It was the mantra of the Unionist activist during the independence referendum. How many did you hear proclaim they were ‘Proud to be Scottish’?
The phrase was appended to almost everything the Scots-born British Nationalist said. Scotland was a semi-civilised beggar nation, but they were proud of it. We couldn’t possibly be trusted to govern ourselves, but they were proud of it.
These ‘Proud Scots’ cheerfully relayed threats from London-based politicians to sabotage Scotland’s economy if we voted Yes. They nodded in approval when told the centuries-old currency Scotland had helped create, was England’s alone to keep. They cheered Jose Manuel Barroso when the then EC Commissioner told them their European Citizenship was worthless junk.
Like many independence supporters I have always had my doubts about those who felt the need to inform their fellow countrymen and women that they were proud of their nation of birth. That doubt has increased ten-fold since Brexit.
Their ringleaders disappeared after the 2014 independence referendum. Alistair Darling sits in the House of Lords and both he and Gordon Brown now rake it in on the international finance circuit.
Meanwhile the nation both insist they are proud of, sits defenceless as a Xenophobic Tory government prepares to drag it out of the European Union. Something only independence was supposed to bring about.
At least with independence, according to Darling, we would have been in a queue to get back in.
Brown and Darling don’t give a tinkers’ cuss about Scotland. If they did they’d be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our First Minister as she seeks to protect Scotland’s interests. They’d be joined by the so-called internationalists within the ranks of Scottish Labour and what’s left of the Scottish Lib Dems.
None of them care a whit. The Brexit-beating Scotland will take is merely a price worth paying if it keeps the ‘greatest ever Union’ alive.
Ask Davidson, Dugdale and Rennie to articulate a plan to protect Scotland’s European benefits and all you hear is that they’re against a second independence referendum. They can’t even back terms that will both protect Scotland’s EU status and place Indyref2 on the back-burner.
Nicola Sturgeon has already confirmed her terms for removing the immediate threat of a second independence referendum.
Theresa May needed only agree to protect Scotland’s single-market status and Indyref2 was off the Brexit table. She has refused.
A deal that will benefit Scotland within the Union now looks dead in the water. Why wasn’t it embraced and promoted by the ‘Proud Scots’?
We know why. The priority for ‘Proud Scots’ isn’t Scotland. It never has been. The Scots-born British Nationalist puts Britain first. It’s Britain that they give loyalty to, even at the expense of Scotland.
It’s the Brexit vote. It’s Trident. It’s rusting nuclear subs on the Clyde. It’s nuclear power at the expense of Scotland’s renewable industry. It’s aggressive foreign policies. It’s the realm and the empire … or what’s left of it. It’s British isolationism over Scottish inclusiveness. It’s anything but Scotland.
And it’s lying, as David Mundell proved when claiming Scottish voters knew prior to the indyref that an In/Out EU referendum was inevitable.
There was no such inevitability about the EU referendum because Labour didn’t officially back one until May 2015. Ed Miliband’s Labour Party U-turned after Cameron’s Tories won the general election.
But Mundell and his British Nationalists won’t be pressed on this. Because the Scottish media has more than its own fair share of ‘Proud Scots’ as well. It’s why Ruth Davidson is never pressed on her own claim that voting No was the only way to protect Scotland’s EU membership.
The phrase ‘Proud to be Scottish’ means almost the exact opposite of what Unionists try to claim it means.
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