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Scottish nationalism is fuelled by resentment Anti-English sentiment powers many decisions

Choose plummeting ratings. Photo by Ross MacDonald/SNS Group via Getty Image.

Choose plummeting ratings. Photo by Ross MacDonald/SNS Group via Getty Image.


October 19, 2022   5 mins

Forget the Hogwarts Express. Three times a year, I get on a train at London Kings Cross and make a physics-defying journey towards Montrose in Angus, the Scottish town where I lived for the first 17 years of my life. Thanks to the East Coast Main Line, a single direct train takes me through the North London suburbs, over Lincolnshire plains, past Yorkshire market towns, and alongside Northumberland beaches.

By the time I cross the Forth and then the Tay, everything is changed: not just the passenger accents, or landscape, or weather, or light — but also the train itself. I would swear the carriage somehow shrinks. And time bends too. By the time I arrive at the tiny station and alight to the familiar sound of Arctic geese in the tidal basin right next to the platform, it feels like I’ve travelled, if not to an earlier time, then certainly to a different one.

A coastal town of 12,000 people, where many of my schoolmates found work offshore in the oil industry, I thought of Montrose last week as Sturgeon delivered her conference speech 40 miles up the road in Aberdeen. Among her key messages was the announcement of a new £50 million award to Aberdeen and surrounding areas from a government fund called Just Transition. This was not, as some might have worried given the SNP’s current preoccupations, a forward-thinking plan to make Aberdonians more non-binary, but rather a fund dedicated to helping the North East move away from oil and ultimately to make Aberdeen “the net zero capital of the world”.

As usual with the SNP, pesky details about the fast-changing status of Scottish oil in the face of Europe’s current energy crisis were unacknowledged in favour of a soothingly principled-sounding headline. Other progressive lures in Sturgeon’s speech included strong support for refugees, much lamenting about lost EU membership, and motherly requests that everyone get their Covid booster. There was also the requisite Tory-bashing, anticipated by Sturgeon the day before with her statement: “I detest the Tories and everything they stand for.”

How did this all go down in Montrose? My hometown is probably one of the most SNP-friendly in the country. Even when SNP MPs were few and far between, we had one in Angus for much of my childhood. Many — perhaps even most — people I know there are staunchly pro-independence. And yet, as you might expect in a place where farming, fishing and oil have shaped the economy, and where golf club membership is practically mandatory from birth, the Montrose civic character is quite far from the rainbow flag-waving ecowarrior to whom the SNP seems to want to appeal.

The main rival for the SNP in Angus is not Labour but the Tories, perpetually edged into second place (apart from one brief period in power between 2017-19). Generally, Montrosians are cautious, wry, and not easily impressed with flamboyant gestures — and this includes the few natural Labour voters I know there, who are more into nationalising the railways than taking the knee. It’s true that there are a few blue-haired teenagers around these days, but I assume it’s a bit like back in 1987, when I bought myself a BOY London baseball hat and matching sweatshirt on an intrepid foray to Kensington High Street. Back under the grey skies of Montrose, I looked ridiculous and everyone knew it.

Down in Holyrood, the SNP continues to pursue its own ludicrously incongruent fashion item — otherwise known as revising the Gender Recognition Act in favour of self-ID. Blithely ignoring the evidenced concerns of many women — famous and not-so-famous — Sturgeon continues to present this policy as a mere bureaucratic formality, sensibly ironing out a few wrinkles in the existing Act in a way that only morally bankrupt deplorables could possibly object to. Actually, though, her Bill proposes that any Scottish man can legally become a woman pretty much whenever he likes, with practically no meaningful strings attached. According to almost any local standard other than the one set by (mostly English) Edinburgh University students, that’s clearly the project of a total bampot.

It cannot be overemphasised how poorly this culturally radical, sense-defying policy fits with the temperament of the average Scot — and not just in Angus. Much of Scotland remains what it has been for decades: family-oriented, communitarian, and socially conservative compared to the average metrosexual liberal type. Scottish people may be economically more Left-wing than UK voters but they aren’t more culturally liberal.

At the moment, the SNP are making much of recent findings from the British Social Attitudes survey suggesting that 52% of the population now back independence; perhaps unsurprisingly, they say less about other social trends indicated in the last few years, suggesting that there are significant qualms about uncontrolled immigration or that support for the death penalty is higher in Scotland than the UK national average. Indeed, this is perhaps what you might expect in a place where local communities are still relatively strong. For there to be insiders, there has to be outsiders.

But to marvel at this mismatch between SNP luxury beliefs and the more parsimonious sensibilities of voters is to ignore the distorting influence of the biggest and baddest outsider of all: the one just over the border. For, although it has become relatively taboo to say so, whatever the official talk of civic rather than ethnic nationalism, a big motivator for SNP supporters in Scotland is still animosity towards the English. You can’t raise a population on endless stories about bloody historical injustices at the hands of their ethnic neighbours and then expect them to feel irenic. Certainly, I couldn’t fail to be aware of the enmity during my childhood, where my Southern parentage and wandering accent made me a constant target for cries of “English snob” at school.

Scratch the surface of grassroots SNP support and — not always but frequently — you’ll find slow-burning disdain, perhaps all the stronger for often being suppressed in favour of a more polite narrative. It’s usually confined to living rooms and pubs, but gets permissibly unleashed during football tournaments via support for that other national team, Anyone-But-England. And of course, as Sturgeon knows, an equally traditional means of expressing your feelings in this direction is to say how much you hate the Tories.

In the Scottish cultural imagination, the archetype of the sort of English man or woman that is most hated — Southern, posh-accented, privately-educated, and prone to seeing the country primarily in terms of its potential for invitations to hunting lodges — coincides significantly with the sort of Tory MP the membership still seems to prefer. Everybody knows that in saying you hate the latter, there’s at least the suggestion that you hate the former too. For some extreme nationalist groups, such as All Under One Banner and Siol nan Gaidheal, the equivalence is made without embarrassment.

Once you understand that, unconsciously or otherwise, a contrarian anti-English sentiment implicitly powers many SNP decisions, a lot of other things become clearer too. You better understand how a party attached to sovereignty and self-determination can be so rhetorically keen on EU membership without perceived conflict; or why Scottish Covid policies were reliably more draconian than in England; or how an otherwise astute politician like Sturgeon could become so psychologically wedded to a baffling policy like self-ID. Though of course it isn’t the whole story, part of the answer is Any-Policy-But-England’s, and a passive-aggressive game of always being seen to stay on the right side of nice, with England inevitably cast as the nasty villain to Scotland’s noble but wounded hero.

In the case of self-ID, the knock-on costs are likely to be borne by ordinary Scottish women and girls, among them the further dismantling of single-sex services proudly built up by Scottish women for other women since the Seventies. Such is the naked contempt for women’s interests here, it’s tempting to see the whole project as a fig-leaf for deep-rooted misogyny. But if SNP supporters don’t already care about the present government’s many failures to govern well in practice, it isn’t clear why they would hold them accountable at the ballot box for self-ID either. Sticking it to the English will continue to be the more compelling goal for many voters over other practical considerations. And this highlights another way in which radical transactivism and Scottish nationalism can be a good fit, at least emotionally if not rationally. In practice, both can be a politics of resentment, pretending to be something finer.


Kathleen Stock is an UnHerd columnist and a co-director of The Lesbian Project.
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Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
1 year ago

” ….. part of the answer is Any-Policy-But-England’s, and a passive-aggressive game of always being seen to stay on the right side of nice, with England inevitably cast as the nasty villain to Scotland’s noble but wounded hero.”
This is a narrative that the British media seem happy to collude in – those caring, sharing, internationalist Scots who’d welcome any outsiders and fold them into their ample, comforting bosom – unlike those horrid Tory supporters south of the border.
But never judge someone’s utterances when everything’s going fine. It is how they react when under pressure that will give you their true measure.
Witness the SNP’s reaction when José Manuel Barroso, then president of the Commission, countered the SNP’s assertions that an Independent Scotland could remain part of the EU.
Sturgeon’s immediate and remarkably vitriolic response to that was to announce “There are 160,000 EU nationals from other states living in Scotland, ….. If Scotland was outside Europe, they would lose the right to stay here.” That sentiment was backed by Robin McAlpine, who jumped in to say that Scotland would only “be out the EU for as long as we can afford to put every single EU citizen in this country on an EasyJet and send them back to their countries”.
Imagine, if you can, how the BBC would have framed such a statement if a Tory PM had reacted in the same fashion – suggesting repatriation for anyone deemed not a true-born native …..? Huw Edward’s eyebrows would have ended up 6 inches past his hairline, and Katja Adler would probably have wet herself live on air in horror.
So, although the SNP are always at pains to paint themselves welcoming and inclusive, their track record proves otherwise. Though you’re unlikely to ever hear any such push-back from the media.
Instead wee St Nicola will join a trans-rights march in her Krankie Goes To Holyrood style t-shirt, and everyone goes along with the fiction that she’s progressive and compassionate.
As a party, the SNP bumps along solely due to latent antipathy towards England and the Tory party – turning every political twist and turn into another reason to damn Westminster and promise a fantasy independent Scotland flowing with Milk & Honey (and, for them and their ilk, Gravy)
Just so long as there’s a common enemy south of the border then the SNP can hold together as a party. Remove that and they’d implode – resulting in a return to the clans squabbling over who has the best claim to the throne of Scotland.
As the Govt of an independent nation theSNP would be forced to own up to the parlous state of the country’s finances and the fact that, loath though they are to admit it, the Scottish Govt is utterly reliant on handouts from the rest of the UK to survive.
I’d go so far as to suggest that the real antipathy the SNP feel towards England – or Westminster – is down to the fact that they know, despite all the rhetoric, that Scotland simply is not a viable country without the financial support they receive from their despicable English neighbour.
As a Brexit supporter who believes in the right to self-determination, I understand why some Scots might feel aggrieved at being governed by a remote legislature that they didn’t vote for. Yet you could justifiably argue that under the current arrangement a Scottish voter has more say in policy making than their English counterpart. Given the number of powers that are now devolved to the Scottish parliament, …. given the disproportionate power Scots MPs have over their cousins south of the border, with no reciprocal arrangement where English MPs have any say in Scotland, …. given the pretty sizeable discrepancy in expenditure, can anyone explain why Scots Nats feel so hard done by Westminster?
If the Nats think they’d ‘take back control’ of Scotland by quitting the union and becoming a tiny, heavily indebted country in the EU then good luck with that. I fear they’d find themselves on the wrong end of an austerity program that would make Greece’s look like it was a mild budgetary squeeze.
Pre-Covid even the SNP’s own Sustainable Growth Commission proposed holding down growth in public spending to 0.5%, “implying cuts to areas other than health, social care and pensions.” In the post-Covid reality that would mean sharp tax increases and spending cuts.
As it stands, Govt subsidies play into the nationalists’ hands, allowing them to implement popular — and exceedingly expensive — policies. The UK Govt bankrolls services devolved to the Scottish government: the abolition of prescription charges, university tuition fees and free personal care for the elderly. Scotland spends 22% more per person on education than England – despite which they achieve no better results.
Even if Scotland gained EU admission — a big IF given Europe’s fear of encouraging separatists — they’d have a hard border with the rest of the U.K. over which 60% of its exports flow. If Scotland had to live within their means, without the ability to devalue their currency, the cuts to services would dwarf even the drastic measures that killed off the Greek economy.
I’ve no wish to see such misery inflicted on Scotland, but it would be interesting to see Ms Sturgeon try and explain that one away, particularly given how she railed against the vicious Tory Austerity – by which she means those merciless and savage cuts that saw public spending wantonly slashed from £610 billion in 2015 to only £870 a year pre-Covid.
Without Westminster as the scapegoat Sturgeon and her party would be exposed for the mess they made of devolved powers, and they’d be looking at a truly ruinous future.

Last edited 1 year ago by Paddy Taylor
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

A brilliant excoriation, thank you.
Let us not forget that even the wonderful Romans, nearly two thousand years ago, decided to bin the place on a cost benefit analysis, as an irredeemable financial cesspit, and so it has remained.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago

Brilliant? Just a patronising colonial screed, riven with the usual contempt.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Come off it McCusker, you know he’s correct.
Stop being so ‘chippy’, it does nothing to enhance your cause.

rodney foy
rodney foy
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

I think it would be better if she provided evidence for “a big motivator for SNP supporters in Scotland is still animosity towards the English”. Mentioning football matches etc. doesn’t cut it

James Davidson
James Davidson
1 year ago
Reply to  rodney foy

I was S.N.P. member and supporter brought up in a family of S.N.P. supporters. The biggest insult was to be called English or telt your were acting English or at least were not English.
If S.N.P. did not have the English to blame or hate they would have nothing at all.

MJ Reid
MJ Reid
1 year ago
Reply to  rodney foy

Every pub and every bus, you hear, “we have to be independent cos the English are crushing us” or words to that effect. SNP has pushed this for so long picked up by Nationalist press that ordinary people believe it. Unfortunately it is not true. The biggest oppressor in Scotland is the SNP Government and its small minded, racist views, not the English and not even the Westminster government. Time for a new government in Scotland that doesn’t have only one goal?

Michael Askew
Michael Askew
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

It would help if you would refute the points with factual evidence.

Jane McCarthy
Jane McCarthy
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Can you be a little more specific? Your comment reads more like a typical Scottish Nationalist dogwhistle than a meaningful contribution to discussion.
Remember, everyone can play that mud-slinging game, e.g., “Just a self-deluded slur, driven by the usual sense of imagined victimhood”.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Yep.. same old vitriol from sad old Charles.. I think he must have very little love in his life, poor guy.. that being so one can hardly deny him his little nasty remarks: he probably has very little else going on?

Mark Eltringham
Mark Eltringham
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

The other nations of the union pretending they had nothing to do with the Empire. Or even the monarchy come to that, as became evident after the Queen’s death. Stupid yanks might have an excuse for not knowing about Tudors and Stuarts. Scottish and Welsh nationalists not so much.

Michael Askew
Michael Askew
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Would you be willing to provide a factual rebuttal? The contribution from Paddy Taylor contains some substantive points. It would be good to hear the counter argument.

Last edited 1 year ago by Michael Askew
Dominic A
Dominic A
1 year ago

You forgot the main bit – they built a wall across the border to protect the English villages/Roman Empire from the marauding Scots!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Unfortunately the Scotch were in Hibernia/Ireland at the time, and the English in Germania!

Rick Hart
Rick Hart
1 year ago

No, Sir. Genetic evidence suggests most of us are descended from Ancient Britons. The English, it has to be said, were of a different bloodline, akin to the Belgae-a Germanic tribe. But they were here long before the Saxons. Those worthies contributed between only 10-40% (depending on your family’s original location) to the Gene pool.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Rick Hart

Are you saying the Saxons and English are in fact completely different peoples. If so what about the Angles and Jutes?
I was also under the impression that the word England/English derived from Anglia/Angles, who only appeared on scene in the 5th century of the Christian Era.
Either way I have never before heard someone describe Hadrian’s Wall as a defence for “English villages”. British/Britons yes, English no.

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
John Ferguson
John Ferguson
1 year ago

Thanks Charles – that helps us up here enormously. Good to see how you really view your dominion.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

Didn’t the Romans bin England as well?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

It didn’t exist during the Roman era, surely you know that?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

I see: the Romans ‘binned’ Scotland but merely ‘exited’ England? A kind of Romexit then?
Just like English living in other countries are not immigrants but expats? ..and of course the natives there are foreigners?
I suppose with the appropriate terms one can make black white? All that is required is a basis of xenophobia with a sprinkling of racism and a dollop of superior attitude?
I can’t help thinking if the situation vis a vis Scotland and England was reversed during Roman times your story mightq read something like:
“The valliant English north of the border gave thee Romans a damn good hiding while their cowardly, collaborating fellow iqslanders south of the border capitulated shamelessly!” But of course the reverse is the case so the narrative must be doctored to suit!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Who on earth taught you history Liam?
Don’t tell me ….it was the Christian Brothers was it not?

Clara B
Clara B
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Superb response. Thank you for articulating your arguments so well.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Behind all the usual English contempt, your main point is of course that “Scotland simply is not a viable country”. A view of your neighbour shared by one V Putin. The old colonial mindset dies hard, doesn’t it? 

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Odd that, as someone of Irish and Scots descent, I should have succumbed to “English Contempt”, but hey ho.
I’m British, I’m a unionist. I understand why some people wish to see Scotland as an independent nation – but I have nothing but contempt for the lies that fuel such nationalist dreams and the SNP for selling that fiction.
The humble crofter, Ian Blackford, has quite successfully spun fairy tales to convince many Scots they get a raw deal. But try this analysis from Bloomberg. They have no axe to grind against the Scots, and certainly no love for a Tory Govt.
“Before the pandemic, the Treasury in London already subsidized Edinburgh by up to £12 billion ($13 billion) a year. Scotland’s implicit budget deficit pre-crisis was 8.6% of GDP, about 6 percentage points higher than the U.K. as a whole, according to the Institute of Fiscal Studies. Post-Covid, the Office for Budget Responsibility estimates those numbers could balloon to a 19% implicit deficit. Total borrowing was already equivalent to £2,776 per person in Scotland as opposed to £855 for the U.K.”
As a staunch Unionist I do not begrudge the extra monies that the UK spends within Scotland – there are sensible reasons for it: Scotland makes up less than a tenth of the British population but almost a third of the landmass and obviously it costs more, per capita, to provide education, health, transport and so on in sparsely populated parts of Scotland. No problem with that whatsoever.
Where I do have a problem is with the SNP “gifting” goodies to their constituents – free University, free prescriptions, free bus travel, free ipads, the list goes on and on.
This profligacy from the SNP is deliberate and cynical. They can buy votes with the generosity of UK taxpayers and then – if the day ever dawns when their IOU is finally called in – they’ll blame those unspeakable Tories in Westminster for taking it all away.
As a Brexit supporter, who wholeheartedly believes in the right of self-determination, I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t agree that there was an understandable case to be made for the Scots being allowed another crack at their “once in a generation” indy vote because (if we’re honest) we have to admit that the situation has materially changed since the last one. We cannot insist that Brexit was a necessary corrective to a remote power structure that sought to impose laws without the consent of the governed and then dig in our heels and insist the Scots have no right to another vote. It would not be a fair or consistent argument to deny them, much as I would rather it didn’t happen.
That said, the Scottish Govt needs to be honest and consistent. Which they are NOT – really, REALLY NOT.
Scotland receives – as a simple matter of fact – more monies, per capita (and, yes, allowing for North sea oil revenue as well) than any other region within the UK. To suggest otherwise is simply wrong, yet that lie is told and retold by those who need to believe that somehow the Scots are treated inequitably within the union. Without that lie, the case for Independence becomes impossible to sell.
If the UK Govt hands out UK Taxpayer’s monies to the various regions so that they can deliver similar services to all those that live there then all well and good. Same if devolved Govts do the same.
However the situation is that the SNP spend vastly more than they raise in taxes, and rather than simply matching the provision of services south of the border they (as I already described) cynically buy support with wildly expensive goodies such as free tuition, free prescriptions, free travel etc, that are denied the rest of the UK, whilst it is largely those taxpayers outside Scotland that are paying for the SNP’s supposed largesse.
If you support such hypocrisy, or refuse to see it, all in the name of being a unionist, then you and I have very different ideas of what being in a union of equals is all about.
The oft cited analogy of the teenage brat who lives rent free and bill free, then whinges about having to share a house with a family that he hates, rings true, I’m sorry to say.

Last edited 1 year ago by Paddy Taylor
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Yet again spot on, well done indeed.

Glen Page
Glen Page
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Haha, great response. Frank has just had his bottom handed to him.

Alan Tonkyn
Alan Tonkyn
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Two excellent posts, Paddy! You have nailed the Sturgeon/SNP nonsense perfectly.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Your statement …”union of equals” obviously doesn’t apply in the case of the European Union? Can you explain why?
If the SNP is trying to buy support from Scots isn’t England buying the same support from the same Scots to stay in the Union (with as you claim, more rhan their fair share)? And the same goes for red wall votes from Northerners with “levelling up”? Buying votes is rhe name of the game surely, isn’t it?
A better analogy might be that of a child of divorced patents playing one off against the other? Scots are Canny! If two govts are silly enough to throw money at me I’d like to think I’d refuse both! But I wouldn’t would I?

Alex Tickell
Alex Tickell
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Well said sir!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Let us hope the new Scotland is more viable than the current England! Bankrupt under so many headings…

MJ Reid
MJ Reid
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

The books do not balance. Remember what happened in Greece…

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

I often wonder why England doesn’t simply say, okay, you’re on your own. Really, what’s the point of this endless abuse?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

So go on then! Go for it! Instead you’re going all out to prevent Scotexit! Why? Nothing in it for England you say? Hardly a good word to say about the Scottish people so why not (as Stanhope so kindly put it) bin Scotland like you binned Ireland in 1922? It’s a mystery isn’t it?

polidori redux
polidori redux
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

You really are rather sad and bitter, aren’t you? If I were given a vote on the matter I would vote for dissolving the Union. The solution to a failed marriage is divorce and a change of locks. But Scots should beware – what would they have to b!tch about?

Paul Walsh
Paul Walsh
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

People seem to hold a grudge against their neighbour especially if it is bigger. The Irish like to see the English lose against everyone, unless somehow England played Dublin, then the rest of Ireland would support England. On one level its a bit of fun, it takes politicians to really stir it up.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Walsh

All the other Celtic nations feel the same: it’s not because England is bigger it’s because the English have such a superior attitude and look down the noses at their Celtic neighbours.

polidori redux
polidori redux
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Honestly, Liam, the only reason I look down on (some) Celts is because of their inferiority complex. How can I be expected to respect people who do not respect themselves?

Jackie Chan
Jackie Chan
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

UK is a sovereign state, so-called “Scotland” is not.
If you cannot even get along with your own country’s brothers advocating for “independence”, but preaching join another Leviathan?
There is only one Britain in the world, and the United Kingdom is indivisible with its national sovereignty intact.
Modern Britain, like any modern country, is a country formed by the exchange and fusion of different ethnic tribes. And the cultural differences between modern Scotland and England are smaller than those between Beijing and Shanghai, while the population of Scotland is not as large as that of the city of Hong Kong. In the end, modern Scotland is not Celtic at all. There is no real pure Celtic nation in modern times. Advocating for a pure Celtic is Hitlerian racism. Your nationalist hatred is an artificial product created by individual Scottish politicians. Moron.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jackie Chan
Rob C
Rob C
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

What does “by which she means those merciless and savage cuts that saw public spending wantonly slashed from £610 billion in 2015 to only £870 a year pre-Covid”? I’m from the U.S., so is this sarcasm? Did public spending go from 610 billion to 870 billion?

Last edited 1 year ago by Rob C
Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob C

Yes – though the media, especially the BBC & Guardian, endlessly refer to this as “savage cuts”, even while public spending rose year on year through this period of “Austerity”.
I’ll amend the comment to “£870 billion” to avoid confusion

Last edited 1 year ago by Paddy Taylor
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob C

Yes it did! Understatement rather than sarcasm in this case I think.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob C

Depends how you count it!

Robert Routledge
Robert Routledge
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Why can’t the the rest of the United Kingdom decide is we still want Scotland in
the union?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Because the answer would be an overwhelming NO.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

Why refuse the referendeum then?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

It should be an English referendum to determine whether we should continue to subsidise the greedy Scotch.
‘Their’ opinion as supplicants is irrelevant.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

You’ve already given the result of that very same English referendum haven’t you. You all want to be rid of Scotland so why oh why are you holding onto it as if your very lives depend on it? It’s not the oil is it?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Because Liam some diehard cretins in the so called Tory Party and in the dreaded ‘Blob’ have an absolutely slavish love of the Union.
The Union served us well, but now it is little more than a ‘putrefying Albatross’ around our neck, and should be jettisoned forthwith, for all our sakes.

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Jackie Chan
Jackie Chan
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Secession is a death-penalty level felony in any country in the world, except perhaps the UK, where the Scottish secessionists have long been spoiled, which is why they feel they can act like spoiled babies asking their parents over and over again to allow a referendum until they succeed in seceding the country. As they say in China, there is only one Britain and the United Kingdom is indivisible with its national sovereignty intact. I suggest you go to China, where you can’t even discuss “independence” on the internet without committing a crime. That’s how they were able to make and maintain such a huge empire.
Modern Britain, like any modern nation, is a nation of different ethnic tribes fused over a long period of time. And the cultural differences between modern Scotland and England are smaller than those between Beijing and Shanghai, and Scotland’s population is not nearly as large as the city of Hong Kong. Not to mention that modern Scotland is not Celtic-dominated at all. There is no real pure Celtic nation in modern times, and advocating the creation of a pure Celtic people is Hitlerian racism. Your nationalist hatred is a product of the artificial imagination of individual Scottish politicians. Idiot.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jackie Chan
David Wade
David Wade
1 year ago

Who are the “Scotch”? Do you mean the Scots?

polidori redux
polidori redux
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

You had one.

Peter Steven
Peter Steven
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Professor Stock’s article and your response ring true to me.

I was born in Glasgow and 3 of my grandparents were Scots. I was however sent to an English public school (Sedbergh) and went on to Cambridge where I studied History. Since yesterday, when my aunt died, I no longer have any close relatives living in Scotland.

My father died when I was young and my Mum never enjoyed good health, so I returned to Scotland after graduation to train (like my Dad) as a (Scottish) Chartered Accountant. In the firm I joined, now part of KPMG, there were 11 apprentices, all of whom, except me, had degrees in accountancy. My posh accent was a problem for a while and I was later told that my colleagues had held a meeting to decide whether to ostracise me. These problems went away once people got to know me better, but it is not something one forgets.

I made my career in my home city but am still taken for an Englishman, especially by those of Irish origin. If another referendum comes, and Scotland votes to secede, I have always said that I would move south, happier to live as an exile amongst the English than amongst my own kith and kin.

I am passionate about Scottish history, but believe nationalism to be an intrinsically negative force. It doesn’t start off with that intent but the celebration of difference (which I believe to be largely artificial – we are all mongrels) mutates inevitably into a dislike of the other.
England has its problems at the moment but many of these can be put right with a change of government and I think I would be happier in the south than in a struggling Scotland. I don’t understand why people think that, after a divorce, England would be generous to Scotland, any more than the EU have felt any need to reward the UK for Brexit.

It’s sad that independence remains such a divisive issue. I had thought that a referendum would resolve matters for my lifetime (I am now 60) but it seems that any result closer than 60/40 will only provoke calls for a rematch. The resulting uncertainty is not helpful for the Scottish economy.

Phil Rees
Phil Rees
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

“As it stands, Govt subsidies play into the nationalists’ hands, allowing them to implement popular — and exceedingly expensive — policies. The UK Govt bankrolls services devolved to the Scottish government: the abolition of prescription charges, university tuition fees and free personal care for the elderly. Scotland spends 22% more per person on education than England – despite which they achieve no better results.”
This seems to me to make very clear what the government’s policy towards Sturgeon’s SNP should be – reduce these subsidies and alter the playing field that enables this ungrateful profligacy. Government would seem to be afraid to do this because it fears SNP would use this to further its own cause. This is a mistake – the more generous Westminster is, the longer this farce continues.

Thomas King
Thomas King
1 year ago

This hits me harder than it should. I was born and raised in Ontario, Canada, but my family emigrated here from England after the War. So basically I hit the pinnacle of hated strawmen people love to resent, both here and abroad: Quebec resents me for being an anglophone, the rest of Canada resents me for being from Ontario, Toronto resents me for not being from Toronto, and of course most of the world resents me for being English. Add in being a straight, white guy and I’m basically Satan, apparently. All this resentment and I haven’t even done anything in my short life so far except exist.
To be honest, I’m getting pretty resentful about being resented so much, and I don’t think I’m alone. Why can’t we just be nice to each other?

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
1 year ago
Reply to  Thomas King

You can choose not to give a toss about what other people think.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

When I was 20 I used to worry over what other people thought about me. By the time I was 40 I didn’t care what people thought about me. When I reached 60 I realised other people hadn’t been thinking about me at all.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

When you’re 70 you’ll realise than the nasty disapproval of others is testament to your speaking truth to smug, superiority minded, backward looking, deluded bigots.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Such as your good self?

Paige M
Paige M
1 year ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Actually Katharine you don’t give near enough thought as to the actual meaning of Thomas’s statement. Multiply that sentiment millions of times over and you have a disaster in the making. Your advice is trite. Humans are tribal. We need to belong. Most of us don’t anymore in deep, meaningful ways.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
1 year ago
Reply to  Thomas King

it is indeed ironic as we’re repeatedly told we don’t know what its like to be judged by the colour of our skin or to be hated because of where you come from. Yeah white English people have no idea! *rolling eyes
In regards to Scotland, Sturgeon is doing what my old mum would call “shooting herself in the foot”. I’d like to say crack on although I know when it all goes horribly wrong the English will still be blamed for making them do it, by not doing it themselves.

Aden Wellsmith
Aden Wellsmith
1 year ago
Reply to  Thomas King

Have a hug.

Rick Lawrence
Rick Lawrence
1 year ago
Reply to  Thomas King

Excellent!!!

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago

This article saddens me. It demonstrates how completely unprincipled Nicola Sturgeon is and how blinding hatred of the imaginary other can be. The English are actually very mixed. I am part Irish myself and raised with the slogan: give Ireland back to the Irish. While the Irish, Scots and Welsh support anyone but England during sporting events, most English will support Ireland, Wales or Scotland as long as England is not the opposition.
When I was young I was very idealistic and convent educated. I confused the Labour Party with the teachings of the New Testament. I was under the delusion members of the Labour Party sought a better world for all and were happy to sacrifice what they had to ensure their aims were achieved. Sadly, when I became a student and hung out with the socialist workers party and the Labour Party, I quickly realised the members were driven not by idealism but by envy and resentment that others had more than they had. Disillusioned, I drowned myself in the extraordinary beauty of the elitist Plato’s idealistic prose, Plato, who was also a realist, fully understood how envy and resentment is such a driving force amongst humanity.

Last edited 1 year ago by Aphrodite Rises
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Perhaps we should be ‘worshiping’ Plato and The Republic, and NOT Christ and the Bible?

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago

The founding fathers based Christian theology on the philosophy of Plato and his ‘disciple’ Plotinus, who described Plato as that god Plato, so maybe indirectly I was ‘worshipping’ Plato. Dante knew he couldn’t leave Plato out when he was writing the divine comedy but equally believed he couldn’t place him in paradise because being born before Christ he couldn’t be a Christian so Plato was placed in Limbo. Also, Dante could not ignore Plato because his own ideas and writing were so strongly influenced by the writings of Plato.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

I very much doubt if Plato, Aristotle, or Socrates would have made much of either Christ or Dante, because they believed in logos (reason) NOT faith.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago

Plato believed in the ascension through reason and then revelation. Dante has Virgil (reason) accompany him through hell and purgatory and then is met by Beatrice (love) who comforts him when he has had the experience of recognising and acknowledging the full extent of his own sinfulness (the sinfulness of human nature in general) and then accompanies him through paradise. Plato wrote with extraordinary beauty on love and beauty and considered love and beauty to be driving forces for the intellect to apply reason and ‘climb’ to the source of pure/true love and beauty. The one – the source of the all. Effectively, he was a monotheist. Dante’s love for Beatrice motivated him in his work. She represents pure love rather than romantic love. She represents ideal love, the form of love in Platonic terms. The form of love cannot be known intellectually, it can only be known experientially. For Dante the trip through hell and purgatory purifies the heart preparing it for the encounter with pure/true love. For Plato the movement from the material to the ideal through application of the dialectic (reasoned argument) frees the soul from its attachment to the material and prepares it for the encounter with true reality, an intellectual and emotional embrace of the forms. The highest of the forms being truth and beauty which are closest to the one: the indivisible in thought.

Last edited 1 year ago by Aphrodite Rises
andy young
andy young
1 year ago

Hmm. Yet to read Dante but I’ve just started The Republic & I have to say I’m not totally convinced. The translation I’ve got is very readable (not the introduction though) not the turgid stuff I was expecting, but after a discussion of justice (which i felt to be no more conclusive than did Glaucon) I’m beginning to think maybe Popper was right about his authoritarian assumptions against individual liberty (” the cobbler should stick to his last”). I wonder how much of the dialogue is actually Socrates? Long way to go though.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago
Reply to  andy young

I had the incredible privilege of being taught Plato’s republic by an absolute genius. The translation he recommended is by G.M.A. Grube, which is available on Amazon.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Surely you read it in the original Greek?

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago

Why the sarcasm? Have I offended you?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

No, my apologies, I just thought given your cognomen you may have the Greek.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago

Sadly, I am not a linguist – just a little French. That is why I was so incredibly privileged to be taught Plato by the man who taught me. He was fluent in Ancient Greek, Latin, French and Arabic – I think -a true scholar. He was able to give translations of the original Greek words such as nous and logos within the original philosophical context. When he writes he tends to leave some words in the original Greek to empathise there is no real translation and forcing the reader to try and understand what those words would have meant to the ancient Greeks. Plato wrote in capital letters with no punctuation so details of meaning are argued over. My understanding of logos, Sophia etc was acquired from this professor but interestingly my understanding seems to accord with Jordan Peterson’s understanding.

Last edited 1 year ago by Aphrodite Rises
Gretchen Carlisle
Gretchen Carlisle
1 year ago

Your professor sounds inspiring– how fortunate you were! Did he publish? If you can give his name, I would love to look up anything he wrote.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

Don’t worry about it: Charles offends everyone who isn’t white, English, Tory and xenophobic (and male?).. he probably thought he was being funny! He plays to the gallery a lot..

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Touché: You old hypocrite!

polidori redux
polidori redux
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Oh for God’s sake man.
“and why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”

Emre S
Emre S
1 year ago

Thank you! I like Unherd a lot – not many other publications where you get advice like this. Comments are as good if not better than the articles often.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago
Reply to  Emre S

I very much appreciate your comment Emre. Thank you. I have been working on something for many many years. I am on the verge of writing something and to a certain extent I use the comments section in unherd to explore my ideas by obtaining some feedback. Your appreciation encourages me to believe I might have at least one reader.

Jeremy Sansom
Jeremy Sansom
1 year ago

Make that at least two! I fascinating discussion. Thank you for your input and insights. I have never ventured directly into these formidable ancient Greek giants. I think it’s time for an adventure….

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago
Reply to  andy young

It’s true Plato ultimately despaired of humanity in general. Which is a major reason why Dante placed him in Limbo. It signifies philosophy can only take you so far. Christ represents redemption. Humanity cannot redeem itself. Christ is the universal scapegoat taking responsibility for and paying for the sins of humanity. Through Christ, human nature is redeemed. To err is human, to forgive is divine: essentially divine aid is required to over come human nature – reason can only take you so far is one of the many messages in the divine comedy – a work of pure genius.

Last edited 1 year ago by Aphrodite Rises
michael stanwick
michael stanwick
1 year ago

I have been trying to get my head around dialectical thinking as per Hegel. (Primarily because it features much marxist social justice writings.)

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago

Plato had two hugely influential ‘disciples’: Plotinus and Aristotle. Plotinus was more mystical and hugely influential in the development of the Christian religion, particularly the more mystical aspects, and Aristotle is acknowledged as the father of science. Platonic thought underpins both religious and scientific thought.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

I am sorry but I don’t believe that Christ would have ‘survived’ for five minutes in Plato’s Academy.
Faith is completely incompatible with Reason.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago

Interesting you should claim that given that the great western thinkers of the past generally had great faith. Dante did not find the two incompatible. Reason was frequently used as a tool of faith. Reason cannot answer the big questions – first and final causes. It doesn’t bother addressing them generally

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Dante was a Christian was he not?
What other ‘great western thinkers’ were you thinking about?
Let’s face it, as the late Professor John Mann put it so succinctly “Faith is the belief in the unbelievable “. Thus it is refuted by logos/reason is it not?

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago

Kepler, Newton, Einstein – that’s three. It was the norm not the exception.

Maybe faith is the belief in the unprovable. It is impossible to prove God exists but it is equally impossible to prove that there is a world independent of thought. Leibniz was originally a materialist, or maybe dualist, and eventually became an idealist: reason led him to believe it was a more consistent position.

Last edited 1 year ago by Aphrodite Rises
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Kepler and Newton as Christians would obviously not have ‘survived’ The Academy, but Einstein as an agnostic and humanist would probably have been welcomed.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago

I didn’t think Einstein was agnostic. His famous objection to quantum mechanics was: God does not play dice with the universe. I thought he was one of the last in a long tradition of scientists who believed discovering the laws of nature, of the universe, was equivalent to looking inside God’s mind.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

Einstein was not an agnostic. He believed in a divine creator.. check it out! He was therefore a deist.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

He said so himself.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

Indeed, a former hero of yours Charles, one Anthony Flew, an avowed athiest eventually reasoned that genetic coding could not have occurred without a divine coder.. there was a reasonning atheist, smart enough to see he got it wrong!

Aaron James
Aaron James
1 year ago

Isaac Newton was a Christian, as were the majority of great Philosophers and Scientists.

Deacon Scott
Deacon Scott
1 year ago

I think faith seeking understanding, posited by Anselm of Canterbury shows that faith does not bin the need for reason but, rather, calls for its application. Hence, theology properly understood and done.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Deacon Scott

Thanks, I had ignored Anselm, it should prove interesting.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

An idiotic phrase. Faith is a belief in something (not proven scientifically but) likely to be true nevertheless for other perfectly plausible reasons. The scientific method is not suitable for anything that really matters eg love, joy and compassion. You serm to be severely lacking in all three!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

The Christian Brothers (or Buggers) certainly did a good job on you Liam.
You should sue them while you still can.

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Bruce V
Bruce V
1 year ago

Agreed, lest there be turtles all the way down.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago

Paul (the one whose letters form part of the New Testament) was admired by the Greek philosophers/theologians ( there was no real distinction) of the time as a thinker although they disagreed with him.

Last edited 1 year ago by Aphrodite Rises
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

I seem to recall the Greeks of Ephesus got rather annoyed with him, to put it mildly.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago

I did put up a link about Paul in Athens but it has been taken down. Sorry.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago

I can’t remember exact references and I usually avoid replying in such circumstances but I will give it a go. Paul was highly educated in Greek Platonic thinking, he was the first to incorporate Greek philosophical thought into Christianity to make it more acceptable to the educated elites. He went to Athens to ‘sell’ Christianity and was taken seriously enough to be given a hearing by the council who decided whether to accept a new god or not. He was respected enough for some of the philosophers at the time to mention him in their philosophical writings – the Stoics I think. John (gospel of John) continued the work of incorporating the ‘myth’ of Christ into Greek philosophical terms and ideas.

Last edited 1 year ago by Aphrodite Rises
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

I am sorry but he was a seditious crank and quite rightly executed by the astonishingly tolerant Roman authorities for being an obvious menace to society.

As a Roman citizen of course he ‘got off lightly’ with beheading, rather the normal agony (72 hours plus)* of crucifixion, as meted out to ‘St’ Peter.

*(Jesus was lucky he got a ‘Friday afternoon job’ and was dead in a mere three hours, thanks to the undoubted benevolence of one Pontius Pilate, Prefect of Judea,)

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago

He had his failings – he was human, but he did write some of the most beautiful prose on love ever written; some say he was divinely inspired.

Emre S
Emre S
1 year ago

The intelligentsia of 100 years ago both in Russia and US sounded just like the above. We know what happened afterwards.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

Only to the unreasonable, faithless, closed minded semi intelligent Charles: in fact Faith is an intrinsic part of all scientific advances. I’m paraphrasing Einstein..

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

“Only to the unreasonable, faithless, closed minded semi intelligent”
A perfect description of your good self Liam, as you have proved over many a week on UnHerd.

Incidentally next week the soldier F ‘show trial’ could be over, and thus give us the opportunity for more ‘sport’.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago

Hi Charles, I don’t know if you are still monitoring these comments or if you have moved on. On the off chance you are, I thought this might interest you
https://www.webpages.uidaho.edu/ngier/srao.htm

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Many thanks!
UnHerd is a bit of a “fire & forget” site, but I do try stay with interesting topics.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Incidentally have your ever visited your namesake city, Aphrodisias in western Turkey?
If not you are probably unaware of the damage inflicted there on its artistic treasures by early christians, representing the epitome of manic intolerance.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago

No, I have never visited Aprodisias. To the extent Aphrodite Rises is attached to any particular place, it would be the most obvious place – the country in which I was first exposed to and fell in love with the glory of Greek architecture at a young age.
There are always destructive, radical, extremists attached to any ideology. The most recent examples are BLM and trans activists.

Last edited 1 year ago by Aphrodite Rises
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

The population of this beautiful city seemed quite devoted to Aphrodite despite the fact that there was no real historical link to her. We’re they wrong?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Withdrawn, irrelevant.

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Thanks for that interesting essay. Did John write in Greek? Some maintain it was Aramaic, then translated by ‘others’ into Greek’.

Either way it not the English that translated logos into word, some late Roman authority seems to have done that.

If you read the beautiful Lindisfarne Gospel you will see it starts “In principia erat verbum……

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago

John wrote his gospel in Aramaic whilst living in Ephesus – a very important Greek city at the time. He has been described as writing his gospel for everyone. He spoke Greek but not as well Aramaic. He would have been exposed to Greek philosophy and wanted his gospel to make sense to and appeal to the Greeks. The influence of Platonic thinking on John’s gospel is generally obvious to those who have studied Plato’s dialogues in depth. I shall provide a link – just the first page.
file:///var/mobile/Library/SMS/Attachments/cc/12/8B323377-50DF-4008-9D28-C90B7CFA82CC/religions-08-00047.pdf

Last edited 1 year ago by Aphrodite Rises
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Ephesus whilst Greek in culture. had been within the Roman orbit for well over two centuries by the time John turned up.It would take nearly three centuries for his monotheistic opinion to take hold and then only because the Roman authorities perceived it as a useful tool to reinvigorate the Empire.
To conflate Plato with Christianity is understandable but frankly illogical to say the least.
I always think Pliny the Younger, whilst Proconsul or (was it Legate) of Pontus et Bythinia put it best in his letters to Trajan in the early second century, don’t you?

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago

Yes Greek in culture. John wanted his gospel to make sense to those who were steeped in Greek culture. Are you disputing the founding fathers were strongly influenced by the neo platonists? I don’t conflate Christianity with platonism. I never have done. Christianity has many different aspects and many different forms. I would say the platonic aspect of Christianity developed into mysticism. The very fact that how much Christian theology was influenced by Plato and the neo-platonists was so debated in itself is evidence of there being some basis to the claim. That there are significant differences also. Hence Dante left Plato in the vestibule to paradise, hanging in Limbo. The idea being to a certain extent, Christianity took over where Plato left off. Christianity provided hope whereas Plato believe humanity to be doomed.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

Only in American could “…founding fathers base Christian theology on the philosophy of (pagan) Plato…”
I suppose where money is worshipped above the rights and health of ordinary folk anything is possible?

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

I have absolutely no idea what you mean? Please elaborate.

Last edited 1 year ago by Aphrodite Rises
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Nor has anyone else!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

Oh, so you’re anti Monarchy as well are you Charles? Just for the sake of some modicum of balance, is there anything you are pro? There must be something surely? You can’t hate everyone and every decent thing on the planet can you? ..or can you?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

What are you talking about?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

I’ll start you off: it’s not complicated
I Charles Stanhope am pro the following:
1.
2.
3..
Ok Charlie: over to you….

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

“Oh, so you’re anti Monarchy”: Is what I am talking about, QED?

Incidentally try and remember your manners, you only make yourself and your ‘people’ look stupid by your coarseness.

As the good Bishop said “manners maketh the man”.

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Lindsay S
Lindsay S
1 year ago

Tbf much anti English sentiment is fuelled by the English as we’re terrible trolls, although despite this, it is worth bearing in mind that The English people are not responsible for the subjugating of of the Irish, Welsh and Scottish (or other peoples of the Empire), that would our Aristocracy who subjugated everyone including the English people. So arguably its a class thing until you remember that they are in fact French, ergo its all France’s fault. Lol.

Michael Davis
Michael Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

I knew it!!!!!!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

You are correct of course.. it was indeed the Aristocracy wot done it! However, the blame must trickle down as in Nuremberg and the excuse “I was only following orders” cannot be invoked.
Your point re the Normans may be more valid than you think however. There is a particular streak among some English people (the administrators will get me if I explain it further) that is especially unwelcome, unpleasant, superior in attitude that is not present in let us say in more Celtic/Ango-Saxon Britons and I often wondered if that was genetic?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Liam you should have: “died by Pearse ’s side, or fought with Cathal Brugha”, you would have been much happier would you not?

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago

“most English will support Ireland, Wales or Scotland as long as England is not the opposition.”
This is because the English do not take Ireland, Wales or Scotland seriously. It’s easy to be magnanimous towards small countries that you not-so-secretly see as a joke. Or, as commenters on this page have reminded us, “a cess pit”, and “not a viable country”. 
It’s why the Union has always been a sham – just as you don’t have a merger between Joe Bloggs & Son Software Services and Microsoft, neither can you have any sort of meaningful union between a large world power and 3 small countries. 
The English are much less generous towards anyone they actually respect, such as the Germans.  

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

You could be right but I think it is because of the mixed roots. I am also part Scottish, though I see myself as primarily English. Ireland is not part of the United Kingdom, my Irish roots are behind my support of the Irish.

Last edited 1 year ago by Aphrodite Rises
Paul Watson
Paul Watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

I do not understand why you think the English do not take Wales Scotland and N,Ireland seriously . I am English and support these countries of the Union whenever they play on the world stage . You have a chip on your shoulder and cant accept the facts that have been laid on the table about the financial insecurities of Scotland . Have your referendum and I hope that you win for to get rid of the likes of you will be a blessing but my many Scottish friends both North and South wont agree with this as they are ok with the Union.Its not that we dont take you seriously , its because of the constant bitching for something historical that none of us had anything to do with. I wish you luck at the next referendum and if it happens in your favour ,good riddance.

Kevin Godwin
Kevin Godwin
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Watson

Indeed. As an Englishman, I’m more than happy to support Scotland on the ‘world stage’ as you put it. But I am also fed-up with the constant unjust anti-English rhetoric emanating from the SNP. Incidentally, I am lucky to know a few proud Scots that are, or were before retirement successful businessmen, articulate and well educated and whose opinions on many matters I value. Not one of these people wants an independent Scotland, votes SNP and they all actually voted for Brexit. This I find most interesting, but not surprising!

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

As an anglo Scot I was passionately supporting the Irish when they beat the All Blacks!

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

In that case, respect becomes a somewhat costly commodity.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

A lot of truth in that.. we all support the weak underdog as it boosts our self-esteem (we are souch better). It has nothing to do with parity of esteem! That is why the English had such a problem within the EU. No parity of esteem! I guess 1,000 years of superior attitude is hard to lose?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

It’s called effortless superiority, and nothing can done about it, “praise be to God”as some say.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago

I remember Frankie Boyle joking that we would find out that the root of Alex Salmond’s anti-Englishness was that at university his advances had been rejected by some posh English girl called Fiona.
The same is likely true of Jimmy Kranky and it was probably the same Fiona

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Viva Fiona!

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago

Sadly, I suspect you are right. Accepting rejection without resentment is a tough one.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

Cheap shot!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Spot on I would say! What’s wrong with you (besides the obvious) Liam old chap?

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago

I think his loathing of the English is showing
Maybe he also laid his cap at Fiona’s door so to speak

Last edited 1 year ago by Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Chris W
Chris W
1 year ago

I lived in Scotland for a good few years and I didn’t find any issues at all. But the politicians blamed England for anything bad that happened. For example, England ‘stole’ Scottish oil.

Now I live in Wales and there is anti-English sentiment. Again the Welsh Assembly blames England for not giving Wales enough money.

But the same politicians talk about our wonderful ‘free prescriptions’ and ‘free student tuition’ and the same politicians pay for many surveys every year to ask if the people support independence, they pay for a permanent office in Brussels to pay for lunches for Euro-MPs so that the contacts are there if indepence comes along, they commission expensive studies from Cardiff University to find ways of increasing
taxes.

Devolution created petty polititions like Nicola Sturgeon and they see a way to make themselves into heroes. Their job is to convince the people that independence is the only option. Then they become important people.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

I’m currently traveling in Wales and I have to say it’s a beautiful country with lovely people. Saying that, I have noticed a faint anti-English sentiment among, thankfully, a very small number of Welsh. Nothing major, just little nastinesses. I’m not sure it is even anti-English as it seems directed at anyone not from the local area. I definitely get a ‘League of Gentlemen’ vibe in some places.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Have you forgotten “ Come home to a real fire, buy a cottage in Wales”?

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Aden Wellsmith
Aden Wellsmith
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Last time I went camping there, there was a terror attack in the campsite. An english business was burned down. Someone had turned a horse box in a pizza company. Their caravan and the horse box where set on fire and destroyed. Welsh business not affected.
Nothing in the news on it.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Aden Wellsmith

During the Welsh “ Let’s burn the English out of Wales” campaign 1979-91, they burnt 228 ‘English’ cottages.
The response? Predictably, the Welsh Constabulary ( bless their little cotton socks) made not ONE prosecution, not one!
Has anything changed on this front under the rule of Sturmbanfuhrer Drakeford?

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Aden Wellsmith

Duplication due to slow censorship.

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

If you wander into Llangollen, give the Sarah Ponsonby (now Ponsonby Arms) a miss. Rudest pub I’ve ever been in – and we walked there from the canal in a teeming rain with two small children.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

What a odd name! The Ponsonby’s were one of the great Ascendency families of Ireland, and very active in keeping the CeltsGaels in well deserved bondage.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago

Maybe that explains their rudeness?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

I am surprised they haven’t renamed the place Owen Glendower or something similar.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

Bondage you say? Ah, well now! No mote pretence at all the good done by the British Empire then? Out of the mouths of drabs and mucklings eh?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Vae Victis!

Jackie Chan
Jackie Chan
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

1. So-called Celtic culture is part of British. remember, British is an umbrella term, and people from any race and origin can be part of it.
2. There is no such a thing as British empire. You’r one of the British who lives on the little shitty island which called Britain.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 year ago

Try going to a pub in North Wales if you are from South Wales. Trust me, the English are treated better!!

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

As an American on a ten-day canal boat trip on the Shropshire Union Canal, we were treated with extraordinary kindness by all the locals, especially the Boy Scouts in Llangollen. The Sarah Ponsonby was an aberration.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago

I was actually in Llangollen just last week. Within minutes of getting off the bus I was literally told to ‘f-off’ by one of the locals so my first impressions weren’t all that great. Thankfully the rest of my stay there was pleasant. I didn’t make it to the Sarah Ponsonby, but the staff at the pubs I did visit were very friendly.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

To fi d unpleasant yobs it is not necessary gor English people to travel abroad! You have your fair share. So do we all, sadly.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Why don’t you use the edit facility? It makes you look like an ignoramus does it not?

Greta Hirschman
Greta Hirschman
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

Then Brexit was implemented, and British protectionism gave the right arguments to Scots to vote to be back in Europe.

John Thorogood
John Thorogood
1 year ago

Brilliant article.Kathleen. Sums up my 50 years experience of living in Aberdeenshire precisely. As you so aptly describe, most Scots of my acquaintance are socially conservative and shake their heads over the goings on in Holyrood and the complete incompetence of the nationalist government. It’s utterly perplexing how they continue to be voted into power.

Greta Hirschman
Greta Hirschman
1 year ago
Reply to  John Thorogood

Meaning that the Tory party is doing much better? Tories or Scottish nationalists, they are both conservatives of their own privileges.

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
1 year ago

This is one of the best analyses on the matter.
The SNP vote is drive by anti-english sentiments (aka racism) which trumps everything else (just like racism does) and explains why it doesn’t matter how badly the SNP performs, they keep getting elected.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

On his latest show Bill Maher posited a similar analysis of Republican voters in the USA.
As he put it the Democrat media etc keep expressing horror at some of the bampots (love that word, never gets censored) the Republicans put up for election across the country (and there are some doozies). But he points out the Republican voters don’t actually agree with these idiots, they are just so opposed to what the Democrats are selling that they’ll vote for ANYTHING but a Democrat, even bampots. It’s not because Republican voters are bigoted, but because Democrat policies have become extreme.

But in Scotland’s case this parallel fails, as the SNP are so successful at the anti-English dog whistle propaganda and creating nationalist bigotry, that Scots are actually allowing their country’s health, education and now equality rights to decline hugely against international standards. They are destroying their country and will go along with any SNP policy, even the bampot policies.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

The Democrats are lead by a drooling semi-cadaver and an incoherent box-checking bobble head. They are trying to convince voters in Pennsylvania that a mentally handicapped orc should be elected to the senate. Congress is stuffed with female [D]s who are so glaringly parodic you’d swear they were concoctions of the late, great SPY Magazine. And if you object to any of their grifting machinations, you’re a racist Putin pawn who deserves to die.
Why wouldn’t GOP voters (and other normals) be opposed to that? Oh, and do please name the bampot doozy Republicans you cite (RINO has-beens excluded).

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
1 year ago

Your turn of descriptive phrase is awe inspiring and gave me a chuckle.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago

You really hit the nail on the head here. The only reason I voted Trump was because, despite his sheer narcissism, he was the only politician with guts enough to stand up to the increasingly bizarre Democrat party.
I’m genuinely frightened of the Democrat party and its ideological affiliates. My gut instincts tell me that, despite their clamor against rising fascism in the US, that they are the true fascists, albeit disguising themselves in the sheep’s cloth of rainbow and BLM flags. I view them just as hostilely as I would the government of an occupying force.

Greta Hirschman
Greta Hirschman
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

Indeed, bigotry is King when nobody is able to propose any reasonable solution to the current crises. They propose nationalism. They propose protectionism limited to some people’s privileges. They propose deep-rooted misogyny disguised as transgender rights. They propose disposable batteries and mining for rare earths as environmental solutions. They propose misogynistic immigration to keep real property prices high and wages low. Even Charles III accepts cash from small authoritarian monarchs to fund charities managed by religious bigots.
Perhaps we will see a new secession movement in Surrey.

Peter Francis
Peter Francis
1 year ago

Yet another great article from Dr. Stock. One point to remember about Scottish elections is that at any one time, one party dominates, but every now and again there is a political “extinction event”. In the 60’s and 70’s, the Conservative Party dominated, in the 80’s and 90’s the Labour Party was dominant, but for the last two decades it has been the SNP.
Back in the 1990’s (Disclosure: I was actually an SNP member back then), the SNP’s strategy was to win over the chattering classes and the influential Scots Labour-leaning newspaper columnists by always out-woking Labour on policies such as immigration, asylum and welfare. Such policies were never intended to have mass apeeal, but the strategy was very successful in neutering the traditional Labour criticism that the SNP was xenophobic.
The policy on gender self-ID should be seen in a similar light. It does not appeal to the “typical” Scot, but it certainly does appeal to a very large proportion of teens and early twenties. (If you don’t believe me, just ask a few teens what they think of J.K. Rowling.) You can vote in Scottish Parliament elections when you are 16 years old. So this policy hoovers up plenty of the youth vote.
I don’t doubt that there will be an SNP extinction event, but how much damage will have been done by the time that happens, goodness only knows.

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter Francis
Alphonse Pfarti
Alphonse Pfarti
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Francis

Good analysis. I just wish it would happen. I do wonder how long this coalition of what were once known as Tartan Tory nationalists, woke youth and academia and all the dregs of the benefit claiming underclass (or those of them who actually vote) can hold up. Seems to keep rolling on though.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago

As usual an excellent essay from Kathleen Stock analysing the initially baffling mismatch between SNP poor performance in government and the adoption of radical leftist social policies and the rather conservative and communitarian nature of the Scottish population as something fuelled by anti-English resentment. It is a nationalism that has produced a radical socialism to contrast with the hated neighbour. Although independence will initially produce more grounds for resentment as the division of the burdens and spoils between the countries will inevitably be regarded as unfair by the Scots however generous to Scotland they might eventually prove to be better neighbours than they are as an unequal part of the whole United Kingdom. Certainly the effects of the Barnet formula fuels an equal resentment of the overly generous fiscal arrangements the Scottish people enjoy compared the the English in England.

Aden Wellsmith
Aden Wellsmith
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

So lets see. The remainers complained that leavers didn’t know what they were voting for. We did, its just that remainers didn’t deliver on democracy and subverted it.

So this time, the negotiation to be done up front.

  1. Barnet formula share of the debt. It was created by spending, take your fair share.
  2. We want to use the £. No
  3. We want you to guarantee Scottish banks. No
  4. We want freedom of movement. No
  5. We want free trade? OK, sign her
  6. Pay our pensions. No. Which side says that?
  7. Pay the debt? No. I can see the SNP saying that. Well otherways exist to get it out of them.
  8. HMRC. Records are private scotland, you can’t have them.
  9. Collect taxes for us say the SNP. No.
  10. Clearing? You can’t have access to it. See the £ above.
  11. Scottish banks? Move to London. Sign here.
  12. Scotland, you’ll need barbed wire, watch towers, staffed by Sheilas in leather outfits, dogs, mine fields, machine guns, to keep the Scots from fleeing.
Rick Hart
Rick Hart
1 year ago
Reply to  Aden Wellsmith

Secession In Name Only, basically.

Russell Wardrop
Russell Wardrop
1 year ago
Reply to  Aden Wellsmith

Let’s negotiate then: where do you want your Cruise missiles? I’ve got one in a low-loader outside.

Malcolm Knott
Malcolm Knott
1 year ago

I am increasingly of the view that the Scots should now get what so many of them seem to want, i.e. a whole stack of trouble without English money to bail them out.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Malcolm Knott

We Irish seem to manage okay without it? We just had a giveaway budget, just like you: but with two important differences.
1. Our handouts went to those in need rather than to the super rich bankers and oligarchs.
2. We paid for ours out of bumper tax receipts rather than borrowing!
Amazing isn’t it?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

No it’s a complete con, and you very well know it!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

“In the Scottish cultural imagination, the archetype of the sort of English man or woman that is most hated — Southern, posh-accented, privately-educated”
In fact most of the Scotch landowning eltite send their children to English Public Schoos, preferably Eton, and those that go into the Army to the Grenadier Guards.
All speak with a decidedly English accent and have nothing to do with this current pseudo Gaelic nonsense.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago

Quite right too Charlie boy, stamp out all this non-English-ness eh? Some “Union”

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

‘We’ used to call it “subverting the elite”, and it served us well it must be said, do you not agree?

Jackie Chan
Jackie Chan
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

1. The so-called Celtic culture is part of Britain. Remember, Britain is an umbrella term for her own multicultural and inclusive nation that includes descendants of Celts, Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Normans and Vikings. People of any race and origin can be part of it. Your extreme Celtic nationalism is tantamount to Hitlerian racism. A plaything of your “Scottish National Party” politicians. They are distorting ancient history and trying to artificially create divisions that have long been bridged for their ulterior political ambitions.
2. You are one of the British people who live on the little shitty island called Britain.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jackie Chan
MJ Reid
MJ Reid
1 year ago

I grew up with stories of how Scotland could be independent as my great uncle was one of the founders of the SNP. There was no malice towards England in his narrative, nor was there scorn of the Westminster government. All that came later…

I used to admire Nicola Sturgeon. If female politicians think they have it hard in Westminster, female MSPs had it just as tough if not more so. She came out on top and has stayed there. But she is long past her sell by date now. The power she has has turned her head and she no longer fights for the people who helped her into power. She ignores women and girls while telling the world she is a feminist. She ignores our allies in Westminster simply because they are not Scottish. And she ignores the incomers who have helped make Scotland the great country it is.

Nicola and her cyber-Nats need to be put back in the box. Scotland cannot afford to become independent before our Covid debt is paid off and even then, it would be a monumental struggle not to end up like Greece did a few years ago.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  MJ Reid

Look at how successful Ireland is and not just economically.. and we have very little oil/gas! And we managed it despite England’s best efforts to destroy our economy in the early years. England’s prosperity (dwindling fast) all came from exploitation of the colonies and from it’s Celtic neighbours both in resources and manpower. The exploited finally got sick of it all and now they are on their own. And look at how well they are doing!!!

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
1 year ago

Great piece that explains much, thanks, particularly the oddness of a highly nationalistic movement craving membership of a transnational superstate, the prelude to HG’s utopian One World State. The End State.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago

You don’t get it, do you?
Here’s why the British Union is structured to fail:
Prior to Brexit, most non-British people assumed that “England” and
“the UK” / “Britain” were synonymous. For most of my life, most
English people thought similarly. That was why, for instance, the
English football team stands for the UK national anthem, even though
they are not supposed to be representing the whole of the UK. Unlike
Scotland, or Wales, England never felt the need to have a separate
English anthem. The mindset is that, primarily, the UK is England and
England is the UK. It’s why England soccer fans wave UK flags.
Scotland and Wales? Those pipsqueaks don’t matter. And that’s the
essential problem with the “union”. It never was a union in the first
place. Scotland’s place in the Union followed from Culloden, i.e.,
from a bloodbath by the English, followed by the “Highland
Clearances”, which were essentially an early form of ethnic cleansing.
Northern Ireland’s place in the “union” was ushered in at gunpoint,
when Lloyd George told the Irish Treaty delegation that failure to
accept partition would result in “immediate and terrible war”, at a
time when the Irish were down to their last bullets.

But even had the “union” been voluntary to begin with, it still would
be deeply problematic for its smaller constituent members. Just as you
can’t have a realistic “joint venture” between (1) Joe Bloggs & Nephew
Keyboard Repair Services Limited and (2) Apple Inc; neither can you
have a culturally functioning union between a mid-ranking global power
such as England and 3 pipsqueak countries. Even when the English are
well disposed towards the shrimps, which isn’t invariable might I add,
the Celtic fringe countries will never amount to more than pimples on
a large English backside. Culturally, England is always going to
dominate. In the past, the Statutes of Kilkenny criminalised
the Irish language and Irish sports; but sheer cultural mass alone
will have a similar effect. In a few generations, any smaller country
united with England runs the risk of ceasing to exist, even as a
discrete anthropological entity. Fine, if your real goal is just to
be English-lite, but you should at least be honest about that and
admit that Unionism merely is a narrowly-English project, intent on
eradicating cultural divergence from English mores. Inevitably, the
middles classes in any culture seek to ape the socially dominant
classes in the culturally dominant country. Which is why, even today,
large swathes of South Dublin Irish people speak with strangulated
faux Home Counties accents and read only right-wing English
newspapers.
************************************************************************
By contrast, and this is what the Brexiter zealots completely miss, inside the EU, there is much greater diversity of culture and more room for tiny countries to retain a distinct cultural identity.
That is, while the gorillas of France, Germany, Spain and Italy etc are busy jostling each other, the small fry nations are left alone. No such dynamic would hold (or does hold) in an inherently-asymmetrical “union” between a large backside and 3 pimples, I’m afraid.
***********************************************************************
That would have been the case, even without Brexit. But with Brexit,
sadly, England is now plotting a very different course. One that,
frankly, even though we continue to be very fond of the English
(English humour and pop culture are much-loved parts of any Scots or Irish
person’s culture – though the famed English distaste for extremism has
taken a bit of a bashing with all the new-found Brexit purity
zealotry, sadly), modern Scotland wants no part of, and that a majority
of people in NI want no part of either. In fact, such are the divisions in
English society about Brexit, it’s be more realistic to have a
breakaway English region of Remainers join with Scotland and Ireland
in the EU, and leave all the English Brexiters to a neo-feudal, pure,
low-tax, f*ck-the-workers, Brexit England=Britain state, probably near Norfolk.

Patricia Farrington
Patricia Farrington
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

We won’t need English money for bail outs. We now send more to WM than we receive back via the Barnett Formula & we will be using our own tax revenues to fund our country. Our Scottish gvmt has balanced it’s books every year, as they are obliged to do under the Devolution Agreement. This is without borrowing powers of a normal, independent government. We won’t be subsidising projects which have no benefit to Scotland, like your wretched HS2 or even more wretched Trident. Scotland is heading in a much better direction. We have a gvmt which although dreadfully wrong re GRA Reform, actually HAS policies to care for those in need like the £25 pw payment for children, mitigation of Bedroom Tax & evil Rape Clause policy. We have free prescriptions acknowledging everyone’s right to medicines, free bus travel up to age 22 and we have free university tuition acknowledging the importance of a highly educated society for the economy, care and advancement of culture and citizenship. We welcome refugees and we have built affordable houses for those on low pay to be able to own their homes. Tories, who are being lauded above, are cruel, arrogant & greedy. I will never forgive the harm they have done & continue to do for their own financial gains. I truly detest the Tories and everything they stand for, just like Our First Minister and I’m hoping she & her misinformed parliamentary colleagues see sense about the proposed changes to the GRA, even at this late date.

Rob C
Rob C
1 year ago

Other posters have said just the opposite of what you say here. They say Scotland receives more money from England than it sends to England — so which is it? I predict if a Scottish State became an actuality that immigrants would pour in to the country from sub-Sahara Africa and the Muslim countries, lowering the countries wealth and taxing the welfare state PLUS the middle-class and above would, when possible, move to England, further impoverishing Scotland.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob C

Strangely we in (independent) Ireland do have lots of sub-Saharan and Muslim immigrants but ours have enhanced and enriched our country. Odd isn’t it? It’s hard to imagine how fit, keen, brave, workhungry people can improve a country’s economic situation?
We also have 55,000 Ukranians to look after (if the UK had the equivalent you’d have 55k x13 ie 750,000!).. you keep sending the weapons to prolong the war and all the suffering: we take more than our fair share of refugees.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

“We won’t need English money for bail outs”
Really?
Well stop begging for it NOW! It’s so demeaning I am surprised that you can live with yourselves.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

You se like a very unpleasant sort of person Charles.. line someone with very little love in their life? I hope you find a better path…

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

-22 is a great score. Validity of comments draws much downticking among Unherd’s usual deplorables.. it’s largely a mutual admiration society where dyed in the wool Farrage types clap each other on the back. Xenophobia is a good uptick earner. Scapegoating is another. Anti Labour Party guarantees a lot more. If you can squeeze in a touch of warmongering you’ve got yet more upticks.. but you’ve got to be Tory or you’re out!
If you can get all 5 into your contribution you’re guaranteed lots and lots of nice upticks. ‘God love them! They’re mostly harmless, backward looking armchair warriors bemoaning the loss of Empire!

Julian Newman
Julian Newman
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Frank McCusker writes that “Scotland’s place in the Union followed from Culloden, i.e., from a bloodbath by the English, followed by the “Highland Clearances”, which were essentially an early form of ethnic cleansing.”
This is utter tosh. Culloden occurred half a century after the Act of Union, during the ’45 Scottish clansmen were almost equally divided between Jacobites and pro-Hanoverians, and the Highland Clearances, deplorable as they were, must be seen as a continuation of the enclosures which had been taking place in the English countryside since before the accession of the Tudor dynasty.

Last edited 1 year ago by Julian Newman
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Newman

We had a different form of the clearances in Ireland: a politically engineered famine that saw a million starve to death (while huge quantities of Irish food were exported to England under armed guard!) and a million and a half emigrants on “coffin” ships to America.. that was in the second half of the 19th century fgs!

Jeanie K
Jeanie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

You must have very broad shoulders to carry those chips.
And to make up your own history. I see no mention of the Darien scheme.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeanie K

“Bought and sold for English gold: Such a parcel of rogues in a nation” (RB).

Kevin Godwin
Kevin Godwin
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeanie K

A well-balanced fellow with a chip on each shoulder!

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeanie K

Glad that someone mentioned this. Perhaps Scots are not taught about the disaster that was the Darien scheme and the massive English bail-out of the Kingdom of Scotland. The Scottish parliament ratified the Act of Union by a large majority, although, it has to be said, teh union was also to England’s advantage as the bail out prevented Scotland going cap in hand to France, thus putting her in France’s debt and on her side in the current European war (Spanish Succession).

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Wow! 30 downticks! Great score: I measure validity as strongly correlated to no.of downticks! I agree with all you comments..
The prospect of Brexitania sounds very sensible. Even they must surely relish the idea of excluding all inferior outsiders and creating a new master race? Like pensioners they have no need of work or wages: the wealth of the UK is estimated at £183 trillion (mostly concentrated in the home counties?) so that’ll surely be enough to see them retire comfortably and talk about the good old colonial days when we inferiors know our place!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

You confuse union with conquest!
It’s understandable I suppose since you English did it all through conquest and exploitation. The EU model is utterly different.. it’s a bit like confusing NATO with the British army.. do you see the latter as a vassal of the US military? No? Okay, try this: can you see adifference between joining a golf club as a greenkeeper vs a member? You really need to analyse a lot more and lose much of the silly rhetoric. It gets tiresome..

John Lee
John Lee
1 year ago

Ii have long wondered why the Scots don’t have a dry run at independence by refusing any monies from Westminster for, say, five years.
After that period they could have their referendum and gauge the true feeling on the subject.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Lee

Have you EVER known a Scotchman to refuse another person’s money? They have made art form of whinging and begging.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

Could you have expressed more eloquently why it is that the average Scottish person might want nothing to do with such gross bigotry against an entire nation?

Last edited 1 year ago by Liam O'Mahony
Emre S
Emre S
1 year ago

An interesting side-effect of a Scottish independence would be a significantly more conservative what’s-left-of UK. Also I have a suspicion the noble wounded hero Scotland would quickly discover the benefits of North Sea oil in due course as well notwithstanding any Just Stop Oil activism.

Last edited 1 year ago by Emre S
Aden Wellsmith
Aden Wellsmith
1 year ago
Reply to  Emre S

It screws Labour in the south.

Will Will
Will Will
1 year ago

This article conforms with my experience of Scotland at work and at play.

Ian Wray
Ian Wray
1 year ago

My perception has been that support for the SNP grew significantly in the years after the UK joined the European Union, particularly including the years when the UK government was led by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown – two Scotsmen. During that period, and continuing since then, the UK government has become less and less accountable to the electorate, and increasingly a globalist franchise. This began when we were part of the undemocratic EU, but has continued since we left.
I can understand Scots people being dissatisfied with the UK government, but then many English people are equally dissatisfied with it.
A further impression I have had is that a significant proportion of Scots people have blamed the English, or English politicians, for the behaviour of the UK government, rather than recognise the underlying globalist causes. (Hence the rise of the SNP.) I write that as an Englishman with a love of Scotland, with many Scots relatives.
When I lived in Scotland some forty five years ago, for a couple of years, I only once experienced some anti-English prejudice, quite minor. Unfortunately, when I was last on holiday there, during the lead up to the referendum, I experienced some very nasty anti-English prejudice. Given that contrast, I have the impression that Kathleen Stock’s analysis is reasonably accurate.

T. Lister
T. Lister
1 year ago

Kathleen Stock is a delight to read.

Ian McKinney
Ian McKinney
1 year ago

Excellent well argued article.

chris Barton
chris Barton
1 year ago

Be sorry to see them go – the people not the SNP.

Rob N
Rob N
1 year ago

Sad but true.
My, English, brother moved to Scotland many years ago and, understandably, loved it.

I wouldn’t move there now if you gave me my dream house.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob N

I’d say Scotland somehow will soldier on without you lol

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

You mean rather like Ireland, a lickspittle bunch of EU Helots?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

I wonder why the administrators don’t block your dreadful xenophobic vitriol? You are a disgrace to decent Englishmen.. you should be ashamed! We can see what a popular chap you are and I dare say many of your countrymen also hate us natives (Celts who occupied GB+Ireland for many thousands of years befite you Normans* conquered us): but happily, shame keeps them from voicing their hate speech: which is to their credit.
I’m assuming you’re not Anglo-Saxon or Viking as they, by comparison at least, seem a decent enough bunch.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Sore loser!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Look at poor old Ireland: we recently had to have a giveaway budget because our corp. tax receipts are through the roof! Despite us being (you think) a corp. tax haven? But our giveaways went to those who need them rather than the filthy rich bankers et al! That’s independence for ye!

Jackie Chan
Jackie Chan
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

The so-called Celtic culture is part of Britain. Remember, Britain is an umbrella term for her own multicultural and inclusive nation that includes descendants of Celts, Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Normans and Vikings. People of any race and origin can be part of it. Your extreme Celtic nationalism is tantamount to Hitlerian racism. A plaything of your “Scottish National Party” politicians. They are distorting ancient history and trying to artificially create divisions that have long been bridged for their ulterior political ambitions.
There is no such “country” as Scotland or England. You are one of the english speaking British people who live on the little shitty island called Britain.

Roger Sponge
Roger Sponge
1 year ago

Why should UK allow secession?

Italy (Tyrol) Germany (Bavaria) France (Corsica) Spain (Catalonia & Basques) USA (Texas) don’t.

Last edited 1 year ago by Roger Sponge
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Roger Sponge

Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia and Russia recently did, and we even ‘binned’ most of Ireland almost exactly a century ago.

Roger Sponge
Roger Sponge