THE DETERMINANTS OF INDEPENDENCE INSTITUTIONS

Paper 6 in the excellent ten part series written by Professor Alf Baird.


6. Institutions

Every colonial nation carries the seeds of fascist temptation in its bosom. What is fascism if not a regime of oppression for the benefit of a few? The entire administrative and political machinery of a colony has no other goal. The human relationships have arisen from the severest exploitation, founded on inequality and contempt, guaranteed by police authoritarianism. One should not be too surprised by the fact that institutions depending, after all, on a liberal central government can be so different from those in the mother country. This totalitarian aspect which even democratic regimes take on in their colonies is contradictory in appearance only. Being represented among the colonized by colonialists, they can have no other.’

(Albert Memmi)

In any society it is establishment elites who hold and exercise power and run the nation’s social institutions. The establishment is not the centre of official power, but rather the whole matrix of official and social relations within which power is exercisedPoliticians may comprise the centre of what we know as official power, but this is not where power is exercised on a day-to-day basis. Holyrood and Westminster may pass laws, agree annual spending budgets and signal broad policy aims but MSP’s and MP’s do not themselves spend the money or implement policy decisions; they rely on establishment elites running the many social institutions including government departments to do this. Often this implementation is done in ways that the establishment itself considers important, which will inevitably be subject to biases and values held by the elite.

Enculturation’ refers to the imposition on a society of the social values, behavioural norms and the culture and language of power wielding elites. In Scotland, the culture and language of Anglophone elites, many of whom are educated in elite schools and universities – in England as well as in Scotland – differs from that of much of the rest of society, and most importantly differs from Scots speakers. The latter mostly remain excluded from holding key positions in Scotland’s social institutions and are thus excluded from an establishment elite exercising power and determining spending and policy priorities, and are therefore rendered marginalised.

Nelson Mandela referred to the state’s many ‘social institutions’ and the need for them to serve the people rather than oppress them, as is often the case, particularly in societies where there exists an ethnic divide or a ‘cultural division of labour’. Oppression may be instinctive for power wielding elites running a nation’s social institutions, more especially when much of the elite reflects a ‘superior’ culture and language to that of the indigenous people it rules over. This is perhaps also likely where the establishment elite holds allegiance not to the host nation (i.e. Scotland)or to its indigenous people but instead, in colonial fashion, holds allegiance to the values of another ‘elevated’ or ‘superior’ culture, language and national identity (e.g. Britain/England).

The term ‘subaltern’ people, attributed to Gramsci, is used to identify the social groups that are excluded and displaced from the socio-economic institutions of society. Scots speakers, now more especially limited to the working class, should not therefore be surprised that they are excluded from running many of the institutions in thay’re ain laund. This reflects a rather long-established process given that: ‘From the seventeenth century on, English military and political control in the peripheral regions was buttressed by a racist ideology which held that Norman Anglo-Saxon culture was inherently superior to Celtic culture’. 

Many Scots therefore suffer from two key structural impediments and disadvantages within an Anglophone elite dominated society, namely: being working class and speaking the Scots language. That Scotland’s social institutions continue to be run by a predominantly Anglophone and unionist establishment elite which is opposed to Scottish self-determination and independence should not be a surprise; a colonial reality implies that institutions in Scotland are primarily there to protect Britain/England’s interests and this includes the devolved Scottish Government. 

In any colonial environment the institutions of state must therefore be expected to be colonial in nature and in terms of their objectives. Here it may be anticipated that anAnglophone unionist establishment elite controlling Scotland’s institutions will use various means to oppose and stall policies and initiatives which might negatively impact colonial priorities, including for example the blocking of a Scots Language Act. They will also seek to delay and take actions necessary to prevent Scottish self-determination and independence, as reflecting an allegiance primarily to the British state.

In the case of Scotland, as was also evident in Ireland, the independence struggle,according to Professor Edward Said, was initially ‘not regarded as an imperial or nationalist issue; instead it is comprehended as an aberration within the British dominions’. Said disagreed with this argument and, in the context of Ireland he stated that: ‘the facts conclusively reveal otherwise’in that the British/English ‘considered the Irish to be a separate and inferior race’. Here, as Albert Memmi stated, racism always lies at ‘the root of colonialism, and is an aspect likewise closer to Scotland’s doorstep than many appear to think.

Scots also need to be conscious, more especially in light of ongoing persecution of leading independence campaigners, of the fascist tendencies inherent within colonial regimes.  Scotland already has the highest prison population per head in Western Europe, which tends to be the most noticeable outcome of an oppressive justice system, a justice system now increasingly found to be malicious as well as politically influenced. 

If Scotland is treated as a colony, as earlier analysis here and elsewhere has established to be the case, then it may reasonably be argued that its governing and social institutions, and the establishment elite running them, must also be colonial in nature, and this includes the justice system. This also relates to Professor Michael Hechter’s finding that Scotland’s institutions promote and perpetuate a ‘cultural division of labour’ within the ‘UK internal colonialism model’, which implies that the culture and values of Scotland’s establishment elites differ from that of the indigenous people. Such cultural and linguistic differences become noticeably evident to many Scots the first time they enter into a courtroom, classroom, hospital, government office, or a commercial environment.

A further consequence of discriminatory practices favouring a specific ethnic group over another, is that much of Scotland’s Anglophone managerial and professional class recruited from outside of Scotland may lack in-depth knowledge of Scotland, or have knowledge of the Scots language and therefore of Scottish culture. The elite don’t need this knowledge, of course, as knowledge of Scotland (or any colony for that matter), and its indigenous people, culture and languages, is not a pre-requisite to be the leaders or managers of Scotland’s social institutions within a British political and colonial hegemony. This also relates to Albert Memmi’s conclusion that ‘a colonial meritocracy tends to be mediocre’.

Those appointed to manage Scotland’s social institutions do not therefore need to know much about Scotland, nor demonstrate any national allegiance to the country, certainly so long as it remains a colonial appendage to the ‘mother country’.Anglophone elite domination to a large extent represents external (i.e. colonial) control over Scotland’s social institutions and hence external control over Scotland’speople, land and resources. Here we begin to move closer to the reality of what independence is really about, by referring to the words contained in the 1916 proclamation that founded the Irish Republic, viz: ‘the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, [is] to be sovereign and indefeasible.’

The notion that being Anglophone should determine one’s opportunity and positionand hence privilege in what is naturally a nonAnglophone ‘Scottish’ and Scots speaking nation clearly reflects ethnic discrimination and relates to unjust and prejudicial treatment against the indigenous (Scottish) people. As this institutionalised discrimination is oriented towards an ethnic group (i.e. Scots speakers) who are also prevented by the ruling Anglophone group from being taught thay’re ain mither tongue, this then raises the likelihood that at root such oppression is indeed racist. This finding fits with the conclusions of Professor Michael Hechter inhis study of ‘internal colonialism’ within the UK in which he states that, where: ‘long-term differences in aggregate rates of development (between the Celtic periphery and England as core nation) are the result of ethnic stereotypes, it is appropriate to speak of institutional racism’. 

Hechter further maintained that institutional racism within the internal colonialismsituation also helps explain: ‘the persistent pattern of economic disadvantages which characterized the Celtic lands’ of Scotland, Wales and Ireland within the UK union.This finding should not be so surprising given it is well established that colonialism always involves racism (and also results in the under-development of a people and their nation) and that, according to Aime Cesaire, colonialism is based on the proposition: ‘that there was a superior race’ (and that) ‘the circulation of colonial ideology – an ideology of racial and cultural hierarchy – is as essential to colonial rule as police and corvee labour’.

Scotland’s universities are worthy of analysis here in that the higher education sector remains heavily focused on recruiting academics mostly from outside Scotland. The institutionalised market-oriented strategies of Scotland’s universities have resulted in the ‘Scottish’ academic becoming something of an endangered species; today,barely 10 per cent of academic staff in many departments in Scotland’s elite universities are Scots, which implies that around 90 per cent are not Scottish, and with the ‘Scots’ ratio even less at professorial level. It also remains rather a big assumption that Scotland’s universities are attracting, as they claim, ‘the best talent’from outside Scotland as clearly this discriminatory policy has done little to benefit the Scottish economy, which remains in a long-term weak and largely underdeveloped position, as has been the case throughout much of the period of the UK union.

For many decades there has likewise been a dearth of Scottish researchers sponsored to undertake PhD work in Scotland’s universities and instead a heavy emphasise placed on attracting mainly rest-UK and overseas students to enrol for higher-fee courses, including PhD study. A very limited number of Scots holding doctorates implies few lecturers and professors in Scotland will be, or indeed are,Scottish. Significant numbers of students from outside Scotland holding PhD’s, many gained in Scotland’s universities, fill this self-created ‘void’, aided by supportive British visa offerings. 

Such institutionalised discriminatory practices serve to squeeze out aspiring Scots who, as a result, are lacking in educational and intellectual opportunities in their own land. According to Audit Scotland it has become more difficult for Scottish student applicants to be offered a place in a Scottish university. At the same time, the doors remain held open to higher-fee students from other countries who are now allocated most student places, particularly in Scotland’s elite universities, including premium fee courses such as medicine. Scotland thus has a shortage of medical doctors largely because its Anglophone-elite run universities refuse to enrol adequate numbers of Scottish students to study as doctors in their own nation, with excessive entry requirements merely creating a further institutional barrier for Scots.

A further consequence of this practice is that few of the senior academics or other experts and intellectuals daily wheeled into Holyrood committees or Scottish television and radio studios to give their views and advice will be Scottish. This serves to reinforce the rather less than subtle message, perpetuated by the British msm more generally, that only an Anglophone elite holds sufficient intellectual knowledge and expertise to lead and manage Scotland’s social institutions, implying that indigenous Scots speakers do not. In essence, with fewer Scots speaking intellectuals active in the general discourse of society in Scotland this conveys a message of Scottish inferiority, further reflecting a colonial reality. 

UK appointed civil servants already staff departments in the Scottish Government, in the Holyrood parliament and in a wide range of state agencies in Scotland. In addition, the UK Government’s creation of 13 new UK ‘regional hubs’ includes a new office in Edinburgh which will house 3,000 civil servant staff. The hubs form part of renewed government efforts to move more civil servants out of London; the government want to move 22,000 civil servants out of central London by 2030. According to The Times, senior civil servants ‘are already looking at Rightmove to see what they can buy for the cost of a terraced house in East Dulwich’ in anticipation of a possible move to ‘regional’ cities such as York and Edinburgh. ‘And they like it. They are looking at substantial Edwardian villas in Harrogate’, and no doubt similar property gains in and around Edinburgh tooSuch a policy is evidently not about creating jobs or opportunities for Scots in higher managerial and professional positions; this is about Scots continuing to have inflicted upon them an Anglophone unionist hegemony and establishment elite running their institutions, andprovides another illustration of an exploitative and discriminatory colonial environment.

Institutionally, Scotland therefore exhibits the perpetuation of not only social segregation but a class and caste system oriented towards Anglophone elites (and increasingly also international elites, particularly in academia) that is grounded in socio-linguistic prejudice which institutionalises social exclusion. ‘Attainment’ for many Scots remains a forlorn ambition for the enlightened, yet more of an inconvenient nuisance to Scotland’s dominant Anglophone unionist elite ‘running’Scotland’s institutions, and without much thought either way as to the end result of prevailing practice, which is the ethnic discrimination and marginalisation of Scots in their own land.

Managerial and professional jobs in social institutions in independent countries such as Denmark and Norway would never be primarily advertised in or sourced from Berlin, whereas Scotland has aye advertised all its best and high remunerative jobs in its much larger neighbouring country’s metropolitan capital, London. Moreover, for anyone to take up a senior public post in Norway or Denmark or in other independent countries they would normally be required to speak or at least unnerstaund the indigenous language as well as perhaps English, whereas there is no such indigenous language requirement for recruitment in Scotland. In Scotland’scase, ‘inferior’ Scots speakers are forced to adjust their speech and assimilate, in true colonial style, to the language of the usurper.

The leaders and professionals appointed to manage and run social institutions in Scotland are not therefore required to speak the Scots language, nor do they need to be able to understand what Scots speakers might be saying to them; this includes school teachers responding to Scots speaking children in the classroom, as well as doctors in a hospital, forcing the Scots speaking child or patient to ‘adapt’ their speech. In some local authority areas of Scotland today (e.g. Borders, Dumfries and Galloway) over half of all high school teachers are from England, and around a third of teachers in Scotland overall are from rest-UK. Here the cultural capital of an Anglophone elite and its hegemonic power structure differs markedly from that of Scots speakers, the latter not holding the same opportunity for social mobility within a stratified society. 

Scots might consider here that the ability to speak and understand the Scotslanguage (as well as, perhaps, English) should be a condition of employment also at higher levels within Scotland’s institutions. On the contrary, the reality is that, in their efforts to eradicate Scotland’s indigenous Scots language, Scotland’s Anglophone unionist establishment elite controlled social institutions aim and purpose is to suppress Scottish culture, and with that to diminish Scottish identity, in turn holdingback the natural development of the Scottish people and their nation through continued colonial rule.

Colonialism, which involves Cultural and Linguistic Imperialism and racism, leaves Scotland and the Scottish people subject to continued colonisation, discrimination, exploitation, marginalisation and oppression. Scots need to understand that, within the UK ‘union’ arrangement, Scotland remains an occupied country and a colony; this is reflected in the fact Scotland’s social institutions are run predominantly by an Anglophone unionist establishment elite hegemony whose allegiance is not, and never can be, primarily to Scotland. Within this colonial straitjacket Scots speakersremain ‘doun-hauden’, regarded by an institutionalised Anglophone elite as inferiorand ‘subaltern’, as is their nation, and hence they are mostly excluded from positions of power, the latter reserved for an Anglophone elite, many of whom are not Scots, and which involves ethnic discrimination.

For Scotland and the Scottish people to be permitted to fully and naturally develop unhindered, the Anglophone unionist/colonial domination and control of Scotland’s institutions, and hence ‘the scourge of colonialism’, must be ended; this can only be achieved through independence and the return of sovereignty to the Scottish people.

MY COMMENTS

It is never easy to tell people their country is being treated as a colonial possession of the neighbouring country but Professor Alf Baird is not merely telling us this he is outlining precisely how it is being done and providing concrete examples of the methods being employed to maintain full control of our nation.

This type of revelation and explanation will always meet opposition not least from those operating the systems but also from the go slow devolutionists who fear this type of information provides ammunition to those who seek much more effort and urgency in the battle to establish Scottish Independence.

As an opponent of the go slow, do nothing approach currently being followed by the Sturgeon Administration I am delighted to publish the entire ten part series on my blog.

SNP readers might like to reflect on much of the content in this series. It is not difficult to recognise many of the characteristics in the devolved SCOTTISH Parliament with administrations that are happy to co exist within a colonial framework.

In particular they should be very aware of the rise of fascist behaviour in Scotland and the growing persecution of political opponents through the use of false or contrived charges and the very definite attacks on Freedom of Speech through the introduction of contentious legislation such as the Hate Crime Bill and GRA.

We are living in very dangerous times and I certainly believe the prospects of winning Independence are being severely damaged through the oppressive nature of these attacks on our key freedoms.

I am, as always

YOURS FOR SCOTLAND

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31 thoughts on “THE DETERMINANTS OF INDEPENDENCE INSTITUTIONS

  1. Well I can’t argue with a single thing in that article, even if I wanted to. As a working class person living in a middle class area, I continually adapt my speech depending on whom I am speaking with. I know the ironically unspoken rules about speech!

    The treatment of Scots mirrors that of previous centuries of Gaelic. It’s the same treatment that Irish receives in the Six Counties. The playbook is known so why do so many deny the reality?

    The new Edinburgh office is absolutely a colonial project right down to the massive Union Flag on the outside. There is few if any new jobs for Scots in this office, merely incoming colonists being embedded in our nation’s capital in the manner of the Raj. Well it worked before.

    But I’m not sure I blame the British Establishment for behaving as it always does any more than you can blame a dog for barking. I blame the Scottish government for doing nothing. I sometimes wonder if a Labour-Libdem government might have put up a bigger fight than the SNP. After all that would be unionists fighting the Tory unionists. Meanwhile the Sturgeon led government does nothing, achieves nothing acting as a vanity project and phantom government that is very well paid for its incompetence.

    As I write Craig Murray begins his jail sentence, his wife, son, and baby seeing him off plus a crowd of well wishers. I saw Denise Findlay, known to us here from Scottish prism and twitter, in the live feed. Whilst I fervently disagree with Craig on GRA reform, I can only hope he survives prison with his poor health.

    Liked by 12 people

    1. Panda paws: agree with all you say. As for Mr Murray, I, too, am dismayed at his incarceration. However, his stance on women’s rights via-a-vis the GRA Reform is at odds with his general stance on human rights, and to be absolutely truthful, I find it very worrying. Nevertheless, I wish him no ill and hope that his sentence is curtailed very soon.

      Liked by 6 people

  2. Can Alf tell us if the low number of Scottish students gaining entrance to Scottish Universities is partly because of a preference for ‘English’ qualifications such as A-Levels or even international ones like the Baccalaureat?
    If so, this is another denigration or devaluation of something Scottish, but I also believe it is detrimental to our policy for pupils to take a higher number and more varied selection of subjects than south of the border and so have a wider education than the Anglicised specialist system.
    I have been dismayed by my grandchildren in England getting into university there on only Science based A-Levels, though fortunately they took more of a variety at GCSEs and have continued their interest in subjects such as History and read widely, though I regret they gave up lamguages so soon.
    Back in the 50s, when I left school I had a mixture of Physics, Chemistry, History, French, Latin and Art as well as Maths and English, though some were ‘Lowers’.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Not sure about the A levels aspect specifically, however, as Scottish ‘elite’ universities are able to charge much higher fees to rest-UK and overseas students this helps explain their commercial emphasis and focus primarily on these markets, and hence the resultant fewer places available to Scottish applicants. This is not exactly a new phenomenon; back in the late 1980s as a mature student, and having studied at college for a year added to a managerial background in industry, I applied to do a degree in law at Edinburgh but was refused entry, as I recall, simply on the view of the dean who said to me that he thought that ‘I wouldn’t make a good lawyer’. Of course, he had no basis for saying this other than prejudice. Later a law lecturer colleague at my eventual university said this was more likely because ‘I didn’t go to the right (i.e. private) school’. So, as well as a focus on rest-UK and overseas students the ‘elite’ institutions also appear to hold a preference for students from private schools, which of course to a large extent reflects Scotland’s meritocratic elite who end up running most of our institutions.

      Liked by 7 people

    2. You are referring to the Scottish ‘Attestation of Fitness’ which offered evidence of a person’s suitability to study for a degree.
      To gain this one had to pass a broad mix of subjects including science, english, modern language (higher), history or geography (lower), maths (lower) and arithmetic (ungraded) and in total at least three higher, two lowers and arithmetic.
      These had to be gained over no more than two sittings and so the AofF was similar to the french Baccelaureat or German Arbitur.
      Scotland should return to this system as it produced a much more rounded education.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. This is a very fine piece and it is a joy to read it.It echoes the sentiments of Alasdair Gray who was accused of anti-English racism. This is an excellent series.We have been waiting for this for a long time-beautifully articulated!

    Liked by 8 people

  4. Sorry to go o/t so early in your marvellous piece Alf, but you’d need a heart of stone not to be moved by these scenes as Craig’s family see him off.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. State brutality, state violence. Nothing less. Absolutely brutal totalitarianism viciously destroying free speech. Dress it up whatever way the authorities try but this is exactly the type of thing that people have died resisting the world over.

      Horrible comment once made not so long ago about lucky this time, but need to be lucky all the time.

      But maybe like Northern Ireland and the recent attempts resile from the Good Friday Agreement the Establishment has decided it would like to have another go. No good ever comes out of behaviours like this. World events tell us that.

      And not a word from our elected representatives who are complicit in this whole affair. They obviously know no fear, feel omnipotent, as they comfortably pursue their vendetta/s without let our hindrance.

      Liked by 8 people

  5. Excellent as ever from Alf.

    The recurring theme in the articles to date is that, in all practical aspects, Scotland IS a colony of England. The sooner we in Scotland accept that the sooner we will be able to take our case to the UN in order to facilitate this country.

    I was struck by the fact that there are “around a third of teachers in Scotland overall are from rest-UK”. Given that English born residents in Scotland alone comprise circa 7.5% of the total population this means that there is a “disproportionality index” of 4 in this job sector i.e. there are 4 times as many teachers originally from rUK as you might expect given the latter’s prevalence in the Scottish population at large.

    We need to get this kind of information out there. Is there anyway we can collect, compile and circulate these kinds of meaningful statistics about the personnel composition of Scottish institutions for publication?

    Liked by 8 people

    1. NRS and as I recall EIS data was helpful in identifying this, as you say, ‘disproportionality’, which to some extent emanates from the earliest Scottish census records in the late 1800s, the latter also highlighting even then the significant numbers of people from rest-UK taking managerial and professional positions in Scotland. It seems a similar ‘disproportionality’ is to be found in universities and in government, local as well as central, as well as in public bodies, NHS, as well as senior posts in commerce/industry etc.

      There sshouldb e ilttle doubt this ‘phenomenon’ reflects a colonial-like legacy which acts to restrict socio-economic development of the native population, and is arguably at the root of inequality and lack of ‘attainment’ in what is still a largely under-developed Scottish nation and people, as any colony is, effectively. In addition, census data tells us the local authority areas where most people from rest-UK settle in Scotland, and these are also the main ‘No’ voting areas, as might be expected.

      The ‘Elitist Scotland’ report is also interesting in flagging up the approx 50% of ‘elite’ (i.e. high pay) jobs in Scotland that are filled by the 3% or so of the population who go to private schools.

      /https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/elitist-scotland

      Liked by 6 people

    2. I wish I could answer your question, Duncanio. If we lived In a functioning democracy, we might look to academia and the msm to highlight this type of information … but, for the reasons Alf indicates in his piece, that’s not going to happen in Scotland this side of independence.

      Given that all of our institutions have been subverted in the interests of the metropolitan power, we may, very soon, have to take the full story of Scotland’s ever increasing colonial subjugation, and its accompanying realities out of the UK all together to ensure its much wider dissemination within the more enlightened and progressive nations.

      Liked by 7 people

  6. looks like you can take. The you know what out of the Scots 24. 7. 365. There are so called landowners in Scotland who have their paws on vast acres of Scotland who pay land tax on Scottish land in their country of origin. Not in Scotland. The rest of the world must be pissing themselves laughing at us.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. Thanks Alf for bringing your forensic academic skills and more importantly your life experience to bear on the factual analysis above regarding the colonisation of Scotland and its total toxic impact on our country and its people.

    I want to highlight one part in particular in your text:’

    Scotland’s universities are worthy of analysis here in that the higher education sector remains heavily focused on recruiting academics mostly from outside Scotland. The institutionalised market-oriented strategies of Scotland’s universities have resulted in the ‘Scottish’ academic becoming something of an endangered species; today,barely 10 per cent of academic staff in many departments in Scotland’s elite universities are Scots.’

    I attended the University of Glasgow for my undergraduate degree and at the time, an English Academic, Greg Philo, ran a ‘Media’ unit in the Social Sciences Faculty which, naturally attracted external msm attention. He also ran the Glasgow Media Group. His pseudo marxist analysis of colonialism and capitalism was the flavour of the late 20th+ early 21st century in academia. Any attempt to question Scotland’s status at the time was rubbished by he and others of his anglophone hegemony. I did a search and found an astonishing confirmation of this man and his class of ‘opinion shapers i.e. colonial institutionalist elite which has permanently established itself in Scotland’s universities, cuckoo like, and is now further reinforced by huge numbers of RUK students pushing out w/c Scots indigenous ones.

    Have a look at the ‘calibre’ of this ‘renowned academic’ on Vimeo: ‘Greg Philo-Questions on Independence’ ( time 17.48 mins). I ‘m sure anyone watching this film made in 2014 on the cusp of the Referendum will gasp at his bigoted and insulting comments about Scotland, the country that gave this imposter a fat living and a prominence in media and academic circles that he had lavished upon him.

    His performance in this video fits perfectly Alf’s quote:
    This also relates to Albert Memmi’s conclusion that ‘a colonial meritocracy tends to be mediocre’.
    This individual was still active with my alma mater up until recently and appears on the University listings as Professor of Communications and Social Change. It staggers belief that a similar situation could occur anywhere else but in a colonial context.

    When one considers the treatment meted out to a similar Scots academic, that of Prof John Robertson at the University of the West of Scotland, who for the unacceptable crime of demonstrating the overwhelming evidence of the msm, particularly the BBC, prejudicial and biased presentation of the nationalist narrative in the Referendum, essentially lost his job. A situation where his academic study on the Scottish media, fully based on sound recognised analytical methodology, both quantitative and qualitative, was rubbished publicly by the BBC and then hounded by that organisation out of his employment via unremitting pressure on his University’s hierarchy. The Prof. suffered mental stress and an attempt to undermine his professional integrity even after taking early retirement.

    In other areas of the media, similar outcomes: Lesley Riddoch, once front woman for ( serious) Phone-ins on Radio Scotland and also political discussions on t.v. Michael Stewart, clever and bright football pundit, also jettisoned from Radio Scotland for criticising Zombie club ‘Rangers’ and espousing nationalist narratives; Ken Macleod, another broadcaster early retired; the newspapers have a long list of pro Indy commentators who have been phased out, e.g. Tom Shields, Robert McNeil, Cameron McNeish etc. all replaced by ‘NO’ yes men and women. The lists are endless of Scots shunted aside for expressing support for their country’s desire for freedom. It applies in all the workplaces that Alf describes. My abiding memory was talking to a young lad fae Paisley with a Masters in Curatorial studies who had applied for many vacancies and been unsuccessful. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that a broad west of Scotland accent would play heavily against him, but just urged him to try abroad where his enthusiasm, qualification and accent would be seen as a positive , not a negative.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Aye, a large pile of British exceptionalism evident there from Philo, Lochside, and a hefty dose of colonial racism, which flies right past his consciousness of course. Like many on the left, Philo fails to comprehend that independence and decolonization is not about capitalism versus socialism, rather, it is about ‘the complete and total overthrow of a racist, colonialist system that would open the way to imagine a whole new world’ (Aime Cesaire) for an oppressed people.

      Liked by 8 people

    2. lochside: after having viewed the clip of Greg Philo in his guise as an academic he indeed epitomises mediocrity in its most negative form colonial or otherwise
      It beggars belief that any Scottish student could sit in on his lectures and subject themselves to his racist and bigoted opinion of Scotlands people and our worth as a nation. It gars me grue that we tolerate this in oor ain country!

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Another belter Alf, yet again you’ve laid it all out, and no one can deny it, that Scotland IS a colony, that has layer upon layer of unionist gatekeepers, with not just their own interests at heart but those of England’s as well.

    Pity Memmi and Co doesn’t have a route plan to get out of this colonial predicament, especially when the majority of Scots (present company excluded of course) are ignorant to the fact.

    Liked by 8 people

  9. Yup.

    Totally agree with everything Alf says here – and again outlined so clearly.

    Underdeveloped; definitely.

    And a brand new word – ‘indefeasible’ – I’ll have to look that one up, unless anyone else knows and can tell me in context (of Irish independence).

    I would be interested to know if Alf – or anyone – thinks that a devolved government, of any stripe, will inevitably become establishment?

    When the SNP formed their first government, they really seemed to be making changes and inroads to improving things in Scotland – I think it was this that masked the horror unfolding under the Sturgeon-SNP regime; the legacy of the good work that had been started under Salmond. Was this first push to improve Scotland an idealist naivety? Has the succeeding travesty of an SNP government been the long term inevitability? Did we need to get independence back in 2014, or devolution would never benefit us?

    I’m wondering whether or not we should be including charities into institutions of colonial powers – the big establishment ones have always left me suspicious, and indeed it seems clear now that they are used as part of the political gravy train – where the political elite and their hangers on can get a lucrative intermediate position while not in office. Bah, it’s all so incestuous, it sickens me.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Yes, charities and I would also say trade unions and other entities, all mostly part of British HQ organisations, hence the orders for the Scottish ‘branch offices’ come from the ‘mother country’. And this is all part of ‘establishment’ Scotland, embedded in the Holyrood lobbying networks, an aw wi thair haunds oot fer oor siller. In the policy area I know best – maritime/ferries etc – devolution has simply intensified Whitehall’s grip of ‘Scottish’ gov departments, with senior civil servants sent north as the norm to manage and control Scottish dept spending and policy ‘implementation’. That might also explain the ‘catastrophic failure’ in ferries policy and indeed in numerous other aspects of policy where poor decisions are evident, probably by design, though we should also be aware of the inevitability of a ‘mediocre meritocracy’ running any colony. And there are another 3000 heading our way!

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Aye and an office in Glasgow too.

        As soon as you have that ‘jobs for the boys’ set up, it’s inevitable you get no quality, no dedication to the job, no will to serve the people. Inevitable even private business get themselves on the gravy train by who they know (large international companies, with money flowing out of Scotland) and no intention of delivering any kind of quality. The ferries debacle is an embarrassment.

        Yes and trade unions – I just feel charities are overlooked because we are meant to think of them as doing good – people give them money thinking so. Most of it is spent on salaries of useless people. And the UK govt is using charities to replace the welfare state – food banks for instance – making them a voluntary (patronising) tax on those that have enough to give. And, ironically, its mostly the poorer in society that do give.

        Our society is going backwards, not forwards.

        I hope chapter 10 has a whole load of solutions!!

        Liked by 5 people

  10. O/T Iain apologies.

    This is very sad, but it also makes my blood boil, a tearful farewell from Craig Murray to his family and a supportive crowd.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Its not O/T, RoS, quite the opposite in fact, as it is clearly oppressive colonial institutions in Scotland who are responsible for this disgrace.

      Liked by 6 people

  11. RoS: the very institution that has jailed Mr Murray for eight months is, itself, under threat from the colonial expansion taking place as we speak. Scots Law, and the legal system that sustains it, are in the sights now. Before we all cheer, we should remember that the law, flawed and utterly middle-class as it is, underpins every other institution in Scotland, including our parliament. That doesn’t absolve it of its failures and mistakes, but it does, perhaps, signal that we are entering the last lap and do not have much more time to turn things around.

    Liked by 6 people

  12. Once again Prof Baird you strip another layer from the Union onion and what is revealed is very unsavoury and highlights those tendrils that “have catch’d Scotland and hold her close”. I think we making progress, through your work, to understand exactly how the British state have designed, engineered and implemented this colonial model. And of course a theoretical perspective should lay a path for future action. As my auld grannie fae the Calton used to say, to be continued…I look forward to it.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. It must be fully held in consciousness by all that Craig Murray, like John McLean and others before him is nothing less than a political prisoner, convicted and sentenced by the Scottish colonialist judiciary system and incarcerated in a Scottish jail. in what respects his incarceration differs from those in states regarded as fascistic, is hard to say.

    Liked by 4 people

  14. Alf Baird writes: “Here we begin to move closer to the reality of what independence is really about, by referring to the words contained in the 1916 proclamation that founded the Irish Republic, viz: ‘the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, [is] to be sovereign and indefeasible.’”
    ———
    In following vimeo the young Irish historian Fearghal Mac Bloscaidh discusses the rise of republicanism in Ireland prior to 1916. The interview is in high-register Belfast Irish, with good English sub-titles:

    ‘1916-2016 Centenary Ep 8: Fearghal Mac Bhloscaidh‘

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Everything that you so eloquently explain and expose is still ignored by people who cannot or will not realise the peril they are putting their country and fellow citizens in

    They are unwilling to do ANY research to either prove or disprove your claims , but unfortunately many of us have had the lived experience and are not susceptible to their spurious accusations of racism or bigotry the usual retort designed to shut down opinion

    Liked by 2 people

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