Lately, I haven’t been able to work on as many articles as I’d like. Setting up and running our podcast was a lot of work. Now that’s more settled, I hope to get more articles out regularly. Thank you for your patience.
The SNP pensions brouhaha rumbles on, with the reality-based community trying vainly to impress upon delusional nationalists that they are living in a fantasy world. A ‘fact check’ in The National newspaper presented two options: the UK will continue to pay Scots pensions because 1) the UK currently pays the pensions of UK citizens who live overseas 2) If you claim dual citizenship i.e. remain a UK citizen, you can still be paid.
On Twitter, I noted that the first of these options is false; after separation, recipients would not be UK citizens. And the second? Well, it’s a strange ‘independence’ that leaves its citizens sucking on the teat of the UK for continued sustenance. rUk taxpayers would take a dim view of dual citizens collecting both UK and Scots pensions. As always, it seems the nationalists want to have their UK cake and eat it too.
Along the way, I read Alex Massie’s pension article and was astounded by the first sentence in this paragraph.
Independence is a respectable cause now debased by its promoters’ untruths. Extraordinarily, the SNP position on pensions is more fantastical than that offered to the Scottish people in 2014. The party’s independence prospectus was deluded in many ways but at least it accepted that the state pension would have to be funded in Scotland, by Scottish taxpayers.
Independence is a respectable cause? As Brexit fades, Massie’s columns have tended to be more pro-UK, but there’s always that underlying current of ‘If only…’. In July last year he wrote that Sturgeon’s SNP had been engaged in ‘good governance’, that the pandemic ‘has seen her at her finest’, and most tellingly of all, ‘A better nationalism would be larger than this’.
What is this ‘better nationalism’? These sentiments are mirrored by The Times Separatist-in-Chief, Kenny Farquharson, who, after writing a whole article about how Scottish nationalism is founded on ‘othering’ of the English, says that he would ‘love to be proved wrong’ about it.
Shot: The English must be othered. It is as simple and as brutal as that. Because that is how we [Scottish Nationalists] justify cutting ourselves off from them. We are not like them. They are weak in ways we are strong. Their morals are different to ours. We are better off without them. In parallel, talk of “the Scottish people” must be celebratory and vague. The impression must be fostered that there is one Scotland when in fact there are many Scotlands.
Chaser: And here in Scotland I have another hope. I wonder if Scottish nationalism can pursue independence from England without taking the low road of othering the English. Can it be done? Is there a high road? Can the Yes movement avoid this moral peril? I suspect not, but I would love to be proved wrong.
Why would he love to be proved wrong? Surely, the past 14 years (and any reading of history or even common sense) would have made it plain that there is no better Scottish Nationalism than this. THIS IS IT. It won’t get better, because there is no ‘better’. Nationalism is always an economic, cultural and intellectual dead end. It’s a political cancer. Even when it’s dressed in one of Sturgeon’s smart suits.
Despite seeing the mendacity of those who promote nationalism, and its toxic effect on our institutions, culture and livelihood; the lies; the othering; the casual incomptence; the economic insanity; despite the people of Scotland rejecting separatist dreams decisively, these Times appeasers still think the underlying goal of breaking up the UK — for that is what ‘independence’ really is — is ‘respectable’.
But what part of breaking up the UK, impoverishing Scots, tearing apart communities, erecting a hard border, weakening our defences and putting delusional, incompetent, authoritarian nationalists in permanent power is ‘respectable’? I’d really like to know.
Why would anyone look around at the disaster that is nationalist Scotland and say, ‘But I want to be proved wrong?’ The answer is that they don’t see it, because despite everything, these appeasers want nationalism to work. If Scottish nationalists were economically competent (they’re not) or not full of anti-English grievances (they are), it’s clear that these journalists would sell the rest of us out.
Driven by the idea that the break up of the UK is a ‘respectable cause’, they constantly give a minority of Scottish nationalists the benefit of every doubt, something they would never, ever give to English nationalists, never give to Brexiteers, and never give to Tories. While the first are rightly ignored, the latter three must always be castigated, brought down and humiliated at every opportunity. But never Scottish nationalists.
Then when they look at the wreckage they’ve promoted, just like communists who claim their failed ideology hasn’t been done right, they sit on society’s ashes and self-righteously shout ‘Fools! Real Scottish nationalism hasn’t been tried yet!’
Note what they never say: There is no path to a second referendum; Nationalism is toxic; Breaking up the UK is a disastrous idea. Instead, every nationalist idea, no matter how shit, must be indulged. Beards must be scratched. After all, it’s a ‘respectable cause’.
But we ordinary people clearly see the damage their appeasement has caused. We will remember that when they could have stood up for unity and reality, they continued to support a failed, tiresome and immature dream.
On Twitter, Massie responded to us calling him out with, ‘Always good to be reminded there are lunatics on all sides’, which is quite a slur on anyone who takes his highly-paid words literally. You said it mate, not us. Words matter.
Meanwhile, Farquharson and his pal David Leask try to slur us as extremists. Keeping the UK together is not an extreme position. It is the settled will of the Scottish people and the position held by the vast majority of UK citizens. The Times Appeasement Division, fronted by Massie and Farquharson, with footsoldiers Leask, Fiona Rintoul and Kevin Pringle are the real extremists, for continuing to indulge a nationalist fantasy well past its sell-by date.
14 years of failed policies and a neverendum that they continue to promote, proves them wrong. There is no ‘better nationalism’. Breaking up the UK is not a ‘respectable cause’. It’s time The Times stopped indulging their journalists’ immature separatist fantasies and grew up.
BONUS QUIZ: How many appeasements can you find in this single Kenny Farquharson paragraph?
In an article a few days ao, Farquharson implored Dorothy Bain, the Lord Advocate to break the constitutional ‘stalemate’. In a single paragraph, I counted EIGHT appeasements. See if you can catch them all…
Independence is one of the defining political issues of the age, a question of national self-determination and the competing democratic mandates of Westminster and Holyrood. Any sensible observer would conclude the stalemate was crying out for a political solution, with all sides coming together to negotiate a codified, legislative route to a referendum.
- It’s not ‘independence’, it’s breaking up the UK
- It’s not the ‘defining political issue of the age’ a) because we already had the vote and b) because it’s low on voters’ priorities
- It’s not ‘a question of national self-determination’, self-determination does not equal secession
- Westminster & Holyrood may have competing mandates, but Holyrood doesn’t have the power
- ‘Any sensible observer’ – smug git
- Stalemate? There’s no stalemate. You lost.
- Why should ‘all sides come together’, when it ONLY BENEFITS ONE SIDE? The divisive nationalists Kenny so handily does free PR work for in The Times every week.
- There is no path to a second referendum.
Mark Devlin is the publisher of The Majority. Join me, Naill Fraser and David Griffiths as we discuss this article on The Majority Podcast on Thursday at 7pm.