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Wings Over Scotland

Watching out for speedbumps

Posted on June 19, 2013 by

Here’s the Labour diehard, former Lord Provost of Glasgow and regular Scotsman columnist, Michael Kelly, on last night’s concluding episode of “Road To Referendum”:


As befitting a tribal dinosaur of the old Scottish political school, Kelly popped up to proffer a vintage line that’s fallen out of favour with the No campaign, namely that Scotland is too wee and too poor to go it alone. But it was something else he said in the same segment that caught our ear.

“I’m in no doubt that Scotland will vote No, and I believe they should vote No.”

Hang on – “they”? As far as we can establish, Michael Kelly was born in Scotland, to a mother and father also born in Scotland, spent his entire life and career in Scotland, and “considers himself thoroughly and entirely Scottish”. (Not, we can’t help observing, British, or even “Scottish and British”.)

So shouldn’t that be “we”, Michael?

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    43 to “Watching out for speedbumps”

    1. Finlay says:

      I’m not a petty or spiteful person but when it comes to Michael Kelly and this comment I’m looking forward to looking back on this post Yes vote and thinking ‘Get it right round you Michael’.

    2. Tom Hogg says:

      I feel sorry for Michael Kelly. His time as Lord Provost saw a renewed confidence in Glasgow and a (perhaps misplaced given all sorts of other problems) burst of civic pride.  However that time has passed and he looks and sounds ever more ridiculous now.  Editors, both print and TV, should take pity on him and stop rolling him out to comment on stuff.

    3. Peter A Bell says:

      I would dispute the contention that the “Too wee! Too poor! Too stupid!” (TWTPTS) line has fallen out of favour with British nationalists. At best it may be argued that they tend not to articulate the “argument” with the crass, boorish forthrightness of Michael Kelly.
      But look behind the thin veil of protestations to the contrary and you will find at the heart of every utterance by the anti-independence campaign the assertion that Scotland is unworthy of the constitutional status that other nations assume to be theirs by right. And Scotland’s people incompetent to assume responsibility for managing the affairs of their country.

    4. Davy says:

      Michael Kelly just sounded like tired old record well past its sell-by date, impossible to take seriously, a bittie similar to Willie Rennie just mare decrepted. 

    5. The Rough Bounds says:

      Why doesn’t that untidy wee shite just die and put Scotland out of its misery.

    6. TheGreatBaldo says:

      Kelly is that very rarest of beast….the Fundamentalist Unionist Celtic fan….
      I’d love to be able to understand the how Irish Independence from Westminister is undoubtedly a Good Thing, whilst Scottish Independence from Westminister is a bad and wicked thing….

    7. Davy says:

      Sorry “Rough Bounds” buts thats not on, you may not like the guy but you dont tell people to go and die.
      We’re better than that !!

    8. HandandShrimp says:

      With Jack McConnell, Donald Findlay, Willie Rennie and Michael Kelly I felt a wee bit sorry for the No side

    9. Luigi says:

      Michael Kelly telling us all what we should be doing in 2014. What a gift to the YES campaign.

    10. HandandShrimp says:

      I wonder how often Michael has gone to an old firm game wrapped in a Union flag?

    11. The Rough Bounds says:

      Fair enough Davy, but he’s still an untidy wee shite….and he’s ugly as well.

    12. Ed says:

      Hmm this seems a bit petty or obsessive.

      Plenty of folk use ‘they’ to mean ‘the people of Scotland’. I didn’t see the program, but editing could well have made this choice of words stick out more than it should.

      And if he’s not planning to vote, then it makes perfect sense too.

    13. Max says:

      If punching above your weight means fighting pointless and bloody wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, having nuclear weapons on the Clyde, being a slave to American foreign and military policy, then Scotland can do without it.
      An independent Scotland can stand tall and walk its own path in this world. 

    14. Stuart Black says:

      I wonder how Mr Kelly would spin this to bolster the positives we get from being part of our glorious Empaah…

    15. Luigi says:

      I agree the “too wee, too poor, too stupid” belief still lurks in the depths of the BritNat heart. As does the dislike of all things “foreign”. It was interesting that DC brought up the “foreigners” argument again in conclusion during last night’s programme. “We are the Brits and we don’t like foreigners.”

    16. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Plenty of folk use ‘they’ to mean ‘the people of Scotland’. I didn’t see the program, but editing could well have made this choice of words stick out more than it should.

      And if he’s not planning to vote, then it makes perfect sense too.”

      Michael Kelly will have a vote in the referendum, and it would be utterly astonishing if he wasn’t planning to use it.

    17. Doug Daniel says:

      Ed – I disagree, this is just another example of a peculiar phenomenon amongst unionist circles where they describe Scottish voters as “they”, as if they’re not one of us. It points towards a certain mindset, and perhaps helps explain why such people are so against Scotland becoming independent. The likes of Michael Moore and Danny Alexander have made the same error numerous times.
      Besides, it’s just a wee article!

    18. pa_broon74 says:

      The TW/TP/TS thing is still there in the form of us being told none of the infrastructure of state we’ve been paying for these past three centuries is actually ours. It highlights how British Nationalists really view Scotland – on the one hand they like to tell us all we’re an integral part of one-nation Britain, but on the other hand; none of it is actually ours, we don’t even have part ownership of it.
      It makes me a bit cross to be honest and explains the ‘they’ part in their thinking.

    19. Yesitis says:

      When Michael Kelly appeared on The Road to Referendum, I felt jettisoned back to the 80s; another time, another place – not this Scotland, our Scotland… a future Scotland.
      Good riddance to bad rubbish.

    20. handclapping says:

      No, its not petty. I dont know the man but the use of “they” shows he feels part of the elite and so entitled to tell “they”, the plebs, you and me what to do. It is entirely symptomatic of BT and its supporters. We are the elite, look we know about all these things like pensions that you havent even thought of yet so we’ll tell you and make you feel foolish and ill-informed. And don’t look to us to inform you, we’re far too busy and important to do that, whatever the Electoral Commission might say.
      I dont mind it from DC,GO BoJo and the rest. They really do believe that the world is theirs, Eton, the Bullingdon Club, millionaires and they have, in their world, acheived. The BT “elite” are all second rankers, failed Chancellors, Labour councillors from Paisley, bye-election MPs and so on. You can see the difference in the output of the real elite
      – Here is some info but I’m not going to pre-negotiate the seperation. Now butt out. – with the
      – What is the rate of VAT going to be in an Independent Scotland in 2016? – of our second raters in BT.

    21. Doug Daniel says:

      I think maybe we’re too harsh on BetterTogether. They don’t say we’re too poor, they simply tell us we’re not rich enough. They don’t say we’re too wee, just that we’re not big enough. And they don’t say we’re too stupid, just that we’re a bunch of drunken layabout chancers who don’t understand that all our lovely freebies will have to be paid for if we go indy.
      So clearly we’re totally misrepresenting their real position when we say “too wee, too poor, too stupid”.

    22. handclapping says:

      You miss the point. They do not say that their sort of “Scots” are 2W2P2S,  they say that you Scottish plebs are.

    23. iain taylor (not that one) says:

      Its the “them & us” mindset of poiticos like Kelly, who see themselves as part of a power elite. Us voters are plebs, remember?

    24. panda paws says:

      TheGreatBaldo says:
      “Kelly is that very rarest of beast….the Fundamentalist Unionist Celtic fan….”
      I don’t think they are that rare. I can think of Jim Murphy, John Reid  and Billy Connelly off the top of my head

    25. Vronsky says:

      It’s quite common for politicians to refer to voters in the third person and I wouldn’t read anything into Kelly’s remark.  It can be otherwise, though.  At a referendum count I overheard one Tory activist say to another: does this mean they’ve won?

    26. Desimond says:

      Yesterday’s Men hang on to today
      To sing in the old fashioned way
      It must get better in the long run
      Has to get better in the long run

    27. Tom Hogg says:

      Apropos Celtic supporting Irish minded Unionists, there is no better example than Michael McMahon MSP, who is involved (according to his profile) with an Irish diaspora committee. Sheesh.

    28. Jimbo says:

      “I wonder how often Michael has gone to an old firm game wrapped in a Union flag?”
      Yes, it’s always been an enigma to me how these people can get all sentimental and sing their Irish political songs about an Ireland free from UK rule while being members of, or voting for, that political establishment they want Ireland freed from.

    29. handclapping says:

      But dont you see, politicians using “they” are showing their contempt for the plebs who are voting for them. They, the politicians, are elite, chosen, the elect and like the Calvinist of old as the elect they are above the common herd. We the commons must pay tribute with our votes. Why do you think Labour has had such difficulty coming to terms with 2007, 2011. Its because they cannot comprehend what has happened to their elite status.
      Dont let them get away with it

    30. roboscot says:

      When John Reid was Secretary of State for Northern Ireland he said in an interview with the Irish Times he was a nationalist in Ireland and a unionist in Scotland.

    31. Desimond says:

      Careful now…Is there any public evidence of Dr John, Michael Kelly, Jim Murphy or Billy Connolly singing songs of Irish freedom?

    32. Davy says:

      This may be or may not be O/T, but one of things that gets me about the ‘Better together’ campaign is this continuious dialog, based on Scotland is losing something by going for independence, when it is actually the opposite. Instead of being a sub-part of a country who is only actknowledged when their is an election and sometimes not even then, and only being required for our natural and people designed resources just as a matter of fact.
      They don’t see or even want to see that with Independence Scotland steps up to the normal world with all the benefits that are part of that. We will not have to stand in anyones shadow ever again, we also will never have to hear someone from another country say to you, oh your from england when you try to explain Scotlands role in the UK.
      There is no prestige loss by going independent, so we will not have a seat on the UN security council,so what, we will gain our turn as head of the EU council, we will be negotiating everything for our own benefit and with the resources we have, thats a lot of negotiating power and a hell’ve lot of prestige gained.
      Unionist’s say we gain a lot by being part of the UK, perhaps yes ? but how much more do we gain by being an independent country speaking for ourselves challegeing ourselves and growing as ourselves. We have a country that can and must be allowed to flourish, and only by independence will that be allowed to happen, and if for nothing else with independence aleast we can rid ourselves of that fucking chip on our shoulder about another country holding us back.
      I always tell friends that when you wear a kilt you don’t walk you stride, well if we vote NO we will hobble into the future under unionism, I would far rather vote YES and stride into a future made by the people of Scotland for the people of Scotland.
      Scotland deserves better, we deserve better, vote YES.      

    33. Indy_Scot says:

      As I watched the programme last night and heard this man utter these words,
      “I’m in no doubt that Scotland will vote No”
      I thought, if that’s not the kiss of death for the union, I don’t know what is.

    34. Seasick Dave says:

      Poor old Michael.
      He has got nothing positive to say to me or my kids and seems anchored in some Brig o’ Doom nightmare.
      Onyhow, here in the real world, more positive news about the Scottish Government; just not from our MSM.

    35. TheGreatBaldo says:

      I don’t think they are that rare. I can think of Jim Murphy, John Reid  and Billy Connelly off the top of my head
      I’ll give you Spud and Reid……Billy Connelly though has moderated his views on Indy in recent years…..(see Rev’s piece on Kevin McKidd)…..
      And I suspect the overwhleming majority of Celtic fans (mostly those not plugged into the Westminister Power Grid) are anything but Unionists and would take great offence at being described that way.

    36. panda paws says:

      “Careful now…Is there any public evidence of Dr John, Michael Kelly, Jim Murphy or Billy Connolly singing songs of Irish freedom?”
      Nobody said they did, apart from you. Said they were unionist Celtic supporters, which there is plenty of evidence for.

    37. TheGreatBaldo says:

      Careful now…Is there any public evidence of Dr John, Michael Kelly, Jim Murphy or Billy Connolly singing songs of Irish freedom?
      None Post Donald Findlay no one is that daft….
      However, when Kelly was on the board at Celtic he did allow Parkhead to be used for video’s by the Pogues, Wolftones etc….not band known for their Pro Union stance shall we say

    38. Macart says:

      This is a fairly simple one. If you think we’re incapable of tying our own shoelaces without supervision, or indeed that we haven’t the moolah to buy the shoes, vote no. If however you think we’re even just a wee bit better and more deserving than that, vote yes.
      Personally I’m fairly sick to the back teeth of being told what I can’t or shouldn’t do. So if its all the same to Mr Kelly I’d rather go for the prize.
      Vote YES

    39. G H Graham says:

      Michael Kelly; polyethylenicus terminus
      He’s akin to a supermarket shopping bag: clearly branded, purposeful & initially very useful.
      But inevitably becomes redundant when torn, full of holes & tired looking.
      Disposal then is long overdue.

    40. Mark Coburn says:

      I sincerely believe that weshould have him on the telly all the time. Every single transmission of Question Time must have Kelly and Farage.

    41. Ghengis says:

      This documentary did not mention the McCrone report revealed in 2005 or
      “New Labour’s incredible gerrymandered 1999 England/Scotland maritime border which gives eight major Scottish oil fields to England, including two north of Dundee.”

      Impressed I was not.

    42. Stuart Black says:

      OK, heading firmly off topic, but I must say the following puzzles me.
      May 12th – Papers full of Gordon Brown is going to announce…United with Labour, or whatever, coming soon, hold on, he’ll tell you tomorrow.
      May 13th – Papers full of Gordon Brown announces…United with Labour, or whatever.
      May 14th – Papers full of Gordon Brown yesterday announced…United with Labour, or whatever.
      Since? Nothing, nada, rien, and a big fat bolshoi nitchevo. Polls against him, or what?

    43. Vronsky says:

      Most of my family and extended family are Celtic fans.  Only one ‘No’ voter, and he’s more of an undecided.   

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