Hang on, didn’t Jamie Stone have a point?

“Xenophobic” is certainly the wrong word. Xenophobia is the hatred of foreigners, and I am certain that SNP members as a whole do not hate all foreigners.

A more accurate word might be, well, nationalist. Hardly a slur, to some. But as I said a couple of weeks ago, I do find slightly distasteful an ideology that thinks the most important thing is where policies are made rather than which policies are made.

The comments might have resulted in the SNP rolling with faux-outrage. But I think we all know the certain kind of thing Jamie Stone was talking about, and it has a certain ring of truth to it.

Most SNP supporters probably call themselves nationalists (correct me if I’m wrong), but the way some of them react when somebody calls them the Scottish Nationalist Party is quite telling in a way. They know that the N-word sounds bad.

The E-word is even worse, and the SNP now goes to great lengths to make it look as though it quite likes (or is at least ambivalent towards) England. Not that I believe this is merely cynical political gameplay. I am sure that the majority of SNP members and the SNP party itself are not Anglophobic.

The problem for the SNP is the independence movement as a whole. Ask the average independence-supporting Joe on the street why he wants Scotland to be independent, and you are more likely to get an incoherent anti-English rant than any talk about the finer points of the economy.

So now rather than thinly veiled attacks on England or Britian, the official, SNP-led pro-independence voice is all about how successful small countries are. Although this doesn’t square with the SNP’s recognition that Scotland needs more immigrants. That is how you improve the economy, not divorcing Scotland from England.

Despite the SNP’s official line, there are little glimpses of what the SNP is really about from time to time. There are the claims from some SNP members that an independent Scottish Parliament would be inherently better than Westminster. It is never explained why though. Or why the Scottish economy would suddenly blossom once you erect a barrier at the border. Surely if Scotland was such a great nation it wouldn’t need to be independent to have a wonderful economy.

Take also the recent issue of the theatre in Berwick-upon-Tweed that was accused of being racist by SNP MSP Christine Grahame. What a cheek! Here is the SNP bullying a private theatre that is in a location that it would rather was in a different country! So much for independence then. It reeked more of scoring a point against England than anything else.

Christine Grahame was at it again when she made her offensive remarks bemoaning media coverage of cricket, “which is only of marginal interest in Scotland.” It played on the popular myth that cricket is a sport for English toffs and Scots are completely uninterested in it.

The problem is that it is actually a bare-faced lie because cricket is a more popular participation sport in Scotland than it is even in England and has a longer history in Scotland than even football.

And before you all start, I am very well aware that Christine Grahame was born in England. But this makes the point all that more important. Because I think the very fact that she feels the need to take these pot-shots at England and its culture is very revealing indeed.

A lot of people will claim she has a valid point about London-dominance in the media. It is a common complaint. But the points about media coverage are all rather silly if you ask me.

If Scottish independence even changed the face of the media, it would only mean that the news would be Glasgow-dominated (with a bit of Edinburgh if you’re lucky) rather than London-dominated. Big whoop if you’re in Glasgow. Not much cop if you are one of the majority of Scots who happen not to live in the big two though. We have enough Glasbolisation as it is.

New Labour is all about embracing the free market, getting rid of Clause IV and generally being nice and middle class. And every so often a Terry Kelly comes along to remind you what goes on when you scrape beneath the surface. By the same token, the SNP’s cuddly image can let you forget about some unsavoury elements of the grassroots independence movement.

In my post a couple of weeks ago I said I was considering voting for the SNP. As things stand at the moment, I won’t be. The debates over the past couple of weeks have reminded me why I dislike nationalism so much. I respect the Liberal Democrats that little bit more as well.


  1. I do find slightly distasteful an ideology that thinks the most important thing is where policies are made rather than which policies are made.

    Really, Duncan it’s only you saying that. Surely it’s where and what. Otherwise, to extend your argument, why not have a big UN government deciding everything?

    You sum it up yourself:

    Although this doesn’t square with the SNP’s recognition that Scotland needs more immigrants. That is how you improve the economy, not divorcing Scotland from England.

    The chances of Scotland being able to bring in immigrants is negligible while a Westminster government is hostile to the idea because of sentiment in England pulls the strings. You know WHAT the policy should be, but WHERE the decision is taken does matter.

  2. Maybe Jamie Stone had a point….about his own party.



    LIB DEM’S SLATED BY DEFECTING COUNCILLOR (accuses ex colleagues of being racist)


    LIB DEM COUNCILLOR SORRY FOR IRISH JOKE ( lib dem councillor Say’s sorry for sectarian joke)






  3. Really Duncan, this posting smacks of faux-outrage in itself. I was thinking of voting SNP but I’m put off, now by what? Last September you were clearly against the SNP. So what happened to change you between September and two weeks ago?

    If Edinburgh City or Midlothian Council had said the same about residents of Scottish Borders, Christine Grahame would have said the same. Mind you so would the Lib Dem MSPs from that area.

    So what if cricket has been played longer in Scotland than football or may (dubious until I see a SportScotland audit) have more participants than even rugby, but the fact remains it is a minority sport and does not feature in the popular culture of Scotland, whether you are Unionist or not.

    Any media is going to have a bias depending upon where it is produced from but if you seriously think that London-based media is better than any future Glasgow- or Edinburgh-biased media centre, then I don’t rate you as highly as I once did.

    Your posting today is a bit of an anti-SNP deluge over relatively trivial matters. We all like a bit of a political knock-about but none of us are going to claim that we are suddenly changing our voting intentions when in reality we had no intention of voting for a particular party in the first place.

  4. Your confrontational tone worries me Grant. Only Bob Piper has come close to these kinds of standards in the comments here.

    The last time you left a comment here you implied that I am stupid. Now you are calling me a liar (you seem to think you know my own opinions better than I do). Not really a way to go about encouraging support for your party if you ask me.

    I can assure you that I certainly was considering voting SNP — but as I said clearly at the time, it was as an anti-Labour tactical vote. Yes, I have changed my mind. What can I say? I’m a floating voter. It is kind of in the definition of ‘floating voter’ that you are likely to change your mind.

    Leaving cricket aside, what is your view on genuine minority sports such as shinty and caber tossing that are barely played anywhere south of Dingwall?

    Notice I didn’t say anywhere that a London-biased media would be better than a Glasgow-or-Edinburgh-based media. My point was that they would be equally bad for the majority (ie. nobody would notice much difference unless they happened to live in Glasgow).

    As it happens, I am fairly sure that UK-wide media organisations are generally better than Scotland-wide media organisations for one simple reason: economies of scale.

    The BBC would probably be butchered by an independent Scottish state. We would all be worse off then, as the broadcasters would not have access to as great a pool of resources as the BBC does.