‘Deal with?’

SNP MSP James Dornan writes in the National:

We Scots played a central role in the British Empire, providing it with much of its managerial class. As we come to terms with that stain on our history, we also must strive to be better. We’ve applauded the English football team for taking a stand against racism toward its players and fans. But how many of us look the other way when our invisible minorities are abused?

I agree with much of that which James goes on to write. As he correctly points out sectarianism has been a stain on our history. I’ve written here, several times, on the lack of a policing response to violent ‘Loyalist’ groups connected to Rangers who have rioted in George Square or the discriminatory ‘kettling’ response when a group connected to Celtic tried to march in the same place in peaceful support of Black Lives Matter. Like many others, I wrote to Police Scotland to protest that wholly unacceptable operation. I agree entirely that we need to deal with that.

As for singing songs that celebrate or encourage violence against any group, of course, arrest and sanction.

Where I think we diverge is on just how we deal with it.

First, on the marches and minimising or stopping them. Back in the 60’s, my only theoretically protestant family lived near a community centre car park where they would rehearse loudly in the early hours before a march. We knew no members personally and resented them then as a noisy alien presence. James does not, of course, recommend banning them. I wouldn’t either. It would only make them stronger but we can insist they pay for the (heavy) policing out of their own diminishing funds, come down hard on all criminal behaviour and, seriously, do something about Labour councillors diverting public ‘cultural’ funds to subsidise their costs. Surely, they would wither on the whatever?

Second, James proposes a forum to discuss the benefits the Irish community has brought to Scotland. Sure, forums/fora, have as many as you like but, as someone who left school with a Higher History (B pass) in 1968, knowing SFA about what Britain did, of the horrors of Empire in India, Africa and, shock, right ‘next-door’, in Ireland, and as a long-time teacher and teacher-educator, I have a far better idea.

‘Deal with’ the teaching of history in Scottish schools. Just as German kids must learn of horrors of what their forebears did less than 100 years ago, across Europe, so let our kids learn of the extreme racism, genocidal attitudes and behaviour at the core of the British Empire, across the globe.

If they knew only a fraction of what an awful past we have in Britain, surely few could then go on to march with these groups, support the Tories or take Anas Sarwar’s Unionism seriously.

Footnote:

Anti-Catholic bigotry is still in steep decline regardless of last Saturday’s riots

5 thoughts on “‘Deal with?’

  1. Interestingly, this from Canada. I do wonder though if he’d been English, whether they would have called him British? People have called for the monument to him to at least have a plaque in Edinburgh, with the real history on it.

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  2. Ban the Orange Marches. Orange marches are banned all over parts of Scotland. They are banned in the NE. No one would put up with them.

    It is only in Glasgow that carry on is allowed to go on. People in other parts of Scotland cannot believe it. Bigots, racists and misogynists taking over the streets frequently. Secret societies against the Law. They blackball people. The disruption it causes. Unbelievable.

    The Catholic Church (16%) does not believe in contraception. This can lead to poverty worldwide, There are other abuses. People’s equal rights. The Catholic Church is one of the most wealthy institutions.

    All Churches have privileges above the Law. The equal opportunity and employment Laws.

    Historical empirical abuses. People could not vote against. Universal Suffrage 1928.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I am not so sure about the link that is being made with the actions of Labour Councillors in Glasgow and the West of Scotland.

    Until the late 1950s, the Tories held Parliamentary constituencies in Glasgow – for example, Kelvingrove (where I was born), which was very substantially a working class community, particularly in Anderston, Finnieston, Overnewton, Kelvinhaugh and had some appalling housing conditions. Under the title of ‘Progressives’ the Tories also had a significant number of Councillors. On the south of the river, Tradeston and Govan had ‘Progressive’Councillors.

    The reason for this was working class Protestant Tory voters, who were open to the message that Labour was ‘the Papish Party’. Many Labour Councillors, like, say, Mr Alex Mosson, experienced antiRC aggression in their communities. I was born in Anderston and my family were working class Presbyterians. My mother, particularly, discouraged me from the sectarianism which was fairly common amongst the families of children with whom I went to Primary School. My father, who was pretty scathing about all religions, encouraged me to support Partick Thistle.

    In the 1960s, things began to change and, with improved education, an NHS, many working class Protestants realised where their class interests really lay and began to vote Labour in significant numbers.

    While most RCs in the area also voted Labour there was an anti-Labour tendency amongst some sections, who saw in the socialism of Labour an anti-clerical, godless atheistic aspect.

    During the 1950s when the Orange Walks took place, Argyle St and St Vincent St were filled from end to end with marchers and the pavements lined with supporters. By the 1970s this had dwindled to a few hundred people marching and most people on the pavements ignoring them.

    Bigotry is still there, but it has declined very significantly, although it is still capable of causing some serious misconduct such as we saw several times recently in George Square and with the spitting on the RC Chaplain of a church in London Road, Calton. However, we need to keep a sense of proportion.

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  4. ”However, we need to keep a sense of proportion .”

    As Mr Dornan pointed out in his article , if these marches were against Black or Muslim people how long would they be tolerated ?

    As to a ”sense of proportion ” – if a march is seen as discriminatory /inciting hatred of a group , how many of these marches are to be tolerated ?
    Is one ( 1 ) OK ? Do we draw the line at ten ( 10 ) ? Perhaps one a week ?
    How much hatred is OK ?

    Liked by 1 person

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