Showing posts with label Identity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Identity. Show all posts

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Globalization versus identity


There is a significant struggle going on between remote, soulless, faceless, one size fits globalization – and our need for a sense of belonging and our roots, stories and identity. 

Many misunderstand what they term ‘Identity Politics’, as something harmful and isolationist. 
This is not the experience here in Scotland. Here it has nothing to do with race, and it is inclusive and about all who want to make a home here. Its about appreciating place, heritage and difference as positive things. The stories that make us who we are – our values, culture, 

Its also crucially important for Scotland to be international in out look and our major festivals are centred around welcoming the world to our doorstep.  

There are good aspects about globalization: ease of communication, progress, travel etc.
But there are many negatives too: giant exploitive corporations, reduced workers rights, pollution, its being characterless.  Our world has become so fast speed and automated and many of us spend so much time online interacting with a machine. 

I see young people returning now to valuing the real, authentic, local and the independent – hardback books, vinyl, traditional music, vintage clothes – something tangible and real to hold on to.

Also those posh socialists simply want to replace one elite with another. This is no answer. I want to se progressive, co-operative answer is to reform from within – by offering decent childcare, co-operative education, fair opportunities, improved healthcare. 

I want Scottish independence, because I believe in progressive and fair democracy.


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 and for me it is a symbol of repression of culture and of repression of the whistles and drums in Ireland. For me Union Jacks are signs of great division and oppression in Northern Ireland. I am ashamed to tick British as my identity and 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 Britai its 51st State. There is also 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 for forty 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 stated, “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? 

Saturday, 25 June 2016

CELTIC Interconnections Against Imperialism

Celtic Arts & Identity
This exhibition explores our interconnectedness throughout Northern Europe. 
In their article historians Alan Raich and Alexander Moffatt, discuss the many Celtic connections in the fight against reactionary imperialism.  And their way of marking beliefs and expressing power and understanding our heritage and place in the world. 

There are many Acts of Renaissance – meaning rebirth – decided acts of cultural rejuvenation, all across northern Europe, in opposition to reactionary ideas of imperial authority. 
The "only way this emphasis can be fully delivered is through the arts.” Celtic art draws inspirations from plants and animal life.

**The EU is not a Super state – neither a state nor an empire but a union of states and peoples whose policies were arrived at through consensus seeking and compromise.

“British nationalism and legacy of imperialism, comes to the 21st century through contemporary mass media every day and evening”
http://www.thenational.scot/comment/there-were-many-celtic-connections-in-the-fight-against-reactionary-imperialism.19148



What are the repercussions of Brexit.

Firstly, many appear to believe the lies in the media – from migrants taking peoples jobs to believing their standard to living will increase with a Brexit. The poor have been hood-winked by a Tory elite and those in London who have been amassing millions on their properties.

Secondly majority of young people voted to stay in the EU. They already feel let down by the older generation – and now they feel old people, who pine for long lost good old days of empire – are dragging them out .

Now England wants its independence there’s a lot for Scotland to consider.

Scotland now has to choose  – do we want to be part of Europe or part of the UK?

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Celts: Arts and Identity


The first major exhibition in 40 years of the Art, History and Culture of the Celts. The National Museum of Scotland in collaboration with the British Museum London – tells the story of the Celts over 2,500 years.
 Now at the British museum and from March 2016 at the National museum Scotland.


In 2009, four gold torcs were found at Blair Drummond Stirling by David Booth (first tiw with metal detector!). The four torcs made between 300 and 100 BC show connections across Iron Age Europe – two are spirally ribbons, characteristics of Scotland and Ireland. The other two show French and Mediterranean style. The word Celtic still resonates today in politics, religion and identity.

The Celts were people in Iron Age and Medieval Europe who spoke Celtic languages and had cultural similarities. Celtic culture diversified into that of the Gaels (Irish, Scottish and Manx) and the Brythonic Celts (Welsh, Cornish, and Bretons) of the medieval and modern periods. During the Renaissance, 1700, it was used to describe the cultures of Brittany, Ireland, Scotland.
 
Notably here in Glasgow for the biggest world folk festival Celtic Connections. (no mention on the museum’s site). Where have all these exhibits been hiding all these years – in museum basements?

The British museum states the Celts are not one genetic race – I am not sure I understand what they mean? Were the Vikings or Romans one genetic race? For me it is more about sense of place, culture, heritage and history.