We stumbled across this quite by accident yesterday. We think you’ll enjoy it.
The clip is from last year, and was aired on Canadian national news channel Sun News. Douglas Murray is a British writer who claims to be half-Scottish on account of unspecified links to Unionist breeding ground the Isle of Lewis, popular haunt of No-camp luminaries like Alistair Darling, virulent Labour anti-devolutionist Brian Wilson and controversial “Better Together” donor Ian Taylor.
Murray studied at Eton and Oxford and writes for august UK journals like the Spectator and Guardian, as well as appearing on numerous BBC political shows. For some reason, the Canadians consider him an expert on Scottish politics, qualified to inform and enlighten their viewers. See what you think.
We particularly enjoyed the explanation of how the Acts of Union took place in 1701 and his bewilderment at the growth of the “incredibly sectarian mini-national identity” exploited by the SNP (and also the apparent belief of the show’s host that Scotland and Canada speak different languages), but our favourite bit comes right at the start.
“Scottish nationalist politics in recent years has been incredibly volatile, and is subject to really very swift change. I mean to take, as it were, the absurd example, when the film ‘Braveheart’ came out – in 1998 I think it was, the year of, or around the same time as devolution – the Scottish National Party’s share of the vote rocketed up on the basis of that strange and strangely racist anti-English movie.”
If you can stop giggling for a second, let’s just check that assertion.
What we see, in fact, is that the release of ‘Braveheart’, if anything, instantly arrested a sharp rise in the SNP vote (which had increased by 25% in 1987, then by a massive 51% in 1992), turning it first into a small 1% decrease and then a precipitous 25% plunge (followed by a further 11% drop in 2005). So top research there, Professor.
We’ll be keeping a keen eye out for Mr Murray’s next BBC appearance. But in the meantime, perhaps we should be watchful for what else British nationalists are telling the world when they think we’re not looking.