Friday, 3 August 2012

Petty Nationalism

Just read a post on another blog, where the person (NOT the blog author I must add) slagged off a Scottish Olympian (scolympian?) by calling the individual an "out and out unionist".

Personally, I'm sick to the back teeth of such comments. Joan McAlpine has been the most high profile nationalist (I don't class her as a politician, sorry) that has used the "anti-Scottish" phrase or one similar to it.

If you look at history, there are a number of occasions when such an approach has been used. The old "if you are not with us, you are against us". In a few cases, extremism has taken over. Unlikely in Scotland, but then it was considered unlikely in other locations as well.

Nationalists - and unionists - do not have the right to criticise what an individual's political leanings are. There are a few exceptions - politicians (obviously), senior civil servants and others who should be politically neutral in their profession.

But athletes are the same as you and I. They have chosen a profession, and in cases such as Chris Hoy, have excelled in it. They have a lot of influence, and you could ask how many Scots have taken up cycling because of his success? The same with Andy Murray, another Scot classed by the cybernat brigade as a "unionist traitor" (I've seen that exact phrase used more than once).

I would have thought that given the start of the Referendum campaign, the more venomous nationalists would have wired their traps shut (or more appropriately nailed their fingers to the desk). But no, things have not settled down, and it could be argued that things are worse.

The SNP has practically no control over these armchair warriors. Let us hope that if Scotland does choose independence, these people are kept locked away somewhere, well away from any position of power or influence.

People should be celebrating the success of Scots in any field, be it sport, science or business. They should not be making cheap digs simply because they assume they are a unionist. It's patronising, insulting and frankly childish. No wonder some commentators think Scotland is "too wee and too stupid" to be independent. Not when they see the level of debate in some quarters.


  1. Why don't you accept that both sides have their share of out of order eejits?
    As an independence supporter I'd prefer neither side had clowns of this sort but I'd prefer an anonymous nonentity to the likes of Ian Davidson who in my presence rubbished Holyrood as a mickey Mouse establishment from its conception and who with his shouts of 'rubbish' in the House of Commons to an SNP mp making a serious comment played to the English gallery and is well worthy of appellations like turncoat?

  2. Why do you consider calling somebody a unionist to be an insult? Especially when it is no more than an acknowledgement of something which that individual has chosen to make public anyway?

    You recognise that people like Chris Hoy have influence. But you seem to be saying that they should be allowed to use that influence for political purposes without being subject to any challenge. Does that even make sense?

    Doubtless your fall-back position will be that it is not the challenge that you object to but the terms in which that challenge is expressed. In which case the onus would be on you to provide evidence of unacceptable language being used. Something you signally fail to do.

  3. Unionists are nationalist too - every bit as narrow minded and parochial as any tartan braveheart you might want to imagine. The only difference is that Unionists owe their allegiance to a different 'nation' and they do not recognise that they are nationalists.

  4. He denies it. But the publisher of that blog covertly and overtly encourages anti-English/Unionist sentiment.

    I noted that he doesn't censure or condemn the sniping comments therefore I think it's safe to assume he condones them.

    He has commented in reply to me that he "despises Unionists".

    It's why I'm banned from commenting on his site. The first rift between this Rev Stu and myself - posting as Longshanker - covered this anti-Scottish/English type of bigoted sentiment.

    It's a shame. The publisher of Wings has a modicum of writing talent, but his pathology and 'attitude' actively encourages petty sniping and borderline racist bigoted type comments.

    It's riddled throughout his site. It's why decent and balanced pro-SNP bloggers such as Kate Higgins have nothing but contempt for him.


  5. I don't get it. If someone is a unionist, or a nationalist, so what? What are you getting so worked up about?

    It would also help to know the context of the remark which has you so bothered; if it was a discussion of the humanity or otherwise of Olympic cyclists and the author went on to say that Hoy was a sub-human because of his unionism I can understand your reaction, but if it was, e.g., a discussion of who among "Team GB" would prefer to be competing at the Olympics for "Team Scotland" and the author was simply pointing out Hoy's likely reluctance to compete for Scotland (as I believe is the case at Commonwealth Games) then your over-the-top reaction makes no sense at all.

  6. Yes, but according to another thread on the same site we could produce better sportsmen because they'd rather compete for Scotland than GB.

    And because GB has performed so poorly at the swimming it's "not unrealistic" to suggest that an independent Scotland could equal or even better that?

    So that's you told!!

  7. Bloody hell - 6 comments!

    Stuart, when Scotland becomes independent we'll all be superhuman. Have you not been paying attention?

    Holebender - it is the context and implication. So what if Hoy does not wish to compete for Scotland?

    Longshanker - I like Rev's site, mainly for the football articles. And I rate it better than that place that shall not be spoken.

    Sion - allegiance? Just because someone is in favour of the union does not mean they have some allegiance to England. I'd argue that most simply have no interest in independence.

    Fourfolk - I fully agree that the eejits are everywhere. But the article was in the context of the Olympic Games. I'd rather people criticise the obscene cost of the Games rather than have a dig at the athletes.

  8. Barbarian, so what indeed? This is why I can't see why you're getting so exercised about a simple statement that Hoy is a unionist.

    Do you, perhaps, think unionism is shameful in some way?

  9. Hands up it wis me. I am the slagger off, the nasty nationalist the "eejit", aye and I'm an "out and out" nationalist to boot. Some of you folk on here want to get a life, what in earth is wrong with describing someone as an "out and out" anything.
    As I say above, I am an "out and out" nationalist and proud of the fact. I know Chris Hoy is an "out and out" unionist and I presume he is proud of that fact too.
    Chris Hoy is perfectly entitled to be a unionist as I and hundreds of thousands of my fellow Scots are entitled to be nationalists.
    The context of my comment was in reference to a fellow poster thinking that Chris Hoy might weep when the English national anthem was played because it has rather dirge like qualities. I said that as Chris Hoy is an "out and out unionist" and is proud to be British this would probably not be the case.
    That's it in a nutshell, end of drama, hope this explains the background to this sensitive issue and that the "out and out" unionists and their sympathetic nationalist allies can get a good nights sleep now.

    1. Sorry, the guy condemn's the SNP for not putting their money where their mouth is (in puting money into sporting facilities) and says that he wouldn't have won his Olympic medals without the backing of the BOA & the building of the Velodrome in Manchester and that makes him an out and out Unionist?

      To me that sounds more like a statement of fact and a rather inconvenient truth for our Government.

  10. Look on the bright side. Team Wales-England lost on penalties......

    1. Whit a daftie nationalist I am. Here was me expecting a deluge of derision, a cacophony of criticism and all I get is a snide wee comment implying that I will be happy that Team GB football team is out of the Olympics. No wonder independence is invevitable. How sad!

    2. I am an out and out Nationalist. I am not anti English but I am absolutely for Scotand and her ability to self govern. Mr Hoy et al may be pro unionist but would we, an intelligent and forthright Nation, allow those opinions to influence our - SCOTLAND'S - future? SURELY NOT ! Lets get some muscle into the debate and not Mr Hoy's - much as I like him. Mairi

  11. Will C - priority for humour transplant.

    Mairi - it must be those legs of his.......too much blood being diverted from his brain.

  12. Barbarian you are one funny guy, a hootsman in fact!

  13. For what it worth (not a lot),I noticed that Chris Hoy's father unfurled a banner after his son's victory yesterday on which were 2 saltires and no union flags-just saying :-) I don't believe in politicising sport but I didn't start this :-)

    As for Hoy not being willing to cycle for Team Scotland that is nonsense-he has already won a Gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, ironically as part of a 3 person Scotland team.