A revolving door to the UK?

Alex Salmond has suggested that Scotland going independent is not a one way street but reversible. In what is seen as an attempt to ease concerns about the SNP ahead of the Scottish elections he has suggested that a vote for independence could be overturned by a later referendum.

  • páid

    So Labour claim this will be a constitutional “hokey-cokey”.

    You put your left leg in, out, shake it all about etc.

    Widely believed by serious Catholics to be a skit on the transubstantiation ceremony “Hoc et Corpus” -This is My Body-claimed in the Roman Catholic Mass.

    Watch out for further Catholic drift from Labour to SNP.

  • “Alex Salmond in stating the obvious shocker!”

    decisions made by the people can be reversed? Wow. Who’d have thunk it? Oh, that’s right – didn’t the Scottish Parliament of a bygone era reverse its independent state already? And this is supposed to be news?

  • fair-deal I like the way you presented the thread, its a controversial topic for the Scots, and you avoided winding anyone up.

    I’m glad Alex has softened his rhetoric, once in Westminster he was called last to speak on the subject of getting the PM to have a debate on Iraq.
    He blew it by fog-horning. It was so sad to see a good opportunity wasted, by bluster; everyone knew the arguements, but he couldn’t resist playing “the big I am ” card.
    a softer heartier appeal would have swung the waverers. Alex is Labour’s best card !

  • fair_deal

    AM

    “decisions made by the people can be reversed? Wow. Who’d have thunk it?”

    Those who have ‘thunk’ about it realise it is unlikely to be such a straightforward proposition.

    The issue is who are ‘the people’. The choice for Scotland to leave is up to the Scottish people but where does it say a return to the UK has the same franchise?

    The full incorporation of Scotland into the Union in 1707 needed two acts of parliament, one in Scotland and one in England. Also under the Belfast Agreement, a United Ireland requires a positive vote both in NI and the RoI, not simply a NI vote.

  • good tactics maybe, but the second referendum would raise an interesting question: Would England have Scotland back?

  • McGrath

    Which makes one think NI unionists in the event of NI leaving the Union will try to negotiate some kind of fasttrack return ticket to the Union.

    Meanwhile Unionists will continue to make themselves as unappealing as possible to the ROI electorate such that an All Ireland referendum on NI’s status could be defeated from across the border.

  • Intelligence Insider

    McGrath, and your point is??????

    Why on earth would Unionists want to make themselves appealing to a terrorist loving and supporting foreign countries electorate (the ROI) and why would they not want those foreigners to vote against this part of the U.K. becoming part of a foreign country?

  • hotdogx

    yes but if the UK is coming apart at the seams then how will this affect unionism in that the uk would be just wales and england, the union jack would look quite different as it would loose its Scottish flag element. would unionism have a point in being after that since the uk came into being as a union between the 3 countries of britain, wales and england being already united it was scotlands royal connection with england that brought the uk into existance. The union jack was originally only for use at sea. The real original union jack of course did not include any flag supposedly relating to ireland.
    .

  • It was Sammy McNally what done it

    McGrath

    It could be argued that the Non Iron majority are the brand leaders – but possibly coming a close 2nd behind the Boers – at making themselves unpopular to the outside world.

    Anyway a UI is wanted in spite of this majority not because of it – though dont expect any political party to admit this.

  • inuit_goddess

    It’s a question I’ve always wondered about in relation to here in Northern Ireland too.

    The SDLP talk about how the institutions of the Agreement would continue in to any possible ‘united’ Ireland arrangement – I presume this would mean that once a ‘united’ Ireland had been established, the Principle of Consent would continue to hold, and the voters of Northern Ireland would have the right to opt out of any united Ireland at a future point – a bit like the situation with Quebec and Canada today.

    If the Principle of Consent were to continue after a ‘united’ Ireland then every seven years NI would have the right to vote for independence or to vote for returning to the Union.

    Or would nationalists prefer a chinese finger-trap style of “unity” where “once you’re in you’ll never be allowed to escape”?

    (I suspect the latter, but then this is not a message which would help them win any consent referendum in the first place!)

  • David

    It is ridiculous to claim an Independant Scotland could simply decide it wanted to re-enter the UK if things went wrong. What dis-respect for the English.
    The real failure lies with the supposed ‘Unionist’ politicians who seem incapable of defining what the UK is for. Just like unionism in N. Ireland the pro-union parties on the mainland focus on what divides them as opposed to putting the union first.
    The UK is the most successful social and cultural political model of the last four centuries. It has survived by adapting to the ever changing social, cultural and ethnic mix of its population. It provides us with institutions that though not perfect have been copied throughout the world. And most important of all it no matter how ridiculous/crooked/inept some our leaders may have been the UK always proves itself bigger, better and stronger than any individual. Why else would Bertie be falling over himself to address parliament? Remember 1906, 1816 or maybe 1915…….you know the GPS, VSO…..anyway it will never be forgotten.

  • It was Sammy McNally what done it

    David

    This British habit of telling everybody that they are the best in world at things is probably best kept solely for a British audience.

    To describe the UK as ‘sucessful’ given that from an Irish perspective it has been marked by a series of disaters and rebellions, social strife and forced partition resulting in a sectarian statelet is stretching things a bit. But I suppose with Non Iron half-run by people who want out of the UK and the Jock straps possibly about to do a runner I suppose a bit of rose-tinted nostalgia is understandable.

  • Aisling

    David,
    During the Irish famine when the whole of Ireland was part of the UK a calculated policy of genocide was carried out leading to the loss of a quarter of the population.Something similar ,on a smaller scale, was done to Scotland during the highland clearances.Looks like this chicken may be coming home to roost.

  • Diluted Orange

    In what situation would an independent Scotland want to re-join the UK? When it all ballsed up for them that’s when and Alex Salmond reckons England will welcome them back with open arms! More ridiculous claims by the SNP, they really are a bunch of idiots.

  • Aisling

    ,Why on earth would Unionists want to make themselves appealing to a terrorist loving and supporting foreign countries electorate
    A trite mendacious, hate-engendered, and self-serving myth.As alluded to above 50 years (1922 -1972 ) of unionist misrule turned NI into a sectarian slum without parallel in postwar Western Europe.
    Listening , down through the years ,to anti-ROI bile from the less sane sections of unionism reminds me of the rantings of a termagent labouring under the self-congartulatory delusion that the guy next door actually fancies her.

  • Aisling you have no right to pull anyone up for promoting a “trite mendacious, hate-engendered, and self-serving myth” after describing the famine as a “calculated policy of genocide.”

    Back on topic, Diluted Orange is right. If Scotland leave it’ll almost certainly be a one-way trip. If it goes well they’ll have no reason to come back. If it goes badly, will the voters in what remains of the UK be keen to let them back in (and subsidise them accordingly to help fix the country they messed up by leaving)? I think not. Further, I think Alex Salmond is well aware of this but wishes to promote this mythical comfort blanket to trick the electorate. And to think on another thread it was me being chided for thinking the electorate were thick!

  • kensei

    “Aisling you have no right to pull anyone up for promoting a “trite mendacious, hate-engendered, and self-serving myth” after describing the famine as a “calculated policy of genocide.””

    You are right, it was an ignorant and fuckwittery policy of genocide. Also more successfully applied to India.

    “Back on topic, Diluted Orange is right. If Scotland leave it’ll almost certainly be a one-way trip. If it goes well they’ll have no reason to come back. If it goes badly, will the voters in what remains of the UK be keen to let them back in (and subsidise them accordingly to help fix the country they messed up by leaving)? I think not.”

    Actually, I think if it goes badly, Scotland would be much less likely to want back in and would probably want to plow on. Countries that have Independence tend not to want to give it up, and with the EU, there isn’t that much difference anyway. But it isn’t inconceivable that in the negotiations for Independence, a timescale for changing their mind could be put in.

  • Being on the southern side of the border (just), I have mixed feelings about the uk. True, they really shafted the “Paddys” in the nineteenth century and before. (considering the “are irish white?” debates of the 1890’s, which are racist for so many reasons) But then again culturally speaking, I think I’m blessed daily by being able to watch the BBC (best tv in the world), and share what pretty much is the same culture. Hmmmm………….

  • páid

    The question could be asked, Prince John, whether or not the BBC, run from Shepherds Bush, accurately reflects “British” culture, or is a major force in defining, refining, and homogenising it and indeed destroying parts of it.

    Remember: whatever you watch, and whatever you hear was, in the final analysis, bought and okayed by a middleclass English person.

    You get your ‘national’ news….

    Ah, and now here’s the news where you are.

    Good evening, I’m Mark Carruthers. A man fell off his bike today in Glengormley……

  • Teach

    As a Scot,I’ve got no major problems with the Union and I’m quite happy to remain in it.Now I’m not saying we couldn’t survive as an independent country, on the contrary with the right polices(not the SNP’s or the SSP’s ones)we would do well.But I believe we can do even better working within the UK, political and economic integration not isolation is the way forward !

    But what I’m surprised at is,I would have thought that people would have used the Union as an example to promote the idea of some form of a united Ireland.If Scotland and England can keep hold of their identities,both cultural and as a nation but can still work and co-exists together in some union even after all of our bloody history and wars,with the atrocities we have committed against each other and the various other nasty stuff we have done.Scotlands even the only country in the world that has invaded England more than once.You would have thought people would say look they can do it why can’t we ?

  • Paid.

    Aye, you may be right there! 🙂 Though I did just watch a great BBC one concert with cat stevens. Fantastic! Yeah, the news is definately biased towards southern english DIY enthusiasts. Still. Feel an affinity with the average english man. Though it hurts! 😉

  • Interesting idea, teach. Though I think scotland suffered under the union in the bygone days too. The highland clearances surely must have an effect? Is there no residual feeling about that? I would be interested to know!

  • Teach

    It took 2-3 decades before the benefits of the Union were truly felt in Scotland.So there was a lot of misgivings at that time.But things turned out for the better with Scottish Enlightenment etc,etc. As for the Highland clearances,I don’t realy see what that has to do with the Union.Rich Scottish landowners moving poor Scottish tennents off the land to make way for sheep was a terrible act carried out in the name of greed.It really has nothing to do with the Union.

  • I see. That makes sense. Cheers! Just that the union here meant the end of our parliament and reinforcement of the penal laws (albeit briefly). What were the benefits to scotland of the union, teach?

  • Teach

    Thanks to the UK Scotland changed from the poorest country in Europe with no real future to a country that lead the world in philosophical thought and innovations (Scottish Enlightenment) .This would not have happened if we had not joined together to form the Union ! Scotland reaped the economic benefits of free trade within the British Empire together with the intellectual benefits of having established Europe’s first public education system since classical times. Under these twin stimuli, Scottish thinkers began questioning assumptions previously taken for granted; and with Scotland’s traditional connections to France, then in the throes of the Enlightenment, the Scots began developing a uniquely practical branch of humanism to the extent that Voltaire said “We look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilisation.”

    In fact just look at what the Englishman Winston Churchill said about us”Of all the small nations on earth, perhaps only the ancient Greeks surpass the Scots in their contribution to mankind.”

    Our partnership in Britain gives Scotland a shared economic stability – the best foundation for growth.Today, growing family ties, deepening economic links and shared values mean that Scotland and England are more closely linked than ever before.

    Over 300 years, we have built links which have strengthened us all. Links which are developing and which it would be (IMHO) folly to sever.But Britain shows that ancient nations like Scotland and England can gain strength from coming together while retaining and celebrating our own identities.

  • Southern Observer

    God help the poor Scotsman he’ll never be free,
    Thank God we’re surrounded by water.
    -Dominic Behan

  • Aisling

    Teach,
    What happened to the spirit of Arbroath,1320:
    Yet Robert himself, should he turn aside from the task that he has begun, and yield Scotland or us to the English King and people, we should cast out as the enemy of us all, as a subverter of our rights and of his own, and should choose another king to defend our freedom: for so long as a hundred of us are left alive, we will yield in no least way to English dominion. We fight not for glory nor for waelth nor honours; but only and alone we fight for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life.
    The ‘landlords’ involved in the clearances BTW were mainly importrd English nobles.
    I can’t understand the outlook of a section of our celtic cousins who seem to have sold their birthright for a mess of potage.

  • McGrath

    Posted by Aisling on Apr 30, 2007 @ 03:38 AM

    370 years difference seems to be more pertinent to the Irish consciousness right now. Maybe in 2060 no one in what used to be NI will give a feck?

  • Harry Flashman

    I got a good chuckle from a recent article posted on CiF, where the author proudly pointed out that no Scottish government would have gone to war in Iraq.

    Hmmm the government that went to war in Iraq had a Scottish prime minister, a Scottish Foreign Secretary and a Scottish Chancellor of the Exchequer, and could usually only command a majority in the House of Commons by manipulating its massive disproportionate majority of Scottish MPs. The forces deployed seemed to be disproportionately Scottish too.

    Independence for England, keep us out of Scotland’s messy foreign wars!

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>Independence for England, keep us out of Scotland’s messy foreign wars!<< Are you in character? A commentator in the link has hit the nail on the head. This is merely Alex giving a common-sense answer to a hypothetical question. I could ask could Ireland return to the Union? If they voted for it, Aye, highly unlikely but possible. One important point in the Holyrood campaign is that the SNP has managed to gather the support (if we believe the polls) of almost 40% of the electorate. That is despite the open hostility of the two main down market newspapers in the sun and record (labour news). Only one of the two main broadsheets seems to be even attempting to run with even handed stories. Imagine the support the SNP might have if they had the backing of a newspaper. We are used to some quite idiotic scare stories in the record, however just of late the sun has gave it some serious welly as only they know how. Outrageous headlines that of course bear little resemblance to the facts. I can only imagine that they have recieved orders from dahn sarf. So much for being the 'Scottish sun'. An example was of an independent report released this week highlighting that Scotland would be much better off going it alone, lower deficit than UK etc... In it they also recomended that we should diversify and not rely on oil that could potentially run out in 10 years. I need not tell you what the headlines were. We must really have them on the run!

  • Martin

    Is it just me, or, in light of what is going on in Darfur and Iraq right now, does endless ruminating over unpleasant events that happened well out of memory of anyone today living, in some monumentally privileged parts of the EU in order to debate their consitutional status seem stunningly self-indulgent? People in Yorkshire don’t have a habit of bring up the Pilgrimage of Grace everytime they have a beef with London.

    In any event, the prevaling attitude of “blame the English at all costs” evidenced by the “I can only imagine that they have recieved orders from dahn sarf” and “the landlords were English” type is largely the reason more English want Scotland out of the Union than Scots. If it’s so crap then go – the SNP has been around long enough for you to register a desire to.

    Scottish Nationalism is like Anti-Zionism. As Alex Salmond has so frequently and correctly correctly pointed out Scottish Nationalism shouldn’t and needn’t necessarily have anything to do with Anglophobia. Similarly Anti-Zionism needn’t be Anti-Semetic. Sadly, in both cases, legitimate political viewpoints are simply used as a figleaf to cover what is in essence a racial prejudice.

  • DK

    Martin: “does endless ruminating over unpleasant events that happened well out of memory of anyone today living, in some monumentally privileged parts of the EU in order to debate their consitutional status seem stunningly self-indulgent? People in Yorkshire don’t have a habit of bring up the Pilgrimage of Grace everytime they have a beef with London.”

    Excellent stuff Martin. And it also highlights the essentially elitist nature of the protagonists arguing over which bit of a massively rich part of the world they want to belong to most. The laws and customs of Ireland (North and South) England and Scotland are so similar – and all under a common EU umberella – that it must seem appallingly narcissitic to an outsider.

  • Wilde Rover

    By seceding from the UK, Scotland would have a seat at the European table.

    Alex Salmond’s point, that the people of Scotland should have the right to look for the return of the Westminister middleman if they don’t like the new seat, is quite reasonable.

    Martin

    In light of what’s going on in Iraq?

    And what would happen if there were an independent Scotland voting with other EU members against this type of Anglo-American folly?

    Would that be “stunningly self-indulgent”?

    “Scottish Nationalism is like Anti-Zionism.”

    Is it racist of Scottish nationalists to think they could do a better job of running Scotland within the EU than the anachronistic Westminister?

    As for there being racial prejudice, it’s a fair point, but that decreases in a post-colonial setting.

    Just look at the republic. It’s amazing what three generations of not having to enter your neighbour’s house via the servant’s entrance coupled with the Celtic Tiger vindication of the self determination position will do to alter the national psyche.

    DK

    “The laws and customs of Ireland (North and South) England and Scotland are so similar – and all under a common EU umberella – that it must seem appallingly narcissitic to an outsider.”

    That’s the beauty of an umbrella: you can paint as many stripes on it as you wish and it’s still the same umbrella.

    It just looks more colourful to the outsider.

  • Teach

    Teach,
    What happened to the spirit of Arbroath,1320:
    Yet Robert himself, should he turn aside from the task that he has begun, and yield Scotland or us to the English King and people, we should cast out as the enemy of us all, as a subverter of our rights and of his own, and should choose another king to defend our freedom: for so long as a hundred of us are left alive, we will yield in no least way to English dominion. We fight not for glory nor for waelth nor honours; but only and alone we fight for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life.
    The ‘landlords’ involved in the clearances BTW were mainly importrd English nobles.
    I can’t understand the outlook of a section of our celtic cousins who seem to have sold their birthright for a mess of potage.

    Posted by Aisling on Apr 30, 2007 @ 03:38 AM

    I hate to break it to you Aisling but this is the 21st century and England are no longer our enemy . This election is about education , NHS , public services etc,etc not about being anti-Eniglish.Just the same as we had a major conflict with Germany in two World Wars but we don’t see them as an enemy now ! Incidentally just about half the population in Scotland,2.5 million people have family who are English,so it seems a bit silly to look at your own family as some sort of enemy ?

    On the clearances,your point about the Landlords being English are,to put it bluntly a load of crap.As for the ‘Celtic’ thing.The whole celtic thing is a load of piss that was made up in the 18th century. Saying Scotland is ‘celtic’ makes a mockery of the rich and varied cultures , languages and peoples from our history , that made Scotland what it is today !

    We have a saying used in Scotland today One Scotland Many Cultures, and not only is that true of modern Scotland but it’s even more so , when applied to our rich and diverse historical past !

    For example, in the 9th century the area that is now Scotland had almost half a dozen different cultures speaking as many different languages divided up into even more different kingdoms. In the southwest they were speaking Cumbric (a Brythonic language closely related to Welsh), in the southeast they were speaking Old English, in the northeast they were speaking Pictish, in the far north they were speaking Norse, and in the west they were speaking Gaelic.

    Don’t try and re-write my countries history to fit your own political agenda !

  • Martin

    Wilde Rover –

    On Iraq – “And what would happen if there were an independent Scotland voting with other EU members against this type of Anglo-American folly? ”

    Probably exactly the same thing. The Yanks would have gone in without the British, as Rumsfeld pointed out at the time, and the fact that the overwhelming majority of EU nations opposed the invasion made not the slightest bit of difference. If the combined opposition of France, Germany and Russia did not stop the invasion. It’s Hubris to maintain that, even if an Independent Scotland had opposed the invasion, that would have stopped it.

    I notice you fail to mention Darfur.

    In any event my point referred to the constant recitation of centuries (in some cases millenia) old atrocities to present oneself as a victim in the same way as some poor individual in one of these countries. Even the poorest parts of the UK and Ireland, even at the hieght of the troubles even, are havens of peace and financial security compared to what is going on there. Any comparison, trying to make yourself a victim in the same vein, is sick.

    “Is it racist of Scottish nationalists to think they could do a better job of running Scotland within the EU than the anachronistic Westminister?”

    Absolutely not. As I made abundantly clear in my post Scottish nationalism needn’t be and shouldn’t be racist. Salmond is an impressive politician who has makes a great case for independence. It just often, even usually, is racist Anglophobic tripe in the mouths of people who use it as an excuse to bash the English.

    “As for there being racial prejudice, it’s a fair point, but that decreases in a post-colonial setting. ”

    I think the majority of English visitors to any part of Ireland would disagree with that. Irish people, as we find to our cost, are not slow at making their distate for English visitors more than apparent. Something that is sadly increasingly happening in Scotland too.

  • iain

    Don’t agree with much of that Teach. If the Union is so great for Scotland economically, why are we repeatedly told we need English subvention because we can’t support ourselves ‘economically?’ Also, I think the Enlightenment in some form would have occurred anyway. We also suffer the worst public health in the UK, have the most socially disadvantaged areas in the UK (i think 8 or 9 of the 12 most disadvantaged UK constituencies are in Scotland), and still have a lingering sectarian problem, though not as bad as Ulster obviously.

  • George

    Martin,
    Irish people, as we find to our cost, are not slow at making their distate for English visitors more than apparent.

    Care to back up that claim with some facts? Otherwise you are merely showing that you possess a prejudice against the Irish.

    You might like to have a read of this report on Irish attitutes towards the UK.

    http://www.britishembassy.ie/news/Through%20Irish%20Eyes%20Interior.pdf

    And if you have any surveys on British/English attitudes towards Ireland, I would be most interested as they seem to be thin on the ground.

    Perhaps you could also give me your view on why over 4 million British tourists visited Ireland in 2006 and why hundreds of thousands live here. Are these people suckers for abuse?

  • Harry Flashman

    Martin

    **the overwhelming majority of EU nations opposed the invasion**

    Overwhelming opposition? Don’t think so, out of seventeen EU nations, only four openly opposed the invasion; France, Germany, Belgium and Greece, six fully supported it, and the rest were ambiguous, two of them Sweden and Ireland actually lending tacit support to the invasion by their actions.

    By enlargement a year later, the Coalition of the Willing could claim to represent almost half of the EU as well as a slim majority of NATO.

  • Martin

    George,

    I have no problem with Ireland, and the average Irish person’s hatred of the English may be considered justifiable given the history, but I would like to see some statistics as to the numbers of visitors from the UK who actually (a) return for a second visit and (b) are visiting family. And it is not illusiory…

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/08/19/nbooth19.xml

    And a selction of quote form this board…

    http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?s=7b4c8f2167437bcc0b9dbc14a30bb8ee&t=340153

    “…my daughter (full Brit accent, age 14) got teased and bullied at School for being a Brit and was one of our key motivators to leave the country.”

    “…At least in Dublin, being English can be a very difficult thing, you constantly face bitching and arrogant comments, I’ve been shouted at on the street several times just because they can hear my accent as I talk on the phone. From my experience, Irish people have quite a deep dislike of the Brits, and I have found it very difficult to gain any kind of friendship with Irish people.”

    Anecdotally, and from experience if one has an English accent one keeps ones mouth shut in Ireland for fear of a volley of verbal abuse. Perhaps it is a vocal minoriy but mine and most people I know do not have the happy clappy experience promoted by the British Council in that report. Suggesting that a random poll of persons talking to a (presumably Irish) pollster overrides the actual experiences of actual English people is something of a stretch.

    We can be A**eholes too, I admit, but quit the holier than thou rubbish.

  • Kloot

    I have no problem with Ireland, and the average Irish person’s hatred of the English may be considered justifiable given the history

    Martin, im sure there are English people who have experienced verbal and probably physical abuse in the ROI. Every country has its fair share of small minded people.

    However, to imply that the average Irish person has a hatred of the English is just not true. If the average Irish person had a hatred for the English, then why would programmes like Coronation St, East Enders, Emmerdale, X Factor, Strictly come Dancing and so on be so popular in the ROI. Why would the English football teams be supported so strongly in the ROI. Why would so many Irish people travel to the UK both for holidays and weekend trips, why would English companies be so successful in the ROI.

    The list goes on and on. I just cant see the proof that the average Irish person has a hatred of the English.

  • JG

    The union jack was originally James Stuart.

  • kensei

    “Anecdotally, and from experience if one has an English accent one keeps ones mouth shut in Ireland for fear of a volley of verbal abuse. Perhaps it is a vocal minoriy but mine and most people I know do not have the happy clappy experience promoted by the British Council in that report. Suggesting that a random poll of persons talking to a (presumably Irish) pollster overrides the actual experiences of actual English people is something of a stretch.”

    Suggesting anecdotal evidence beats out actual research when talking about generalities is a bit of a stretch more like.

  • Kloot

    Mr Booth himself says in the telegraph article

    The anti-English sentiments, he said, were isolated incidents and they had been touched by the support and gifts they received from the local people when their car was vandalised.

  • George

    Martin,
    I’m not being holier than thou, I’m pointing out the innate prejudice in your previous post where you said:

    Irish people, as we find to our cost, are not slow at making their distate for English visitors more than apparent.

    Do you feel you have justified that comment by wheeling out some very flimsy anecdotal evidence to back up your claim?

    This can be done for every argument.

    For me, you are merely looking for sources to back up an uninformed, preconceived view (aka prejudice) rather than finding out what the reality is.

    The reality is that there have been over 20 million UK visitors to Ireland since 2000 and a quarter of a million British people, far and away our largest immigrant population, live here quite happily.

    I would like you perhaps to present the number of cases of ant-British racial discrimination there have been before the Irish courts especially in the area of employment.

    What form does any harrassment of our largest minority take?
    Are they the butt end of jokes?
    Has it prevented them from achieving in Ireland what they would have achieved in Britain?
    Is our British minority concentrated amongst the most deprived?
    Are English men more likely to be unemployed?
    What is their life expectancy compared to the host population?
    What percentage of the prison population do they make up?
    Or perhaps there are cases of maltreatment of British citizens by the Gardaí, Irish welfare system or when looking for housing and health benefits?

    These are the indicators that generally show if there is a widespread prejudice against and ill-feeling towards a particular group in society and these are the indicators I would expect you to present to back up such a comment.

    If that makes me holier than thou, so be it.

  • Bob

    The whole “Irish hate the English” thing is blown way out of proportion. I’m English, have been a few times to Ireland and never really had a problem. One or two of the locals were cold to me but then others were friendlier and more helpful than they needed to be. You need to look at the whole picture rather than just picking out the negative points.

  • Martin

    George,

    I was talking about tourists but to answer your questions.

    What form does any harrassment of our largest minority take? – Verbal, sometimes physical

    Are they the butt end of jokes? – Yes

    Has it prevented them from achieving in Ireland what they would have achieved in Britain? – Mass immigration westward accross the Irish Sea is a comparatively recent phenominon and it is thus too early to say.

    Is our British minority concentrated amongst the most deprived? – No, but then Social Security and the NHS in Britain have a wider coverage than in the ROI, so deprived individuals have more of an incentive to move the short distance back home.

    Are English men more likely to be unemployed? – Probably not

    What is their life expectancy compared to the host population? – Again, too early to say.

    What percentage of the prison population do they make up? – No idea

    Or perhaps there are cases of maltreatment of British citizens by the Gardaí, Irish welfare system or when looking for housing and health benefits? – Yes, some, I have provided indications of discrimination in the job market above, in terms of benefits there is less incentive to move to the ROI looking for them as (generally but not always) similar or more generous benefits can be found at home.

    I think the point you are trying to make there is that these are indicators that traditionally have been high amongst the Irish population in Britain. That kind of misses the point. We are comparing apples with oranges. In any event such discrimination they did not stop people coming from Ireland to Britain looking for work when the economic outlook in Ireland was not as rosey as it is now.

    But that does not make such immigrants, as you might say, “happy” in being so discriminated against, just looking for work as that was the way the economic tide flowed. Now the tide has changed direction somewhat people will cross the Irish Sea in the other direction and acts of casual racism are just as likely. People are not “happy” – just glad to be in a job. Do you have quality of life statistics to back up a very bold claim?

    Number of claims before a Tribunal/Labour Court is no indicator of prejudice. An English person making such a complaint would be laughed out of court wherever such a complaint were made anywhere on these Islands.

    I would not presume to lecture an Irish person on the undoubtedly prevalent racism over here. Equally, I do not think, unless you are English, you are in any way qualified to comment on what is a sadly common occurance for the most innofensive of tourists from England in both parts of Ireland.

  • Bill

    What did you ask a student at UU with a Manchester accent?

    “What part of Donegal are you from?”

  • iain

    what’s this got to do with Scotland?

  • Dewi

    Could be historic elections – Lib Dems key to progress but Alex has been clever – promising a referendum at a specific time. Difficult to understand why Nicol Stephen etc reject this – it’s democracy ain’t it ?

  • Prince Eoghan

    Martin

    What evidence do you have that my countrymen’s desire to be a sovereign nation again is based on anti-Englishness? The following is an absolutely disgraceful statement!

    >>Scottish Nationalism is like Anti-Zionism. As Alex Salmond has so frequently and correctly correctly pointed out Scottish Nationalism shouldn’t and needn’t necessarily have anything to do with Anglophobia. Similarly Anti-Zionism needn’t be Anti-Semetic. Sadly, in both cases, legitimate political viewpoints are simply used as a figleaf to cover what is in essence a racial prejudice.
    Posted by Martin on Apr 30, 2007 @ 06:55 AM<< Where the hell do you get of using Alex Salmond's name to peddle this tosh. What a small minded person you must be to imagine that my Nationalism or anyone I know is based on racial prejudice. I would suggest you know nothing about the the SNP or Scottish Nationalism, however that is patently obvious. In the last week the so called Scottish Sun has exploded with ant-Nationalist nonsense where before they were not. The difference is astonishing. By making an educated guess, that the ownership of the sun newspaper, (who are indeed 'dahn sarf') have decided to attack the SNP due to a decision taken in London is somehow anti-English. Wow that is some leap! Teach I think you will find that although many of the landowners were Scots in name, most if not all would have been culturally English. Previous generations having been educated in England and taking English wives ensured that many 'chiefs' of clans had no links or affinity with their kinfolk apart from collecting the rents. The way that these people were treated was disgraceful. Although not comparable with the Irish genocide in scale, it resulted in thousands of deaths and displacement on a scale that still today the emotional scars have not healed.

  • Teach

    I actually think you’ll find that being educated in England and having an English wife doesn’t make you any less of a Scotsman ! The facts are plain ans simple,the vast majority of the Landlords were Scottish.Where people like yourself get mixed up is the fact that these Scottish landlords hired ‘Factors’ mostly from the Lowlands and some from England because they had the experience of making sheep farming profitable.There’s no doubt some of the tactics of these ‘Factors’ were deplorable but trying to paint it as the ‘big bad English’ forcing the Scots from their land is not only historically wrong but is also morally wrong to blame some other nation for something we did ourselves !

    For the people that don’t know,a ‘Factor’ in Scotland is like an estate manager.

    What Irish genocide are you talking about ?

  • Cahal

    Who gives a damn about the highland clearances.

    The fact remains, it takes balls to take control of your own destiny.

    Grow a set of balls Scotland, no guts, no glory!

  • Teach

    So I take it from your point of view that if Northern Ireland formed some sort of union with the republic that means they don’t have the balls to take control of their own destiny ?

  • Martin

    Prince Eoghan

    There are no doubt many positive reasons people become Scot Nats.

    However, Anglophobia is one of the negative reaons some do. Your patronising assumption that it was the English who decided that the Sun (owned, in fact, by an Australian who currenly holds a US passport, not an Englishman) was to hold an anti-nationalist line, and your adoption of some cod stereotyped “cockney” accent in your post leads me, not unreasonably, to hold you an Anglophobe.

    You probably are a Scot Nat for the best reasons. Your post pointed, sadly, to dislike of the English which led me to believe it was for one of the worst.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Teach.

    Do you not accept that for succeeding generations that Scottish landlords were sending their children to be educated in England, becoming culturally English and marrying English wives?

    My point was that for a millennia chieftains lived with their people not over them. The onset of the Union of crowns was the beginning of the disentanglement with the people and their leaders. They became alien to each other in ways unthinkable a hundred years previously.

    >>trying to paint it as the ‘big bad English’ forcing the Scots from their land is not only historically wrong but is also morally wrong to blame some other nation for something we did ourselves !<< Why are you and Martin so keen to label every point as being anti-English? We did not do it! Anglo-Scots with no affinity to their own people done it! I'm sorry that the facts do not suit your agenda, but telling the truth is not, repeat NOT being anti-English. Enough nonsense already! BTW Teach what is your take on Martin's assertion that myself and potentially 40% of the Scottish voting public are nothing but racists? Cahal. Go home quickly, your village is missing an eedjit.

  • Martin

    Prince Eoghan

    PS read the post. As I said you don’t have to be an Anglophobe to be a Scot Nat. It just’s just an established fact that many are. This is backed up by this report which shows that Scottish nationalists are more likely to be Anglophobic than other Scots.

    http://www.devolution.ac.uk/pdfdata/Briefing%2024%20-%20Hussain-Miller.pdf

    Equally, Anti-Zionists are more likely to be Anti-Semetic than others, although politically there is not necessarily any correlation.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Martin.

    Having read your previous posts you can lecture no-one on patronising assumptions, believe me!

    >>You probably are a Scot Nat for the best reasons. Your post pointed, sadly, to dislike of the English which led me to believe it was for one of the worst.<< I made an educated guess, anyway why would Murdoch's Nationality be a factor in any decisions by a pro-union English management of the 'Scottish Sun'? I also used a common expression 'dahn sarf' from this you deduced I was anti-English! Gie's peace! You are not a hanging judge by any chance are you? Again, where do you get off accusing a large section of my countrymen as racist? What evidence do you have of this?

  • Prince Eoghan

    Martin.

    Are you saying this backs your position that Scots Nationalists are racist English haters?

    The report states that those with lower education are more likely to show signs of Anglo-phobia. A quarter of English people have experienced Anglo-phobia. I would love to see a comparable study about Scots in England, I really would. I mean would being called a Jock count?

    In every country in the world those with lower education standards are more likely to be anti-something. The level in Scotland is quite low. This study certainly does not back up your outrageous claims Martin.

  • Martin

    Prince Eoghan

    I disagree. I have never stated that all Scot Nats are racist English haters. Merely that many are. The study backs me up clearly at page 1 –

    “Having a strong Scottish identity has hardly any impact on Islamophobia, but asignificant impact on Anglophobia”

    And at page 3 –

    “Scottish nationalism – with either a small ‘n’ or a capital ‘N’ has more impact on Anglophobia”

    And at page 4 –

    “Scottish identity comes close to rivalling low levels of education as an influencetowards Anglophobia.”

    So yes, Scot Nats are often Anglophobes, as I have said all along.

  • Teach

    I totally agree Clan Chiefs who ordered the Highland Clearances.Had taken up the ways of the Lowland Scots and the English.And started to see the profits to be made from the land rather than looking after the people.But I fail to see how the Union can get blamed solely for peoples greed.I took your comments as anti-English because iof the way you presented them,you might not have intended to blame the English but that’s the way it comes across with your constant referral to people being educated in England and people marrying English wifes etc,etc….

    As for Martins points I have to say I agree with you.The SNP is not a racists party and the majority of people aren’t anti-English,but in saying that quite a few people I’ve talked to who are voting SNP are doing it because of antiEnglish sentiments.A good example I will give is a political discussion I was having abut the election recently there was two people who said they were voting SNP.When I asked what they thought of the economic polices of the SNP both of them said they didn’t know what they were,with one of they further adding he was actually an SSP supporter and was voting for the SNP as a ‘means to an end’.When I asked him what he meant he said he was only voting for the SNP to break up the Union and get away from the English ! Which to me anyway came across as somebody voting just because of anti-English sentiments ! But I will also add I have also come across the other side of the coin were people are only voting to maintain the Union due to religious views etc,etc

    In fact I think you’ll agree when it comes to the majority of people in Scotland we aren’t like the people I talked about above, we all just want what’s best for our country we just have different views in how to achieve it.And even though I might not agree with your opinion it’s refreshing to talk to someone with a bit of intelligence who knows what they’re talking about.I believe that political diversity is a good thing in democracy,it enables more people to be involved in their country.

  • Teach

    Here’s a couple of SNP party political brodcasts………

    only joking……….;p

  • George

    Martin,
    I am still waiting for you to provide actual hard evidence for your claims.

    Show me evidence that the 20 million British people who have visited Ireland since 2000 have been victims of what you claim. Explain why the numbers coming from Britain keeps growing and why it surpassed 4 million for the first time in 2006.

    Explain why a survey by Norwich Union found Ireland as the safest location for British tourists.

    Explain why more and more British are emigrating to Ireland.

    Surely if it’s as prevalent as you claim there should be some figures available of tourists not returning etc. Surely some survey must have been done, some report commissioned?

    Show me concrete evidence of the widespread discrimination, abuse and prejudice you seem to feel is out there.

    what is a sadly common occurance for the most innofensive of tourists from England in both parts of Ireland

    Prove what you say don’t repeat it.

  • Martin

    Ok George. Yes, you love us, there is no ill-feeling towards the English whatsoever. It’s all one huge f***ing love in.

  • Cahal

    Getting hit from both sides on this one.

    Hope the SNP do well, for purely selfish reasons. If Scotland leaves, unionism is dead in Ireland.

    Would independence benefit Scotland? Suck it and see.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Teach.

    Could not getting away from the English equate to Us being a nation and standing on our own two feet without being ruled from England? Of course it could! You really seem to be equating every possible thing with Anglophobia, c’mon man get rid of the agenda! The clearances were carried out by essentially a foreign people culturally to the highlanders, that they happened to be Anglocentric is a matter of historical record. I don’t feel the need to dress up the facts to suit anyone’s sensitivities.

    I will guarantee you that for every one voter who has the slightest whiff anti-Englishness about them there is 10 who will vote for the Union due to anti-Catholicism, which you have already alluded to. Myself, I come from a long line of Labour voters who wishes to live in my own country ruled by my own countrymen, and certainly not as a forgotten region of a failed UK. We have everything at our disposal to be a highly successful nation. Let’s just get on with it. Myself and some of my family will vote SNP on thursday, others will in the main not be voting Labour.

    Martin.

    >>Scottish Nationalism is like Anti-Zionism. As Alex Salmond has so frequently and correctly correctly pointed out Scottish Nationalism shouldn’t and needn’t necessarily have anything to do with Anglophobia. Similarly Anti-Zionism needn’t be Anti-Semetic. Sadly, in both cases, legitimate political viewpoints are simply used as a figleaf to cover what is in essence a racial prejudice.
    Posted by Martin on Apr 30, 2007 @ 06:55 AM< < Seems pretty clear to me Martin. You then claim: >>I disagree. I have never stated that all Scot Nats are racist English haters. Merely that many are.<< An outrageous statement in itself, as far as your survey goes it paints Scots in quite a good light, I'm positive you will find more Anglophobia in France. Again I would love to see a comparable survey of Scots in England, now that would shine a light! Only a quarter of English people (your survey) have experienced Anglophobia. Surely according to your offensive claims they would all have been run out of town, no? As an Englishman martin were you proud that a majority of English people do not want a Scots PM? I believe that we in Scotland have the potential to be on very good terms with our English neighbours. However being categorised as Anglo-phobic just because we wish to be in control of our own affairs, smacks of petulance and ignorance.

  • Wilde Rover

    Martin,

    My point was that people in the republic used to really hate the English.
    Now everyone is wrapped in a love/hate thing.
    I believe it’s what my sister might refer to as “cute”.

    My argument concerning “this type of Anglo-American folly” was hypothetical. I was merely speculating as to what a future independent Scotland might do if faced with such a scenario.

    And even if Scotland, Northern Ireland, and by some wild leap of the imagination, Wales, were to secede from the UK they wouldn’t be going anywhere, really.

    They would still be part of the same union, along with England and the Republic of Ireland, and the rest.

    And when a vote came up that concerned the European Isles, there would be five votes to play with instead of two.

  • andy

    you’re all giving Martin too hard a time. He tried to couch what he said in caveats.
    As an englishman who has visited Ireland about twenty times without any particular issues (i tend to go the west coast) I can’t support his contention about a lot of Anti-English prejudice. However I think he expresses this view sincerely – even saying it is understandable!

    As for our Scottish Brethren, I think the main pushes for independence are the shoddy historic way the English have treated Scotland rather than current vacancies. Having said that if I was the Scots I’d be looking at the recent behaviour of the ROI and thinking if they can do it – why not us?

    Staying in the Union – an unequal partnership – despite the way it benefits some Scottish individuals – may be safer than independence but surely it will forever put a brake on what Scotland can achieve.

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>Staying in the Union – an unequal partnership – despite the way it benefits some Scottish individuals – may be safer than independence but surely it will forever put a brake on what Scotland can achieve.<< Never a truer word!

  • An alternative union of Ireland and Scotland? Just to throw that out there. What do you all think?

  • Soutehern Observer

    An alternative union of Ireland and Scotland? Just to throw that out there. What do you all think?
    This one was actually flirted with by the most fanatical republican of them all, Ruairi O’Bradaigh

  • Southern Observer

    Another quote from the Dominic Behan poem:
    The Scots have their whisky, the Welsh have their speech

    And their poets are paid about ten pence a week

    Provided no hard words on England they speak

    Oh Lord! What a price for devotion!

  • Martin

    Prince Eoghan

    As I said many times there are many positive reasons to be Scot Nats. I have also agree with you there is much Anti-Scottish sentiment in England. That is not what we are discussing. My countrymen can be the most appaling racists. However, so can yours.

    I simply stated in my original post that Scottish Nationalism, IN ITSELF A LEGITIMATE (EVEN LAUDABLE POLITICAL VIEWPOINT), is used by SOME nationalists as a figleaf for Anglophobia. SOME Nationalists. Not all. You will search in vain for any evidence I have said that. In my opening quote I approvingly speak of the leader of the SNP.

    If you want to deliberately misrepresent what I am saying that is up to you. As the survey I quote clearly says “Scottish nationalism – with either a small ‘n’ or a capital ‘N’ has more impact on Anglophobia”. Many, but not all SNP voters are Anglophobes, many, but not all, Anti-Zionists are Anti-Semites. I maintain my original contention that legitimate political viewpoints sometimes gather unfortunate fellow travellers.

    If you want more evidence of this see this link which provides a summary of a monograph which states…

    http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/oso/1306561/2006/00000001/00000001/art00004;jsessionid=2p4nu4m87qm1s.alice

    ” Conservative voters scored low on Anglophobia but high on every other phobia; SNP voters scored high on Anglophobia but not on other phobias. ”

    Your wish to be in control of your own affairs is laudable and understandable. The fact that your political views carry some less than desirable fellow travellers is well research and well attested.

  • Martin
  • Martin

    Can get this to work. The citation for my above quote is…

    The Auld Enemy
    Authors: Hussain, Asifa; Miller, William

    Source: Multicultural Nationalism, July 2006, pp. 66-84(19)

    Publisher: Oxford Scholarship Online Monographs

    Abstract:

    Questions in the 2003 Scottish Social Attitudes Survey were used to compare Islamophobia with four other Scottish phobias: sectarianism (primarily anti-Catholic), and phobias about Europe, Asylum seekers, and ‘the auld enemy’(England). Social factors affected all phobias the same way, but political factors discriminated. Conservative voters scored low on Anglophobia but high on every other phobia; SNP voters scored high on Anglophobia but not on other phobias. This suggested that Anglophobia itself displaced Islamophobia by providing another target, and that England itself helped reduce within-Scotland phobias by providing Scots with a common, external and very significant ‘other’. Scotland is too small, too peripheral, and too insignificant to play a corresponding role in displacing phobias within England. However, by stimulating English nationalism without providing a truly significant ‘other’, Scottish nationalism may actually increase Islamophobia in England, but not in Scotland.

    Sorry for the link not working

  • Domhnall Ban

    I find it quite ironic that Teach says “Don’t try and re-write my countries history to fit your own political agenda” give he/she is doing the same thing. It would indeed be hard to blame the Union for the Highland Clearances but it is equally hard to believe an independent Scottish Parliament would have sat idly by and allowed/encouraged the Clearances. More to the point the ethnic cleansing of the Highlands in 1746 by the British army (with many Scots to the fore) can hardly go down as an example of the benefits of the Union. Nor can the best blood of the Highlands over the next century being forced into service for British imperial wars abroad whilst their families were evicted at home be seen as a benefit. Look at the scattered population of the Highlands, and the state of Gaelic now, compared to 1707. He/she is also wrong to speak of Gaelic being a peripheral language in 9th century Scotland, it was the founding langauge of the nation and wasnt just spoken in the West.
    Now Im not saying any of this should effect how we vote in 2006, ancient history now, but Teach is wrong to try and brush it all under the carpet. Don’t try and re-write my countries history to fit your own political agenda indeed!

  • Prince Eoghan

    Domhnall Ban

    I do believe that there is some kind of agenda going on with these ludicrous attempts to paint us as anti-English and racists.

    Martin

    You are floundering big style! your offensive remarks are a matter of record, re-claiming some, most whatever won’t wash. All you can prove from one small survey by glasgow Uni is that there is heightened Anglophobia amongst SNP supporters. If Scots have a low level of Anglophobia in general, would a slightly higher level amount to much? I doubt it! Also only a quarter of English resident in Scotland reported feeling any kind of Anglophobia, again I’d bet that the number of Scots racially abused in England would dwarf this. So I would urge you to get real.

    >>My countrymen can be the most appaling racists. However, so can yours.< < This is another appalling statement! I really am on the verge of not taking you seriously anymore Martin. I am positive we have arseholes here in fact I know two that are BNP members, for you to suggest comparison of scale is totally erroneous! Let's say that my local union of Catholic mothers put out a motion supporting family values in decrying gay adoption. Would you label all, most, some mothers or indeed some, most, all Catholics as homophobic gay haters? I would take the view that they are trying to push family values. You have taken the desire Of Scots to become a nation again and labelled it anti-English racism. You are completely and utterly wrong, instead of backsliding Martin why don't you just gie's peace. >>In my opening quote I approvingly speak of the leader of the SNP.< < Correction Martin you used Mr Salmond to push your agenda; >>As Alex Salmond has so frequently and correctly pointed out Scottish Nationalism shouldn’t and needn’t necessarily have anything to do with Anglophobia.<< Will you state categorically if you think Mr Salmond believes that Scottish Nationalism has anything to do with Anglophobia as you try to suggest. I suspect you will need to practice with those veils to pull this one of Martin. I won't wish you luck. Martin, you will have noticed I have spent a long frustrating time dealing with this issue, I would much rather speak about future relationships. Plans must be put in place for us to help you once England gains independence, without Scottish money for example how will you guys cope? Oh fuck I've mentioned the English, what a racist scumbag i am!

  • Suilven

    Domhnall Ban

    “it is equally hard to believe an independent Scottish Parliament would have sat idly by and allowed/encouraged the Clearances”

    Why? The selfsame landowners would have formed the bulk of the aforementioned Parliament. Hardly going to vote against their own interests, were they?

  • Martin

    Prince,

    You, deliberately or otherwise, misundertand me, and misrepresent my position. Perhaps I may have been unclear, is so I apologise. For clarity my position is as follows –

    1) Scottish Nationalism as a philosphy and a political belief (in the abstract) has nothing to do with Anglophobia. Alex Salmond is NOT an Anglophobe, makes his case well, makes it clear that Nationalism should be a positive thing, not an Anti-English thing, and if I were living in Scotland I would consider voting for him; but

    2) Many Scot Nats are Anglophobes. I refer to two academic studies to back me up on this. Equally many Anti-Zionists are Anti-Semites.

    You say today –

    a) “All you can prove from one small survey by glasgow Uni is that there is heightened Anglophobia amongst SNP supporters”

    I said yesterday – at 8.32

    b) “you don’t have to be an Anglophobe to be a Scot Nat. It just’s just an established fact that many are. This is backed up by this report which shows that Scottish nationalists are more likely to be Anglophobic than other Scots”

    As I said also yesterday in my first post

    c) “Scottish Nationalism shouldn’t and needn’t necessarily have anything to do with Anglophobia. ”

    My points (b) and (c) appear not to contradict, and indeed seem to support, your point (a) We appear, therefore, to agree with each other!!!

    So what is this argument about? Have I touched a nerve maybe?

    I realise that many Scot Nats think that Scotland is bankrolling England. You may well be right, however, based on the evidence I have seen, I disagree. I live in London. No doubt in the future we will continue as is. With the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in the US making London a more attractive financial centre than NYC for IPOs etc. we here in London are cementing our position as a financial services leader. We have a tradition of that which I think will continue. Given that Greater London alone has a population 3 million greater than Scotland (8 mill and growing vs 5 million and declining) I can’t see how such a small country can maintain us in our standard of living.

    I hope too we will continue our success in other areas – Sheffield for example has taken its steel making heritage and coped with the loss of mass production by (in part) concentrating on precision instruments.

    In view, also, of a global move away from fossil fuels the impact of N Sea oil, already diminished, will become meaningless when we reach peak oil. So I think we’ll be OK. Like I say, though, I don’t have a crystal ball so I may be wrong.

    Englishness is part of my identity, not all of it, I don’t feel the need to defend England from all slights.

    You could well be right to suggest that there is more Anti-Scot racism in England than the reverse in Scotland. I don’t doubt it and I’ll take your word for it. But it has nothing to do with this debate.

    I wish, and hope, Scotland becomes independent. I’ll leave it at that. But with your attitudes and the way you misrepresent others based on their nationality it isn’t going to be a harmonious departure

  • Prince Eoghan

    Martin.

    >>you don’t have to be an Anglophobe to be a Scot Nat. It just’s just an established fact that many are.< < Totally disagree! however we have came a long way from your original remarks which were offensive. As posted above, for someone who seems to have more than a basic knowledge of our affairs I am surprised you made such remarks in the first place. I wish London well in it's future endeavours, I just don't wish to be part of a country that focuses on fuelling a region(S.E. England) at the expense of my nation. The governor of the bank of England has admitted that the economy is run to suit the south east. As a result there is virtual stagnation in my country, a state of affairs that cannot be allowed to continue. >>But with your attitudes and the way you misrepresent others based on their nationality it isn’t going to be a harmonious departure<< Your perception is flawed Martin, we will be good neighbours and you will get over the bad taste in your mouth.

  • Martin

    Prince,

    I don’t believe my position has changed at all. As I have said all along, although Scottish Nationalism is not intrinsically Anglophobic in philosophy or direction, many of its followers are. This is supported by the independent I cite above.

    Nontheless, if the way I expressed my views initially caused confusion or even offence, particularly my analogy with Anti-Zionism, then I apologise.

  • Teach

    I have in no way re-written any of my countries history.You are also wrong to imply the rest of Scotland sat idly by while the Highland clearances were going on.The Highland land league being a prime example,which incidentally was based on the Irish land league if I remember correctly.

    There’s no doubt that the Highland Clearances is still a very emotive subject to many people today. It consistently provokes people to take sides and has led to deep, and sometimes acrimonious academic debate.As for your comments on ‘ethnic cleansing’.The Clearances undoubtedly stemmed in part from the attempt by the British establishment to destroy, once and for all, the archaic, militaristic Clan System, which had facilitated the Jacobite risings of the early part of the 18th century. This approach, however, also over-simplifies the issues involved.

    People at the time, and since, have seen the Clearances as an act of greed and betrayal on the part of the Scottish ruling class in the Highlands.An attempt to hold on to their land and preserve their wealth and status by sacrificing their people. Undoubtedly this motive was present in some instances, with weak people taking advantage of even weaker ones under the guise of economic reform or social reorganisation.

    The weather has also been blamed – a succession of bad harvests and famine demanding a drastic solution. Rising population, putting pressure on land and jobs, also played a part, as did the persuasive, smooth-talking agents of ship-owners who ferried indentured servants to the rapidly expanding United States of America.

    Indeed, in some cases, the final decision to go was a voluntary one – a desire to seek something better. All of these factors played a part in causing the Highland Clearances, and I’ll be the first to agree that the results have had a lasting significance for the people of the Highlands and the rest of Scotland.

    I will also add there was no forced conscription in any part of Scotland in the century following the 1745 rebellion.

    Now on to the different languages in Scotland. Many people are aware of a concept of Scotland being culturally divided into Highlands and Lowlands, with Highlanders speaking Gaelic and Lowlanders speaking Scots. Although this picture is not wholly inaccurate. The further back in Scottish history you go, the less relevant and useful a simple cultural division into Gaelic-speaking Highlands and Scots-speaking Lowlands becomes.

    For example like I said before, in the 9th century the area that is now Scotland had almost half a dozen different cultures speaking as many different languages divided up into even more different kingdoms. In the southwest they were speaking Cumbric (a Brythonic language closely related to Welsh), in the southeast they were speaking Old English, in the northeast they were speaking Pictish, in the far north they were speaking Norse, and in the west they were speaking Gaelic.

    By the 12th century, Pictish and Cumbric had disappeared, but Norse, Gaelic, and Scots were still being spoken —except not in the same regional permutations as three centuries earlier— and had been joined by Anglo-Norman French along with a smattering of other northern European languages. The number of kingdoms had lessened, but the Kingdom of Scotland still did not have the borders of modern Scotland. Norway held the Northern Isles and most of the Western Isles, and the border with England was still being hammered out.

    Even in the 16th century, with her modern borders nearly set, there were still at least three languages spoken in Scotland; in addition to Scots, spoken primarily in the Lowlands, and Gaelic, spoken primarily in the Highlands and Western Isles, Norn (a flavor of Norse) as well as Scots was spoken in the Northern Isles.

    Keep in mind that the examples given above are only part of the story! The lines and divisions between the different cultures and language areas were constantly shifting, expanding and receding (even overlapping) under many complex influences.

    For you to suggest that Gaelic was the founding language of Scotland is not historically correct.The Scots language which ended up the predominate language of the country spoken by the vast majority of the population was influenced not just by Gaelic but by virtually all the other languages in the country at the time.After the fourteenth century, Scots was the language of virtually all the people of Scotland, including the royal court, the law, the Church and the arts. The effect of all this, was for a Standard literary Scots to develop.

    As for the accusation of brushing things under the carpet for my own political agenda.I don’t see the Highland clearances as a relevant point in this years elections,so I would hardly brush anything under the carpet when it has no relevance to how I or the rest of the people in Scotland will vote for !

  • Teach

    Teach.

    Could not getting away from the English equate to Us being a nation and standing on our own two feet without being ruled from England? Of course it could! You really seem to be equating every possible thing with Anglophobia, c’mon man get rid of the agenda! The clearances were carried out by essentially a foreign people culturally to the highlanders, that they happened to be Anglocentric is a matter of historical record. I don’t feel the need to dress up the facts to suit anyone’s sensitivities.

    I will guarantee you that for every one voter who has the slightest whiff anti-Englishness about them there is 10 who will vote for the Union due to anti-Catholicism, which you have already alluded to. Myself, I come from a long line of Labour voters who wishes to live in my own country ruled by my own countrymen, and certainly not as a forgotten region of a failed UK. We have everything at our disposal to be a highly successful nation. Let’s just get on with it. Myself and some of my family will vote SNP on thursday, others will in the main not be voting Labour.

    What agenda ? I don’t equate everything with being anglophobic.And there’s nothing in any of my posts where I say anything like that ! I’ve already stated that most people in Scotland don’t vote like that and political diversity is a good thing for Scotland !

    I don’t see Scotland as a failure like you do.I look around where I live and I see the improvements happening around me the investment in Schools and hospitals.From the building of new schools and improvement of others.Like my weans school with the extra money they have been able to invest in further teachers and new equipment like computers,new sports ground etc,etc.When it comes to hospitals we have just recently knocked down the old maternity hospital and built a new one at a cost of £20 million and they have now started to build another new hospital on the grounds of where the old maternity one was.In fact did you know that the UK is building more new hospitals than all the other G8 countries put together ? The local council is also drawing up the plans to build our community a new leisure centre,that’s on top of a load of other various things like our new library fitted out with all the latest technology and longer opening ours.

    I have seen with the growth of the economy not only my my job security grow stronger.But my work has been able to invest millions in the company and they now train the largest team of apprentices for their size than anywhere else in Scotland.With the stability in the economy I also decided to invest in shares and property which I can happily say I’m doing very,very well with.

    Me and my partner have also benefited greatly from the things like the working tax(though we have stopped getting it now because of my earnings) and the child tax with enabled us both to keep working and raise a family at the same time.

    Now when I vote I don’t look at what peoples nationalities are,I look at the polices they present not wether they are Scottish or English.Somebodies nationality isn’t an issue for me their polices on Education,enployment , economy etc,etc are the real issues that are going to affect my family and my country !

  • Prince Eoghan

    Frig me Teach! but you can do some talkin. Your research is no bad!

    Would you not agree that the highland clearances would not have happened if not for the destruction of the clan system?

    >>ndeed, in some cases, the final decision to go was a voluntary one – a desire to seek something better.< < Well anything would have been better than living rough, having been evicted and no land to grow food, your kinfolk in no position to help themselves. Aye too right it was a desire to seek something better! >>In the southwest they were speaking Cumbric< < You have failed to mention Galloway where Gaelic was spoken, also the Kingdom of Strathclyde collapsed awful easily. One Viking raid on Dumbarton rock and the whole house of cards collapses. >>After the fourteenth century, Scots was the language of virtually all the people of Scotland, including the royal court, the law, the Church and the arts. The effect of all this, was for a Standard literary Scots to develop.<< I'd say your timing was out here, you'd need to show me a link. I'd have thought gaelic was still predominant over the land upto well into the 16thC. Also pre-reformation Scotland was heavily influenced by the 'Auld alliance' plus the left over Norman influence would have had ensured courtly chat was in French the educated sophisticated language of the day., We also had Latin for the church. Fair enough Teach! sure you don't equate everything with Anglophobia, although your initial posts highlighted an opinion to the contrary. You sound as if life is going great for you Teach, I'm happy for you. However you cannot deny that there is stagnation here, with a flexible smaller govt. run from Holyrood we could achieve so much more. However my position is not based on economics, I wish to live in a country where those of us who live here decide the issues, and like you i don't differentiate on nationalities. However I don't want a foreign government who have others higher up the list to decide what is best for me and mine. Spare me the Scottish mafia stuff, they do not have our interests at heart. We do!

  • Prince Eoghan

    Thanks Martin.

    No it wasn’t your analogy but thanks anyway!

  • Teach

    Frig me Teach! but you can do some talkin. Your research is no bad!

    I’m extremely proud of my country and it’s rich history.So I read a lot about it and have studied it at length.

    Would you not agree that the highland clearances would not have happened if not for the destruction of the clan system?

    No I wouldn’t.I can’t see how the Highlands would have remained isolated to the economic and agricultural change which was widespread across Europe at the time.The Agricultural and Industrial Revolution of the late 18th and early 19th century would not have stopped at the Lowlands and it’s fallacy to believe otherwise !

    Well anything would have been better than living rough, having been evicted and no land to grow food, your kinfolk in no position to help themselves. Aye too right it was a desire to seek something better!

    Obviously I didn’t make it clear enough,not everybody was forced off the land,not all the Factors were like the ones in Sutherland and on Skye,Where they were burning the peoples homes.Like I said before the living conditions and the famine also played a part.Some of the Factors paid money to the people to give up their rented land and because of these conditions used the money to go to the New World.

    You have failed to mention Galloway where Gaelic was spoken, also the Kingdom of Strathclyde collapsed awful easily. One Viking raid on Dumbarton rock and the whole house of cards collapses.

    I can’t mention every detail,that’s why I said “Keep in mind that the examples given above are only part of the story! The lines and divisions between the different cultures and language areas were constantly shifting, expanding and receding (even overlapping) under many complex influences.

    I’d say your timing was out here, you’d need to show me a link. I’d have thought gaelic was still predominant over the land upto well into the 16thC. Also pre-reformation Scotland was heavily influenced by the ‘Auld alliance’ plus the left over Norman influence would have had ensured courtly chat was in French the educated sophisticated language of the day., We also had Latin for the church.

    I think one of the best examples I could give to show Scots was the prodominate language is in 1559,the Scottish Court sanctioned William Nudrye to write school textbooks on how to teach and speak ‘Scottis’(Scots) for our schools.As for the ‘Auld Alliance’ bit I’ve already spoke about Anglo-Norman French in my previous post.Just a wee bit of trivia about the ‘Auld Alliance’.Did you know that both Scotland and France passed laws in the 1500’s so that every Scotsman was also a French citizen and vise-a-versa for the French to be Scots !

    However you cannot deny that there is stagnation here, with a flexible smaller govt. run from Holyrood we could achieve so much more.

    Scotland isn’t stagnate just some of the people are.You know the ones that try and blame everybody and everything else but themselves.I do agree we would do well as an independent country with the proper polices obviously not the SNP’s ones.But I think we can do even better as part of the Union with the right policies !

    However my position is not based on economics

    I’m actually a bit shocked you said that.Surely you must see how important this issue is especially for someone who supports independence,it would be disastrous for Scotland to do otherwise ? Tell you the truth that statement has left me a bit speechless !

    However I don’t want a foreign government who have others higher up the list to decide what is best for me and mine.

    So I take it that since you view the UK Government as foreign(Which is a view I find a bit strange) you also want to pull out of the EU ? Because I can’t see how you can argue that the UK Government is foreign but the EU one isn’t ?

    Spare me the Scottish mafia stuff, they do not have our interests at heart. We do!

    I must admit I don’t understand this bit ?

  • Dewi

    For the record – the kingdom of Ystrad Clud (Strathclyde) the last of the Welsh Kingdoms of “Yr Hen Ogledd” (The Old North) came to an end in the early years of the last millenium. Not a bad effort fighting Scots, Picts, English, Normans and Vikings…..

    That’s the basis for Wales’s territorial claim on most of Southern Scotland. We will be starting discussions with Mr Salmond nest week.

  • Dewi

    “next week” sorry

  • Prince Eoghan

    Teach

    Thanks for the reply.

    The ‘Scottish mafia’ are the guys running the country. Brown, Browne et al. It’s an affectionate name our Sassenach neighbours have for them.

    I believe that highland society would have moved with the times without the massive murderous upheaval inflicted on them. How you think what happened was due to the Agricultural and Industrial Revolution is beyond me. Do you really think it was a necessary evil to cause the death and displacement of thousands? And to destroy with it a viable social structure capable of evolving with the times.

    >>Some of the Factors paid money to the people to give up their rented land and because of these conditions used the money to go to the New World.< < I'm sure the clans sought this right! And just what might have happened to those who refused the offer to fuck off! and oh here take this money from your goodly benefactor. Get real! i am not denying that there must have been instances of well meaning land owners who thought they were doing the right thing. just like those who took the babies of the Aboriginal peoples of N. America and Australia in order to civilize the barbarians. I didn't mean to imply criticism of your research about language areas, merely to add some knowledge of my own. Like yourself, I enjoy reading about my country's history amongst other things. I'm still not sure just when Scots would have taken over fron Gaelic as the most widely used language though. >>Did you know that both Scotland and France passed laws in the 1500’s so that every Scotsman was also a French citizen and vise-a-versa for the French to be Scots !< < It rings a bell! Aye they were the days, memories of France 98 come flooding back! To be clear economics is not my main raison d'atre for wishing to live in my own country free of rule by a foreign nation. In this I concur with the vast majority of the worlds population. Perhaps if the Greeks or Ethiopians had been convinced of the Superior Italian economy. Then Mussolini would have had no need to convince them to join his empire by force. I am totally convinced by the ability of my countrymen to meet all and any challenges that we may encounter in pursuit of a healthy economy! The lazy bastards that you speak of will have to adapt or work in the community, we have enough jobs at present, they are just not as well paid as they should be. A Scottish economy not run to suit the S.E. of England I am sure would manage to provide her people with pay commensurate with work done. I for one *melodramatic* have laughed in the faces of the scare stories pushed by the reactionary pro-British elements in our media. i do not believe that Scotland will fall off the edge of the world on friday morning. At least I hope not! >>So I take it that since you view the UK Government as foreign(Which is a view I find a bit strange) you also want to pull out of the EU ? Because I can’t see how you can argue that the UK Government is foreign but the EU one isn’t ?<< Are you familiar with the term strawman? We are ruled by a foreign government. Any government that rules this country and is not Scottish is foreign! Scotland like every other country who CHOOSES to take part in the EU, AGREE'S to abide by EU legislation and directives. We can always leave if we wanted to. As a matter of interest who do you intend voting for Teach? Dewi Sadly my not inconsiderable dealings with Welsh people has left me with the idea that they are very pro-British. The bickering between Swansea and Cardiff has the element of 'well they speak Welsh to us knowing we don't understand it' nonsense. Tell me it aint so! And I doubt very much that the Kingdom of Strathclyde would have had any contact with Normans. Slightly later period.

  • Dewi

    Prince – u r right re Normans sorry – but resisted most others quite well.

    Re the v. popular urban myth “they speak Welsh to us knowing we don’t understand it” I think that’s on the way out as all children are taught a fair bit of Welsh in all schools now.

    A theory that I find believable has it that prejudice toward the language was a function of the fact that a significant proportion of 20th century born Welsh kids couldn’t understand their parents native language at all. I can understand how this could mess peoples minds up. “What are Mam and Dad plotting against me now I wonder ?”

    Pro British ? More so than in Scotland – after all we were the original Britons I suppose. But the process of devolution (Copyright Ron Davies “Devolution is a process not an event”)seems to be accepted now. What is frustrating is the pace is slow.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Dewi

    The circles I mixed in were very pro-British and quite condescending about Scotland and Ireland. Now not wishing to be accused of ‘Anglophobia’ (again) but some of the views expressed would be thought of caricatures of the quintessential English patronising kind.

    I too have heard examples of Welsh children deliberately not being taught the language of their parents as it would ‘hold them back’ But I am sure the parents were indeed plotting against them. How goes Plaid Cymru and their chances tomorrow?

    >>after all we were the original Britons I suppose<< Snap!

  • Dewi

    Prince

    Expecting an excellent result tomorrow, one that has escaped the attention of all London based media (grateful for that I suppose).

    Wouldn’t be at all surprised if we ran Labour pretty close. Compared to the broad church of constitutional views that Labour have to try and manage Plaid’s approach has an appealing, simple coherence.

    Best of luck to us both !!!

  • Domhnall Ban

    There is absolutely no question that Gaelic was the founding language of Scotland Teach. It was a Gaelic King, Kenneth MacAlpine who united the different factions under the banner of the Kingdom of Alba and all the early rulers were Gaels. There are many other languages and cultures that made (and make) up the country, but Gaelic was the founding language and there is simply no denying that. Native language would be different…you could well argue that there are a few native languages, but founding language of Scotland was most certainly Gaelic.
    Nothing new in your points about the clearances, I would agree with most of them, but the point I was raising was the supposed benefits accrued to Scotland from the Union and your dismissal of the relevance of the clearances to that. Seeing a large part of your country emptied within a century doesnt look much like a benefit to me. And there most certainly was conscription in the century after 1745, many poor Scots were forced into service (as they were by both sides in 1745/6).
    I said myself that the clearances are not relevant to tomorrow’s elections but it sticks in the craw to see somebody celebrating the supposed historical benefits of the union, trade and enlightenment, whilst dismissing such a catasrophe as the clearances as irrelevant. You cant have it both ways.

  • Teach

    There is absolutely no question that Gaelic was the founding language of Scotland Teach.

    Obviously you didn’t read what I posted properly so I’ll post it again……..”For you to suggest that Gaelic was the founding language of Scotland is not historically correct.The Scots language which ended up the predominate language of the country spoken by the vast majority of the population was influenced not just by Gaelic but by virtually all the other languages in the country at the time.After the fourteenth century, Scots was the language of virtually all the people of Scotland, including the royal court, the law, the Church and the arts. The effect of all this, was for a Standard literary Scots to develop.”

    A good example to show the mixture of the Scots language would be this list of words.

    SCOTS———————————DANISH
    aff————————————-af
    alane———————————–alene
    bairn———————————–barn
    bane————————————ben
    blae————————————bleg
    blad————————————blad
    brent———————————–braende
    claith———————————-klaide
    clart———————————–klatte
    coo————————————-ko
    cruik———————————–krykke
    cruisie———————————kruse
    dook————————————dykke
    drucken———————————drukken
    efter———————————–efter
    forbye———————————-forbi
    fremmit———————————fremmed
    gang————————————gang
    gavel———————————–gavl
    greet———————————–graede
    grey-hairit—————————–graharet
    grue————————————gru
    grund———————————–grund
    hals————————————hals
    het————————————-hed
    hoose———————————–hus
    ken kunne——————————-kende
    kilt————————————kilte
    kirk————————————kirke
    lang————————————lang
    ligg————————————ligge
    lirk————————————lirke
    lowe ———————————–lue
    mair ———————————–mer
    moose ———————————-mus
    oot————————————-ud
    reek ———————————–rog
    rowan ———————————-ron
    saip————————————saepe
    sark————————————saerk
    sang————————————sang
    seck ———————————–saek
    seik————————————syg
    siccar———————————-sikker
    skaith———————————-skade
    skellum———————————skaelm
    skelly———————————-skele
    smaa————————————sma
    smiddy———————————-smedje
    smool———————————–smugle
    smit————————————smitte
    soor————————————syre
    starn stern—————————–stjerne
    stane———————————–sten

    This list is not exhaustive.A Danish man who visited Scotland some years ago for about ten days, made a list even in that short time, of over three hundred words common to both languages and pronounced the same or almost the same and wrote into the local paper about it.

    Yes Gaelic is a very important part of our culture but the Scots language was not founded solely on Gaelic.If anything it has more of a Germanic ancestry.

  • Teach

    I would agree with most of them, but the point I was raising was the supposed benefits accrued to Scotland from the Union and your dismissal of the relevance of the clearances to that. Seeing a large part of your country emptied within a century doesnt look much like a benefit to me.

    I’ll deal with your false accusation of me being dismissive of the Highland clearance first.I’ll just quote two sentences from that post to show how false you ludicrous accusations are the first one which is virtually at the very beginning of my post “There’s no doubt that the Highland Clearances is still a very emotive subject to many people today. It consistently provokes people to take sides and has led to deep, and sometimes acrimonious academic debate.” and then the one at the end of my post on the clearances “and I’ll be the first to agree that the results have had a lasting significance for the people of the Highlands and the rest of Scotland.” Both these statements clearly show I do not dismiss the clearances in anyway.

    As for Scotland benefiting from the Union,this happened without a doubt,as a quick example you only have to look at the economic history of Glasgow and Edinburgh.I’ve never came across any historian that has said Scotland didn’t benefit from the free trade within the British Empire.So I would be curious what you base your opinions on ? But anyway I’ll point you in the direction of a couple of books by T M Devine,’Scotland’s Empire’ and ‘The Scottish Nation, 1700-2000’.Apart from being a good read it goes into great detail about our history and how Scotland changed following the disaster of the Darien expedition.

  • Domhnall Ban

    I did indeed read your post Teach but with the greatest of respect it was hardly relevant to the point in question. The Kingdom of Scots was created/unified under a Gaelic banner, the first rulers (for a considerable amount of time) were Gaels. Scotland’s FOUNDING language was Gaelic.
    I really cant understand why youre talking about the diversity of the Scots language or the 14th century in relation to this, irrelevant. And of course Scots was influenced by other languges but I dont recall anybody suggesting it wasnt. Equally strange to say Scots wasnt based soley on Gaelic, that would be a ludicrous point. Gaelic is a Celtic language, Scots is not.
    And while its not relevant to the foundling language question this statement “After the fourteenth century, Scots was the language of virtually all the people of Scotland” is just plain wrong.

  • Donal

    “after all we were the original Britons I suppose”

    John “Aspiring to be a Buddhist nun” Foreigner Foreigner* had an interesting account of the Highland Clearnces in one of his books whose title I unfortunately cannot remember.

    *John Kenneth Galbraith

  • Teach

    The Kingdom of the Scots and the country now called Scotland are two different things.In fact our final borders weren’t even settled until the 1600’s.The country Scotland wasn’t unified under a Gaelic banner.Scotland as both a nation and country was created from a mixture of different cultures and peoples coming together.Even by the time of the Act of Union 1707 we were still not a truly united nation.

    Also the Scots weren’t the first rulers, the native Picts already used the tanistry method for our hierarchy.Granted the Gaels did join with the Picts(under the leadership of a Pict, King Constantine) to fight off the Viking warriors from Scandinavia and this was the beginning of Scotland as a nation.But this took centuries before all the other Kingdoms and peoples like the Gododdin,Rheged,Angles,Britons etc,etc came together to form what is now Scotland.At no time in history were we all Gaelic speakers running about in Kilts.Even today there are still three languages used in Scotland.To put it simply the largest portion of the population of what is now Scotland has always been in the Lowlands(probably because it was easier to farm and work the land there)and although Gaelic was spoken in parts of the Lowlands it was never the predominate language of the area like Scots turned out to be.And I’m glad to say the Scots Parliament has set up a committee to promote both the Scots and Gaelic languages in Scotland.

    And while its not relevant to the foundling language question this statement “After the fourteenth century, Scots was the language of virtually all the people of Scotland” is just plain wrong.

    It”s not plain wrong is historical fact easily proved since all our historical documents from about the last 800 years that have been preserved are mainly written in Scots.Gaelic has been a dying language in Scotland since about the 11th centuary.But hopefully with the Scottish Parliaments committee it won’t disappear like some of our other cultural languages like Pictish.Scots has a bit more of an advantage because it’s still widely spoken in many parts of Scotland,but the written aspects of the language need work.And it’s good to see one of the proposed actions is to re-introduce written Scots into schools.

    I fail to see why you are so keen to ‘do away’ with the rich tapestry of different cultures and people that made Scotland what it is today.I’ve already said Gaelic is a very important part of our culture but so is all the other influences that were around at the time.

  • Teach

    I’ll just add quickly King Kenneth MacAlpin was king of the Picts and Scots not Scotland.Donald II(a Pict) was the first monarch to be called King of Scotland (Ri Alba).But even then it was not the country we recognise today as people like Harold Fairhair added to the uncertainty of the time by establishing Shetland, Orkney, Caithness and the Hebrides as possessions of the Norwegian King and turned them into Earldoms.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Teach

    Mac Alpin is regarded as the first king of the new Scottish nation. Whether he held the title of Ri Alba is neither here nor there.

    >>It’’s not plain wrong is historical fact easily proved since all our historical documents from about the last 800 years that have been preserved are mainly written in Scots.< < There are many examples of the nobility in the middle ages speaking a different language from the common folk. The English nobility spoke French right into the 1500's for example. As did much of the Scottish nobility. My point is, the language of written documents is not always a guarantee that the people spoke it. Latin was used by the church, and is in many documents even though virtually nobody outside the church spoke or understood it. >>”After the fourteenth century, Scots was the language of virtually all the people of Scotland”<< Substitute Scotland for lowlands and you might be onto something, possibly. You are in my opinion 'plain wrong' as Domhnall Ban asserts to claim virtually all of Scotland. Also Domhnall is quite correct in claiming that Gaelic was the founding language of the new Scottish nation. Regardless whether some bits were loped off or added on later, the ruling language of the new nation was Gaelic. I don't know if you have chosen to ignore my earlier points Teach, but what do you think of the outrageous headlines in today's 'Scottish Sun' the labour news (record) and 'Scottish' Daily Mail. I never looked at any others as I thought I might puke!