Coffee House

The SNP might not realise it, but in sport, there’s a difference between patriotism and nationalism

23 July 2014

The BBC should probably think about issuing a public warning before it starts broadcasting the Commonwealth Games from Glasgow tonight. Something along the lines of ‘viewers of a nervous disposition should look away now (and for the next two weeks)’. That should cover it.

Why? Because, for some English viewers, the coverage from Glasgow 2014 might be more than a bit unsettling.

Here we are, just eight weeks from the referendum on Scottish independence and our screens are suddenly going to be filled with kilts, Saltires and songs dedicated to sending the English ‘home tae think again’.

Even the official emblem of the Glasgow Games – a jaggy thistle – seems to have been deliberately designed to prickle and get underneath those prissy white strips worn by the dastardly English.

As a result, for the next two weeks it really will seem as if the English (as well as the Welsh and Northern Irish) will be competing in a different country: and that is exactly how Alex Salmond wants it to look.

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But – and it is a big and important one – neither athletes nor spectators should get too het up about such overt, in-your-face Scottishness. There is a world of difference between the national pride on show in Glasgow and those who support independence.

Salmond believed, right from the moment he announced his planned timetable for the referendum, that the Commonwealth Games would provide the Yes campaign with a massive emotional and electoral boost just weeks before polling day.

All those tears and cheers and renditions of Flower of Scotland, they couldn’t help but give the Nationalists a lift – well, that was the theory anyway.

But there is one lesson that SNP leaders don’t ever seem to have learned and that is that Scottish patriotism and support for Scottish independence do not amount to the same thing.

So, however alien and difficult an environment the English athletes may find themselves in (there have already been strong denials from Nationalists that English athletes will be booed in Glasgow) this should not be interpreted as anything other than normal, over-the-top Scottish patriotism.

Any English supporter who has been to Murrayfield for a Calcutta Cup match knows how virulently passionate the Scottish fans can be. They cheer every English mistake and make Flower of Scotland sound more like a war cry than the mournful dirge it is.

Yet almost all of those rugby fans, who are so fiercely anti-English on the ground, become well-educated, well-off, middle-class Edinburgh folk as soon as they leave the stadium. Indeed, most of those Scots patriots would no more think of voting independence than they would selling their New Town houses and moving into a peace camp.

Salmond has wanted for years to have a Scottish Commonwealth Games with a Scottish team competing on home soil. His fellow Nationalists have joined in, believing the sporting spectacle that begins this evening would give them the final push they need to win the referendum. But the rest of us are more discerning than that. We can distinguish between patriotism and nationalism – unlike many in the SNP.

So the message to all those other UK competitors who will parade round the inside of Celtic Park this evening is this – this is not about politics, nor is it about independence or the future of the Union. This is about sport and although that is sometimes more important than politics, they are not the same, however much Salmond would like them to be.

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Show comments
  • Gregory Beekman

    This blog is complete and utter jealousy that Scotland has the Commonwealth Games prior to the referendum. In saying that it shouldn’t be political, you’re making it political. You are trying to turn our games into a massive pro-YES movement. I’ve got a mix of family and friends voting YES and NO and we’re all enjoying the games and taking a welcome break from politics as a result. Or so I had thought. Keep your xenophobic jealousy to yourself and let us enjoy our games. Is that too much to ask or are you going to p*ss over everything the Scots do to further your own agenda?

  • benbecula

    His central thesis is probably correct – the most nationalistic and patriotic Scotsman I’ve ever met are to be found in the conservative party ( i.e. Unionist) . The SNP bend over backwards to tell us the referendum isn’t about nationalism which I tend to believe, as most of them behave like classic old labour type socialists. The referendum is just a vehicle for them to realise their aims.

  • Colin Rullkotter

    I’d always thought that, while surely a No supporter, Hamish Macdonell was a fairly even-handed and measured commentator, and I found the stick he got from many Nats unfair. But his bit here about the thistle mascot is seriously swivel-eyed.

  • Ricayboy

    It’s a shame that England can’t be allowed to celebrate its own identity and culture in such a positive way. All we get is ‘Britishness.’

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  • Jason

    Such a bitter blog.

  • Rob Kay

    It isn’t about sport. Thats just a bit of fun. It is about ‘ the economy, stupid’ … and that’s why I’m voting yes.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    When drunken, violent, vomiting and urinating English football fans congregate in a European city centre, assaulting locals and each other, throwing furniture, shouting “*uck the Pope”, fighting the local police, mobbing into shops to rob the till, would that be patriotism or nationalism?

    • George Smiley

      But you are still a Japanese. None of your ****ing business or problem, either way!

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        The same incurable malady. The least you could do is keep it to yourself. Deranged till the day you die.
        Jack, the Japan Alps Brit

  • Ross

    “As a result, for the next two weeks it really will seem as if the English (as well as the Welsh and Northern Irish) will be competing in a different country:” I’m sorry, but I thought they were competing in a different country….or is Scotland just another region of northern Engurland..

  • OskarMatzerath

    That terribly offensive mascot, designed from a racist perspective? Yeah, they held a design competition two years ago, and it was won by a 12 year old girl. I’m sure both you and The Spectator will be falling over yourself to apologise to her Hamish.

  • scotlandsaysyes

    “Salmond has wanted for years to have a Scottish Commonwealth Games” it was First Minister Jack Mcconnel (labour ) who campaigned for the commonwealth games. What a horrible little article this is.

  • Ed Vaughan

    Hamish, laddie, that’s some size of a chip you have on your shoulder, there… salt ‘n’ sauce?

  • Peter Tugendhat

    “Even the official emblem of the Glasgow Games – a jaggy thistle – seems to have been deliberately designed to prickle and get underneath those prissy white strips worn by the dastardly English.”

    “such overt, in-your-face Scottishness”

    “So, however alien and difficult an environment the English athletes may find themselves in”

    I’m sorry, was this meant as a pro-Union piece?

  • Wessex Man

    What a jaundiced view you hold of your fellow Scots and we English. It’s about to go head to head in sport along with most of the countries of the Commonwealth and I’m sure that everyone who watches will become caught up in the joy of it won’t be upset in the least. to try and use this fantastic occasion for narrow political views is really silly.

    When Scots, Welsh or NI winners come in all I will feel is good for them.

  • Neil

    Aye, because the organisers of these games have prioritised everything around what those in England think. Give me a break. A classic example of an article written for the colonial mindset.

  • Homer Wolfeschlegelsteinhausen

    “Even the official emblem of the Glasgow Games – a jaggy thistle – seems to have been deliberately designed to prickle and get underneath those prissy white strips worn by the dastardly English.”

    Really? Wow. And they allow you to publish this drivel?

  • disqus_EjgKZ1VUFS

    Hamish Macdonell the man who single handedly destroyed the Caledonian Mercury.The Mercury was a great idea as others that came along later succeeded but his head in the sand unionisim just wasn’t to everyones taste.
    Much of the above article is just a fairy story that the author has decided to go with.And his hatred of Alex Salmond is all to evident.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    British golfer
    British driver
    British tennis player …
    I do hate this bringing nationalism into sport.

    • Wessex Man

      so do I.

    • George Smiley

      No such thing as “British” in the Commonwealth Games. The Home Nations of the United Kingdom and Islands compete separately. You are a bit slow, aren’t you?! And why are you, a Japanese, keep on hectoring and commenting on things that you don’t really know much about anyway?!

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Patriotism, so last season.

  • Simon Brooke

    Nowhere does Flower of Scotland talk about sending ‘the English’ home. It talks about sending ‘proud Edward’s army’ home. Hostility to an invader – and invader in whose wars it is estimated that three quarters of the population of Galloway were slaughtered, to say nothing of other parts of Scotland – is a very different thing to hostility to either a nation or a people. The English have been similarly hostile to invaders, as the honour still given to Drake, to Nelson and to Churchill amply demonstrates.

    It’s not like some other nation – which it would be invidious to name – whose national anthem includes the verse:

    Lord grant that Marshal Wade
    May by thy mighty aid
    Victory bring.
    May he sedition hush,
    And like a torrent rush,
    Rebellious Scots to crush.
    God save the Queen!

    • El_Sid

      Of course, Wade was Irish and many of his troops were Scots (he founded what became the Black Watch among others) – the distinction is made between the “loyal Scots” of the Lowlands and the “rebellious Scots” of the Highlands.

      • Jambo25

        Unfortunately that wasn’t pointed out in that particular verse.

        • El_Sid

          That’s because there was no need – at the time it was understood that the Lowlands were loyal and it was only the Highlands that caused trouble. It was 2-3 generations after the Scottish civil war of 1745/6 before the losers managed to stamp their identity on their traditional enemies in the Lowlands, thanks to Walter Scott et al.

          • Jambo25

            Still didn’t change that verse though. Incidentally go back over Colley’s book ‘Britons’ and see how violently anti-Scottish (Not anti-Jacobite or anti-Scottish Episcopalian but anti-Scottish) much of English society was upt to the French wars of the 1790s on. It wasn’t an accident or misunderstanding.

          • Jambo25

            So why did some Lowlanders join the Jacobites?

  • UniteAgainstSocialism

    Scotland, its like a backwards 3rd world country without the nice weather

  • Richard Gibbons

    I can hardly believe people actually get paid to write infantile rubbish as this.

    “Salmond has wanted for years to have a Scottish Commonwealth Games with a Scottish team competing on home soil.”

    … you mean like in 1970 and 1986?

    The only political nationalism I see here is being spouted and promoted by the author.

  • ohforheavensake

    Hamish… y’do know the event is in Scotland? So there’s liable to be tartan? Yes?

  • abystander

    Supporting Britain in olympics= patriotism

    Supporting Scotland in anything = nationalism.

  • Mynydd

    Let us talk about nationalism in respect to the game of cricket. The Test team is called England and flies the Cross of St. George. Yet players from; Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales can and have been selected to play for the team. Is this not the case of extreme English nationalism. It is about time it was called the GB Test Team and the union flag flown. I await the response from little Englanders.

    • Wessex Man

      Can’t do little Englander but can do English Nationalist, I also think it’s wrong and should be stopped. You only have to look at the state of the England National side to see how well Cricket has been run for the 20 odd years and it’s only these old fundy duddies that think it’s right.

    • terence patrick hewett

      The German cricket team comprises mostly of Pakistanis. It is about time they flew the Cresent and Star.

    • Ricayboy

      Since many of your ‘Scottish’ football team were born and raised in England I don’t think you can complain too much.

  • Andy Donaldson

    It’s hard to know just where to start with an article as thin and silly as this. The fact that it’s entirely wrong with many of its assertions is almost beside the point, it’s just such a flimsy, childish piece.

  • rod robertson

    hamish it is no surprise that even the Scotsman found you too offensive to keep on.
    Nor is it a surprise no other newspaper will give you a contract.
    The load of drivel above is nothing but a hate filled rant showing your personal bigotry in its full light.
    You are a disgrace to a profession that has abolutely prostituted itself throughout this referendum,however you have scraped the bottom of the barrel.
    The people of Scotland will never forget the depths the so called journos have gone to ,to keep Scotland tied to the corrupt sleazy WM.

  • OskarMatzerath

    Ah, Hamish, the man with his finger on the pulse of modern Scotland. How’s the Caledonian Mercury doing these days Hamish? Doesn’t seem to have been updated in, oooh, months. And when it was, it was just regurgitated puff pieces from PR outfits.

  • ChuckieStane

    “Salmond has wanted for years to have a Scottish Commonwealth Games with a Scottish team competing on home soil”
    It was the Labour/LibDem Coalition that put Glasgow forward for the Games!
    “Wanted for years”?? This is the third Commonwealth Games out the last dozen to be held in Scotland!
    Apologising for Scots waving their own flag and singing there own national anthem? The cringe set to max.
    Jeezo – is this the worst ever article on Indy.

  • HenBroon

    Hamish, you are a sad wee small minded Brit Nat supremacist, and yer tea is oot. We are voting Yes on September the 18th. get over it.

  • Kate

    UPDATE: The Clyde thistle character designed, according to this heed-the-baw to deliberately irritate the English, was first drawn by a 12 year old girl in Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire, then worked up by a London-based advertising agency. Dastardly Nationalists, the lot of them. Still laughing.

  • alexicon

    Patriotism to who?
    I only have patriotism to Scotland.

  • Hugh Marnoch

    Articles like this are a window into the mind of the author, in this case mean spirited, shabby, pathetic are the words that best describe.

  • Christian Wright

    “Salmond believed, right from the moment he announced his planned timetable for the referendum, that the Commonwealth Games would provide the Yes campaign with a massive emotional and electoral boost just weeks before polling day.”

    And you know this, how, Hamish? You pulled that straight from that orifice wherein the sun don’t shine, didn’t you?

    “Even the official emblem of the Glasgow Games – a jaggy thistle – seems to have been deliberately designed to prickle and get underneath those prissy white strips worn by the dastardly English.”

    Uh, it was designed by a wee girl named Beth, ya plonker.

    “We can distinguish between patriotism and nationalism – unlike many in the SNP.”

    You can’t even distinguish the imaginative representation of a 12 year old girl from a dastardly Nationalist conspiracy, ya eejit.

    You’re not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree, are you, Hamish?

  • davidofkent

    I can’t think why this article was written. People will be watching the Games and I doubt that few south of the border will be at all bothered about a few Saltires and Thistles here and there. They are national emblems and will be amongst another 70 or so. Let’s wait until September and stop all this pointless speculation about who might or might not be upset about something or other.

  • dado_trunking

    The thing is: now that the BBC are not blowing up red muslined tower blocks at the opening ceremony, there is no point watching it.

  • Jambo25

    Any Scottish supporter who was at the last international Sevens tournament at ‘Twickers’ will have heard the overwhelmingly English crowd boo every time a Scottish Jersey was seen on the pitch. Perhaps St Hamish should go and preach his gospel of UK brotherhood to the English.

    Incidentally, love your mindless stereotyping of Scottish Rugby fans.

    • ChuckieStane

      Yeh, The guys I know from Cumnock and Kilmarnock Rugby Clubs always retire to their homes in Wariston Crescent for supper after the match.

      • goatleap

        surely being from Edinburgh they will have had their tea!?

      • Jambo25

        As does my electrician pal from Irvine and my mates from the less salubrious parts of West Lothian. After each match we go off for the tasting menu and wine package at Kitchin’s or Wishart’s. We then repair to the New Club

        • ChuckieStane

          Laugh out loud – You made me spill my coffee on the keyboard.

          • Jambo25

            Thank you. I aim to please. Seriously though, just how out of touch with present Scottish reality is Mr.Macdonell?

  • Drunken_Hobo

    I think this article is pretty much the dictionary definition of the “Scottish cringe”.
    Absolutely everything we do is always utterly hopeless and embarrassing. We must never attempt to show any sort of national pride, and if we ever do, it’s just to wind up those English whom we all despise just for being better than us.
    We’re a worthless and pathetic nation that should just give up and slink into the corner, hoping no-one notices how tragic we are.

    Sadly, a huge proportion of the Scottish population think exactly like that.

  • Cath Ferguson

    Also I’m loving the stark difference between the Commonwealth reporting and that for the Olympics and Team GB 2 years ago when, for the media and UK politicians it was all about flags, politics and getting one over Alex Salmond!

    You’re absolutely right – people are more discerning than that, and can tell the difference between sport and politics – something UK commentators appear unable to do. That’s why the Olypmics pushed me further towards yes and, were the SNP and independence campaign to do the same thing to the Commonwealth, it would put me off them as well. They won’t though, because they understand far better than UK based commentators what the debate IS about.

  • stx

    The mascot was designed by a young girl as part of a UK wide competition two years ago. I think you’re reading an awful lot into the choice.

    • Angus McIonnach

      Even the young girls are anti-English. DAMN YOU SALMON. *shakes fist*

  • Cath Ferguson

    “for the next two weeks it really will seem as if the English (as well as the Welsh and Northern Irish) will be competing in a different country”

    This kind of sums up the whole problem really. Scotland and England *are* different countries. As is Wales. That the vast majority in the UK (ie those in England) don’t realise this and find it odd that Scotland seems a wee bit foreign just seems bizarre to me. It’s why seeing everything about us and our country filtered through a London based media is so wrong.

    • Colonel Mustard

      Talking about seeing through filters imagine how you might feel if the Westminster government had devolved an English parliament and then pursued EU objectives to turn Scotland into a conglomeration of mayor-led city states and collectivised regions, calling that ‘localisation’. Then at the same time a canny leader emerged as the head of an English Nationalist Party calling for English “independence” from the Union.

      Please don’t conflate England and the English with the London-centric, EU puppet government in Westminster that wants to treat this country as a global commercial corporation (and I draw no distinction between the parties). The only reason you have a parliament and a referendum on independence is because they don’t really put any value in being able to control you. That’s also why the Unionist argument has been promulgated on negativity towards your “business plan” dressed up in completely bogus romanticism that they would drop in the blink of an eye if it affected their bottom line.

      • Angus McIonnach

        Actually, there are many voices in Labour etc who are keen to ‘devolve power properly’ in Scotland, which means weakening the Parliament and making their council fiefdoms stronger. Thought I’d mention that.

        • Colonel Mustard

          Thank you. That does not surprise me. The end game is not identified by the trail markers put up on the way. The goal is “post-democratic” with an elite “leading beyond authority”.

          • dado_trunking

            Yes – but it’s our elite, not yours.

            • P_S_W

              It won’t be long until you have your own.

              • Wessex Man


                • P_S_W

                  Fingers crossed.

    • Kerr Mudgeon

      Scotland and England *were* different countries. I have yet to be persuaded that Wales ever was. Northern Ireland certainly is not.

    • Wessex Man

      For crying out loud, why do you keep dragging everyone else into your disputes, Hamish MacDonell is Scottish HAMISH MACDONELL IS SCOTTISH!

  • Tom Hogg

    That reads like a craven apology. How very British to be saying “I’m sorry…” before you’ve even done anything. :)

  • Kate

    I am sitting here laughing myself stupid; you think Clyde (the Commonwealth Games mascot) was deliberately designed to annoy the English? Listen, it’s not all about you always. Get over yourself. Not sure if it’s a victim complex or just extreme self-importance, but either way it’s hilarious.

    • ChuckieStane

      It was designed by a primary school girl who I suppose Mr. Mcdonell believes to be an anti-English bigot FFS!

      • Stephen Thom

        No it wasn’t. It was designed by my cousins son. who is at primary.

        • ChuckieStane

          I suggest he has a go at 12-year old Cumbernauld school pupil Beth Gilmour who is getting all his credit!

    • domhnall dods

      the wee 12 year old girl who designed it was obviously subject to mind control from the evil SNP or perhaps her parents are cyber nats, quick call social services! What a feeble analysis. I heard the BBC interview salmond today and they were falling over themselves trying to get him to politicise the games in the way that politicians did with the Olympics. He just kept saying it was about the sport and refused to discuss the politics, Must be infuriating,

      • Wessex Man

        Well of course they were, the BBC is there to try and pick a quarrell with anynoe other than Labour, Lib/dum or Green.

  • Cooper1992

    There is also a difference between Nationalism; and Jingoism, Racism, nor Imperialism.

    I am a proud nationalist.

  • Craig

    Why is it always the English media that tries to create this divide between the good people of Scotland and England? People in Scotland have their issues with Westminster. Finally, on national anthems, it’s a bit hypocritical to mention the Scottish National Anthem when a verse in ‘God save the Queen’ has “Rebellious Scots to crush”.

    • Blair Spowart

      Nonsense, it’s an additional, non-official verse which was sung in the context of the nationwide threat of Jacobitism in 1745 and rarely thereafter. The verse references Catholic Jacobite rebels who were supported by the French and who happened to be mostly Highland Scots (and who Hanoverian Scots had a disproportionate role in ‘crushing’). The verse was probably sung in Scotland.

      • NorthBrit

        If there was a Jacobite religion it was Episcopalianism. But don’t let facts get in the way of BritNat revisionist “nonsense”.
        The Jacobite slogan of “Prosperity to Scotland and No Union” still has some resonance today, unlike this Hanoverian dirge.

        • P_S_W

          Who cares? Really? Get over it.

          • Blair Spowart

            Any myth that reinforces the ‘Scotland vs. England’ mentality matters and should be knocked on the head. It’s no coincidence that the SNP gained a significant surge in support after Braveheart.

            • ChuckieStane

              “It’s no coincidence that the SNP gained a significant surge in support after Braveheart.”

              1992 General Election SNP 22.1%
              1995 Braveheart released
              1997 General Election SNP 22.1%

              No coincidence – just guff.

              • P_S_W

                Never let facts get in the way of good propaganda.

              • Blair Spowart

                I said nothing about support for the SNP in Westminster specifically. It boosted their campaign for devolution and they capitalised on it.


                • James Morrison

                  Except the SNP didn’t lead the campaign for devolution. They refused to participate in the Scottish constitutional convention, which produced much of the consensus about what a devolved parliament/assembly should look like. Labour (and the Lib Dems) did. The SNP supported a yes, yes vote in 1997, but very much in the fashion of “well, it’s not our first choice, but we’ll take it”.

      • Jambo25

        It was a verse in the original song which was later dropped from general usage but it was part of what was supposed to be ‘our’ national anthem. A bit like having the Deutschlandlied with a verse slagging off the Bavarians or the Marseillaise with lines saying how nasty the Bretons are. The song isn’t fit for purpose. I’d accept Blake’s Jerusalem as long as the word Britain’s is swapped for England’s.

        • Ricayboy

          I think the word England is used in the song.

          • Jambo25

            I do realise that. I’m talking about making it a British rather than English national anthem. If people in England object to that then we can try for something else.

    • Wessex Man

      You do realise the Hamish MacDonell is Scottish don’t you? We can go weeks down here in England without hearing anything about Scotland or Scottish Independence from the ‘National Newspapers’

      • rammyorstramash

        “You do realise the Hamish MacDonell is Scottish don’t you?”

        I dont think Hamish realises that. A bad case of Jockholm Syndrome.

        • Wessex Man

          that then is his and your problem.

          • rammyorstramash

            Nope. If we vote YES he will be your problem, Wandering around London like a lost soul hoping his masters still want him around. Good doggy.

    • Ricayboy

      Who ever sings more than the first verse anyway?

  • rtj1211

    I think this is a bit juvenile. But more to the point is that Sir Chris Hoy is an avowed Unionist and it is apparently the case that the new velodrome, named after him, has a considerably under-representation of the great man’s image, name etc etc in places where people might expect to find it……

    • Angus Ogg

      Sir Chris is not a unionist. He’s been very clear about it, stating he will take no position on Scottish Independence as he has friends and family who are both for and against. But don’t let the truth get in the way…

    • ChuckieStane

      The Velodrome is part of the larger Emirates complex. Emirates have paid handsomely for the priviledge of having their name given prominence – such is the world of corporate sponsorship.
      Bradley Wiggins made a light hearted remark about Sir Chris’ name be secondary to Emirates. It has nothing to do with the indy debate.

    • HenBroon

      Your second sentence is a straight forward lie, rendering the rest of your post utter twaddle.

      • Wessex Man

        heaven forbid that anyone other than you should come here and waffle.

  • Alex Boitz

    Not about politics Hamish?…you just made it so…and well you know it.

  • RolftheGanger

    One day, hopefully before the earth disappears into the sun, English journalism is going to grow up.
    I will be able to read a sensible article in an English publication that deals in a sensible way with Scotland and its politics.
    Meanwhile, we put up with the infantile inability to deal with things Scottish without the crass descent into stereotypes of kilts, songs, “dastardly English” (whatever they are), and jaggy thistles (our national emblem for those of limited knowledge and zero to do with being “deliberately designed to prickle” English or anyone else. )
    Do please get out of the nursery and write something sensible in adult fashion, sometime soon before we all disappear into the sun.

    • Ian Walker

      One day, a cybernat will think of a response to an English article on independence that is anything other than ad hominem nonsense.

      Not today though.

      • Angus McIonnach

        “cybernat” is an ad hominem.

        • Hearthammer

          ….and he’s too dumb to see that. Typical unionist!

          • Ian Walker

            I’m not a unionist. I can’t wait for the revenue from taxing good in transit through England to Scotland to go to our never-Labour-again government.

            • dado_trunking

              Never-Labour-again government? Lad lad lad – for that you to happen you need to level the London periphery.

      • Jambo25

        Might I refer you to the BTL discussion in today’s ‘Hootsmon’ to see the level of contribution from a large number of Unionists. I particularly like the one which hopes Scottish competitors get no medals at all to show the (Scottish) contributor’s loyalty to the Union.

      • Andy Donaldson

        How else is one to respond to an article the central premise of which is factually incorrect, and the rest of which is faintly insulting? Apart from anything else, the article seems to be exclusively about the SNP and Salmond, ignoring the political capital being made from the Games by Cameron, Lamont and others. I suppose, by fixating on Salmond and the SNP, and ignoring the issues with which the electorate are actually concerned, it is in some way representative of the Better Together campaign as a whole.

      • John

        Ad hominum is all the writer has left us, if he had any clear and backed argument people could respond (one way or the other) I’m afraid this article is just bad journalism and comments on it are doomed to descend into chaos. He’s written opinion and all that can be used to respond is opinion.

        • Ian Walker

          Silence has its virtues, of course.

          • John

            Of course :) and that’s just what I’ll do, just wanted to point out that though ad hominem arguments don’t ordinarily help much, in this instance they do a great job of demonstrating how little else the author has left us with.

            • Ian Walker

              Ah, the old ‘dignified silence so long as I get the last word’ technique?

              Your mastery of debate is unsurpassed.

              • John

                Ha, love what you did there :) as above ad infinitum/nausium 😉

    • Inverted Meniscus

      You define “sensible” of course as: an opinion that agrees entirely with my own.

  • HookesLaw

    All those foreigners winning medals? I do not see that giving a boost to anyrhiong

  • telemachus

    This is very very difficult for the forces of reason

    Keir Hardie and other Scottish giants of British left wing history stood fully behind Scottish home rule
    The need today however is to maintain the Union and above all maintain the Scottish MP’s at Westminster
    The prosperity of the whole United Kingdom depends on it

    • girondas2

      “The prosperity of the whole United Kingdom depends on it”

      No it doesn’t, you’re just worried about your corrupt party losing seats.

      • telemachus

        The prosperity of the whole United Kingdom depends on the Party not losing the Scottish seats

        • girondas2

          Bluster and bull, but then that’s all you ever offer.
          Watching the news from Iraq telemachus, the humanitarian disaster created by The Party?

          • Kitty MLB

            My lovely husband and I are about to go mountain climbing, can take telemachus and
            leave him there? And have I also offended
            anyone here recently with my obsurd humour ?

            • Wessex Man

              No never you adorable woman you, well if you have it’s only tele babe and Hooky!

          • Colonel Mustard

            Labour troll wrote: “The prosperity of the whole United Kingdom depends on the (Labour) Party not losing the Scottish seats”

            I would have said the exact opposite. The silver lining in the cloud of Scottish independence would be waving farewell to Scotland’s Labour MPs but I fear there would be a cake and eat it stitch up.

            • Kitty MLB

              Indeed Colonel that would be the good point.

        • Kitty MLB

          A good reason for Scottish independence
          would be to lose all the incapable and corrupt
          Scottish MPs. That would add to the prosperity
          of England. Not too sure what Scotland would
          want of them though.

          But one way or another Labour will be history
          when UKIP takes her votes…they will you know.

        • rtj1211

          I think you mean the ability of a small number of Labour Bigwigs to fill their boots on the post-politics troosering circus circuit depends on them getting into Government in the first place……

        • Simon Brooke

          The prosperity of the United Kingdom may depend on it, but the prosperity of Scotland depends on us getting out of it. And, frankly, while your Labour Party is racing to the right in mad pursuit of UKIP, tearing up every principle it ever had, the best thing we in Scotland can do for England is show you an example of a working social democracy just across your northern border, proving that a free NHS is not ‘unaffordable’, and that a humane social security system does not lead to a population of idle scroungers.

          • Wessex Man

            erm, didn’t you last May a mere two month’s ago elect a UKip MEP?

    • rtj1211

      I think you mean ‘the ability of the Labour Party to command a majority in Westminster’ depends on maintaining the Union.

    • Andy

      And we all stand ‘fully behind ENGLISH home rule’.

    • Hugh Marnoch

      I think some people don’t ‘get’ sarcasm.

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