I don’t mention the ‘Scottish’ Liberal Democrat leader very often. Partly, this is because I have a tendency to forget about the very existence of LibDems; partly because I’m never sure whether ‘smarmy bastard’ should be hyphenated; but mainly because the guy is just dull. I’m talking dull like that guy in the pub who, regardless what the topic is, steers every conversion into the story of how he briefly worked for NASA during the 1970s. Including ─ if you remain conscious long enough to hear it ─ the not very hilarious tale of the astronaut, the kipper tie and the gazpacho.
Sorry! I dozed off there just thinking about Alex Cole-Hamilton. Where was I? Oh yes! He’s in the news. Not the NASA guy. Alex Smarmy-Bastard. (Still not sure about that hyphen.) It seems he said something while someone was paying enough attention not just to notice, but to take note. I can’t claim to have read all the comments on The National’s account of this utterance (approaching 160 as I write), but what I have read seems to indicate almost universal outrage at what he said. Which is probably understandable given that he said Scotland “can never and should never exist again”. Which is a bit bold.
Personally, I was not all that offended by Alex Cole-Hamilton’s remark. Not because it isn’t offensive. But most things said by most British Nationalists most of the time are offensive to some degree. Unless you have an endless supply of righteous indignation then you’re going to run out eventually. Mine is severely depleted. What I have left I’m saving for Alister Jack. It’s so easy to be offended by him that there’s always the risk of splurging a whole month’s scandalisation just seeing him walk across your TV screen.
Back to Mr Smarmy Bastard. (Doesn’t look right without the hyphen either.) There’s another reason I can’t share the general outrage at what he said. If you think about it ─ which outrage often precludes ─ what he said isn’t at all controversial. By which I mean it isn’t in dispute. All he has done is make reference to the original and continuing purpose of the Union. It was intended to effectively eradicate Scotland. The whole idea behind the Union was to take Scotland off the board. Permanently! That’s all Alex Cole-Hamilton is saying. He’s merely acknowledging what the Union is and what it’s meant for. He’s being honest about the Union. He has let the cat out of the bag regarding the true nature of British Nationalism.
Admittedly, such forthrightness from a British Nationalist politician is unusual and surprising. But hardly cause to burst a blood vessel. It might even be argued that we are owe a debt of gratitude to Alex Cole-Hamilton for his revelatory outburst. I certainly thank him. As regular readers are surely aware, I have long maintained that the fight to restore Scotland’s independence should focus more on the Union and what it actually means for Scotland and Scotland’s people.
As we were wont to say during the 2014 referendum campaign, were the Union being offered to the people of Scotland now that we have a form of democracy, nobody in Scotland would vote for it. It would be totally unacceptable. No citizen of any nation would vote for the obliteration of their country. No Scottish person would agree to the proposition that Scotland should cease to exist. If the Yes campaign a decade ago had framed the constitutional issue according to Alex Cole-Hamilton’s declaration of its purpose, the outcome would all but certainly have been very different.
The Union was imposed on Scotland over three centuries ago because Scotland was seen by England as a potential economic rival and military threat. This was the age of empires, remember. Imperialist nations such as England tended to deal violently and mercilessly with rivals and threats. By the standards of the time. the Union was akin to what we now call ‘soft power’. It was soft power backed by military occupation no less brutal than any before or since, of course. But by the standards of the time and of British ‘diplomacy’, it was quite subtle. It was anything but subtle in its purpose and its effect. The Union was and remains a blight on Scotland.
That the Union hasn’t quite achieved its purpose of extinguishing Scotland is a testament to the robustness and resilience of national identity. A nation is more and idea than a place. Ideas can’t be killed by the sword or gun. Nor, it seems by constitutional device. But England-as-Britain has not abandoned the ‘Greater England’ project. If nothing else, the glimpse behind the Union flag curtain allowed us by Alex Cole-Hamilton informs us that the ambition to subsume Scotland (and the rest of the UK’s periphery) in a new ‘Great Britain’ is live and active.
Isn’t it time the people of Scotland killed that ambition… stone dead?
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17 thoughts on “Feline vacates receptacle”
As you point out it is no surprise that a British Nationalist like AC-H should hold these views.
The only thing that I object to when he says that Scotland “can never and should never exist again” is the “again” bit. For Scotland has always been and remains a nation, albeit a stateless one.
The disappointing thing is that it takes inflammatory remarks from a political nonentity leading an irrelevant party that effectively ceased to exist as a potential standalone British government in 1918 to remind Scottish folks who the real enemy is and that the threat is real.
No doubt The National’s readers will be back fighting among themselves like ferrets in a sack when there is any authored article discussing about what to do about the situation Scotland now finds itself in.
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Peter, I am just going to post an extract from the link below, and invite to read it in full – however, as Humza announced in Holyrood, later this year we are to have a repeat.
Anything that would suggest that the Service in St. Giles’s [sic] next summer was in the nature of a second Coronation would be undesirable … If The Queen were to hold the Scottish sceptre, Her Majesty would be repeating, during her Coronation Visit to Scotland, one of the symbolic rites already performed at the Service in Westminster Abbey, and the symbolism might be regarded as implying that Scotland was a separate kingdom.
Simple what if … what if the remarks were made in preparation for what will happen later this year?
It’s interesting, Mike. But I don’t see it having any constitutional effect, even if it has apparent constitutional implications. Remember who we’re dealing with here. The British state is perfectly capable of maintaining simultaneously that this is a solemn, momentous occasion and that it is meaningless ceremonial. Whichever is expedient.
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A phrase I suggest we might share, Peter … is “For f***s, Scotland wake up!”
Let’s say you are correct, (I see it differently) – however let’s both wait and watch the reaction and posts that will appear when that ceremony for Charles in Edinburgh gains wall to wall BBC and MSM coverage as another example of Scotland being told, most emphatically, of our permanent subservient place within the UK.
Then, but perhaps only then, will those who awake offer their cheers and boos, with the damage long since done, the same damage and psychological infiltration that has been consistently generated since 1707.
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Lol . to share that phrase it would be preferable if I had not ommitted the word “sake”!
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Are you suggesting that the ceremony might be deemed by the SNP and/or the Scottish Government to constitute a ‘second coronation’ and therefore an affirmation of Scotland’s status as nation? Frankly, I can’t see this happening. Although such a claim may come from other quarters, I doubt if there will be anything official.
I wouldn’t be entirely comfortable with this supposing it did happen. If the ceremony were to be proclaimed a ‘second (Scottish) coronation’ and affirmation of Scotland’s ‘separateness’, this surely would imply also an affirmation of the monarchy. At a time when republican sentiment in Scotland is on the rise ─ or at least, becoming more overt ─ affirming the monarchy might not go down too well.
Perhaps reference to this ceremony might have some part to play in the constitutional debate. But my preference is that Scotland’s claim should be based solely and entirely on the sovereignty of the people.
“Are you suggesting that the ceremony might be deemed by the SNP and/or the Scottish Government to constitute a ‘second coronation’ and therefore an affirmation of Scotland’s status as nation?”
Nope the opposite. This final extract from my original post ” … the symbolism might be regarded as implying that Scotland was a separate kingdom.” which read in conjunction with the whole link shows the pains they went to back in the 50s to avoid that result.
Thus my comment ” … when that ceremony for Charles in Edinburgh gains wall to wall BBC and MSM coverage as another example of Scotland being told, most emphatically, of our permanent subservient place within the UK.”
Peter, you know as well as I do that we have a major uphill battle fight, yes, constitutionaly, but so do our opponents. They hav everything to lose!
What I am suggesting, essentially, is that we must observe (wake up) to all that they plan – they are only too good at that, the terms of the Scotland Act, S30, S35, establishing a UK Supreme Court, numeric dominance at Westminster …. need I go on?
And where possible consider what actions we can take – and do so as far in advance as we are able. Time, as you well know, is not on our side!
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I had not properly understood your point, clearly. For that, I apologise. I’m a bit distracted at the moment with what I shall only refer to as ‘other stuff’. I should have realised that you were talking about the ceremony being used by the British for propaganda purposes.
Frankly, I hadn’t given this much thought. Or any, really. Not because I don’t think that it would be used as propaganda, or because I discount the effect of such propaganda. I hadn’t thought about it purely because the propaganda is always with us. We swim in a sea of media messages all striving to manipulate us in various way; with British propaganda making up a large part of the media sea. It’s ubiquitous, to the point that it washes over us without us being consciously aware of it.
As there is really nothing we can do to hold back the tide we’ll just have to wait and see what use the BBC makes of the event. I would like to think the ceremony would be the catalyst for mass protests against the monarchy and the Union. But I have no confidence this will transpire.
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And here was me suggesting “wake up”, maybe more appropriate than I realised!
I am pursuing two ideas which may play a part.
Yes, of course, if they look likely to happen, you will be invited.
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I suggest that the Queen demonstrated undeniably, although Nicholas Witchell and the uk media tried desperately to imply otherwise, that although crowned Queen of GB she certainly viewed that her uk consisted of 2 crowns on one head and did so by having the Scots Regalia, including the crown, on her coffin as she was driven from Balmoral to Edinburgh. The Queen was heavily involved in these preparations and this perhaps suggests that she chose to die in Scotland.
If nothing else, the glimpse behind the Union flag curtain allowed us by Alex Cole-Hamilton informs us that the ambition to subsume Scotland (and the rest of the UK’s periphery) in a new ‘Great Britain’ is live and active.
It’s not about a new GB it’s about a Greater England. This is the thinking that we are all subsumed into England . Cole Hamilton is trying to appear more Tory than the Tories ( both blue and red) regarding Scotland. This from a Party and politician that knows irrelevance is an aspiration to be achieved.
Cole Hamilton would be called many things if he had said the same about other nations. The MSM seem to think it is acceptable because it is about Scotland!
They’re hardly going to call it ‘Greater England’, are they? Are they???
I suspect the name they will go with is ‘Great Britain’. It is familiar and has the connotations the British Nationalists would wish it to have. But and I and the rest will know it’s just ‘Greater England’ by a different name.
I agree with the sentiments in your article but in my opinion ‘smarmy bastard’ should not be hyphenated. To do so loses the necessary importance of each word in its own right and, in this case, each word is essential and requires its own strength.
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Check out https://www.snp.org/ – search for the word “Independence”.
Ooops, what a give away.
It sounds daft, but if in their utter cloth-eared stupidity the SNP have abandoned Independence, they’re down to about 8% for the next GE. And that’s being “progressively” generous (excuse my language).
In similar vein, I previously noted how all mention of Section 30 suddenly vanished from SNP rhetoric. Euphemisms such as ‘agreed referendum’ began appearing instead. I like to think I played a small part in making the term so toxic they could even bring themselves to say it.
Oddly, or so it seemed at the time, Alba appeared to drop reference to Section 30 about the same time. I have since come to realise that this is just more evidence of how similar the two parties are. Which is not so surprising given that they are almost all ex-SNP. Scratch the Saltire blue of the Alba logo and you’ll find SNP gold and black.
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