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The foreign danger

Posted on June 22, 2014 by

We are not making this up. This is not a spoof.


We’re not in the habit of reprinting old articles here. But this piece by Simon Varwell from October 2012 won’t have been seen by the vast majority of the current Wings audience, and it’s important.


What’s wrong with foreigners?

Do Ed Miliband, Tony Benn and George Galloway and now Sir Menzies Campbell (who appeared on today’s edition of The Sunday Politics Scotland) have some sort of problem with foreigners? It sounds like they do. For instance, read these words from Tony Benn, the great elder statesman of the Labour Party, this summer:

If Scotland wants to be independent they have the absolute right to do so. But I think nationalism is a mistake. And I am half Scots and feel it would divide me in half with a knife. The thought that my mother would suddenly be a foreigner would upset me very much.”

When asked about Benn’s views in a recent Holyrood magazine interview, Labour leader Ed Miliband had this to say:

I am not the only person with family ties abroad and family is family, whatever the accent or postcode. But the Scottish people with family in England, or vice versa, will be living in a foreign country if Alex Salmond gets his way, that’s just a fact. We live in an increasingly interconnected world; we shouldn’t be building artificial barriers, we should be working out how to work more closely together.

And on an episode of Scotland Tonight a few months ago, where Galloway discussed the issue of Scottish independence with YesScotland chair Dennis Canavan, the Respect MP talked passionately of solidarity between working-class people, which Scottish independence would, he claimed, damage. He felt just the same solidarity, he suggested, with bus drivers in Glasgow, Bradford and Belfast.

To which the most obvious immediate response is “What about bus drivers in Dublin, Oslo, Marseilles, Toronto or Lagos?” Does George Galloway not have the same sense of solidarity with them? Clearly not, if he feels that Scottish independence is somehow contrary to his solidarity with bus drivers either side of the border. If Scottish bus drivers somehow becoming citizens of a different country to bus drivers in his own Bradford constituency has any relevance to his ability to be in solidarity with them, you have to wonder about the nature of his socialism and his solidarity.

(On the programme Galloway oddly drew a distinction on the grounds of speaking English. Presumably that means he cares about the working class of the USA and most of Canada but not Quebec, and about bus drivers in Cork but not in La Bouteille.)

The same is true of the faintly sinister undertones in the above quotes from Benn and Miliband: namely that they regard family members becoming “foreigners” as something qualitatively worse than them not being foreigners. One of two things, then, is true: first, that they would find it hard to be as close to a “foreigner” as they would a fellow citizen, or they would reserve such a distinction only to Scottish people. Either way, there’s more than a whiff of the language of xenophobia.

Do I believe that Tony Benn, Ed Miliband, George Galloway or Menzies Campbell are racist? Of course not. Given they are socialists and humanitarians (of varying shades), and that three of the four are either Scottish or have strong Scottish connections, I’m sure that their concerns about Scots and English becoming foreigners to each other is not borne out of a distrust of foreigners but from a misguided adherence to the traditional kneejerk opposition to independence. But the thing is, it certainly sounds like racism. And that’s what makes their words all the more curious.

I have family in Spain and Canada, for example. Are they “foreign” to me? Well, I suppose in a purely abstract, technical and administrative sense, yes they are. But it’s not a word I’d really use to describe them, because they’re… well, family. I might be a long way from them, but our distance is geographical, not national. I can visit them (logistically speaking) very easily. And even if I couldn’t, they’d still be family.

How about people in other neighbouring countries? Do I regard the people of the Republic of Ireland as foreign? Again, on a very technical level, yes I suppose they are. They live in a different sovereign country from me, they hold a different passport to mine, and are subject to different laws and a different government to me.

But do I think any worse of them as a result? If I describe them as “foreigners” do I do so in a derogatory or pejorative way? Is it a problem to me that they are in a different country? Am I less able as an individual to be friends or business partners with them? No, of course not – there are cultural, linguistic, economic and historic links between Scotland and Ireland as long as the longest arm in the world, and the UK and Ireland are great allies bilaterally, in the European Union, and in many other arenas.

Take another example: Norway. Just over the water from Scotland, with strong historical ties, but a different language. Are they foreigners? Well, yes. But they’re lovely people and great neighbours, so why does it matter?

How about the people of the USA, then, or Brazil, or Nigeria, or Burundi, or Laos, or Malta, or… well, I’m not going to name all the countries in the world. Look them up for yourself. They’re all foreigners. Is that a problem to me? No! All the people of the world are human beings like me, and I have loads in common with them, even though I might occasionally distrust their governments, pity or envy their personal circumstances, or disagree with them on an individual level about the nicest beer or best film.

We probably have a huge amount more in common as human beings in our daily travails than what divides us. Recognising and acting on that commonality is when the world is at its best, and when nations end up being friends rather than enemies.

And so why are Benn, Miliband and Galloway in that case implying a distrust of the concept of foreignness? Why is there a pejorative inference in their use of the word “foreign”? If they worry about the people of Scotland becoming foreigners, what does that tell us about how they regard the Irish? The Americans? Australians? The French, or Germans or Spanish or… there I go again, just naming countries at random.

Let’s accept that the people of Scotland and the rest of the UK will, technically, be foreigners to each other upon independence. We may have different tax systems, different governments, different welfare policies or foreign policies. But does that give us grounds to think any less of each other? No. Will we still be able to travel to, trade with and live or work in each others’ countries? Yes. Will family across the border still be family? Yes. Is this an unusual arrangement? Absolutely not.

There are about two hundred sovereign countries in the world (don’t worry, I’ll not start naming them again). All of them are populated by foreigners. The setup is not new. New countries become independent all the time. Scotland joining that list will be nothing particularly exceptional.

Let’s go back to Ed Miliband’s quote near the top of this article, and in particular the last sentence of it:

“We live in an increasingly interconnected world; we shouldn’t be building artificial barriers, we should be working out how to work more closely together.”

If Ed Miliband thinks that Scottish independence is an artificial barrier to that interconnected world where we all need to work more closely together, then by logical extension he believes that any independence is an artificial barrier, including that of the UK. But I don’t see Miliband campaigning for a merged Europe or a world government. And rightly so, because that interconnected world works well when countries come together as mutually supportive, respectful partners, and don’t fear each other because they’re “foreign”.

If certain Unionists in the UK can think of the other six billion people on Earth as foreigners without thinking less of them, why can’t they do that about the five million people of Scotland, or the 60 million of England, Wales and Northern Ireland? Why is it okay for everyone to be foreign except the British?


The original version of this piece appeared on Lost Horizons last month.

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  1. 22 06 14 11:57

    The foreign danger | Scottish Independence News

  2. 05 07 14 20:31

    Foreigners 2 |

168 to “The foreign danger”

  1. Peter Mirtitsch says:

    No matter what country I go to if I visit relatives, I am a foreigner to them This is down to the fact that the buggers wouldn’t stay put for five minutes. I don’t feel that they are inferior or even different to me other than language and cultural differences. That could be said of anyone from the same street, so what is the big problem with foreigners? It seems weird that Labour appear to be so caught up in this zenophobia, to the extent that Magrit Gurn was also going on about how we don’t want our families to become foreigners to us, when a substantial number of hers are exactly that… (Yes, I did get called a racist for pointing that out in one debate)

  2. Croompenstein says:

    Bit early for And Finally.. Stu 🙂

  3. Bob Sinclair says:

    Ah, well, I guess my nephew in New Zealand has just become an inferior foreign threat to the stability of the Country.

  4. Fiona says:

    British nationalism is never very far below the surface. Some British socialists are particularly lacking in self awareness. I do not really understand how they can oppose Scottish independence on grounds of “international solidarity” and then come out with stuff like this. You would think their heads would explode……

  5. Davyb says:

    my daughter is technically a foreigner but we love her anyway.

  6. alexicon says:

    Menzies Campbell a socialist?…well I never.

    Scots nationalist=bad.

    British nationalist=good.

  7. Murray McCallum says:

    When I worked in a London (global) Head Office we *had* to address all mail overseas as “To: Our foreign subsidiaries and branches”.

    My boss at the time was from New Zealand and he pointed out what a potentially pejorative word “foreign” can be perceived as being by the recipient.

    I think it is a very old fashioned British way of looking at things. It’s like the users of the term don’t really think through the implications of what they are saying. It’s certainly no way to build business relationships or alliances.

  8. jon esquierdo says:

    Love thy neighbour

  9. scottish_skier says:

    My family goes through this torture every day.

    My daughter keeps asking why her granny, cousins etc are foreign. Poor wee soul greets all the time about it. It’s heartbreaking.

    Likewise, my wife and I have had long conservations late into the night about whether we can really stay together as a couple due to us being foreign to each other.

    We’ve sent many letters to the French embassy, David Cameron and Francois Hollande pleading for France to rule the UK whereby ending our plight, but all to no avail.

    Anyway, wee one’s French is getting good and she can’t wait to fly to France herself for the first time to spend a few weeks with her cousins, including a visit to disneyland.

  10. abystander says:

    Is there a Scottish family without foreign relatives?

    In Australia, New Zealand,Canada,USA etc?

    This is about the weirdest argument against independence produced to date.

    and that is saying something.

  11. Training Day says:

    Ten (and quarter) year olds everywhere are asking the same question. Why will their grandparents become foreigners due to the Scottish Nationalist Party?

    It’s striking how often that question is coming up from ten year olds. I fear it could lose us the referendum.

  12. HandandShrimp says:

    The horror of the foreign plays right into the UKIP narrative. I really do think Better Together should be better than this but it is any port in a storm it would seem.

  13. john ferguson says:

    Multiculturalism is hailed, praised to the heavens by those same unionist politicians. Oh, the lovely foods , the colours, the languages, the national dances . Isn’t it lovely. No word about foreign. Hypocrites the lot of them. Best ignored.

  14. David says:

    Using the word “foreign” to describe someone from another country has always seemed very antiquated to me.

  15. mary vasey says:

    I would say kids have more sense than adults as they know grannie/grandad etc will no change no matter what 😎

  16. This should be countered by the Yes side with one simple question – “What’s wrong with being a foreigner?”

    Bizarrely I’ve just had some muppet on my own site using this nonsensical argument. Picked the wrong target, choosing someone who wakes up beside his American fiancée every morning.

  17. nelliejean says:

    I was born in a different country to my parents and brother, but luckily they never made me walk 10 paces behind them wearing a sandwich-board with “FOREIGNER” printed on it.

    Some folk seriously need to think before they open their mouths.

  18. Clootie says:


    An excellent point “Is there any Scottish family WITHOUT a foreign relative”

  19. Ghengis D'Midgies says:

    Have these unionist idiots never had a foreign holiday? It’s fun to be foreign. I only wish we could be more foreign to these die hard unionists. They are not just foreign they are clucking aliens to me 🙂

  20. Fiona says:

    Are we actually expected to believe that “My grandson in England, aged ten and quarter, looks utterly baffled and very sad at thought of his Grandparents being in danger of becoming foreigners. He keeps asking “Why Grandpa?”

    Once again they make clowns of themselves. They have an inadequate sense of the ridiculous, and it is not doing them any favours. I understand that some PR company gets paid for this stuff? Well I am no Stu Campbell or WGD, but even I could do better than that. Gie’s a job!

  21. Findlay Farquaharson says:

    wingers of scotland, descend on bannockburn next saturday and make bannockburn commemorations a success. wipe the smugness out of gordon brewer.

  22. 3 of the 9 articles currently posted on the Vote No Borders site as being sent in by “grassroots” supporters are by Dr Richard Marsh, whoever he is.

    Looking grossly under-developed for a 10 year old, his grandson in England should really be fretting about food, not foreigners!

    But then, the pair wee sowel didnae make it in time to register for soccer in the US either. Perhaps his American grandparents will contribute to feeding the waif.

  23. Cookie says:

    And here’s the lad again:

    And look at their licence terms:
    “License: Public Domain. If you are going to redistribute this image online, a hyperlink to this particular page is mandatory.”
    try as I might I cannot find the mandatory hyperlink on Vote No Borders web page.

  24. EphemeralDeception says:

    Only seems to prove that there are irrational xenophobic views that are held and felt by the leaders of the NO campaign.

    I can never imagine a child asking such a question to their Grandparents unless instilled with fear from their own parents and peers.

    Kids would ask when they or their Grandparents were next going to visit / go on holiday etc. I just can’t imagine kids asking their European grandparents such a bizarre question. My wife is French and I would be deeply concerned if my kids thought of their family as foreigners.

  25. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    2 Republic of Ireland not a foreign country.

    (1)It is hereby declared that, notwithstanding that the Republic of Ireland is not part of His Majesty’s dominions, the Republic of Ireland is not a foreign country for the purposes of any law in force in any part of the United Kingdom or in any colony, protectorate or United Kingdom trust territory, whether by virtue of a rule of law or of an Act of Parliament or any other enactment or instrument whatsoever, whether passed or made before or after the passing of this Act, and references in any Act of Parliament, other enactment or instrument whatsoever, whether passed or made before or after the passing of this Act, to foreigners, aliens, foreign countries, and foreign or foreign-built ships or aircraft shall be construed accordingly.

  26. Seasick Dave says:

    Whit are they like, eh?

    Its like the old Billy Connolly joke about the Glasgow woman at the wolf enclosure at the zoo and telling her kid to keep well back because they had a touch of the alsation about them.

    Scots will have a touch of the foreigner about them. 🙂

  27. E.A. Cameron says:

    I agree that Unionists use ‘foreigner’ as if it is a dirty word. As if for them foreign equals inferior. It happens because the referendum is a clash between two versions of nationalism: a Scottish Nationalism which seeks equality for Scotland and a British Nationalism which demands superiority for Britain.

  28. Dougie Bee says:

    So my youngest son living and working in North Yorkshire for the past twenty years will become a the hell am I going to tell him this..he’s bigger than me and might hit me or feart…what a load of old scaremongering bollux from men who should know better…xxx

  29. Findlay Farquaharson says:

    bloody nora, my mum will be a foriegner.

  30. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    The French word for foreigner is étranger, which sounds to me like stranger.

    It is applied by the inhabitants of one village to the inhabitants 15 km away.

    It just means that the people are not very local.

  31. Grouse Beater says:

    The dear doctor of the article’s topic is perversely ignorant and appears keen to stay that way.

    That he should use a child to bolster his prejudices somewhat undermines his Hypocratic Oath.

    As a piece of polemic it’s piss-poor – in the end his anxieties come to nothing, rather like a lot of modern novels.

    It carries you along with implausible implausibilities, some humour, and then peters out without resolution.

  32. velofello says:

    By his comments on economics and finance, correct to assume Dr Marsh is a medical doctor?

    And to offer a correction to him of his political perception of Scotland, her people and the present situation:

    “A wonderful country and people in the grip of a narrow,divisive,arrogant,controlling, insular creed called – Imperialism”.

    Vote YES

  33. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

    Carefully taught …

  34. Ann says:

    I have relatives from deepest darkest Leamington Spa to Midland Ontario, California, New South Wales and many other countries. My di and and great aunt were born in Liverpool, but I don’t hold their place of birth against them.

    Many took a one way ticket to a better life.

    As has been stated family is family no matter where they live and when Scotland becomes independant that won’t change, and the opinions of any MP or the no-campaign will make absolutely no difference either.

  35. heedtracker says:

    This all just reeks of that Labour party troughers’ right to rule Scotland, swilling down the drain.

    They get more and more nauseating the closer we get to shaking them off for good. Wannabe First Minister George Galloway MP bombed in Glasgow trying fire up sectarian trouble. So off he toddled down to Bradford and tried the same thing there. Lucky old England.

  36. Paul D says:

    Bugger (the Panda) says:
    22 June, 2014 at 12:18 pm
    2 Republic of Ireland not a foreign country.

    Does that then mean that the RoI can carry out militarily sensitive tasks like building naval ships for the UK because they are “not foreign” in a way that would apparently be impossible for the rUK to countenance in a newly independent Scotland?

  37. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    I just downloaded today’s Sunday Herald for €0.89 on PressReader. It is now on my iPad

    Cheaper than the inky fingered version and anyway I cannot buy it here.

    I don’t have to use the Herald’s online option and buy the Monday to Saturday paish editions.


  38. R. Duncan says:

    Oh we’re back to that old scare.

    My brother is Welsh. he’ll never live it down. My daughter is English , is there any one in the whole of Scotland that isn’t foreign .

    Why do Labour label folk one day then sing the praises of multiculturalism the next ?

    Hypocrites and fear mongers.

    Still if that’s all they have left in then locker then hurrah. We have the YES vote in the bag.

    Nice start top a Sunday…

    Ps most young folk can’t get mortgages nowadays because they work for a pittance . Sort out the minimum/living wage then .

    This generation are worse off than their parents. How many parents out there help their offspring on a daily business. Most of us can say yes to that.

    We can all see a better way. Lets take it .

    Better together- NO thanks


  39. Derek M says:

    what a load of tosh dont they know technically we are foreigners already ,im not English,Irish or Welsh and they are not Scottish which technically means we are all foreigners to each other already ,just double talk from a bunch of unionist twats who think Britain is one country well bawbags its not and will never be.
    Sorry if i sound angry but this really gets my goat.

  40. wildgypsyrover says:

    Funny, Im Canadian, I live in Scotland and most my Family lives in the USA…6,000 miles away on a completely different continent.
    They aren’t foreign to me or my (Scottish) hubby. But I guess if Scotland becomes independent that will all change… *rolls eyes*

  41. Fiona says:

    Which Dr Richard Marsh is this? Do we know?

    This one, perhaps?

    If it is this one he confuses good communication with gobbledygook, so far as I can see.

  42. Bill McLean says:

    I wish someone would give Galloway – who I believe to be a “flawed” genius – something to gnaw on!

  43. Truth says:

    Well, I guess my wife is a foreigner then, and my son is half foreigner. Or maybe he is a full foreigner as he wasn’t born here?

    The thing is, foreigner is not a word I use. I’ve never used it. The word doesn’t make any sense to me. Why would you use it? Why wouldn’t you just call someone Scottish, or English, or French?

    So Dr Richard Marsh, to your grandson you will not become a foreigner. You will become what you always have been. You will become Scottish.

    As for my wife and son. They aren’t foreigners either, they are my wife and son, and I wouldn’t love them any greater if they were indigenous (well that is the opposite of foreign right?).

    The best bit is we just got the letter from the council confirming my wife is now on the electoral register. That’ll be another yes vote. Who’d-a-thunk-it a new Brit voting to become Scottish/Foreign again. What do you make of that Dr Richard?

  44. Truth says:

    Is everyone enjoying the world cup?

    I saw a very entertaining game on Friday it was one bunch of foreigners playing another bunch of foreigners. Finished 5-2 to the foreigners. It was much more entertaining than the Thursday night game which was foreigners versus indigenous people. The foreigners won that one.

    In the real world world it was France v Switzerland, where the French won 5-2. And on Thursday it was Uruguay who beat the English. Now isn’t that much less complicated and much more respectful?

  45. Mealer says:

    Perhaps the ten and a quarter year old in the article has been told that he’ll be getting a cheaper Christmas present to reflect his foreignness.Weird.

  46. Capella says:

    We really should pity these demented idiots. Well done Clootie and
    Roddie for sourcing the image. Ah the speed of the internet! The word “foreign” has an interesting history too:
    “Middle English foren, forein, from Old French forein, forain, based on Latin foras, foris ‘outside’, from fores ‘door’. The current spelling arose in the 16th century, by association with sovereign.” (Oxforddictionaries,com)

  47. Finnz says:

    My wife is Irish. Do I feel like I get into bed at night with a foreigner? No, I get into bed with my wife.

  48. Truth says:

    @Cookie 12:18

    Very good spot. I’ve also spotted that they say (my emphasis):

    Note: We obtained Model Release form for this image but please note that file must not be used in a way that places any person in the photo in a bad light or depicts them in a way that they may find offensive.

    Well, I would be offended if my image was used to promote xenophobic tendancies.

  49. Graeme Doig says:

    Dear Dr Marsh,

    If you did indeed exist at all you could likely be charged with emotional abuse of your very stunted looking 10 year old grand kid.
    For you not to want to ease his emotional pain by telling him that, in fact, your relationship will not change and then finding out (if it was not you) who had reduced him to this state is a disgrace.
    You should be ashamed of yourself!

  50. Dr Ew says:

    Two of my three sons live in Scotland. The other one lived with his Irish girlfriend in Galway for two years then moved to Spain. He and his new English girlfriend are moving to (I can hardly bring myself to type it) Eng-land in a couple of months.

    We believe he has picked up the filthy habits of foreigners.

    We never speak of him now.

    Vote Yes so we never have to see him again.

  51. Dr Ew says:


  52. dennis mclaughlin says:

    I for one am looking forward to being called a ‘furriner ‘ in an Independent Scotland…..GIRUY British Unionists.

  53. Colin says:

    It is only the weak minded that would think of friends, family and neighbours as foreigners.

    My oldest friend of over forty years comes from the south of England and now lives in the Midlands, I couldn’t even tell you what religion he is, I’ve never thought to ask, and I certainly would never think of him as a foreigner regardless of where he lived.

    After working overseas for most of my adult life I have many friends living in different countries, when is go to visit them It would never cross my mind to think I was going to meet a foreigner, I find the mere thought of it disgusting.

    Some people will do or say anything to further their own ends.

  54. TYRAN says:

    Ironically the person who took the photo also has this titled beauty. You cannot make this stuff up!

  55. Paula Rose says:

    So (Cookie 12:18) do I assume that the doctor’s grandson has a job modelling or…

  56. Jeannie says:

    If Tony Benn is half-Scottish and half-English, why is he choosing to make the Scottish side the foreign side? He could just as easily make his father the foreigner, surely. Just sayin’.

  57. mary docherty says:

    Magrit Gurn !!Brilliant.!!!

  58. Walter Scott says:

    The Doctor’s grandson looks about four. He doesn’t even know the boy’s age and that’s before he becomes a foreigner

  59. Fiona says:

    Don’t think it is that one

    There is a Dr Richard Marsh who seems to live in a listed building called Bellabeg House in Strathdon,

    He has rebuilt a fence in tribute to Belgian Soldiers who built the original, and he has a fishing “beat”, which it seems you might be able to hire. Appears to be interested in fishing, if this is the same guy;f=1;t=13503

    It seems that he is indeed an “ordinary” member of the public, if a little more affluent than most. He does seem to be decent, using local workers for his fence and allowing access for the fishermen etc

    Anybody else know any more about him?

  60. Seasick Dave says:

    Just remember, folks, its only the fact that Westminster is shafting us thats stops us being foreigners.

    Vote Yes and be as foreign as you fancy.

  61. haud on the noo says:

    Ignorance knows no borders..

  62. heedtracker says:

    Anthony Wedgewood Benn was a Tory plant. If you were alive in the late 70’s, early 80’s Thatcherite tragedy, you sat and watched plants like Benn on tv, as your Tory buddies chortled with glee at his completely unelectable extreme left shite, basically.

    So was his colleague Denis Silly Billy Healey who also provide Scotland with a warning from teamGB history and how Scots oil’s been exploited/pissed away by our friends in the south.

  63. scottish_skier says:

    I suppose it will save us money on foreign holidays.

    I’ll be able to gaze down the leader valley and on a clear morning, see all the way to somewhere foreign and exotic.

    “Yes, I’m planning a foreign holiday this year (visiting auntie Jean in Birmingham).”

  64. Muscleguy says:

    @Bob Sinclair

    I have 5 nephews and 5 nieces in New Zealand. Along with my mother, three sisters and a daughter. None of them are foreign to me (I met 7 of them for first time in the flesh 18months ago). The eldest niece has just got married, how time flies. At least we met the daughter’s boyfriend when we were back. The relationship has deepened in the interim.

    But modern communications make keeping in touch much easier. My wife is in India at the moment but everyone keeping in touch is not a problem. The daughter rang me this morning and we talked molecular genetics and gluten free recipes along with how best to cook ox cheek (long and slow). A recipe for GF madeleines was appended to an email. We can talk face to face using Skype etc. I was present on a laptop at a big family gathering the daughter attended. Much more immediate than a phone call and very much cheaper.

  65. Graeme Doig says:


    Yes he’s an idiot

  66. caz-m says:

    How many generations does it take to flush the foreigner out of you, to be “pure”. Who has the final say on it.

    Is it the clowns down at “Vote No Borders”, do they decide who is “foreign” and who is “pure”.

    I bet if you done a study of the staff at V NoBs. you would find that the majority would turn out to have a foreign link, if you went back just a couple of generations.

  67. Paula Rose says:

    Yes Fiona that’s the right Richard who writes for Nob Orders – but try as I might I can’t discover what his doctorate is for, perhaps engineering as that was his profession.

  68. Jim Marshall says:

    I am born and bred in Scotland but have always felt as if I was a foreigner. Every day in life I see the symbols of unionism fluttering from flagpoles and adorning packaged goods bought in supermarkets. Hopefully this will end with independence and I will become a citizen in my own country and I will be able to walk down the street with my head held high.

  69. galamcennalath says:

    We should never underestimate the depth of xenophobia in the BritNat mindset. It’s one of their defining features.

    Historically there was Great Britain. Surrounding GB was sea. There was a powerful navy to guard the coasts. Beyond the sea were foreign lands full of foreigners. They always represented a threat. And, that threat is embedded in their souls.

  70. BleuBelle says:

    How exotic and cosmopolitan we will appear.

  71. Jim Bo says:

    So I should feel uneasy and distrustful of my wife and daughter I guess. Seriously? What kind of country do you want our kids to grow up in allowing them to feel negativity towards foreigners?

    Having those xenophobic attitudes yourself is bad enough- instilling them in your children / grandchildren is tantamount to abuse as Graham Doig said above. Vote Yes for a fairer, more welcoming and truly aspirational nation.

  72. Croompenstein says:

    OT – Just noticed there’s a film on about Alistair Darling on ITV2 this afternoon at 3.35, could be interesting

  73. Jim Bo says:

    This reminds me of Nigel Farage’s comments during his train wreck radio interview when he said that he felt uncomfortable when sat next to a group of foreigners, chatting in their own language on a British train. I wonder what language he’d speak if he ever visits China or Portugal. One must assume he’d use sign language only?

  74. heedtracker says:

    Wonder why picked this graphic arteest?

  75. Jim Marshall says:

    Anyone who is not a supporter of the British state is classed as a foreigner, it really is that simple. Remember Tebbits cricket test? or Camerons British values?. One and the same,if you are not with them you are a foreigner regardless of where you actually live.

  76. heedtracker says:

    Its £149 a month for subscription but nob don’t seem to be short of City big money. They filmed their ads at the BBC in Glasgow, why did they not just use the BBC’s giant stocks of teamGEnglandB glory? ethics. lol.

  77. Grouse Beater says:

    I regard professional dissembler, John McTernan, as foreign.

    I don’t recognise a single opinion he espouses, against Scotland’s people or our ambition, relates to reality.

    Watching him utter clap-trap as if a language all its own, he seems, unless observation deceives, evil dissidents-drunk, like a boxer back on his feet, fighting only by instinct, eyes pouched, bruised flesh that’s taken one too many punches to the head.

  78. Edmund says:

    The graphic’s licensing terms don’t make sense. If it’s public domain then anyone can do anything they want with it. The requirement to add a hyperlink means the image is not public domain. The two statements contradict each other.

    Maybe VNB contacted the artist directly and negotiated a different license or asked for clarification? Copyright is serious business – you don’t want to leave any doubt if you’re going to license someone else’s work.

  79. heedtracker says:

    @ Croompenstein, OT – Just noticed there’s a film on about Alistair Darling on ITV2, what is it The Italian Job? “This is the self preservation society, so vote no” England!

  80. Vronsky says:

    You’re treating BT arguments as if they ought to make sense. They’re only meant to frighten low-information voters away from independence and as such they are enjoying a remarkable degree of success (ask any canvasser). The lies might have the incidental effect of convincing Yes voters that we are definitely on the side of the angels, but that butters no parsnips.

    In the short term (and we are now in the short term) the answer to lies is not the truth: it’s bigger and better lies. If you’re a bit fastidious about that sort of thing, could we please at least ask the Yes campaign to shout the truth a bit louder?

  81. Dan Huil says:

    Over three centuries British nationalists have hated foreigners so much they have have taken it upon themselves to conquer and repress a quarter of the globe and the innocent peoples therein.

  82. Liz says:

    As far as I can see England has always thought on Scotland as forgein all you have to do is listen to the sports commentators…If Scotland are doing good we are British if we are doing bad we are Scottish.

  83. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    @Dave Beveridge

    just had a peek at your site
    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    “You Can’t Do It,” Says Some B&Q Tit

  84. Black Douglas says:


    Looks like BT have now finally had their setup costs for an iScotland blown out the water again.

    Also what planet does Willie Rennie live on?

  85. X marks the spot says:

    Hold on, I though George Galloway was a socialist? But he would have no solidarity with bus drivers in an independent Scotland? And by extension, any bus drivers outside the UK?

    So rather than being an international socialist, does that mean he’s a national socialist? 😉

  86. handclapping says:

    My first thought was he is a composite Dr Richard (Beeching) and Richard Marsh both of British Railways fame or infamy (train spotter, moi?) however a created corespondant probably wouldn’t use Scottish Nationalist Party so probably someone on the psychology / PR fringes living in London / Home Counties who has been latched onto by AcanChi.

    As an Englishman living in Scotland now am I a foreigner? When independence comes am I an even foreigner foreigner or is it that my neighbours all become foreigners? If I apply for citizenship am I still a foreigner or is it only when I can truthfully sing “I eat haggis and I’m alright, drink whisky by day and Irn-Bru by night …” wearing a kilt that I stop being foreign? And if I then go South do I have to queue to sit the English endurance test of watching cricket with a warm beer to prevent me being a foreigner there?

    Politicians, who needs them? The real joy of an independent Scotland is that the right of recall of our representatives is built into the constitution and boy do I see it being used.

  87. macart763m says:

    As I said on Mr Varwell’s original post. Only the UK state could come up with this kind of hypocritical nonsense. There’s no ifs or buts, it is simply racist. The foreigner, the stranger. Its one step away from ‘You ain’t frum round here’. A ten year old could take the premise apart. How do we feel about our family members and friends the world over anyway?

    Diversity and interconnectivity should be celebrated not treated as a source of scorn or mistrust. But that’s the politics of fear for you… no wait, its the politics of Westminster and their astroturf puppets.

  88. Iain (orri) McCord says:

    Identical to one of his other letters so Strathdonman it is. In all probability he sent the same to both publications so it’s not plagarism.

    Interestingly enough someone of the same name gave evidence to Westminster regarding the probable make up of an independent Scotland’s armed forces.

    4. Richard Marsh is an economist with Kirkcaldy based 4-consulting and an elected fellow of the Royal Statistical Society. He is a member of an expert group advising the Office of the Chief Economic Advisor of the Scottish Government on economic accounting and modelling and is also part of a broader committee advising the Scottish Government on economic statistics. Richard regularly works for governments and agencies in evaluating regional development policies.

    So he might be an economist after all.

  89. Ewen says:

    Now I’m getting confused. My wife and kids are foreign by this criteria . They were born abroad and hold different passports. My Mother was born in England to Scottish and Welsh parents. That makes me a bit foreign. My foreign uncle born in England has a Chinese wife. My dad had a Majorcan auntie. I guess I should be worried about myself, especially as I keep living abroad.

    I don’t though. Better together keep trying to turn the referendum into an ethnic blood and soil issue. It won’t work. The people in Scotland are bigger than that.

  90. Jamie Arriere says:

    Obviously all these unionists are not related at all to Jock Tamson.

    Jock Tamson – what a lad he was.

  91. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Jock Tamson – what a lad he was

    he fair put it about

  92. heedtracker says:

    @ Vronaky, what bigger better lies do you suggest we spread, like what unionists have been doing for so long?

  93. BrianW says:

    What a politically minded young boy that is being quoted on the Vote No Borders Poster.

    I never knew that current political Theory and Events were being discussed in Primary Schools in England. Is this being promoted by our favorite Ebirdonian Education Minister Mr Gove?

    When I was that age I was busy doing sums, language, ‘projects’ and watching Button Moon on BBC1.

    Are children now being politicised in Primary Schools? Are schools now potential breeding grounds for UK Nationalists?

    I like the paragraph:

    “It is a sad and dangerous time for Scotland. A wonderful country and people in the grip of a narrow, divisive, arrogant, controlling and insular creed called Nationalism.”

    Firstly I think it’s an unbelievably happy, exhilarating time in Scotland just now. The country is alive with the chatter of politics, whether you’re a No or a YES.

    On the topic of Nationalism. What Nationalism is it I’m being asked to forgo in the Referendum? Am I to give up my feelings of civic pride and sense of Nation that being Scottish gives me, or am I to sign up to Nationalism with a strong Westminster stench – Where NHS Trusts are facing privatisation. Where Bedroom Tax affects the vulnerable in our society. Where an unelected House of Lords makes a mockery in every sense of the phrase “we’re all in it together”


  94. Timorous Beastie says:

    First attempt at an Indy blog, please share!

  95. Andrew says:

    Hi folks,

    I’m not trying to hijack this thread so apologies in advance if anyone is offended. But – any chance some of you kind people could repost this link on your Facebook or Twitter accounts to try and raise a wee bit of cash for the Yes Stirling campaign office?

    We’re still a wee bit short and your extraordinary generosity will make a difference as it has in the past for so many other similar worthy causes.

  96. Morag Graham Kerr says:

    Jock Tamson. Translate that into English, then work it out.

  97. Andy smith says:

    Jock tamson…hey!,leave my dad out of this !

  98. Craig says:

    Look how sad Mr Marsh’s grandson looks. Never mind, he has his child modelling career to fall back on:

  99. Vronsky says:

    I have two sisters. Going by place of birth, first language and cultural habit, one is Canadian, one Italian – I’m the only Scot. But I have five kids by two marriages. Two are American, three are Scots. I am Scottish with Irish citizenship. I have family in France.

    So I don’t know why the existence of other places and cultures evinces such horror from the Labour Party. It’s normal for a lot of us. And fun.

  100. Dcanmore says:

    Ed Miliband, the lost schoolboy, so much for them being ‘internationalists’ … does George still support a united Ireland then?

    I hoped they had been suffocated by their own hypocrisy by now.

  101. Chris Silver says:

    Britnats = guns, foreigners = spears. This is just a consequence of military expansionism over 300 years and even though it is physically in terminal decline the mechanism of state superiority is still operational and that prevails in the populous.

    The people of Scotland are accustomed to the idea of migration and therefore meeting and accepting other cultures as equals and that will prevail. The problem is not ours the issue is with rUK and we cannot therefore be held responsible for something that is prevalent in their psyche.

  102. heedtracker says:

    It’s a bit creepy picturing the good Doc trying to choose the right children’s photo to enhance his vote no thing, too scared, too happy, too stupid, let’s try little boy hugging a puppy and crying, too much… Fair enough if it’s marketing trying to flog sweets or games but the referendum?

  103. Paula Rose says:

    I’m still wondering what that country to the south of us will be called, any ideas?

  104. Mike says:

    In or out of political Parliamentary union the Scots English and Welsh are all nationally foreign to each other by every definition of national identity.
    We are already foreign in national terms to any relatives we have who were born and live and work in the rUK.
    Being governed from Westminster is no distinction to national identity and its about time this was acknowledged.

  105. Paula Rose says:





  106. Black Douglas says:

    TBH as long as it’s a Yes on the 18th I don’t really care.

    They can keep the name the flag and the history over the last 307 years.

  107. heedtracker says:

    Paula Rose says:

    I’m still wondering what that country to the south of us will be called, any ideas?

    New Slovenia? given the amount of effort a certain Glasgow uni professor is putting in to saving the yewkay on CiF.

  108. David says:

    All you howwid nats, being simply rude to ordinary mum Dr. Dicky Marsh, and his strangely-undersized foreign child-model grandson!

    Comedy gold once again from the NO campaign.

  109. David says:

    Paula Rose says:

    “I’m still wondering what that country to the south of us will be called, any ideas?”

    Littler Britain?

    North France?


    rUK(in Receivership)?

  110. Paula Rose says:

    How about Britain Minor?

  111. velofello says:

    @handclapping: ” Sit the English endurance test of watching cricket with a warm beer”.
    Aye, no bad handclapping. Boy did I hate that enforced game at school. Boring, boring, boring.

    Back to topic. If Dr March is qualified in engineering to post-grad level, then he really should have a working understanding of economics and finance. Unless his doctorate ranks with Dr John Reid’s doctorate about an African village.

  112. Ken500 says:

    Just as well ten years and a quarter year old’s have NO vote.

    Older and wiser’s vote YES, to ensure ten and a quarters’, get a proper health care and education and their grandparents get bus passes and personal care, like most countries.

  113. Suzanne says:

    Can’t find the story at the moment, although it’s recent.

    Story of the kid being told that if we vote for independence his relatives in England would be foreigners.

    He says “what’s wrong with foreigners”

    Out of the mouths of babes.

  114. Ken500 says:

    George Galloway never goes on the bus

  115. Ken500 says:

    Does Dr Marsh have a ten and a quarter grandson?

  116. Well I don’t feel a foreigner… and and neither do my widely dispersed brothers, sisters and cousins and their offspring living in Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa… and yes in the UK, all of us who were born in Edinburgh or Leith (since I still like this tiny distinction) many years ago. This also applies to the many hundreds of widely dispersed exMcPat friends that we still have.The only other thing that we have in common is that not one of us at this time has a Scottish passport… something that we will remedy as soon as possible after the a successful September vote, in which sadly and I would say unfairly … we cannot participate!!!
    Good luck to all of us and our rejuvenated and exciting Scotland.

  117. Greannach says:

    Dr Marsh’s grandson seems to be a generic little character whose image is owned by a photography company. I wonder if Dr Marsh has to pay copyright on his grandson’s picture.

  118. Ken500 says:

    Taxi for George Galloway

  119. Ken500 says:

    Foreign bus drivers from Malta, didn’t last long in Aberdeen, Too cold. They went home in six weeks.

  120. Paula Rose says:

    Have we identified the lad yet – would be so disappointed to learn that he is not related to “Dr” Marsh.

  121. Ken500 says:

    Taxi, on expenses, for George Galloway. Hired car, on expenses? for the Portugal villa. Tax evaded book sales? In the long holidays. Aye you cannae beat a good socialist.

  122. Ken500 says:

    Is there a family resemblence between Dr Marsh and the photoshoot kid? Are there NO made up lies. Caught out again? Oh NO not again.

  123. Ken500 says:

    The photoshot kid looks a bit younger than ten and a quarter. Taking advantage of an underage kid. Parental consent?

  124. Paula Rose says:

    Stop it Ken500 – vote Nob Orders and do what you’re telt.

  125. Grouse Beater says:

    @Dave Beveridge

    Peeked at your site

    I echo Schrodinger – brilliant – ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

    Had lots of fun with your version of Hang the Man game. The whole family joined in.

    Keep up the good work!

  126. B.Bomb says:


    I know this is off topic but I was just amazed at this comment on the Scotsman website regarding the “Vermin” scandal

    Truth Pays
    11:41 AM on 22/06/2014

    Newsnet Scotland, Wings over Scotland and Business for Scotland have all been set up by the SNP to give the impression of being independent of the SNP. This is nonsense and the websites should not be trusted or believed.


  127. Alan McHarg says:

    The UK isn’t a country, therefore all it’s member nations are technically foreign to each other. That is normal. But generally, you like and befriend someone because of their personality not their nationality. The concept that foreign is bad is foreign to me!

  128. JWil says:

    It’s the ‘foreigner’ word that is nasty and it seems that the intention of these top people is to convey it as nasty.

    With the arrival of PC I thought that all the foreigner nastiness had disappeared. Apparently not.

    Again it suggests that these people should be questioned closely to find out what they actually mean (excluding those who are no longer with us of course).

  129. Rock says:

    I see the ‘Foreigner’ scaremongering is being recycled for the umpteenth time.

    Are any Scots going to vote No because of this utter nonsense and dishonesty?

    How will the wee boy know that his grandparents have become foreign? Will he inspect their passports?

    The wee boy’s grandparents could perhaps become ‘foreign’ to him because of strained relations between his parents and grandparents. Absolutely nothing to do with in which independent country they live or which nationality they have.

    That Telegraph idiot Cochrane was also going on about his sons living in England becoming foreigners to him.

    How can a son EVER become a ‘foreigner’ to a parent? Even if he is estranged, or even sadly dead, he will still never be a ‘foreigner’ to a parent. If Scotland becomes independent, will Cochrane stop being his ‘foreign’ sons’ father and start treating them as step-sons?

    ‘Better Together’ is made up of the MOST dishonest people on earth. Not quite surprising considering it is after all the British Establishment we are talking about.

  130. Robert Peffers says:

    @Paula Rose says: “I’m still wondering what that country to the south of us will be called, any ideas”?

    Yes, Paula, I can tell you, EXACTLY what it will be called. It will be EXACTLY what it is called now, The Country of England, .

    I can also tell you EXCATLY what it will NOT be called and why not. It will not be called the United Kingdom of Great Britain.

    The reason being that it will remain the same country it has been since the Romans left South Britain and the Germanic Angles became British immigrants i.e. the country of England.

    It cannot still be the bipartite United Kingdom of Great Britain as by taking back their independence as a KINGDOM the country of Scotland will have disunited the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of England that joined the Union was a three country Kingdom.

    The word country is not a synonym for Kingdom.

  131. Paula Rose says:

    Thank you Robert – I know my question was flippant on the surface, but it was posited bearing in mind the insightful comments you make. So would you suggest we now call the country to the south of us England rather than Ruk or Fuk?

  132. Taranaich says:

    While I’m as fed up as everyone about this, I’m more upset by the implication that this grandfather is indeed telling his grandson complete and utter lies. The idea that some young child in England is worrying about his grandpa, that a Yes vote would somehow “change” him into something undesirable, is pretty contemptible to me.

    How many more grandchildren are going to wake up to a Yes vote, now realising that their grandparents are “foreigners” – and that they’ve been taught that is a bad thing? How many families will experience this turmoil for completely false and fabricated reasons simply to feed the anti-independence agenda? Why would you DO THIS to your families? With all the violence the UK government has wrought, why would you perpetrate even more of your own volition?

  133. Paula Rose says:

    I do hope this is spread far and wide – this morning we laughed, tonight I am sickened by the arrogance and deceitfulness of self-professed “proud scots”.

  134. Paula Rose says:

    Is Richard Marsh’s grandson’s photo being used for a campaign about child abduction or is a picture of a child from an agency being abducted to pose as a grandson?

  135. Ian Brotherhood says:

    VNobbers busted again.

    They really are shite at this, eh?

  136. Paula Rose says:

    Ian dear even manure has its uses – that lot serve no purpose other than as a waste of money.

  137. Fortbill says:

    Does this mean my mother in law from Northumberland will be a foreigner, and she will need a special passport and a visa to get past the border posts and will have to go to special classes to be taught Scottish values before she comes to my house xmas?? Don’t get my hopes up!

  138. What all this confirms is that British people are friendly towards individuals who are not as they would term it English. But when there is more than perhaps one family. Watch out the gloves will soon be off. Attitude to Scotland? Well they still sing the Hanovarian hymn.

  139. velofello says:

    So what now Dr Richard Marsh?

    Now consider all the comments this generated, and time wasted. Credit to Fiona who chased out the truth.

  140. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    this is dreadful

    does this wee laddy know he is being used by nob orders?
    the people of scotland should know this

    can anyone knock up a facebook page about this?
    it needs sharing

  141. Paula Rose says:

    @ velofello – have you got that doctorate nailed yet?

  142. Adam Davidson says:

    I’ve just sent this message to my sister who was foolish enough to marry a Swiss guy and move to Switzerland.

    Hi Maggie,
    I just wanted to let you know that the three main Political parties in the UK have re categorised you as ‘foreigner’ I am not totally sure what the implications are of this but just thought you should know.

    I suspect by not being a good anglo Saxon Brit any more you are of course inferior, sorry about that. Mind you on a positive note this also means the relatives we have in England will also become foreigners too so you can be foreigners together.

    As for you kids, they probably shouldn’t even try to come to Scotland, only detention camps await them. while this may seem better than staying at mum’s, there won’t be the same choice of cereal.

  143. kininvie says:

    It looks to me as though the picture is a stock image – it’s even been used in a Japanese ad campaign…

    The sin that VNB has committed is in linking Mr Marsh’s comment to the image – with the clear implication that it’s his grandchild (although I’m prepared to bet the child in the photograph is a lot younger then ten)

    As Ian says, they really are shite at this. The problem is that ad agencies are seldom prepared for the scrutiny that follows taking on a political client. If that image had been part of a commercial campaign, no one would have noticed, or thought twice about it.

  144. Margaret Brogan says:

    Have just responded to VNB as I am just home from Somerset visiting my family. Ten year old grandson, not sure what fraction of a year, is not interested in grandpa and me being foreigners. Ice cream and good chat is more in his line.
    I asked VNB what a foreigner is, my family is possibly full of them, so what?
    Unadulterated nonsense as usual from this lot, politicising children.

  145. geeo says:

    Are VoteNoBorders Mr Conway Twitty in disguise ?

    In other words, a distraction.

    Hopefully not too cryptic there.

  146. manandboy says:

    Not only will those living in Scotland

    not be foreign to those who dwell in England

    and vice versa,

    they won’t even live abroad.

  147. Alastair Seago aka zorbathejock says:

    I have relations who were born and live in France,relations born and living in Australia. Are they foreign? I suppose in a legal sense yes but they are family so who cares how they are designated. I certainly don’t.I have put my real name to this so that I too can go on the list.

  148. Duncan Lundie says:

    I’ve a brother in Canada, another in Northern Ireland, family in New Zealand and Australia.

    I doubt that I’m alone in having a multinational family. None of them are “foreign”

  149. Dunphail says:

    Here is Dr Marsh

    Suspiciously has the traits of a “little englander” from his comments Wales or NI apparently are of no consequence or in his eyes do not form part of the Union. It appears he sold the company Tritech in 2006 to “foreigners” I’m sure the Rev will be capable of rooting out more of the truth.

  150. Fiona says:

    We worked with industry leaders across the UK to develop our technology, avoiding the problems we’d have faced in Europe and the USA with their different IP laws, tax rules and regulations

    I liked that bit: unless the UK has NO IP laws, tax rules and regulations, it seems to me all companies have “difficulties” of this sort no matter where they trade. Oh, wait….tax regulation in the UK…… hmmm, I see his point 🙂

  151. Decko says:

    The fact that my son lives in London and if he continues to stay there, it will never make him a foreigner in my eyes, how can it. I also have a grand daughter who lives in Madrid, she maybe speaks very little english, I only see her once a year, but in my eyes she is not foreigner, how can someone with a surname like mine be a foreigner to Scotland. Although there are a lot of them who forget their origins. Cameron for example is a self proclaimed foreigner, an accident of birth makes him english, does it!. There must be loads of people of scottish parents born in England, are they english, i would say certainly not, a product of two Scots makes you scottish regardless of where you were born.

  152. Fiona says:

    @ Decko

    I disagree. Nationality is a matter of fact,not genes nor sentiment. One’s sense of identity is different: that may well be a matter of personal narrative. I spoke to an american one time, who told me they were Irish. I have no doubt that made sense to that person, but since no member of the family had set foot in Ireland for more than 100 years it did not make sense to me.

  153. Phyl says:

    My kids are half Danish – their grandparents are foreigners who live abroad – does this make them feel sad and baffled? No – they are their grandparents! It actually makes them feel proud and special because they know foreigners aren’t weird or strange – they are family!!!

  154. JWil says:

    Will all Scots be Johnny McForeigners after independence?

  155. Greannach says:

    Some interesting points arise from the worries of Mr Marsh’s small-for-his-age grandson. That’s the grandson who is ten and a quarter; nice touch to add the quarter, the adorable wee scamp. Strange that the grandson is so worried about foreigners, given that he appears in a few Japanese language ads, and that his picture (titled Sad Child) is copyrighted to a photography agency and has been used by other foreign organisations. I can understand why Mr Marsh is so proud of his tiny yet talented grandchild. Other interesting points are that when Money Guru and Gove Acolyte, Malcolm Offord, was trying to prove that his Nob Orders Club wasn’t just another London-based scam, he told the world that it had its genesis at a meeting of like-minded friends in Aberdeenshire. I wonder if that meeting took place in Bellabeg in the Strathdon area. I wonder if the waif-like gamin in the Marsh article has a Grandpa in the Strathdon area. And I wonder if concerned Mr Marsh is really one of Nob Orders’ unpolished Jocks, because they tend to come from places called Pollock and Barrhead.

  156. Rock says:


    “The fact that my son lives in London and if he continues to stay there, it will never make him a foreigner in my eyes, how can it.”


    Family are NEVER ‘foreigners’ wherever they live or whatever nationality they hold.

    Similarly, friends and community you have grown up with NEVER become ‘foreigners’ to you. Wherever they live or whatever passports they hold, if you are still in contact with them, you will call them, friends, family friends or relatives who now live in —, but NEVER ‘foreigners’.

    This ‘No Thanks Foreigner’ is utter scaremongering nonsense.

    Do they really think people in Scotland are that stupid?

  157. Rock says:


    “Nationality is a matter of fact,not genes nor sentiment.”

    Utter nonsense.

    ‘Nationality’ is a legal status and has no effect whatsoever on family and friend connections.

    If your father or mother acquired a different nationality as you would you EVER call them ‘Foreigners’?

  158. Fiona says:

    @ Rock

    Nationality, being, as you say, a legal status, is indeed a matter of fact. Of course it has no effect on personal relationships whatsoever.

    Since I believe “foreigners” is not a neutral word any more (if it ever was) I would not bother to call anyone foreign, unless certain that the context would ensure that its referent as “citizen of a different state” was clearly understood, and free of the negative baggage it sometimes smuggles in.

    I have no interest in any of the baggage which terms like “foreigner” or “patriot” carry. For me this referendum is nothing to do with any of that

  159. A. Murray says:

    Irritating that they don’t have comment sections beneath posts over there on NoBorders, I wonder why that is?
    The question I have for them is; in response to your grandson’s question “Grandpa, will you and granny be foreigners?”, what do you tell him?

  160. Colin Church says:

    There has been a definite shift in the language of isolation (as oopposed to previous desolation) from the NO campaugn. Perhaps they did some expensive research into what words turn people to no, I am sure they would make that public if it was paid for by the tax payer. Gone is the actual question which is on independence now it is all about going it alone, seperation, a foregin country. Yes are now only referred to as nationalists or seperatists with Darling getting this in at least 3 times in any statement.You can grow up, move out of your parents house and live independently without being “seperated” from your family or see them as foreigners. Perhaps mining this seam to get at the research findings on the female vote?

  161. Rock says:


    “Nationality, being, as you say, a legal status, is indeed a matter of fact. Of course it has no effect on personal relationships whatsoever.”

    No Thanks is trying to link the ‘foreigner’ word to personal relationships, which is completely dishonest.

    Like that Telegraph idiot Cochrane and Labour MP Curran’s utter nonsense about their children becoming ‘foreigners’ and now the No Borders’ utter nonsense about the wee boy’s grand parents becoming foreigners.

    The only meaning a wee child would assign to ‘foreigner’ is someone looking or speaking different, most certainly not to his/her grandparents.

    For these reasons your disagreement with Decko was wrong. No need to play No Thanks’ game about defining ‘foreigner’ – we all know what ‘foreigners’ mean to ‘Go Home’ British Nationalists.

  162. Fiona says:


    I understand what unionists are trying to do. But I do not think it is helpful or legitimate to buy into their distorted narrative. We have seen where that gets us through watching Labour buy into the austerity narrative of the neoliberals, as one example. All that happens is that truth is compromised and nobody wins.

    In the first place we should not concede the unspoken negative implication of the word “foreigner”. We should challenge it. If there is nothing wrong with being foreign they have no case at all. Foreign means “citizen of a different state”, and if that is the case then finding one’s family members will be foreign is true but trivial: it has no effect on personal relationships at all.

    We all know that is not all “foreign” means, and this strand of the unionist argument trades on that ambiguity. They imply there is something wrong with being foreign, but they do not state it: and so long as they are not challenged to explain what exactly is wrong with it they can continue to pretend that is not what they are doing. First there is the part where they say it: then there is the part when they take it back: and then there is the part when they say it again. This is wearily familiar, and meeting such dishonesty half way in the attempt to compromise does not work. You end up in the mud and the pig enjoys it.

    I stand by my position. It is factually true that people in an independent Scotland will be foreign from the point of view of people who live in other parts of the UK. Just as everyone who does not live in the UK is foreign. Australians, Canadians, Irish, French and Chinese people are all foreign, and all equally foreign. And that leads to a great big “so what”. There is no force to that argument whatsoever and we should treat it with the amused contempt it deserves.

    I think it is a serious mistake to allow them to set the agenda in this way. I think they should be forced to explain why being “foreign” is a bad thing. I also think they should be forced to answer the challenge made by others on this thread: that is, why are they scaring little children in this way. If a 10 year old is “distressed” by the prospect of foreign grandparents then what has that 10 year old been taught about the meaning of “foreign”? And who taught him? And why did they teach him that?

  163. Rock says:


    “I stand by my position. It is factually true that people in an independent Scotland will be foreign from the point of view of people who live in other parts of the UK.”

    That is where I totally disagree with your position.

    Would you EVER call your parents ‘foreigners’ if they moved to a ‘foreign’ country and acquired ‘foreign’ citizenship? No-one EVER talks about family living elsewhere in terms of their nationality.

    Will Cochrane and Curran start saying my English son or my ‘foreign’ son after independence? The idiots they are, they probably will.

    One’s own family, even local friends NEVER become ‘foreigners’. That is the lie they must be confronted with.

    Demonising foreigners is a completely different matter and the British Nationalists are champions at that.

  164. Fiona says:


    I think it is category mistake. But we are not going to agree, so I think we must leave it at that

  165. Rock says:


    “I think it is category mistake. But we are not going to agree, so I think we must leave it at that”

    If you answer the question, which you haven’t done despite being asked twice, you will have to accept that you are wrong:

    Would you EVER call your parents ‘foreigners’ if they moved to a ‘foreign’ country and acquired ‘foreign’ citizenship?

  166. Sonof says:

    Dr Richard Marsh does indeed exist .

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