If language is important - as it surely is - then the motives and attitudes and intentions of the person choosing and using the language must also be significant. Context is crucial. The psychology of the speaker is as much part of the context as the setting and has to be considered along with other factors, such as the occasion, the venue and the audience.
It says something about the persistence of national identity that the ancient nation of Scotland survived the Union as more than just an annexed territory of England-as-Britain. More than just a premium brand and a tourist destination. More than merely a source of labour, skills and fodder for the British war machine.
As British Nationalists understand it, the purpose of giving a modicum of power to those uppity Jocks was to forestall them taking all the power to which they are entitled.
This is dominance behaviour. It is political scent-marking. It is a blunt and imperious message from the British state reminding us that they own devolution. They own the Scottish Parliament. They own Scotland.
Could this be the deceptively thin but darkly portentous end of a metaphorical wedge? We know that the British political elite are motivated to seek, contrive and exploit every opportunity to undermine the Scottish Government. Devolution itself, initially intended as a device to kill the cause of independence "stone dead", latterly has been reshaped as … Continue reading Every little thing they do
Lallands Peat Worrier neatly illustrates the madness of devolution premised on the imperative of maintaining established structures of power, privilege and patronage.That the tax/benefit system should function, and be administered, as a coherent whole is a truth too obvious to be worth exploring. It stands to reason, therefore, that the very worst arrangement that might … Continue reading Devolution gone mad
Kenny MacAskill (Photo credit: Wikipedia)I have always had a degree of admiration for Kenny MacAskill. He always struck me as someone who was not afraid to tackle the kind of issues that politicians normally skirt around. It is, therefore, not too surprising to find him putting his head above the parapet on the issue of … Continue reading Talking sense
Mundell is so proud of the fiscal traps that the UK Government is laying for the Scottish Government that he can't help boasting about them. What he is talking about is an effective transfer of Scottish tax revenue back to the British Treasury's coffers. We first saw this with the Bedroom Tax. I, and many … Continue reading An urgent warning
What a strange demand from Ruth Davidson. In one breath she boasts that her bosses in London are graciously giving the Scottish Parliament sweeping new tax powers, in the next she demands that the SNP make a solemn undertaking never to use those powers.It all seems a bit crazy and contradictory, until you realise that … Continue reading The new devolution
Douglas Alexander (Photo credit: Wikipedia)As I write this, the buzz-word of the moment is "reconciliation". The idea is being put about that Scotland will require some sort of healing process after the referendum. The implication being that the referendum itself has somehow been damaging to Scotland. We are effectively being told that the exercise by … Continue reading Aftermath