Thursday, 19 May 2011

Factual Fire Nationalism

Factual Correctness

I am no fan of the Tories, but I see the Justice Secretary, Ken Clarke, is being brought to task by the Tabloid Tendency for being factually correct in what he said in an interview about rape.

Political correctness and naked political opportunism take precedence over factual correctness; the tabloid media never lets the facts stand in the way of a good story.

My opinion of the abilities of Milliband Minor is plumbing new depths.


Been thinking about the SNP wanting an independent Scotland. For God’s sake, Why?

Albert Einstein once said: "Nationalism is an infantile disease... It is the measles of mankind."

The usual argument trotted out is that people don’t want decisions on Scotland (or wherever region you choose) being made in London. However, so long as Scotland is represented in parliament, what is the issue? Taken to its logical conclusion, you could make the same argument about Lancashire, or Yorkshire, or any part of the UK. I have to agree with Einstein that it’s an infantile argument.

Let’s take a look at a place which succeeded in gaining independent – Eire. What has independence actually achieved? There is no aspect of Irish society that is radically different from the UK, except perhaps the fact that their economy is in tatters. Had Eire still been part of the UK then it is arguable that the economic situation may not have been so bad.

It is undeniable that mankind has advanced through co-operation, and co-operation means compromising on small issues for a greater overall gain. Would the individual states of the USA have been anywhere near as powerful as the combined federation had the individual states maintained their separate independence? A resounding no!

I’m not arguing for a United States of Europe, as our cultures are quite divergent, but in the British Isles we all share a reasonably homogenous culture, and indeed language.

Nationalism primarily arises from three causes;

  1. Where there is a wide gap in culture,
  2. Where a region is suppressed – as indeed Ireland was throughout most of its history, but that is now well behind us (as evidenced by Mrs Queen’s visit), and
  3. Where a region has something of value and wishes to keep for itself out of greed and avarice – such as oil, scotch or kilts.

Scottish nationalism arises, in my opinion, from the last of these criteria; but what happens when the oil runs out (as it undoubtedly will) - back to knitting kilts, fishing for scotch and cattle rustling?

It could be said that religious identity fosters nationalism, as it has in Northern Ireland, but that is merely a disagreement regarding an imaginary deity neither party knows anything about.

Like support for a particular football team, nationalism is usually entirely irrational and an unfortunate, primeval and tribal part of the human condition – a part we could well do without.

Ugh, Fire

The route of the Olympic Torch has been announced. It’s meant to galvanise people and make them feel involved.

Will it? OK then, if you say so. Ho hum….

Unless the torch bearer actually knocks on the door of the caravan, then I will have no interest whatsoever in seeing someone run with fire on a stick. We have actually seen the stuff here before and use it on a daily basis, but perhaps there are parts of the country where it’s still a novelty and they’re not too sure what to do with it.


  1. All geographical boundaries are artificial and people are intrinsically the same everywhere, unite I say, unite! (as long as I don't have to mix with those chavs from Bracknell)