Flogging A Dead Horse

I read Neil Oliver’s piece for the Sunday Times on the question of self-determination for Scotland yesterday, and I’ve got to admit that my first thought was that it was so blinkered, vitriolic and simplistic in its content that it shouldn’t even have merited being published in the Evening Times as an article to be skimmed over whilst standing at a takeaway counter, awaiting a chicken curry-fried rice making an appearance through a hatch.

I notice however that several Indy bloggers have taken the bait. I haven’t read any of their responses as yet but giving the article a second look this morning I’m afraid I’m going to jump on to the hook as well, if only for self-therapy purposes.

The guy is entitled to his opinion, as is everyone else. His seems to centre simply on the assertion that Great Britain’s great innt it? Well actually naw it isnae. Using some of his own words here’s another view.

The British State are in the ‘flogging a dead horse’ business. I’m old enough (two years older than Mr Oliver) to remember when some of their Scottish political advocates were not a joke. They were reliable, trustworthy, passionate and committed to social justice.

Often when a returning officer read out the results, during an election, a significant number of votes would be attributed to the left-of-centre candidate, who would receive a rousing roar of applause as she or he accepted the  weight of responsibility  of taking on the democratic challenge, to go to Westminster and fight for equality,fairness and opportunities for the people who put them there, the people of Scotland.

Nobody at all found that funny.

But somewhere along the line something truly awful happened. Sell out, lack of self integrity and political and moral corruption set in like a plague across the land, and for Scotland to be able to see any sort of light at the end of the tunnel the catalyst of the SNP became the only game in town. The pervading hypocrisy and inequality of the politics of unionism was on us, it was all over us, and all over the country.

“Alex Salmond is fond of saying independence is inevitable”? Yes he is. His comments are prescient. British nationalists are obsessed with the man. His recent appearance on the establishment broadcaster’s prime political debate show Question Time and his comments in the Commons chamber at Westminster last week show he has lost none of his cutting edge.

A second referendum to determine whether Scotland becomes an independent country will not be triggered by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. This decision will be made by the people of Scotland, when they are informed and confident enough to do so.

To refer to such a referendum as a “second hate-fest” is irresponsible, blinkered, ill informed nonsense, typical of the comments made by several status-preserving Scottish celebrities who felt that they had to come out prior to the independence referendum to protect the hand that feeds them.

If Mr Oliver had attended George Square on 19th September 2014, or visited several vandalised Yes campaign offices, or spoken with one or two of the higher profile Scottish Asian members of the Yes community, then perhaps he would be informed enough to determine what constitutes a “hate-fest” and in this case, which side it was generated from. An egg is just an egg no matter how much the media wants to write about it, or dress it up.

Neil Oliver’s “way of thinking” is flawed and, for once I agree with him, definitely from the school playground. He states that “you can only have one referendum on any given topic- and we’ve already had it.”If that was the case several countries throughout the world would still be colonies of long gone European empires, and Scotland itself would not have achieved devolution. For such a credentialed individual to write such lazy simplistic nonsense is surprising.

On his negative links regarding Alex Salmond’s use of the word ” Inevitable”, again using some of his own words, all progress is inevitable, change itself is inevitable. The challenge for us as individuals, and as a civilised democracy, is to recognise injustice, inequality and, in Scotland, the failure of a union which is designed to systematically strip a sovereign nation of its assets, resources, expertise, culture and distinct character. To use words that fit with his simplistic argument, it isnae fair.

I don’t know much about Neil Oliver other than that I’ve seen a few of his shows, and find the mystic, hair sweeping, dark stare into camera stuff a wee bit over the top but  in content his programmes are entertaining enough, and worth a watch. It would be handy though if he didn’t label around half the population of Scotland as being not fit to be taken seriously.

As a celebrity, in his privileged position, why would he think there is anything wrong with the United Kingdom?

Thank God though for the likes of David Hayman, that’s all I can say.


4 thoughts on “Flogging A Dead Horse

  1. Nicely played at his own game – complete. alas, with his split-infinitives. One day his piece will have its ludicrous place among the wide-eyed rubbish which has always accompanied the inevitable collapse of oppressive rule. When that day comes, and it will, even he might learn to blush on finding the company that he will be keeping – but it will be the public neglect that will hurt.


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