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Wings Over Scotland

From the archives #9

Posted on June 17, 2019 by

The Times, 30 June 1998.

Wait, Michael who? Well, this should be good.

And we were right. It was.

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  1. 17 06 19 22:56

    From the archives #9 | speymouth

  2. 18 06 19 16:04

    Not so precious after all « Wee Ginger Dug

86 to “From the archives #9”

  1. David

    By the flowery nature of the prose. I hope he wasn’t under the influence of stuff up his nose! Twit.

  2. mark johnston

    Oh my.

    Yes…it’s good. nom nom nom

  3. Bob Mack

    Of course you have to allow for a short memory span. Most poor liars have that trait.

  4. Brian Doonthetoon


    That’s a cracker of a capture!

    Isn’t the interweb a brilliant resource? This week, I will mostly be going “PARP!”

  5. Scot Finlayson

    Gove won`t remember much about writing this guff,he was sh@tfaced on cocaine for most of the 90`s,

    `The English Exchequer` jeezo what an uncle tam.

  6. Andrew Reid

    Then let us pray that come it may,
    As come it will for a’ that,
    That sense and worth, o’er a’ the earth,
    May bear the gree, an’ a’ that.
    For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
    It’s coming YES, for a’ that,
    That man to man, the warld o’er,
    Shall brothers be for a’ that.

  7. brewsed

    Just for fun, here is the text after being OCRed…

    The English
    are right: let
    Scotland go

    Michael Gove’s heart is in the
    Highlands – but not his head

    The cry for
    St George is
    no longer
    restricted to
    the terraces

    As a former Sunday
    school teacher, I never
    thought I would find
    the cross distasteful, but two
    years ago I found it positively
    disturbing. It was during the
    1996 European Champion-
    ships that the red bars of the
    flag of St George emerged
    from the protective embrace of
    the Union Jack to flutter from
    a thousand cabs. Seeing its
    stark colours made me feel
    much as I imagine the Sara-
    cens did when they saw it on
    Crusaders’ breasts. Scared.

    As a Scot brought up to
    believe that my parents in
    Aberdeen and my Prime Min-
    ister in London were the same
    nationality, it was disconcert-
    ing to find myself suddenly a
    stranger in what I thought
    was my country. Like a Rus-
    Sian soldier left behind in
    Central Asia after the collapse
    Of the Soviet Union, I saw
    myself as an alien. When I first
    saw the English flag painted
    on a fan’S face, I knew it was
    the marking of a tribe of which
    I could never be part.

    Instinctively, I regretted
    this; I felt it was supplanting a
    British identity which was
    tolerant, plural and rooted in
    shared institutions. I detected
    a raucous, exclusive and eth-
    nic tinge to this new national-
    ism. A Scot like
    myself, a son of the
    such as Darcus
    Howe and an émi-
    gré from Eastern
    Europe such as Isa-
    iah Berlin could all
    be Britons, but none
    of us would qualify
    as English.

    I thought our
    shared island story in Britain
    was a seductive narrative.
    Valour and compassion, the
    Few and the National Health
    Service, were values and epi-
    sodes woven into the fabric of
    a Union Jack. I thought the
    stirrings of English national-
    ism, at Wembley and in West-
    minster, were summer storms
    which a clearing of the polit-
    ical air might end.

    Two years on from Euro 96,
    the flag of St George flies from
    a million more windows and I
    find my attitude subtly differ-
    ent. I am still incapable of
    being moved by it as my
    neighbours are. Although I
    want the Hand of Hod to
    grasp the World Cup, it is
    more because that would
    make my friends happy than
    delight me.

    The difference now is that I
    find it difficult, agonisingly
    difficult, to make the case for
    the Union to those disposed to
    assert their English national-
    ism. The cry for England and
    St George is not restricted to
    the terraces. Ken Livingstone
    and Jeffrey Archer make com-
    mon, and coherent, calls
    against over-subsidised Scot-
    land and their economic argu-
    ments find an answering call
    in the breasts of many Tories.

    Now, when English friends
    of a Conservative disposition
    make the case for a velvet
    divorce between England and
    Scotland, their arguments are
    brutally forceful. Why, they
    ask, should English taxpayers
    continue to receive less for
    their money than Scots? Why
    should Scotland enjoy smaller
    class sizes and shorter waiting
    lists? Now that the Scots have
    their own assembly with its
    own, albeit limited, tax-raising
    powers, why should they be
    guaranteed the same generous
    subvention from the Treasury?
    Scotland is, relative to Eng-
    land, more prosperous and
    less populous than ever, yet
    the Barnett formula fixes in
    perpetuity ten/eighty-fifths of
    public expenditure for north of
    the border. Indeed, because of
    the way in which the public
    spending round works immi-
    nent cuts in defence and more
    money for health and educa-
    tion will disproportionately
    benefit Scotland.

    And although my English
    friends continue to pay over
    the odds for the pleasure of
    this partnership, they feel their
    generosity is repaid with rank
    Ingratitude. An NOP poll at
    the weekend suggested that 45
    per cent Of Scottish school
    pupils felt “a little” antipathy
    towards England and 30 per
    cent “a lot”. The English were
    “arrogant, ill-mannered, ag-
    gressive and untrustworthy”.
    When England lost to Roma-
    nia last week, it was to the
    sound of Glasgow voices
    cheering on Petrescu and re-
    membering Bannockburn.

    For my Conservative ac-
    quaintances there is another
    reason to seek separation. It
    might be called the Westpha-
    lia question. for it touches on
    the way in which
    sovereignty may
    pass from the City
    to Frankfurt while
    England sleeps.
    What would hap-
    pen if Scottish votes
    in a referendum
    tipped the balance
    in favour of a single
    currency while Eng-
    land voted against?

    In a close-run contest, over-
    whelmingly pro-European
    Edinburgh might tip mildly
    sceptical Exeter into monetary
    union. Why should the Scots
    have the right to abolish
    sterling? If Paris was worth a
    Mass. then the pound is worth
    a divorce. Let Scotland become
    independent so that England
    can stay independent.

    The final argument of my
    English Tory friends
    is couched more in sorrow than
    in anger. They insist that they
    wanted the Union to survive
    but the Scots insisted on a
    form of devolution which was
    inherently unstable and un-
    fair. As long as the English
    Exchequer underwrites Scot-
    land’s politicians they will
    never be properly accountable.
    Only if they have to raise all
    the money they wish to spend
    will the political culture ma-
    ture, and a proper right-of-
    centre party revive in

    As I contemplate these
    arguments, the despair
    I felt when I first saw
    the cross of St George grows
    all the deeper; I now confront a
    settled intellectual disposition,
    and not just a passing restive-
    ness. I will continue to defend
    the Union. I hope that the
    quiet decency of Donald Dew-
    ar will bring my countrymen
    to their senses and I pray that
    the English nationalism of my
    Tory friends will be stilled by
    an appeal to shared traditions.
    But I fear that my arguments
    for the Union pitted against
    the English nationalist case
    are like the Scottish defence
    facing Brazil. They are noble,
    they stir the heart, but they are
    simply overwhelmed.

  8. shug

    would be funny if it appeared on the next leadership debate

    So Mr Gove ……

  9. Terry callachan

    Hello geeo

    What do you think about this post by wings

  10. Jason Smoothpiece

    I agree let Scotland go. We will send aid to England and receive non violent English refugees.

    Excellent stuff old man very good.

  11. Artyhetty

    It’s perplexing that Scotland’s English neighbours poured money into Scotland, and didn’t complain even more about it. Pooh, I just can’t get ma heid around that one!
    Boo hoo, ‘the English were arrogant, ill mannered and untrustworthy’. Well who the fck knew eh! How ungrateful the silly Scots kids were, to feel that might be a teensy bit unfair, to be ridiculed, made fun of, sidelined, by your Britnat masters.

    Bow to your masters, question nothing, be grateful, your English masters have kept you in such poverty! Just think how it could have been otherwise!

    Gove was not just assimilated, he was always a trophy from the day he was born, a wee mascot, with ideas above his ability. Rewarded for service to the Britnat state, kept at forefront of media attention, like Davidson, but, fooling very few in Scotland now.

    The Britants have their work cut out now, don’t they.

    Very revealing to read this indeed!

  12. Iain

    Oh, Stuart, you ARE naughty.

  13. Capella

    He writes very well. Clear, lucid prose which conveys feelings of loss and alienation. He’s a stranger in a strange land.

    It’s a pity his character is flawed. Arrogant and ignorant, it’s a fatal combination. With more humility he might strive to discover the facts of Scotland’s situation. Less ignorant, he would understand what a house jock he is. But events may well bring that home to him if his rival Boris is crowned.

  14. Karmanaut

    Lol. He’s going to be sooo thrilled you’ve found this. This is glorious.

  15. Sinky

    Daily Telegraph has story about Rory Stewart being an MI6 spy which might explain why his expensive intervention on behalf of the NO campaign in 2014 got such extensive coverage by the BBC.

  16. Terry callachan

    The English snakebite is still to come
    At present we are getting all their bravado tough talking but once they are cornered and have to decide on brexit or UK they will get rattled

    The border in Ireland
    Scotland’s high number of people wishing to remain in the EU

    Problems that England can only deal with in one way , attack
    They never compromise

  17. manandboy

    I’m well and truly scunnered by people like Gove. I have absolutely no time for his kind whatsoever. And they are many.

  18. Jockanese Wind Talker

    I see “Rory Stewart in No 10 boost after receiving David Lidington’s backing”


    “Underdog candidate has built momentum but may struggle to meet threshold in second round of MPs’ votes”

    He was also made a member of the privy council by TMay in the last couple of weeks.

    The Establishments choice to save their “precious”?

  19. Muscleguy

    A good catch indeed.

  20. Greannach

    Sunday school teacher. Not just creepy. Double creepy.

  21. Cubby


    Kate Hoey the orange sash wearing Labour in England and ardent leaver in responding to a comment that Labour in Scotland will be wiped out if we go for a policy of leaving the EU says “let’s be honest we have been annihilated in Scotland before completely that won’t make much difference”.

    So there you have it – complete disregard for Labour in Scotland – total humiliation and disregard for Labour in Scotland by an English colleague.

    How much crap can Labour in Scotland deal with before it just throws in the the towel.

    Independence is the answer – but Labour in Scotland are too stupid to grasp the thistle.

  22. Robert J. Sutherland

    Interesting that what shocked Gove back then was the rise of English nationalism. Of course, that isn’t an issue any more, so he can now be perfectly happy to stay in the UK.

    =looks innocently skywards and whistles=

    And he now insists on keeping all of us chained to England, even as he is acutely aware that we are increasingly desperate to get free.

    What kind of monumental self-abnegation, or totally ruthless pursuit of the main chance, makes someone end up like that? An unctuous self-regarding toady. Someone surely with a gross surfeit of ambition and a substantial deficit of character.

    Nemesis follows Hubris. And in his case, one hopes, very soon. Then he may rediscover how truly disposable he is to his “countrymen”, even if none of them have red crosses painted on their faces.

  23. DerekM

    Aye wee Gove is just another weather vane seems to be the way you get to be a tory politician that and kissing better tory ass as much as you can.
    Qualifications or criminality do not matter as long as you have a sense of your British superiority to put the serfs in their place.

    They are all quite mad you know lets hope this starts something in England that cant be stopped like the English people figuring out westminster is full of criminals stealing their tax money as well.

    By rights they should not even need us,there is 60 million of them but i guess that is what happens when you let a bunch of economic illiterate clowns turn you into a low tax import market instead of investing in their own countries power,manufacturing and agricultural sectors etc. to keep a balance.

    What really puzzles me is brexit is 100% opposite to an import market then i remember they are tories and that they are idiots who get carried away telling porky pies.

  24. msean


  25. Dr Jim

    *The quiet decency of Donald Dewar*

    *quiet* and *decency* the complete opposite of what Donald Dewar was

    He gave away 6 thousand square miles of Scotland for what he thought was to be his own personal Holyrood castle, Dewar was no different to the thieves who sold Scotland in the Act of Union

  26. twathater

    I actually felt physically sick reading that JUDAS column , but actually having seen the antics of this amoeba over the years I question why I should be surprised

    Let’s be honest he is ONLY an example of what we in Scotland have experienced for many years from the unionist parties of liebour, tolies and lib dumbs .

    It has been said many times here on WOS that the biggest regret all of these tractorist barstewards have is that they were NOT born engerlish , it really messes with their heads that no matter what they do or how much they sell out their country they will NEVER attain that great engerlish exceptionalism naturally

  27. Kangaroo

    Does anyone know the current status of Referendum Scotland Bill 2019.
    Has it received Royal Assent yet or are we a bit away from that?

  28. geeo

    Callachan @10.14pm spluttered, meaninglessly:

    “Hello geeo

    What do you think about this post by wings”?

    What the fuck are you gibbering on about now ?

    Are you seriously asking what i think of a topic which brutally exposes a tory tit as a complete hypocrite and lying roaster, going back over 2 decades ?

    Like, really ?

    This post is pure bread and butter wings at its best.

    What do you think about it ? (as if i actually give 2 fucks).

  29. Skintybroko

    Sunday School teacher – must be a pre-requisite for Tory wannabe Dictators – Truthless was one as well

  30. Ken500

    That’s what we pay for,

    1998 was the end of the Tories. Just like now, They could not make a bigger mess. History repeating it’s self. The lying thieving bastards. Psycho bastards. Their own description Thank goodness for the SNP and the good people in Scotland standing up to the Westminster unionist imbeciles. Where would Scotland be without the truth.

    Gove is an alcoholic. Alcoholics make poor decisions without proper rehab counselling.

    The unionists can’t count or read a balance sheet. This was the end of the Tory/Thatcher era. When Scottish wealth and resources has stolen illegally and secretly to fund London S/E. Tory bankers. Loads of money bankers away with the loot. While people were left in poverty. Democracy in Scotland overruled by Tory/unionist imbeciles. The violence of the Thatcher days. Interest rates 17%. Inflation up to 25%. The only place unemployment was under 10% was London S/E. Unemployment NI 20% (troubles). Unemployment in Scotland 15%. Care in the community – prison.

    The Tories are toast. Into oblivion they go.

    Westminster still illegally taking Scotland’s resources. £Billions in fuel & energy. Scotlabd paying 10% higher than parity. Illegal wars, tax evasion and financial fraud. Scotland paying interest on debts no borrowed or spent in Scotland. Hinkley Point and HS2. A total waste of money. The Tory slush fund. Cameron’s stout in the trough. Paying too much for Trident and Defence. Adds up to approx £20Million.

    Brexit will cost Scotland £Billions. Into the bin the Tories go. Trash can. Another crook in Gov Johnstone. He would not last until October. Another Tory disaster. They are even getting worse. A lame duck Gov. An international laughing stock. The Westminster imbeciles. They were then and they are now. Complete and utter useless incompetents.

  31. Ken500

    Adds up to approximate £20Billion.

    Scotland would be raising £80Billion. The same as Norway. Without the Westminster unionist imbecile wasters.

  32. Malky

    Disturbing sycophantic drivel. I thought we were the nationalists? This is an insight into the mind of a man who feels he was born in the wrong country.

  33. Breeks

    Sooner of later, there has to be a consequence for this flagrant dishonesty. I don’t mean through personal reflection or regret, but actual consequence, such as impeachment, or deselection, or some other form of effective disgrace.

    There is something fundamentally unbalanced about a country which declares violence and theft illegal and punishable by fines or imprisonment, fines people for absent mindedness about their Road Tax or MOT expiry date, but yet allows certain people to lie through their teeth with absolute untouchable impunity.

    It’s not just pond life like Gove or Carmichael, it’s a casual attitude to dishonesty that’s alive and well in our Local Authorities, turning them into impenetrable fortresses of bureaucratic sophistry. We have a real problem with honesty in this country… from the Government which takes Council Tax out your pocket to the TV which drips poison in your eyes and ears. None of them are worthy of automatic trust.

    You wouldn’t dream of putting a perv in charge of a nursery, in fact you’d steel yourself to be alert to the heightened danger if anything. So why is it acceptable to allow a proven liar to present themselves as such a high profile candidate for public office?

  34. winifred mccartney

    It seems to me you can say and do as you like and still be able to be in high office in government – the only rule is ‘don’t get caught’ and if you do just lie your way out of it – we even have people to show us how to do it on both sides of the Atlantic.

  35. Frank Gillougley

    ‘A Scot like myself, a son of the Commonwealth such as Darcus

    Really!!! FFS What planet is this twisted weasel on, that could even compare himself to that wonderful man.

  36. Robert Louis

    The problem with these Liars at Westminster, is that they are operating in a system which allows them to do so. In the past, and certainly within my lifetime, their was to an extent a kind of ‘esteem’ or ‘honour’ of being a government minister – and certainly being Prime Minister. ANY kind of disgrace or blatant ‘dishonourable behaviour would see resignation.

    The problem is however, that was based upon politicians ‘doing the right thing’, their were no hard rules or laws, set in stone. So whereas a scandal involving a minister in the past would be an immediate resignation, nowadays it doesn’t because the people who are elected to high office in Westminster are basically the worst of society, but with posh voices – or, as somebody recently put it, ‘the worst kind of sociopaths, with two houses and four names’.

    So, Westminster has evolved over centuries without strict behaviour or honesty laws – assuming that those elected were ‘honourable gentlemen, or women’. So, nowadays politicians in Westminster have realised they can basically say any old rubbish, and lie with impunity’, over and over again. Whereas in the past the mainstream media might hold them to account, it now too, revels in indulging their wickedness without retribution.

    The same thing is true of Washington D.C. The reason why the fat, lying, orange blimp called TRUMP can say and do as he pleases, is for exactly the same reason. Nobody made laws to cater for his criminal ilk in high office – they assumed Americans would never vote such a crook and compulsive liar into office. TRUMP could virtually destroy every aspect of how the US Government works, with impunity, with impeachment the only recourse. Half of american media openly literally praise the fat orange git, on a daily basis, for his lying deceptive ways.

    So, it is, at Westminster. We saw the most recent Prime Minister, wholly and completely try to undermine the democratically elected parliament – and she did so with impunity. The ONLY thing which stopped her was a particularly ferocious defender of democracy called John Bercow (who deserves a medal), the speaker of the House of Commons. We now see candidates for the next non-democratically elected Prime Minister openly declaring how they will close down parliament if elected by their colleagues into office. Just think about that.

    Instead of condemning such talk, the mainstream media indulges it. Amplifies it. Gives it legitimacy, it doesn’t deserve.

    Up here in Scotland we have the likes of Davidson, who says one thing one day and the exact opposite a few days later, and the media do not ever hold her to account. A ‘cheeky wee fake grin’, a laugh, an ‘oh Brian’, then on to the next easy question. Likewise we have the most pathetic political creature to grace planet earth as ‘scottishy secretary’, called Mundell. He lies every other day, contradicting himself, over and over again. Yet he too is never held to account.

    Democracy is under threat, while in Scotland it is being blown out of the water by lying London-worshipping Tory sh*tes, who openly talk of just overriding the democratically elected Scottish Government, and stealing the Powers of the Scots Parliament. They openly talk of Scotland as their ‘possession’, their ‘plaything’, to do with as they please.

    This is where we are in 2019. This is why Scotland needs independence ASAP. Not next year or the year after, or when ‘things become clearer’ – I mean, how much freaking clarity do you need, FFS??

  37. Phronesis

    Displaying an ignorant ‘intellectual disposition’. Our shared island story of Britain is a stolen narrative. The forerunner of universal health care (the NHS) was developed in Scotland by a local doctor in Ballachulish and the blueprint established in the north of Scotland.

  38. Craig P

    To paraphrase one of south-west Glasgow’s favourite chants,

    “The empire’s over Michael, why don’t you go home.”

  39. Frazerio

    Gold. Comedy gold. His argument for Scottish independence boils down to ‘only if or because the English want it’. And therein lies the crux of it Govey!!!
    I bet theres more nuggets to follow from this prize nugget.

  40. Abulhaq

    English nationalism….the ethnic exceptionalism that fuels and drives the British enterprise and which a rather mild mannered Scottish nationalism as manifest in the SNP has yet to come to grips with.
    A ‘new order’ is in process in the English establishment except that it will have familiar older imperial themes refreshed, modernized and promoted as the ‘nation’s future’. Scotland figures in this, but only as an entity to be kept in check.
    By conformity to the alien mores and conventions of Anglo politics some are unwittingly aiding the latter.
    These are extraordinary times requiring extraordinary initiatives. No more ‘useful idiocy’!

  41. Macart

    Jinkies! Oh, that’s a beaut of an archive. 😀

  42. galamcennalath

    There comes a time when everyone must make decisions on where the stand on the big issues.

    Clearly with time, Gove has opted to nail his colours to the mast of English Nationalism and it’s imperial obsession with maintaining a Greater England on these isles.

  43. galamcennalath

    Malky says:

    This is an insight into the mind of a man who feels he was born in the wrong country.

    Ah yes, self-identifing as English and in the midst of transitioning 😉

  44. iainmore

    I guess Gove had decided way back then that it is case of Ingerlund Ingerlund Uber Alles. It was around that time that Gordon Brown was having orgasms about Gascoigne scoring against us at Wembley. Quizzers all!!!!

  45. Welsh Sion

    In other parts of this Disunited Kingdumb …

    It’s coming for aw’ tha’.

  46. Breeks

    RBS merges with Saudi bank.
    How far does that leave us from money laundering cash for arms to bomb Yemen?

  47. Ken500

    The Saudis are in trouble their economy is tanking. Sold off the Oil rights and trying to diversify. Not very successful. The RBS is bailing out their banking. A take over. No longer affordable. More likely to restrict them. Change or else. Illegal war no longer affordable.

  48. Ken500

    This so like Thatcher era. A total shambles. What a mess. The Tories will be toast. Into Oblivion. Labour unionists are no better.

    The best time to have an IndyRef is when it can be won.

  49. Capella

    Just listened to the final episode of Jonathon Sumption’s Reith Lecture on the constitution. Wings listeners will enjoy listening to this one for its host of British i.e. English examples of how much better the British i.e. English constitution deals with change.

    He only slipped up once towards the end and used the E word by mistake.

    Anita Anand managed to shoehorn in Mark Rekless (ex UKIP), who just happened to be in the audience, to talk about BREXIT at some length thus taking up valuable space in the question section.

    Dear old right wing BBC.

  50. HandandShrimp

    In the words of Bob Dylan,

    Ah but I was so much older then
    I’m younger than that now.

  51. Welsh Sion

    Come, come, Capella! 😉

    You should be a bit more up-to-date. 🙂

    Mark Reckless AM/AC is now a sitting Member and Leader (appointed by the Farago) for the Brexit Party in the National Assembly of Wales since 15 May 2019.

  52. Welsh Sion

    Mark Reckless – a potted political biography

    (Please bear with me – it’s difficult to follow. Capella is excused.)

    – Conservative Member of Parliament for Rochester and Strood in the 2010 general election.
    – 27 September 2014, Reckless defected to the UK Independence Party.
    – In March 2016, Reckless was announced as UKIP’s lead candidate for the Welsh Assembly Election region of South Wales East. He was elected on 5 May 2016.
    – On 6 April 2017, Reckless left UKIP to join the Conservative Group in the Welsh Assembly; however, he did not rejoin the Conservative Party.
    – On 14 April 2019, Reckless left the Conservative Party Group in the Welsh Assembly over the party’s failure to deliver Brexit. He then sat as an Independent member of the National Assembly for Wales until defecting to the Brexit Party the following month.
    – On 15 May 2019, Reckless stated his intention to form a new Brexit Party political group within the Welsh Assembly, along with Caroline Jones, Mandy Jones, and David Rowlands. He was subsequently announced as the leader of such group by Nigel Farage.

    (Courtesy of Wikipedia).

  53. Capella

    @ Welsh Sion – so sorry WS – I admit I don’t keep up with Mark Reckless and even spelt his name wrong. Fortunately for us, the BBC is right on the ball with BREXITEERS.

  54. Breeks

    From YouGov…

    “So committed to Brexit are members of the Conservative and Unionist Party that they would be willing to see Scotland (63%) and Northern Ireland (59%) leave the UK in order to secure it…”

    So let’s get Scotland’s Constitutionally Sovereign Remain vote right into their face. SCOTLAND IS STAYING IN EUROPE. So what you want to do about it Tory?

    To all the IndyRef2 post Brexit ditherers, if we acquiesce to Brexit, even reluctantly, we are squandering a unique set of circumstances which promise to deliver Scottish Independence, and those circumstances will never be repeated.

    Carp Diem. Seize the day.

  55. desimond

    Give could well be another David Steel, lambast a Scottish parliament set up but gladly take a seat in it once he realises he is utter toast down South.

  56. Capella

    Reith Lecture transcript now available. Sumption says of the FPTP system:

    The first-past-the-post system which applies to Parliamentary elections in the United Kingdom has advantages which are often overlooked. It enables governments to come to power with absolute majorities in the House of Commons, even when they have no absolute majority among the electorate at large. They may not even have the largest share of the vote. This is a much criticised feature of our system, but it has contributed greatly to the stability of the English state and to the ability of governments to take decisive action when
    it was needed.

    Wee slip up there with the E word.

    Questions are soon steered round to Mark Reckless and BREXIT.

    Unfortunately, nobody from Plaid Cymru was there to ask any awkward questions or point out his mistakes. For example he says that membership of political parties has declined in the UK. But the Labour party has the largest membership in Europe and the SNP has the second largest in the UK; such as the Treaty of Union being the written constitution of the UK; such as Scotland not being a region of the UK etc etc.

    Some good points though in defence of an unwritten constitution.

  57. Liberté égalité fraternité

    ‘Let Scotland become independent so that England can stay independent.’




  58. Athanasius

    Gives me an opportunity to make a point. Scotland entered union with England in 1707. England didn’t enter union with anyone in 1707. Scotland sent members to the new UK parliament in 1707. In the same year, England received some aboriginal representatives from the newly acquired territories in north Britain into the English parliament. Whatever Gove is writing about in this article, he’s actually realizing that that is the situation. England has existed continuously since Athelstan united it in Saxon times. It has never ceased to exist. What we call “the UK” is only England by another name.

  59. Ian mhor

    All villification aside, it’s an important article and an insight into the psyche of a ScotBut British nationalist and one that Wingers should be probably be paying close attention to and not for derision, though God knows it deserves it.

    I’ve spent a ling time trying to get my head around them and work out why, despite best diplomatic efforts, debate used to fall on its arse. At it’s simplest it’s because they’re “British” That is their nationality and it’s how they were brought up and it is who they are. Forget for the moment the bit about ‘Britain’ the artificial nebulous construct and work from the principle that it is, to them, a solid reality. One is not debating with a Scot, one is debating with a ‘British’ person who was perhaps born and lived or lives in Scotland. Harsh? Yes, but true – Hence the phrase “I’m a Scot but..’ or better yet a “Proud Scot but..” – But British, I’m British.

    Now, the well worn phrase ‘cognitive dissonance’ does apply; there have been deep rooted gymnastics at play to convince themselves, despite growing reality, that “Britain” is actually the Nation – the ‘Country’ of their birth and growth. Despite the Scotland around them. In a very real sense, to them Scottish independence does represent a tearing apart and seperation of their “Country”

    The dissonance and gymnastics is observed in the article where the reality suddenly impinges on his psyche – England is “Britain” – but this quickly morphs into rogue Englishmen, identical to rogue Scotsmen, attempting to subvert “Britain”. Those English nationalists are every bit anathema as Scottish nationalists. The reality, is revealed – England can and has the power to destroy his “Britain” reluctantly and sadly, the rejection must be accepted. He will walk off to Scotland with his staff and knotted hanky, wistfully looking back.
    The corollary and subtext is, that if there is ever to be a seperation, he could not accept it if Scotland did it – suddenly, in a very real sense to him, it’s all Scotland’s fault in the first place. Scotland caused English nationalism with its devolution nonsense (a big boy did it and ran away, it wasn’t Donald) Scotland caused his “Britain” to reject him. How he must hate Scotland.

    His answer to the conundrum, we find today, is to double down to preserve his “Britain”. He has accepted the reality that England is Britain, but if only their nationalists could be persuaded to wrap it back up in “Britain” and the “Flag” then all will be right with his world. If Scotland could just forget the Independence nonsense which is so antagonising England. So much the better. It was all Scotland’s fault – Do be clear he is not one of those awful Scotsmen, drear me no.
    Seperatist nationalists should be stamped out. He will lead the calls for Scottish nationalism to be subverted, but he will naturally avoid calling for English nationalism to be similarly curtailed. After all, it’s not their fault.

    So how do you debate the merits of Independence with his ilk? Well, its to recognise that “Britain” is their country. They are not Scottish in the way you are Scottish. Scottish is not their nationality. That is the most important understanding and one should not attack that belief directly.
    If you wish to persevere, then it must be to gently tease apart the threads and lead them slowly from the concept of being “British” to the concept of a family of seperate Nations. That England wishes to be a seperate nation and cannot be halted and how we will all still be ‘Britons’ if not “British”

    It’s a bit like putting a child in nursery. See, here are new friends, see mummy is still here… See, mummy came back.
    Has to be done a few times until they stop howling the place down and go and play without another thought – Though frankly it’s all very hard work and far too many snotters involved…

    Anyway, thats my psychobabble for what it’s worth.
    If my use of “Them’ is a prejudicial and subversive “Othering”, well they are indeed ‘other than me’ – most of humanity is to be frank and I’m fighting for something, so I’m unapologetic.

  60. MacMina MacAllan

    I can see this leading to further legislation on self identification.
    Someone born in Scotland but who feels English, looks English, talks English should surely, under human rights laws, be able to self identify as English rather than Scotsbut.
    I mean why should anyone be restricted by conditions instilled at birth? Like gender, nationality, or voting Conservative?

  61. schrodingers cat

    HandandShrimp says:
    In the words of Bob Dylan

    ……. “I’ve suffered for my music…… now it’s your turn……..”

  62. Legerwood

    Breeks @ 9.28am

    You have got the wrong end of the stick.

    RBS has NOT merged with a Saudi bank. Quite the opposite in fact. It has divested itself of its share in a Saudi Bank which has merged with another Saudi bank.

    From Reuters: “”Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) said on Sunday the completion of a merger between Alawwal bank and Saudi British Bank would lead to RBS shedding 4.7 billion pounds of risk weighted assets and boost its core capital.

    “”RBS, through Dutch subsidiary NatWest Markets N.V., was part of a consortium including NLFI and Banco Santander S.A. that held an aggregate 40% equity stake in Alawwal bank, the British bank said in a statement. RBS also had an interest equivalent to a 15.3% stake in Alawwal bank.””

    Next time read the article not just the headline.

  63. schrodingers cat

    Sumption says of the FPTP system:……

    apart from the england word slip up, this comment about the fptp system is correct.

    the reason it is presently failing is because it has recently thrown up very small minorities or no majority at all. this is unusual but is due not only to the voters being split, or because the 3rd party, lib dems, crashing and burning, but also because we are at a turning point in history. the old certainties are about to change in england (scotland has already flipped) Old paradigms, the labour working class northern strongholds, the tory middle england shires etc are about to be consigned to the scrapheap.

    it is this uncertainty which is scaring the establishment, their grip and grasp on public opinion is sslipping and they are powerless to do anything about it.

  64. Brian Doonthetoon

    “I’ve suffered for my music…… now it’s your turn……..”

    It was actually Neil Innes.

  65. schrodingers cat


    i thought it was these guys

  66. Bobp

    But but but I was off my trolley on the wacky baccy when I said that.

  67. Brian Doonthetoon

    Neil Innes’ “Protest Song” (from Rutland Weekend TV) was released as a single, a copy of which I have in my hovelhold.

    I also have a couple of Heebeegeebees, but the ointment keeps them at bay.

  68. galamcennalath

    MacMina MacAllan says:

    surely, under human rights laws, be able to self identify as English

    The problems they will soon encounter …. while they feel English, may refer to themselves as English, and might even insist everyone else calls them English … those who were born English will never accept them fully into their ranks.

  69. Effijy

    I read that the new Scottish Based Propaganda News Show- 9.

    Has endured many evening with ZERO Viewers.

    I would like to see Scotland have its share of TV License revenues
    for making Scottish shows but Indy Supporters get more than their fill of blatant propaganda on the other BBC Channels, so they would only tune in if all other channels were off air and the gold fish stopped swimming around its bowl.

    The Brit Nat Knuckle Draggers don’t really do news or facts as their future started and ended in 1690. Nothing happened after that so no point in them tuning in.

    I look forward to finding the BBC announcement that Scots are too
    wee,too thick and too stupid to have their supposedly “own” channel.

    The Wings Fund raiser brought me some cheer but I think I notice
    that there seem to be fewer posts at the moment, especially if you take out the Brit Nat’s contributions.

    It really is a case of there is nothing left to say that#s not been said.

    We wait on the Tory Ministers, who were part of May’s Brexit disaster, claiming that it was nothing to do with them, making King Boris their new leader and destroying Scotland’s economy.

    Please God when this starts to seriously hurt people in their pocket our SNP Government can lead us to a referendum and freedom

  70. Stuart MacKay

    @Ian mhor – you raise a really good point. It’s one of the more interesting things I have read since it moves the debate forward on how to get more people to say Yes.

    If No voters do identify themselves as British first and maybe Scottish next then it’s time to start talking about what happens after independence. Presumably England is out of the EU and Scotland is in. That means the same kind of border and problems as in Ireland applies. That’s probably an unthinkable situation for British people but if there are some ideas being raised where the concept of British-ness can continue (after all there is a lot of shared culture and there are not that many English speaking countries in Europe) then British people can still belong to the group they currently identify with. It might not get them to say Yes but it might reduce their opposition to independence and reduce, for them, the uncertainty that comes with it.

    The fly in the ointment is of course what British-ness means to those south of the border. In a lot of cases British-ness means “Britain with England in charge”. That Scotland wants to leave this arrangement is not going down well and is likely stoking “English exceptionalism”. That means the union was always one-sided. So, British Scots are in for a shock when they realise that they are likely not considered sufficiently British by the majority down south.

    I realise that these two point contradict themselves but as Iam mhor says it’s important to realise that Britain likely exists as a country in many peoples minds and getting them to think of Scotland as their country is the first step on the road to getting them to say Yes!

  71. John Jones

    Give poor old Govey his due! One of the best contortionists around,
    Heart in Scotland, head up his arse as well as someone elses, while his nose is up another one as he stabs them on the back
    Some doing, who says us Scots are too thick to multi task?

  72. Robert Kerr

    I am British but I self identify as Scottish!

    I am Scottish but self identify as European!

  73. Robert Peffers

    Now I’ve read all the various theories and ideas commented upon here and they are all fairly logical and true but there is somethings that legally trumps them all.

    The first being that the union is without doubt an international treaty between only two equally sovereign kingdoms and thus the United Kingdom is legally neither a country nor is it a union of countries it is, and from 1 May 1707, always has been a united kingdom with two, equally sovereign, partner kingdoms.

    What opened on 1 May 1707 was not the continued parliament of the three country Kingdom of England it was a united kingdom named, would you believe, The United Kingdom and, last time I looked, believe it or not, it was still called the United Kingdom.

    Guess what? That means devolution is actually illegal as it is in breach of the Treaty of Union and for more than one reason. First of all the Treaty of union is a bipartite union of equally sovereign kingdoms and on 1 May 1707 the old Kingdom of England ceased to exist and the parliament legally became the union parliament but it has never been run as the union parliament but as the continued parliament of the Kingdom of England.

    The evidence from Hansard shows that the last sitting of a legally elected parliament of the Kingdom of England put itself into permanent recess and there has been no one elected to the Kingdom of England parliament since that day.

    The Treaty of Union was broken on the day it first sat and it has remained broken ever since. The United Kingdom has never been a union of countries and has never, itself, been a country.

  74. Welsh Sion

    Capella – Were you ‘recless’ with his name, then? 😉

    I’m just in the mindset of ‘knowing your enemies’. I trust you don’t think I’m part of the guy’s fan club! LOL

  75. Welsh Sion

    Adapting … [With thanks to Robert Kerr for the idea].

    I am British but I self identify as Welsh!
    I am Welsh but self identify as a Cymro!
    I am a Cymro but I self identify as European!
    I am European but self identify as a Celt!

  76. Reluctant Nationalist

    Amazing that a few choice quotes from some glish albino freakshow are going to do more to increase support for independence than anything Sturgeon has done in her entire time as chief virtue-signaller.
    But that’s the way it works!

  77. Alistair Waddell

    Of course he’ll do a Fluffy and deny he ever said it, and why am not surprised that he thinks Aberdeen is in the Highlands, after all he though Peterburgh and Fraserhead were North East fishing ports.

  78. Sandy

    Garage given £350 ‘clean’ money!!

  79. geeo

    Well, look at the desperation of the concern trolls on here.

    Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP are responsible for Scots having a lifeboat to independence,

    Not Gove, not the blonde buffoon.

    Our superb representatives of Scotland, the SNP.

    Thry delivered in 2014, and when the No vote came in, did they give in and give up ?

    Did they hell, they knuckled down, recognised the opportunity to get another referendum on the table, and took it .

    And now, here we are, on the cusp of another opportunity to take Scotland back into OUR hands.

    THAT is down to Nicola Sturgeon’s leadership, Reluctant Concern Troll, and that really eats away at you, doesn’t it ?

    You attack her because you fear her, you try to demean her because you fear her influence, ironically, you probably secretly admire her, because she is the opposite of your fellow Britnat zoomers in unionist politics, in that she has a clear message, and pursues it with a passion which is missing in the insipid politics of tired and outdated unionism.

    Loving your bitterness, it just shows us that we are winning and you are on the wrong side of history.

    Not long now kid, not long now.

  80. Richard Piech

    Frankfurt is in Hesse, not Westphalia.

  81. Breeks

    Legerwood says:
    18 June, 2019 at 11:21 am
    Breeks @ 9.28am

    You have got the wrong end of the stick…

    Next time read the article not just the headline.

    I did read the story Legerwood, but I was wrong. I thought the boost to RBS share price was because one of the merged companies was a subsidiary owned by RBS.

  82. chicmac

    Rory De Tory starting to come up on the rails?

    From an indy perspective I think he would be our worst result although closely followed by Hunt.

  83. Legerwood

    Breeks @ 5.59 pm

    Ok, I’ll let you off…this time – wee smiley thing.

  84. Col.Blimp IV

    “Let Scotland become independent so that England can stay independent.”

    I wouldn’t have thought that even a bug-eyed unionist troglodyte like Gove could come out with a cracker like that – without it dawning on him that it was time for a re-assessment of his sense of self.

    And he felt uneasy at and excluded by his fellow Britons waving England flags at a football match … Jeez, did he think it was O.K. back in the days when The English used the Union Flag and the Scots and Welsh used their own National Flags?

    This clown must have spent his formative years in a sensory deprivation chamber.

  85. HandandShrimp

    Ruth’s mother brought her up right to only dance with the person who brought her…

    I hadn’t realised her mother was Jane Austen

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