Scottish independence referendum, plus jokes.

Wings Over Scotland


You and whose army?

Posted on June 24, 2013 by

The weekend’s Scotland on Sunday contained another in a long series of doom-laden predictions about the state of an independent Scotland’s defences, including the assertion that current Scottish soldiers would choose to stay with the British armed forces rather than join Scotland’s because it’d be more exciting.

(Along, as independence supporters would expect, with the standard boilerplate that we’d all be killed by terrorists, and the now-traditional dodgy Scotsman poll.)

timesbeckham1

The Sunday Times, meanwhile, wasn’t being quite so careful.

Beckham called up for 1914 replay
Organisers hope the star will add his firepower to a recreation of the England-Germany match in no man’s land

DAVID BECKHAM is to be called out of retirement to lead England in a final game against Germany — but this time in the name of reconciliation.”

Wait a minute – which match? Lead who, now? Wasn’t the whole deal supposed to be that we were “Better Together” because we all fought the beastly Hun as one glorious United Kingdom? We’re not sure that quite so many Scots would have gone and willingly shed their blood on the soil of Europe in the name of “England”.

We should, of course, probably be quite glad to be left out of the massively tasteless “commemorations” for the 100th anniversary of World War 1′s outbreak next year. But it’s hard not to regard it as an insult on top of injury that the expensive Jubilee-style hoopla will so crassly write Scotland’s disproportionate sacrifice out of history entirely.

You can read the entire article here. It contains the word “England” five more times, “British” just twice, and “Scotland”, “Wales” and “Northern Ireland” not at all. (“Britain” and “United Kingdom” are also absent.) Our very favourite bit is the paragraph where it manages to work in a mention of “England’s World Cup winning team of 1966″. Two World Wars and one World Cup, doo-dah.

It does however also graciously note that “members of the England football team are likely to be joined by players from the other home nations and possibly some serving soldiers”. So remember, folks – we’re Better Together in England (Plus Guests).

133 to “You and whose army?”

  1. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    I think we should organise a huge John McLean demonstration in Cathedral Square to coincide with the  opening of the WW1 “celebrations” in Glasgow Cathedral

  2. Peter Mirtitsch says:

    Hory Clap. Are these clowns really so stupid that, a) They don’t realise that most folk celebrate the END of a war, and b) the Scots are hardly likely to celebrate an ENGLAND/Germany football match? (Ignore the fact that it was the BRITISH army)
     

  3. Adrian B says:

    I hope Germany win. Had enough hearing about 1966 and all the rest.

  4. BillyBigbaws says:

    “….including the assertion that current Scottish soldiers would choose to stay with the British armed forces rather than join Scotland’s because it’d be more exciting.”

    Since Phillip Hammond is sacking serving soldiers at a rate of knots, and has plans to disband the remaining Scottish regiments, I’m not sure an independent SDF will have too much trouble filling the ranks. 

    The MoD have laid off 16,500 defence personnel in the last few years – 8,000 got their redundancy letters just before Christmas – and now there’s another 5,000 getting cut as we speak.  Isn’t the plan from the Strategic Defence Review to fire a total of 20,000 serving personnel over this decade? 

    So those current Scottish soldiers might not really get much of a choice about remaining in the British army, however exciting it may be.
     

  5. Bill C says:

    Dave McEwan Hill says:
    “I think we should organise a huge John McLean demonstration in Cathedral Square to coincide with the  opening of the WW1 “celebrations” in Glasgow Cathedral”

    Count me in.

  6. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Since Phillip Hammond is sacking serving soldiers at a rate of knots, and has plans to disband the remaining Scottish regiments, I’m not sure an independent SDF will have too much trouble filling the ranks. “

    Mm. If thousands of serving Scots decide to stay in the British Army, presumably that creates thousands of vacancies in our own forces, sorting out all that moaning about how many jobs getting rid of Trident would cost us. Win-win!

  7. BillyBigbaws says:

    EDIT to above post:  A memo was leaked showing that Hammond intends to cut 16,500 soldiers by 2015, it hasn’t been done already as I said…. though we are more than half way there.

  8. AnneDon says:

    I am constantly amazed by the total disconnect between what the Westminster government are actually doing, and the fiction of what Scotland is supposedly going to lose by going independent!

  9. Alex Grant says:

    I lived in England for nearly 40 years and much as I love many of ‘em they are incapable, as a generalization, of as Rabbie said ‘seeing ourselves as others see us’

  10. Rikki Duncan says:

    Soldiers serving in Scotland will have excitement, working on border control trying to keep the masses of northern English folk, from trying to sneak over the borders seeking political asylum in Scotland, we will need to set food camps along the border, and throw black puddings over to them.

  11. Let them eat Haggis

  12. CameronB says:

    Wonder how many of the ’66 squad will be rolled out? The sheer crassness and arrogance will be remembered long after the ‘celebration’. Not just in the UK. I am surprised the Germans would consider supporting such a circus.

  13. KraftyKris says:

    I think the football game is a great idea, it’s very difficult to imagine just how horrific it would have been fighting in that war, or any war for that matter. For soldiers on both sides to ceasefire, meet, exchange gifts and play football is extremely moving, showing the good sides of humanity in the darkest of places. 

    You are right to point out that it should be a British team, I can’t imagine it will go down well if it is just England vs Germany. In terms of the independence debate I don’t think these “commemorations” of the start of the war will benefit the No side at all. It will remind people of the grimness of war and that if we stay within the UK we are more likely to put our soldiers through these horrendous atrocities.

  14. JimPicti says:

    So where can I buy a spikey helmet???  I’m rootin fur Germany!!

  15. BillyBigbaws says:

    Another thing – very few folk join the army for “excitement”, contrary to the fantasies of military and political high-heid-yins.  Those who sign up for the excitement of it are probably even fewer in number than those who join for the purposes of upholding the Crown or helping to spread democracy across the globe. 

    People join the army for a sodding wage packet, mostly, or to learn skills on the cheap that they can later monetize in civillian life. 

    If an SDF has decent wages and conditions, and (in stark contrast to the British Army throughout it’s history) at least makes some attempt to supply its soldiers with decent housing, pensions, medical and veteran’s care, etc. people will join up.  If we build it, they will come.

  16. Geoff Huijer says:

    Quelle surprise!
    Of course, we must remember the UK Government report of 11th February:
     
    ‘For the purpose of this advice it is not necessary to decide
    between these two views of the Union of 1707. Whether or not England
    was also extinguished by the Union, Scotland certainly was extinguished
    as a matter of international law, by merger into an enlarged and renamed
    England or into an entirely new state.’
     
    Presumably, at the time they just forgot to tell us.
    So really they are just carrying on as they believe; Scotland doesn’t
    exist. So much for Better Together. Voting No will only confirm what
    they already believe…

  17. fitheach says:

    Has Beckham ever scored an own goal (as I think this whole WWI celebration is going to be an enormous own goal for the unionists)?
    Will most of the participants in this “England vs Germany” match die in the trenches shortly afterwards just as they did in the Great War?

  18. David McCann says:

    OT.
    As posted recently I made a complaint to the BBC regarding the make up of the panel for Question Time from Edinburgh. Judging from this response, i reckon they may have received a few. Here is their reply.
    “Thanks for recently contacting the BBC. We aim to reply to complaints within 10 working days (around 2 weeks) and do so for most of them but cannot for all. The time taken depends on the nature of your complaint, how many others we are dealing with and can also be affected by practical issues such as whether a production team is available or away on location.

    This is to let you know that we have referred your complaint to the relevant staff but that it may take longer than 10 working days to reply. We therefore ask you not to contact us further in the meantime. If it does prove necessary however, please use our webform, quoting any reference number we provided. This is an automatic email sent from an account which is not monitored so you cannot reply to this email address.

    In order to use the licence fee efficiently we may not investigate every issue if it does not suggest a substantive breach of guidelines, or may send the same reply to everyone if others have complained about the same issue. You can read full details of our complaints procedures and how we consider the issues raised in feedback at http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/handle-complaint/ <http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/handle-complaint/> . In the meantime we’d like to thank you for contacting us with your concerns. We appreciate your patience in awaiting a response.

    Kind regards,

    BBC Complaints.”

  19. Mike says:

    Britain’s Allan MacNish won his third LeMans title Britain’s Andy Murray wins 3rd Queens title however England’s Justin Rose wins US Open same old fucking imperialist colonial shite

  20. Doug Daniel says:

    What are the chances the English media will actually drop their bloody anti-German obsession if England & Assorted Cannon Fodder actually win the thing, providing closure?  Very slim I suspect. On the other hand, if Germany do what comes naturally and demolish them, then we’ll probably see the media wanting a rerun of the actual war in order to get one back over “the Boche”.
     
    Being someone who doesn’t harbour ill feeling for Germany over events caused many years ago by power-hungry monarchs and a megalomaniacal idiot, I’ll be rooting for my “Scotland didn’t qualify so I’ll support these guys instead” team as usual. I expect I won’t be alone… Actually, I might just watch Joyeux Noël instead, the film starring Germany’s finest young actor Daniel Brühl about the same event.

  21. KraftyKris says:

    That goal article is an interesting read Rev., especially these two passages:

    “Maybe that is one reason why England fans have been happy to include non-footballing victories when goading their German counterparts, a common terrace chant at matches between them being “Two World Wars and One World Cup” to the tune of “Camptown Races”. Similarly, when Germany were leading England 1-0 in a 2002 World Cup qualifier in October 2000 – the last match played at the old Wembley Stadium – a section of the home crowd responded to their team’s inadequacies by singing “Stand up if you won the War”; Germany won the game 1-0. Kevin Keegan resigned.”

    The Daily Mirror, then edited by current media darling Piers Morgan, went way over the top with a headline that screamed: “Achtung! Surrender! For You Fritz, ze Euro 96 Championship is over”, and accompanied it with a mock article that spoofed a report of the 1939 declaration of war between Britain and Nazi Germany.”

  22. Erchie says:

    As I recall, the soldiers were in deep trouble for playing that game. The generals and Politicians did not want the troops to think of the enemy as human beings

  23. Doug Daniel says:

    Oh and what about the French? They joined in too in some cases. England and France playing football on the same team? Never happening!

  24. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Of course, we must remember the UK Government report of 11th February:”

    Yes, that’s why I linked to the article about it. DOESN’T ANYONE EVER CLICK THE – OH, I GIVE UP.

  25. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    O/T
     
    Reports now that Nelson Mandela has died  

  26. Ghengis says:

    It’s an insult to all those who died. A grotesque display by ‘Great’ Britain design solely to pervert the course of democracy and spike the independence referendum. I find it hard to believe that any self respecting countries will agree to be involved.

  27. Angus McPhee says:

    Only a few hours ago, my Daughter told me that her school is organising a trip to Flanders in 2014 as part of the “commemorations” I understand there is to be the possibility of the £420 per head cost being partly subsided by some fund or other and that many other schools will be taking part.
    School trips to these memorials is not a new thing of course but the idea of sending hundreds of bus loads of kids to Belgium as part of a jingoistic flag waving exercise, no doubt with shed loads of publicity,  essentially as representatives of the British state – at a time that we are supposed to be the focus of International Terrorists is just complete utter insanity.

    Any tips for avoiding the hoo ha when I tell her she isn’t going most gratefully recieved.

  28. Angus McPhee says:

    No suggestion anywhere that anybody has at any point thought of asking Germany if this is a good idea?

  29. Chic McGregor says:

    Anyone who has not seen the movie ‘Joyeux Noëlshould try and catch it for a European perspective on this phenomena.  In that award winning (rightly IMO) European film the troops involved were German, French and Scots.

  30. Baxter Parp says:

    That is an utter disgrace.

  31. Nairn says:

    Clearly, on the day this happens, Scots will have to be supporting Germany en masse. May I recommend flying the German flag from as many flagpoles as you can find? Also, try and speak as much German as you can. With a little luck, this could become the event that makes the Daily Mail explode. Hopefully the next day’s headline (after ‘England’ are gubbed 5-0 with effortless Teutonic efficency) will be ‘Just Let The Bastard Traitor Jocks Go’. 
    Looking forward to that.

  32. Nairn says:

    …of course, the game would be after the referendum, so hopefully my point is moot, but it’d be good anyway. After all, what’s a better gesture of reconciliation than to support the other guy’s team, eh? And it would still really piss off the British press, whatever the constitutional situation.

  33. Shinty says:

    Big re-run on the ABE t-shirts methinks!

  34. Gordon Bain says:

    I am now as I always have been – A.B.E.
    saor Alba.

  35. JLT says:

    My jaw just hit the floor….
     
    Un – F***ing – believable!
     
    Where do these people come from, and seriously …what the f*** runs through their heads?
     
    Millions of young men from Britain, Belgium France and Germany, died in the most horrendous conditions that one could ever imagine in warfare, fighting in filth, mud, stagnant water and untold number of strewn corpses, while being machine gunned and pounded by heavy artillery…
     
    And the Westminster mob want to celebrate this with a football match (which when you read history books, the original game on Christmas day 1914 drove the establishment into a blind fury as we were fraternising with the enemy). This is so wrong, on so many levels, that I am absolutely stunned to be reading about it. Seriously, even a five year old would know that this is wrong? Whoever thought this insensitive and contemptuous idea, should be shot themselves…

  36. JLT says:

    CameronB says:

    Wonder how many of the ’66 squad will be rolled out? The sheer crassness and arrogance will be remembered long after the ‘celebration’. Not just in the UK. I am surprised the Germans would consider supporting such a circus.
    ———————–
    Cameron, I’m expecting the Germans to do the right thing, and say ‘No’ to such an event. The Germans are a pretty insular lot; unlike our establishment, which like to preen itself on the world stage at every opportunity. The Germans are very reserved, and I don’t think this idea will go down well in Germany.
    Which …I then expect, and I really mean this, that should the Germans say ‘No’ to this utterly tasteless event, that the Media down south will claim victory by saying that the Germans have ‘bottled it’

  37. Craig P says:

    Didn’t Germany win that famous match in the trenches 3-2, with Scottish soldiers desperate to kill them rather than play football with them?

  38. john king says:

    o/t 
    here a repsonse from the pcc about the Guardian’s reporting of the farage fracas in Edinburgh
     
    Commission’s decision in the case of
    King v The Guardian
     
    The complainant considered that the newspaper had breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice. The newspaper had published a comment piece about the referendum in Scotland. The article had discussed protesters who had “hounded” Nigel Farage when he had been campaigning in Edinburgh. The complainant said that the protest had not been associated with the Scottish Nationalist Party; it had been associated with the Labour Party. The complainant was concerned that the omission of this information represented a distortion of the facts.
     
    The Commission considered the complainant’s concerns under Clause 1 (Accuracy), the terms of which state that “the press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information”.
     
    The Commission noted that the article had not commented on who had organised the protest nor had it discussed the political allegiance of those involved. The journalist had suggested that the protest towards the leader of UKIP had appeared “anti-English” and he commented on Alex Salmond’s response to the incident. The article had not given the misleading impression that the protest had been organised by the Scottish National Party. The Commission was satisfied that the omission of information regarding whether any and if so which political party had organised the protest had not been significantly misleading in the context of the article as a whole. There was no breach of the Code.
     
     
    Reference no. 132341
     
     
    James Garmston
    Complaints Officer
     
    Press Complaints Commission
    Halton House
    20/23 Holborn
    London EC1N 2JD
     
    Tel: 020 7831 0022
    Website: http://www.pcc.org.uk

  39. seoc says:

    There are none so desperate as those trying to get noticed.

  40. john king says:

    Q When is a tissue of lies not a tissue of lies?
    A when the PCC  say it isnt

  41. john king says:

     
    seoc says:
    24 June, 2013 at 7:25 am

    There are none so desperate as those trying to get noticed.

      Elaborate?

  42. JLT says:

    Rev. Stuart Campbell says:     
    “Of course, we must remember the UK Government report of 11th February:”

    Yes, that’s why I linked to the article about it. DOESN’T ANYONE EVER CLICK THE – OH, I GIVE UP.
    ——————
    Rev, I think I know what the problem is. The blue (of the link) is so close to the normal black, that it is almost indistinguishable. I think you might need to make the links the colour of Red, and also make them in Bold to really stand out …then no one can say that they didn’t see the link!

  43. Fergie35 says:

    Scotland lost 30% of her combatants while England lost 12%.
    Many Scottish memorials are dated to 1919, while England’s are 1918.
    Land raids, the Bull Rings etc, etc., many aspects of Scottish history air brushed out of the picture to celebrate England’s great victorious victory!

  44. john king says:

     
    Roddy Macdonald says:
    24 June, 2013 at 7:31 am

    My take on this story: Sorry, But This Takes The Fucking Biscuit AB.

      
    Powerful stuff Roddy

  45. scottish_skier says:

    I must say that this is one occasion where Scotland being ignored couldn’t be more welcome.

  46. Caroline Corfield says:

    @Angus re trip to battlefields – apparently trips to the WWI battlefields/graves is a regular aspect of the curriculum. However I only found this out when I commented how it I was only English children (two plus teacher) from every secondary school in England who were to access extra funding for this trip next year. It initially appeared from the article that it was an attempt to embarrass the SG who were not ‘commemorating’ in the same way. My gut-feeling No voting friend pointed out Scottish schools regularly send children over. Make of that what you will. Either go there yourself with your daughter later, or explain what is going on around this trip; having visited the D-Day graves myself it is a very moving experience and all you need is your own mind, the true facts and the sight of seried ranks of headstones, and all traces of propaganda are obliterated. 

  47. Macart says:

    (sigh)
     
    There was almost an air of inevitability they would go there. Take a poignant moment from history and turn it into a carnival.
     
    FFS.

  48. teechur says:

    If we want to think about football in the Great War, then let’s think about Hearts. 16 of their players signed up, 7 first team players were killed in action. 4 on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2005/nov/13/hearts 
    I can’t find the source, but the Western Isles suffered more casualties per head of population than any other part of the Empire… In short, Scotland suffered and for what?
    That said, I believe that anyone who gets the opportunity to visit the Great War battlefields should go. There are numerous sites that will take your breath away, not least of which is Hunter’s Cemetery in Beaumont Hamel: 47 burials, all from one day, all from the Black Watch, Gordon Highlanders or Royal Scots. These were men who believed they were fighting for a better future. I wonder how they’d feel now?

  49. Luigi says:

    I’m very surprised that the German FA has agreed to this, or have they?

  50. Tom Hogg says:

    I’ve had a pretty crap weekend and this is just the icing on the cake. The crassness and stupidity of it all almost makes me want to weep.  My grandfather served in The Great War and survived through the whole of it, in an HLI fighting battalion, mentioned in dispatches but not decorated (few Tommies were) during the Battle of the Somme. 

    As a child I remember his very poor phonetic French picked up in the bars and whorehouses behind the lines, as well as his fondness for the troops’ song “Mademoiselle from Armentieres” which at the time I thought was entirely innocent. At the end of it all, he was rewarded with unemployment and a time serving in the Black and Tans in Ireland, as a hired thug which he got out of as soon as he could (another depressing footnote in UK history).

    He suffered from depression all of his life, what we would now call PTSD no doubt, but he was the quietest, gentlest man that you could meet. My mother used to recall him weeping on the outbreak of war in 1939, but his support for the effort, with Poles, Canadians and Free French all offered a billet in the one bedroom four in a block family home, was unwavering.

    Now, for political ends, the UK Government wants to turn all of this into an “event”. Disgusting, horrifying and deeply saddening.  I’m sorry if this comes across as sentimental and maudlin, but it really means something to me.  I could greet, I really could.

  51. The Man in the Jar says:

    @TomHogg
    Well said. I expect that there are many more who feel the same.

  52. Xander says:

    Are we going to mark the centenary of Etaples mutiny too?
    http://www.militarian.com/threads/mutiny-at-etaples-base-in-1917.7050/

  53. A televised match, to be played on Boxing Day, 2014 at Messines, near Ypres, Belgium, could capture the public imagination and help resolve the dilemma of how to strike the right tone when remembering a four-year conflict that claimed 16m lives.
     
    The above paragraph from the Sunday Times article just boggles the mind! 
     
    And I agree with Scottish Skier – if this travesty does actually go ahead, I think we should be thankful if Scotland is not involved!

  54. mato21 says:

                              The Stupidity Of War
    It will be over by Christmas,  is what they all said
     So young men joined up,, soon thousands were dead
    Fae Southampton they sailed, the Gordons were there
    Canny Scots wi kilts swinging, in their hearts not a care
    They sailed  into France to the port of Boulogne
    Disembark, start to march, no time to feel down
    The pipes filled the air their feet thudded like drums
    Brothers , strangers together, and some who’d been chums
    Had they only but known just what lay in store
    Their mothers and wives whose hearts would be sore
    They were the best of  young Scots and duty was calling
    Men who’d never have thought  they’d be known  as the fallen
    Hell-holes, they called trenches, were where they were sent
    With the rats and the glaur till ower the top they all went
    So many were killed and not only our own
     Death shows no preference to  black  white or brown
     These men in their prime and the fate that befell
    Maybe they had the luck, but how can we tell
    Beneath a slab o’ white marble in the green fields of France
    While around in the breeze blood red poppies, shimmer and dance
    Those who returned  maimed  in body and tortured in mind
    Came back to a land that was not even  kind
    But their duty was done they’d fought the good fight
    A medal or two then most kept out of sight
    This war to end wars was an unnecessary slaughter
    For mothers and fathers for sons and for daughters
     Yet still to this day they must all have a war
    We’re left with the question what was it all for?
     
     
     
     
     

  55. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Is there anyone on this thread who can corroborate or not the story I was told by may late Father.
     
    He said two things
     
    that the unofficial truce actually lasted for longer and frightened of a mutiny the troops in no man’s land were shelled by the British in order to stop the fraternisation?
     
    that those identified with having been involved in the unofficial truce were singled out and moved into frontline  assaults on the enemy which would have guaranteed to be their death sentence, pour encourager les autres?
     
     

  56. Vronsky says:

    Westminster seems to think it was all just a Bruce Willis movie – lots of big bangs and action but nobody gets hurt really – all good fun. 
    Years ago I was involved in a project tidying old folks’ gardens.  There were two of us, and one day an old lady invited us into her house for a cup of tea.  Her very elderly husband sat motionless and silent in a chair throughout our visit, staring unblinkingly straight ahead.  He seemed quite unaware of our presence. 
    After a bit the old lady, seeing our puzzled concern, said ‘He was in the Great War, you know’. 
    ‘That was really bad’ said my friend.
    Without changing his position at all, the old man said ‘You’re fucking telling me, son’.

     

  57. Kirriereoch says:

    I´v been watching the excellent “The Great War” documentary made in the 1960s. Recommended viewing.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2vOYmu90KM
    One point that is quite noticeable, which fits with the narrative of the article here, is that the UK/GB is overwhelmingly referred to as England. Time and again. It does jar a bit in a generally fascinating documentary series.

  58. theycan'tbeserious says:

    “England expects!”…..well consider this….without the sacrifices of Scotland, Ireland, Wales,  and all the  other nations involved….you’d have been “fucked”….so show some respect to these allies but more so, to their fallen!

  59. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    mato 21
     
     Yet still to this day they must all have a war
    We’re left with the question what was it all for?
     
    For some bellend of a politician 96 years later can wallow in the glorification of their death so his class can continue to return to the values of that era?

  60. Atypical_Scot says:

    Phew, glad were not goingt to celebrate Bannockburn.

  61. indy says:

    Although the commemoration of WW1 is a UK wide thing the events in Scotland will be influenced by the Scottish Government. I say ‘influenced’ but of course it will be as part of the overall programme – nevertheless they still have some control. If you look at the panel that has been appointed in Scotland it is the usual selection of great and good but as much dominated by historians as by the military. I really don’t think that the commemorations here will be jingoistic. Since they are going to happen anyway I think it is actually right to accept that and do it properly. So I wouldn’t have any qualms about sending a child on a school trip to the battlefields for example. They will learn the truth, as children have been learning the truth about WW1 in our schools for years. We should trust our teachers to keep on teaching the truth about WW1 no matter what David Cameron may want. He doesn’t control them after all.

  62. The Man in the Jar says:

    @Atypical_Scot
    We are not celebrating Bannockburn we are commemorating it like we do every year!

  63. Shinty says:

    Tom Hogg,
    It is indeed absolutely shameful. I know both my grandmothers lost several of their brothers in WW1 & WW2
     

  64. My grandfather served in the “Argylls” during WW1,was injured and lived with the consequences until his death.2 of his sons also served in Highland regiments in WW2.They were amongst the many Italian Scots who fought because they wanted to stand together with their fellow Scots.
    As their decendant I want to register my disgust that their memory and efforts on behalf of not just Scots but all people would be smeared by the thought of a “recreation” of an event which will be manipulated by an under siege Westminster regime. Given the dubious symbolism, will the “British” team contain any of “Harry’s Hero’s”?
     

  65. Atypical_Scot says:

    @ The Man in the Jar;
     
    I prefer the idea of a game of football to the re-enactment of slaughter.  I think the poignant aspect of the article is the Englishness rather than Britishness. 

  66. velofello says:

    I sincerely hope that Germany declines any involvement in this tasteless proposal.
    Probably won’t stop England holding the event. Just give a bunch of English “chaps” German shirts to form the opposition, and a side benefit, it would ensure victory for England.

  67. Red squirrel says:

    How dare they. 
     
    I’m appalled – this crass jamboree is just so very wrong. I cannot comprehend the total absence of respect and decency in planning a stadium at the site of such human tragedy. Hopefully Germany will decline to participate in this shameful game.
     
     

  68. Atypical_Scot says:

    @ velofellow;
    Like dressing up Scots as English Knights and pretending to hack them to pieces?

  69. Les Wilson says:

    I read somewhere that if an Army is counted under 100,000 soldiers , then it is no longer an Army but a MILITIA !
    So  Hammond, answer that !

  70. Juteman says:

    @AS.
    One was a battle for a countrys existence.. The other was a toffs falling out that cost millions of lives, and laid the foundation for WW2. No comparison.l

  71. Atypical_Scot says:

    @ Juteman
     
    Can’t we celebrate/commemorate Bannockburn with a baking competition?

  72. velofello says:

    @ Atypical-Scot: I’m not a student/enthusiast of wars so you need to advise me. At which battle did the Scots dress up some of their fellow Scots as English Knights and then pretend to hack them to pieces? 
    Falkirk? Flodden?Bannockburn? Odd behaviour in a battle, pretend to kill.
    Or was it in a movie you watched? Fiction perhaps?

  73. SCED300 says:

    Mike says:
    Britain’s Allan MacNish won his third LeMans title Britain’s Andy Murray wins 3rd Queens title however England’s Justin Rose wins US Open same old fucking imperialist colonial shite.”
    According to the Westminster Government’s legal advice, that is correct; there is an England, and it follows the English, but there is no Scotland, it is part of England or Britain!
    If we vote No in 2014 then we are confirming their position.
    It does bring up again that regions can’t be represented at International sporting competitions. No Scotland at the European or World Cup for football, or at the Six Nations and World Rugby Competitions, or Commonwealth Games.
    Bit pointless singing Flower of Scotland when we’ve actually given in, though the Establishment will like to keep pretending all is the same. Other nations would be right to point out Scotland can’t be represented as a country when we have voted to say were are not!
    The Tartan Army, or fans with Saltires painted on their faces, are going to look a bit sad and pathetic.
    Like seeing an old drunk at the bus stop, swaying back and forward, talking and singing to himself. He thinks he’s making sense but people just move away or feel sorry for him.

  74. scottish_skier says:

    Maybe after the footie, they can line up Irish soldiers and do a mock up of them being shot at by the British army to commemorate the big ‘thank you’ that Britain gave Ireland for the tens of thousands of Irish that died fighting for Britain in WWI?

    Surely they want the event to be as inclusive as possible. Might tempt the Irish into re-joining the union?

  75. The Man in the Jar says:

    @Atypical_Scot
    You have obviously never been to a Bannockburn commemoration.

  76. Atypical_Scot says:

    In next years stupendously stupid celebrity it’s a piking

  77. Stevie says:

    I don’t read the Scrotum any more – it has become a BritNat rag of the worst sort.  I still pop into the Herals as it does now put some okay articles on its site.  They will turn poisonous again next November but till then…

  78. Atypical_Scot says:

    @ MitJ
     
    You’re half right, been, shortly before leaving.

  79. Juteman says:

    I wondered how long it would take for AS to revert to his usual MSM style of posts.

  80. Stevie says:

    I don’t read the Scrotum any more – it has become a BritNat rag of the worst sort.  I still pop into the Herald as it does now put some okay articles on its site.  They will turn poisonous again next November but till then…

  81. Atypical_Scot says:

    @ Juteman;
     
    Perfectly put. Your quite right of course. I don’t deserve to be on this hallowed ground, sharing a piece of truly Scottish cyberspace. For here lyeth the true face of Scotland. (That’s you Jute) Give over.

  82. The Man in the Jar says:

    @Atypical_Scot
    I think you are confusing The commemoration of the battle in June with the re-enactment of the battle organised by the National Trust usually sometime in August / September. This is when a load of English re-enactors come north some dress as Scots and pretend to hack their fellow Englishmen to pieces.

  83. The Man in the Jar says:

    To add to my above comment.
    I was at Bannockburn on Saturday and there was certainly a whole lot more “Axe the Bedroom Tax” placards than folk dressed up as English knights.

  84. Craig P says:

    52 villages have been identified in England and Wales as having received no casualities from the Great War, nicknamed ‘thankful villages’. No Irish ones have been identified, and no Scottish community escaped without casualties:
     
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-15671943
     
    PS: Thanks for the laugh Vronsky at 9:49am on an otherwise pretty heavy thread!

  85. Taranaich says:

    Phew, glad were not goingt to celebrate Bannockburn.
     
    Atypical_Scot, I dearly hope you aren’t trying to draw comparisons between commemorating one of the pivotal events of the Scottish Wars of Independence with the First World War. It’s not a jingoistic celebration of the murder of English soldiers, it’s a celebration of a hard-fought fight for self-determination in the face of an invading army. Not all wars and battles are equal.
     
    “War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.”

  86. Chic McGregor says:

    @The  Man In The Jar
    “I think you are confusing The commemoration of the battle in June with the re-enactment of the battle organised by the National Trust usually sometime in August / September. This is when a load of English re-enactors come north some dress as Scots and pretend to hack their fellow Englishmen to pieces.’
     
    I read somewhere that the NT are planning a really big reenactment centred event next year a lot nearer to midsummer (the weekend after if I recall correctly?) But the organisers have said they are determined not to allow any expressions of nationalism.  Presumably one would be advised to attend without costume or banners if you wanted to get in.
     
    Sheena and I are considering our options.

  87. Peter Macleod says:

    ‘Fergie35 says:      
     Many Scottish memorials are dated to 1919, while England’s are 1918.’

    That’s because Scotland got the dates right, and England put the Armistice on it, not the actual end of the war… which wasn’t in 1918.

    We’re all well used to airbrushed history around here.

    Full marks to Vronsky for a brilliant post.

  88. Tom Hogg says:

    Just had a look at who is on the committee organising and supporting this nonsense.  White, upper middle class and male, almost exclusively. http://old.culture.gov.uk/news/media_releases/9507.aspx

  89. muttley79 says:

    Are Germany actually going along with this idea of a game with England?

  90. tartanarse says:

    Whilst a serving soldier(not Scottish regt) a questionnaire was sent out asking Scottish soldiers if they would join an independent Scottish army.
     
    This was 1999. I don’t know the outcome of this but someone somewhere was worried enough to ask.
     
    Scotland has more than enough former and serving soldiers as well as the existing infrastructure to provide defence for itself, which is all it needs having no natural enemies but itself.
    Hammond should be fired from a cannon.

  91. Atypical_Scot says:

    @ Taranaich;
     
    Good afternoon, After a passifyingly bloody dental appointment and much consideration, I think the re-enactment scheduled for next summer is – due to the referendum – a ticky politically suicidal as far as the more Anglo integrated electorate are concerned.  I doubt Tolkien would have went for it, nor the football option either.

  92. Holebender says:

    This football match will be held after the referendum. Is Westminster conceding the result already by fielding an England team rather than a UK team?

  93. Atypical_Scot says:

    @ TMitJ:
     
    I’m not confusing them, the commemoration is embarrassing to me (only slightly), but the latter ‘celebration’ will be an embarrassment to Scotland just before the referendum, the football match will be embarrassment to Europe not long after it. My original point – Phew, glad we’re not celebrating Bannockburn. but that’s what it will be and a re-enactment of slaughter is worse than a game of footy…, in celebration terms.

  94. Juteman says:

    Do the Americans cringe, or get embarrased celebrating their independence day each year?

  95. HandandShrimp says:

    On Scottish Armed Forces
     
    What is exciting about being sent to die on foreign fields for dubious causes of uncertain value, with dodgy equipment just to be made redundant?
     
    I think Scots will generally be proud to pull on the uniform of a Scottish regiment in a Scottish Army. As a member of the UN there will still be the stints abroad on peace keeping and humanitarian roles.
     
    There will always be individuals that want excitement and join the French Foreign Legion or whatever but the notion that Scots would not want to be in a Scottish Force is pretty insulting. It is typical of the condescending manner that Hammond has regarding anything he is involved in. That Project Fear want to repeat it says more about them than Scots. We are not at war, there is no imperiative to have a battle ready Armed Forces available from day one. We have time to take our time and put something together that is cost effective and efficient.   

  96. MajorBloodnok says:

    Slightly O/T but another example of the British establishment’s jingoistic ignorance: at the Edinburgh Festival Fireworks Concert last year one of the pieces was William Walton’s Henry V Suite, specifically, we were told in the commentary, to celebrate the English victory over the French at Agincourt (1415) – it being the Olympics and Jubilee year and all ‘British’ triumphs, particularly over old rivals, were to be celebrated.
     
    However, an odd choice I thought, as this was one of the battles of the so-called 100 Years War, in which Scotland was still an independent country and happened to be allied with France against England (and Burgundy – whatever happened to them?).  In fact Scots armies fought directly against the English in France on a number of occasions and not unsuccessfully.  So, why would we in Scotland wish to celebrate Agincourt?
     
    Still, why let historical sensitivities (or indeed accuracy) get in the way of England’s martial delusions, increasingly emphasised as a way of distracting from its rapid financial decline, a descent to barbarism and its officially encouraged belligerent attitude to ‘foreigners.’

  97. Atypical_Scot says:

     
    @ Juteman;
     
    Do American Indians celebrate American independence?

  98. Cath says:

    Totally tasteless. We had several people in our family lost in WWI. Young guys, kids.
     
    When my gran died one of the things she left was a letter from the British army informing her mother-in-law of the death of one of her sons (one of my Grandad’s brothers). The letter was still in its envelope, which also contained what was in his pockets. There was a letter from his mother and tuppence she’d sent him in that letter. All of it – the letter and tuppence – was still in that envelope. The letter from his mother was shrapnel damaged. It’s fucking heartbreaking. She obviously put it in a drawer and never touched it again. That was the second son she’d lost.

  99. I’ve been checking through the German press, (quality), and can find no reports of this game, to date. It’s maybe wishful thinking. I am never surprised at the swapping of British for English and expect a lot of English army slip ups from 2014 onwards. The MSM do this all of the time and think nothing of it. As for coverage of the independence debate, it never really makes it to the main “English” editions of the newspapers. I remember having a conversation with an English colleague back in 1975, he told me when he speaks of England he means the UK. Such arrogance floored me at the time. I tried to tell him they were not the same, never the less he told me Scotland was part of England. You cannot win with these people. And they call the Germans arrogant, the most arrogant people I have ever met were from England, shocking really.

  100. Juteman says:

    What was done to the American Indians was practised in the Highlands. Destroy their cattle (buffalo), and drive them off their land. I can’t re-write history, but i can try and do something about the future. 
    Unfortunately, unionists only seem to live in the past. Your ‘cringe’ is a perfect example. It’s time for Scots to stand tall again.

  101. KraftyKris says:

    I’m sorry to say this but I think a lot of people on here are overreacting. Being a pro-independence site it is easy for posters to get carried away and get outraged at anything the UK government proposes or does. I personally think that this was one of the few times in the war when soldiers on both sides realised that, apart from the language they spoke and the geographical location they were born in, they were the same – just people suffering the most horrendous conditions and violence. For them to put down their weapons, exchange gifts, trade and play a football match is a wonderful show of human nature and compassion.

    I understand that those higher in command condemned these actions and tried to make the other side less human, something that the MSM still does to this day, placing more importance on British deaths and suffering than the suffering of foreigners. But the football match is about the football match, it’s about the compassion shown in no man’s land, not about the rest of the war. Yes the rest of the war should be remembered and we should strive to not repeat past mistakes but showing that 100 years on we can play football in peace with countries that we fought against and died with is something that should be commemorated.

    Having said all that it should be treated tastefully, with great care and played in good spirits. It is also after the referendum so I’m not sure why some people here think it is propaganda for the NO campaign.

  102. Atypical_Scot says:

    ‘Unfortunately, unionists only seem to live in the past.’
     
    Unfortunately for you, Bannockburn was quite some time ago.
     
    Thank you for the assertion that I cringe like a unionist – It would appear you are quite silly. I’ll save this one to file, it has to be the most hilarious denial of obvious hypocrisy I’ve ever read. Writing guff like that is not going to help your height complex, nor the Scotland that will be here well beyond both our lifetimes.
     
    But, it takes all sorts, away and play at being ‘The Knights that say naw’.
     
    P.S. No hard feelings, I’d chop your arms and legs off but you’ll still think we were fighting.

  103. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I personally think that this was one of the few times in the war when soldiers on both sides realised that, apart from the language they spoke and the geographical location they were born in, they were the same – just people suffering the most horrendous conditions and violence. For them to put down their weapons, exchange gifts, trade and play a football match is a wonderful show of human nature and compassion.”

    Yes, of course it was. And I can think of no more insulting way to shit all over the memory of that beautiful gesture than to “commemorate” it by turning it into another episode in the toxic history of football matches between “England” and Germany, except perhaps by loading it with celebrities and token squaddies.

    Can we trust the England fans not to riot? Can they be relied on not to strike up a chorus of “Ten German Bombers”? Will the loathsome “England band” turn up and belt out “The Great Escape” for 90 minutes?

    The whole idea of marking the START of World War 1, as we’ve explored numerous times on this site, is despicable, and transparently at attempt to influence the independence referendum. I hope it backfires in the most disastrous way possible.

  104. Juteman says:

    If it wasn’t for Bannockburn, we wouldn’t be having a vote next year. :-)

  105. Cath says:

    “Yes the rest of the war should be remembered and we should strive to not repeat past mistakes”
     
    You know, I would probably agree with your post if our great leaders were not still and continually repeating mistakes of the past. If WWI had really been the war that ended wars and our rulers were no longer a wealthy elite, arrogant and out of touch with those they send over the top in wars or whose lives they play with as if they don’t matter.
     
    Instead, we have Iraq and Afghanistan, we have dehumanisation of “enemies” and within our own country we have the state and police infiltrating peaceful, democratic groups like the environmentalists, the Potters Bar crash group and now we hear even the Lawrence family. We have the way people in Hillsborough were treated, and when you see the UK state acting that way over things which pose really no threat to them – a slight threat of making them look bad perhaps, you have to really fear for how far they’ll go with something that does matter, like Scottish independence.
     
    That’s why any celebration or commemoration of that football match, in which brave front-line soldiers went against their elite rulers to create a moment of peace, run by the same self-serving, corrupt elites is tasteless and not appropriate. If we, the ordinary people, really wanted to stand up and say “never again; we should have learned these mistakes” we’d be standing up to those in the ruling classes right now.
     

  106. It’s a disgusting state of affairs but then nothing surprises me when it comes to Westminster, total contempt I have for them but even worse, as usual are the Brit-Scot mob, the same type of scumbags that sold us out in the first place and will happily go along with this football match. Real Scott’s should make a stand on this, a NOT IN OUR NAME campaign would be a start.
     
    Slightly OT: Oh and while I’m at it, I’m going to put complaints into every international sports body I can find and see if it’s possible to have Scotland banned from all competitions, Scotland was extinguished, Scotland is not a country, going by international law,  even better if we can get other countries to complain too.

  107. Atypical_Scot says:

     
    I absolutely agree. 

  108. HenBroon says:

    The sun never set on the British Empire because the Big Man would not trust the English in the dark, and with good reason, look at this lot. http://bit.ly/14tap6S and this http://bit.ly/14th1lF

  109. Celyn says:

    Dave McEwan Hill says:
    24 June, 2013 at 12:05 am

    I think we should organise a huge John McLean demonstration in Cathedral Square to coincide with the  opening of the WW1 “celebrations” in Glasgow Cathedral”.

    I like that idea. :)   The whole notion of this war fest is so utterly disgusting.it’s hard to believe the idea is serious,
     

  110. mato21 says:

    Cath
    We have a letter informing my Grandmother my Grandfather was dead Sent in 1919 and saying how sorry his Maj was
    He wasn’t (dead ) though I don’t expect his Maj was sorry either

  111. cirsium says:

    regarding the WW1 centenary event, would it not be more effective for the public to boycott it?

  112. As Ruthie has publicly supported a statue of Mrs Mary Barbour it would be particularly embarassing if a major event commemorating John MacLean and a modern-day remobilisation of Mrs Barbour’s Army were to take place in Glasgow on the day of the proposed Empire Jingofest (if they don’t get the message that an Empire Jingofest is not what is wanted).

  113. Cath says:

    “Scotland was extinguished, Scotland is not a country, going by international law,”
     
    Neither is England though, so they should also lose any sporting teams going by that name. We are only “the UK”. One big happy union run by Westminster.

    If you’re going to complain make sure you complain about that too.

  114. Cath says:

    “a major event commemorating John MacLean and a modern-day remobilisation of Mrs Barbour’s Army”
     
    It’s a brilliant time for that. Celebrate them on the 100th anniversary, but also highlight that the same issues they fought for are just as pressing now, especially with bedroom tax, welfare reforms etc. Glasgow was one of the leading places for anti-war unrest in 1914: let’s make it so again next year.

  115. G. Campbell says:

    David Beckham’s Royal It’s a Knockout World War One Crazy Football House Party

    Featuring: Princess Anne, David Beckham, Boris Johnson, Mr Blobby, David Cameron, Ally McCoist MBE, Princess Anne, David Hasselhoff, Bruno Ganz, Princess Anne, legendary legend Azeem “Legend” Ibrahim, Princess Anne, Noel Edmonds, Princess Anne, Michael Fassbender, Princess Anne, Princess Anne and Princess Anne.

    Teams: The Goodies vs The Baddies.

    Rules: First team to successfully kick the ball out of a 20-ft trench wins.

    Team kits: trench coats, extra-large cartoon boots, gask masks with the windows painted over.

    Match commentators: David Dimbleby, Clare Balding and Mark Lawrenson.

    A BBC Scotland production.

  116. Cath says:

    Sounds great G Campbell. But surely it also needs Paul McCartney singing Hey Jude at the end to round it off?

  117. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    No Chris Hoy or Gavin Hastings?

  118. scottish_skier says:

    “Scotland was extinguished, Scotland is not a country, going by international law,”
     
    It’s both a country and a nation, just not a nation state (soon enough though).
     
    It’s ‘recognised’ by people the world over as that, if only because they’ve e.g. watched their national team play against Scotland at some point.
     
    It’s only really in Britain do you find people who say ‘Scotland’s not a country’ whilst simultaneously bringing up 1966 at every possible opportunity.
     
    Nothing stops a ‘Scotland’s not a country’ argument more swiftly than 1966.
      ;-)
     
    Also, ‘British’ is a very British thing. It’s used a bit in the ex-colonies, but otherwise it’s English, Scots etc.
     
    When I travel in Europe, people rarely if ever described someone from the UK as British. It’s Les Anglais/Les Ecossais…

    Schottland, Escocia, Eskozia, Škotska, Šotimaa, Skotlanti…..
     
    For some reason I don’t see international recognition of an independent Scotland being an issue.
     
    Possibly more of a problem for the rUK, which will be an odd collection of 1-2 countries and a province cobbled together at short notice with (presumably) a brand new flag.

  119. HandandShrimp says:

    KraftyKris
     
    The Christmas Day truce was a momentary shaft of light in the industrial carnage of the war. It would be fitting to remember that moment when ordinary soldiers said enough more so than any of the relentless military insanity. It should also be remembered that it was the politicians and senior ranks that blew a gasket over it… seeing the potential seeds of mutiny and revolution in ordinary people saying no more killing.
     
    I don’t have an issue with the concept although like the whole WW1 commemoration I do hope it is done sensitively and with respect. Given the war didn’t start till August 1914 most of the really significant events will occur after the September vote so it will have very limited crossover. Given a Yes vote and independence in 2016 I would still see an independent Scotland taking part in the major European commemoration events in Nov 2018.    

  120. Craig P says:

    Wouldn’t it be an ironic symmetry if an officially organised peaceful football tournament, was marked by the fans with some spontaneous fighting in the terraces?

  121. Dramfineday says:

    perhaps the FM could invite leaders of the former warring parties (and our allies) to Edinburgh to have a joint and respectful ceremony commemorating the dead and at the same time announcing we’ll soon be open for business. That should spike a gun or six as well as driving the uber brit nats wild with outrage.

  122. @ Cath @scottish_skier
    I think it’s a great idea to try for an international Scotland ban, what if it did happen, I don’t think there would be anything likely to focus the minds of the undecided more than Scotland being banned due to the countries status regarding International law.
    It would normally be unthinkable for a Scott like me to want the ban but to me the reward would come next year with a massive yes vote which would allow us to compete once again on the international stage J
    Also, I emailed the German FA today urging them not to take part in the 1914 match, if I get a reply I’ll post it here.
    Vote Yes !!
     

  123. Juteman says:

    If we vote No, then UEFA have the right to disband the Scottish international team We have said we are not a real country.
    Not before though.

  124. G. Campbell says:

    “Surely it also needs Paul McCartney singing Hey Jude at the end to round it off?”

    A half-time performance from the surviving members of Mud, actually.

    “No Chris Hoy or Gavin Hastings?”

    Late additions: Nigel Farage and Princess Anne.

  125. starlaw says:

    The football match played was more of a kickabout with as many as fifty taking part , it only took place as the staff officers had all gone off to celibrate Christmas elsewhere , The general staff made dam sure it never got to happen again on penalty of death . A re-enactment of this event dreampt up by the very class who threatened to shoot all who took part ,  I hope the Germans take no part in this mockery

  126. scottish_skier says:

    It would normally be unthinkable for a Scott like me to want the ban [on a Scottish football team as long as Scotland is in the union].

    Keep us informed of your progress with the letter Scott. We need real Scott’s like yersel on side. ;-)

  127. KraftyKris says:

    @Rev I agree that we shouldn’t be commemorating the start of the war, however, this football match is commemorating 100 years on from the no man’s football match in 1914 and I don’t see a problem with that. “Can we trust the England fans not to riot?” – Yes, memorial matches are generally played in good spirits and without violence.

    @Cath I agree that we are still making a lot of mistakes but there is at least peace in the European Union. I don’t believe all politicians are evil and I think this football match is a good idea, it shows how soldiers on both sides realised that there were just people, like themselves, fighting on the other side. It also marks rebellion against what the “ruling class” wanted on both sides. This should be remembered. If this memorial match draws attention to the acts of these soldiers on both sides then I can’t see a problem with that (as long as it is treated tastefully).

  128. AP says:

    It has always been one of my bugbears that when England face Germany at football we are treated to a ninety minute festival of xenophobic, jingoistic pops at “Fritz” from our “national” broadcasters.
    All a huge bit of fun under the guise banter…..expect when its our southern neighbours who are the recipients of the fun whereupon the said banter is now ofcourse vile anti-English sentiment, the kind of which we’ve come to expect from Scots.
    A bit like the London Olympics I’d rather no Scots were a part of such, and our nations footballers chose to mark the sacrifices of the conflict in a more dignified manner.

  129. Chic McGregor says:

    “Featuring: Princess Anne, David Beckham, Boris Johnson, Mr Blobby, David Cameron, Ally McCoist MBE, Princess Anne, David Hasselhoff, Bruno Ganz, Princess Anne, legendary legend Azeem “Legend” Ibrahim, Princess Anne, Noel Edmonds, Princess Anne, Michael Fassbender, Princess Anne, Princess Anne and Princess Anne.”
    TBH I’ve never seen Mr Blobby and Boris Johnson in the same room.



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