Posted by: secretperson | September 3, 2008

Stupid Scottish Unionist Quote

Now I don’t like to insult the Scots, beyond some friendly banter of course. The SNP and I are on the same side. Unfortunately there are those on both sides who are bitter, arguing over who gets the worst deal from the Union, who is more bitter than whom etc etc. And of course the Unionists hate all us ‘narrow nationalists’ as opposed I suppose to the width of British nationalism.

Tom Brown, writing in the Scotland on Sunday, is definitely a Unionist and one who wants to “get up Alex Salmond’s nose”. Yet like some of the Scottish nationalists who hate the English being the ones against the Union, he blames the English for not being Unionist enough! There are some moments that make me realise that as an Englishman I see things in a very different light to the Scots. There have been non-stop complaints around the English parliament blogging scene about the BBC’s preferential treatment of Scottish and Welsh Olympic athletes as Scottish and Welsh and those left-over as British (those left-over being English of course). Yet Tom Brown, presumably watching the same coverage saw the exact opposite:

Little Englanders in Parliament and the London media should zip up before perpetuating the libel that Scots are sponging neighbours. The English Broadcasting Corporation should play its part by not talking about “the UK taxpayer” footing the bill for progressive Scotland-only policies, and by being more accurate about British gold medallists and tennis players who are also Scottish or Welsh.

The English Broadcasting Corporation? The only reason it would be English is because it has dedicated BBC Scotland and BBC Wales services, so what is left over? Scotland’s policies are funded by block grant from UK funds.

I actually started this article surprised, thinking he hadn’t noticed what the BBC said and was demanding Chris Hoy etc be referred to as Scottish not British. But re-reading now maybe he meant Chris Hoy should be accurately referred to as Scottish and British (as Hoy has described himself)? Or maybe he meant he should be described as from Edinburgh like Becky Adlington was described as from Mansfield? That would be more accurate.

Ian Campbell responds well in the comments.

Anyway, my conclusion is that if the BBC is too British for the English and too English for the Scottish, even the avowed Unionists, perhaps it is time we all went our own ways.



  1. You’re right and wrong here. I’ve never got the point of the gripes about the BBC referring to Scots athlete’s as British and English one’s as English – if anything, the reverse is true.

    But in the context of its overall coverage the BBC is so Anglo – and especially Metro – centric that I wonder whether us Scots should pay a licence fee at all.

    The default “national” news broadcast throughout the UK is so English in tone and substance that of course Scotland and Wales need their own dedicated channels – and even they are largely English in content.

    Basically if someone has a wet fart in London it makes the “national” news. It basically needs a catastrophe in Scotland before that’s mentioned.

    There are so many ways in which Scotland is ill-served by the BBC that I won’t list them here, but the overall effect is to say, “you don’t count, whatever happens in your place is of no importance and basically you don’t exist”.

    If the BBC was to be so patronising and dismissive of non-British ethnic minorities you’d be deafened by the PC outcry.

    Clearly Britain is a geographic fact and it has hugely strong social and trade bonds, but the time is long overdue for it to be sundered into its separate nations politically.

  2. You’re probably right Peter, that national news is England focussed. The media and politicians too often say Britain when they mean England. You don’t like the anglo-centric version of Britain, we don’t like our nation of England being renamed.

    I think we agree we’d all be happier politically separated, as friendly neighbours.

  3. For god sake people, stop whining all the time.

    The Government is run by a Scotsman. We give you free Universities, yet our students have to pay at least £15,000. You take a significant proportion of taxes that you pay for too.

    It is of benefit to you you to be with us and you know it. If we gave you what you wanted, independence you simply would quail under the financial pressures after a year and come crying back! Actually, do that. It’ll be funny.

    And stop complaining about the BBC, when was the last time you heard of the say, the Falkland Islands? If something happens of interest, they’d report it.

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