeper Willie, speaking an untold truth
Since we’ll know who the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom will be shortly, I’ll be out for the rest of the day. But before I go, I want to make an observation.
The enemies of Scottish Nationalism are not the English, for they were ever a great and generous folk, quick to respond when justice calls. Our real enemies are among us, born without imagination.
– Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham, First president of the Scottish National Party, only president of the original Scottish Labour Party, co-Founder of both (Scottish) parties – born in London. In 1852.
I don’t want or need to go on about the “Scots want independence because we hate the English” nonsense again. and again and again. It’s the easiest, laziest, and lowest argument there is – which is why it’s so common despite the many Scottish Independence supporters born in England, with English ancestry, English family, English friends. In fact, the sheer number of English people who support Scottish Independence is the primary reason I truly loathe that accusation – in order for that to make sense, you are presuming that either I actually hate my English-born friends & family who support independence, or that my English-born friends & family who support independence just don’t matter. To accuse us Scots of Anglophobia is bad enough – but to dismiss or ignore our friends? That, I cannot abide.
Yet a couple of things happened that made me realise something else. First, probable future Secretary of State for the UK in Scotland perpetuated the cruel & false allegation of anti-English sentiment among the SNP in an attempt to drag the Scottish Government down to the same mess afflicting the UK Government and Opposition parties:
Second, the election of Jo Swinson to leadership of the Coalition party, and the near-immediate reaction from the SNP media, led multiple journalists who clearly learned nothing from the Jim Murphy debacle to exalt the new Saviour of the Union. Folk who’ve clearly never given Scottish politics the merest thought are affronted and outraged that the SNP’s immediate reaction was to demand she rule out a thing she did the last time she represented East Dunbartonshire. They demand the SNP play nice & work with a party which has steadfastly ruled out working with the SNP multiple times – either ignorant or uninterested in the constant attacks against the SNP from her party and from Swinson herself for years. Blaming the SNP for leaving the EU without a deal, when it is in large part the Coalition Party which made it so inevitable in the first place.
This proved to me something I’d always somehow known, but could never articulate. Folk like David Cameron, George Osborne, Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg – I could disagree with them in the most profound ways, acknowledge the destruction they wrought on people’s lives in the past decade. But people like Gordon Brown, Alistair Darling, David Mundell, Alistair Carmichael, Ruth Davidson, Jo Swinson – they are people who I’m ashamed to say I think I actually hate. As bad as English politicians can be for Scotland, at least you know they think they’re doing what’s best for their country – however wrong-headed you might think it is. What’s Scottish politicians’ excuse? Everything they do is for an establishment that will chew them up and spit them out. Everything they do will be for nothing.
“Damned Scots, they ruined Scotland” indeed.