A guest article by Peter Young of IndyScot News in Denmark. He faces that moment when his daughter wants to introduce her first serious boyfriend to Mum and Dad. Fortunately he was well prepared with useful alternative conversation.

Meeting Mr R

Olof Palme was an unknown to my daughter’s boyfriend. So I tried to explain, in a few brief sentences, that he was the last great Nordic statesman, and that he had followed in the footsteps of Dag Hammarskjold. ‘How come I’ve never heard of him?’ he asked. ‘Well, you were born after his death and he was Swedish,’ I responded, trying not to infer that he was, you know, uninformed. 

Palme came up because the subject had turned to world events, and I was lamenting the dearth of politicians of substance in Europe, especially here in the Nordic region. That dearth can be summed up by Jens Stoltenberg, who has now associated Norwegian-accented English with a pro-war NATO zeal bordering on religious fanaticism. What a contrast to peacemaker Palme’s beautifully modulated Swedish English, which few remember so long after his death. 

We had invited my daughter and her ‘Mr R’ to Le Pavé, a French-inspired restaurant off the tourist trail in Copenhagen. This was the first time we were allowed to meet him. So, neutral territory with French cuisine and, as it turned out, two Swedish serveur, was an appropriate venue. 

Mr R was told us about a recent trip to Stockholm with his dad’s business. Their production is in Borlänge apparently. “It’s been such a long time since I visited the city,” I said, “Next time I’m up there I want to lay a flower on the grave of Olof Palme.” That’s when I saw Mr R’s blank expression regarding the former Swedish prime minister. 

“Yes, Sweden used to be a humanitarian superpower,” I explained, “Palme was not afraid to protest America’s Vietnam War nor to criticise the Soviets.” 

If Palme had lived in our time it’s pretty much a given that he would have made it onto TV screens around the world. His message would have been dialogue and de-escalation of the current crisis. Of course, he’d have had his work cut out for him, from Afghanistan, through Iraq, to Palestine, Libya, Syria, and Yemen – conflicts with the fingerprints of the Western world all over them. 

Palme was well aware that the empire of lies turns on the axis of evil. His public denunciation of Western-backed regime change wars and violent coup d’etats confirmed this. It was perhaps this that made him a target, just as Dag Hammarskjold was the victim of assassination before him. 

Mr R was surprised to learn that Palme had been gunned down while walking home from the cinema with his wife. A very public murder. 

After an ineffective 35 years, the largely inept and bungling inquiry pointed the finger at another ‘probable’ assassin – now dead. It then it promptly shut down. 

Just like the Scottish case at the Supreme Court, it’s obvious when a government is trying to fail. That said, the leads were there. The South African connenction mentioned in Jan Stocklassa’s excellent, ‘The Man Who Played With Fire’ is intriguing. Oddly enough, this lead appears to have come, almost immediately, from British intelligence circles. That known assassins of the apartheid regime were involved, certainly seemed more plausible than the absurd, and ultimately dead-end, ‘Kurdish trail’ that the authorities focused on. 

I could see this was all going over their heads so I quickly ended the Palme chat. Still, food for thought for Mr R, perhaps? 

One of the lasting memories of Palme’s funeral was a very emotional Willy Brandt. He gave a truly heartfelt eulogy.

A few years ago I was meeting my son in Berlin. I’d driven down to transport both him and his stuff back home after his first post-grad business stint in the German capital. 

As I was waiting for him, I came across the Willy Brandt Forum on Unter der Linden. It turned out to be a fascinating museum dedicated to the late Bundeskanzler. An opponent and refugee from Nazism, Brandt ended up in Norway and Sweden. He was very much a statesmen on the same political frequency as his Swedish comrade, Olof. 

One theory surrounding Palme’s death strongly infers the involvement of an extreme neo-Nazi element, embedded within the Stockholm police. That this group existed is a matter of historical record. It is also clear that ‘Palme hate’ was widespread in those circles. The suggestion is, that the Swedish police force was fertile ground for Nazi sympathisers – because the force in ‘neutral’ Sweden was never ‘purged’ as it was in Norway and Denmark. 

Post-1945, and post-occupation, ideological Nazis were persona non grata in the structures of the security state in both Norway and Denmark. The neutral Swedes, having facilitated the transportation of war materials to Germany, appear not to have felt the same need as their Scandinavian neighbours.


A good while back, I picked up a biography of Reinhard Gehlen – a German lieutenant-general and intelligence officer on the Eastern Front during WWII. Gehlen was a classic case of ‘our enemy’s enemy is our friend’. He became a useful tool of the West during the Cold War. The Americans had no moral scruples about using Nazis against their former Second World War ally, the Soviet Union. 

One of those protected by Gehlen’s post-war organisation was Stepan Bandera. Bandera, who is still revered in Ukraine today, was a notorious Nazi collaborator. Despite his alleged involvement in horrendous atrocities he was considered too valuable to hand over to the Russians. 

So, another war criminal became a useful asset of the West – in the covert war against the Soviets. 

Anyway, I’m glad I changed the subject before we got as far as Gehlen, the Stockholm police, and the modern legacy of fascism in Europe. In fact, the evening went very well. No one is ever good enough for our daughters, but Mr R made an okay first impression. He also likes sport, a definite plus. 

The Gewurtztraminer and Pulgia red supplemented the restaurant’s menu excellently. Our two Swedish serveur were unusually attentive, although one of them clearly disapproved of my choice of the Alsace white. It wasn’t a reprimand, as such, though probably as close to one as you can get.

The conversation never touched on Danish politics at any point, though the World Cup was an unavoidable topic. Hummel’s ‘protest kit’ came up, which everyone had heard of, and which, as it turns out, FIFA are having none of. Whether we like it or not, countries like Denmark are treated as the ‘diddy teams’ of international politics. 

The post-election horse trading continues in Copenhagen, and there is no definitive majority government coalition yet. The background noise is the kind of ‘holding to account’ of politicians that I miss in the Scottish media. For example, fall-out from the politically-motivated case against the former intelligence chief is still on-going. Meanwhile, a politician (Morten Messerschmidt) is in danger of losing ‘parliamentary immunity’ because of a misdemeanour involving the misuse of EU funds. 

Hopefully, Scottish MSPs and ministers currently pushing for irreversible ‘gender treatment’ will have no immunity from any future prosecutions resulting from their failure in their duty of care towards the young and vulnerable.

Still, some progress was made on the 18th of November when all of the new Danish MPs entered Folketinget. Great for the cameras, for sure, but it’ll be some time before any actual governing takes place. 

We walked together across a dimly lit Gråbrødre Torv towards the station. It was quiet with just a few neon reflections on the cobblestones. We said our goodbyes and Mr R and our daughter continued into the night. 

The train arrived on time, as it usually does. Had we missed it, another would be along in 20 minutes. On the journey home, a recent headline about the rise of fascism in the West got me thinking. A unwelcome ghost from yesteryear really is returning.

As far as my daughter is concerned, though, her childhood is now forever in the past – and the future is arriving a little too quickly for my liking. 


It was good of Peter to share this experience with us all. I know two things, every father always finds difficulty in accepting his little daughter has grown up and secondly every father is ready to thoroughly cross examine her preferred choice. Usually it is nothing to fear and time displays she is not looking to replace her daddy but to develop supplementary male support for the future. Of course whatever trepidation the parents may experience it is usually as nothing to the worries facing the prospective serious boyfriend. Also in the interests of balance it is worth remembering that post WW2 there was no shortage of former Nazis aiding the Soviets and there would have been a lot more if most of them had not tried to flee West to surrender to the Western powers.

I am, as always



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55 thoughts on “MEETING MR R.

  1. Expertly woven piece Peter. Sweden seems poised to reap the “benefits” of their involvement in the conflict in Ukraine as heavy weapons return to the country in the hands of criminal gangs.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. I was living in Sweden for a few years during this period. It was an interesting viewpoint on the UK media. The influence of Palme on World events was a source of great pride in Sweden. He was a major influencer on the World stage. It was a real eye opener to live in that world and at the same time note that he was unknown and never reported in the UK media.
    That was the wake up moment for me that American Politics and their global view was rammed down our throat. A major European figure just across the North Sea was ignored and every political trivia from the States given Headlines.
    The genuine grief across Sweden when his death was announced was unbelievable.
    Unless we have flood, fire or War the UK media for some bizarre reason only views the World via a UK and American Prism.

    Liked by 14 people

    1. Yes, the mourning and sense of loss was huge. I think he was treated as a kind of sophisticated celebrity in the US. He was popular with those who shared his stance on Vietnam, Chile, etc. There’s an old David Frost interview on #YouTube – he was so articulate and intelligent, with a fabulous command of English.

      Liked by 4 people

  3. it’s quite remarkable how flimsy the philosophy of “neutrality” in Sweden is.

    i was a guest of the Swedish Navy at their main Base in Karlskrona in 2010. Our host recounted two occasions when neutral Sweden had “ taken out” Soviet submarines which had been caught in Swedish waters. We saw the Ghost ships the Swedes had developed and were in great demand internationally.

    There seemed to be a self confidence which their response to the Ukraine War has caused to disappear like snow of a dyke.

    i think it’s necessary for the YES movement to discuss what’s going on in the Nordic World. There is so much to admire but the foundations on which the models have been developed steadily over two centuries are showing signs of severe stress. Can it only be explained by the lack of statesmen and stateswomen?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Scotland must be Scotland not a clone of somewhere else.
      «Be Scotland», in all its often suppressed cultural diversity, is at the heart of independence.
      Everything else is time consuming distraction.

      Liked by 13 people

      1. I agree with you. People keep telling us to look elsewhere and such and whilst it’s nice to do so I don’t want us to become anyone else but who we are meant to be.

        Liked by 6 people

      2. In a world where you can be anything be yourself because everyone else has already been taken. I would like to see what the people here come up with. I do have an international outlook and I think it’s great to look at what other people are doing so that you become inclusive to the practices of other people without necessarily adopting their models. Each country is unique so I would be thinking that the landscape and environment have different needs. For instance the flora and fauna here may differ to somewhere else.

        Liked by 4 people

      3. Don’t think anybody is suggesting Scotland should be a clone , but surely looking at Nordic experience and furthering our relations with our neighbours to the North and East is worthwhile ?

        Liked by 2 people

    2. “I think it’s necessary for the YES movement to discuss what’s going on in the Nordic World. There is so much to admire but the foundations on which the models have been developed steadily over two centuries are showing signs of severe stress.”

      I could’n’t agree more, Graeme. Admired so long, there are now warning signs that Scotland should heed, not least their military vasselization – which is now having economic blow-back.

      Liked by 9 people

      1. Well there’s people who are living in Scotland with similar genetics. Perhaps going to the islands here and see what they do and would like would be good? They still keep up a lot of traditions as well.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Neruda’s poem crushingly finishes —

      “…Preguntaréis por qué su poesía 
      no nos habla del sueño, de las hojas, 
      de los grandes volcanes de su país natal?
      Venid a ver la sangre por las calles,
      venid a ver
      la sangre por las calles, 
      venid a ver la sangre 
      por las calles!”

      “…And you’ll ask: why doesn’t his poetry
      speak of dreams and leaves
      and the great volcanoes of his native land?
      Come and see the blood in the streets,
      come and see
      the blood in the streets,
      come and see the blood
      in the streets!”

      “…Theid fhaighneachd carson nach ann a-mach air
      aislingean agus duilleagan a tha a chuid bàrdachd,
      agus air beanntan-teine tìr a bhreithe?
      Thigibh is faicibh an fhuil anns na sràidean,
      thigibh is faicibh 
      an fhuil anns na sràidean,
      thigibh is faicibh an fhuil 
      anns na sràidean!”

      Read full Spanish, English, and Scottish versions of the poem towards lower half of the following webpage —

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Ah , FF , Pablo Neruda is my favourite poet – at least , the one I read most . I first * discovered * him when his ” Niña morena y ágil ” ( translated in the version I know as ” Brown And Agile Child ” ) was printed on the back cover of Jackson Browne’s ” The Pretender ” album . You’ll no doubt have read the – absolutely wonderful – collection it came from …. ” Twenty Love Poems And A Song Of Despair ” – written , if I remember correctly , when he was only 20 !! My now 40+ year old , tear-stained copy of that work is one of my most treasure books , but all his works are superb

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Robert, Your enthusiasm is catching. I only have to hand a couple of poems from what was Neruda’s first collection, ‘Veinte poemas de amor’ (1924), namely ‘XX Puedo escribir los versos…/ ‘Tonight I Can Write…’ and ‘Juegas todos las días…’/ ‘Every Day You Play…’:

        “Juegas todos los días con la luz del universo.
        Sutil visatora, llegas en la flor y en el agua.”/

        “Every day you play with the light of the universe.
        Subtle visitor, you arrive in the flower and the water.”

        “Quién escribe tu nombre con letras de humo entre las estrellas del sur?
        Ah déjame recordarte cómo eras entonces, cuando aún no existías.”/

        “Who writes your name in letters of smoke among the stars of the south?
        Oh let me remember you as you were before you existed.”

        (English translations above by W.S. Merwin, from ‘Pablo Neruda: Selected Poems: A bi-lingual edition, edited by Nathaniel Tarn, Penguin 1975)

        A while back I had a humble go at translating a number of Neruda’s poems into Gaelic. A significant early influence on me. Neruda’s Spanish/ Chilean vocabulary typically has many richly elusive nuances, so he is particularly difficult to translate without impoverishment en route. I would always recommend people to try to read poetry bilingually with a good dictionary. Ultimately poetry is untranslatable. The English is not enough.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Though his poetry was certainly world-status, Neruda was a controversial figure, having been a stalwart Stalin-loyalist. Wikipedia in fact gives us a Swedish reference on this:

        “In 1971, Neruda was awarded the Nobel Prize, a decision that did not come easily because some of the committee members had not forgotten Neruda’s past praise of Stalinist dictatorship. But his Swedish translator, Artur Lundkvist, did his best to ensure the Chilean received the prize. “A poet,” Neruda stated in his Stockholm speech of acceptance of the Nobel Prize, “is at the same time a force for solidarity and for solitude.”[…] “Neruda also called Vladimir Lenin the “great genius of this century”, and in a speech he gave on 5 June 1946, he paid tribute to the late Soviet leader Mikhail Kalinin, who for Neruda was “man of noble life”, “the great constructor of the future”, and “a comrade in arms of Lenin and Stalin”. Neruda later came to regret his fondness for the Soviet Union, explaining that “in those days, Stalin seemed to us the conqueror who had crushed Hitler’s armies.”

        There remains(?) controversy over the nature of Neruda’s death, whether it was of natural causes or CIA assassination by injected poison. See for instance this 2019 article by Ramona Wadi:

        ‘Was Pablo Neruda Murdered?

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Of course, we have our own rightly celebrated MacDiarmid who wrote so many superlative poems, and yet who also expressed some decidedly rum views over the years. For example, the following completely unforgivable 9th verse (out of 11) from his poem ’FIRST HYMN TO LENIN’ —

        “As necessary, and insignificant, as death
        Wi’ a’ it’s agonies in the cosmos still
        The Cheka’s horrors are in their degree;
        And’ll end suner! What maitters ‘t wha we kill
        To lessen that foulest murder that deprives
        Maist men o’ real lives?”

        Here is the final verse for pondering —

        “Here lies your secret, O Lenin, — yours and oors,
        No’ in the majority will that accepts the result
        But in the real will that bides its time and kens
        The benmaist resolve is the poo’er in which we exult
        Since naebody’s willingly deprived o’ the good;
        And, least o’ a’, the crood!”

        So what was “CHEKA”? Wiki explains:

        “The All-Russian Extraordinary Commission … commonly known as Cheka, was the first of a succession of Soviet secret-police organizations. Ostensibly set up to protect the revolution from reactionary forces, i.e., “class enemies” such as the bourgeoisie and members of the clergy, it soon became the repression tool against all political opponents of the communist regime. At the direction of Lenin, the Cheka performed mass arrests, imprisonments, torture, and executions without trial. In 1921, the Troops for the Internal Defense of the Republic (a branch of the Cheka) numbered at least 200,000. They policed labor camps, ran the Gulag system, conducted requisitions of food, put down rebellions and riots by workers and peasants, and mutinies in the Red Army. The organization was dissolved in 1922 and succeeded by the State Political Directorate or GPU.”

        Liked by 2 people

      5. ” I would always recommend people to try to read poetry bilingually with a good dictionary. Ultimately poetry is untranslatable. The English is not enough. ” . Absolutely , Fearghas .
        The edition of the collection I referred to was bilingual , going back and forth between the two sparked my interest in the Spanish language , subsequently , I met a Spanish girl and lived with her in Valencia , during which time my Spanish improved significantly – being in love is the best for learning any language ! A pesar de lo que piensen los franceses, el español es el idioma del amor. ( despite what the French think , Spanish is the language of Love ) .
        Good effort , attempting a Spanish to Gaelic translation . I imagine it would not be easy ; were you ever able to get the opinion of a native Spanish speaker on your work ? I also imagine there would not be that many Gaelic speaking natives Spanish speakers around – alas !


    1. Interesting comments about the amount of weaponry ploughed into Ukraine and now hitting the black markets all around Europe.

      The donors of this weaponry knew fine well the structure of Ukrainian society, the level of criminality and were well aware of how the weaponry could and would spread to those in the black market for such kit.

      The UK as an example were more than aware of what exactly the risks were when the IRA got hold of surface to air missiles, Barret light fifty guns and other such armaments including but not limited to tonnes of Semtex.

      And we all know how the Semtex was used and how a Barret Light Fifty put fear into every British soldier stationed in South Armagh.

      There will certainly be a price to be paid in years to come, even if this war does not spread to become a major conflagration. Symmetrical warfare is one thing, non symmetrical warfare and terrorism quite another.

      And how much of the kit has already found its way to criminal groups around Europe. Good question, don’t ask.

      Ah, the proxy war to end all wars. Or something like that someone once said.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. The worrying thing is the Polish and Ukrainian governments trying to concoct a tale that Russia was now attacking Poland to draw in NATO to the conflict directly by accusing the Russians of being responsible for the recent Ukrainian strikes against Poland. I cant really understand why the Ukrainian’s missile defence system was facing West when the incoming missiles are from the East? Its tragic because it completely undermines the credibility of the recent Dutch court’s decision on MH17 and supports the Russian’s position that the Ukrainian secret service concocted with the West Russia’s role in the matter. The other aspect of the recent false flag accusations re Ukraine/ Poland is that it draws into stark relieve the Nordstream 2 attacks. The pipelines sit for the most part in the territory of NATO members. I can’t remember a clamour for invocation of Article 4 against Russia then. Why not? Because Russia didn’t do it as NATO knows.

        Finally, the problem with Gehlen and the German officer class who provided the US and NATO with their appreciation of the Russian fighting ability in Europe is that they underappreciated the Russians tactical and strategic ability and put the Russians success down to sheer weight of numbers. The problem in Ukraine is that the Ukrainian forces outnumber the Russians 5 to 1 and yet the Russians are still winning.

        Kherson under the Germans would have been declared a festung and would have fallen after a week or two with maximum civilian and military casualties. Under the Russians a tactical withdrawal was put in place in Kherson and most of the civilian population and military evacuated with minimal casualties. What’s more surprising is that Putin clearly allows his military leaders freedom of manoeuvre without political interference.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. I continue to admire the ability to praise the Russian masterclass on the battlefield whether that be in advance or in rapid retreat as it appears to be most of the time these days. As I watch maps produced by both sides the one common thread is that Russia in November 22 controls a lot less Ukrainian soil than it did six months ago. You might call that victory for the Kremlin I don’t.


      3. Seems that UK is now acknowledging Western weapons could be trafficked out of Ukraine and into the hands of criminals and terrorists as reported by UK National Crime Agency (NCA) Director General Graeme Biggar in yesterday’s Sunday Times.

        Issuing this NCA warning, Moscow it seems have been estimating that up to a $1 billion worth of arms are funneled out of Ukraine every month.

        Well done particularly the US and UK arms industry and the political representatives who pressed the buttons to spread the fun. In fact, just the stuff the USA needs right now as its society potentially heads to a civil war. Or just the stuff a resurgent IRA might use perchance disenchantment about the repudiation of the protocol and non functioning Stormont.

        Blowback, that’s a new word for the UK police to use. Mr Biggar and the National Crime Agency must have some concerns to say so.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Been hearing about some weird stuff happing in Norway. Across borders, people are pretty much being manipulated to support niche issues. The young are very vulnerable. Folk seem so easily sloganised whether it be on gender, Russophobia, Iran, China. Regime change is easier when opinions are so easily influenced, and the powers that be shut down or censor alternative narratives. If folk willingly deny biology and accept that a man is a woman, they can be coaxed into believing and accepting almost anything.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Aye so we need to embrace Salvo. I am not in favour of adopting another nations cancel culture when it’s going on here as well and we have not yet managed to deal with it. Haha Willie Wallace and big burly Vikings and Picts and we are sitting back being given rules for attending protests. I reckon with our documents that we could have other countries looking at us. 😘

        Liked by 4 people

      2. Gaels and Celts and all who have chosen Scotland for their home. We can build a better country that truly is for all of us and if we use our documents then we are going to be the first people to hold those who have done these things to our people and country accountable. You know Abe Lincoln liked Robert Burns.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Interesting article, Palme was assassinated because of his proposed reforms, he was from what I can find a good man who put his people first, a rarity these days.

    I hope all went well with meeting of the boyfriend, I’m sure it did.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. I don’t know what lies ahead for an Independent Scotland.

    The SNP which inspired such hope and confidence in 2014 is now the root cause of so much despair and resignation.

    But I don’t see the roots of fascism in Scotland. Maybe in pale tones of rhetoric, but not the reality.
    I don’t see Scotland as fundamentally racist either. Odd wee instances yes, but usually instances of human weakness rather than a societal racism. My biggest concern is that Scotland’s “racism” hasn’t been “tested” with the massive influxes of “foreign” race or ethnicity which other places have experienced, but there is hope for optimism.

    I don’t really see Scotland succumbing to “Ulsterisation”, nor even sectarianism as a meaningful factor in the YES debate. I mean yes, there were your Freedom Square Yobbos, but did anyone, anywhere expect that to escalate into anything serious? It did “them” more harm than good. Provided they clear the mess up, they can riot amongst themselves every week for all I care.

    It brought me considerable joy that the bigotry of Brexit simply didn’t resonate amongst Scots. Sure, there were dissenters against the EU, and while I didn’t (still don’t) agree with them, my frustration with them was nothing beside my exasperation with Sturgeon squandering Scotland’s Constitutional shortcut to a dysfunctional Union and inevitable Independence. Pro or anti Europe, Brexit was our Carpe Diem Get out of Jail Free opportunity. It was a time to set aside our differences. We blew it, or rather, she blew it for us.

    So on the whole, I feel Scotland is a pretty settled kind of place, which should be a lot more agitated than it is… provided that is constructive agitation of course.

    But there are two areas where I would make important exceptions.

    First, I have grave misgivings about the Establishment which considers Scotland it’s playground and cash cow. This “Establishment” has a long reach to it’s tendrils, it is the living embodiment of illicit privilege and Unionist gatekeeping, and the individuals who populate this Establishment have no faith or trust in anything Scottish. So many nefarious activities which we all know are happening in Scotland are”facilitated” by this network, and I fear we Scots don’t really have a handle on it. We really don’t.

    But second, and far more serious, is the media. I feel quite certain that whatever treachery, sedition, and unholy manipulation the UK Government and forces of Unionism have planned for the disruption of political affairs in Scotland, that clandestine and devious insurrection, whatever form it takes, already has it’s essential accomplice in the field and deeply embedded in Scottish society. The enemy is hidden in plain sight and the vast majority of Scots simply do not see it, indeed many see this hateful twisted media as their trusted eye on the World; their TV.

    This media is blind and deaf in the Middle East, Far East, Ukraine, Africa and South America; it is preoccupied with events in America and Israel, (why do I need the BBC to keep me briefed on events in Washington or Tel Aviv? Why not Moscow? Beijing? New Delhi?), and here in my country of Scotland, I see first hand how much these reprobates lie to me about Scottish Affairs.

    I am even concerned by the National’s current narrative, and the focus on Holyrood and Section 30. The Front line is not to be found near the UK Supreme Court. The Front Line is elsewhere, and it’s being manned by SALVO. That’s where the troops need to be sent.

    Liked by 11 people

    1. You covered a lot bases there, Breeks. Bravo. Agreed, much to be positive about as Scots, though Sturgeon is moving in the direction of absolute control, well, she’s already there. Our Irish brethren would probably disagree vis a vis racism – anti-Catholic bigotry seems to go hand in hand anti-Irish racism, which is certainly apparent in the culture of our national sport at several levels. Some have suggested it also pervades the Scottish establishment.

      Liked by 5 people

    2. “I don’t see the roots of fascism in Scotland.”

      In defining fascism, Aime Cesaire wrote that: “Fascism is the application of colonial procedures (and) civilization helps us locate the origins of fascism within colonialism”. A colonized people therefore only become nationalists in order to remove their oppressor and its fascist roots.

      “I don’t see Scotland as fundamentally racist either”

      In colonialism, a people are always subject to racism, which is a central feature, as Albert Memmi explained: “Racism is built into the system: the colony sells produce and raw materials cheaply, and purchases goods at very high prices from the mother country. Racism is ingrained in actions, institutions, and in the nature of the colonialist methods of production and exchange. Racism appears then, not as an incidental detail, but as a consubstantial part of colonialism.”

      The other important aspect of racism in the colonial environment relates to the effects on an oppressed group itself through their appropriating (i.e. Appropriated) Racial Oppression, which is also known as Internalized Racism. What we know as the Scottish Cultural Cringe, where a people look down on and even discard their own culture/language and elevate and mimic the dominant culture (and language) of the colonizer, i.e. cultural assimilation.

      Liked by 6 people

  6. Fascism thrives on economic recessions and rampant inflation . Those were the conditions that fostered the rise of the Blackshirts in UK .The price of peace is eternal vigilance .

    Liked by 9 people

  7. Typically excellent piece , Peter .
    As you’re probably aware – the Swedish * Nordic Noir * writer Henning Mankell wrote ( both in his fiction and non-fiction ) about the dark , largely undocumented socio/political underside of his country in particular and Scandinavia generally . The shadow that stalks the area’s * Progressive * image .

    Undoubtedly , there is much to admire in those countries – as you can and do testify re Denmark – and much we could profitably emulate . This should not blind us to the negatives , many of which are long-standing , bubbling ( festering ) under the superficially glossy surface and now appear to be gaining momentum eg ….virulent * Neo Nazi * movements .

    I agree with Breeks , above , that Scotland has not previously and is not presently plagued by such aberrations ; not to say it could NEVER be , but let’s hope as a Nation we’re intuitively/instinctively resistant to such tendencies . I think we are .

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Not a big fan of Nordic Noir, so not heard of Mankell. There’s lots to admire in the Nordics, but as you say there are darker undercurrents on the fringes, and right now a group of really low-grade politicians ready to buy into whatever slogan the ‘defensive alliance’ promotes as a cover for regime change. Big test now is how they will react to the Nordstream sabotage, long-term. We’ll soon find out if they are truly independent.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Not a big fan of the genre either , Peter . I have read a few of HM’s books , seen the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo film and did enjoy The Bridge TV series – that’s about it .
        Yes , it will be a big disappointment if the Nordic countries buy-into the ludicrous proposition that Russia sabotaged it’s own very expensive pipeline ; though , to be honest , it will not be that surprising .

        It appears almost the whole of Europe is prepared to acquiesce in any amount of intelligence-insulting narratives , as long as they reinforce whatever agenda the US – and it’s manservant Great B , insists on ramming down our throats .

        Independence – actual , real , sovereign Independence is becoming almost notional in the globalised world that’s being * quite * rapidly constructed all around us and – as I said to Ottomanboi earlier , I’m not seeing any Politician , from any Party , with an alternative vision of how iScotland could creatively/constructively depart from the clearly dysfunctional Neoliberal/Capitalist behemoth . They all have more or less the same mindset .

        The problem , ultimately , is a philosophical one ; but that’s a discussion for another time 🙂

        Liked by 4 people

    2. “Not a big fan of the genre either , Peter . I have read a few of HM’s books , seen the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo film and did enjoy The Bridge TV series – that’s about it.”

      Stieg Larsson who wrote the Dragon Tattoo books did a great deal of work on the right-wing extremist groups. He also covered the immediate aftermath of the Palme assassination for his publication. He appears to have believed that the rabid Palme- haters on the right may have had a facilitation role. Really recommend, ‘The Man Who Played with Fire: Stieg Larsson’s Lost Files and the Hunt for an Assassin’.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. The fascinating aspect of Scotland’s struggle is the history of the process. Centuries ago the nation of Scotland through the monarchic personal union and the parliamentary union «surrendered» cherished autonomy to a neighbouring state, an ancient «enemie» which took full advantage of that in a manner that fits the classic colonial power model. Now many want that historic autonomy back.
    Essentially, Scotland needs to renew, rebuild its fractured nationhood from the ground up, nothing taken for granted, nothing unquestioned, old notions and internal cultural shibboleths put aside.
    Unionism attempted to forge a one size fits all monoculture (the forerunner of the bland internationalism we currently endure) in the English manner. Independence should reverse that.
    Let a thousand «Scotlands» bloom!
    Fascists simply hate that.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Spot-on , Otto . I fear there is not enough of us thinking similarly . Nu SNP in particular seem to aspire for Scotland to be nothing more than yet another bland , flavourless Neo- Liberal/Con nodding dog and U.S poodle , enthral to every intrinsically coercive , undemocratic dogma going with the added twist of fanatic Gender Ideology adherence thrown-in to almost guarantee social/political meltdown

      Liked by 5 people

      1. You just have to look at both the UK & USA to see the truth of that . Republicans , Democrats , Labour , Tory – barely a cigarette paper’s width between them . All slavishly follow the same Neoliberal mindset : all uniformly hopelessly corrupted

        Liked by 2 people

      2. It is unrealistic to expect that to change. The electorates must force that change and there is little sign they have identified the problem far less come up with solutions.

        Liked by 2 people

  9. Unless you resist, unless you fight, then you will always be the shit on someone’s boot.

    All the theorising in the world does not change that inescapable fact.

    Somone also once said that Scotland has not its face ground sufficiently into the gutter for change to occur.

    And that unfortunately is another analogy that has a certain ring to it.

    Liked by 5 people

  10. Herman Dooyeweerd observed that Nazism as totalitarianism recognized no law above itself (no international law, no divine law, no moral law etc). Rather Nazism obeyed only the irrationalist “genius” and “Destiny of the German People [“Schicksal des deutschen Volkes”].

    Dooyeweerd distinguishes German Fascism from Italian Fascism, observing that the former was Volk-based (“blood-and-soil” [rather than “national” as such]), while the latter was State-based (evoking Eternal Rome).

    Dooyeweerd saw a “messianic” dynamic at work within Marxism:

    “Marx [like Comte] was strongly committed to the belief in an eschatological consummation of history: the final redemption and liberation of mankind by the suffering proletariat, which will set in motion an earthly paradise of a classless communistic society after the destruction of capitalism. This Humanistic transformation of the Messianic faith became the gospel of international communism, which founded its Jerusalem in Moscow, after the Russian revolution.” (Twilight of Western Thought).

    Postmodernism, as we all now well know, typically rejects any meta-narrative (“No Big Story”). So in its view of reality as a groundless immersive flux of transient relativism, po-mo chafes at eschatological (time-arching, future-culminating) ideologies/ belief-systems such as both Marxism and Christianity. Dooyeweerd asks: “If everything is in historical flux and if the stability of principles is a figment of the imagination, then why prefer an ideology of human rights to the ideals of a strong race and its bond to the German soil?” (Roots of Western Culture)

    As a topical aside, we can detect a strong whiff of radical postmodernist influence in the current Gender Recognition Act – the laws of biology and physicality are neither abiding nor binding (though the latter term has of course been redeployed). We can also arguably identify a strain of “neo-gnosticism” in Holyrood. Ancient gnosticism posited a dichotomy between body and personhood, disparaging the former and mysticising the latter. So the immaterial pure personhood must strive to escape its sullying physical entrapment.


  11. Ah, am Scotus plannus for inderpendence post un Strugeonis workus goodus to libertus peopleus.

    Mandatus apre mandatus, sellus shortus, but refredemus comus to loseus Nikloseus knowus finus. In factus feedus shitus, Scotus knowus.

    Glad and happius all understandus Beteress Togetherus.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. The Greek ex politician Yannis will tell you about Greece and the EU. Everywhere seems to have been hijacked by those who are keen on vaccines and the passports and such. Plus I was one of those so called dissenters but I am certainly not racist or nazi or anything like it. I accepted the Scottish public voting for remain because that’s how it’s supposed to work in a democracy however we are out and we can’t campaign for our independence on the EU because it’s five years for entry where as the trading block is months. I preferred for Scotland to be a member of the trading block rather than full EU as an independent country but I preferred in the EU as part of the UK because they are worse. I have family who are dead that were masons as well as family who are Catholic and had Irish and Scottish roots and possibly a bit Norman and whatever else. Me I love everyone and I don’t care what your method of religion is as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else.
    Swedish company Ericsson was caught up with a bit of scandal if you read the international journalists consortium. How many of our countries are signed up for the WEF and Bill Gates funding? It’s not just as cut and dried as people think.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lafarge French company was also caught up in scandal. People need to open their eyes, religion, sexual orientation or skin colour means nothing worth killing each other over, these are distractions to keep your focus diverted.It doesn’t put food or justice on the table for anyone. A working protestant or Catholic or whoever have all been subjected to the same things over these past few years. People who supported the union may have not known about the documents from Salvo just as many of us didn’t. Only the very loyal to the UK government or those who are afraid would not like the documents because once independent there’s going to be new parties and people coming forward and therefore a different Scotland. If everyone knows where they stand before elected as in the rules and the people all have a copy of the rules of governance as in the Scottish people are sovereign and such then all are clear. There can be no hijacking or people being forced or coerced into medical procedures and such. No official can award contracts to friends etc. Obviously we need a new voting franchise as well.

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