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Wings Over Scotland

Like a whirlpool, it never ends

Posted on December 17, 2013 by

We haven’t done a “We said, he said” argument transcript for months and months, because as a rule they’re of extremely limited interest to anyone outside the political nerdosphere who isn’t familiar with the people involved.


But you don’t need any background to follow this one. So buckle up and do your best to wade past the obvious personal antagonism, because you won’t get a better illustration of the tortured mental twisting and squirming of the No campaign this year.

Participants: ourselves and “Better Together”/Labour activist Duncan Hothersall, with one of his usual proclamations that even though Scotland hasn’t voted Conservative in 60 years, becoming independent and ending the influence of millions of English Tory voters WOULDN’T be a good way to get fewer Tory governments in future.


HOTHERSALL: “Vote Yes to get rid of Tories”? Vacuous idiocy.

WINGS: And yet, so inconveniently for you, a real option. You can form no rational argument against it. England needs no Scottish votes to be free of Tories. So why force them on Scots? Why, Duncan? Why?

HOTHERSALL: Of course I can. This is a referendum on where national power lies, not an election.

WINGS: That’s not a rational argument for forcing Tory governments on Scots, even from a Labour perspective.

HOTHERSALL: No “forcing”. UK elections may be imperfect but they are democratic. Tories won the election.

WINGS: Yet again I say “Scotland”, yet you mysteriously hear “UK”. Is there even one day a year when you actually debate honestly? If so, do give me some advance notice.

HOTHERSALL: I’m debating honestly right now. You’re pretending UK elections are Scottish elections.

WINGS: Dear God. No I’m not. I don’t want Scotland to be be a part of UK elections at all. Dodge, dodge, dodge.

HOTHERSALL: You refer to a UK election. You can’t just pretend it was a Scottish election. You think UK elections should be decided on Scottish votes only?

WINGS: No, Duncan. We think the government of SCOTLAND should. Hence this whole “referendum” thing.

HOTHERSALL: I know that. That doesn’t mean you can pretend a UK election was a Scottish election, which you did.

WINGS: Comical. I asked you to justify Scotland being governed by Tories. What’s the REASON?

HOTHERSALL: The UK is governed by Tories because the Tories won the UK election. It’s really not complicated.

WINGS: Amazing. You just did it again. I asked for the reason SCOTLAND had to be.

HOTHERSALL: Scotland is part of the UK. I’m astonished you hadn’t noticed.

WINGS: Dodge, dodge, dodge. I’m asking you for ideology, you give me geography. Pathetic.


So far so meh. But at this point, the discussion took a weird turn.


HOTHERSALL: You really are struggling with the idea that a country can contain countries. How odd. The UK is a country. Astonishingly, in Scotland that statement has become controversial. Yet it is a plain fact.

WINGS: So clear it up for us. Which of these are “countries”: (a) the UK (b) Scotland (c) England (d) Europe?

HOTHERSALL: a, b and c. Europe is a continent. I thought you had work to do, sweetcheeks?

WINGS: So you say Scotland is a country. That means English, Welsh and Irish people must be “foreigners”, right? Because a “foreigner” is a person who lives outside any given country.

HOTHERSALL: Not to me. Perhaps to you.

WINGS: So you’ve single-handedly redefined the word “foreigner”? Righto. Do share with us your definition.

HOTHERSALL: Someone who is foreign. 🙂 x

WINGS: Too good. [You’re] now reduced to redefining “foreign” as no longer meaning “from another country”.

HOTHERSALL: Now you’re just lying about what I’ve said. Pity.

WINGS: Correct me. Does “foreign” mean “from another country” or not?

HOTHERSALL: I just did, petal.

WINGS: I’ll play along. So what’s the definition of “foreign”?

HOTHERSALL: Different, other.

WINGS: Right. So Frankie Boyle and Ruth Davidson, say, who are very different, are “foreigners” to each other?

HOTHERSALL: Not in my opinion, perhaps in yours.

WINGS: Wait, I can’t keep up with these contradictions. “Foreign” means “different”, yet two people who are different AREN’T foreign?

HOTHERSALL: I’m saying they aren’t in my opinion. Foreignness changes depending on whose perspective is chosen.

WINGS: So, to nail down your position definitively: a “foreigner” is someone who’s different to you, but may or may not come from a different country, but someone who’s different to you might also NOT be “foreign”? In other words, it has literally no meaning whatsoever, because it can mean anything? That about it?

HOTHERSALL: [silence]


And that was that. So let’s recap what we’ve learned:

1. Scotland is a country. But people who live in countries outside Scotland are NOT “foreign”.

2. Unless, of course, they’re in some way different to the person making the statement. In which case they might or might not be foreign.

3. They might also be foreign, or not, if they ARE from Scotland.

4. The reason that Scotland should stay in the UK, and have its governments imposed on it by the votes of people who don’t live in Scotland, is that Scotland is in the UK.

Now, it’s almost never not fun to watch poor Duncan flipping the meanings of words back and forth from moment to moment like Alistair Darling with second homes. But behind such slapstick comedy lies something deadly serious – the desperate depths of semantic madness the No campaign will descend to in order to hide the enormous deceptions its case is built on.

When “foreign” no longer means “from another country”, then both the words “foreign” and “country” have, pretty much by definition, lost all meaning. So when Labour make a cornerstone of their campaign the nonsensical, borderline-racist assertion that anyone living in the rest of the UK would be made a “foreigner” by Scottish independence, even they don’t have a clue what they actually mean.

More to the point, we never did get an answer to our original question: given that Scotland and the rUK are each perfectly capable of electing Labour governments without the other, why – even if you’re looking at it from the perspective of a Labour supporter – does Scotland have to stay in the Union in the name of “solidarity”?

The truth, of course, is that it doesn’t. It’s never necessary for Scotland to have a Tory government just because England wanted one, yet that’s exactly what’s happened for 38 of the last 63 years, and it’s what Labour are desperate to preserve.

If anyone ever offers us a reason for that which isn’t to do with maintaining the cushy lives, salaries and careers of Scottish Labour MPs (and those who would one day seek to become Scottish Labour MPs), we’ll have a serious think about whether we still support independence. Even if they’re a foreigner. Whatever one of those is.

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    127 to “Like a whirlpool, it never ends”

    1. HandandShrimp says:

      One of the things I like about being for independence is that I don’t have to torture myself with bizarre political double think like this.
      Scotland is a country and it should govern itself – easy.

    2. Rab Dickson (@Roy1Batty) says:

      Increasingly I feel the urge to slap myself hard in the face as a proxy for Duncan as I read his verbal diarrhea.
      It is the almost tangible sneery smirking in how he says things as much as what he says….albeit WHAT he is says is invariably garbage designed to further a career rather than convey anything he holds to be true.

    3. McHaggis says:

      Can someone advise when Duncan, who i know is openly gay, uses the terms ‘sweetcheeks’ and ‘petal’ is it a term of endearment, or more (as appears to be the case here) to wind up those he disagrees with?

      It just kind of struck me that if the Rev had used those 2 terms directed at Duncan I’m fairly sure the ‘homophobe’ accusations would have swamped the twittersphere…
      Is it like when Samuel L Jackson uses the ‘N’ word?
      Anyway, to the case in point, Duncan is clever but only in so much as a QC is clever… they can turn any situation around with words to give the appearance of that situation being the exact opposite of the reality.
      My dad used to say, not clever, just twisted.

    4. John Gibson says:

      That kind of made my head hurt.
      I hate the Good Ship Labour and just about all who sail in her.

    5. ronnie anderson says:

      REV, ur you pluged intae a wireless this mornin , Holding Back The Tears, noo Like A Whirlpool It Never Ends.
      Give us a blast of BIG WHEEL KEEPS ON TURNING, any body goat Proud Marys Phone num, n is she a Proud Scot

    6. Ken500 says:

      The Tories didn’t win the UK elections. The Tories and the LibDems lied. They were elected to protect the NHS and Education system.

      Labour were not elected to pursue illegal wars.

      Unionist/Westminster politicians are corrupt liars.

    7. sionnach says:

      people who live in countries outside Scotland are NOT “foreign”
      So Mags Curran is wrong then. Whose side is Duncan on, exactly? Or is Mags just “different”?
      I am SO glad I don’t have to try and justify any of this NO stuff.

    8. Horacesaysyes says:

      You really are struggling with the idea that a country can contain countries.”
      It’s not just you, Rev. I’m struggling with that one too. Can anyone explain it?

    9. Ray says:

      “One of the things I like about being for independence is that I don’t have to torture myself with bizarre political double think like this. Scotland is a country and it should govern itself – easy.”

      What he said.

    10. Craiging_619 says:


    11. Rusty Shackleford says:
      s. 2(1) – Declared that, even though the Republic of Ireland was no longer a British dominion, it would not be treated as a foreign country for the purposes of British law.

    12. Macart says:

      Brain freeze. 😀
      I’ve not seen that many contortions since last years Christmas party twister event.

    13. Thomas William Dunlop says:

      It is no wonder they want to shut down all discussion what so ever about this referendum. As soon as questions are asked of union & unionism it shows how intellectually & morally bankrupt that position is.
      Therefore it is the job of everybody in the Yes side to go and take the discussion to people, so when they are ready to listen, we are there to take the lid off

    14. Macart says:

      Could it be he’s saying ‘you’re foreign if I say you are’?

    15. balgayboy says:

      Other than a “dive in” on this nondescript piece of work, I cannot see any mileage with jousting with him/her who really seems to enjoy this type of from a distance verbiage to try to confuse.

    16. Jammach says:

      Speaking as an openly gay man, I personally cringe at Duncan using ‘petal’ and ‘sweet cheeks’ because he’s just being incendiary, trying to inflame a reaction from an opponent By using awful stereotypes that really have no place in an educated, enlightened, civilised society. It’s not big and not clever and he needs a right good kick up the arse.  It’s a clumsy attempt at entrapment.

    17. Craig P says:

      Whenever a ‘foreigner’ wants clarification of my national status, I tell them that Scotland is a country, whereas the UK is a state 😉

    18. Stevie says:

      That’s why I avoid the TWITS – especially Hothershall who just spouts any old dung that supports scare of the hour. Hothershall’s great ambition is to be seen to be saving the union so that he can be selected as a future Labourite MP in the next election. He’s so transparent he’s actually annoying – a BritpratNat.

      Socialism is a dirty filthy word to Labour and opportunism is their marker – a stolid bunch of backstabbing self-servatives with a rose-coloured tone and a royal blue underbelly.

      If you’re wondering why they are nearly all backstabbing opportunists then the answer is in the word ‘backstabbing’ – they have killed off their obstacles with a cold ferocity that would impress Augustus Caesar’s wife. They are in short, the enemy of decent society and decent people – RED TORIES.

    19. Indy_Scot says:

      I for the life of me have never been able to understand how you can have a country within a country.
      Can you have a country within a country within a country?

    20. Derek says:

      It’s not about Tories, though; it’s about independence. It’s apolitical. No-one’s going to ban the Scottish Tories; in fact, they might even improve if freed from Westminster.

    21. Craig P says:

      Horacesaysyes: It’s not just you, Rev. I’m struggling with that one too. Can anyone explain it?
      It’s very simple. The UK is a country, containing countries such as Scotland, containing countries such as the Kingdom of Fife. Only one is the *real* country though, but I’ll leave that for you to work out.

    22. handclapping says:

      And what does all that do for the Kingdom of Fife? Are we foreign or what? 🙂

    23. Stevie says:

      Yes, the condescending, ‘sweetcheeks’ and ‘petal’ are an insult to gay people btw. He mocks people using gay parlance which denigrates the day-to-day challenges faced by gay people in his camping-up the conversation by using gay-speak to make a relatively serious topic frivelous.

      Gay people must be cringing a little at this.

    24. Les Wilson says:

      REV, reading your conversation with this obviously confused chap, I suddenly realised what you must have been thinking. It reminded me of an old ditty ” They are coming to take you away, HaHa! “

    25. Jingly Jangly says:

      I was taught at Brodick Primary Skool , that England and Scotland were “Nations” Wales is a Principality and NI is a Province. So only two countries in the UK.

      Well until recently that is as I believe Wales has been reclassified as a country by the UK Gov recently.
      So the UK is not a country, its a state and what a state its in.

    26. Stevie says:

      And Duncan, just because one is gay it doesn’t give one the right to make other gay people look like prats.

    27. Craig P says:

      handclapping: And what does all that do for the Kingdom of Fife? Are we foreign or what? 🙂
      That depends – are you Frankie Boyle / Ruth Davidson? 😉

    28. HulloHulot says:

      You know, Hothersall strikes me as the sort of person who has above his desk a wee inspiring poster print of a loch bright with sunset light and beneath that photo there’s Francis of Assisi’s line about “Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope.”  Some days, maybe not every one of them, he looks up from his fever’d half-hallucinatory hatherings on twitter and his lips move as reads the words, but he either doesn’t understand them or doesn’t have any grasp of how they might connect to anything he does.

    29. Doug Daniel says:

      He got you Stu – as soon as he said “The UK is governed by Tories because the Tories won the UK election. It’s really not complicated”, you should have said “So Scotland is governed by Tories because the Tories won the UK election?” and kept at him until he either admitted that was what he was saying (nae happening) or stopped replying.
      He wouldn’t admit that this was what he was saying, of course, because that just makes the point for us – Scotland is governed by Tories because we take part in UK elections. Solution? Stop taking part in UK elections. Vote Yes.
      Duncan’s capacity for dishonest arguments never fails to impress, though.
      If someone asks you what country you were born in, you give them the name of one country. Unless you’re Duncan, presumably. If I was writing a computer programme to process people’s countries of birth, I’d have to put in some stupid logic PURELY for the case of the UK. That’s a sure-fire sign that something is stupid.

    30. pa_broon74 says:

      I don’t know why anyone bothers with Hothersall, he really is as gormless as his Twitter avatar suggests.
      @McHaggis. I got a row for explaining to a unionist lady who was bemoaning the notion she never got the governments she voted for in Holyrood which made Holyrood as undemocratic as nationalists were saying Westminster was, if you see what I mean.
      I said (on twitter) ‘its not all about you dear, other people vote too.’  I was told I was sexist and that there wasn’t any call for ‘that kind of language’. Totally ignoring the idea that its a figure of speech and while I’m miles away from being an absolute screamer of a homosexual I do occasionally come out with the odd phrase which suggests I might not be that into the ladies.
      But on twitter, none of that matters, people generally see what they want to see. I thought Rev Stu did well not to rise to it.
      And no, Duncan isn’t clever at all. If he’s good at anything its managing to exist in a reality other than the one the rest of us live in.

    31. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Speaking as an openly gay man, I personally cringe at Duncan using ‘petal’ and ‘sweet cheeks’ because he’s just being incendiary”

      In fairness, I’ve often called him “dear” or “love” in a condescending manner, nothing to do with anyone’s sexuality.

    32. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Could it be he’s saying ‘you’re foreign if I say you are’?”

      That’d be about the only rational conclusion it’d be possible to draw.

    33. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Other than a “dive in” on this nondescript piece of work, I cannot see any mileage with jousting with him/her who really seems to enjoy this type of from a distance verbiage to try to confuse.”

      The point is explained in the last few paragraphs. Also, everyone’s been a bit glum this week and sometimes a wee chuckle for its own sake is just the ticket.

    34. Jaki McCarthy says:

      Gee whizz 
      I had a similar conversation about a year ago with Duncan. He was saying the usual about the uk being one country. I explained many times during the conversation that this was not the case. I find it very sad that some on these islands do not recognise the country of their birth as a country in its own right..  No amount of repeating the facts to Duncan will make any difference as it always falls on deaf ears and he eventually resorts to calling you names like ‘petal’ etc..

      Sadly Duncan is one of the many politico types on these islands that dream about having a ‘fur coat’ 

    35. Erchie says:

      When the same-sex marriage proposals were being brought forward early in the Parliament, I followed a Twitter conversation where Mr Hothersall seemed supremely indifferent.
      Only later did this get a name, it was a manifestation of the “Bain Principle”, refusing to support any endeavour, no matter how worthwhile, just because the SNP brought it forward.
      He is an acolyte of Tom Harris, I have never seen Mr Hothersall deport himself with any intellectual consistency save that of a Slab placeman wannabe

    36. Vambomarbeleye says:

      Lots of Cuntries in labour.

    37. handclapping says:

      @Craig P
      Thats difficult. Some days I’m as mean and smart as Frankie, other days I’m as sweet and dumb as Ruthie. Does this mean I’m a foreigner only on certain days of the week or depending on the weather?
      Talking of the weather perhaps if we got Dunkie to define weather we’d be able to work out what foreign(er) means. ‘Cos if you dont talk about the weather you are dedinitely a furriner as well as a mean Fifer (Is there any other sort?)

    38. Dcanmore says:

      It’s Labour*, Scotland doesn’t exist, it is part of Britain geographically called North Britain and everyone who lives there is British. Scotland is an anachronism, a place in time that existed before 1707 and doesn’t exist anymore and any mention of it now is merely referencing the country in historical terms.
      Labour do not want Scotland to exist as it is today, they do not want the Scottish Parliament to exist anymore in its present form (a regional assembly is appropriate). They wish Scotland, its history and culture to remain firmly in the distant past. They do not recognise Scotland as a country, Scottish history after 1707 or Scottish culture, to believe so is to remain backward.
      *this is not all Labour in Scotland of course, but the fanatical BritNats that tells us 2+2 = 5 and white is black. But as long as we’re all kept in poverty in a rich country and there is always someone else to blame for it, that divide and conquer rule will get them votes to achieve and remain in power.
      Independence is not a threat to Scotland or the rUK as they see it, it is a threat to the Party and its ambitions to regain and retain power at Westminster. That is what Duncan Hothersall is really fighting for because how do you care for a country that you already believe doesn’t exist? 

    39. Yesitis says:

      Oh the Tories on Twitter just love their Duncan Hothersall. In general, the relationship between the Tories and Labour has never been so…homogenous.
      Labour types are lapping up the support they are getting from the Tories for the union. One over the SNP at all cost.
      They just don`t get it.

    40. Illy says:

      I read that exchange and I see a communications failure.
      Of course, neither of you were actually talking to each other, you were both talking to the watching crowd.
      And I think I agree with Doug that with that attitude you should have pulled the “So Scotland is governed by Tories because the Tories won the *UK* election?” line.  It sums up a lot of the democratic issues with Scotland’s influence in the UK nice and succinctly.

    41. James Kelly says:

      If Duncan’s definition of ‘foreign’ is ‘different’, and if he regards Scotland as essentially very similar to the rest of the UK, how can he possibly claim that England will become foreign after independence?  Surely a mere political decision can’t change that cultural similarity overnight?
      With me, it was always ‘daft wee laddie’ rather than ‘petal’ or ‘sweet cheeks’.  But I didn’t mind that, because it probably meant I was coming across to him as a bit younger than I actually am!

    42. HandandShrimp says:

      I’m surprised Duncan’s definition of foreigner wasn’t simply “Welsh”

    43. ronnie anderson says:

      J H C REV, AHm praying fur your Sanity, dealing wi Idiots like Hothersall an thats only wan, mair power tae you

    44. Murray McCallum says:

      Here’s hoping people like Mr. Hothersall are playing a big part in better together’s intelligence unit. I take it he has historically contributed to SLAB’s policy thunk and misdirection.

    45. Doug Daniel says:

      Illy – “Of course, neither of you were actually talking to each other, you were both talking to the watching crowd.”
      That’s essentially the entire history of internet discussion summed up in one sentence! And no one likes to be proven wrong in front of an audience, which is why some people never admit they’re wrong on the internet.

    46. Gillie says:

      To be honest Duncan Hothersall has little meaning outside his own head.

    47. TheGreatBaldo says:

      Can someone keep an eye on this….
      It would appear our unelected £300 per diem M’Lud’s have deigned to discuss the Barnett formula…….
      It may well turn out to be a bunch of geriatric golf club bores mumbling incoherently but seeing as it relates to the funding (or lack of ) for Scotland it is relevant.

    48. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “And I think I agree with Doug that with that attitude you should have pulled the “So Scotland is governed by Tories because the Tories won the *UK* election?” line.”

      That line doesn’t work with Duncan. He just says “That’s democracy”. He said it in today’s discussion too. Because his country is the UK, and Scotland is just “a bit of” it:

      If you ask him straight out if he thinks Scotland is a country he’ll say yes, but it’s not what he actually believes, as you can see above. He just knows he can’t give the honest answer.

    49. kininvie says:

      The whole exchange is meaningless because ‘country’ isn’t defined. Without an agreed definition of country there can be no agreement on who is a foreigner.

    50. HandandShrimp says:

      Finally decided I probably needed to find out who Duncan is.
      As far as I can see he is a relatively new bod to Labour and has come in through being active in the LGBT movement. Nothing quite as zealous as a new convert I guess. I am sure on another day and on other topics I could agree on many things with Duncan but his Labour orthodoxy pursued with almost Jesuit zeal makes rapprochement on Scottish independence extremely unlikely. Duncan seems to have written a piece on Labour Hame back in 2011 eschewing the Bain principle but that was obviously before the re-education in Johann’s bunker 😉       

    51. Jingly Jangly says:

      Slightly O/T but the Culture word was mentioned and recently I was thinking about Lord “Quisling” of Port Ellen’s debate at Abertay when he said that Scotland did not have culture.

      Im currently reading Antonio Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks, in which he retorts to a Trade Unionist for extolling the proletariats as a class “of calloused hands and a brain uncontaminated by culture and scholastic disease” Gramsci said  that “Without Culture the exploited classes can never hope to arrive at an understanding of their role in history, or their rights and their duties. He went on to explain that the impulse for freedom and social change stems from a process of “intelligent reflection” which is why “every revolution  has been preceded by an intense labour of criticism , of cultural penetration, of the spreading of ideas”

      Appears nothing has changed in the near 100 years (1916) since this exchange took place. Labour are claiming we don’t have culture and Wings and other sites are in the process of intelligent reflection. Also explains why the no vote is moving to DK and then onto YES.

    52. Vronsky says:

      Have you heard of the Turing Test?  In all that arguing about whether machines could emulate human intelligence, Alan Turing suggested a standard: if you can carry on a conversation with something without realising that it is a machine, then that machine has attained human intelligence. 

      Much as I admire Turing, it seemed more likely to me that the machine was not passing a test, a human was failing it. 

      You’re failing the Vronsky Test, Rev – you don’t know you’re talking to a machine.  Reach round behind Hotherstall, and switch it off.

    53. Doug Daniel says:

      Ahhh, I remember that tweet you’ve pasted there Stu. There was some real twisting and turning going on after that one.

    54. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Reach round behind Hotherstall”

      Easy, tiger.

    55. handclapping says:

      “When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

      ’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

      ’The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.”

      ? Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass 
      Duncan == Humpty Dumpty
      Us == Alice

    56. ronnie anderson says:

      Indy_Scot ah know you kin hiv a burd within a burd within a burd an anither twa burds, Country,s av nae idea

    57. Vambomarbeleye says:

      Some of the no camp should realise that when you sup with the devil then you had better have a bloody long spoon. The various factions that have got into bed with the tory’s will be long remembered for what they did or didnt do. Parents may even use their names to threaten wayward children that won’t go to sleep.

    58. Macart says:

      That’d be about the only rational conclusion it’d be possible to draw.
      Thank crunchy for that! I thought I’d finally lost the ability to reason. 🙂

    59. Hetty says:

      Sounds really quite thick to me, and I don’t use that word lightly! Jeez lets hope some form of intelligent discussion from these people, debate even, can take place starting in 2014. 
      So crucial that we have an end to this dribble and an end to this disastrous so called union.

    60. seoc says:

      I’d noticed that some English folk bridle at being termed ‘foreign’ which to them appears to mean ‘inferior’ and not ‘from another land’.

      The UK is not a country, but a politico/ economic bloc, allegedly for the common good but in practice has come to mean an English fiefdom, although I know of no official election or agreed declaration that it was now so designated.

    61. Iain says:

      I have to say, Rev; a bit of verbal sparring with this guy is obviously satisfying at a personal level, but he’s a nobody, isn’t he? To 99.9% of the Scottish public he’s unknown, and I surmise  known to the 0.1% chiefly through being a member of the gay community.

    62. AHamilton says:

      Why bother engaging, not worth the effort. 

    63. Brian Powell says:

      I saw this on the twitter exchange. I don’t know who Hothersall is or what position he has in Labour, but I did notice he was pushing the One Nation ‘idea’.
      I see this as a still born concept for a couple of reasons. Labour has controlled Scotland for 50 years and the whole of the UK for 13 years, with a majority that would have allowed them to push through any idea, but THEY DIDN’T give this ‘one nation’ a mention.
      Apparently they are going to start thinking about it now, when they could have thought about it, put it into writing, carved into stone, and made it happen from 1997-2010, BUT THEY DIDN’T.
      Apparently they are going to persuade the prosperous SE of England and London to wholly identify with Wales,the North of England NI and various poorer parts of the country, then through this ‘identifying with’, share their wealth and feel a bond of warm camaraderie and understanding.
      And vote for Labour.
      To this end, the democratic aspirations for Independence of  40% or more of voters in Scotland should be destroyed by any means possible and the survivors bayoneted (courtesy of Ian Davidson), thus create the proper, truly democratic vision of One Nation, which hasn’t really been defined or thought much about, yet.
      Something along the lines of Big Society, which is a bit like Big Foot, seen very rarely and very far away and a bit fuzzy.

    64. creigs1707repeal says:

      Hothersall–are you a Proud Scot’? What exactly does that mean to you?

    65. chalks says:

      I think it’s enough to out them as thinking Scotland isn’t a country, doesn’t deserve to be one and will never be one.
      That’s usually enough for undecideds etc to see just where these people are coming from.

    66. Murray McCallum says:

      Duncan Hothersall should take his clarity of thought to the UK Border Agency. He could write an operating manual for them to make their jobs easier.

    67. Dennis Smith says:

      I agree with Kininvie that it’s difficult to get anywhere with this argument because ‘country’ is hopelessly ambiguous.  ‘Nation’ works better in many ways.  Scotland is unquestionably a nation: it has a whole range of national institutions, from a national library to a national blood transfusion service.  And there is a reasonably clear distinction between nations and states.  There are nations which are  not (yet) states (e.g. Scotland) and there are states which are not nations.  I personally would class the UK as a state which is not a nation but that’s obviously controversial in the present context 🙂  But there are clearer examples like the old USSR and the old Austro-Hungarian empire (which are actually rather good analogues of the present UK).

    68. Illy says:

      “And if you don’t like a government’s policies, walk away and try to start your own government for your bit of the country”
      Umm, correct me if I’m wrong here, but isn’t that exactly what we are doing?  Trying to start our own soverign government because we don’t like westminster’s policies?
      Can we take that as an endorsement of the Scottish Independance Campaign Duncan?

    69. Pin says:

      All that ‘petal’ and ‘sweetcheeks’ stuff was just him not answering the question- and with good reason. The more he spoke, the deeper he dug that hole he was in- and he knew it.

    70. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Umm, correct me if I’m wrong here, but isn’t that exactly what we are doing? Trying to start our own soverign government because we don’t like westminster’s policies?
      Can we take that as an endorsement of the Scottish Independance Campaign Duncan?”

      I think it’s safe to say he was trying to be ironic.

    71. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I agree with Kininvie that it’s difficult to get anywhere with this argument because ‘country’ is hopelessly ambiguous.”

      I really don’t think it’s relevant here. People don’t talk about their nationality in terms of “nations” or “states”, they say “country”. And “person from another country” would, I think, always be an acceptable definition of “foreigner”.

    72. Alba4Eva says:

      “Craig P says:

      Whenever a ‘foreigner’ wants clarification of my national status, I tell them that Scotland is a country, whereas the UK is a state “
      ^This^   …and ‘Great Britain’ is the Geographical name of an island.
      It rally bugs me when the un-educated ones say; “Tearing Scotland out of Britain”, when I don’t think they have the Civil Engineering capabilities to do so!

    73. Illy says:

      We aren’t allowed to take quotes out of context?  I thought that was the essence of “new media”?

    74. handclapping says:

      Please be careful about your use of English 🙂 Nothing wrong with your first use foreign = inferior, but in the second you are confusing Westminster with English and as an Englishman I can tell the difference.
      It is all too easy to just use English as a shorthand for the Westminster system but not only is it sloppy thinking and incorrect but it allows our opponents to portray us as racist and worse again and again.

    75. Jim Mitchell says:

      This just reinforces what some of us have been saying for years, unionists don’t like being asked questions!
      the importance of this is to remember that it can do them more damage than mere insults ever can.

    76. Brian Powell says:

      By the way, how does activists such as Hothersall feel about Iraq?
      Or Tony Blair?
      Or Gordon Brown ripping off pension funds?
      Or Alistair Darling being in charge while the banks wrecked the economy and fiddled the interest rates and he said he didn’t know?
      Or their hypocrisy over Trident?
      Or their hypocrisy over the bedrrom tax?
      Or keeping the Lords going when we could get rid of them?
      Or a Scottish Labour Lord (McConnell) saying he took that ‘honour’ so he could go on helping the poor, as the numbers of food banks go up?

    77. JohnT says:

      I have to say that the argument ‘vote yes to not be governed by Tories’ (or a better expressed version of the same) is the argument that sits least comfortably with me.
      To say that the minority who live in this area here should vote for independence so that you aren’t governed by whoever the majority that live there vote for doesn’t sit nicely for me because the same will happen post independence.  The minority of people here (as in local to me) will be governed by whoever the majority that live there (the populous central belt) vote for.
      I would accept that an independent Scotland would have more concern for my region than Westminister would, but it is the same problem on a smaller scale.  I further accept that Scotland is a country, so has an opportunity to become independent (as opposed to a region trying to break away because they never get the government they vote for) so the reductio ad absurdum argument of ever smaller states isn’t an issue.
      All I can say is I am uncomfortable with that particular argument.

    78. Papadocx says:

      I have been bothered by the two question referendum and Cameron’s NO to devo max for some time. Devo max is obviously a step to far for Westminster (or the money men) and would allow Scotland to fill to many pieces of the jigsaw, leaving very few to achieve a complete picture and hence independence by the back door. 
      So Cameron (the establishment) has forced the issue in an all or nothing bet, if they win it will buy them enough time to DESTROY the current system and introduce (with the connivance of labour & liberals) a system that they can manipulate and control, and subjugate the Scottish people using their labour lachies as the native levies. 
      I believe that Scotland will be free in the not to distant future win or loose the referendum, and I believe the establishment knows that as well.
      The idea is to buy as much time to asset strip our Bonny wee country, while trying to hold back the tide for self determination for the scots for as long as possible. If they win the referendum, they with their RED TORY friends will announce that the people of Scotland have rejected separation and to prevent them trying the same old trick again certain measures will be introduced to protect the union. THEN THE BOOT GOES IN.
      just a wee thought, would like to hear other peoples views. Thanks 

    79. Davy says:

      Well at least Duncan was using his own name, as I am sure around this time last year he was using a different name on various newspaper forums.
      But you can’t mistake his style, “slippery like an eel” as “backstabbing as a tory” and as “honest as Jackie Ballie”.

    80. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I have to say that the argument ‘vote yes to not be governed by Tories’”

      It’s sometimes phrased that way, but that’s not really the argument. The real point is “vote Yes to be governed by the party your country votes for”.

      I hate the Tories, but if an independent Scotland votes Tory, fair enough. What I object to is Scotland overwhelmingly voting AGAINST the Tories for generations, but getting landed with Tory governments anyway.

    81. Craig P says:

      handclapping – sounds like you are a true native some of the time, and at other times a foreigner. Looks like we need to get someone much smarter than me to adjudicate, someone with the nous of Duncan Hothersall or Margaret Curran. I am sure they will be able to clarify…

    82. X_Sticks says:

      Papadocx says:

      “The idea is to buy as much time to asset strip our Bonny wee country”
      Its been happening for years.
      Land ownership
      Crippling taxes on the oil industry
      Whisky industry based in London
      I’m sure there’s other I’ve forgotten.
      Westminster has done everything possible to make sure Scotland CANNOT be a successful country. The ‘too wee, too poor’ mantra wouldn’t work if Scotland were successful. The Scots might get ideas about being independent if the country was successful.

    83. CameronB says:

      It’s a Yin and Yang thing, Labour and the Conservatives. Each needs the other, to ensure Britain remains benignly fascist. Take one out of the equation and things will get less benign. Wait, hasn’t that already happened?
      I was too late for the previous thread, but I would have expected statements such as AC’s,  from a ‘foreign’ tin-pot dictatorship who’s regime is on the point of collapse due to some form of military pressure. Not from a senior UK government official allegedly operating withing the confines of a democratic mandate.

    84. MochaChoca says:

      I suppose your adversary has the right to his own unusual definition of ‘country’ or ‘foreigner’ if he so wishes (or lack of definition as the case may be).

      But for the rest of us I reckon it’s crystal clear that Scotland is our country, so there is probably plenty of milage in exposing the twisted definition that unionists have to adopt to justify their position on this particular part of the debate.

      The question is, do they actually believe what they say?

    85. Papadocx says:

      X stir 4:18
      totally agree with your sentiments there. I was thinking more of the oil which props up their London economy and is planned to pay for hs2/new London airport/new trident/ nuclear power plants. These are great projects planned for Engerland and there’s only one supplier of the wealth, us, so think the plan is to hold onto us for as long as the daft jocks let them or until we are of no use anymore.  

    86. Spout says:

      Mr Hothersall is a bit of a Spangle.
      Let’s not waste our time with the dogmatically brain dead …
      instead we should engage with the many worthwhile folk out there open to the possibilities inherent in a Yes vote.

    87. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      McHaggis at 1.33
      Duncan is NOT clever. Duncan THINKS he is clever which is an entirely different thing. He is from the Brian Fitzpatrick school of dangerously delusional Labour figures. There is nobody stupider than someone who doesn’t realise how stupid he or she is. Duncan used to write miles of crap on Labour Hame then He suddenly disappeared. I think he was told to go away and he is never on it now.

    88. Dennis Smith says:

      @Rev. Stu at 3.20
      I really don’t think it’s relevant here. People don’t talk about their nationality in terms of “nations” or “states”, they say “country”. And “person from another country” would, I think, always be an acceptable definition of “foreigner”.
      Yes but 🙂  Using ‘country’ rather than ‘nation’ leaves wiggle room for the Hothersalls of this world.  Conceptually you can’t have one nation inside another nation.  This is a contradiction, a category mistake and various other nasty things.  But one country inside another country?  Who knows?  It’s too vague.  And surely nationality must have something to do with nation?
      Another thought.  The right to self-determination as enshrined in various UN charters and international covenants is usually invested in peoples or nations rather than countries.  This may be more of a pious platitude than an enforceable right but it’s still a useful weapon to employ in the independence debate.

    89. setondene says:

      A nation is a people.  A country is a territory.  A state is a political unit.  But people have come to use all three as interchangeable.  Thus, the Sioux nation and Bronte Country are clearly not states.  There are sovereign states and non-sovereign states (eg German lander).  I tried explaining this at my work once and my colleagues reacted as if I was mad.  People should try using good quality dictionaries a bit more.

    90. So a country is only a country when it benefits Labour to say it is a country.

      Foreigners are only foreigners when Labour defines them to be foreigners.

      Scots are foreigners in their own country if they do not think the Union is a good idea and agree with Labour, even though they live in the country of Scotland.

      I wonder just how scrambled Duncan’s head would get if you asked him to define the Realm of Scotland and why part of it (Berwick upon Tweed) is an English Crown dependency ruled by Northumberland on behalf of the English Realm, one which only recently ceased to be at war over the Crimea with Russia ….. and in what way are the realms of Scotland and England united? Given the crowns of Scotland and England are not united.

      I have the picture of Duncan’s head exploding as the tortuous logic he has spun to justify his position exceeds the capacity of his head to contain it in any logical framework that even his twisted mind can comprehend.

    91. John grant says:

      The Labour Party is full of idiots like our dear Duncan and is one of the reasons I would eat my own shite before I would vote for them 

    92. Chic McGregor says:

      It is often quoted that despite the historical preponderance of Labour voting in Scotland, occasions where the Scottish vote has made the difference in terms of UK Government have been extremely rare.
      i.e.  Most UK Labour governments would have been Labour anyway, whether Scotland’s vote were included or not.
      This historical fact certainly has given some credence to the claim that Scotland only gets the government it votes for when England + happens to vote for it as well.
      A good reason for independence.
      However, it also begs the question, that if that is the case, whither then the theory that Tories should be quite glad to see the back of Scotland?  If there has been generally no  significant historically advantage to them, may as well hang on to the oil, fishing, whisky tax, food production etc.etc. right?
      But closer scrutiny of changes in voting demographic, particularly in more recent decades, perhaps may suggest to those of Tory mentality, that their cause may in future be better served by jettisoning Scotland.
      From the earliest days of modern democracy (universal enfranchisement at start of 20th century) it was recognised that an inherent danger of a simplistic democratic process is that those who can in some way, group identify, could, if they represent a controlling percentage, form the government.  Furthermore, that government, if it ‘does the business’ for its group, will tend to attract ‘converts’ of the ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ type.  Political pragmatists, if you like.  This in turn, can lead to a quasi-static ruling hegemony forming in spite of theoretical removal by election.
      This is sometimes summed up by the phrase ‘democracy is just tyranny by the majority’.
      The ‘group’ can be almost anything, the only requirement being that it is has an associate-able identity.  It could be religious, it could be ideological it could be class – anything or any mix.  But political parties will have a tendency to align with those which they think can bring them to power.  Ultimately, the pragmatic accretion effect tending to produce ever more quasi-static hegemonies. 
      The different democracies out there are at varying stages of development along this tendency, depending on how recently they became democratised and on other factors like restraints and rights written into constitutions or electoral systems.  Clearly defined constitutional rights and restrictions on what governments can do are obviously things which will slow any such tendency and PR electoral systems as opposed to FPTP will help slow their development as well.
      In the UK, there is no constraining constitution, parliament is sovereign and cannot be bound by any previous decision even by plebiscite and a FPTP system is used where a controlling majority of elected representatives can be attained with nothing like 50% of the vote so not even an electoral majority is required.  It is also one of the oldest democracies.
      So the UK is unsurprisingly, very far along that route already.
      Thankfully, for the UK, the religious hegenomies which had, as we all know, previously existed in the UK, were largely gone by the time universal suffrage came into being, because countries which have entrenched religious group identifiers which are still major factors after democratisation can have a ready made, immediate, route one, transition to a quasi-permanent tyranny by majority which is very difficult to get rid of.
      However, the UK has a now fairly well developed hegemony.  Initially barriers to this were class based with ensuing ideological alignments and was relatively geographically dispersed.  But this has metamorphised in recent decades into a geographically regionalised scenario where there is an ever clearer North-South divide.  
      We pretty much now have a situation of regional tyranny, where one geographical region, the SE, holds sway over which government is elected and which of course, serves its interests.  It is an elitist’s ideal, where less than half the population (by dint of FPTP) can produce a governing majority but can hunker down in its chosen region which they can then ensure gets the vast majority of government expenditure in one form or other.  Of course a  certain amount of plebs are required to serve them latte, cut the grass, wash their clothes, prepare their meals etc.  but these can be neatly penned off in some central worker’s enclosure (aka inner London).
      Finally, to get back to the original point.  With this new finalised form of regional hegemony, the North-South divide complete, losing part of the Northern electorate could well be seen as reducing the chances of a future government being elected which might try to redress their lovingly crafted regional imbalance, even if there is no mainstream party which even hints at threatening that right now.

    93. Andrew Morton says:

      This has been an interesting thread. I would class myself as a fundamentalist; that is I believe that my country was sold down the river in 1707 against the wishes of almost all of the people (99% according to Daniel Defoe) and it’s time to put things right again so that we can be the independent country which we should always have been. Period.
      Having said that, a lot of other things flow from that, for example the ability to control all of our affairs including the economy and who rules us. To put it another way, I’m working forwards and a lot of other people are working backwards. Hey ho.
      Labour politicians on the other hand, have a set of priorities which mean that they would rather that the Tories ruled Scotland forever than countenance Scotland achieving independence. These are the same people who would support pretty much any independence movement anywhere in the world. They would enjoy the fact that jobs might be lost in Scotland as a result of independence and would actively work to ensure that they were lost (© Ian Davidson). They’re worse than Tories because at least the Tories are open about who they are whereas Labour are deceitful, pretending that they are the friends of the people whilst really being pale blue Tories. That’s a long winded way of saying that all they’re interested in is power, and money is power, so why would they eant to let Scotland go?

    94. Alastair wright says:

      Duncan ‘bothers all’ (my iPad spell checked his name and I found it quite apt) – yet another drivel merchant.

    95. scottish_skier says:

      I have to say that the argument ‘vote yes to not be governed by Tories’ (or a better expressed version of the same) is the argument that sits least comfortably with me.
      The word ‘English’ is missing before Tories. You could remove the word ‘[English] Tories’ and insert ‘[Italian] New Centre-Right’ or ‘[Danish] Social Liberal Party’. That makes the argument a whole lot clearer. Why would you want Scotland ruled by the political party of another country such as Denmark, Italy or England?
      It all comes down to whether you consider Scotland a country of course. Duncan hates the fact Scotland is a country. Drives him mad, particularly because there’s feck all neither he nor any political party can do to change that. They can try to put limits on it being a sovereign state, but they can’t stop it being Scotland in people’s hearts/minds and that’s what makes a nation.

      It will also decide the result next year. After all, it’s what has decided the result of pretty much every independence referendum in history.

    96. Wingman 2020 says:

      Never wrestle with a pig
      You both get dirty 
      But the pig will like it. 

    97. Kenny Campbell says:

      Scotland is a Labour stronghold in the UK and its a block vote they rely on. They won’t give that up without a fight.

      Tories are ideologically opposed to breakup of the UK union, they are the conservative and unionist party after all. Its less of an issue for them though as its sweetened by the loss of the Lab block vote in Scotland. Every election labour get a 10% head start in seats.
      Many Tories also believe their own hype that loss of Scotland will not affect the mighty rUK. 
      If you talk to idiots on Twitter you get what you deserve…

    98. Kenny Campbell says:

      The UK is a country in the sense that it passes for one on Pointless. It is however in reality just a political union in a more mature form than say the EU.

      We have central parliament, we also have in country parliaments and we have local laws , customs etc that differ.

      It could also be compared to Germany or the US as they have States/Lander and the Federal Government. However the component parts of the UK have not lost their cultural, social or legal identities and differences as countries.

      Do I count English folk as foreign, depends what they are doing is my answer as we share a globally recognised ‘nationality’. I can say they don’t come from the same country as me and be comfortable on lots of levels.

    99. Kenny Campbell says:

      “Tearing Scotland out of Britain”, when I don’t think they have the Civil Engineering capabilities to do so!
      Just wait till the Fracking starts……then we’ll see

    100. Taranaich says:

      @JohnT: I have to say that the argument ‘vote yes to not be governed by Tories’ (or a better expressed version of the same) is the argument that sits least comfortably with me.

      To say that the minority who live in this area here should vote for independence so that you aren’t governed by whoever the majority that live there vote for doesn’t sit nicely for me because the same will happen post independence.

      I think it’s the fact that we’re talking about the Tories that’s the problem. Conservative governments have demonstrably devastated Scotland’s economy, industry and society, while enjoying the many financial fruits of the country. It isn’t just about a minority being ruled by a majority, so much as the Tories are evil. Again, I don’t use that in a hyperbolic, Dark Lord sort of way, I mean the dull banal sort of evil which resulted in so many tragedies in real history.
      In addition, one has to consider that the democratic system Scotland has is, while imperfect, still demonstrably more representative than the UK system – and, indeed, the UK system is specifically designed to inhibit radical change with the House of Lords and whatnot. Why else do you think most major reforms only took place after conflict or even war?

      A lot of the people in England would LIKE to change things, but the system is rotten and they *cannot* change it without revolution. Scotland is different, and with our system, even the minority get a better deal out of it.

    101. Vronsky says:

      “Why bother engaging, not worth the effort. “

      That’s what I meant to say.  It looks better put as briefly as that.
      On ‘foreigner’, isn’t that rather an archaic term?  It was born in our island days when there was just us in the whole of creation, and everything beyond the sundering sea was ‘foreign’ and dangerous, like Tolkien’s Orcs – swart, slant-eyed. 
      Now we are more inclined to describe people as French, or Italian or Polish, or Martian, or whatever they are – and not that catch-all, nasty, not-us, insular term  – ‘foreigner’. It’s a very English word, reserved for an untermensch who don’t know the rules of cricket.
      When you hear Margaret Curran use the word, it’s clearly intended in a pejorative sense – she’s a queer wee voice from a century ago, an Alf Garnett.

    102. JohnT says:


      Now that is an argument that I would be happier with; vote yes to get a more accountable system as within the uk it just won’t happen.
      Where I get uncomfortable is the them and us style arguments. No matter how big or small the system there is always going to be a time where the party in power was not voted for by you. Or your street. Or your village/town. Or your region. Or your religeon. Or your etc. etc. etc.
      It is the difficulty I see some having between the individual and the people as part of a democracy. 
      I currently intend to vote yes but, strangely, I feel somewhat selfish about that decision. 

    103. HandandShrimp says:

      Talking of the Turing Test, No 1 son introduced me to this (he being of IT persuasion) through the gift of the Ed Milliband “These strikes are wrong” interview. Also worth a second or third viewing.

    104. scaredy cat. says:

      I had a similar conversation with a friend recently but at least he eventually admitted that he didn’t consider Scotland to be a country. I wish they would all just come out and admit that that is what they believe. 

    105. Brotyboy says:

      Ed Milliband “These strikes are wrong” interview

      Thank you for this; it should be made compulsory viewing for all Labour Party supporters.  It would seem at first viewing that it has been spliced, or repeated several times with the interviewer’s comments added, but no; I think he really did say the same thing about 5 times, no matter which question he answered.
      It’s frightening, but explains so much, like Labour’s lead in the polls which is going south rapidly.

    106. HandandShrimp says:

      Proud Scots that don’t believe Scotland does or should exist. Quite bizarre really.

    107. DougtheDug says:

      Duncan’s country is Britain and his nationality is British and all the mental gyrations of Scotland being a country and yet at the same time part of the UK don’t have the same impact if you start from the standpoint that everything is British and any country, region and or “bit” inside Britain is British whatever national or regional label you want to attach to it.
      It’s similar to the use of “Scottish Labour” to mean that part of British Labour in Scotland or the term “nations and regions” which implies they are all equivalent and just internal bits of Britain with different labels.
      All the confusion is caused by the Rev. Stu using “country” to mean an independent or potentially independent nation and Duncan using it to mean a part of Britain which fields a football team.

    108. crisiscult says:

      Couple of things I’d like to say about all of the above. Firstly about a country/nation/state, and secondly about getting the party you voted for.
      The first part is based on ideas from Bernard Crick  ‘ In Defence of Politics’ but perhaps evident in some unionist thinking. If I understand him, he sees the nationalism of long established states as free from the ethnic or racial elements, and hence the dangers, of new nationalisms. The long established states are ‘Great Britain, the US, Holland, Sweden, Switzerland’ These states had a strong legal and patriotic basis. The UK was not defined by nation but by the unit of rule. Crick appears to take Britain as his ideal, then analyse other nations and understand why they are not good. He also says, national bigotries undervalue and undermine political activity because they abolish the distinction between private and public as every act must be a national act.
      This is quite hard to follow but I believe it is subconsciously in the mind of many unionists. Britain is an established, and possibly unique nation. Crick accepts only its relationship with Ireland was an exception to his modern and I assume noble entity. 
      I think Unionist see the UK as so well established that it is above and beyond nationalism and of course, any attempts to separate, hence the common question they pose of ‘separatists’- should Yorkshire, Orkney, etc be allowed to separate. Personally, my response is ‘Yes, if there is sufficient will of the people, and utility in the choice’ However, the fact of the question shows that the UK is indivisible. 
      On the second point about the party you vote for, I think it’s not so much getting the party you vote for in the UK, but having a choice of the types of party that reflect the will of the people; as the Tories and Labour are occupying almost identical territory (economically and in social philosophy), and monopolising the UK vote, they have no need to change. An independent Scotland would likely have a less right wing Tory party and a more left wing labour party. We might have tories again, but they wouldn’t be the same as the current tories. 

    109. DougtheDug says:

      “Proud Scots that don’t believe Scotland does or should exist. Quite bizarre really.”
      Not really because they’re proud Scots in the same way as Geoff Boycott was a proud Yorkshireman.
      Their great fear is that they will end up marooned in a breakaway region with their true country over the border to the south of them.

    110. tony o'neill says:

      Duncan doesent do answering pertinent questions as anyone who has ever visited and commented on labourhame can testify.I nicknamed him the riddler as he likes to answer questions in riddles in my humble opinion,and if you keep pressing him as i found out to my cost you end up banned,indeed it must be a unionist trait right enough to silence debate every where,we have them on the run and the smell of their fear grows stronger by the day.

    111. Richard Lucas says:

      Poor old Duncan is best ignored.  He and the other robotic NuLab types are all off my Twitter timeline. Life’s to short to waste time in the blocked sewers that are their minds.

    112. crisiscult says:

      sorry, just reading through my comment there earlier and it’s not really all that clear perhaps. The basic point I’m making about the state of the UK is that I suspect that some of those who are against the division of this state (and who think of themselves as intellectual), do not perceive themselves as British nationalists. Rather, they see the UK as a superior type of nation – a state without nationalism. 

    113. Caroline Corfield says:

      If one is the sort of unionist that believes that Scotland and Yorkshire are fundamentally equivalent, a standpoint that at least requires a kind of honesty missing from a lot of unionists statements, then one must surely campaign for the continuing eradication of differences across the UK of GB and NI, something that has been going on since the advent of the Industrial Revolution. That means for example introduction of abortion in NI and abolishment of the separate legal and education systems in Scotland, the end the the rights of the duchy of Cornwall over intestate death estates, a change from the dual languaging of road signs in Scotland and Wales to just English, and a return to a single parliament. Because these differences only serve to split the ‘country’ and lend weight to ‘splittists’ arguments. Perhaps Duncan would care to elaborate on how these dangerous differences are going to be removed, or perhaps he’d like to justify keeping them while still defending the UK of GB and NI as a single entity which is somehow  (a bit like the Trinity) made up of other single entities. 

    114. David Agnew says:

      Hothersall is caught in a series of logic traps as he tries desperately to defend something that at once appears to be tangible and at the same time intangible. He’s done this to himself as tries to avoid facing a simple truth. The UK is half baked compromise based on a 300yr old decision to bail out some Scottish nobles, who got burned in an asset bubble that burst. Since then its constantly had to be redefined and fudged to keep it working. At no point had anyone ever bothered to actually create the British nation he is so keen to keep running.
      the trap runs like this:
      I won’t deny the idea of Scotland being a nation because then I would be seen as Anti-Scottish and I could lose the argument.
      I will deny Scotland is a nation because to do otherwise would be to suggest I was in favour of Independence.
      I will declare people from other countries to be foreign as that supports by case for Union
      I will not declare people from other countries to be foreign as to do otherwise would also undermine my argument for Union
      At some point he runs out of steam, as he has no other process or notion as to how to deal with some very pertinent questions.
      The reason he has these problems is due to one very simple idea. Its one I have had in my mind for sometime and I think something all unionists grapple with every day. 
      There is no such thing as a British Identity.  The poor man is searching for meaning in a 300yr old gentlemen’s agreement that no one thought to do anything worthwhile with.

    115. M4rkyboy says:

      No Treaty.
      One Act.
      One nation.

    116. crisiscult says:

      M4rkyboy  I think Crick is saying that it’s not a nation. It’s above nations. It’s a voluntary union of nations so is above nationalism. Patriotism or pride in the country one lives in and its institutions is good. This is not nationalism. However, Crick was writing in the 1960s before the UK joined the European Union. What becomes difficult to follow is how this superior state can be such to certain people when those same people are Euro sceptical. I’m sure a logic can be found, but I don’t know what it is as no one has explained it to me.

    117. velofello says:

      @jingly Jangly: enjoyed you piece on Prison Notebooks.
      Wales reclassified as a country! Is the good ship HMS London about to pull anchor on the UK? Scottish Skier expresses the view that Indy for Scotland suits the establishment. As a young man I considered the city state, as in ancient Greece, as an excellent way to govern. Is that the establishment plan for London? HS2 to day transport drone bees from the outer regions. Extended London airports for the international non-tax paying elite and for naive tourists. A sort of tax haven and DisneyLondon combination? Guided tours of the Cotswolds, Stratford on Avon – back before dark.
      I haven’t yet e-mailed you JJ ref. motorcycles, currently working in DIY bootcamp.

    118. EphemeralDeception says:

      @Dcmore and others.
      Scotland is unique and a nightmare to define by anyone’s measure of State/Nation/Country/Region/legal entity/people/Sovereignty/Dominion/Kingdom/Realm/Zone… whatever – Scotland is ALL depending on context…but state least of all.
      Note: in the UK Scotland is officially politically a region and geographically a country.

    119. fairliered says:

      I think I understand the argument.
      Scotland is a country.
      Duncan Hothersall is a country without the o, r or y.

    120. Smokie toon says:

      Hothersall once stated in an argument on Labour’s Hame, that he has a Scottish mother and an English father, nothing wrong with that, every country in the world is made up of ‘foreigners’. He is an idealist, due to his background, has the brains not to admit Scotland is only a region, which is what the UK has turned us into, and he has a very grand opinion of himself.  Maybe he was bullied at school?

    121. Kalmar says:

      Is that the establishment plan for London? HS2 to day transport drone bees from the outer regions. Extended London airports for the international non-tax paying elite and for naive tourists. A sort of tax haven and DisneyLondon combination? 
      Sounds a lot like Hong Kong!  To be fair, it works quite well there – we Brits set it up of course.
      You might be on to something…

    122. Alaster Currie says:

      The UK Government has a department called the “Foreign and Commonwealth Office”.
      In the Scottish Government’s “Scotland’s Future” on page 247 is the following:

      “Other key multi-national organisations Scotland will participate in include:
      ??Council of Europe …
      ?? the Commonwealth.”

      Are the rUK Government planning to keep an iScotland out of the Commonwealth when the Scottish Government wants in? If iScotland is in the Commonwealth then according to the name used by the UK’s “Foreign and Commonwealth Office” it cannot be foreign. The ‘and’ means you cannot be both foreign and in the Commonwealth at the same time.
      Now there’s a puzzle for Better Together to think about!

    123. joe kane says:

      Speaking of the Turing Test, these twitter exchanges amount to the Scottish equivalent of the Voight-Kampff interrogation device (famously portrayed in the Blade Runner movie) which test whether Scottish Labour tweet-bots are real international socialists or are just another of those tory careerist replicants which have colonised and taken over the Labour Party.

    124. Trunbull Drier says:

      o/t ish… in realation to the title of this post.. just saw the Stuffies, Jesus Jones ans PWEI in the Picturehouse in Edinburgh last night. Great gig, but the veneue is to be closed to be come a Wotherspoons… The last thing Edinburgh needs at the expense of a great veneue is afuckingnother Wotherspoons. grrr

    125. Vronsky says:

      Nothing new under the sun.

      The Foreigner at Home, from Memories and Portraits, R L Stevenson, 1887

      It is so, perhaps, in all countries; perhaps in all, men are most ignorant of the foreigners at home. John Bull is ignorant of the States; he is probably ignorant of India; but considering his opportunities, he is far more ignorant of countries nearer his own door. There is one country, for instance — its frontier not so far from London, its people closely akin, its language the same in all essentials with the English — of which I will go bail he knows nothing.

      His ignorance of the sister kingdom cannot be described; it can only be illustrated by anecdote. I once travelled with a man of plausible manners and good intelligence — a University man, as the phrase goes — a man, besides, who had taken his degree in life and knew a thing or two about the age we live in. We were deep in talk, whirling between Peterborough and London; among other things, he began to describe some piece of legal injustice he had recently encountered, and I observed in my innocence that things were not so in Scotland. “I beg your pardon,” said he, “this is a matter of law.”

      He had never heard of the Scots law; nor did he choose to be informed. The law was the same for the whole country, he told me roundly; every child knew that. At last, to settle matters, I explained to him that I was a member of a Scottish legal body, and had stood the brunt of an examination in the very law in question. Thereupon he looked me for a moment full in the face and dropped the conversation. This is a monstrous instance, if you like, but it does not stand alone in the experience of Scots.

    126. crisiscult says:

      Excellent post Vronsky. I’m a big fan of RL although I had never read that before. Very much matches my experience of some people I worked with abroad or in London. In fact some of these people don’t even recognise Ireland as a separate country. An Irish mate tells a story of how a manager came over from head office in London and referred to the UK as the mainland.

    127. Caroline Corfield says:

      My husband was adamant we did not require a separate will to dispose of our Scottish assets. Even though the English lawyer had mentioned it with our English wills he was still arguing with me later. Needless to say we do now have Scottish wills. He once told me nothing could travel faster than light. I put him right on that too.

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