Identity and the Saxe Coburg Gothas 226

I came across this excellent heat map representation of a large opinion poll on support for the monarchy, sampling 22,000 people all across the UK, taken in 2018 by focaldata.

Red tones indicate net disapproval of the monarchy and green tones indicate net approval. It is worth noting the quite astonishing, and detailed, degree of correlation with this heat map of the Brexit referendum. Annoyingly I cannot find the actual datasets for the focaldata survey.

Among other things, that rather puts to bed the notion of a significant left wing Brexit vote. Brexit voters are indeed mostly highly traditional British Nationalists who love the Queen.

All of which underlines the obvious point that Scotland has a very different political culture to England. It also ought to cast some doubt on the triangulation methodology so favoured by gradualists. I find that speaking to SNP branches is no different to speaking to any other Yes group, in that abolition of the monarchy is overwhelmingly popular, and virtually nobody at meetings is a monarchist. I have never detected any generational difference in this. Scottish Republicanism tends to link in with views on much more radical land reform, which is so desperately needed. A campaign for a Scottish Republic would have majority support. Yet we are told that openly to advocate a Scottish Republic would alienate voters. No it would not, most people would support, and you are not going to convert a great many diehard monarchists to Independence anyway.

I strongly suspect that this extends to other areas, particularly foreign policy. I simply do not believe there is a large well of support in Scotland for UK neo-con foreign policy, nor that it is necessary to support UK foreign policy to maximise support for Independence. Neither Russia nor China is the enemy of the Scottish people. The problem is, that those with the finances to commission opinion polls have every interest in keeping support for such opinions hidden. I have always found the argument that people will only vote for Independence if they think nothing will change rather amusing; if nothing will change, why vote for it?

Anyway, while on the subject of British nationalism, I have a unifying solution to the culture wars question of singing Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Britannia at the Proms. Rule Britannia has no musical virtues and in my view should never be sung or played anywhere; it is a horrible bit of doggerel laced with ugly baroque frills. Land of Hope and Glory however is sung to a genuinely great piece of music. The answer is perhaps something like this:

The truly wonderful Patrick Fyffe is no longer with us, but George Logan is and for £20 I’ll slip on a frock and do it myself.

In childhood we always watched the Last Night of the Proms with my mother, and enjoyed it greatly. In those days there was no doubt at all that the patriotic singing was taken with a huge dose of irony. Britain had decolonised almost entirely in a remarkably swift quarter century, and there was a presumption the process would be completed. The state was properly social democratic; all utilities were in public ownership as were all the largest industries. All public provision really was provided by the state, not through profit making private agencies. You could not only go to university for nothing, you were paid to go. Post Suez Crisis, the idea the UK would ever invade anywhere else again seemed wildly improbable, and more importantly, nobody wanted to invade anywhere.

There were still American dictated blights, like the Chagos Islands, but very few were conscious of it. Public discourse was left wing. TV had A J P Taylor, not David Starkey, and Bertrand Russell popped up regularly. The BBC showed Ken Loach and “The Cheviot, the Stag, and the Black Black Oil”.

In these circumstances, some singing of “Wider still and wider Shall thy bounds be set” seemed harmless, given that the exact opposite had plainly been in full train. The promenaders were determinedly silly. One year there was a large banner saying “Eat prunes they make you go”, which we children thought hilarious and became a joke in our house.

I suppose that it was Thatcher and the Falklands War that changed all that, and made British nationalism start to be sinister again, even though most of the promenaders themselves remained the same knowing sceptics. Blair then took it to another level, with his promotion of “liberal interventionism”, the doctrine that bombing BAME people is good for them. That was and is a direct and unreconstructed revival of “liberal imperialism” of a kind that Elgar would recognise and support. Suddenly the Last Night of the Proms went down another notch in the irony scale and up another notch on the jingoism scale, as Blair started to invade countries left, right and centre.

Now with Brexit, Johnson and Farage there seems to be a point of no return where British nationalism is too toxic to be adopted ironically. I am not sure the Last Night of the Proms will survive Scottish Independence. Would they still mark the Imperial nostalgia with the old butcher’s apron from Imperial days? I think it is probably time, absent Patrick Fyffe, or me in a frock, to put this grand old lady to rest.


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226 thoughts on “Identity and the Saxe Coburg Gothas

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  • Stevie Boy

    Let’s be honest, nationalism in any form is unpleasant and has a negative impact on interactions between human societies.
    I understand that the Scots would probably like to distance themselves from the corrupt and criminal Westminster set, but then so would a large proportion of English people. The danger is always that of replacing one set of crooks with another ‘homegrown’ set. The faux furore over the complete bolloxs of the Monarchy, The Proms, Farage, Churchill etc. maybe needs to be balanced against some of the bollox north of the border, for (a contentious) example, Haggis, Burns, the Stone of Destiny, etc., nationalist symbols that tend to increase divisions rather than decrease them. The problem is people, as always… Evolution is over hyped !

    • Goose

      Did you watch the pre-referendum TV debates in 2014?

      The unionists were the ones doing most of snarling and making post-independence threats. Alistair Darling, the epitome of sneering unionist smugness, while Alex Salmond was his usual emollient, calming rational self. The idea the nationalists are the aggressors is a unionist promoted(evidence free) lie, much as Corbyn supporters were painted as violent thugs.

    • Tatyana

      “nationalism in any form is unpleasant and has a negative impact on interactions between human societies”

      I disagree. Nationalism in its function of keeping language, culture, traditions is very good.
      It becomes unpleasant when it develops ideas of superiority, or hatred towards other nations – then it becomes nazism and nazism is ugly.
      I can testify it’s possible to live side by side with another nations and have good relationship, despite of rather large nationalism movements. Politeness, respect and hospitality are the key, and also any discrimination must be forbidden by the law, so that you’re able to calm down crazy nazis.

      • Marmite

        What you describe there is culture though, not nationalism.

        Nationalism depends on an idea of sovereignty, and a host of other terms that signal violence and exclusivity, like citizenship…. It also allows for the formation of other hideous categories like ‘immigrant’, ‘illegal’, ‘refugee’. I would say that nationalism in England is by far much worse than nationalism in Scotland.

        Culture can be used to support this violence, and that seems to be more often that not what happens. But culture gan also be used to preserve autochthonous traditions, languages, ways, in a manner that is inclusive and open and anti-nationalist.

        • fonso

          If Scotland were to rejoin the EU its borders would be permanently open to half a billion people. A couple of generations of that and it would be mercifully less Scottish than it is now.

          • Laguerre

            “If Scotland were to rejoin the EU its borders would be permanently open to half a billion people.”

            Ah, a true fan of Farage!

          • fonso

            Nope, cannot stand Farage. Just offering hope and reassurance to a fan of open borders.

          • Marmite

            Either you are a fan of open borders, or you are a fan of utterly destroying other peoples’ livelihoods and liveability, and then expecting them to remain and die where they are. In other words, you are a human or a territorial animal who has a lot of work to do before growing up.

          • Marmite

            I do wonder if you could ever have had these right-wing anti-immigrant hate groups mobilising in Britain 10 or 20 years ago. Could anyone say?

            Something makes me feel that even under New Labour, this would have been impossible.

            Others might know better, though, and obviously times a changed quite a bit.

            But I am nevertheless quite convinced that the general view of the English towards migrants, who are constantly scapegoated for just about every perceived injustice, would not be the same today if Labour had been in power over the last 10 years.

            This is not an apology for Labour, by any means. Just a thought.

        • Tatyana

          Marmite, we here in Russia are descendants of the multi-national Russian empire, and then the multi- national USSR, and are today still the multi-national federation. I suppose we have another understanding of nationalism, we distinguish it from culture, and from citizenship.

          I think it is not the same in your country, where you may have several nations, all of them culturally, religiously and historically close to each other. So you may recognize nationalism only when it starts being unpleasant.

        • Johny Conspiranoid

          When you have sovereignty you can choose your domestic policies to be anything you like without needing anyone elses permission. Lack of sovereignty is a neo-liberal, globalist tool.

          • Marmite

            That sounds very simplistic, Johny.

            Not every kind of international agreement, law or understanding is a neoliberal globalist tool.

            That sounds as bad as the right-wing nonsense that labels the EU a socialist enterprise, or conversely, the left-wing nonsense that labels it a right-wing enterprise. There is too much of this nonsense out there, clouding peoples’ understanding.

            The notion of sovereignty is precisely what allows for Fortress Europe to build its idiotic walls.

      • Mr V

        That’s patriotism, not nationalism. And you were sold a lie that keeping “traditions” alive is somehow good. Slavery is traditional. Denying women vote or divorces is too. Pissing on the streets? Ditto. A lot of the evil currently going on all over the world is precisely thanks to the fact people go ‘but muh thadishun’ instead of critically examining what they are doing and ejecting the bad parts.

        • Tatyana

          No, this is not patriotism, this is self-awareness of belonging to the society, and desire to be in it and to be a functional unit of it. This is not the feeling of ‘belonging’ or ‘being obliged’ to the land or to the state.
          And no, we do not understand the word ‘tradition’ in the sense which you mean talking of the rights of different social groups in different historical periods. We know universal traditions that have been preserved in nations for centuries, regardless of the political or economic system. Determinators, descriptors, identificators – I don’t know correct English word for it. You just see and recognise it in reality, when a person does it and you then ask them ‘oh, you did that, are you Ukrainian/Chechen/Gypsy?’

          • Tatyana

            Iain, stereotypes are subjective and traditions exist objectively, as a fact of reality. Stereotypes may be incorrect, ironic or derogatory, but traditions have a deep semantic basis for the carriers and continue to exist for generations, regardless of the stereotypes prevailing among outside observers.

            Traditions are the most important function of an ethnos, they reflect the experience of a certain group of people in a particular area, the experience of their contacts with a specific environment, say a lot about the social structure and worldview. I believe that tradition is an adaptation mechanism, smth like ‘better life algorithms’ for future generations.

            Many traditions lose their initial sense, of course, but people keep them as long as there’s no harm in it.

          • Iain Stewart

            Of which traditional racist stereotypes is a subset. From which you omitted your usual group.

        • Marmite

          That’s right, and that is why the statue toppling going on all over looks so healthy and promising, renewing faith in human beings to do the right thing, rather than go on boot-licking traditions and leaders.

    • Den lille abe

      “Let’s be honest, nationalism in any form is unpleasant and has a negative impact on interactions between human societies.”

      This is pure prop crap. Nationalism is not about subverting other peoples. Nationalism in its pure form is about being proud of your heritage and country and that is possible without being belligerent.
      I was born in a small insignificant country in Europe and now live in a slightly less one. They are neighbors and have fought many wars, but now live in peace and great prosperity together, both being among the wealthiest nations of the EU, but I think we are proudly nationalist in terms of culture, traditions and way of doing things, some things can not be erased.
      I was born Danish, but have lived a significant part of my life in Africa and Australia but now reside in Sweden and have Swedish citizenship, which I am very proud of. But my Danish heritage will be there forever.

    • Jeff

      Yeah you’re right enough…, let’s just keep the Queen, and the nukes, and the poverty, food banks, unelected Tory governments etc etc etc….cheers.

  • Muscleguy

    The big problem with a republic proposal is that it would fire up the Orange Order who you may remember officially stayed neutral in the indyref much to general relief. As a republican I am under no illusions what we might face in a Republic campaign POST independence.

    Why would you want to combine that with an indyref? Also having effectively two proposals on the same ticket would endanger both of them. It is a very bad idea even if there might be a majority for it. So hold your fire until after Independence Day (remember there may well be a confirmation vote prior to the final deal being agreed).

    After the hangovers from I Day have receded I will gladly join you in a Republic referendum campaign & will exert myself utterly in pursuit of that end. But not before for the reasons above.

  • Prasad

    ‘Red tones indicate net disapproval of the monarchy’

    Unfortunately this isn’t true. There is only one Scottish constituency that opposes the monarchy.
    Glasgow Central 34% support v 36% against monarchy (although it was the 2nd least supportive in UK after Liverpool, Riverside)

    I notice this has been repeated on Twitter. I am not on Twitter so it would be great if someone could correct it.

    • Prasad

      Your statement ‘Red tones indicate net disapproval of the monarchy and green tones indicate net approval’ is just not correct. I wish it was. There are only 3 constituencies in the whole of the UK with a NET disapproval of the monarchy so by your statement there should only be 3 red toned constituencies.
      It would be very simple to correct your statement to something like: ‘Red tones indicate less disapproval of the monarchy and green tones indicate more’

      From the original webpage

      “I am a strong supporter of the continued reign of the Royal Family”

      Glasgow Central result:

      Ranked #630 most royalist out of 632 constituencies

      • Agree 34%
      • Disagree 36%
      • Strongly agree (14%)
      • Mildly agree (20%)
      • Neither (31%)
      • Mildly disagree (18%)
      • Strongly disagree (18%)

      Glasgow Central does have more who strongly disagree than agree (18 v 14) but the colour on the map is not indicating only the stronger views as shown by this:
      I randomly picked out one of the darkest red colours on the map.
      It has a net strong support for monarchy of 22 to 16. It is not green so your statement is incorrect whether it is combined strong and mild or just strong. Either way it is an incorrect statement.

      Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey result:

      Ranked #594 most royalist out of 632 constituencies

      • Agree 43%
      • Disagree 29%
      • Strongly agree (22%)
      • Mildly agree (21%)
      • Neither (28%)
      • Mildly disagree (13%)
      • Strongly disagree (16%)
  • AndrewR

    The Queen could not stop the illegal prorogation of parliament last Autumn, so she has no practical constitutional function. She might represent the continuing state when parliaments change, but there must be other ways of doing that. – Why is a human being needed for this job? In Scotland the sacred stone of Scone could be put on a trolley. I can’t think of an English equivalent, unless it’s a Spitfire.

    On the other hand, because she owns the seabed (!!) we’ve just had this:

    “The Queen’s property managers have given the green light to the first floating offshore windfarm to be built off the coast of Wales… [which] could emerge as one of Britain’s first floating windfarms beyond Scotland, where one is under construction and another planned. The Crown Estate granted two new leases for windfarms in Welsh waters on Wednesday …

    “The first floating windfarm in Wales will add to a multi-million pound windfall for the Queen’s coffers expected later this year as energy companies vie for the right to build projects in the world’s biggest auction of offshore leases in 10 years. The profits will go to the Treasury, which will then send 25% back to the royal household in the form of the sovereign grant.”

    A multi-million pound windfall!

    • Bayard

      She owns the entire country. The seabed is just the bit where the Crown has not yet sold a licence to occupy free of charge, aka a freehold.

      • John A

        And she owns all the swans, for some reason beyond me. The whole concept of monarchy is beyond ridicule and should be abolished.

        • Den lille abe

          Depends and depends.. Now where I live and where I was born has got maybe the oldest monarchies in the world. Fortunately we were gifted by some bright monarchs that could see the storm coming, and they relinquished their powers voluntarily, no head chopping or other vulgarities. Our Monarchies are powerless politically but they do perform as head of State.
          Queen Margrethe II of Denmark is so much more preferable than Donald Trump.

        • Bayard

          The State would still own the entire country, even if there was no monarchy. Otherwise you could buy an offshore island set yourself up as its president, issue your own currency and collect your own taxes.

  • Wee Chid

    Aw Craig – we’re gonna disagree on the Baroque. As a (former) coloratura soprano I love the frills and decorations of the Baroque. I think our own late Romantic composers are more than a match for Elgar. Just a pity most of them had to go to that London to make a living.

    • Wee Chid

      PS I preferred the G&S to the Elgar in that clip. It’s one I’ve sung, whereas the other shall never pass my lips.

  • Roderick Russell

    An excellent article and your “Heat Map” really says it all. However people’s opinions can and do change with time and circumstances. For example while certainly not a monarchist, I find that I am beginning to move in a more pro-brexit direction for longer term economic reasons.

    I well remember why we joined the Common Market (EEC). A young Economics graduate and a newly qualified Chartered Accountant at the time, I was particularly interested in economic and regulatory (VAT) matters surrounding our new Common Market membership. I do recall that the main reason given for our joining in these pre WTO days was to increase our manufacturing exports which were suffering from high protectionist levels of duty levied by our customers (largely in Europe).

    And yet far from improving our manufacturing exports, British manufacturing went into rapid decline. The EEC did not deliver as we expected. Why? Well I think it has to so with the fact that continentals see free markets in a different light from ourselves. They see them as a jungle that needs to be regulated and controlled. They use this (anti jungle) need for regulation as a way of giving themselves an advantage. The competition is therefore not so much between their and our business professionals, but between their and our diplomats in the negotiation of the underlying regulations. German diplomats have greater expertise in this area than ours and it gives them a considerable advantage.

    It is true that the economy was somewhat turned around in the 80s – But this had nothing to do with Thatcherism (which destroyed manufacturing), or the Common Market (EU as it became). It had everything to do with OIL

    But there are other factors which cause one to at least review one’s support for independence. In my view the new proposed laws on hate speech are absolutely appalling. I hope they are just a mistake that will be remedied

    I am in favour of abolishing the Monarchy. Like the London establishment, It is well past its sell by date. Increasingly I am changing my views in favour of Brexit since I don’t think that the EU operates in favour of either Britain or Scotland.

    • Blissex

      «the main reason given for our joining in these pre WTO days was to increase our manufacturing exports which were suffering from high protectionist levels of duty levied by our customers (largely in Europe).»

      At the time the main reason was politic, to avoid the isolation and dependency on USA protection after the loss of empire.

      That rationale was given instead to create the Single Market: it was non-trade barriers that were considered the biggest obstacle to UK exports into the EC. M Thatcher and her successors had a simple plan: her policies would drive labour costs and business taxes much lower than those on trade-union oppressed continental countries, they would be flooded with cheap UK imports, and being burdened with high labour costs and business taxes their industries would be taken over by UK ones, leading to UK domination of Europe, or they would fail, leading to mass unemployment and exit from the EC of countries like Italy and France, effectively destroying it, another UK win.

      T Blair had much the same plan, but that time it was to be fuelled by a huge immigration of low wage eastern European workers, many years ahead of other EU countries.

      B Johnson has much the same plan today, but this time is going to be fuelled by indentured immigrants from the 3rd world bonded to work in “free port” areas with zero taxes and no labour laws.

      In each case the other EC/EU countries found defensive measures, and anyhow it was even cheaper imports (despite being from outside the EC/EU Single Market) from Japan/south Korea/China that impacted them far more than UK imports.

    • Blissex

      «And yet far from improving our manufacturing exports, British manufacturing went into rapid decline. The EEC did not deliver as we expected. […] The competition is therefore not so much between their and our business professionals, but between their and our diplomats in the negotiation of the underlying regulations.»

      UK negotiators at the EU were the most clever and intransigent ones, and they often win big concessions from the other countries, because they are far more willing to threaten and carry out extreme measures.

      The failure of the “flood the Single Markets with cheaper UK exports” has several other reasons:

      • The UK government sees industry as easily infected by trade unions, so they adopted scorched earth policies against industries and areas so infected.
      • Thanks to government support, salaries profits in finance and property have been so much bigger than in other sectors that the bulk of investment and clever people have gone into those two sectors. Southern english mothers today cry in desperation when their sons say “I want to become an engineer” as when they say “I want to become a buddhist monk”, and 90-95% of banks lending goes to property and finance.
      • Part of UK government policy was to keep the pound high to please southern english rentiers happy, and then to favour cheap asian imports for the same purpose. They did not manage to drive down UK wages and taxes as fast as they wanted to win the race to the bottom.
      • Because UK government could not help UK workers win the race to the bottom, asian workers continued to have much lower wages and imports to continental EC/EU members outcompeted UK ones.

      «German diplomats have greater expertise in this area than ours and it gives them a considerable advantage.»

      Do you think that japanese, south korean, chinese trade negotiators have been regularly outnegotiating the germans?

    • Blissex

      «It is true that the economy was somewhat turned around in the 80s – But this had nothing to do with Thatcherism (which destroyed manufacturing), or the Common Market (EU as it became). It had everything to do with OIL»

      Well, scottish oil paid for a big boost to the living standards of southern english tory voters, but keeping imports cheaper thanks to a stronger sterling, and interest rates lower so raising southern english property prices.

      «In my view the new proposed laws on hate speech are absolutely appalling. I hope they are just a mistake that will be remedied»

      In part they are required to better control the populace, in part to pander to older voters who want more law and order.

      «Increasingly I am changing my views in favour of Brexit since I don’t think that the EU operates in favour of either Britain or Scotland.»

      Ask the irish or the greek, never mind the poles, bulgarians, romanians. EU policy has little influence on member countries, and whatever effect it has is usually to favour the economic interests of poorer or smaller nations and the political interests of the larger and richer ones, this is a well established trade-off. It really is not the fourth reich or the third french empire or the EUSSR.

    • SA

      So the failure to increase exports had nothing to do with Thatcher’s deliberate destruction of industries in order to crush the unions?

      • Blissex

        «So the failure to increase exports had nothing to do with Thatcher’s deliberate destruction of industries in order to crush the unions?»

        Not really, they are somewhat separate issues, even if the scorched earth policy against unionized industries was also meant to “free” UK workers from the “oppression” of union membership, so that the “best” of them could win the race to the bottom by getting jobs with low wages no pension no security in assembly plants owned by american and japanese companies exporting to the Single Market.
        This happened in part (see Sunderland), but the EC/EU companies and governments did a bit of thatcherism too and became more “competitive”. But neither the UK based assembly plants nor the continental ones had (or have) yet reached the much lower levels of wage in asian countries. That’s a task for our current “Britannia Unchained” government.

  • Michael Chandler

    The map is not unexpected and confirms what I sensed has been the case for quite a long time. It is an optimistic confirmation. Perhaps the desire for democracy, for society, for justice and for community is not yet entirely dead but the forces towards the opposite of all those aspirations are enormously powerful under this government!

  • Loony

    Sad but not surprising to see the casual racism of identity politics being given yet another airing.

    “…the doctrine that bombing BAME people is good for them…” No mention of the bombing of the former Yugoslavia with Serbians being the principal targets. Serbians do not seem to fit with most definitions of “BAME” They are however slavic peoples. Anyone interested in the etymology of the word “slave” would quickly learn that it derives from slav. Strange how only Africans are acknowledged victims of slavery when the very word would suggest that slavic peoples were forced to be deeply familiar with this practice.

    So if you ignore the bombing of Serbia and focus extensively on slavery but ignore the original slaves then you are a good and righteous person. But if you vote Brexit then you are a narrow minded nationalist desperate to support the. alleged sexual depravity of the Royal Family. How long will it be until someone makes the argument that all Brexit supporters are pedophiles.

    The vast mass of the British people may have been fully betrayed by the education system but they are not stupid enough to believe the garbage written by the “enlightened”

    • Tatyana

      Loony, this is idiotic etymology. Славяне/словене is an auto-antonym. Do you truly believe someone would like to name themselves like that? The root ‘слав-‘ is for ‘glory, fame’ and ‘слов- ‘ is for ‘word, language’. Nothing similar to the root ‘раб-‘ which means ‘slave, work, labour’ in our group of languages and is translated as ‘slave’ into your language. Mere consonance.

      The Greeks called the tribes SCLAVINIAE, try it as a starting point for your new linguistic research.

      • Loony

        It is a fact that in English the word slave was first written as sclave which comes from the Latin word sclavus. Sclavus means slav and slav means slave.

        I am aware that a number of Russians (seemingly including yourself) seek to dispute this, but disputing it is pointless as no logical basis exists on which to predicate any such dispute. This is likely something that you yourself recognize as you describe it as “idiotic” It may well be idiotic but that does not mean that it is not true.

        • Tatyana

          Dear Loony, a set of sounds may have different sense in different languages, it is wrong to base etymology on such coincidence, even if it started as long ago as ancient times and lived through ages 🙂

          If you still insist on exercising idiotic linguistics, then I can entertain you with the word ‘brit’. It sounds exactly as the word ‘to shave’ in Russian, so the British are ‘shaved people’.

          As to the word ‘scott’ it sounds exactly like russian word ‘cattle’, so… Should I continue, or is it enough?
          I beg your pardon, dear visitors of this discussion, for the above comment which I made for educational purpose only, with zero intention to offend anyone. I’m sorry I had to.

          • Tatyana

            Especially for you, Loony – the word Sclaviniae was used by Procopius of Caesarea
            in his book The Gothic War. Procopius was a barrister and legal adviser in Byzantine, and also a historian. Secular historian they say, it makes him a trusted source in my eyes.

            “… these tribes, the Sklavins and the Antes, are not ruled by one person, but since ancient times they have lived in the rule of the people, and therefore they do together both profitable and unprofitable affairs … and it was established from ancient times among these barbarians.
            …the old Sklavins and Antes had one name. Both from ancient times were called “spores”, I think because they scatter their dwellings in the country.”

            Do you see something about slavery in this description, Loony?
            Also, please note we have flexia in our language, and in this word the ending denotes it is either toponym derived word, or a word describing descendants of a clan/population of an area.

          • Ian

            Haha, well argued, Tatyana. Loony is a Trump supporting self-styled ‘expert’ whose lectures are a cornucopia of random copy and pasted assertions.

          • Tatyana

            Thank you, Ian.
            Loony, I had to google it in the night, for you. If it were a conversation in reality, person to person, I’d say you now owe me a cup of coffee 🙂 or, two.
            If you’re interested in scientific approach to etymology, please look at the link to the Vasmer's database

            Proto Indo-European word “klew” , the second entry on the page.
            Germanic languages developed ‘skl’ consonant group in the beginning of the word, Celtic, Old Greek and Latin kept ‘kl’, Slavic lost ‘k’ and had ‘sl’ – all the words on the page with similar or relative meaning, their morphology in accordance with linguistic transformation rules.

          • Tatyana

            That opinion must be from English wiki

            “Borrowed from Medieval Latin sclavus (“slave”), from Late Latin Sclavus (“a Slav”), from Byzantine Greek Σκλάβος (Sklábos), which see for more.”

            “See for more”, my ass! *sorry* indeed you’d better see for more!

            Procopius wrote his work in 6th century, he also mentions 2nd century Claudii Ptolemaei Geographia, which describes slavic tribes by their own self-naming, with no hints of slavery. There are also the works of Iordanis and Pseudo-Kaisarios.
            Wiki itself says “Byzantyne Greek” and Greek language had a special word ‘doulos’ to denote a slave. At the same time Latin had word ‘servus’.
            It’s only 4-5 centuries later that a pair of antonyms appeared ‘francus’ for ‘free’ vs. ‘sclavus’ for ‘slave’.

            I must add we call it /Shotlandia/ not /Skotlandia/ in Russian, so nohomemade linguistics have nearly zero chance to insult you with idiotic theories.

          • Tatyana

            the last source I’d like to link is “Στρατηγικόν”

            The oldest and best surviving manuscript is in Italian state library Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana in Florence, another manuscript is in Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milano, there are three more manuscripts – Parisian, Neapolitan and Vatican. There was also an edition in Upsalla in 17th century. So, I suppose it is a known and trusted source.

            There’s a Wiki entry on this book

            Wiki cites an excerpt:

            “Slavs, Ants and their lookalikes have the same customs and don’t let be enslaved. Slavs acted with slaves better than other nations did; after certain period of time a slave would be realised and he could go back home or stay and live as equal member of Slavic community. They easily bear extreme weather conditions and shortage of food; they are good in crossing water as well as hiding under the water ( by using concave canes). They are friendly with foreigners and their hospitality is well known-revenge for the guest is considered a duty. They are easily bribed, they are discordant and they cannot stand each other. Slavs are skilled with arms and nimble in tight and wooded areas, but unorganized in outdoor battles. The author praises Slavic women who are honorable after their husbands died”

            I wish I could travel to Italy and get the original manuscript to see the Greek words for Slavs and slaves, because the source clearly distinguishes these two.

            The Strategicon is translated an adapted into modern English, by George T. Dennis, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1984

          • Bayard

            Tatyana, I think you are getting the cart before the horse. The word “slave” derives from “Slav”, not because Slavs were slaves, but because they were regularly enslaved. So most Slavs were free, but many Slavs ended up as slaves.

            From Etymonline, but I very much doubt that the OED says any different:

            slave (n.)

            late 13c., “person who is the chattel or property of another,” from Old French esclave (13c.), from Medieval Latin Sclavus “slave” (source also of Italian schiavo, French esclave, Spanish esclavo), originally “Slav” (see Slav); so used in this secondary sense because of the many Slavs sold into slavery by conquering peoples.

            The oldest written history of the Slavs can be shortly summarised — myriads of slave hunts and the enthralment of entire peoples. The Slav was the most prized of human goods. With increased strength outside his marshy land of origin, hardened to the utmost against all privation, industrious, content with little, good-humoured, and cheerful, he filled the slave markets of Europe, Asia, and Africa. It must be remembered that for every Slavonic slave who reached his destination, at least ten succumbed to inhuman treatment during transport and to the heat of the climate. Indeed Ibrāhīm (tenth century), himself in all probability a slave dealer, says: “And the Slavs cannot travel to Lombardy on account of the heat which is fatal to them.” Hence their high price.
            The Arabian geographer of the ninth century tells us how the Magyars in the Pontus steppe dominated all the Slavs dwelling near them. The Magyars made raids upon the Slavs and took their prisoners along the coast to Kerkh where the Byzantines came to meet them and gave Greek brocades and such wares in exchange for the prisoners. [“The Cambridge Medieval History,” Vol. II, 1913]

            For a similar etymology, look at the term “sherpa” for mountain porter.

          • David

            I am not an etymologist. I know nothing of etymology. I have no association with either Tatyana or Loony. I typed “etymology of slave” into google. The first search result read as follows:


            Medieval Latan sclava (Slavonic captive) -> Old French esclave -> slave (Middle English)

            Middle English: shortening of Old French esclave, equivalent of medieval Latin sclava (feminine) ‘Slavonic (captive)’: the Slavonic peoples had been reduced to a servile state by conquest in the 9th century.

            So Loony doesn’t seem to be totally out on a limb here.

          • Tatyana

            Thanks for this, Bayard.
            I say that there must be two different words in Greek that were close in phonetics, one of which was for Slavs and another meant something close to ‘slavery’ and should have served as the basis for subsequent Latin derivatives.

            There’s a russian site for experts in paleogeography, anthropology, linguistics, history, ethnology they had 60 pages discussion on relating problem. Among the comments I met this:

            “…The word ‘slave’ in Middle Greek comes from the Greek verb ‘skyleúo’ – meaning ‘to get spoils of war’ … F. Kluge, Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache. 2002, siehe Sklave. “

            “…where do these ‘slaves’ came from? They refer to Korth, but he never said anything like that. His thesis is crystal clear – he has two words: Sklavinos (a Slav) and *skilavos (slave). Both words were later shortened to “sklavos”, but have a completely different etymology. This is reflected in the later editions of the Etymologisches Wörterbuch der Deutschen Sprache….
            I have not found a single linguist who would claim that the Greek word Σκλαβηνοσ comes from *σκυλαβοσ. This thesis is simply absent in the scientific circulation. This is totally like ‘folk etymology’ to me. Someone wrote that Korth said this (but Korth himself did not say it), that another linguist “agreed”, and now a myth is put into circulation.”


            I thought I’m paranoid to smell something is omitted and something is slightly nazi in the theory about ‘slaves=Slavs’, but you referred to the “Cambridge Medieval History” and I looked at it in Wiki

            I wonder if I smelled the traces of Ms. Bateson’s contribution? She was the sister of William Bateson, genetist who enjoyed discussing eugenics with Erwin Baur, who was co-author of the Human Heredity (you may know it was inspiration for Mein Kampf).

            Or, was it the influence of Mr. Bury, who had something against Byzantine? Wiki says “He objected to the label “Byzantinist” explicitly in the preface to the 1889 edition of his Later Roman Empire…He also led a revival of Byzantine history (which he considered and explicitly called Roman history)…”

          • Tatyana

            David, I’m not much of a historian, please educate me what does it mean “reduced to a servile state by conquest in the 9th century”? Conquered by whom?
            In my version of history the 9th century is the beginning of the proto-Russia, and it’s Slavs themselves who conquered Byzantium-controlled areas and established a sovereign state.

            The Cambridge Medieval History, linked by Bayard, attributes the word ‘slave’ to 13th century. That timing I can agree with, it was time of Golden Horde conquest. Perhaps in that period the primary Latin word for Slavs could develop an additional connotation ‘slave’, especially if it were similar in sounding.

            Otherwise, if we neglect the 4-centuries gap, we must admit that in Greece, the Roman Empire, or Byzantium there were no any other slaves except for Slavonic people.
            The fact is, a word may change its usage from ‘Name Proper’ into ‘Name Nominal’ when it is the only option available. In my country it happenrd in 90s with every copier device called Xerox, and all baby diapers called Pampers.

          • Tatyana

            Well, happy to confirm I’m not paranoid. Distinct smell of the Deutches Keiserreich, in between Bismark and Hitler.

            @Bayard, you may be interested to see

            Wiki says they consulted German scholars working on the first and the second volumes of the Cambridge History. Look up the link, see the name Kossina. He worked on the theory of ‘The Nordic Aryans who brought high culture to other peoples through their campaigns of conquest’. His work was used by the nazis as a ‘scientific basis’ for their aggression to the East.
            Deriving ‘slave’ out of ‘Slav’ perfectly fits into that ideology.

          • Bayard

            Tatyana, interesting to see that the word “slave” derives from mediaeval rather than classical Latin. A quick check with Google Translate gives the Latin for slave as “servus” or “mancipium” and ancient Greek as “doulos”.
            So it looks like the word “slave” originated exactly as you describe, like “hoover” for vacuum cleaner or “xerox” for photocopier, with the flooding of the market for slaves with captured Slavs some time in the mediaeval period.
            The Old English word for slave was “thrall”.

          • Tatyana

            Thanks for contributing to the discussion, Bayard. The story is the most interesting around this word. I googled for more and found

            “The word slave first appears in English around 1290, spelled sclave… The spelling of English slave, closer to its original Slavic form, first appears in English in the 1500s.”
            American Heritage Dictionary, 5th ed.

            It is very sad that people don’t care of the origin of the word and just use it like that. Very sad. I guess it may be the ground for many racist statements.
            I think the story of the word ‘slave’ may be similar to the N-word, which primarily meant nothing but the colour of human skin and later it was used as a derogatory term. I witnessed similar process recently, a variant of the word ‘an ukrainian’ is used often to denote an ultra-nazi from Ukraine.

        • Paul Amery

          “Slav” has nothing to do with slave.

          Slav means (from the speaker’s perspective) ‘someone who speaks our language’. ‘Slav’ or its cognate ‘slovo’, mean ‘word’ in Slavonic languages.

          To illustrate the point, the Slavs called their immediate Western neighbours (Germanic language speakers) ‘nemtsy’, from the word ‘nemoi’, meaning ‘dumb’ – literally, someone unable to speak our (i.e. Slavonic) language.

          • Tatyana

            Paul Amery, there’s another theory on the ‘nemtsy’.

            A tribe Nemetes is mentioned by Julius Caesar in his ‘Commentariorum de Bello Gallico’, by Tacitus in his ‘De origine et situ Germanorum’.
            Emperor Constantine Porphyrogeniti had a book on Byzantine palace ceremonial. The kings are listed there together with the formulas of addressing them. The kings of Saxony, Bavaria, France and Germany in one section and after the mention of Bavaria there’s a note that its inhabitants are usually called Νέμητες.

            So, they distinguished Germans and Saxes and Nemetes, who most probably were Baiuwarn.

            The word ‘немой’ in Russian, according to Vasmer, is dissimilated from *měmъ (stuttering),
            latvian. mḕms (mute), męmulis, memeris (stutterer),
            german ‘mummeln’,
            english ‘mumble’

            Me personally think it would be extremely strange to call a neighbouring people ‘inarticulate’ when they apparently can talk.
            I think it’s the same ‘folk etymology’ as with Slavs and slaves. Сonsonant words.

          • Tatyana

            One more pro to Vasmer:
            the meaning of the word немой is ‘unable to speak’, thus we could suppose the first 2 letters are the negative prefix ‘не-‘. But the first vowel sound /e/ in the old Russian word is represented by the letter Ь. This letter couldn’t stand in a negative prefix, for this they used letter E.
            So, the meaning “absence of something” is not provided in the word at all.

  • david j black

    As I understand it the lyrics for rule Britannia were written by a Scot, James Thonson of Ednam, though that great musical expert Norman Lebrecht seemed unaware of this the other day on Radio 4 when he was sounding off on the subject. Thomson even has his own temple at Dryburgh, near the mighty Wallace statue, both being erected by self-described Scottish patriot Lord Buchan.

  • William Habib Steele

    Craig, I’ve been trying to find out what happened at your trial. I can’t find anything on line. Would you please let us know what has happened and what is and will happen?

    • Iain Stewart

      There was a similar French map some years ago showing the close overlap of Front National votes and Chernobyl fallout.

  • Blissex

    Please mr. Craig, you have claimed to have been rather good at the usual task of diplomats of interfering in the politics of other countries and their elections, so you should be well versed in “realpolitik”.

    Scottish independence (like that of Catalunya or that of Crimea or Kosovo) is not simply a matter of “scots vote, the interests of the english elites and of the USA, or Likud, or all other foreigners don’t matter one bit”. It would be best if scottish independence had fewer enemies than more. It is much better for Scotland to be in the position of Kosovo than that of Catalunya. Irish independence in the 1920s was heavily supported by the USA, still required a bloody small war, and still resulted in a transitional arrangement of a monarchical flavour. Supporters of the Irish Republic still think that de Valera etc. could have got more and negotiated a harder deal, but however opportunistically he got it done.

    So that “triangulation methodology” is good, but not to help the royalist, anglophile neocon, likudnik, landowning scots convert to indepedence, but to avoid the hostility and dirty tricks of some part of the the english, american, Likud establishments.

    So hold your nose and offer naval and air bases to the Pentagon, promise that the monarchy will be kept, promise to continue sending scottish regiments to fight the enemies of Likud in Iraq etc., reassure Wall Street that financial regulations and taxes will be light on their branches in Scotland, and if Trump is re-elected, propose to rename “Loch Ness” as “Loch Trump”. In reapolitik it pays to suck up to the powerful, so they won’t listen when the UKcrats ask them to help stop the communist Putin/Xi lovers of Scotland.

    • Goose

      Fortunately they’d be using PR. The US only has real influence in democracies that produce predictable electoral outcomes, the SNP’s current dominance and likely absolute majority next year, isn’t likely to be repeated post-inde, when new parties emerge.

      An independent Scotland’s new written constitution could also be the crucial defence against anyone taking an ‘exceptional’ unwelcome interest in Scotland. Yes, I really do wish the UK – US ‘special relationship’ and obligations(usually military) therein wasn’t a thing. Scotland does not need or want a ‘special relationship’ with Washington to service.

      • Goose

        In an independent Scotland I believe voters wouldn’t understand Scotland say joining FVEYs (drone strikes) and sending Scottish troops to wherever the US war machine decides to attack in its next war of choice. I think I’m right in saying, most Scots, in voting for independence would be seeking to escape such obligations given our(the UK’s) recent history Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya , Syria has cast such a dark shadow and caused so much suffering in this world.

      • Blissex

        «The US only has real influence in democracies that produce predictable electoral outcomes»

        That’s a rather optimistic view, both USA and Likud )and Wall Street and the City) have huge black funds with which to “influence” politicians, and make policies if not elections “predictable”.

        «Scotland does not need or want a ‘special relationship’ with Washington to service.»

        So “Washington” looks at Scotland and thinks “as part of the UK we have big influence there, when independent it could be President Putin who controls the G-I-UK gap or Chairman Xi who controls their economy, or they could just decide to become commies. But we always respect a people’s right to self-determination, so we won’t do anything about it”. 🙂

        I am not saying that scottish independence is impossible if the USA, NATO, Likud, Wall Street, the City, foreign landowners, are all against it, it just becomes more “heroic”. 🙂

        • Goose

          They could make clear your neutrality and seek cordial relations/dialogue with all nations. Naive ? Maybe, but a strong written constitution can set this out.

          You don’t see Norway acting like a lapdog of the US. I think joining FVEYs would be v. dangerous step however superficially attractive; as that club comes with lots of obligations and you end up with intel officials taking sides politically, as we saw with moves against Trump and here with Dearlove making statements against Corbyn.

          • Goose

            Why raise Putin , and Xi? it’s ridiculous , do these people run Ireland, Finland and Norway?

            Countries don’t need a ‘big brother’, even small ones, not if they mind their own business and cease the ‘world policeman’ role BS.

          • Goose

            The more obligations and US global military imprint(bases etc) you have on your soil the more they’ll interfere in your politics to preserve that arrangement. It’s truly a Faustian bargain, and would be a disaster for a newly independent Scotland.

            Just read Chris Mullin’s A Very British Coup.

            Mike Pompeo was recorded only last year saying they couldn’t allow a Corbyn govt and wouldn’t wait to start ‘pushback’ to prevent that. We know what happened to leftist PM Gough Whitlam in Australia. There’s plenty of evidence. This is not conspiracy theory, it’s conspiracy fact.

        • Goose

          @ Blissex

          Quote : «The US only has real influence in democracies that produce predictable electoral outcomes»

          That’s a rather optimistic view, both USA and Likud )and Wall Street and the City) have huge black funds with which to “influence” politicians, and make policies if not elections “predictable”.
          Look at the Netherlands, 13 parties won seats in their last GE, there is no way the US, or Russia or any other country could seek to ‘manage ‘ their democracy, because no one can predict how the coalition horse-trading will go. Sure, you can have ‘plants’ in a party but proportionate systems are fluid and can be highly resistant to outside interference. Compare this to the UK; the Tories are already on board with the US neocon agenda, they only need the leader of the opposition on side and the system is fully ‘controlled’.

          Don’t you agree?

          • SA

            Exactly. Look at the Netherlands and what conclusions can you make? That parliamentary democracy is a sham. Netherlands is as Atlanticist as the rest, only more so.

          • Goose

            @ SA

            It would seem so. Rutte in particular, seems wildly Atlanticist in his outlook. Though….

            The Netherlands introduced a mass-surveillance law July 2017 and allowed agencies to gather data covertly from large groups of people at once. Then this happened:

            “Dutch law obliges the government to hold a non-binding referendum if a petition with at least 300,000 signatures is submitted to the Voting Commission.

            The agency said it had received more than 384,000 valid signatures and that the referendum would be held on March 21 together with municipal elections.”

            A plurality of voters (49.44%) voted against the law, resulting in its rejection.

            The UK has…

            RAF Alconbury in Alconbury
            RAF Fairford Air Force Base in Fairford
            RAF Lakenheath Air Force in Lakenheath
            RAF Mildenhall Air Force in Mildenhall
            RAF Menwith Hill Air Force Harrogate more on:
            RAF Croughton Air Force Northamptonshire

            The US has invested billions of dollars in the UK and in upgrading infrastructure over the years. The Snowden leaked docs revealed many of the personnel at some of these facilities are from U.K. agencies. The Guardian revealed the NSA was giving GCHQ $100m per year to help tapping key fibre-optic cables ,GCHQ lawyers boasted to the US, “We have a light oversight regime compared with the US”.

            The US sits in on SIS meetings. And the Nato obligations and defence cooperation are well known.

            Do you seriously believe that all this could be jeopardised by political choices? It’s probably bigger than politics and you can wager everyone involved is politicised. Got to question if the UK will ever get its democracy back.

      • Laguerre

        “The US only has real influence in democracies that produce predictable electoral outcomes,”

        Like Israel, they prefer actual dictatorships, or absolute rulers, don’t they? The number of people to be dealt with, and influenced, is reduced to one that way. Egypt being the most obvious example.

    • Mist001

      Since oil now costs more to extract than it can be sold for and since Scotland are out of the EU, then they’re going to need to raise money somehow. In a country of 5.5 million, they can’t just hike the tax rate up, so what can they do?

      Three things:

      1: Approach the IMF with the begging bowl extended.

      2: Do a deal with the USA.

      3: Do a deal with Russia.

      I’ll stick my neck out here and say they’d plump for number 2. The SNP are easily bought. Jim Ratcliffe/Ineos already have the SNP in their back pocket and that’s just a business, so imagine how easy it would be for the USA to dictate policy to an independent Scotland!

      • Goose

        That’s way overly pessimistic.

        The noises from the EU are very positive on fast-tracking a newly independent Scotland’s EU membership. There will be no objection from Spain because Scotland were forced out after voting to remain. The EU, for now, doesn’t come with the ‘strings attached’ that being a close ally of the US does. Scotland would be in good company with the Scandinavian countries, strengthening trading relationships there. I don’t see Scotland facing financial ruin at all.

        • Goose

          Andrew Neil pointed out : “Total Scottish tax take is £66bn. Total state spending is £81bn. Shortfall: £15bn.”

          But what price freedom and independence?

          Doesn’t seem unbridgeable, even if Neil’s abstract predicted revenue figures turn out to be correct post-independence, Scotland is spending more per head than the rUK currently, and there’ll be a period of difficult cuts and tax rises. So what?

          • Mist001

            Try selling austerity and tax hikes to the Scottish population as the price of Scottish independence and see how far that gets you.

            As a Scottish independence supporter myself, I have a duty to myself in being realistic. You call it pessimism, I call it realism. I don’t sit at home watching re-runs of Braveheart and hoping that Alex Salmond will make a return.

          • Goose

            That’s fair enough.

            I’m not trying to simply dismiss concerns by romanticising independence, but the energy, pride and sense of hope, renewal, among the Scottish people shouldn’t be underestimated as future economic driver.

            Tbh ,with the covid pandemic and an increasingly likely ‘no deal’ on trade, Neil’s figures should be treated as highly suspect anyway

            Would anyone want to buy shares in Johnson as a safe future investment right now?

            You may see a situation by as early as next year, where Scots see no other option but to strike out alone, that’s the sort of mess we seem to be drifting into with these Europhobic ERG types who dominate govt.

          • Goose


            Good article that’s gone up today here :

            Informative piece on all the economic options. A fair article and well-informed btl comments. I think Brexit and the likelihood of a hard Brexit, has forced many guardian centrists to reassess independence.

            FYI I’m English btw, I live in England. I do have an inde supporting relative however who lives in Scotland – Inverness.

      • SA

        Strange view of economics. What happened to printing money? Isn’t that part of self determination?

    • Goose

      I was thinking Billy Connolly would make an excellent ceremonial Scottish president, albeit he’s a bit old and probably wouldn’t be interested, and Sean Connery, the ideal candidate doesn’t live in Scotland so that rules him out. Dundee’s Brian Cox maybe?

      Maybe Craig could run, they could certainly do worse.

      • Iain Stewart

        You could certainly do worse, for example I’d happily volunteer as a sort of president-monarch, a bit like Napoleon III before his coup d’État. I await only my People’s call.

        • Goose

          Roseanna Cunningham will be the Republic of Scotland’s first president.

          Put some money on it asap and remember who gave you the tip.. 😉

        • Bayard

          There is nothing in the meaning of the word “monarch” that rules out a monarch whose rule is constrained to a particular time period, nor does a monarchy have to be hereditary, so president-monarch is a bit tautological.

      • Bayard

        It would be good if previous holding of a political post would rule out a candidate for the presidency, but I am afraid it would in reality become a last chance in the limelight for political has-beens.

  • Giyane

    Hinge and Bracket could easily take the mick out of posh ladies because, like Boris Johnson’s mother they were half- distracted by the continual infidelities of their alphabet male husbands.They were already half-nuts just keeping up appearances of their partners respectability, while probably being fairly respectable themselves.

    That may also have applied to Queen Elizabeth but it certainly changed under Lady Di. I suppose if one was a male being held upright by the tightness of one’s wife’s moral fibre one could mock the Victorian hypocrisy of the empire while a couple of drag artists take the pre out of your lovely wives. And the wives could laugh at the pomposity of the empire they spent so much of their lives trying to live up to. All good fun.

    But to suggest that All British are All Political oppressors
    is possibly a conclusion from a haze of malt whisky.
    A solecism or quid pro non. Yet daftie. The determined persecution by a very tiny minority of Red and Blue Tories must be getting you down. That by no means is the same as the entire British electorate being against you and your cause.

    I hope you wake up tomorrow morning with a kinder conclusion.

  • Willie

    Scottish nationalism a culture all too oft born of being subjugated. British nationalism a culture born of being the subjugating others. And it is extant in the songs and the tunes.

    And it is evident from even a simple contrast of Scot’ Wa Hae to Flower of Scotland and God Save the Queen and Rule Britannia. One pines for freedom the other to lord it over others – with those rebellious Scots to crush.

    But what these ditties maybe tell us is that you cannot negotiate with a jingoistic nation like the British nationalist. It’s their way or else. Force is their modus operandi and force is all they understand.

    That they cannot get a trade deal with the EU shows their belligerence. But the EU understand that and the 27 will stand strong against them.

    As they move to destroy our Scottish Parliament, flood our country with settlers just like they did in the late 17th century ulster, and cover us in Union Jacks we need to fully understand that and like so many folks before, stand against them.

    Not to do so will virtually guarantee the Balkanisation or Ulsterisation of Scotland for generation to come.

  • Willie

    And if my offer a further comment, we see day and daily, the policy of the Hostile Environment being played out against folks deemed deserving of having all of their basic rights denied them. The right to work, the right have a bank account, the right to rent a home, the right to access medical services, the right to drive a car.

    But for who do the hostile bells toll next.

    The Alex Salmond, the Craig Murray, the Mark Hirst, the Manni Singh or the citizens who may now never be allowed to participate in another democratic march for independence.

    Or the citizen, who without the correct electronic credentials, which credentials can be switched off and or restricted at the flick of a switch, will be unable to operate a bank account, drive a car, work, secure health care, travel on a train boat or plane. Pass laws do I hear you say. Well yes, they are out in place as we speak and how many of us know that for example you cannot sign up to a GP surgery without your data being run through Home Office – Border Agency computers.

    Ah, the freedom of he farm animal awaits us.

    • Kempe

      Driving a car is not a right. It’s a privilege that has to be earned and which will be taken away if you abuse it.

      Having the right to work is meaningless if there are no jobs to be had.

      • Willie

        Ah Kempe, you’ll be telling us next that the right to life is a privilege, that it has to be earned, and that it can be taken away.

        So are you a privilege Kempe, and do you feel lucky today punk?

        Well do you!

        • Kempe

          No, just driving a motor vehicle. Get yourself banned then see how much sympathy you get from the ECHR.

          This is different from a right to travel.

  • Parenti

    I only recently found out how ‘connected’ this whole Royalty and Rulers scam was:
    Queen Elizabeth II is related to William the Conqueror. William the Conqueror is her 25th-great-grandfather in the royal line. ( Lizzie is the 24th Great-granddaughter to William the Conqueror )
    Rollo, ( ~ 860 – c. 930 AD) was a Viking who became the first ruler of Normandy who emerged as the outstanding warrior among the Norsemen and secured a permanent foothold on Frankish soil in the valley of the lower Seine…The offspring of Rollo and his followers became known as the Normans…William the Conqueror and sometimes William the Bastard, was the first Norman King of England, reigning from 1066 until his death in 1087. He was a descendant of Rollo and was Duke of Normandy from 1035 onward.

  • Angus Coutts

    Most days I spend my mornings going thru the on-line versions of the following:-
    National, Herald, Scotsman, EEN, Record,Courier, P&J, Guardian Telegraph Independent, Mail, Times, Mirror, Sun , Express,
    One thing that stands out comparing the Scottish press with the metropolitan blats is that while the latter are full of Royal crap |with the Express consisting of nearly every second item some royal nonsense the Scottish papers have very little royal coverage.
    As we all know Her Maj spends a week at Holyrood every summer. In days gone by both broadcast and print media were full of detailed coverage of every burp and fart of their comings and goings. Nowadays the coverage is barely visible apart from perhaps an item about the Garden Party.
    For once our media seem to project a reasonably accurate picture of Scottish opinion on a topic as compared with the situation south of the border.
    I am sure we in Scotland are sitting back laughing over the ridiculous huffing and puffing down south over Rule Britannia and Land Of Hope and Glory.

    • nevermind

      Morning Angus, thanks for your admission of being a serial reader of everything published in Scotland.
      I always wanted to meet/ hear another person, next to my now departed dear friend and pool/ snooker friend Rod Paterson, who keeps these fecking fairy tellers and their owners alive.
      Could I kindly suggest to exchange these fake news generators with ‘Murder in Samarkand’ by Craig, or the excellent ‘Parasites’ by Roberto Saviano’, all about the greatest corrupt City on earth.
      Something tells me you already know a little about that fact.

      • Angus Coutts

        The reason why I devote so much time accessing so many media sites is the old one is ‘Know one’s enemy and what they are up to’.

  • N_

    Rule 1 for those who want to get rid of the monarchy: DO NOT REFER TO THE COUNTRY AS THE “UK”. Call it “Britain”.

    “The UK” means the monarchist regime.

    In the form of “the UK”, the monarchy is mentioned INCREASINGLY FREQUENTLY now, both in official discourse and by “commenter”, “analyst” and “expert” bullsh*tters who stand higher than others in the opinion chain – the kind of people who have never had an independent thought since they were aged about five, and who tell everyone’s what what on behalf of their masters. Even weather forecasters refer to rainclouds coming in over “the east of the UK”. Well they didn’t do that 40 years ago. The term “UK government” is especially moronic. Hardly anyone used that f*ckwitted phrase 40 years ago. People said “the British government”.

    If you want to get rid of a political system in a country, don’t refer to the country as though it were the same thing as that political system. How simply does one need to spell this out?

    Some may find it difficult to admit to themselves that the way they have looked at things for decades has been dominated by what they heard on the telly and from the mouths of their Tory “betters”, but there you go. Do NOT call Britain “the UK”. That is a rhetorical technique that communicates the idea that the country is the monarchist regime.

    • fonso

      The UK includes northeastern Ireland, which isn’t geographically attached to Britain.

    • Out+of+Affric

      Like it or not, UK is the correct fiscal nomenclature for the geographically correct Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

      History will tell you why it is called the United Kingdom, and that all parliaments were dissolved except the English one. Westminster is, therefore, a de facto English parliament.

  • Tom

    This is divisive and dishonest propaganda. ‘Net approval’ – so if one region is 51% against the monarchy and another is 49% against the monarchy, your narrative is that these regions and everyone in them are totally morally and politically opposed, basically totally different tribes? Stop.

    HUGE numbers of people in England oppose the monarchy, and HUGE numbers are Celtic. Stop this divisive nonsense between two extremely similar, basically sibling, countries.

  • SA

    Each map shows a situation, the first map shows rate of disapproval of the monarchy and the second one shows how people voted in the Brexit referendum. But that does not mean that the causes of these situations are the same nor that they would also lead to the same effects as this could just be a coincidence. A deeper analysis would be needed to determine whether the two are linked.

    • Anne

      Quite. My brother (and sister) both live and work (you know, manual land labor, not pen pushing, bum polishing sorts) in the North York Moors region (and Yorkshire folk are known and noted even by the Scots, who are not noted for their liberal-handedness, as being even tighter fisted). My siblings could give a royal (ha) F… about the royal family. They recognize them to be, as they always have been, true suckers on the welfare tit. Better gone. And they have zero problem with Scotland swanning off into the distance. Indeed, as I recall, historically speaking, the plebeian, northern English had zero interest, desire even, in the Union betwixt the northern country and their own. After all they’d been invaded more than once by the lovely Scots; and on the borderlands the Rievers on both sides of the border enjoyed stealing each others’ farm animals, women….long might that have continued.

      And yes many in northern England voted for Brexit – but for reasons totally unrelated to either “nationalism” or royalty (at least among the working classes): because they were and remain ignored by the fat, middle class, bourgeois south, impoverished. Industries destroyed deliberately as in the case of the coal miners (The Snatcher at work).

      The northern counties provided much of the fat for the southern bourgeoisie over the past 250-200 years – but little was ever returned.

      As I recall there was a very very brief moment, around the same time as the Scottish Independence vote, for the northern counties of England to consider, contemplate their own parliament (that one in Westminster NOT having their interests anywhere on their horizon), their own semi-devolution. That – unfortunately – disappeared like a puff of smoke. And those like my brother remain less than chuffed about that.

  • SA

    Does nationalism have a place in the current globalised world? What purpose will a small independent nation serve its own people and be truly independent?
    Will Brexit truly given sovereignty to the British people over their destiny and their borders?
    Is exchanging being a voice within a larger grouping for a small independent voice dependent on struggles between larger groupings real independence?
    I think that the discussions do not reflect the current realities, no nation is truly independent except those that have economic and military clout, and even those may be subject to upsets. To pretend that an independent Scotland will be a force for the good and a balance between super groupings is rather fanciful. It may just shift the balance in favour of say the Scottish people, but this will be temporary. The same applies to Brexit, will Britain be truly financially more independent and have bigger clout by leaving the EU, or will it merely become more subject to the whims of the hegemonic US?

  • Tom74

    I am not sure we’d ever find out if a majority opposed the monarchy in the UK – not unless it suited the rest of the establishment, both here and in the US, for some reason (ie to put pressure on the Royals). With manipulated or selectively-used opinion polls and quite possibly manipulated elections too, I’ve come to the conclusion that taking to the streets or going on strike maybe the best options to have our voices heard. Witness the discomfort in the media at the protest in Trafalgar Square yesterday as thousands protested against the lockdown. It is ironic in the age of social media that it is old-fashioned methods that may be our salvation from the tyranny of the Johnson government.

    • Goose

      Let’s face it. It’s easy for Royalists to erroneously (because most DO know about ceremonial presidents) to throw nightmares like Donald Trump, George W Bush and the prospect of a UK President Blair/Thatcher or Macron in the mix to scare people into line.

      Hell, even I, as someone who is pro-republic wouldn’t want an executive Presidency for the UK; far too much power invested in one individual. I don’t even like the idea of city mayors, regional assemblies yes, mayors no.

  • Den lille abe

    I feel I have to make a further comment on “nationalism”
    As I have previously commented, nationalism is not in itself evil…Nationalsocialisten in Germany did that for us. And ever since it has had a bad taste in our mouths. But being proud of your country or your origins is not bad, harboring hatred for other people is indeed.
    Being a nationalist, as I am, does not mean hating other peoples, just being fond of your own country and people.

    • Goose

      There’s no hatred involved in Scottish Nationalism.

      The pro-inde marches are inclusive and characterised by their camaraderie: all races, colours, religions, ages (young and old) welcome; joyous affairs full of hope and optimism.

      It’s literally the bitter unionists, snarling from the sidelines, who like to characterise them as something threatening.

  • andic

    I am afraid that these illustrations don’t allow you to assert as much as you have done: roughly; that Brexit is linked to royalist sentiment and through that to jingoistic nationalism, I mean that is a reach on it’s own. But although the maps appear to correlate it is superficial, there are actually plenty of areas where support or otherwise for monarchy correlates with pro-anti Brexit, London, Sunderland, Pembrokeshire, Home counties. Also the strength of feeling on the questions is not correlated (see Highlands or Berwick) and if your broad brush theory is correct then the degree of sentiment should follow.
    Some people may fall under your hypothesis but far from all and I think that is the mistake commentators have been making when trying to characterise so-called populism. Actually the north of Scotland is broken down differently in the two maps, perhaps with higher resolution the correlation would be better or worse for your case. But to really prove your point we would need to break it right down to individuals.

    I do agree that the independence movement has nothing to lose by marketing Scotland as a republic of some sort. Obviously the deffinition of HoS should be chosen carefully.

    FWIW I am not a monarchist, although I probably still (just about) was in 2016 when I voted to leave – a vote I stand by.

  • Richard Cumbria

    In our CLP just south of the border 2 out of 30 were Monarchist.

    Our last election was on a par with the Italian election of 1948, the result was a foregone conclusion, the US was as interested in the results as it was in Italian election of 1948. There were huge numbers of postal votes in the Labour’s Northern heartlands and unusually no election tally of the exiting voters. Very few of my neighbours are Tory yet the Tories increased their majority as the local Tory leadership, angered by Rory Stewart’s treatment, resigned en-mass.

    This Document from the Year 2000:

    ‘The Impact on the U.S. Economy of Including the United Kingdom in a Free Trade Arrangement With the United States, Canada, and Mexico’

    The Document explains the advantages to the US of a Hard Brexit before the terms were invented. This may have more than a little to do with anomalous election results for the referendum and the general election as all means necessary were employed.

    The prize was not Brexit, this is a means of forcing Europe to join a TTIP with the acceptance of ISDS “Investor-state dispute settlement”. TTIP was accepted by the EU until voters found out about ‘Investor-state dispute settlement’ which means giving up sovereignty to the Mega Monopoly Corporations. It was equally unpopular with US voters were it failed for exactly the same reasons as in Europe. If the US trade strategy works, the citizens of the US, and Europe will be forced against their expressed will to accept ISDS sovereignty. Scotts will be as free as every other citizen of the Empire to do what Mega Corporations tell them to do.
    from the US trade International trade Commission Document 2000

    ‘Experiment 2. UK-North American Free Trade Arrangement with EU Withdrawal
    The estimated results for experiment 2 show that U.S. exports to the UK increase by $7 billion while exports to the other regions decline. This export expansion is larger than that in the first experiment because in this scenario trade barriers are imposed on UK imports from the EU, which improves the competitiveness of U.S. goods in the UK market. U.S. imports from the UK and the EU increase by $4.8 and $1.4 billion, respectively. U.S. agricultural and processed food exports to the UK increase respectively, by 125 percent and by 85 percent.’

    Notice it depends on this: This export expansion is larger than that in the first experiment because in this scenario trade barriers are imposed on UK imports from the EU, which improves the competitiveness of U.S. goods in the UK market.

    Intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded Europe with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us.

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