Nationalists or clientists?

Among Alex Slamond’s first act was to refuse to Scottish Executive support for Dumfries House, Simon Jenkins argues that this demonstrates:

“his nationalism is rooted not in the character, culture and heritage of Scotland but rather in the bid of a factional politician for English money to buy votes and thus win power. The motivation is ambition, not nationalist vision.”

He also argues that that:

“This is pocketbook devolution. Read the nationalist manifestos and they are little more than shopping lists. Take away the British exchequer and I sense they would collapse like scarecrows without sticks.”

  • kensei

    What can really be said of an article that includes the line:

    “A real Scotsman likes money. If he can sell 50 Chippendales and get the idiot English to give him millions for wind farms on Skye, so much the better.”

    He seems to entire miss the point of independence – it is entirely up to an Independent nation to decide what they value, and what they want to pay for regardless of how much of an uneducated and unrefined rabble English commentators think they are.

    He is right about clientism, but the only way to avoid it would be tax raising powers, which Westminster doesn’t want to concede and it is completely unrelated to whether or not they buy an old house off a rich dude.

  • Jocky

    I see the media’s anti independence band wagon still rolls on.

    “Why did Salmond refuse? I suspect it is because his nationalism is rooted not in the character, culture and heritage of Scotland but rather in the bid of a factional politician for English money to buy votes and thus win power. The motivation is ambition, not nationalist vision.”

    “I am sure that nationalism’s attitude to these houses is similar to that of the Irish after independence when they smashed the streets and monuments of Georgian Dublin”

    What a load of drivel, never seen so much suposition, projection and straw men all that neatly fits his arguement. Decidely short on facts, quotes or analysis to back up his arguement. Some boy Simon Jenkins if he can read other folks mind and see into the future.

    And what per chance was Labour or the Tories glorious legacy in Scotland?

  • The Dubliner

    “…Historic Scotland, refused to give a penny from its £68m budget on the grounds that the house was “not financially viable”. ”

    Simon Jenkins seems to defeat his own pro-English nationalist rant by showing that the Scots are prudent about how they choose to spend the taxpayer’s money, whilst the English seem to be carelessly flinging it at decrepit symbols of wealth belonging to the declining ruling classes.

  • wild turkey

    ‘Take away the British exchequer and I sense they would collapse like scarecrows without sticks.’

    Is Simon talking about the Celtic Fringe or British landed gentry, aristocracy and assorted hangers-on?

    Who would get the money in question?

    The owner of the pile in question, the Marquis of Bute (call me Johnny) is down to his last £123 Million. On the 2007 Sunday Times rich list he is number 566, plummeting from the 2006 rank of 456. The man is sinking faster than the PDs in the last Irish election. Time to throw him a life line.

    when you are down to your last £123 million I guess the idea of giving the property to the nation is out of the question.

    In this instance clientism, sorry charity, would indeed start with the British Exchequer and/or lottery funds.

    Jenkins concludes his article saying

    ‘Ancient buildings should be the emblems of nationalism.’

    yeah, but who’s nationalism? English or Scots/Welsh/Irish?

    T’was ever thus.

  • Spongers Utd

    Here’s something new. An Englishman telling others what to do in their own country. The old attitude of the English knowing best is alive and well. Like that Tory prat Ian Dale on ‘The Panel’ the other night on RTÉ 2, basically stating that everything we do in politics, from PR right down to having posters in public places as wrong because the English don’t do it.
    Here’s a simple solution to the above. If the English don’t like what the devolved Scottish parliament does with the exchequers money they should hand over all Scottish oil revenue back to the Scots, and allow them to do with it as they please considering it’s their natural resource in the first place.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    India, US, Half of Africa etc and now Scotland – Simon don’t say yuo didnt see it comin.

  • barnshee

    “This is pocketbook devolution. Read the nationalist manifestos and they are little more than shopping lists. Take away the British exchequer and I sense they would collapse like scarecrows without sticks.”

    The truth hurts but it remains the truth.

    I for one cannot understand why the English –(who provide most of tax) don`t just say Fuck off-raise your own fucking taxes pay your own pensions and social security but most of all just FUCK OFF

  • Forecast

    Sammy – ‘Half of Africa ‘

    And what a fantastic job they made of it.

  • Whatever Next

    Good to see that for so many of the delights who post on Slugger, calling someone ‘English’ is the worst insult they can throw. Presumably Martin’s ministerial pledge of office stops him from using such shocking, shocking language. Oh well, not that it matters, but Simon Jenkins is Welsh. And, though, it maters even less, he’s utterly wrong on this one. As any Thatcherite could have told him, the taxpayer does not need to be stiffed to give the Marquess of Bute yet more wonga. Private money built the house and assembled its contents – and back to other private money it can all go. No harm done, no need for yet more public money p*ssed all over the place.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Whatever Next

    Judging by the funny way he talks he certainly aspires to be an Engleze

  • Whatever Next

    Not well travelled, are you Sammy? Certainly not to Wales it would seem. Get out there and meet people – they’re not as neatly pigeon holed as you seem to think.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Whatever Next

    It is an unfortunate aspect of Welsh society particularly for gentlemen of or over a certain age that they felt, that in order to secure proper employment ‘down London way’ they had to speak ‘proper’ English.

    The boy Simon is a case in point – other amusing examples are Hezza and fat boy Geoffrey ( dead sheep ) Howe – the only apparent Welsh connection was the expired sheep.

    Luckily with the continued growth in the Weslh language and wider UK appreciation of Welsh culture the need to the funny talk stuff is in decline.

    Regarding my travel movements or lack thereof I dont tend as a rule to respond to personal remarks.
    Bore Da

  • Whatever Next

    Sammy, blethering on with silly anecdotes (Heseltine, Howe, etc) doesn’t in any way cover up your pitiful monoculturalism. *You* have an idea of what a Welsh person should sound like, and when they don’t, *you* tick them off (with yet again, being even homophonically akin to an Englishman being a telling mark of criticism …). A ‘Welsh’ accent is a many varied thing. It really would be a wonderful world if people like you could expect to hear a catholic range of them, and not feign (I trust) disappointment when you don’t.

    Cheerio.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Whatever Next

    Poeple who pretend to be what they are not will always invite ridicule – the same sort of funny stuff used to happen in Ireland and may still do in the proverbial D4 – though I presume independence and constant ribbing may have belatedly put paid to it.

    It might be suspected that given yout ill tempered and personal replies ( tinged with a hint of pomposity ) that you yourself might be a victim of this dreadful (though declining) cultural imperialism.

  • Whatever Next

    Playing the man whilst whing about man-playing seems to be a popular sport on Slugger these days . . . but back toy you: suck it up – you’re one of these people who expects OTHER people do behave as *you* think they ought to, rather than as they want to themselves. Let a thousand flowers bloom, and death to whining, self-pitying, Liberal cultural imperialists the world over. And yes, I dare say my voice sounds nicer than yours too.

  • Prince Eoghan

    To all.

    We do have limited tax raising powers in our nations Parliament which the SNP may make use of before too long. It does not surprise me that the author of the article was Welsh, the chance to suck up to the master is always welcome. I’m sure Dewi will have a few words reserved for his sort.

    The Prime Minister of the UK has yet to contact the new FM of Scotland to offer congratulations, the PM in waiting only done so yesterday. Sour grapes anyone?

  • w

    Buried deep in this Punch-esque “White Man’s Burden” diatribe from a Cecil Rhodes wannabe is a point.

    If Tara were in England there would probably be less revving of JCB engines.

  • George

    w,
    I wouldn’t be so sure about that one. The English like their roads as much as the next man.

    http://www.savestonehenge.org.uk/stonea.html

  • barnshee

    “We do have limited tax raising powers in our nations Parliament which the SNP may make use of before too long”

    Only a madman will propose raising ADDITIONAL tax in Scotland (or N Ireland).
    What are the options

    Additional income tax?
    Raise council tax/rates ?
    Higher Capital Gains Tax?
    Excise Duties?

    Thought not

    Do what you like with the treasure subventions but try to fuck with the tax system and you will be out of office at the first opportunity