Friday, 15 December 2017

SAVE SCOTLAND BRAND: Does Identity Politics matter?


Do identity politics matter – of course they do! These Brexiteers are so into their “British” or English identity; the French are into their identity; the Japanese are into their identity – so what’s the problem?  The problem is that the separate nations of the UK are a threat to the ever more centralizing Westminster.  Scottish identity or Irish identity are viewed as threats. Some say Identity politics is bad – compared to class divides. I believe the opposite, identity matters greatly for Israelis, Jews and Palestinians.  I’m also internationalist too – I enjoy Italian art, Dylan songs - we must be both truly authentic and also outward looking.

Do flags matter?
The British / English Union Jack is not my flag – for me it is a symbol of repression of culture, and of repression and the whistles and drums in Ireland. For me Union Jacks are signs of great division and oppression in Northern Ireland do not. I am ashamed to tick British as my identity - it is not my identity. It’s a bad state of affairs - I have no pride in being British and I don’t consider myself British. The “Brexit” yes/no vote meant a ton of Union Jack waving – well mainly in England. I view ‘Brutishness’ much as a Norwegian may view ‘Scandinavian’ - except that Europeans do not deprive me of my Irish or Scottish roots. Union Jacks represent English imperialism,

**“SAVE Scotland brand”
Why is Marks and Spencer’s selling shortbread, a Scottish product, in a tin with scenes of London on it in Scotland? The National newspaper are running a campaign, Save our Scotland Brand,
to try to stop the imposition of a “BRITAIN’ brand on SCOTTISH products, which has become worse since Brexit and promotions of ‘Britishness’
Marks and Spencer’s are one of the worst culprits.  There has been many cases of false labelling – “British Haggis”, “British Whisky”, “British Shortbread”, “British beef” stuck on Union Jack labels on Scottish produce.  People have found in Scottish stores that there is Welsh, Cornish, Yorkshire, English cheese but no Scottish cheese. In M& S they label “as from the county of Scotland!’ – when Scotland is one of the oldest country’s in the world! Is Scotland to become like Cornwall or Yorkshire, a mere county? 

Meanwhile Sainsbury say they use the Union Jack label because people identify it as English!
Scotland has set higher standards than England for its food produce by banning GM crops, and other pollutants. How can Scotland market its exports, if they become part of  a ”Britain” brand?

This dogs Brexit is about imposing a ‘British brand’ on Scotland. Scottish Food and drink is a major business and has increased by 34% since 2007. Scotland has a ‘Tartan Week’ over in New York to market Scottish products – including arts, music, fashion, film, food products. 

There is a strange conflict going on presently it seems between Globalization and the media elites - and the nation states and of peoples’ local democratic will to decide for themselves how best to run their own affairs. America has a strong influence over Britain, its 51st State.
There is a good side to Globalization – better communications, trade, peace, and more. There are also negatives – who wants to visit Paris to find it’s the same as New York?  And who really wants a homogeneous world?

I’ve voted SNP 40 years now, so no new belief because de-centralising from Westminster can only be a good thing, and giving the Scottish people back the confidence in themselves that they have lost – and “taking back our control” to local level from the south east property elites.


The Greek economist and author Yanis Varoufakis states that, “The UK is the most imbalanced geographically lop-sided country of any major county in the world and it harms the economy. Chronic underperformance of the UK business model  

Why do we have to sacrifice Peace and Prosperity to satisfy right wing Tory nutters?  To be honest all this shows that those in England simply don’t care about Scotland and we are merely an ‘after thought’ despite all the Love bombs to us during the independence vote of 2014.
**Here is a letter Burns wrote of his wish to write about Scotland -
 ‘The appellation of a Scottish bard is by far my highest pride; to continue to deserve it  my most exalted ambition; Scottish scenes and Scottish stories are the theme I could wish to sing; I have no dearer aim than to have it in my power, unplagued with the routine of business , for which heaven knows I am unfit enough for; to make leisurely pilgrimage through Caledonia; to sit in the fields of her battles; to wander on the romantic banks of her rivers; or to muse by the stately towers or venerable ruins, once the honoured abodes of her heroes. ‘   R.B.  Letter March 1787 to Ms Dunlop

PS
Michael Portillo on This Week -  ‘UK politicians don’t posture – European do posture! We are completely different!’  Who’s not into identity politics then?