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Wings Over Scotland

A question for Gordon

Posted on November 04, 2012 by

A front-page piece in today’s Scotland On Sunday expands on Gordon Brown’s attempted intervention in the independence debate yesterday with an extraordinary headline which appears to be based on an actual quote from the former Prime Minister: “SNP plan makes Scotland a colony, claims Gordon Brown”.

Sure enough, Brown is reported as saying that an independence for Scotland would be “a form of self-imposed colonialism more reminiscent of the old empire than of the modern world”. Which raises an obvious question: given that an independent Scotland would by any definition have vastly more control of its own affairs than it does now, doesn’t that mean it must currently be something far less than a colony?

The only status we can think of for a nation that’s arguably lower than a “colony” is that of a vassal state. Wikipedia’s definition of that term certainly seems to apply to Scotland: we pay “tribute” to the UK (by contributing a greater share of its revenues than we get back in spending), and we also “provide military power to the dominant state”, both directly in the form of troops and by giving a home to the UK’s nuclear weapons, an important political tool which it wouldn’t be able to retain otherwise.

Wiki goes on to add that a more common modern term for a vassal state is “puppet state”. If you’ve got a minute, Gordon, can you just confirm for us that you and the rest of the Unionist alliance currently see Scotland as a puppet state of England? Cheers.

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    39 to “A question for Gordon”

    1. Marcia says:

      I don’t think that these Unionists realise that they are actually helping our campaign. On face value, another unionist scare story. Yes it is but it is part of the unexpected consequences that the anti side cannot seem to see. I have noticed that recently when talking to people who are not at all political that these stories are starting to raise their awareness of the debate that will be had over the next two years. A scare story is front page news for a day or too, the rebuttal comes in and then there is noise for another few days. It might be on TV it might not be. The anti side’s original arguement is demolished or waterdowned. The same thing happens with another topic and so on. It is starting to educate the voters away from the Union with all these nonsense stories. Still a very long way to go but from the conversations I and a few other people have had lately (which I doubt will be picked up in any opinion poll) is that people are now starting to think about it. That is what we have been needing to have. To Johann Lamont and her means testing, a big thank you. To James Gordon Brown, thank you too. You may not have realised it but you are helping us.

    2. mogabee says:

      I am at the stage of believing that Alex. Salmond MUST have something on Gordon Brown!

                Gordon, you’re deluded if this is your idea of helping the No campaign. But don’t stop…….

    3. Peter A Bell says:

      This “colony” nonsense is yet another example of how stunningly politically inept Gordon Brown is. What he has attempted with these remarks is a very crude form of propaganda called projection, or flipping. Basically, this involves accusing your opponent of whatever disreputable tactic you are engaged in. A variation on this is to take something that you might justifiably be accused of and throw that accusation at your opponents. This method is particularly effective if one has control of the mass media such that one can be confident that the projected accusation will overwhelm the message being put out by the other side.
      When we examine Brown’s utterances in the light of this knowledge some interesting observations can be made. For example, there is the fact that Brown evidently assumes the UK to be vulnerable to accusations of colonialism. Then there is the fact that he imagines such accusations to be a significant part of the independence case such that it requires some kind of defensive response from British nationalists like himself. This reinforces the point I have frequently made about Brown being totally out of touch with the constitutional debate. It is almost as if he is arguing from somewhere in the 1970s.
      And, of course, the attempt to “flip” allegations of UK colonialism in Scotland that are non-existent, or at best trivial, demonstrates Brown’s inability to think through his own arguments. He arrives at what he supposes is a telling point against the independence campaign and just stops thinking altogether. He doesn’t see the full connotations and implications of what he says. Perhaps because he is stupid. Perhaps because he isn’t really engaged with the debate – just going through the motions.
      Either way, his interventions are an insult to the people of Scotland.

    4. mogabee says:

      Hah! ” Flipping Brown ” right enough!!!!

    5. Macart says:

      Well, my ghast has just been flabbered. Henry McLeish in praise of Alex Salmond on the Politics Show whilst obviously still calling for maximum devolution. Stop press, the ex ed of the Herald agreeing with the Rev on the Colonial comments and bank of England question. Actually stating if the YES campaign nails the economy argument its there to win.

      Nurse, meds. 😀 

    6. YesYesYes says:

      I see that proverbial straws are still being clutched by unionists regarding Scotland’s EU membership:
      Hope the link works this time.
      There are so many ironies in this brief article that it makes your head spin. My favourite, though, is the quote from David Miliband (allegedly the ‘clever’ half of the Miliband family). Miliband is quoted as dismissing SNP claims that an independent Scotland would automatically join the EU as “fantasy island”.
      This is an interesting phrase. “Fantasy Island” was the title of a book written in 2007 by The Guardian’s Larry Elliott and Dan Atkinson. The book documents how, under New Labour government from 1997, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown turned Britain into a ‘fantasy island’ awash with debt, delusions of grandeur and all based on Labour lies and platitudinous spin. And who was a leading member of those Labour governments that turned Britain into a ‘fantasy island’? You’ve got it – David Miliband.

    7. Angus McLellan says:

      @Macart: Henry McLeish? He is the “Uncle Tom of Scottish politics” according to Lord Foulkes on Twitter. (An alternative to Dictator Comparison Bingo there?)

    8. Macart says:

      Angus McLellan

      Well if Foulkes doesn’t like him, he must be doing something right. 🙂 

    9. Ronald Henderson says:

      This guy is the same Gordon Brown that Tricia Marwick suggested should be given the freedom of Kirkcaldy. Or was it Dunfermline? No matter, it pissed me and a whole bunch of other nationalists off a lot.

    10. Iain says:

      @Angus McLellan
      Wasn’t it Foulkes who coined ‘Cybernats’ and started the SLAB bleating about the foul abuse spouted by such folk?
      Amusing to see him fresh from tweeting a defence of his dear friend and colleague Dennis McShane immediately putting the boot into another dear friend and colleague.

    11. YesYesYes says:

      Herman Van Rompuy needs to get his story straight. After all, it’s only six months ago that he was telling euronews that:
      “But the most important thing of course, is that we defend our values, that we use a language which is the language of the European Union – defending the rule of law, defending democratic freedoms, defending human beings whoever they are, without any discrimination”.
      Perhaps he forgot here, to add the words, ‘except in Scotland’.
      And how about this little gem from Van Rompuy, in the same article, in answer to a question on whether he thought that the EU would ever become one nation, like the United States:
      “No I don’t think so. The European Union will never become the United States of Europe. There are 27 or 28 [member states] with Croatia. Each country has its own history, some have a history of 200 years, like Belgium and some have a history of a thousand years. So we are not like an American State. We have our own languages, we have 23 languages in Europe. We have a special identity in each of our member states and a very specific situation due to our history”.
      Again, perhaps he forgot to add the words, “except in Scotland” or, as Van Rompuy would say, except in ‘separatist’ Scotland.
      I suspect that the British government has been engaging in a little ‘green room’ diplomacy here, just to put the EU straight on the issue of Scottish ‘separatism’. 

    12. Iain says:

      Foulkes retweeted this yesterday; an overnight Damascene moment has occurred obviously.

      What we need over next two years is respect, at all times. Need to be a coherent, co-operative, united country whatever #indyref result.

    13. panda paws says:

      I sometimes wonder whether the Bitter Together people actually think these analogies through. As for Gordon, perhaps it’s better he retire from public life completely given the standard of his recent interventions.
      @Peter Bell – I’ve tried to post to your site a few times but there’s something very amiss with the captcha system. There’s no way I’m mispelling the phrase that often!

    14. Peter A Bell says:

      Not sure what Marwick was on that day. Couldn’t have been the cheap stuff.

    15. Peter A Bell says:

      Sorry to hear you are having problems with posting comments on my blog. The fact that others are managing to do so suggests that the Captcha system is not the problem. It certainly isn’t my intention to discourage comments. Quite the contrary. Without more information it is difficult to say what the problem might be, Do you perhaps have scripts disabled? This would be the case if, for example, you were using Firefox with the NoScript extension.
      It would not be appropriate to pursue this matter here. Please feel free to contact me at peterabell [at] gmail [dot] com.

    16. Ron Maclean says:

      Can it be confirmed that no guarantee can be given that in a separate state their is no way Gordon will no be back?

    17. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Sorry Rev but I’ve got a killer headache today and can’t take too much more of the Gordon Brown renaissance. It is a renaissance when something of days gone by suddenly makes a reappearance isn’t it?
      Well to quell my fear of a long lived nasty renaissance of the worst kind I’d just like to say this:

    18. Peter A Bell says:

      Renaissance means re-birth. Brown is not so much re-born as disinterred.

    19. cynicalHighlander says:

      Listening to Frankenstien on the radio at the moment very apt.
      re captcha I have found reloading until one gets one more legible often saves mistakes.

    20. muttley79 says:

      Does anyone remember the incident with the microphone and calling that lady a ‘bigot’ at the last UK general election?  It does not strike you as the actions of a political giant that the Scottish media and the Labour Party had tried to portray him as.  All he seemed to do in office was boast about ending boom and bust in the economy and shout at people!  Makes you wonder if Brown was as politically great as the fawning media would have you believe….

    21. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Here’s a link to the “infamous” now famous clip of dear old Brown meeting that nice Gillian Duffy. Oh and yes you do hear his bigot comment at the end as well. THIS was the man who wanted returned to number 10?????

    22. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Anyone who is feeling a wee bit disheartened by all this positivity emanating from Gordon Brown might feel a wee bit better after checking this on line poll being run by the unionist site No Scotland.

    23. Morag says:

      Ouch!  And I note the pollsters have chosen their own question, rather than using the one the Scottish government has proposed.

    24. James Morton says:

      This is what 307 years of banal unionism leads to. Unionists being incapable of defining Union let alone actually making a positive case for it.

    25. sneddon says:

      Does the NO ‘community’ even have a on line presence?  Happens all the time with their online polls.  Makes me wonder who the hell IPOS etc ask in their polls,  the online verdict always is a resounding YES to independence .

    26. YesYesYes says:

      The SNP and Newsnet are now running with the Observer’s Van Rumpoy story:

    27. Arbroath 1320 says:

      I’ve come to the conclusion that all these “newspaper” polls are asked to people whose names the pollsters get from the Labour/Tory/LibDems H.Q.’s. Is it any wonder that these polls are always out of step with the polls that are carried out on line.

    28. Boorach says:

      I have it on good authority that Alex has a prime diplomatic post waiting for prudence Broon as head of mission on Rockall.

    29. albaman says:

      So Gordon Brown says we!d be a looked on as a “colony”,
      well, we have since 1707, so what’s new!!. 

    30. Dal Riata says:

      @Arbroath 1320

      That noscotland poll is hilarious! Propagandising for the Union for all they’re worth, and what do they get?… 88% ‘Yes’ for an independent Scotland… !!! LOL!

    31. dadsarmy says:

      I agree with Marcia, people forget the story but remember the issue.

      Perhaps this is why the Scot Gov are happy that the UK gov don’t want to ask the EU for an opinion about Scotland’s membership. Because all the media will happily print any negative story, even if from a waiter in a bar in Brussels who overhead an opinion from one of the assistants to the apprentice junior floorsweepers in the debating chamber. And Lamont and co will stand up and bawl and shout and crow about it.

      But it’s all good publicity for Independence, it makes people think.

    32. Boorach says:

      Just had a wander round noscotland, scarcely a unionist to be seen! Had a look at their blogs as far back as June: a total of 4 likes 2 of which were for their latest one

    33. maxstafford says:

      Foulkes labelling somebody an Uncle Tom. Surely that’s flipping of Biblical proportions!
      I think my irony chip has overloaded! 

    34. Arbroath 1320 says: the best advertisement in the world, with no Heineken beer in sight, for the YES campaign. You could dream of a better way to push Scottish Independence. 😆

    35. Morag says:

      Cripes!  Have you seen the comments!  If I was them, I’d just slit my wrists now.

    36. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Oh to be a unionist…………NOT! 😆
      What is worse is that in the early days I do seem to remember that there were a couple of unionists who commented but like all fearties they didn’t last long. 😀

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