Gie’s A Pint O’ Heavy 91


I have been reading Maggie Craig’s Bare Arsed Banditti, which is a highly revealling collection of personal stories from the ’45. I recommend it. Together with Fitzroy MacLean’s brilliant life of Charles III, it is now my favourite book on the Jacobites.

One thing which Craig brings out very well, with ample documentary evidence (though I deplore her lack of footnotes) is the extremely strong Scottish nationalist aspect of the rebellion and the strong nationalist sentiments expressed by many of the clan leaders and footsoldiers. This is an element which was not just ignored but deliberately falsified in history as it has been taught for generations – I still recall the scoffing at John Prebble. In fact an independent Scotland was almost certainly the desire of most of the Jacobite army, from the evidence available to us. Craig also demolishes the myth that there were as many Scots on the Hanoverian side as on the Stuart side at Culloden. I had known that was a myth, but just how overwhelmingly the Hanoverian army was English I had not fully taken on board.

The truly great Jacobite general, Lord George Murray, knew he was joining a disastrous enterprise, but felt he had to do it. His touching letter is often quoted:

My life, my fortune, my expectations, the happiness of my wife and children, are all at stake (and the chances are against me), and yet my duty to Scotland in which my Honor is too deeply to withdraw —– this matter of principles outweighs everything.

But historians have routinely overlooked the obvious – his duty was to Scotland, not to Britain. Maggie Craig does not quote this letter in her book, but the nationalist sentiment she records pervaded the army to the very top. It was of course true then as now that the ancestors of the New Labour numpties of Strathclyde gave not a fig for anything but cash, but the rebels were nationalist.

Scotland is not unusual. National independence is something which people have been prepared to give up their lives for around the world, for as long as the concept of a nation has existed (and the Declaration of Arbroath is arguably the first documentary assertion of a modern concept of nationality).

It is infinitely better to resove these matters without violence, but the desire for national freedom still ought to stir the blood. Which is why I am puzzled by Alex Salmond’s tactical decision to make independence as boring as possible, in the hope that nobody will be scared of it. It is of course true that independence should not necessitate physical border controls or economic barriers of any kind; it is quite extraordinary that unionists still talk as if independence would necessitate a return to mercantilism and a new effort to colonise Darien. But Salmond’s independence lite, where Scotland keeps the Queen, the pound, the British army to wage illegal wars, and doesn’t even have a proper diplomatic service, is just a further measure of devolution. Why should anybody work for a change on the grounds that nobody will notice it?

Forget independence lite, gie’s a pint of heavy. A republican Scotland where we can jail our own bankers.

Oh, and before anyone points out I was born in Norfolk, let me point out that Robert the Bruce was almost certainly born in Essex. I see no intellectual dilemma in myself being part English and part Scottish and wishing both to enjoy independent nationhood.


91 thoughts on “Gie’s A Pint O’ Heavy

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  • dreoilin

    “Why do people, or a ‘volk’ believe that national self-determination will solve their problems, when there is so much historical evidence that, at the very least, points in the other direction?”– writerman

    Jesus, writerman, what do you know of Irish history? What did the Irish gain from being a British colony? What did they gain from having salted meat and grain exported from Irish ports while the peasants were left to die in their thousands? The Irish population was halved in the Great Famine, between death, and emigration in ‘coffin ships’. What did we gain from having our language banned? From children being beaten in schoolyards for speaking it? What exactly did we gain from the Plantation of Ulster after O’Neill and O’Donnell were defeated at Kinsale? What did we gain from all those efforts to forcibly Protestantise our country? Have you actually considered what you’re saying for more then 10 seconds?

    “Also the Scotts, like the Irish, were a very useful addition to the British army, which was so important in the expansion of British economic interests around the world.”– writerman

    Were they indeed? I think you’ll find that the Irish were largely trodden on and beaten up by the British Army until much later on, when some enlisted to fight in the First World War, and were then maligned at home because many Irish thought they should have stayed to fight in 1916 – a rebellion against British control of Ireland. The Irish enlisted again to fight Hitler, despite Dev (in a, by then, independent Ireland) having announced that our country would be neutral in that war. They went to fight “for the freedom of small nations” — those were the words my father used. Those were the words we were reared on.

    I would dearly love to know where IS all this, “much historical evidence”, that being under the heel of the English/British solved all of Ireland’s problems and that we’ve been worse off ever since independence.

    I have Australian friends. I know that it’s considered a badge of honour in Australia to have arrived in leg irons as a convicted Irish rebel. Many of those without such in their history feel vaguely deprived. I wonder why.

    It was nationalism that defeated the Soviets in Afghanistan. And it’s nationalism that it keeping the US/UK forces at bay there now, after all these years. And I personally am glad to see it. The Afghan people are dying in their hundreds and nobody is bothering to properly count them. All because an imperial and a mini-ex-imperial power take to themselves the right to walk in wherever they choose and dictate their wishes to the local people. I’ll leave it to you to guess who I’m rooting for.

  • MJ

    Yes, I think writerman is in danger of conflating nationhood and nationalism. They are not the same thing and one does not necessarily lead to the other.

    A very interesting case right now is that of Palestine. The Palestinian Authority is seriously considering circumventing the obviously pointless negotiations with Israel and simply declaring itself a nation unilaterally. It reckons a large enough number of other countries in the UN will recognise it and it will therefore become, virtually overnight, a fait acompli.

  • Roderick Russell

    Mr. M’s COMMENT ON LOSS OF SHIPBUILDING

    Mr. M ?” Glasgow shipbuilding declined not just because of the depression of the 30’s, but because in the post 2nd World War period the yards could not raise capital to retool for the simple reason that Westminster had imposed such sky high taxes that the after tax return on such investments was often close to zero. This cataclysmic decline in our then high tech manufacturing industries was made in Westminster with some help from The City.

    I recall a Glasgow businessman of the 1950’s (whom I could name) paying a marginal tax rate of 97.5% (19 shillings and 6 pence in the pound) on his income. At the same time the City of London had orchestrated schemes (using offshore trusts, etc.) where the wealthy could funnel their money abroad and pay practically no tax at all. So it was hardly surprising that people with wealth invested abroad rather than at home. The result of this lack of investment – the capital equipment wore out.

    Indeed it seems to me that the City’s only interest in Scotland (and England outside the City & Whitehall) is to get its lion’s share of the oil money, and subsidies from Britain’s middle classes to shore up the cost of its own incompetence and corruption ?” from Lloyds (insurance) of London 2 decades ago, to today’s gargantuan banking fiasco. My own view is that both England and Scotland should find a way to declare independence from the UK’s very corrupt establishment ?” though perhaps my views are coloured by the treatment my family and I have had from this establishment.

  • writerman

    alright, things are hotting up, good. The Irish part of my family were ardent nationalists, so I was weened on Irish nationalist ‘mythology’ so to speak.

    Didn’t I write somewhere that this was a complex area? That means that there are conflicting versions and conflicting histories, that bump and ram up against each other. Just like in Palestine. This strange idea that there is something we know to be 100% right and true in relation to ‘history’ is a dangerous conceit.

    Where exactly does one find history? I’d contend that history exists in the present, more than the past. In a way one could choose to call it ‘nowstory’ rather than history, because most of us look at the past through a contemporary lense. Surely this is, if one thinks about it, obvious. Only the world we ‘know’ in the present really ‘exists’ for us, and is knowable, everything else is a version.

    Is protestant/unionist history in relation to Ireland really less valid than nationalist history? I don’t know, I only asking.

    What seems to characterise nationalists is that they have an extraordinary degreee of certainty about things that happened, let’s call it history, that happened long before they were even born. Where do they derive this certainty?

    Coming from an Austrian aristocratic family one of the things I’ve discovered is that there are forces pulling towards the centre and forces pulling away, there is a dynamic at work.

    Didn’t religious fanatism, far more than nationalism defeat the Russians in Afghanistan?

    And anyway the idea that Afghanistan was ever a nation, or a people, is highly problematic and tendentious. I think one could see Afghanistan as kind of ‘no-man’s-land’, a crucial fulcrum between rival great powers who clashed there.

  • writerman

    And furthermore, of course I’m bloody conflating nationalism with nationhood, that’s the whole point, that these terms and concepts blend into one another. Like nationalism can often lead towards totalitarianism.

    Regarding Ireland, what do I know about Irish history? I wonder, whose history or story are we talking about here? Did the real Irish patriots loose or win the civil war after the British left? Was the republic a democracy or a dictatorship afterwards? Does it really make that much difference if the ruling elite are British or Irish? Isn’t the real enemy the opressive elite, regardless of the colour of the flay they drape over themselves?

  • writerman

    alright, things are hotting up, good. The Irish part of my family were ardent nationalists, so I was weened on Irish nationalist ‘mythology’ so to speak.

    Didn’t I write somewhere that this was a complex area? That means that there are conflicting versions and conflicting histories, that bump and ram up against each other. Just like in Palestine. This strange idea that there is something we know to be 100% right and true in relation to ‘history’ is a dangerous conceit.

    Where exactly does one find history? I’d contend that history exists in the present, more than the past. In a way one could choose to call it ‘nowstory’ rather than history, because most of us look at the past through a contemporary lense. Surely this is, if one thinks about it, obvious. Only the world we ‘know’ in the present really ‘exists’ for us, and is knowable, everything else is a version.

    Is protestant/unionist history in relation to Ireland really less valid than nationalist history? I don’t know, I only asking.

    What seems to characterise nationalists is that they have an extraordinary degreee of certainty about things that happened, let’s call it history, that happened long before they were even born. Where do they derive this certainty?

    Coming from an Austrian aristocratic family one of the things I’ve discovered is that there are forces pulling towards the centre and forces pulling away, there is a dynamic at work.

    Didn’t religious fanatism, far more than nationalism defeat the Russians in Afghanistan?

    And anyway the idea that Afghanistan was ever a nation, or a people, is highly problematic and tendentious. I think one could see Afghanistan as kind of ‘no-man’s-land’, a crucial fulcrum between rival great powers who clashed there.

  • writerman

    Marx, was only half-right. Religion wasn’t similar to opium for the masses alone. What was really the chosen drug, providing real visions of ‘perfect’ future world, with all the shackles shrugged off, was the myth of the nation. Nationalism is the opium of the people.

  • Curious in Canada

    Craig,

    You say: “As I don’t give a damn about race and favour immigration, I doubt that the BNP would see me as an attractive recruit!”

    I said nothing of race and believe, in fact, that the BNP position on race could easily — and would wisely — be translated into a doctrine of national interest, i.e., the duty of the government is to serve the interest of the citizens, allowing immigration only insofar as it meets a clearly identified national interest.

    Do you disagree with such a doctrine?

    If so, do you acknowledge that unrestricted immigration from the third world to Britain or any other first world nation could overwhelm the infrastructure, and in this and other ways lower the standard of living? And if you agree to that, do you say that this is an acceptable consequence of making immigration to

    Britain a right of every citizen of the world?

  • MJ

    “Didn’t religious fanatism, far more than nationalism defeat the Russians in Afghanistan?”

    Actually it was a bunch of US-trained and funded Islamic mercenaries called the mujahadeen. The US kept a database of its employees. That database was called al-Qaeda.

  • Alfred Burdett

    Re: Coconuts

    I take it you don’t like the democratic idea of folks being able to determine by a vote in, say, a Swiss style referendum, what the national interest is on a question such as the number of immigrants (which in Britain in 2006 was more than double Canada’s target — which we didn’t reach — although Canada is 30 times the size of Britain and has a trillion barrels of oil in the tar sands).

  • dreoilin

    “What seems to characterise nationalists is that they have an extraordinary degreee of certainty about things that happened, let’s call it history, that happened long before they were even born. Where do they derive this certainty?”–writerman

    The Great Famine began in 1845, not pre-history. The Plantation of Ulster was 1609. There are documents. There are ship manifests. There are Court records. There are Parliamentary records. There are contemprary Irish accounts. You have to go back a very long way to come to a time when there was no pens or ink on either side of the Irish Sea.

    I’ll say no more, as I have no desire whatsoever to get into an Irish/British argument here, and wouldn’t have, were it not for your amazing generalisations. I am here because of my interest in human rights, the bogus War on Terror, and my opposition to torture. In other words, the subjects over which Craig departed the FCO.

  • marc

    Goodbye Corus. Goodbye Teesside.

    The north east sold down the river again. Land spoilt with chemicals. No grand history to win the sympathy of a ‘nation’.

    Many a Scott and Northman buried here.. turning in their grave from battles past.

    For what? Profit? Shame!

    “I am here because of my interest in human rights, the bogus War on Terror, and my opposition to torture.”

    Alright for some.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Writerman wrote:-

    ” I think modern nationalism is form of tribalism on steroids. The history of the nation state, and the creation of national identity, go hand in hand, and both of those hands are soaked in blood. I wonder, if it was really worth it?”

    I think that anyone seriously interested in the subject of nationalism should read, this Israeli Professor’s book:-

    “The invention of the Jewish people”

    By: Shlomo Sand

    N.B. NO – I am not his agent – nor am I his publicist – but he has simply written a thought provoking book that will be of interest to everyone.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Writerman wrote:-

    ” I think modern nationalism is form of tribalism on steroids. The history of the nation state, and the creation of national identity, go hand in hand, and both of those hands are soaked in blood. I wonder, if it was really worth it?”

    I think that anyone seriously interested in the subject of nationalism should read, this Israeli Professor’s book:-

    “The invention of the Jewish people”

    By: Shlomo Sand

    N.B. NO – I am not his agent – nor am I his publicist – but he has simply written a thought provoking book that will be of interest to everyone.

  • Anonymous

    Mike Cobley,

    “Goodness, how terribly naive, eh?”

    Very much so.

    Writerman,

    I can hardly believe you listen to John Martyn

    dreoilin at December 4, 2009 11:46 PM

    Very well put mo chara

  • Dougie

    My own view is that both England and Scotland should find a way to declare independence from the UK’s very corrupt establishment – posted by Roderick Russell.

    Declaring independence is easy. All it takes is guts to stand up and be counted

    Read this:

    Preamble to THE TREATY OF EDINBURGH/NORTHAMPTON of 1329

    Whereas we, and some of our predecessors, Kings of England, have attempted to gain rights of rule, lordship or superiority over the Kingdom of Scotland, and terrible hardships have long afflicted the realms of England and Scotland through the wars fought on this account; and bearing in mind the bloodshed, slaughter, atrocities, destruction of churches, and innumerable evils from which the inhabitants of both realms have suffered over and over again because of these wars; and having regard also to the good things in which both realms might abound to their mutual advantage if joined in stability or perpetual peace, and thus more effectually made secure, within and beyond their borders, against the harmful attempts of violent men to rebel or make war; we will and concede for us and all our heirs and successors, by the common counsel, assent and consent of the prelates, magnates, earls and barons and communities of our realm in our parliament that the Kingdom of Scotland shall remain for ever separate in all respects from the Kingdom of England, in its entirety, free and in peace, without any kind of subjection, servitude, claim of demand, with its rightful boundaries as they were held and preserved in the times of Alexander of good memory, King of Scotland last deceased, to the magnificent prince, the Lord Robert, by God’s grace illustrious King of Scots, our ally and very dear friend, and to his heirs and successors.

    Edward Rex

    (Berwick-upon-Tweed was, and so still is, within those rightful boundaries above mentioned)

    We are independent. That is the law. This treaty has, to the best of my knowledge, never been rescinded. Its just that politicians ignore the law. That being so, instead of a political party, perhaps what we need is a good lawyer to sue England for damages.

    Westminster could of course rescind this treaty, but I would think that would give rise to quite a few questions.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Curious in Canada asked:-

    “… do you acknowledge that unrestricted immigration from the third world to Britain or any other first world nation could overwhelm the infrastructure, and in this and other ways lower the standard of living? And if you agree to that, do you say that this is an acceptable consequence of making immigration to Britain a right of every citizen of the world?”

    What’s interesting in this question is that it contains two elements, and one is hidden:-

    1. The ones in the First World who are so determined to keep all the Third World people out are the very ones who have inherited great national wealth from the recent processes of colonisation and benefits derived from exploitative and highlly skewed trade relations with the Third World.

    2. The WTO, IMF and other organisations supportive of the Washington Agenda, seem intent on perpetuating the poverty and trade imbalances with a lot of these countries from where the poor people seek to migrate to the wealthy countries.

    Those seem to me to be the two sides on the coin. Immigration/migration takes place oftentimes for reasons of poverty; thus, address the global poverty issue and – as with the periods of Europeans outward thrust to the rest of the world, with wealth now in their own countries and the settler coloinies that they created, the Native Americans, Asians, Africans and others – just might stay at “home”. “Home” however, might, if you reconsidered just be the single planet we all live on, with resources, labour and capital dispersed ( unevenly) -so – ‘they’ now come to ‘us’ as ‘we’ had gone to ‘them’ in times recently past.

    With those thoughts in mind – my question is:-

    What really is globalisation?

    Is it capital freely moving where it’s owners determine?

    Or, is labour, and cheap Third World labour, or skilled and highly trained labour as well, to be afforded any opportunity to venture out for improvement, if same is not available at ‘home’?

    Or, as “Curious in Canada” suggests – is immigration to be based exclusively on considerations of “national interest” – and if so – then how is “national interest” to be defined and determined in a world where ‘globalisation’ remains the economic mantra.

    Over to you ” curious…”

    P.S. In a funny sense, despite the fact that you also say, ” … .unrestricted immigration from the third world to Britain or any other first world nation could overwhelm the infrastructure, and in this and other ways lower the standard of living?” ?” it was unrestricted migration from the First World to the Third World that historically, with attendant slavery and exploitation, that structured the highly skewed North/South divide of the wealthy few and the needy masses of ‘them’ that inhabit the planet today.

  • Alfred Burdett

    Courtenay,

    History is a record of invasion, mass murder, rape and pillage. Read the Bible. Read Darwin.

    One would be inhumane not to feel for the victims. One would be weak in the head not to wish to be on the side of the victors.

    That the West momentarily dominated the world does not mean that the world it dominated will not take advantage of any opportunity to subjugate the West. The West is now being invaded by a mass of poor people of formerly subject nations — plus China, which was never were subjugated by the west.

    All invasions are resisted. Man is an territorial species. Without territory a population must cease to exist.

    In recent times, the British resisted the Romans, the Anglo-Saxons (who wiped out most of the Celts), the Vikings who occupied, and still occupy, large parts of the country (this is evident in a comparison of the in the facial structure of many folks in Kent and those in Denmark), and the Normans.

    Now Britain is facing an invasion on a greater scale than that of the (white-skinned) Vikings (53 percent of births in London are to foreign-born women). As with the Viking invasion, the current influx is aided by traitors, the likes of Jack Straw and company who see electoral advantage in siding with the money and the ethnic vote.

    Nationalism, if it means anything of significance, surely entails preservation of the population that makes up the nation. In that sense I am a nationalist and have sympathy for the nationalist cause in places under western assault such as Palestine and Afghanistan.

    For many in the BNP, nationalism seems to be a visceral, knuckle-dragging hatred of those who are obviously recent immigrants, i.e., part of the colonizing wave. This makes the BNP an easy target for the manipulators of ideas: Jack Straw, with his ridiculous comments about “fear of the other,” or Craig with his remark about coconuts (I say that rudely, since I assume that Craig will delete this entire post anyway). But the interesting thing about the BNP is that it offers a platform of nationalism in opposition to globalism. How they could possibly pull that off — kick the American military out of Britain, maintain an independent nuclear deterrent, avoid all foreign wars — I don’t know. But it is an interesting proposition.

  • writerman

    Golly! Obviously, on a site like this one has a tendancy to oversimply, because often, in comment, one only scrathing the surface of complex issues.

    But, as a rule of thumb, people who begin their comments, with word ‘actually’ are, in my experience, way off base. ‘Actually’ usually means that one has trodded on someoenes sectarian toes and caused a reaction, which is good, in a way.

    One of my faults, among many, is that I have a tendency not to take peoples’ national myths seriously, sorry.

  • writerman

    December the fifth,

    What does your comment, I can hardly believe you listen to John Martyn, what’s that supposed to mean exactly?

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Alfred,

    You have said a mouthful, and I think you deserve one back.

    I trust that I will appeal to reason, and not be unduly sidelined by the ‘kick’ of petty nationalism

    The existence of a nation is a transient phenomenon. In the development of every Western nation, we find shifting lines of geographical demarcation, variations of ethnicity and languages over time, and with the evolution of a dominant group there is the accompaniment of a national myth of being the first people of the nation. A contemporary reference might be the “daughters of the revolution” in the US and those who claim that their foreparents arrived on the Mayflower. Thus a WASP(IST )claim to rights of original citizenry. On the other side of the Atlantic the sentiments are not totally different when it comes on to the paleness of a person’s skin. But let’s have a little look at recent immigrant history, post World War 11 to Britain:-

    Poles arrived

    Hungarian Jews arrived

    Ukrainians arrived

    And – exact for similarity of skin colour ?” are these people and their descendants of the original historical citizenry? So, on then to :-

    The Caribbean immigrants at Enoch Powell’s invitation

    And the Indians and Pakistanis etc.

    People were lost in the Great War, and people were found, in truth to do a lot of the shit jobs that the Whites no longer wanted.

    Let’s move on, and get a bit closer to this era of “globalisation”.

    Quite frankly, I do not see so-called “globalisation” as new. Consider that Columbus arrived in the Americas and the European nations followed and settled, plundered, enslaved and made vast fortunes ?” which in essence was an earlier form of globalisaiton. Today, the traffic is two way, and those from those regions have arrived in Britain, as have Eastern Europeans etc. Without blowing a special trumpet for the thoughts of Karl Marx, it seems to me correct to say that economic considerations do play a major part in these migratory patterns. So, are we able to stop the tide of history; does one stop trading with the world; does one stop investing in other countries; does one stop banking the big deposits in the City of London ?” etc. as some of the financial/economic considerations which constitute a part of the bigger picture of the real world? Maybe we can cross the Atlantic again, for better understanding:-

    Consider recent US economic history. In the early seventies the US went off the gold standard, under President Nixon. The result was a freer movement of global capital. China with a huge population and equivalent cheap labour, proved quite attractive for Western capital. Additionally, as China has grown economically, it has found itself with a mass of T-bills and other Western ( primarily US financial instruments). The point of course is that there is now, whether we like it or not, this symbiotic relationship. The West is obliged to deal with China and China’s self-interest dictates that it must react in a pragmatic way in it dealings with the West ?” which markets it wants the benefit of ?” and thus does not readily want the West to sink. East and West are in the same precarious economic bath tub ?” trying to keep it afloat.

    Now ?” having said all that, try as we might to be purely nationalistic, we ought to understand that there are bigger global factors driving these global exchanges, and the migratory patterns are but an aspect of greater and more complex global dynamics.

    You are incorrect in terms of Western involvement in China. The Chinese did suffer some recent humiliating experiences, inclusive of the Boxer period and the British introduction of the heroin trade with the consequential acquisition of Hong Kong. I seriously doubt that the Chinese have yet , in their national psyche, forgotten those instances. However, I seriously believe that a sort of hard-nosed pragmatism prevails. They are opening up to the world, as with the Beijing Olympics and heavy recent financial inputs into places like Africa and the South American continent.

    When we look around the world we see regional groupings growing and blocs being formed of Asian, American and European interests. What we don’t see is any real viability for the state standing alone.

    Alfred ?” I have gone this wide, far, and deep, to try and come to a realistic conclusion.

    We can stuff our heads up our narrow little arses and pretend that Blighty still rules the waves, embrace the BNP b.s. ?” or ?” we can look at the world as it actually is and put the racism and petty nationalism to rest.

  • writerman

    Another of my ‘rules of thumb’ is that if one thinks one ‘knows’ something relating to history, close to certainty; then one is probably ‘wrong’ about it. This is expecially ‘true’ if one is deally with some deeply felt, emotionally charged, national foundation myth.

    And futhermore, because one questions the ‘truth’ or validity of various nationalist narratives; it does not follow that one is supporting the oppression of a people by an imperial power. On the other hand the ‘folk-tales’ of a people are not necessarily valid as history, though they aren’t irrelevant, and shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand.

    In the 19th century there was wave of ‘nationalism’ that surged in Europe. Suddenly, people who happened to speak the same language and live in the same geographic area, felt as if these factors were of extraordinary importance. This was something new, and was linked to the emergence of the nation state, and everybody seemed to want one!

    This nationalism was closely connected to the dubious concept of ‘race’. That is, the power and magic of ethnic exclusivity; ‘us’ are different, and superior, to ‘them’. For example one seriously talked about a Gaulic race, a German race, a Polish race, the Slavic race, the Roman race, and on and on.

    Art and litterature was enrolled in this cultural process of creating not just a nation but a people, or ‘volk’. Every ‘nation’ had to have it’s own national poet, writer, composer, sculture… who represented the soul and character of the ‘volk’.

    Clearly art, not being science, is designed, so to speak, to appeal to the emotions, to move people; but it’s highly debatable whether this kind of nationalist art was ever really ‘true’, as most of it was, as is clear now, based on mythology, but incredibly powerful mythology.

    One of the reasons, and surely, if one thinks about it for a second this is obvious; one of the reasons for all the bloodshed and wars in Europe, was that so many *CONFLICTING* nationalist myths began to crash into one another, with disasterous results to follow. For example; what about two, or three, ‘volk’ that claim special or exclusive rights to the same geographical area, based on their ‘histories’. Where does one draw the borders to create these new states? How many of the ‘others’ the ‘outlanders’ are allowed to remain inside the new states? Do we force them to speak our language and adopt our customs, and accept our ‘history’ as theirs as well, or do we find an excuse to drive them out?

    Don’t the myriad wars and ethnic conflicts in Europe ‘prove’ that these questions relating to where and what a ‘volk’ is, are anything but clear and settled, and show how dangerous it is when ‘volk’ begin to take their ‘myths’ too seriously?

    All I know with a high degree of certainty, is that my family manipulated these feelings for their own profit, often with terrible longterm results to follow. For example in both the great european wars of the last century, they even ended up being forced to fight one another, as they were variously in the military, of Poland, Russia, Germany, France, Britain, and Austria. It wasn’t supposed to go that far? But, alas, these things have tendancy to get out of hand.

  • Alfred Burdett

    Courtenay,

    My initial comment stemmed from puzzlement that there are people who espouse Scottish nationalism but who are happy to see the English ethnically cleansed from their own capital city.

    Apparently, however, these things cannot be considered rationally because any idea that contradicts the prevailing propaganda is dismissed as racist nonsense from someone with their head up their arse, a rather sad form of argument if you think about it.

    The are only two things I can think to suggest. One is that you reconsider your belief that the BNP’s policy of withdrawal from wars of conquest and occupation makes them imperialists. For if they are imperialists, what does that make the warmongers and war criminals like Blair, Bush and Obama?

    My second suggestion is that you reconsider the notion that nations are meaningless entities. Is it, for example, really the case that a Scotchman is indistinguishable physically and culturally from a Jamaican, or that if they are distinguishable, that the difference does not matter? And how would you go about explaining to the few remaining native people of North America or the Palestinians or the Tasmanians (if there were any left) that their belief in the desirability of their continued existence on the face of this planet is, or was, a silly mistake?

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Alfred,

    I suppose the “English” will continue to exist in England, be it that their parents come from England/England; Pakistan/India; Jamaica/England; Ireland/England; Ghana/England; Ukraine/England; Poland/England; Germany/England; Egypt (England)/Finland ( had to get ol’ Al-Fayed in there somehow – and – even Scotland/England – and I could go on with several other conceivable combinations of men and women and vice versa – producing “English” persons in England. That old Alfred is the “lay” ( pun intended) of the land.

    I do support an end to imperialist wars. However, if the ruse is to be an end to those wars for the objective of a greater isolationism ?” then I suppose that is where racism dove tails with a misguided and narrow minded nationalism. I don’t support racism in clever guise.

    Kind regards – and I do accept that my head up the arse hole comment, ( while graphic -and- not as dainty as the alternative ostrich reference) – was somewhat harsh.

    Courtenay

    PS. If you fear that national identity will be lost because of immigration – America is a good example of why a national identity under circumstances of intense immigration does not destroy a national identity. I think it lends to diversity – and that’s the world as it is. National identity is not, and never was, a static phenomenon.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    In any absolute biological sense ?” really ?” who are the “English” Alfred? Will be pleased to have your rational definition of same.

    If the idea of “English” does not lend itself to “race” then let me have something that turns to ethnicity, identity, and the social categories that fit the purpose and cause that you defend ?” rationally ?” of course – Alfred

  • Alfred Burdett

    Courtenay,

    Be as abrasive as you like, but try to make it rational. As for the argument about invasion etc., your trouble is you don’t understand biology. The logic of life is reproduction and colonization. In a crowded world some groups expand while others are overwhelmed and sometimes made extinct. The Beothuc in Nova Scotia were hunted by the early setters. Now they are no more. Ditto the Tasmanians. A local Indian leader here in Canada remarked not long ago (referring to european settlers) “we should have killed them all when the first arrived.” From an Indian point of view, how can one disagree? Admittedly, it would have been impossible, the Europeans had rifles, the Indians didn’t.

    As for the English, true they are all immigrants, but some have been there a lot longer than others, with British ancestry stretching hundreds or thousands of years. My contention is that in a democracy, those indiginous Britons have a right to say whether there should be millions of people of a different culture and ethnicity allowed to enter Britain and occupy large tracts of the country. How can anyone who is not a totalitarian disagree with that? (People like Jack Straw, who is a Stalinist, do not agree, of course.)

    When I was born, in 1943 while my father was serving in the RAF in the war against Nazism, there were more than 8 million Londoners of whom probably fewer than 500,000 (including the refugees from Nazism) were not of English descent. Today, that number is under 4 million. that is the basis for saying that the English are being ethnically cleansed from their own capital.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Alfred,

    You have argued around my question:-

    “In any absolute biological sense ?” really ?” who are the “English” Alfred? Will be pleased to have your rational definition of same.

    If the idea of “English” does not lend itself to “race” then let me have something that turns to ethnicity, identity, and the social categories that fit the purpose and cause that you defend ?” rationally ?” of course – Alfred”

    I sense what you are trying to say:-

    “The logic of life is reproduction and colonization. In a crowded world some groups expand while others are overwhelmed and sometimes made extinct.”

    And thus your “biological” premise seems to me to support those who are seeking to relocate in England. A form of “colonization” ( your choice of word – not mine)- which upon your own reasoning is natural and thus acceptable.

    Still have not had the definitions sought from you, but you can accept that what you actually wrote is funnily in support of the opposite of what you were trying to argue.

    Kind regards.

    Courtenay

    P.S. Truly gentle reply – and – not at all abrasive.

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