The ‘Troubles’ will not trouble Independent Scotland, Iain ‘Red Hand’ Macwhirter

The rioting in Northern Ireland by groups fundamentally believing in the holy meaning of the Union and traumatised by the death of the Duke, has excited the Herald writer’s imagination.

The pictures editor has let him down this time. That quiet, wet, mundane border looks too damp to light. Now, four men, a tabard and a big dug, that could kick off!

Protesters Gather At Scottish Border Telling English People To Stay Out -  LADbible

MacGlashan, sorry, Macwhirter, opens with:

There has never been a direct read across from the troubles in the province to Scotland. But Northern Ireland is only 12 miles away, and closer culturally and politically than we’d like to think. If nothing else, recent disturbances underline the importance of there being a clear border policy if and when Scotland leaves the United Kingdom for the European Union. At least, a better policy than the spatchcocked and unworkable deal struck between Boris Johnson and Jean-Claude Juncker in 2019.

‘Read across?’ ‘Road across?’

Strangely both could make sense.

‘Spatchcocked?’ I like that bit. Had to look it up. Not nice.

Anyhow, back to the story. As soon as I saw it, I thought, that looks familiar and checked my archives to find ‘Neil Mackay!’

It’s the same thesis. It’s the same answer as in January 2020. At minimal effort, here it is again. Just replace one Mac with the other:

A person posing for the camera

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From Neil Mackay in the Herald today (Who are these unnamed dark forces above?)

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From Lord Robertson in 2014

From Professor Tom Devine in 2018

Neil Mackay may be ‘Scotland’s Columnist of the Year but he’s feck all use as an investigative reporter. Does ‘columnist just mean ‘blether?’ This is pathetic clickbait to make us anxious and cling to the Union but based on only a tiny number of street thugs, his own memories of life in Northern Ireland before the Good Friday Agreement and the notion planted in his head by Lord George Robertson, of ‘Dark Forces.’

Robertson’s warnings were soon dismissed as guff aimed at panicking the electorate in the run-up to the Referendum. Though former Secretary General at NATO, Robertson had no evidence to offer. Mackay has only this melodramatic literary guff:

Now, though, something is stirring in the darkest recesses of Scotland’s soul and it’s ugly. At the weekend, we had yet another display of sectarian hatred imported from my country and played out on the streets of Glasgow. There were arrests and a police officer was injured after a Republican march and a Loyalist counter-demonstration clashed.

Read that opening sentence again. Can you believe it? It’s not just guff in terms of being utter fantasy its also terrible writing. Even Dan Brown might reject it as being ‘too much.’ If Mackay wanted to tell us something true, he might have had a look at evidence from official statistics and/or from a respected academic researcher like, say, Professor Sir Thomas Martin Devine OBE FRSE FBA. Here’s Devine in the Mackay’s host, the Herald, in 2018:

‘SECTARIANISM is in decline and claims of widespread anti-Catholicism in Scotland are “unhelpfully alarmist”, according to the country’s leading intellectual, Professor Sir Tom Devine. The University of Edinburgh historian claims there is little chance of coming up against religious prejudice in 2018, apart from at Old Firm matches, and accused politicians and church leaders of “brazenly spreading fear” and reinforcing “victimhood” among Catholics.’

Might Devine have based his words on empirical evidence? Well, yes. Who’d have thought it? Is that how you get to be a prof? Here is some official evidence from 2015 (latest):

‘In contrast to the strong perceptions of sectarianism in Scotland, there is evidence to show that personal experiences of it are relatively uncommon in terms of harassment, discrimination and criminal victimisation. Over recent years the SCJS has reported relatively low levels of sectarian crime. In 2008/09 1% of crimes were thought to be motivated by sectarianism, falling to 0.5% in 2009/10. In 2010/11 it was 1% while in 2012/13 (the most recently available figure) it was again 1%. Religious hate-crime accounted for around 10% of all hate crime charges in Scotland in 2013-14 (racial hate-crime accounted for 69%) and is at its lowest level since 2009-10.’

My father-in-law was a Catholic from Donegal who met me for the first-time only months after Bloody Sunday. Once he knew I would treat him with respect, he did the same for me. My father was a committed Presbyterian, hostile to the Vatican but friends with several Catholics. At 68, I have no memory of ever directly witnessing even sectarian verbal insults far less violence though an Orange Walk did wake me up once.

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17 thoughts on “The ‘Troubles’ will not trouble Independent Scotland, Iain ‘Red Hand’ Macwhirter

  1. Just hope the British state don’t deploy agent provocateurs on the Streets of Scotland. Put nothing past them.
    How dare McWhurter attempt to stoke the flames by his article.
    Prof Tom Devine was absolutely correct in his analysis, and BritNat jobsworths at the Herald etc should show some respect for those who know better.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Scotland can vote for Independence. 1928 Universal Suffrage.

    The illegal Partition of Ireland 1923. Lloyd George.Five years later Ireland could have voted for Home Rule/Independence,

    Scotland has gone through the Ballot Box because it can. In Belfast in the 1960’s Catholic’s were denied the vote. Bernadette Devlin etc. The masons illegally control NI. A Law unto themselves they flaunt UK Law. The Westminster unionist buy them off for their vote. £Billions.

    The Troubles were cause by Westminster illegal policies in Ireland for centuries. The Famine. Starving people. They had to migrate USA etc. The Land League. The Protestant land owners led the mass Home Rule movement in Ireland 19C. Charles Stuart Parnell. Catholic’s had no rights. The same in Scotland. Jacobites. Jacobite rebellion 1715/45. The Scottish Enlightenment 1750. New ideas of equality. Influenced the world,

    Irish Home Rule Bill suspended at Westminster. because of the 1WW. 1914. Captain Crawford illegally started to importing weapons into NI. Vessel with illegal shipment passed Port Glasgow. Undetected. Easter Uprising 1916. Put down brutally by British forces. The leaders were hung. There was outrage. Increased support for Home Rule/Independence.

    The British Gov appalling illegal failures. There a plenty of books written about it. Information on the internet.

    The Tories have restarted the Troubles with EU Ref Brexit. The lies and corruption.
    The Tories had to get rid of Thatcher for closer ties with Europe to improve the economy. Geoffrey Howe.

    Thatcher. The poll tax, social unrest. High unemployment NI 20%. Scotland 15%. The only place it was under 10% London S/E. Thatcher illegally use the Oil revenue to fund London S/E. Tilbury Docks 26 miles. Canary Wharf. Funded bankers who fund the Tory Party. Devastated Scottish economy and kept it secret. Under the Official Secret’s Act. Lied and lied about it.

    The Tory unionists are destroying the world economy for personal gain. The reason they join a political Party. Graft and corruption. Misusing and abusing public funds and finances. Killing people. They are a disgrace. Illegal wars, tax evasion and financial fraud. The UK is the most unequal place in the world. Vote for Independence to make the world a better place.

    Ireland could vote to reunite to be more prosperous. Demographics.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. In Glasgow many people are waked up with Orange Walks. They are completely banned in other Cities, all over Scotland. Even predominately Presbyterian.No wonder. Absolutely shocked at the number in Glasgow. Taking over the streets. Racist, bigoted, unequal and misogynistic. A minority. Unfair. Blackballed people.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My Father and Grandparents came to Scotland from N/Ireland. The house I grew up in had a painting of King Billy above the fireplace. Two opposing walls had pictures of The Queen and Phillip. On the 4th wall was a glass case with my grandfathers Sash and Gauntlets.

    I turned my back on it all at the age of 12. I started reading the History of Ireland. I found books in the library about the British Empire that angered and disgusted me.

    The story is the same one you will find throughout the World – “It is those Others who are to blame for my misfortune”. In reality it is the greedy who need power and wealth like a drug.

    Bigotry does not come to Nations. It comes to Minds.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. The decline of a once-fine journalist to the dark rantings of British nationalist fairy tales.
    Scottish politics is light years from Irish the stuff, especially that formented from, and by, London.


    1. I’m not sure if MacWhatter ever was a fine journalist. When he had more control over his faculties he was better at duping his readers. Additionally as support for Independence rises so does MacW’s desperation.

      Looking back to when you thought he was a fine journalist, where were you politically.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I’ve ALWAYS been for independence.
        The first advocate for independence was an Englishman, working as a contractor at Faslane of all places. I was in the Royal Navy, and it was 1969.


  6. Mankind basically is not equipped to responsibly handle relgion,as more often than not the undereducated and disadvantaged end up having their minds
    Hijacked by the smarter ones of their particular persuasion, who have much to gain fiscally and social standing.
    All religions demonstrate glaring examples of all this.
    However with regards the current situation in NI all the above are well and truly the driver behind the wheel.
    But the catalyst undoubtedly comes in the form of Brexit and Boris who committed the FATAL error of betraying
    The Ulster Unionist then compounding that error by LYING about the Sea Border
    And the EU protocol for Brexit/ Border issues
    For Boris to knowingly do so purely for political gain is none other the act of a clown who is unfit to have power
    One thing the Unionists at its very roots
    Will take revenge upon is Betrayal and will never rest till they have their pound of flesh and with the memory of a Elephant.
    But the real irony here is that so few of their political leaders both at top and bottom levels are singularly failing so far to let their foot soldiers aware of the massive economic opportunities, that have befallen them by effectively remaining in the single EU market which if smartly deployed would go very far in improving all aspects of the petrol bombers life chances
    The latter merely reinforces my opening

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Mankind basically is not equipped to responsibly handle relgion,as more often than not the undereducated and disadvantaged end up having their minds
      Hijacked by the smarter ones of their particular persuasion, who have much to gain fiscally and social standing.”

      Isn’t that the reason behind religion’s (and royalities) promotion by the state.


      1. Nearly half of Scotland declare as religious. @Scottish Census.-Scotland’s future.

        32% declared as Protestant
        16% declared as Catholic
        1.4% declared as Muslim
        6,000 Jewish people.
        A few Jedi.

        Some are not regular church goers. Losing members. Elderly women members live longer (five years).

        The Churches have privileges above the Law. The equal opportunities and employment Law.

        Church members support Independence. So do Royal supporters. 50%? Support the Monarchy.

        Head of the Church of England. Union of the crowns. Janes V1 of Scotland James 1 of England. Three realms Scotland, England, Ireland. Elizabeth 1 died. No heir. Mary Queen of Scots. James mother.

        Treaty of Union. A shared Protestant monarch. Anne of Orange.


  7. Though a sense of spirituality is kind of essential to mankind’s humanity and political emancipation, organised religions tend to promote cult-like thinking and a denial of material reality. Which is why states have always found a use for them as ‘identity squirrels’, when looking to protect their authority and capacity to dominate the social order. Fortunately, this is the 21st century, and society now has a virtually limitless opportunity to learn and shape its own reality.

    Thinking Spirituality Differently: Michel Foucault on
    Spiritual Self-Practices, Counter-Conducts, and
    Power-Knowledge Constellations


    1. Alex
      And may i add A.Einstein,s. Views to the mix
      ” Having carefully considered all the World,s great religions
      I have come to the firmest of conclusions
      That the only way forward for humanity
      Is to adopt the philosophy of Buddhism “


  8. Remove the greatest difference among humans—race/color—and left are less obvious differences over which to clash, such as sub-racial identity (i.e. ethnicity), language, nationality, religion, and so forth down that scale we tumble. And throw a contemporary deadly virus into the ugly equation for a really hateful fire.

    I occasionally muse that what humankind may need to suffer in order to survive the long term from ourselves is an even greater external nemesis (perhaps a multi-tentacled ET?) than our own politics and perceptions of differences, against which we could all unite, attack and defeat—all during which we’d be forced to work closely side-by-side together and witness just how humanly similar we are to each other.

    Still, maybe some five or more decades later when all traces of the nightmarish ET invasion are gone, we’ll inevitably revert to the same typical politics of scale to which we humans seem so collectively hopelessly prone; including that of the intercontinental, international, national, provincial or state, regional and municipal.

    Then again, hypothetically reduce our species to just a few city blocks of residents who are superficially similar in every way, and there will likely be some form of bitter inter-neighborhood quarreling, eventually.


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