Scottish unionist parties bogged down with a dysfunctional deficit model

Nice spot from Dewi has Gerry Hassan’s considered early response to Alex Salmond’s announcement yesterday, well not so much to Salmond as to the residual use of ‘the deficit model’ by what is now becoming fashionably known as the unionist parties:

A strange switch has happened in which the SNP have become thoughtful, pragmatic nationalists as far as you could imagine from ‘Braveheart’ and ‘Trainspotting’ sentiment. Instead, the romantic, fantasyland nationalists are those defending the British state and Westminster world: Gordon Brown, David Cameron and the unionist parties in Scotland.

They are romantic nationalists because they are letting their emotional attachment to the idea of the UK drive how they think of things. They tell themselves and the rest of us a selective, implausible, sanitised version of British history where we only did good things: brought ‘civilisation’ to the Empire, abolished slavery and beat the Nazis, and never address the complexities, nuances and darkside of having been an imperial power. In short, the new romantic nationalists defend an idealised, fictionalised United Kingdom, a world of in the words of Michael Moore, Lib Dem Secretary of State for Scotland, ‘a generous welfare state’; the parallel universe of Gordon Brown’s land of liberty, tolerance and dissent. Alex Massie notes this significant change, commenting that ‘increasingly it is Unionism that tugs the heart’.

I’m reserving Alex’s post for a separate blog later on…m