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Wings Over Scotland

2012: Teacher Of The Year

Posted on December 23, 2012 by

Johann Lamont actually taught English, hard as that can be to believe sometimes. But for the sake of the children of Rothesay, Springburn and Castlemilk, we hope she was never asked to fill in on a Geography class, judging by this remarkable extract from her speech to the Scottish Labour conference in Dundee back in March:

“But let me tell you one phrase which really is meaningless. North of the border. And here is another one. South of the border. Because we have no border. We haven’t had one for three hundred years. We don’t need a border to be Scottish.”

You kinda do, Johann. How can you be Scottish if there’s no such thing as Scotland? And if there is, how do you know whether you’re in it or not, unless it’s got borders?

If there’s no border, how do we know whether a crime committed somewhere near Berwick comes under the jurisdiction of Scots law or English law? How do we know if the Scottish NHS or the English NHS is responsible for looking after the victim? And how do we know whether to charge the future lawyers who’ll fight the court case for their law degrees or not, if we don’t know which country their university’s in?

Okay, we know you’re working on that one.

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    18 to “2012: Teacher Of The Year”

    1. Macart says:

      Johann Lamont, the gift that keeps on giving. 🙂

    2. Keef says:

      Hi Stu,

      I have been an avid reader of your site since early 2012. Oddly enough I have never posted a comment up until today.

      I’m sure there are many others like me who ‘look’ but don’t ‘speak’.

      I also read NNS and a few other sites daily, sometimes twice or thrice (depending on the news content). I have to say of all the sites I follow Independence matters on, your site exceeds expectations almost on a daily basis for highlighting the lies, greed and corruption that the anti-Independence rabble try to foist on the unsuspecting public.

      I post today say thanks for all your hard work and to say that your efforts have been greatly appreciated. I’m sure many of your readers will agree when I say you deserve an award yourself for the – ‘best site at highlighting the positive side to Independence whilst exposing the anti-Independence lies, greed and corruption’ award.

      If your input to the debate in 2013 is even half as substantial as this years, you’ll still be a fantastic job.

      My impression of the year’s sentiments – The yes campaign started the year in a buoyant confident mood. Sort of floundered after a few months – then came under a serious attack when they decided to play the man and not the ba’. Swelled with pride to see a real debate over NATO. Felt squeamish at the way the EU debate was made out to be really important (I personally never gave a stuff). Finished the year believing Nicola as deputy was just getting into her stride and that overall our vote must be up in the heartlands of Scotland. Wondered why there were no recent polls to finish the year and put it down to them being withheld as the news was all good for the Yes campaign.
      Thank you once again. Have a great Crimbo Stu and all the best for the Ne’rday.

    3. ianbrotherhood says:

      Blethers sans Frontieres…

    4. Blindmanonhorse says:

      Macart says:
      23 December, 2012 at 9:41 pm

      Johann Lamont, the gift that keeps on giving. 

    5. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      @Keef Cheers, man – just trying to do our bit. And upwards of 99% of readers don’t comment. Hopefully we’ll hear from a few more next year.

    6. heraldnomore says:

      She’s just wonderful is the fragrant Ms Lamont.  Let’s just hope they keep her in the job for another year or two, gathering votes with every utterance, seeking a new low with each passing week and usually succeeding in finding it.  When we reach our goal it will be interesting to see how many Labour voters think she has what it takes to lead a nation.  Even Allan Grogan might struggle to sell that one.  But leave her be for now, please.

    7. muttley79 says:

      This is something I do not understand about unionists.  If there was no border you could also say why does Scotland have its own football and rugby teams in international competitions?  They seem to be in denial about the existence of their own nation.  It is obvious there is a border between Scotland and England. 

    8. Alex Grant says:

      Hi Stu. Would like to endorse Keef’s. comments. 
      If all of the don’t know camp could see your analysis we’d win hands down.
      Re Mrs Lamont I would love to know what the research is saying about how Labour supporters view the approach she is taking?  Sadly if they don’t watch FMQ’s the the MSM are not accurately reporting her performance So I wouldn’t be surprised if they thought she was doing at least ok?
      Anyway keep up the good work and a Guid New Year when it comes 

    9. James Morton says:

      Well what can we say here – unless she is trying to assert that Scotland is not a country that would have a border but a region of Britain which would not have a border? Here she is trying to fit us into her party leaders vision of one nation labour. If we’re one nation, we would not have a Scottish border would we?
      More reason to fear what that silly moo and her cartoonishly inept chums in westminster are planning for us.

    10. Doug Daniel says:

      Arguments like this are surely counter-productive. Both sides are fighting for the 35-40% who are undecided. Are those folk really going to be won over by denying the border exists? I doubt it. Those folk are likely to have a strong Scottish identity, but just not yet sure we can survive as an independent country. Telling these people “aye, Scotland is jist anither region aw Britain” is surely going to push them the other way?

      It’s the same with the media’s current all-out attack on famous Scottish creative folk, trying to make out they’re all raging anti-English. People are going to look at this and think “no, I just don’t believe it.”

      All those who thought Yes Scotland weren’t being radical enough or driving the debate enough should take note: the shark is well and truly in the process of being jumped. The water skis are on and the speedboat motor is revving up. The No camp’s obsession with identity is going to be one of the biggest factors in returning a Yes vote in 2014, because they simply don’t understand that, deep down, even some soft “no” voters don’t take kindly to seeing Scotland being talked down, which is exactly what it feels like is happening by trying to call our arts sector a bunch of racists and denying the border exists. 

      This is what happens when you allow a campaign to be led by a bunch of numpties who will never understand the subtleties behind why most folk in Scotland support Anyone But England in sporting tournaments. Their failure to understand leads them to assuming nationalism MUST be about hatred of the English. As the months pass, undecided voters will come to realise that these people – the BetterTogether campaign – simply don’t understand them. 

      Incidentally, I had my second indy conversation in a week with a “normal” (non-politico) person today, when the sales assistant at John Lewis noticed my Yes badge. He’ll be voting yes in 2014, as will a tester at work, and our newest developer. It’s starting to feel like the momentum is kicking in…

    11. douglas clark says:

      Doug Daniel,
      Good point here:
      “All those who thought Yes Scotland weren’t being radical enough or driving the debate enough should take note: the shark is well and truly in the process of being jumped. The water skis are on and the speedboat motor is revving up. The No camp’s obsession with identity is going to be one of the biggest factors in returning a Yes vote in 2014, because they simply don’t understand that, deep down, even some soft “no” voters don’t take kindly to seeing Scotland being talked down, which is exactly what it feels like is happening by trying to call our arts sector a bunch of racists and denying the border exists”

      However Alisdair Grey made a bit of a faux pas. Don’t you think? I have argued elsewhere that denying internationalism in the arts is wrong, however arguing for an expectation of, err, a Scottish identity, is only a part answer. My arguement is that we should point in both directions.
      Just saying. ’cause I only read books and and in no way care about anything else, much.

    12. Don McC says:

      Doug Daniel, “which is exactly what it feels like is happening by trying to call our arts sector a bunch of racists and denying the border exists. ”

      Well, it’s not just our arts sector they’re trying to label, though, is it?  The hootsman is really running with these stats on an increase of incidents on “White British”, claiming that anti-englishness is on a rise.  David Leask at the Herald accepts that nothing about incidents against English people in Scotland can be inferred from these figures but Kenny Farquharson at Scotland on Sunday, is pushing this anti-Englishness angle for all it’s worth.  Kaye Adams, Wee Willie Rennie, they’ve all interpreted these stats the same way (you’d almost think it was a co-ordinated campaign!).  And it’s easy to say who and what they blame for the rise.  At this rate, it won’t be long before it’s accepted wisdom that ALL supporters of a Yes vote are anti-English racists.
      And to think we’re still nearly 2 years out.

    13. Macart says:

      Aye they’re having a wee bit of trouble with the YES campaign and the SNPs idea of civic nationalism. An inclusive independence based not on colour, romantic history or geographic accident of birth but of ‘common weal’. They’ve spent so very long trying to paint independistas as frothing xenophobes and invested so very much in terms of media firepower painting the desire for independence as belonging to a loonatic fringe of racists. The launching of the YES campaign and the use of social media has completely pulled the rug from under their feet as ordinary folk from all walks of life, all faiths, many and varied points of geographic origin make their voices heard.

      So what to do, what to do????? I know ‘one nation’ we’ll convince people that …………… wait for it………. we’re all in this together!!!! Brilliant idea. Of course it helps to make the sell if the sales person can string a cohesive sentence together and of course if their party structure and leadership haven’t been caught with their collective pants down dipping into the public purse to line their own pockets. It also helps if representatives of this party haven’t driven said ‘one nation’s’ economy off the edge of a cliff the last time they were entrusted with any responsibility.

    14. Aplinal says:

      @Don McC
      The fact that we are still 2 years out is a good thing in a perverse kind of way.  The No campaign, or to put a positive spin on it, the “pro-Dependency” campaign, are shooting all their bullets in the first 6 months.  The YES Scotland campaign hasn’t even started yet! 
      As to the approach by the Nos, as the media fluff and faux outrage continues, the law of diminishing returns will kick in big time, I think it is even starting to work already as other commentators here have alluded to with their personal experiences.
      Labour haven’t got a clue.  I sometimes wonder if they really are this stupid?  Can they really believe that by ‘forcing’ the undecided to choose between their ranting against Scots (and that is what it is, despite the efforts by the BBC and others to present this as some form of mature discussion) or the positive message form the YES campaign, that this will result in a “No” vote?  
      Do the pro-dependency grouping of ConLabLib think that two years of negativity will keep Scots compliant?  Those days are gone.  Calm, quiet, fact-driven information by the YES Scotland campaign will win out over the obsessive negativity of the rest.  
      In closing, another nice speech by Nicola, who is definitely a FM in waiting.
      Season’s greetings and many thanks Rev for this site.  And to all commentators, have a great holiday and here’s to further progress in 2013.

    15. TYRAN says:

      Is she saying UK also has no border? It doesn’t need it. It extends into France and keeps on going, like that black spot from the Monty Python sketch? 
      – “All of us have friends and family south of the border.” – Darling
      – “Why on earth would we want to erect a brand new border” – Darling, same speech
      Having trouble making sense again, sir? 
      Darling believes England will become a Hermit Kingdom and cut all ties to family and friends. What with talk of borders and WMD. Sounds dangerous. Best to come out of the union and leave them to their Hermit ways.

    16. dadsarmy says:

      Talking about borders and UNCLOS and Berwick to St Andrews:

      Geographical factors have to be taken into account, to avoid disproportion between lengths of coasts and marine areas generated by them (e.g. in the case of small features steering the line for a long way).”

      Also interesting:

      Negotiated boundaries are best, but when agreement on a single line is not achievable, it is worth considering creating a joint area.”

    17. velofello says:

      Ach, her script probably said “barriers” but she got flustered. She is easily flummoxed as evident weekly at FM Question Time.
      The No campaign’s big beasts, the SLAB sisters, Fibber Baillie and Flummox Lamont. 

      Noting events over this past year I think setting the referendum for 3014 has been astute. People have been given plenty of time to come round to contemplating the “feel” of being an independent nation. The No campaign scare issues of the oil running out, EU membership,Trident removal costs, etc. are being logically rebuffed.

    18. Simon says:

      It amazes me how little imagination there is on the Unionist side. You would think there would be at least some unionists arguing for a genuine union – a Unitary state of Great Britain. One legal system, one education system, etc etc. Who is arguing for that? That would at least have no border!

      Or how about a Federal UK? The Lower House at Westminster could be elected by constituencies distributed by population as at present; the Upper House would be Senators, elected equally from each Member Nation. e.g. 10 senators from England, 10 from Scotland, 10 from Wales and 10 from Northern Ireland. All UK-wide business would be dealt with by a panel of equal numbers of representatives from each member nation of the Federal UK. Who is arguing for that?

      Or how about a strange dogs dinner where there are separate member nations but they don’t officially have any real status, even though some of them share a legal code and others have separate legal systems; some of the member nations have their own administrative system whilst others don’t. This would cause the maximum confusion at home and abroad about the actual status of each member nation as well as of the United Kingdom, and would cause all kinds of loopholes and inequalities in the governance and economies and democratic representation of each member nation. Who is arguing for that option?

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