Some home truths…

One thing that’s very noticeable today is that some people almost seem ashamed to mention the fact that Andy Murray is indeed Scottish, which is rather sad.

No, he didn’t win the men’s final at Wimbledon BECAUSE he’s Scottish, and nobody would be so stupid as to suggest that. Nor did he win it DESPITE being Scottish. He won it because he has a natural ability which was nurtured and built upon over many years of hard work, which has nothing to do with where he comes from.

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However, he is still Scottish… AND British. The funny thing is is that if Scotland does vote for independence next year, he’ll still be both – as will all citizens in Scotland. The UK does not hold copyright on the term ‘British’ – it relates to the island which Scotland, England and Wales all share – Great Britain. It’s a geographical name, not a geopolitical one.

Mentioning the fact that Murray hails from Scotland is nothing to be ashamed of. It doesn’t imply that you harbour Nationalistic thoughts (note, large ‘N’), nor does it mean that you support independence. It just is what it is.

Likewise, saying he’s from the UK is the same – we are still a part of the union at the moment, after all.

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Sport is sport. It’s not real life and it’s not serious. Cheering for someone or waving a flag at a sporting event, showing support for someone who happens to be from the same place you’re from, means nothing more than that: you’re celebrating a geographical coincidence and some sense of camaraderie. It’s not a visual demonstration that you believe that you and your countrymen/women are better than others – that WOULD be Nationalism, with a large ‘N’. That can and does happen, of course, but it’s not the default position, and it shouldn’t be the default assumption. If sport didn’t have cheering spectators, there’d be no sport on tv at all.

Which brings me neatly to my next topic…

There’s a lot of utter crap talked about the independence movement, Yes Scotland. Usually it’s ‘cheeky’ wee remarks from Lords or unionist party activists, hinting that the drive for independence is, or contains, thinly veiled Nationalism (large ‘N’ again). If you’re a unionist, or otherwise not personally engaged in the independence debate, you may well scoff at that, and I wouldn’t blame you – it’s ridiculous. But let me assure you, it happens EVERY SINGLE DAY, and from some of the UK’s so-called top politicians. There is no escaping that fact that a minutely small number of people support independence for the wrong reasons, but they in no way at all have any sway with Yes Scotland, and they will still be as minuscule and unimportant after independence. Unfortunately, Nationalism does exist to a greater or lesser extent in all countries of the world – pretending it doesn’t exist gets us nowhere.

No matter what else you think of him though, if you look at Alex Salmond and genuinely think ‘Nazi’, then you really need to catch up with Scottish politics. Likewise Nicola Sturgeon (Deputy FM)… Blair Jenkins (Yes Scotland)… Alan Grogan (leader of Labour for Indy)… Patrick Harvie (leader of the Scottish Greens)… etc, etc. They all support independence. Not because they believe that Scots are better than anyone else, but because they know that the people IN Scotland are better at RUNNING Scotland. That’s called civic nationalism, and it’s dramatically different from the large ‘N’ namesake. An unfortunate accident of the English language is all that it is.

For the Nationalists, look no further than some (not all, of course) of the ‘Better Together’ supporters: Tories, UKIP, the Orange Order, the BNP, the EDL, the SDL, the National Front – THOSE are the ones that think place of birth and/or ethnicity has any impact on the ‘worth’ of a human being.

So if you want to support Nationalism in the independence referendum, go ahead, vote No.

If, like me, you agree that democracy is better run by the people who live in the place being governed, NOT because of ethnicity or country of origin, but because they live, work, eat, start families and play there, vote Yes.

It’s nothing to do with waving a flag at a sporting event. Those things that happen at them are called ‘games’ for a reason.

EDIT (edited again): As if to illustrate my point above regarding the incorrect labelling of indy supporters as Nationalists, Jill Douglas, BBC Sports journalist, likened Sallmond to John Terry, who is most well known for being football’s most infamous racist. After a barrage of replies, she has deleted her profile. No apology. ‘Lord’ Jack McConnell offered his sympathies and told her to ignore the trolls. Yes Jack, people calling her up on that are definitely ‘trolls’!

I incorrectly attributed the word ‘racist’ to Jill Douglas earlier – she did not directly use the word, so my apologies for that.

Her failure to defend her tweet properly however, removing the tweet and then deleting her account, speak for themselves in my opinion. Make up your own mind why she felt the need to use Terry.

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15 thoughts on “Some home truths…

    • Glad you took the time to explain!

      I go out leafleting and answering questions every weekend. I’ve not once had a No voter give a reason. Always just “no”. Had SDL people shout “NEVER!”, but that’s the longest negative response I’ve heard!

  1. Notice Salmond Didn`t Start waving Saltire until Andy had won, & I think Scotland was not mentioned due to the fact that Andy had entered compation as a British player and not Scottish

    • As far as I’m aware, Scotland will not be down as a country to tick on the ATP player’s registration yet. I didn’t hear him state that he was British and not Scottish though.

      Doesn’t really matter if Murray’s pro or anti independence anyway. His is one among the millions of votes, just like everyone else’s. If he doesn’t think that people in Scotland should make the decisions that affect the people in Scotland, that’s up to him.

  2. Salmond just looked stupid and infantile, which detracted from Cameron’s obnoxious presence.

    However, if you’re backing away from “Nationalism”, will the Scottish National Party be changing its name?

    • As I went to some lengths to explain in the piece – in fact, the core of the piece – there are massive fundamental differences between civic nationalism and the large-‘N’ Nationalism. The former is what Yes Scotland and the SNP are about, the latter is the domain of the British Nationalists I listed.

      The name Scottish National Party does not equal Scottish Nationalist (big N) Party. It’s a party trying to represent the citizens of the nation that is Scotland. Similarly, the National Museum of Scotland is not a repository of Scottish right-wing extremist artefacts. The words nation/national/nationalism have more than one meaning, or more than one common definition. There’s nothing wrong with the word – it’s the context in which it is used.

      Btw, I’m neither a member of, or voter for, the SNP, but I believe that you’ve made the same incorrect assumption as many, by automatically attributing support for independence with SNP support. The two are not synonymous.

      I campaign every weekend on Yes Scotland stalls, handing out leaflets and answering people’s questions. About half of my fellow Yes campaigners on those stalls aren’t SNP supporters either. Some, like myself, are Green supporters, some are Scottish Socialist Party supporters, some back no party at all and some are even Labour or Lib Dem supporters! I’ve not met a Tory Yes supporter yet, but I’m happy with that!

  3. You need to get your facts right, you are just quoting other peoples quotes which are not what Jill Douglas actually tweeted. She likened Alex Salmond’s flag waving to John Terry jumping on the bandwagon when Chelsea won the Champions League without him and in no way said it was “racist”. It was Joan McAlpine that bought the word “racist” into it.

    • Why use John Terry as an example then?

      Why use the most publicly known racist sportsperson to liken him to?

      Why not defend herself properly and not simply run away, deleting her account?

    • I’ve re-edited the piece and apologised for incorrectly attributing the word ‘racist’ to her, in the interests of fairness. I still disagree with what she said and how she said it, but I don’t want to publish things that are factually incorrect, so apologies to yourself too.

      • Maybe, like many in Scotland, she did not want to be hounded by organised SNP internet campaigns to attack her.
        I have found just as much unattractive badgering and negativity from the YES to Independence campaign as there has been from the Yes to Preserve the Union campaign.
        The assertion of a fear based negative campaign is just a one eyed and biased perception of the committed YES voter. The concerns and aspirations of those who will vote to preserve a UK union are just as positive as those from the pro-Independence group. We just disagree with the arguments put forward in favour of Independence and the prognosis of how Scotland will look as an Independent country.
        And, despite the starting point of your article and the eagerness of many nationalists to look for such offence, I noted no diminution of references to Andy Murray’s Scottish identity from any UK media. The error of conflating England with UK or GB tends to be made by International, particularly US, media. And we’ll never be independent of their influence.
        I do not wish to engage in any lengthy debate on this topic with the good people here. I just wish to make the point that you may need to listen more closely to what your opponents are actually saying rather than construct risible straw arguments from what you expect them to say. After all, whether the referendum vote is yes or no, you will have to continue to share this country with a good many of us.

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