Sticks and stones…

No doubt many of you have by now heard of the 80 year old Yes campaigner, James McMillan, who was shoved to the ground, breaking his wrist in the process. If you haven’t, here’s the Edinburgh Evening News article on it: http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/scottish-independence-campaigner-80-attacked-1-3077094

I’m sorry if this entry rubs anyone up the wrong way – and I know it will some – but I feel it’s too important. I’ve hummed and hawed about writing this entry, and I’ll tell you for why.

Whilst I absolutely do not condone the actions of the woman involved in the alleged assaulting of Mr McMillan, I can see why someone might have been greatly offended by his placard. To stand with a large sign reading ‘Time to get rid of the scourge of the Normans. Sign up to the Yes side’ would anger even me, and I’m wanting the same outcome from the referendum! It didn’t warrant physical assault, but it was offensive.

I’m in this referendum battle for equality, democracy and the chance to build a new, progressive Scotland – not for historical grudges. Frankly, I personally don’t care about what happened hundreds of years ago – we live now, not back then. History is useful for learning from, not as the basis for centuries-old division. Had McMillan’s sign read ‘Time to get rid of the scourge of the English…’, would that be acceptable? Or how about ‘Time to get rid of the scourge of the Asians’? I’d certainly hope not.

We independence supporters are often accused of having a huge chip on our shoulders, and McMillan has, I’m sorry to say, done nothing but bolster that image. We’re simply not going to win if this is the level of play. Sorry of you disagree, but that’s a fact.

Let’s keep both violence AND petty nonsense out of this campaign. ‘Better Together’ and their supporters are good enough at this sort of trashy campaigning on their own. Please, let’s not join them.

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8 thoughts on “Sticks and stones…

  1. I totally agree with you. I was born in England but have lived in Scotland for many a year. I am in favour of independence, am a SNP member and use every opportunity for further the cause. I am against racist comments regardless how amusing they may seem, and its high time Mr. McMillan learned to understand that in the 21st century most of us are new Scots.

  2. You make a valid point. But I can’t help but be sceptical of the notion that the individual who perpetrated this violent assault was motivated by outrage on behalf of the Normans.

  3. Pingback: Sticks and stones… | Peter A Bell

  4. Is there a picture of this anti-Norman sign, not that I doubt the media in Scotland? I try not to click on Scotsman links, so the photograph might be on your link.
    I’ve seen plenty of photographs of St. George flags when the EDL/SDL come to town.

    • I first noticed the story on the front cover of the EEN in a newsagents, and there was what appeared to be a picture of it on that. That said, I only glanced at it very briefly, and it could’ve been a mock-up. There is no such image on the webpage.

      I do entirely share your pessimism re the mainstream media though. They’ve given us little reason to trust a single word they publish.

  5. Well if it HAD said the scourge of the ENGLISH I would agree with you. But the scourge of the Normans is to me perfectly acceptable as it means to me the whole structure of power and privilege which underlies the British State. I agree with Peter too – righteous indignation on behalf of the Normans is stretching credibility a bit far.

    • I think the banner displyed a lack of knowledge about the relationship between the Normans and Scotland in particular David the First. I think he invited a few up here also bear in mind the current British state has evolved over the centuries and is not a ‘invention’ solely of the Normans. And as stated above we want independence for what we can aspire to not based on what the past held. I hope they get the woman responsible but next time I see the chap I might ask what exactly does the placard mean?

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