Saturday, January 13, 2007

Gordon is a moron - with devolution amnesia.

Can't let Gordon's recent attack of amnesia in the Telegraph today go without a fisking - so here goes: ( Keep the picture of Gordon and Sean Connery - who campaigns for Scottish independence - in mind as you read his article. Remeber it was only the Conservative party that warned of the impact of all this ).

Black - used for his Gordon-ness - ( Have a stiff cup of coffee now, as he's not the most exciting of article writers, unless like me you find his hypocrisy raises your blood pressure.)

A national debate about Britishness and the future of Britain is overdue and there is no more appropriate moment than the 300th anniversary of the Act of Union. It is now time for supporters of the Union to speak up, to resist any drift towards a Balkanisation of Britain (you mean like devolution Gordon? Anyway the govt you've been in for the last 10 years has been busy trying to Balkanise England - to suit your Scottish and Socialist aims), and to acknowledge Great Britain for the success it has been and is: a model for the world of how nations can not only live side by side, but be stronger together but weaker apart. ( The model is now how the tail wages the dog - Scotland gets the goods and England pays - suits you eh Gordon ?)

Perhaps in the past we could get by with a Britishness that was assumed without being explicitly stated. But when our country is being challenged in Scotland, Wales and now England by secessionists (Sorry - who campaigned for devolution ? It was you right ? ), it is right to be explicit about what we, the British people, share in common and the patriotic vision for our country's future.

I am not alone in believing that a stronger sense of patriotic purpose would help resolve some of our most important national challenges, make us more confident about Britain's role in Europe and the world, and would help us better integrate our ethnic communities, respond to migration and show people the responsibilities as well as rights that must be at the heart of modern citizenship. ( This is just waffle ).

It is also true that countries which fail to forge shared national objectives will be least able to make the long-term decisions vital for prosperity. And just as our competitors – not least in Asia – are seized by a clear view of their destiny in a fast-changing global economy, we – the British – must show ourselves able to summon up in peacetime the same sense of national mission we have always shown the world when challenged in war. ( Did you read Victor when you were a lad then Gordon ? )

George Orwell rightly ridiculed the old Left for interpreting patriotism as little more than the defence of unchanging institutions and for posing a false choice between patriotism and internationalism. ( The left have such good material for ridicule. )

But the failure to defend and promote the United Kingdom is now becoming more a feature of the thinking of the Right. ( No Gordon you've got this wrong - its the acceptance that devolution can't be reversed that's leading to this. As people realise they are being robbed blind by an incompetent celtic socialist government.)

In contrast to Lady Thatcher, who rightly defended the Union and did so even when not expedient to do so, some Conservative writers now embrace anti-Unionist positions, from independence to "English votes for English laws" – a Trojan horse for separation. ( I think you'll find devolution was the trojan horse - as you'll soon find out if the SNP become your home government. We opposed it - you supported it. Like all the big political questions in your life you are on the wrong side of this one too. )

Regrettably, an opportunist coalition of minority Nationalists and from what used to be the Conservative and Unionist Party is forming around a newly fashionable but perilous orthodoxy emphasising what divides us rather than what unites. ( Sorry - you just don't remember the Scottish constitutional convention at all do you - do you have early onset alzheimers ? Still being Scottish you'll get better medical treatment paid for by the English if you have.)

It is an irony that this is happening just as we are waking from a once-fashionable ( Fashionable for you - many of us tried to warn the country, but got branded as right wing racists if we attempted to do so.) view of multiculturalism, which, by emphasising the separate and the exclusive, simply pushed communities apart.

What was wrong about multiculturalism was not the recognition of diversity but that it over-emphasised separateness at the cost of unity. (duhhhh - when did you work this out ? )

Continually failing to emphasise what bound us together as a country, multiculturalism became an excuse for justifying separateness, and then separateness became a tolerance of – and all too often a defence of – even greater exclusivity.

And this is the dangerous drift in anti-Union sentiment today (with one bound he changes subject - but tries to tow Multiculturalism into his amnesia on his role in breaking up the UK. This guy used to be an academic - you'd think he could do better). For while it is healthy to recognise the distinctiveness of each nation, we will all lose if politicians play fast and loose with the Union and abandon national purpose to a focus on what divides. All political parties should learn from past mistakes( perhaps by admitting them and asking for forgiveness - you can start with devolution and then failing to abolish the Barnet bribe formula.): it is by showing what binds us together that we will energise the modern British patriotic purpose we should all want to see.

We should remember that from 1707, the Union was founded not just on the respect for diversity that devolution recognises, but also on institutions that brought us together, from – at root – a shared monarchy, Parliament and Armed Forces to, more recently, institutions as wide ranging as the NHS, the BBC (Which in Scotland is borderline nationalist) and the UK-wide pooling of pensions and unemployment risk through National Insurance .

And over time Europe's first common market – the United Kingdom – has evolved into something much more deeply ingrained than any of the world's other single markets: the shared connections, common networks and strong cross-border business relationships in financial services and elsewhere now integral to our prosperity. ( Its the EU thats makes an independent Scotland and Wales work - and you keep pushing it forward.)

Today in 2007, we can also be far more confident about a Britain that is defined not by ethnicity but, at its core, by common values and shared interests that, in turn, shape our institutions. (Thats just untrue - typical NuLabour assertion.) Britain pioneered the modern idea of liberty and, not least from Adam Smith onwards( who you should have paid more attention to. But liberty really got going with the English Magna Carta ), there is a golden thread that intertwines this unshakeable British commitment to liberty with another very British idea – that of duty and social responsibility, which comes alive in civic pride, charitable and voluntary endeavour, and encouragement for what Edmund Burke called the "little platoons".

Most nations subscribe to universal values like freedom (waffle), but it is how these values come together – in Britain's case, in liberty married to social responsibility and to a belief in what Churchill called "fair play"( like Scotland grabbing all the cash and getting too many MP's who can't even vote on issue that impact their own constituents eh ? ) – and then are mediated through our institutions and our history that defines the character of the country.

Of course those who say that our Britishness is not Britishness unless it is understated have a point. But recent years have seen outpourings of patriotic sentiment, from commemorating VE day to the Queen's Jubilee and more recently winning the Olympics. And just as St George's Day should be given greater pride of place as a celebration – as will St Andrew's Day and St David's Day – I also believe that on Remembrance Sunday and at other nationwide events, the country wants to do more to commemorate what the whole of Britain has in common and in particular to value the contribution of our forces and veterans. ( But if you buy a poppy in Scotland they make a point of telling you it will go only to Scottish servicemen. I find that offensive myslef - what about you Gordon ? )

In discussions with the British Museum, the British Library and the National Archive, we have agreed that there should be a permanent exhibition of historic documents that constitute the essence of our Britishness ( Here comes a large amount of NuLabour Spin). And just as we should explore – perhaps with a national competition – what the country itself thinks should be included in this exhibition, we can and must also find better ways to show our national flag as a symbol of inclusion and national unity, taking it back from the BNP, which makes it a symbol of division.

I am certain that the teaching of British history should be at the heart of the modern school curriculum, and the current review of the curriculum should root the teaching of citizenship more closely in British history. And just as America is strengthened by the institutes that encourage discussion on the very idea of America, an Institute for Britishness could encourage debate on our identity, and what documents from Magna Carta (You got there eventually - its English ! ) onwards mean for today ( since you're government has been so keen to have 90 days detetion without trial or charging someone it seems the Magna Carta is a lesson lost on you .).

More so than in any other century, the 21st-century world will be characterised by peoples of different nationalities living closer to each other and having to find ways to live together ( like Yugoslavia and the USSR you mean ?). Other countries can learn from us getting the balance right between diversity and the strong common bonds that, at root, unify and bring us together. So, far from our Union being an anachronism or in its death throes, we can be a beacon for the world. ( And keep you in a job eh Gordon .)

So - I've finished and I haven't even mentioned the West Lothian question !

Nope I haven't, just got to add this - see this extract from the BBC web site which shows how pro British Gordon Brown has been in the past:

Mr Brown, speaking on GMTV's Sunday programme, said the new Parliament would not need to raise taxes for the first five years: "Because the first job of this Scottish Parliament is to look at whether the money, existing money - £14 billion of money - is well spent. And they will be wanting to save money, cut waste, cut bureaucracy and red tape." ( Which turned out to be utter bollocks - sorry for the strong language, but there's no better way of putting it.)

Later the Chancellor, along with pro-Scottish National Party actor Sean Connery, announced new jobs at the Rosyth shipyard. He said he was highlighting the 18th new inward investment in Scotland since the election.

"International investors are expressing confidence in Scotland in the full knowledge that our institutions are being modernised, that change is taking place, that these proposals are on the table, and I think that is a vote of confidence in the Scottish economy."

Update: I quick trip over to Google blog search shows I'm not alone here ( though I am behind a few of you in posting time ) Here's some of the link when I searched:

Gordon Brown's devolution lies
7 hours ago by Tony
Chancellor Gordon Brown says that the idea of 'English votes for English laws'
would pull apart the British union. Why does he persist with this ridiculous lie?
The only thing that has started to cause the union to unravel is the most ...
The Waendel Journal -
Gordon Brown Shirks the Devolution Blame
13 hours ago by Iain Dale
Some times you just wonder at the sheer brass neck of some of our politicians.
Yesterday it was Tim Yeo, today it is Gordon Brown. He writes HERE in the Daily
Telegraph yet another one of his interminably boring sermons on Britishness, ...
Iain Dale's Diary -
Gordon Brown’s UK slippers
22 minutes ago by Northwing
There’s one thing slightly worse than a gutless politician that won’t give bad
news, and that’sa politician who gives bad news and then omits to say they helped
bring it about. Writing in The Daily Telegraph (read here) to mark the 300 ...
Northwing -
Gordon Brown: We need a United Kingdom… Oh Really?
6 hours ago by The Morningstar
to Add 'Gordon Brown: We need a United Kingdom… Oh Really?' to Add 'Gordon Brown: We
need a United Kingdom… Oh Really?' to Add 'Gordon Brown: We need a United Kingdom…
Oh Really?' to Add 'Gordon Brown: We need a United Kingdom… ...
Cynical Chatter From The Underworld -
Gordon Brown's national interest is his own9 hours ago by Grant Thoms
At the heart of Gordon Brown's fears that the UK is heading for a break up, is
his real fear that he wont be able to become or sustain being the next UK Prime
Minister. Never has one man put down so much from whence he came, ...
Tartan Hero -


Anonymous said...

"But if you buy a poppy in Scotland they make a point of telling you it will go only to Scottish servicemen. I find that offensive myslef - what about you Gordon ?"

That's because they are sold by the RBLS and not the RBL. Same goes for poppies in Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand sold by their respective Legions.

Northwing said...

Great picture - wish I'd seen it before. What a duplicitous scumbag. Surely a backroom academic and mechanic of Gordo's 'standing' has a solution to finish devolution? That he has made no attempt to present one is testament to the 'internationalism', ie EU agenda he cites in his letter. . .

Man in a shed said...

Anon - but that's my point. In England we all thought we were supporting British servicemen. In Scotland the attraction is you not supporting English servicemen. It reflects how the UK has worked for some time now - with English generosity and celtic animosity. The English are finally waking up to this - which is Gordon Brown & co's problem - but also his doing.

As I have said on many times on this blog - I have lived in Scotland for over 4 years and married a wonderful Scottish woman. But I am not blind to the injustice against England that is carried out by the Labour and Lib Dem parties.

The 'Twenty-Something' said...

Please accept this informal invitation to join the mailing list of 18 Doughty Street, Political TV. Please reply to with your contact email address.

Kind regards.

Man in a shed said...

Would have thought the email address would have been * ?