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« Give them candy: local people want to reclaim Greenock's historic sugar sheds | Main | Bringing it all back home - The message of Tom Devine's book on Scottish emigration is ultimately a postive one. »

August 10, 2011


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You forgot Kernow (Cornwall)! And there is also Eilean Mhannain (Ellan Vannin - Isle of Man) - though I am totally confused about Man's relationship to the UK!


I wish Salmond had applied the same logic when dealing with sectarianism recently. In that instance, he described a problem that is overwhelmingly associated with the fans of two Glasgow clubs in the West of Scotland as a problem for the whole of Scottish football.

Having said that, it is one thing to insist on accuracy, but then to use these riots as a way of emphasizing an essential difference between the Scots and the English is naked opportunism and low politicking. Poor show from Alex.

Has Salmond lost the will to campaign for independence?

He seems far more at home sitting behind a big desk content with administrating his London pocket money.

The comments by, in particular, David Mundell and Ian Gray are cringeworthy. Mundell, who for some reason always reminds me of Matt Lucas' "only gay in the village" character (actually "only Tory MP in Scotland", there's an idea for a character!) is way off target with his statement that the riots are affecting the whole of the UK. given his reluctance to acknowledge Scotland as a distinct nation, can we assume that from now on he will never again utter the inaccurate phrase "Scottish banks"? Same goes for the just as pathetic dying swan, Ian Gray, whose desperation to get a punch on target is palpable. Sorry Ian, missed again. tried to pee on Alex's parade and ended up pissing on your own shoes.

There is a simple reason why Westminster politicians have described this criminality as UK. They don't recognise the existence of England.
To do so acknowledges devolution has forgotten someone.
There are four countries in these islands.
Scotland, Wales, N.Ireland and UK.

Those posters who feel some embarrasment about the FM making it clear that the riots did not happen is Scotland - as reported by some media, possibly leading to a drop in tourism and consequent loss of jobs, may like to ponder why the soldier serving in the British Army who is reported to have taken a finger from a dead Taleban, was reported as Scottish by the media - seems they can get it right when they want. Well said Joan - those trying to knock the FM and SNP based on the suffering of people in England are sick!

Hi Sally

We should show solidarity and support for those who are suffering these terrible riots and we should do our best to not only praise but also practically help those who are bravely protecting and cleaning up their communities. The point being articulated here is that to identify Scotland as a distinct nation (that hasn't suffered rioting and is therefore a safe place to travel too) is not contrary to showing a British solidarity and helping our fellow islanders.

If you would forgive me for paraphrasing your words, I could suggest that the concept of a new Britain forged on the principles of equality, mutual respect and a encompassing malleable concept of British identity is perhaps not being fully understood in some quarters, perhaps such progressive concepts are falling on deaf ears or being muffled under a super nationalistic Union Jack tea-cosy worn by those who refuse to recognise Scotland as a distinct and equal entity. Certainly it is a certain type of intolerance that suggests that by simply stating that Scotland is a distinct country merits pejorative accusations of "anti-English" or that a callous attitude of "we don't want to be associated" with the riots is afoot (the latter a particularly misconceived slander considering the demonstrable manifestation of practical help from the Scottish Government in the shape of police officers and equipment and not to mention the moral support and concern from many independistas, myself included, towards their friends and family caught in the unrest)

The key thing in times such as this is to support one another and to cherish our shared human identity. For that we don't need a flag nor a nationality.

Kind regards and wishing you peace also.

Now those good 'Scottish' banks are UK banks.

It was predictable that when Alex Salmond pointed out the obvious fact that the riots are confined to England and are not occurring across the UK that the usual suspects got very, very upset.

I would ask why David Mundell, Iain Gray, Tom Harris, Torquil Crichton and Willie Rennie, to name a few, are so incensed that the riots are correctly labelled as English and so desperate to make them UK riots?

It's not that odd as they are all members or supporters of the unionist factions in Scotland and are obsessed with trying to score points against the SNP but Alex seems to have touched a raw nerve there.

By defining them as English riots not UK riots the usual Scottish suspects become outsiders and not participants in the whole riot zeitgeist in England and being a Scottish outsider in Anglo-Britain is a very sensitive spot to a committed unionist.

There's nothing a Scottish unionist hates more than being reminded that they're Scottish.

Sorry, I missed off the ref for the tourism figure

It can be really aggravating to be have Scottish sensibilities trampled, I know this happens far too often. But I cannot help feeling that this will be seen as another anti-English preach to the choir, at a time when people are losing lives and risking injury defending their community, it isn't the time to get up on our well rehearsed semantic soapbox. It is time to share those ideas for 'building something better'. A gentle word is better than a petulant stamped foot.

You would have a stronger point about Scottish tourism if you weren't telling the English, who bring in 58% to Scottish tourist pounds (US next largest 7%)* we don't want to be associated with YOUR problems and that's more important than offering moral support (Over shadowing positive contribution of Scottish police.)

England isn't a Scottish free zone, so we cannot be counted out. There are over 340,000 1st and 2nd generation Scots in London alone.

I find your timing sad and disappointing, although it's sure to please your electorate. I know my thoughts will fall on deaf ears or at least ears that are muffled under a super nationalistic tartan tea-cosy. It is sad that I have tuned into your negativity as had your`selective' hearing edited out Cameron's following phrase saying that those clearing up were 'Britain' at its best. I don't really care if you publish this or not I won't be checking back in. I'm going off to see if I can help my fellow islanders.

wishing you peace

Hi Joan

Real solidarity comes from standing shoulder-to-shoulder with others and offering real practicable help (as the Scottish Government has done). To suggest, as some have done, that to recognise Scotland's distinct identity is somehow unsympathetic and to be castigated is, I feel, simply the latest manifestation of the Scottish cringe or at the very least a rather contrived and tasteless attempt to damage the SNP on the back of the misfortune of riot victims.

We have to minimise the socio-economic damage of these tragic events upon the wider UK (including on Wales, Northern Ireland and unaffected parts of England) and doing so is not to the detriment of pan-British solidarity. It is a strange type of solidarity that demands as many people as possible suffer as a consequence of the rioting.

"Scotland has historically had better police-community relations than the big English cities. Not perfect, but better."

I think this is a bit of a lazy comment.

Percentage saying they tend to or strongly agree with the statement "I have confidence in the local police" in England and Wales: 69%

(Table 1.03 of the Excel Data Files at

Percentage saying they tend to or strongly agree with the statement "overall, people have a lot of confidence in the police in this area" in Scotland: 48%

(Figure 7.3 of

I recognise that this isn't quite the same question, so what about "the police do a good or excellent job"? Percentage in E+W (Table 1.02 of same dataset): 56%

Scotland doesn't ask that question in the SCJS, but it at least butresses the data given above.

For what it's worth, I think the BBC also received loads of complaints from English viewers about the misreporting of the English riots as UK or British riots.

It seems counter-intuitive for an English nationalist such as myself to seek to lay claim to the riots as English (as they're not exactly something to be proud about). But unless they're treated as such, none of the solutions on offer - such as they are - will be adequate to the task. The riots and looting arise from social problems specific to England and, in no small measure, from the fact that English young people are bearing a significant share of the burden for the UK government's deficit-reduction programme (and a higher share than Scottish youngsters, for sure). So we need an English solution, or set of solutions, to this English problem, not another series of prescriptions from a UK government that is more preoccupied with balancing the books than in serving the English people.

So I just wanted to let you know that it's not only Scots that are narked when English problems are not appropriately acknowledged and addressed as such.

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