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Wings Over Scotland

Asked and answered

Posted on July 04, 2013 by

In the introduction to the chilling “V For Vendetta” (the brilliant comic book, not the awful movie), author Alan Moore wrote some words that have stayed with us:

“I’m thinking of taking my family and getting out of this country soon, sometime over the next couple of years. It’s cold and it’s mean-spirited and I don’t like it here any more.”

That was in 1988, and as far as we know Alan Moore still lives in Northampton. Perhaps he couldn’t think of anywhere better to go. But two pieces in today’s papers illustrate the bleak phenomenon he was talking about better than we could hope to explain, and it’s more true now than ever. You should read both of them if you want to understand modern Britain. Here’s the cause, and here’s the effect.

If you think it’s a coincidence, maybe you need to open your eyes a bit.

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38 to “Asked and answered”

  1. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    You effect link comes up as a 404 error

  2. Albert Herring says:

    I know you’ve no idea what I’m on about, but you’ve included the url of this page in that last link.

  3. HandandShrimp says:

    Surprised Lord Fraud didn’t just say “Let them eat cake”

  4. Dan says:

    “illustrate the bleak phenomenon what [puke!] he was talking about”
    The “effect” link should be:

  5. Daniel says:
    Here’s the ‘effect’ link. Problem is that the current article link is has then the herald bit 😛

  6. Glasgow Sheep says:

    UK Polling Report debunked the suggestion that the young are becoming more conservative, and infact showed most younger adults don’t care for any of the parties:

  7. HandandShrimp says:

    It is actually an interesting article from Robbie and it may explain in part why Milliband is finding it hard to gain any traction and develop a substantial lead in the polls. It may also explain why he is shifting to the right on social security, immigration and taxation. However, in Scotland the Tories and Liberals continue to languish and UKIP lost its deposit in the recent by-election. If there is a trend, and Robbie is right and views in England amongst the young are becoming more polarised, then it isn’t clear that this has drifted north.   

  8. Tom Hogg says:

    Ref the Herald piece, I speculate that it’s secondary schooling that has shifted the moral compass of Generation Y south of the border. Eight categories of state funded school (only two in Scotland and the second category has only one school in it, so effective uniformity), and eight identified subsets of school from grammar to academy to secondary modern etc.
    It’s no great intellectual leap to suggest that when folk in England either move home to get to a better catchment area or simply lie about where they actually live, the kids involved turn out to be less socially democratic than their forebears.

  9. Hetty says:

    Freud is a disgrace to any modern, forward thinking, caring society, but then this isn’t one what am I thinking!
    The ‘effect’? well if what the guy says in the herald is true, then the ‘Y’ generation seem to be robotic sheep who will listen to the masters in westminster and that’s getting close to resembling some kind of naziism. I don’t like the ‘Y generation’ label nevermind the ‘X generation label, where’d that come from?

  10. Angus McPhee says:

    Undoubtedly a product of the public school systems intentional erasing of compassion and empathy. We are governed by sociopaths.

  11. Robert Bryce says:

    I know personal attacks are frowned upon by many on this site but I have to say that Lord Freud is a complete and utter cock!
    No ifs no buts, the man is a cock!

  12. Holebender says:

    “the bleak phenomenon what he was talking about”
    Oh dear… did Ernie Wise write that bit for you?

  13. HandandShrimp says:

    Generation X came from the States and it was a label I think Youth culture adopted themselves during the punk/Indie phase of the 80s (Nirvana etc.) it was quite nilhistic in outlook damning both left and right. My kids are Generation Y and they are quite fiery on the politics front. Both of mine have radical views but it is an odd mixture of social concern, small enterprise and very anti-Government. They utterly despise the Conservatives, Liberals and UKIP but are also wary of Labour and the SNP. My view is that the politicians have brought this upon themselves. They have been a shower of “do as I say not as I do” hypocrites. Why should the youth respect them?   

  14. Tattie-boggle says:

    Lord Frude Dude is stuck in the Twilight Zone

  15. southernscot says:

    I went to my local Tesco for a couple of things a month or so ago. There a charity was collecting for food bank, handing out lists of foodstuffs required. Filled my trolley of stuff they needed passed it to them. did I feel good about doing my bit. Did I f**k. I felt absolutely ashamed and furious, that this disunited kingdom has come to this.

  16. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Oh dear… did Ernie Wise write that bit for you?”

    I’m too embarrassed about that to even do the I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU MEAN joke.

  17. pa_broon74 says:

    For what its worth, young folk won’t have any notion of what its like trying to get by. When at school or college, their heads are filled with a load of pie-in-the-sky bullshit about career prospects and earnings when the reality is something entirely different.
    Even I remember in the mid 80’s and early 90’s being told what I could expect when I left education, with my NC in Electrical and Electronic Engineering I was ‘assured’ a technicians job earning £12k pa, what I got was a temporary storeman’s job earning £3.5k pa.
    I was also told I’d be able to get a mortgage & buy a house – while it was my choice not to do that at the time, if I’d chosen to, I’m not sure how I could’ve managed it on what I earned at the time.
    Character not-with-standing, young folk make their judgements based on what they’re told by people who hold sway with them. Teachers and lecturers telling them if they stick in they’ll earn x numbers of thousands a year – thinking that’ll happen – is it any wonder they think the Tories have a point about ‘workshy scroungers’? It’s all made to sound so do-able when its really not that easy at all.
    It works both ways too, young folk who maybe realise they’re not going to be earning thousands in daddy’s business or in the city etc, think Labour and the left (ha ha) are a fair bet.
    The reality is some where down the middle, you leave school and are very quickly put in your place, you realise all Westminster parties are shite and as said; become disinterested. My worry is young folk in Scotland will think they also don’t have a choice (labeling all political discussion as a waste of time) when the reality is; they really do have a choice to make.
    Ok, educators may still bullshit them to get them on their courses but then, with a representative government here in Scotland, maybe those earnings & other expectations will move within reach.

  18. Desimond says:

    So England youth favours Tories according to Polling. No details on Scots youth. Much ado about nothing really.

  19. beachthistle says:

    Re Dinwoodie’s article, I think he and other journalists need to be careful when using the word ‘evidence’ with regard to the outputs of polling companies – especially when they are talking about the opinions of teenagers  – and in particular when quoting pollsters who still use landline telephones as their main/only method of engaging with respondents.

  20. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Dinwoodie is right. I play regularly in two poker schools, one populated by younger folk than the other, and the difference between the two in their attitudes to welfare and social justice – across the political spectrum – is striking and horrifying. That’s in England, of course, but young Scots are subjected to most of the same media that their counterparts down here are, and it’d be naive to think it had no effect.

  21. Vronsky says:

    In the Dinwoodie piece he speaks of “two social democratic parties separated only by their constitutional stance”.  This must be wilful misunderstanding as surely no professional political observer is that thick.  New Labour social democratic?  They are so far right you can only see them on a clear day. 

    But then later: “forced them [the young] into a cynical Labour market”.  Is that capital ‘L’ a Freudian Slip?

    And then “That this UK generation appears to have doubled its support for the Tories since Mr Cameron came to power seems inexplicable. Surely they would blame the First Minister for their abysmal fate? Instead, they appear to have bought into Mr Cameron’s initial youthful appeal”

    Mr Cameron is Prime Minister, not First Minister. But surely there must be a way to blame Salmond – Freud again?

    Looks as if the sub didn’t make it in last night.  Anyway, as a piece on Scottish politics all the article says is ‘here’s what kids in England think but I don’t know if the same applies in Scotland’.  Gee thanks, Einstein.

  22. MajorBloodnok says:

    Don’t worry Rev, we understood what you meant: you were using all the right words, but not necessarily in the right order.

  23. pa_broon74 says:

    O/T (Sorry.)
    Dr Azeem Ibrahim has answered some of the challenges against his Scotland Institute paper on Scottish Defence.
    I only put it here because of its breath-taking arrogance.
    Not only is this off-topic, but is also over on newsnetscotland.
    Sorry. 😉

  24. ianbrotherhood says:

    If the young ‘uns don’t care, who’s to blame them? They can quite rightly point to the rise of neo-liberalism and say ‘this happened on your watch, so you fix it’.
    As it is, they know they’re going to spend their entire lives paying for the PFI shite we bought into as the blood-sacrifice for finally getting the Tories out. Aye, it felt good on May 2nd ’97, but try explaining that to your daughter when she has to send her own children to decrepit, shoddy schools and hospitals which exist as magic money-pots for private interests.
    As it is, you’d better hope your weans are good-looking and/or talented in some market-friendly way. Otherwise? They’re shafted – you know it, and they know it. The ‘get-rich-or-die-trying’ culture may be rancid, but it’s real, and it’s understandable.
    The fact that scum like Freud have any employment at all, let alone holding positions of real power, is utterly damming, and if we want anyone to blame? we need look no further than the closest reflective surface.
    Sorry if this seems OTT, but I’m certainly not the only one who feels this way – we’ve let the weans down, and it’s up to us to at least try to make amends by providing them with a fighting chance. 

  25. scottish_skier says:

    The work IPSOS MORI have been doing on the politics of generations is interesting but does not represent Scotland as they are using UK data of course, thus Scotland forms about 8.4% of the sample.

    This does mean some of the conclusions they have come to don’t apply to an extent in Scotland, however the fact is the results categorically don’t represent Scotland. If you want to find out what Scotland thinks, you need to sample Scotland. Trying to say the findings of a UK-wide survey represent Scotland is like trying to say it represents Germany.

    What I notice in poll analyses is that Scotland is different to the UK on many attitudes to society and welfare. Sometimes the differences are stark, sometimes more nuanced. Working with sub-samples has its caveats, but Scotland is more ‘globally’ centrist (thus way to the left of UK parties), more pro-EU, less anti-immigration, more socially liberal. Less Tory basically. How anyone could argue differently is beyond me given only ~15% vote Tory and >50% of the vote went to clearly centre/left (SNP) or left (SSP, Greens etc) with the remainder going to parties claiming to be social democratic/centre-left with manifestos containing policies of that ilk.

    Also, as noted by Glasgow Sheep the recent articles suggesting the young are voting Tory is utter bollocks.

    The UK swung widely towards the Tories in 2010. Scotland didn’t because Scotland just ain’t England. This short little video says a great deal about Scotland.

  26. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    ianbrotherhood: OT, but any idea why your posts always have two lines of spaces at the start of ’em? Drives me nuts tidying them all up, because I’m an OCD neat freak.

  27. ianbrotherhood says:

    Sorry, didn’t realise it was a prob. 
    (Any obs to a double space between paras?)

  28. HandandShrimp says:

    I think it is important that are aware of voting trends in England because if the youth of England are becoming more pro-Conservative then people in Scotland need to take that on board. It matters if someone thinks they can vote No and hope that we will get a Labour Government. It might be a long time before we see another Labour Government with a working majority. It comes better from Robbie than from the Yes camp…we might be accused of spreading scare stories 😉

  29. Vronsky says:

    ” It might be a long time before we see another Labour Government with a working majority. It comes better from Robbie than from the Yes camp”

    I don’t see anywhere that Dinwoodie says that a Labour victory in 2015 is unlikely, although the piece is so badly written that you could infer just about anything you like from it.  It’s revealing that in his last sentence he describes the possibility that the kids might ignore the scare stories and vote Yes as a ‘danger’.

  30. Luigi says:

    The Labour Party are largely responsible for the hardening of hearts and the breakdown of society since 1997. I believe that the Labour Party had a real opportunity to show courage and conviction, turn left and reconnect with their traditional support, just after their GE defeat in 2010. Sadly,they chickened out and opted for the “easy road” back to power (Ha!). Unite and the other big unions tried to steer the party left, but “Red Ed” has been a major disappointment. As it turned out, the contest of the Brothers Grim (Miliband) was no real choice at all. It was a choice between an honest Blairite (David) and a closet Blairite (Ed). The opportunity has been lost and Labour are in the ridiculous position of aping, and even trying to outdo the Tories, doomed to failure. If the people of England now support Tory policies, they are going to opt for a real Tory as opposed to a cheap imitation.

  31. HandandShrimp says:

    I think your reading of Robbie’s lean is correct but what he has written is that the youth of England are swinging to the right. That is a worry if you are a centre left Scot.  

  32. Andy-B says:

    You could say that “Generation Y”..have bought into the I want it and I want it now, the House, the Car, the Designer Gear, and all the trimmings, and David Camerons way of thinking is the way to achieve it, but of course someones got to pay the piper and its the poor souls at the other end of the scale, the social didvide between rich and poor has never been so wide, and with Labour seemingly moving further to the right, the gap and Camerons Idelogical idea, “Greed is good” will continue to sway the next Generation Y.

  33. john king says:

    “the bleak phenomenon what he was talking about” Oh dear… did Ernie Wise write that bit for you?

    Maybe it was a play what he wrote?

  34. john king says:

    “I’m too embarrassed about that to even do the I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU MEAN joke.”
    a long running sketch   on the Morcambe and Wise show was Ernie’s continued belief he had an artistic bent and often described a “play wot I wrote”

  35. Weedeochandorris says:

    I watched the second part of Secrets from The Workhouse the other night.  “The workhouse – home to the poor and unemployed who had nowhere else to turn.  In 100 years 16 million people had passed theough its doors.  These were the massed ranks of Britains underclass, unemployed and stigmatised by a society that regarded poverty as a crime. To stop it being used as an easy option the workhouse was designed to make it an experience people dreaded”.  It was a very touching programme and the stories were harrowing. I fear we’re going backwards and places like the workhouse could make a comeback, food banks are just the start.  Westminster toffs are definately taking the first steps stigmatise the poor and unemployed.  God help us all if they are allowed to carry on down this road. At least we still have the chance to save ourselves, we must vote Yes next year or we’re done for.

  36. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “a long running sketch on the Morcambe and Wise show was Ernie’s continued belief he had an artistic bent and often described a “play wot I wrote””

    Yes, I know.

  37. Dave Smith says:

    Workfare is just the start of this. Frankly, I’m staggered at just how quickly the neoliberals have managed to roll back all those years of social advances.
    Generation Y will, I fear have to re-learn the phrase; “There but for the grace of God go I”!
    As a still traumatised Generation X-er I can see how this divisive game works.
    I want to pray for a ‘Yes’ victory next year but how can I do that without undermining my agnostic beliefs? 😉

  38. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Dave Smith
    Suspend logic for short periods.
    It works for me and doesn’t really cost much.

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