English feelings – Should we care?

0
414

Martin HannanYes, says Martin Hannan, for what they say is surprising and matters.

The BBC’s poll earlier this week on the views of the people of England to Scottish independence threw up some very interesting results, the most astonishing of which is that 51% of the English people polled thought that Scottish independence would make no difference to England’s future prosperity.

Martin HannanYes, says Martin Hannan, for what they say is surprising and matters.

The BBC’s poll earlier this week on the views of the people of England to Scottish independence threw up some very interesting results, the most astonishing of which is that 51% of the English people polled thought that Scottish independence would make no difference to England’s future prosperity.

Wow! That’s frankly amazing. All the time the Unionists say that the whole reason for keeping the long ago time-expired Union going is that Scotland and England are better off being together, yet here more than half the English clearly think there is no advantage to them of being in the Union. At a stroke, the main argument for the Union is shredded, because most sensible Scots have long ago concluded that Scotland will be better off outwith it.

And what a sickener for those on the ‘unity is strength’ ticket in the few remaining Scottish leftist cadres. The Labour Party’s dishevelled, fractured Scottish battalion bleats on about ‘standing together’ but as soon as the ordinary people of England are asked about ‘unity’ they say ‘what a lot of tosh.’ They know that solidarity between working people either side of the border has long since disintegrated and ‘unity is strength’ now just means ‘vote Labour to put their money-grabbing expenses-fiddlers into jobs in Westminster.’

As an SNP member, I think this poll really is a turning point. People in England and Scotland alike are now seeing that the arguments of the unionists are about keeping individuals in power and maintaining their wealth, and not about what is good for the people of both countries.

With only 48% of those polled being against Scotland leaving the Union, it clearly shows that more than half the English don’t care what Scotland does and don’t think it will affect them. Indeed, the poll showed that 36% of the English people who gave an opinion were actively in favour of Scottish independence and by a narrow majority, they felt it was a matter for the Scots to determine themselves. So much for Michael Moore’s ridiculous second referendum nonsense.

Some people may wonder why the BBC spent licence-payers’ money on a poll of English response to a Scottish issue, but it is surely legitimate to find out how our partners in the Union feel about separation. After all, like the Scottish people, no one ever asked the English population how they felt about the 1707 Union.

It was a good and important thing for the BBC to do, but as someone who admires much of what the BBC does, and has worked for them on occasion, it really does bug me that we continue to see a patronising, arrogant approach emanating from BBC London’s politics and current affairs department.

The whole issue of Scotland’s desire for self-determination and the growing case for independence is something which, at best, they are uncomfortable with, and which at worst they class as anathema.

Andrew Neil is a case in point. Like Alan Cochrane of the Daily Telegraph and Iain Martin of the Daily Mail, he is a committed unionist, part of a leading coterie within the UK mediacrity, as I call them, who will ignore all sense and twist all reason in the cause of the Union. I worked for Neil and Martin and actually quite like all three as individuals, and they are perfectly entitled to their unionism and to promote it. It’s just that Andra is supposed to be unbiased in presenting his shows, and how can anyone judge him impartial after his frankly anti-Scottish rant on The Politics Show. Here’s a link to Gerry Hassan’s forensic destruction of Neil for that effort http://www.newsnetscotland.com/scottish-politics/2022-scottish-parliament.html and I need say no more.

When Michael Portillo came on This Week and was complimentary about Alex Salmond, and opined that Scots would vote for independence I really though ould Andra was going to faint. Yet he is too shrewd a journalist to ignore what’s going on in Scotland, and I suspect he, though not Cochrane or Martin, will be more emollient in future.

Others in BBC London must change, too. On Newsnight on Monday night, in the discussion on the poll Joan McAlpine did her best to put forward a reasonable pro-independence case on several issues, but Jeremy Paxman, author of The English: A Portrait of a People, lest we forget, seemed irritated by the new MSP’s wish to advocate independence.

That’s strange as Paxman, whose grandmother was a Scottish Salvation Army officer, should have been crowing. After all, it was he who back in 2008 said that the English really don’t care what Scotland does, and now he’s been proven correct.

Mind you, at the time he did say he loved winding up Scots because it was so easy. Actually it’s not – it’s just arrogance and ignorance we cannot stand. Given numerous examples of incomprehension, we must doubt very much whether Paxo or any London-based broadcaster has any real clue about what’s going on in Scotland.

As someone who monitors its output daily, I have to conclude that BBC Scotland is changing and is at least now prepared to let pro-independence views be heard. It is difficult for BBC Scotland editors because by charter, they must give balanced coverage, and that sometimes seems to let the Unionists have a bigger say for there are three major political parties – aren’t the Lie Demons now a diddy mob? – compared to one in favour of independence.

Suffice to say, I believe that BBC Scotland’s people in the main will try and give reasonably fair and balanced coverage in the run up to the referendum. They will probably not succeed because their London masters will be aghast.

For as long as the BBC is controlled from London, there will be a presumption that a pro-Union bias afflicts the whole Corporation. The clue is in the first word of its name…

The sooner we have an impartial Scottish Digital Network, the better.

Oh, and here’s today’s arithmetic lesson. For anyone reading this down south who cares about these things – and that may include Paxo and the BBC – you should be aware that Scottish independence is not just probable but inevitable.

Each year in Scotland an average of 1.1% to 1.5% per cent of the population die. Roughly similar numbers turn 18 and become eligible to vote. By far the biggest number of voters favouring independence are in the 18 to 35 age group. In other words, the age group that favours the union is dying out and being replaced by people who want independence and who – and this is important – remain committed to voting for it via the SNP or a ‘yes’ vote in the referendum.

Every day the cause wins more converts in older age groups, too, as people begin to realise the possibilities of running our own country again.

It’s just a question of how long it takes, but Scotland WILL be independent. I just hope it’s in my lifetime.