The hypocrisy of British nationalists in Scotland

If you were writing the script for a movie about a global pandemic, you’d not look to the British Government as a model for your plot. This is because no one would seriously believe that a government could be so incompetent, chaotic, and confused. This is a serious movie about a serious health issue, your script editor would tell you, not an end of the pier farce.

From the very beginning, those in charge in the British Government have acted irresponsibly. The Prime Minister was absent much of the time, aides were told to keep briefing papers short because he lacked the interest to read anything longer than a sheet of paper. We learned on Channel 4’s Dispatches programme last night that despite his assertions to the contrary, Johnson told his Italian counterpart that the UK was planning to pursue a policy of herd immunity. That policy has had disastrous results – which is why Johnson is now desperately claiming that he never advocated any such thing. During the programme, health analyst George Batchelor estimated that if the lockdown had been enforced just eleven days beforehand, some 13,000 deaths could have been avoided. The incompetence of Johnson and his ministers and the mishandling of the crisis by British Government at every step along the way means that the UK has ended up with one of the highest rates of deaths from Covid-19 anywhere in the world, and with the highest death toll in Europe in absolute terms.

And now the British Government wants the UK to come out of lockdown in the same unprepared, mistimed, and chaotic manner as it entered it, putting the UK at serious risk of a second spike in infections and deaths.

On Wednesday of this week the British Government reported that there had been 359 deaths from Covid-19 in the previous 24 hours. This was more than the 314 deaths reported for the 27 countries of the entire EU over the same period. Of the 359 UK deaths reported, 11 were in Scotland, 17 in Wales, and 8 in Northern Ireland. England, where the Conservatives bear sole responsibility for the response to the pandemic, suffered the remaining 323 deaths, which means that in England alone there were more deaths from Covid-19 than in the entire EU combined. This is the record that part time Prime Minister Boris Johnson told us yesterday that he was very proud of.

It’s this woeful and lamentable record which means that it’s not mere distraction for people in Scotland to point to what’s going on in England when there are criticisms of the Scottish Government’s handling of the crisis. On any objective measure, the government of Scotland is performing better than the British Government which has sole responsibility for England’s response to the crisis. There is considerably greater trust in the Scottish Government amongst the public than there is in the British Government. That is of deep concern to British nationalists, because they fear that the incompetence, callousness, and chaos of the British Government may move undecided voters in Scotland into the pro-independence camp. So they are desperate to attack the Scottish Government’s handling of the crisis, and to reject any comparisons with the British Government’s handling of it.

Yet it is perfectly valid for people in Scotland to point to the UK Government’s handling and say that Scotland is performing far better in a way that it’s not valid to point to, say, the governments of Denmark or Ireland. The British Government doesn’t just have responsibility for what’s going on in England, it also represents a level of government which constitutionally and legally within the UK reigns supreme over the Scottish Government. And it’s the policies of the British Government which are precisely those which British nationalists in Scotland demand that Scotland also follows.

The criticisms of the Scottish Government’s response are most typically made by those who are opposed to independence, yet when it comes to attacking the record of the Scottish Government they appear to forget, or to want us to forget, that Scotland is not in fact an independent nation whose government has the full range of powers and abilities that independence implies. They wish their criticisms to operate in a conveniently devolved vacuum in which there is no British Government to place any constraints upon the freedom of movement of Holyrood.

Moreover, Scotland is not an independent nation with an independent media. There is no other nation in Europe whose government has to contend with an overwhelmingly hostile media which is constantly attacking it for any divergence from the policies of the government of that nation’s southern neighbour. These are the very same press and media critics who are now demanding with the benefit of hindsight that the Scottish Government must be held to account for not adopting policies different from those of the British Government more decisively and at an earlier stage of the crisis. Yet if the Scottish Government had done just that, they’d have been leading the charge against Nicola Sturgeon for undermining the scientific advice that the UK was following.

It is not mere anti-English whataboutery to compare the response of the Scottish Government with that of the British Government. Scotland, just like the other nations of the UK, operates within parameters set for it by the British Government. Scotland does not have the full powers to deal with the epidemic that the Irish or Danish governments have. Just this week we learned that the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak will refuse to extend furlough payments in Scotland if the Scottish Government decides that another lockdown is necessary. Scotland is to be dragged into following British Government decisions irrespective of what the scientific advice is for Scotland. That is a major constraint upon the freedom of action of the Scottish Government, and it’s one which British nationalists have refused to condemn – or even for the most part to mention.

If you wish to attack the Scottish Government’s performance during this crisis as though it were the performance of the government of a fully independent nation, then it’s rank hypocrisy of the worst kind not to support efforts to ensure that Scotland has the powers of a fully independent nation. You cannot ignore the British Government elephant in the room. But we should not be surprised. Rank hypocrisy is the stock in trade of British nationalists in Scottish politics and the Scottish media. A nationalism which is founded upon the proposition that it is by definition non-nationalist has hypocrisy at its very core.

And finally, because we could all do with a laugh during these difficult times …

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41 thoughts on “The hypocrisy of British nationalists in Scotland

  1. “A nationalism which is founded upon the proposition that it is by definition non-nationalist has hypocrisy at its very core.”

    What a great line – the only thing I could add to this is that its hypocrisy on stilts.

    great post.

  2. I have not seen the dispatched prgramme yet but saw this on the Guardian website.

    Black Lives Matter UK has announced a protest in response to Public Health England’s report which confirmed black Britons are up to four times more likely to die from Covid-19 than their white counterparts.

    Here is the report from Public Health England. Not surprisingly It does not make the UK goverment look good.

  3. I always thought comparisons could only be made between equal positions, Scotlands position isn’t equal otherwise we wouldn’t have the description of devolved nation

  4. “Scotland does not have the full powers to deal with the epidemic that the Irish or Danish governments have. Just this week we learned that the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak will refuse to extend furlough payments in Scotland if the Scottish Government decides that another lockdown is necessary.”

    The “moment of truth” for all Scots.

    We don’t need handouts or bribery from Sunak’s Magic money tree. We have our own. The choice is Scottish lives or preservation of the status quo. A future of promise and hope – or no future at all.

    We don’t need a referendum for that – just a decision and conviction.

  5. If Sunak refuses to extend Scotland’s furlough scheme then he is in essence saying ” You are on your own ” = Independent , Yes ?

    I’ll take that as an admission that we are an independent nation . So , Thank You , Rishi !

  6. Just sat and watched updates of the coronavirus from Westminster.
    Listening to Grant shapps giving the details.has anyone ever listened
    To so much waffle and all your this discredited
    tory party Gets away with it day after day is unbelievable.
    There must be very many gullible people in the country that are stupid
    Enough to Swallow what this Tory party tells them.
    We have to get out of this discredited union.independence cannot
    Come soon enough.

  7. London, the “World City”, was first and deepest into the pandemic: hence the furlough scheme, aid for industry, vast business loans etc.
    Now London is largely clear of the virus—guess what? It’s all to end, and hell mend those who cannot keep up.

    It will take a Second Wave ( in London) to bring out the wallet again.

    As Scottish Labours Ian Davidson said–“Scotland? Who cares”?

  8. Great piece.

    Proves again Scotland must secede post haste. We just need the leader to deliver. I accept the admonitions in advance.

  9. One of the more infuriating displays of hypocrisy of late has been the attack on the release of untested hospital patients into care homes by the SNP.

    At the time, in early March the Unionist politicians were all over the media criticising the SNP Government for delayed release (bed blocking) of elderly patients in hospital deemed clinically well enough to be released to their homes or to care in the community.

    Check the Herald article on March 3rd as an example.

    On 5th March they were demanding in Holyrood that the SNP Government clear the beds to make way for the expected epidemic cases.

    Plus there was nowhere near enough testing available at the time to test everybody. Ken McIntosh admitted that on Radio Scotland this morning. There is a clip in the comments on Davy McGuiness’s FB if you want to hear it. Apparently it was removed for p[ost 6am broadcasts, luckily Davy is a trucker and has early starts.

  10. If Scotland had been able to do what Australia did: around 7000+ infections, 105 (approx) deaths out of a population of 25,000,000 people, then the deaths in Scotland would be between 20 to 30 people. The Australian government were a few days late in reacting before declaring an emergency. The Premiers of each State closed all State borders to non-essential traffic. All flights both internal and international were stopped, except for mercy flights for those stranded overseas. All returning passengers subject to two weeks quarantine in a hotel room, the same as for anyone who crossed State by road. The one major blunder near the start of lockdown was a Cruise ship in Sydney which was allowed to dock and disembark passengers without health checks, leading to a spike in infection in several States and about 29 deaths.

  11. Slightly o/t – but pointing out the hypocrisy and the mendaciousness of LBJ, yet again:

    Boris Johnson facing backlash after scrapping pledge to keep chlorinated chicken out of British supermarkets


    – Still, if we are to believe the Trump and get Covid-19 and then partake of their Yankee chicken, I guess the chlorine will do a great number on our lungs and we’ll be cured of the plague …

    Bon appetit, y’all!

    • WS.
      If he’s prepared to do that then what do think he’ll do with the NHS to get a deal, which as we all know is America’s ‘Cherry on the cake’ as far as a trade deal goes.
      The Tories are sneaking a no deal Brexit under the covid radar in order to get a deal with the worst partner on the planet.
      There’s only one winner in a deal like this.
      ‘America First’

  12. No mention of the super duper Prof who hasn’t been involved in any Virus investigative work , and hasn’t been involved in his chosen field for around 15 Years . In short he’s retired and retired for some time,

    What he has been active in is his personal crusade against the SNP and anything relating to Scottish self determination , if the BBC are going to introduce a guest they should also be obliged to honestly let the audience know exactly who they are

    Just in case I hadn’t mentioned it is Question Time showing right now.

    Any bets on the time he takes to rubbish Scotland and the Scottish government , if Dear Fiona doesn’t throw him a opening he will make one up himself.

  13. Heard this comment a few times usually from a political Tory tosspot .
    The reason we haven’t been Quarantining travelers entering the country via our Airports was because our scientists were saying it would have not stopped further spread .OH I GIVE UP please take these idiots away.
    Well fk me I don’t need to have all sorts of letters after my name to confidently predict without a shadow of a doubt If you stop possible carriers adding to our problem , if you stop pouring water into a bucket it can’t keep filling up , a bloody child could see that , the Tory on the panel really does believe the whole world is brain dead , and people actually voted for these useless fkrs .
    Apologies for the language and to the dear Professor well he wasn’t involved much so never got with the program oh dear a opportunity missed tough shit eh

  14. Using a west of Scotland word I have to admit to being ‘raging’ about everything regarding U.K. Gov and the MSM media.

    The main target is the media. People are simply not being informed of even basic facts about WM activity. I bet most people are unaware the trade talks with several countries includes reduced food hygiene standards which will undermine the U.K. farming industry to name only one example.

    Emigration is getting more appealing every day.

  15. Just reading the John Hopkins data update.

    Australia,4 deaths per Million population.

    UK, 585 deaths per Million population.

    The doris is proud of his personal performance.

    • The virus is behaving like any other winter virus – albeit a severe one – though not the severest on record if death toll is the measure. Australia is in the southern hemisphere and therefore just coming out of their autumn and entering winter.

      By the way this not to say that Boris is doing a good job – I don’t think any of the politicians are doing a good job – it is true that some are better at presentation than others.

      • Explain Russia’s position then,and Brazil’s.
        The temperature in Moscow right now is 23 degrees,been like that for some weeks. Summertime and their numbers are still rising.

      • Without the lockdown or without modified behaviour covid would probably claim a half million to one and a half million lives in the UK. It might still ultimately do so inless a better treatment or vaccine comes along.

        • In the UK infections peaked on 10th April and deaths on 12th April long before the “lockdown” could have had any effect. The “lockdown” had no effect.

          Russia is in the northern hemisphere and like the rest are coming out of this seasonal virus.

          I would not trust any figures on Brazil.

          The Empire of Stupidity continues – muzzles which are ineffective and harmful to health now being made compulsory.

          Thankfully more and more people are holding the “social distancing” rules in contempt – I certainly do. People are seeing more and more what fools are in charge of this lunacy and I am sorry to say as an SNP member the Scottish Government are among the fools.

          • Can I ask you a question or two please ???

            What is your opinion of THE HOLOCAUST ????

            Would you like to take this opportunity to set out your views on anything else, individuals rights perhaps.

          • J Galt. Lockdown came in on the 23rd March. Deaths peaked on 12th Aoril. That’s three weeks. Some lives will have been saved in that time.
            Additionally some restrictions were implemented before 23rd March, further reducing deaths by 12th April.
            Then there’s the “Peak”, have a look at the graph, its more of a plateau than a peak.
            The lock down and previous restrictions did reduce deaths by 12th April.
            It takes on average two weeks from becoming infected to displaying symptoms. Therefore three weeks after lockdown there will have been a reduction in positive tests.

  16. Seems like the onionists are into this game

    I was taken by Prof. Grey’s description of Stasi tactic of Zersetzung:
    “The generation of constant uncertainty, the endless revisions of even very recent history, the half-truths and lies, the divisiveness and the distractions are all plain to see and they are intended to have the effect of confusing and manipulating the public.”
    This brings to mind the quip (attributed to Milovan Djilas, a prominent Communist leader turned dissident circa mid-1950s) that the most difficult thing for a Communist was to predict the past.
    Just insert unionist for communist in the last line

  17. Some may have noticed me by my absence this week; or am I too obsessed by my own self importance?
    On Wednesday’s Politics Scotland the Brewer Kerr Smirk item returned; sub-titled how to defy the Covi19 lockdown by Public Health Bodies, to the Police, to local hard pressed residents of small towns and villages in whose gardens you are pissing and shitting.

    Some on here may recall Brewer and Kerr agreeing last week that Private Care Homes (in the midst of the Skye Care Home scandal and deaths), when faced with an on line check list by the Care Home Inspectorate, could lie, fill in the tick box, say all the right things and carry on cutting corners, maximising profits, killing residents by neglect,with immunity.

    Oh how Brewer and Kerr smirked. It’s all a bit of a joke really, isn’t it, viewers?

    This Wednesday, they were at their nudge nudge wink wink law breaking best.

    Kerr joined with the rest of the Hacks and broadcasters in lying about the flouting of Covid 19 guidelines last week end.

    He mused that it was the good weather, the crowds of law breakers were ‘de-mob happy’, that it was almost understandable after 14 weeks cooped up…he got one word right ‘mob’.

    But it wasn’t a ‘mob’ of drunken Yoofs taking to Luss, or Rosemarkie, or Troon.

    This was the MSM lie to mask the truth, that their core middle class viewers and newspaper buyers broke many laws out of selfish disregard for the safety of the community.

    The Cummings/Calderwood syndrome.

    We have all seen the pictures of cars parked on grassy verges. They are family saloons, new plates, expensive motors; families from Bearsden and Milngavie and Newton Mearns breaking the law, littering beauty spots, doing a dump in Luss, and effin’ off back to their leafy suburb conclaves without so much as a backward glance. The Great Unwashed Zero Hours slaves will clean up after them The ‘Old Normal’ will be the ‘New Normal’.

    It is reported by this obliging Brit Nat Propaganda Wing that the police were overwhelmed and couldn’t confront every thug hooligan or suburbanite offender, so massive was the mob surge.

    Well, they can borrow my Everlovin’s fancy wee phone this week, snap the licence plates next week end and issue fines at their leisure.

    Brewer and Kerr smirked that, if stopped the offender’s could give a false address.

    They were in uber-smirk mood now.

    So they were suggesting that the good citizens of Bearsden give a false address is stopped by the Polis?

    Obviously Brewer hasn’t quite got his head around why there are wee plaques with numbers and letters bolted to the front and rear of all vehicles on the road.

    Give a false address and you are perverting the course of justice, and the police on the spot can check this in a matter of seconds.

    Oh how they smirked.

    BBC; to inform educate entertain, and give tips on how to break the law.
    I’d write and complain, but Brewer might out me a s a ‘grass’, a ‘copper’s nark’.

    During FMQ Carlaw was screaming to the point that his normally bloated ruddy complexion blanched in mock rage that the 50,000 Care Home Workers should be tested on a weekly, or was it daily? basis.
    He clearly hasn’t a clue and hasdemanded that a Care Home Minister be appointed immediatley.
    Be careful what you wish for, Carboot.

    Post Covid all Private Care Homes will be closed down and returned to the Scottish Health Service, and public ownership.
    Leonard still hasn’t mastered Primary 3 Reading Out Loud yet.

    Close the border with England now.

    Note licence plates and issue notices remotely.

    Report offenders to their insurance companies. Publish maps based on licence plate numbers showing clusters of selfish bastards ‘day tripping.

    Name and fucking shame.

    …Now you realise why I have lain fallow for a few days.

    Paul, you continue to excel is keeping it real.

    • Some may have noticed me by my absence this week; or am I too obsessed by my own self importance?


      Were you … ahem … inspecting your bunker, Jack? 😉

      Yours in solidarity.

      • WS, I set out to reply to you, by declaring that my ‘bunker’, my fortress of solitude, was between my two ears. After decades of a busy Babel household, I have developed a self meditative trick of shutting out ‘noises off’ when I so choose.
        Alarmingly when I went on to draw comparisons between my Inner peace and the luxury Bunkers of Charlie at Balmoral, Lizzie in Fortress Windsor, and Prince Wills at Sandringham, and B-Lister Jack in his borders farm, and some comments on todays Press Attack on NS and the Bad EssEnnPee Govt., my subsequent attempt to post the comment was met with and ‘OOPS! System Failure’ crash.
        I mentioned Larry Flanagan, erstwhile Commie Militant and Red Labour reject and .704 teachers’ demanding that NS drop everything and teach the poor children during the crisis, and bemoaning the suspension of the Attainment Gap monthly stats.
        Which Dark Force blocked my post? The Royalists of the Commies? Better and as Bitter as ever Together, just like Carjack and Leotard on Wednesday.
        What a pathetic range of non questions from the dying hack pack today.

        The Chief Constable wants us to shop our neighbours, will be one lurid headline tomorrow.
        Like the slugs who have stared to appear of an evening in my back yard; this lot move slowly, with no purpose, and leave a slimy trail in their lugubrious wake.

        I have a sense that they are dreading the day when we beat this and they have to report it, and thank our Health, Care, Police, Emergency services, and…the Scottish Government for their unstinting dedication.
        Slainte, Welsh Wizard

        • “I have a sense that they are dreading the day when we beat this and they have to report it, and thank our Health, Care, Police, Emergency services, and…the Scottish Government for their unstinting dedication”
          Yep, nailed it Jack, the view from eastern europe is entirely sympathetic to the Scotish condition given their previous experience of despots, that it is a view shared by all European countries implies 500M are wrong but 15,000 Tories are right, just how does that possibly compute…
          Fumigation of this verminous bunch is long overdue, Scotland are already front of the queue…

        • Good to see you back, Jack. 🙂

          One thing though, when I read, ‘slugs who have stared to appear in my backyard’ I was a bit confused. I now just have this image of slugs staring at you of an evening in your back yard. Still, not as scary as what appears on the pretendy BBCScotland platform of an evening by the sound of it.

          On subject of education, haven’t seen much about how many sent their kids back to school in England last week. Anyone see any headlines showing masses of kids running into school, parents waving them off with relief on their faces?

          • Sorry, Arty. It’s my stream of consciousness ypographical terrors, a reliable barometer to measure my rage and/or sloppy editing technique.
            I am sure that the dreaded little night raiders are ‘staring’ at me, glaring even, as I surround my pot plants with a ring of bug repellant table salt.
            I seem to have heard, out of the corner of my ear, that 2/3 of schools in England are staying closed despite Winston Johnson’s ‘we’ll fight it in the classrooms’ rallying cry.

            Johnson has managed nearly an hour as PM of England this week.

            His Pound Shop Mop Head hair style at PMQ this week makes England the laughing stock of the world.

            As he rambled incoherent nonsense in face of Starmer’s fairly innocuous questions, he turned from side to side, glancing over each dandruff flecked shoulder, addressing his invisible imaginary old school chum allies, the haunting brouhaha of Order Paper waving baying fat Tory Boys echoing in his demented ears.

            Trump and Johnson are quite simply mad men.

  18. Aye back n causing trouble Jack eh ha ha

    I missed the tripe you refer to Jack, because recently well for quite a long time I have made a point of treating anything regurgitated by Pacific Heights with sacks of salt and believe a health warning should be attached to everything connected to them ,

    The strange thing is and I have noticed it a few times , the BBC south of the border don’t operate in the same twisted manner and sometimes Question the way the ones up here operate , the one I remember mostly was Dimbleby he regularly when asked raised an eyebrow when hearing things BBB Scotland do or have done , maybe they are a bit devious in the south and I am slow and don’t appreciate it ,

    I am surprised anyone from the SNP never seems to be prepared when this Clown interviews them , it’s obvious his agenda and method of operation , I wonder if media training has stopped or even has it ever started because I think I could give him a good bloody go , and Paul would definitely wipe the deck with him

    I used to work for a English company and the trick the chairman used all the time was , ask a question and just as it was being answered switch to another so the same performance was repeated until the manager was so confused by the line of questioning he was physically shaking, even although the manager was good at his job and had answers to all the questions the way they were being asked totally unnerved them , Brewer attempts to use the same methods and it’s easy countered by keeping calm and being as bloody annoying as he is , he will soon give up .but it calls for practice and training it’s so important .

    • On the bright side, Robert, he’s stopped coughing into his BiC Biro.
      Every journey starts with one small step. It also tells us Duggers, that Paul’s blog is required reading up at Pacific Heights. And so it should be.
      It is a tired old format, churning out North Korea grade nonsense now.
      Stay safe, you and yours, Robert.

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