Oh Scotland! You’ve really let yourself down. You should be ashamed.

30 May 2014

Lord, grant me strength. And serenity. Further evidence emerges that supporters of Scottish independence are losing their minds. Yesterday Iain Macwhirter was in full Can we no do anything right? mode; today it’s the turn of Joyce Macmillan to wallow in self-pity.

Again, you see, the problem with Scotland is that it is full of Scottish people and, golly, some of them hold nasty, inconvenient, dismal views. They are the enemy within. That may sound nastily conspiratorial but, hell, it’s not my view. To wit:

On Monday morning, as the final Euro elections results were being confirmed, I made my way up to the NHS outpost in Lauriston Place in Edinburgh for un ultrasound scan.

I was feeling so traumatised by Scotland’s lapse of judgment in electing a Ukip MEP – and by England’s alarming decision to prefer Nigel Farage and his crew to all other parties – that I found myself peering suspiciously at everyone in the waiting room; the guilty 140,000 Scottish Ukip voters must be somewhere, I reasoned, so why not here?

Traumatised, I tells ya! And feather-footed through the plashy fen passes the progressive vole.

Reader, I cried too. With laughter admittedly, but tears are tears and they were shed in a noble cause.

Of course leftists are always scolding people. But, really, Scotland how could you? You’ve let yourself down this time. Worse, you’ve disappointed me. Electing a Ukip MEP should shame you. It is a lapse in judgement for which, evidently, you are collectively responsible. Worse, the guilty people are everywhere. Even, perhaps, in NHS waiting rooms. You can never be too careful, you know.

As it happens I have no time for Ukip myself. Readers with even short memories may know this. I didn’t vote for Ukip last week but I don’t suppose there’s any point in denying that their success in Scotland has been mightily entertaining. It has appalled all the right people. (It’s also a damn good story and like other hacks I’m in favour of damn good stories.)

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Still, the people have spoken. The bastards. Nor, whether one wishes it otherwise or not, is it an aberration. Poor Joyce is so traumatised by Ukip’s success that she quite fails to ask why it might have happened.

Perhaps that’s because the answer might discomfort her or anyone else who believes in the myth of a saintly progressive Scotland. So, for the benefit of slow learners, here we go again: a third of Scots wish to leave the european union. Nearly 70 per cent favour sharply restricting immigration. And almost 70 per cent want a ‘tougher’ line taken on benefit-spending. A benefits cap is favoured by around 80 per cent of Scots and nearly three quarters think the unemployed should be made to work for their giro cheques.

This may be unfortunate and the bloody people may be mistaken but, awkwardly, this is what they actually think. That being the case it is neither surprising nor horrifying that a party such as Ukip – non-keen on the EU, less than chuffed by immigration – should do reasonably well. The people aren’t being conned or hoodwinked into voting for Ukip; Ukip are merely meeting a demand for that kind of politics.

The delusions don’t stop there, alas. You see:

Given the mixture of scare-mongering and condescension offered by the No campaign so far […] it becomes increasingly clear that a No vote in September may well be something of a tragedy for Scotland, carte blanche to an arrogant British establishment to continue to strip our assets, and to treat us with the contempt they will feel we have deserved.

I know it’s rude to call this sort of thing scare-mongering but isn’t it just a tiny bit scare-mongerish? Condescending guff, too. There’s also something a trifle arrogant about writing as though you’re The Voice of the People at the same time as you deplore what you hear from the actual people themselves.

And, again, there is the paranoia and the familiar, fond determination to treat Scotland as a victim. Some parts of the left insist upon this so much and so often that you begin to think they like and even need the idea. Poor Scotland! So small! So weak! So liable to be pillaged by vicious neoliberal thugs streaming over the border! They may already be in our waiting rooms, who knows where else they may lurk? Lock up your daughters, Caledonia.

Worse, the British state (of which we are of course a part) is somehow, albeit mysteriously, stripping our assets? Come off it. (And at the same time of course this isn’t a Scotland vs England thing. Not at all.) The Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrats all treat Scotland with so much contempt they each think her wee parliament should enjoy greater powers and more responsibility. When-oh-when will they cease being so beastly?

Only, it seems, a Yes vote can protect Scotland. To vote differently is an act of hari-kari all the more plangent for being so unnecessary. Certainly no decent Scot could have any honourable or honest reason for disagreeing with the High Priestesses of Progressive Scotchness.  More epistemic closure, really.

Of course there are problems that need addressing but it’s not as though the soft-left Scottish consensus hasn’t had a chance to solve them. It’s only enjoyed 15 years in government, after all. Perhaps the fault lies less in the tools (or levers!) than in how they have been used?

But, hey, the people are ghastly and they need re-educating. When that happens they will see clearly and wash themselves of their sins. Until then we shall remain traumatised by the horrifying revelation not everyone agrees with us. Democracy sucks, right?

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Show comments
  • Chip Casey

    Self determination is better than dictation from non Scottish rule. You guys let the fear mongers scare you when you should have seen through the lies. The blood of so many Scots are crying out from the grave that they died for self determination and you let it pass without so much as a whimper. Very sad.

  • Anton Le Grandier

    for some time now I have held a sceptical view of the “new progressive Scotland” narrative that abounds in certain areas of the Indy camp.I may be wrong but……………..over the years I have encountered little evidence of this view much outside University life and the west end of Glasgow.Ach well,I am a long time proponent of Yes but the reasons for this are more than a little obscure.I imagine a lot of political beliefs are so.Fine piece Mr Massie.Theres nothing quite like a gentle titter at the lefts inability to accept the general populaces difference of opinion.I will not be entirely pleased if the Sept vote is NAW but this will be leavened somewhat by the spectacle of “cataclysm”(copyright G.Robertson) that will descend on these “beacons of progressivism”.Ach,poor sods.Beliefs are fine but the human animal is a various bugger and not too many of them are so keen to live in Platos Republic.Thank fuck.

  • Neil

    Ha ha the left just hate democracy…

  • Like_wow

    Think of personalities as bodies and ideologies and moral codes as clothes. Certain personalities don certain ideologies and codes. There have always been scandalized moralists dismayed by ignorant populations but until recently they found work in church positions rather media jobs. Would-be members of a true universal church or united borderless citizens of the progressive world, just different garments for the same personality. The outward hypocrisies alone are different and what’s important is what’s inside.

  • JamesH12

    the greyhound -Earlier you posted a comment “The piddling little SNP formed an administration on 22% of the electorate in 2011”
    Report to the electoral commission-Scottish Parliamentary Elections 2011
    SNP 45.4 % const seats 53 total seats 69
    labour 31.7% 15 37
    cons. 13.9% 3 15
    libs. 7.9% 2 5
    greens 0 2
    ind 0 1


    • The_greyhound


      Read what I said.

      Then get on with your street cleaning.

  • Simon Delancey

    UKIP’s success happened solely because the majority of voters couldn’t bothered to get off their backsides and vote, whereas the UKIP supporters could and did.

  • The_greyhound

    Scotland, a country where there are as many Tories and Ukippers as there are nationalists.

    Little wonder that Salmond’s squalid little party is wetting itself again. It’s pretty clear that the result of September’s pointless ballot will leave the SNP outvoted 2:1.

    Let’s hope the SNP and its deranged rabble choke on the prospect.

  • abystander

    Someone regrets UKIP scrapping a Scottish euroseat and Massie thinks that is shameful?

    90% of us regret UKIP winning a seat.

    By the way this Coburn guy has a real ability to stick his foot deep in his mouth. Can he no do a wee column here?

  • JPJ2

    Alex Massie is just a unionist spinner
    I will just repeat a very basic fact:

    • Inverted Meniscus

      And only a complete idiot uses capital letters.

      • JPJ2

        I do it to get attention-it worked with you.
        Who uses a completely idiotic name like “Inverted Meniscus”-can it be cured by the way? :-)

        • Inverted Meniscus

          No lad it just makes you look like the cybernat nutter that you are.

          • JPJ2

            Read what I said, I will repeat the truth of the matter for you:
            The SNP topped the poll in Scotland and UKIP were fourth. In England UKIP were first. Massie is an obfuscating chancer.
            These are the facts-got it now? :-)

            • Inverted Meniscus

              I’m not going to read the blather of a cybernat nutter lad. It would be a waste of time reading your deluded nuttery.

              • JPJ2

                If you have no argument to put forward, I politely suggest you desist not only from reading but also writing.

                Everyone can see who the “nutter” is here :-)

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  Oh I’ve tried rational argument with cybernat nutters like yourself covering such matters as currency union and transition costs. All you get back in return is hysteria, lies, obfuscation, oh and more lies. Hence I am simply going to ridicule you cybernat nutters and give you a taste of your own cybernat nuttery medicine. Now run along there’s a good nutter.

                • JPJ2

                  As I said, it is clear who the “nutter” is here.
                  Just let me remind you again. The SNP topped the poll (again) in Scotland. UKIP were fourth, polling about a third % wise what they did in England.
                  Sorry if that does not compute and you don’t do numbers :-)

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  Keep blathering lad I’m not interested in your cybernat nuttery. I have a good laugh thinking that UKIP denied you nutters a third MEP. But you keep blathering lad it will make you feel better.

    • The_greyhound

      And the grotty little SNP couldn’t scrape 400,000 votes throughout Scotland.

      The preening waddling soon-to-be ex-first minister was telling us only days before how his ghastly bunch of oddballs were going to take a third seat in Scotland. It proved to be untrue, like everything he says.

      A richly deserved humiliation, and a foretaste of the crushing defeat that awaits the SNP.

      Reasons to be cheerful, aplenty.

      • JPJ2

        A yes, the humiliation of First Place :-) :-) :-)

  • Bonkim

    Independence is a condition of the heart and no amount of clever double talk will change that.

  • Cymrugel

    Don’t talk daft.

    The SNP vote has held up well – still with two seats after seven years in power.

    The UKip win is a threat to the unionist side not the yes campaign.

    I could half believe the man is an SNP mole. He must surely be worth a couple of per cent swing to yes on his own. If only he keeps talking bollocks loudly and often right up to September.

    The truth is the no campaign is struggling and the unionist parties are in disarray.
    If they cannot regain the initiatives with the inbuilt advantages they have or can only squeak a narrow win they have lost all credibility.

    • Inverted Meniscus

      So the SNP is absolutely delighted that UKIP have an MEP in Scotland? Is there any limit to your self- delusion?

      • abystander

        No, but the Better Together campaign is delighted.

  • Shorne

    “Nearly 70 per cent favour sharply restricting immigration.”

    This is from today’s The Scotsman newspaper,
    “A SEPARATE Scotland would have more liberal immigration policies than the UK, Alex Salmond has claimed.”

    So 70% of Scots disagree with the leader of the SNP?

  • Fergus Pickering

    I think the word you want is discomfit. If it only discomforts them them will soon get over it.

  • Puss in Plimsolls

    Great article.

    And it answers your final question beautifully. If one is a Lefty (oh sorry, a progressive), then yes, it certainly does.

  • jonlivesey

    I don’t have an opinion about Scottish independence, but I think it’s worth pointing out that the latest ICM/Scotland on Sunday poll has Yes on 34%, No on 46% and Undecided on 20%.

    That’s actually worse for Yes than last month, and as a No lead it’s a result that takes us back to the beginning of 2014. I don’t know where the surge is that the SNP talks about.

    To get a convincing win, the SNP would have to persuade just about all the Undecideds to vote Yes.

    If the Undecideds stay home on voting day, Yes lose by 34% to 46%. If the undecideds vote and split fifty-fifty, the Yes loses by 44% to 56%.

    • Jimmy Grant

      Sorry – pedantic, I know – but if the undecideds stay at home, Yes lose by 42.5% to 57.5% (or 34/80 to 46/80)

    • Sentinel

      I think the fieldwork for the poll you mentioned was conducted before the European elections. It will be interesting to see how UKIP’s triumph south of the Border changes voting intentions, as could the Tories rising in the opinion polls.

      If the ‘No’ (Unionist) side only narrowly win because of the votes of foreign residents and/or possibly the 65+ cohort then expect one more push.

  • flippit

    It’s getting clearer why UKIP did so unexpectedly well, Scots are looking for a ‘Man of the People’ type that Salmond used to be for them. Joyce herself was going to vote Green I think she said, so she’s bound to be miffed. Maybe it’s nationalists like Joyce and McWhirter who are the ones suffering Stockholm syndrome, locked into Westminster imposed suffering as a reason for being. Very unhealthy,

    • global city

      Another reason for voting UKIP is that they have promised to address the grasping, centralising habit of Whitehall in ways that will benefit ALL areas outside London.

      It is not only Scotland that suffers (ironically a socialist habit) from everything important and strategic being hogged by the centre, nearly all of England does as well.

      Liverpool has been stripped bare by the twin, centralising evils of Whitehall and Brussels. The North had it’s industry set in aspic and the refused the investment needed to keep them innovative and relevant. We’ve been left with disfunctional local strutures that were designed to be the delivery agents of Whitehalls big strategic commands and ever penny spent and profit lodged in the loal bank goes straight off to London…. as does all the tax…..and so on.

      UKIP aim to not only free up the governmental burden of centralised command, but also that of business, which will enable all parts of the UK to look to the world.

    • Jambo25

      UKIP got 10% of the votes cast. Get some grip on reality.

      • flippit

        It was generally thought that UKIP would get nowhere in Scotland, yet they got a seat. It’s the seat that’s the reality.

        • Jambo25

          Its the 10% vote; 17%-!8% gap between Scotland and England and the fact that UKIP got a lower vote in Scotland than in London where it was widely held to have ‘failed’. The gap between English and Scottish political behaviour is widening, not narrowing.

          • The_greyhound

            Well the piddling little SNP formed an administration in Edinburgh on 22% of the support of the electorate in 2011.

            Whichever way you look at it the Euro elections were a crushing defeat for salmond and for Scotland’s nationalist minority.

            Most gratifying.

            • Jambo25

              And there was me thinking that the SNP got the largest share of the vote. Must be wrong.

    • JPJ2

      Finished FOURTH Finished FOURTH Finished FOURTH

  • wimsb

    At least a few people in Scotland have some voting sense.

  • edlancey

    The lefty commentariat in Scotland, McWhirter, Ian Bell in the Herald for example, are the most arrogant and condescending idiots on the planet.

    • Michael Mckeown

      McWhirter’s is very sensitive, one time he posted about ‘UK warships continuing to be built on the Clyde as the contracts were signed’ for several users, including myself, to then correct his outright lie, he must have had a big cry to the moderator as each and every post correcting his outright lie was censored but the censurers never corrected McWhirter’s blatant lies though.

  • Bill_der_Berg

    Scotland in unworthy of you. As Oscar Wilde might say, “It would take a heart of stone to listen to your lamentations without laughing”.

  • alabenn

    Did you go for a scan about that funny sinking feeling in your stomach, that’s normal, when after years of being so cocksure you are always right, it turns your whole world upside down, when no matter which way you cut it, you had no idea a clever clogs such as yourself could be so wrong.

  • Kitty MLB

    You do seem to be somewhat curmudgeonly, poor old fellow.
    Who said England prefers UKIP. Did we have a general election whilst I were a sleep.
    Everyone has their moment basking in the sunshine ( Is it very sunning in Scotland)
    and everyone has to deal with thunderstorms and the electorates opinion changes
    as quickly as the wind that blows through Mull in November.
    So you now have a Kipper MEP, and a delightful Sturgeon, a beaming
    Salmond. And will deal with whatever life throws at you with humour and good grace.

  • Kaine

    Great fun.

  • Alex Creel

    ‘The Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrats all treat Scotland with so much contempt they each think her wee parliament should enjoy greater powers and more responsibility’ ??? No sign of greater powers yet – even 16 weeks out there isn’t a consensus on any further powers…strange that it only took 5 minutes to cook up a consensus on ‘no pound’ but significantly longer to produce an offer of more power?

    • mightymark

      No – it only took 5 minutes to state the bleeding obvious.

      • Alex Creel

        It seems bleeding obvious that if Wee ‘Eck is offering a bright new future the rUK has to offer something other than the status quo (1 trillion in debt, inequality, mortality rates worse than eastern Europe etc). If not it’s bleeding obvious that Scotland will vote YES

        • mightymark

          Only if you think the Scots are daft enough to believe “Wee ‘Eck” – and I pay them the compliment of believing that most don’t.

        • Fergus Pickering

          Anybody can offer a bright new future. The difficult part is gettting there.

  • Banjo12

    The author is clearly a nutter. Disregard anything he writes in the future.

    • Chuck Jones

      Haha, you’d like that wouldn’t you?

      • Wessex Man

        I don’t believe it again a perfectly reasoned post by me using the same words as Massie has the message Hold on, this waiting to be approved by Spectator Blogs. Meanig it’s going to taken down in a few minutes!

        Is this system just a programme that has no brain of it’s own? If it is it’s set far too low.

  • Ooh!MePurse!

    Hilarious. And the same attitude is displayed in England by the left. Macmillan’s patronising words could have come straight out of Harman’s mouth.

    ‘They might already be in our waiting rooms’ made me chuckle.

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