Posted by: secretperson | November 30, 2007

Secretary Slates Scots on St Andrew’s.

I spotted this piece in the Times. (Although I took so long writing about it the CEP News blog already have a brief report.

It seems Scottish Secretary (and Defence secretary) Des Browne hasn’t got enough work organising the military currently committed in two major conflicts. He must have already dealt with all the complaints raised by 6 current and former military chiefs last week about the Army being under-resourced and ill supported. The man is a quick worker.

Now he has decided that St Andrew’s Day, Scotland’s patron saint’s day (I hesitate to say national day as Burns’ Night can lay a claim), is the ideal time to slam the Scots for ‘ghastly nationalism’. It is the typical argument heard over and over again against English nationalism, that you must be outward looking. That you can be patriotic, but not nationalist. That it’s alright to love your country as long as you still want to be part of the union.

Let’s not get confused. There is nothing in here that is a genuine attack on an inward-looking nationalism. It is entirely about politics. Browne’s definition no doubt is: pro-Scottish independence = SNP = nationalist =bad. pro-British Union = Labour = patriotic = good.
It is pathetic politics to try and recoup the losses the Scottish electorate have dealt Labour and nothing more.

I for one hope the Scots are as offended as I would be if a politician took the oppurtunity on my national day to give me a lecture. For that’s what it is, he is saying nothing but ‘Vote Labour’ or I’ll call your national pride ghastly. Save it for election time, Browne.

PS Happy St Andrew’s Day to any Scottish readers. Enjoy the day and take pride in your country regardless of your politics.

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