Labour’s new Leader in Scotland talks about anti-Englishness in Scotland
The article below caught my interest. This was not only because it confesses to what I think is quite well known that there is a deep vein of Anglophobia in Scotland. If you are a patriotic Scot this is not entirely surprising, not because of history in which the Scots have done rather well out of England, or because of the Barnett Formula where they continue to do extremely well out of England, but because of the over 800,000 English immigrants into Scotland of which such a large proportion voted to remain within the UK that it swung the result of the Scottish Independence Referendum in favour of the remain option. Whereas if it had been left to just ethnic Scots to vote, Scotland would now be well on its way to being an independent country because a majority of them voted for Independence.
Another thing that is interesting about this Times article is it is clear that the privately educated Mr Leonard thinks that it his job is to “stand up for the interests of working people”, rather than for standing up for Scotland. He comments that he has got an overriding objective to “win the battle of ideas with nationalism”.
So there we have it, the new Leader of Labour in Scotland wants Scottish politics to revert to old fashioned Unionist class war rather than nationalism.
It is certainly going to be interesting to see how the attempt to get the Labour Party in Scotland to be seen as focussing on Scottish working class interests! That is whilst Labour in Westminster is almost entirely focussed on the obsessions of middle-class, internationalist, multi-culturalist, Leftists.
This attempt is being made at a time where elsewhere Labour is following in the footsteps of almost all Western European social democrat parties in losing its connections with their country’s working class, instead predominantly voting for nationalist parties, such as the Front Nationale and the Austrian Freedom Party. Of course in Scotland Mr Leonard is up against a so-called nationalist party, which in fact seems to prefer multi-culturalism, diversity and is actually more EUish than Scottish!
Here is the article:-
“My Englishness is a barrier, confesses Labour’s Richard Leonard
The English-born leader of the Scottish Labour Party says he accepts some Scots will not vote for him because he is from south of the border.
Richard Leonard, who was elected Scottish Labour leader last November, was born in Yorkshire but has lived in Scotland since studying at the University of Stirling in the early 1980s.
Asked in an interview with The Times if he thought his Englishness would be a barrier to people voting for him, Mr Leonard said: “There is a small group of people for whom that will be an issue.”
The MSP, 56, said the reality of anti-Englishness in Scotland became clear to him during the 2014 independence referendum. “I wrote a blog on the case against an independent state and somebody put a comment on it which was, ‘In truth you would not be welcome in an independent Scotland’.
“And I thought that was really chilling — not an overt attack in some senses, but on the other hand really quite a dawn-knock-at-the-door. So there are those elements that exist and I am conscious of that.” But Mr Leonard stressed these people were a small minority. He said it was now “a sign of the stage Scotland has reached” that Scots “will vote for an English Scottish Labour leader to be the next first minister of Scotland”.
He denied he was at a disadvantage when voters asked themselves who would best stand up for Scotland. “No, I don’t think I am,” he said. “What people are looking for is someone who will stand up for the interests of working people, predominantly.
“I accept there is an extent to which Scottish politics has become about geography, but I think it should be more about principle. I think we need to break out of this confinement that it’s about where you’re from and ‘you’re not from around here’, which I think is quite a corrosive part of our politics, and get back to ‘these are the ideas’.
“The overriding object I’ve got is to win the battle of ideas with nationalism. Most people say to me it’s not where you come from, it’s where you’re going to. It’s about your principles and what you stand for rather than where you were born.”
Shortly after his election as leader Mr Leonard was asked which team he supports when Scotland play England at football or rugby. “If it’s England v Scotland, I do support England,” he replied.”
What do you think?