I just watched the Andrew Neil and Nicola Sturgeon interview on the British Broadcasting Corporation, Andrew Neil was his usual obnoxious anti-Scottish self and Nicola Sturgeon did pretty well overall, and as many have said, is by far the most impressive politician in Scotland right now. However, one of my bug bares is the constant comparing of Scottish services to English services, it gets on my tits to be fair.
Andrew Neil read out figures that he felt showed Scotland in a poorer light to England on education and the economy, he might even have mentioned health. By comparing Scotland to England he was of course using the old methods of running Scotland down at every opportunity and trying to get voters in Scotland to feel that the SNP Government was failing.
The Scotland that people like Andrew Neil think they left behind to move to their beloved England looks a bit like this:
To listen to the likes of Andrew Neil and Andrew Marr, we live in slums, surrounded by rubbish, everything is broken and we are on the pish while in England they live in lovely towns and villages, make healthy choices, only drink fruit juice and there is no rubbish anywhere.
Of course it’s all garbage, there is good and bad, nice and not so nice everywhere. No, what Andrew Neil was doing was to try to erode our self-confidence, to make us feel that we are inferior to England in every way, unable to run our own affairs without the largess of the English where everything is better, we should aspire to be like the England that they so want us to be. We are the dirty unwashed of the North.
All politicians have got to stop falling into the trap, or deliberately using it either against Scotland or to show Scotland in a better light than England. I try really hard in this blog to avoid doing the Scotland v England comparison and only really do it now on voting or voting intentions, I avoid it the rest of the time as it does not help the cause of independence, it reinforces the attitude that it is all their fault. We should only compare Scottish result in health, education or anything else to the last set of Scottish results. I am sick of people running Scotland down, the likes of Ruth Davidson, Willie Rennie, Kezia Dugdale, and as we see week in week out, Andrew Neil, Andrew Marr and the BBC.
I’m not that bothered about what goes on in England as far as their domestic policy is concerned, as long as it doesn’t affect Scotland. I would ask all Scottish Politicians, and the media, to stop comparing Scotland to England. Please just stop. If we are talking about the governance of Scotland then lets stick to Scotland, England can look after its own affairs. It was bad enough that Andrew Neil mainly talked about devolved issues in a UK wide General Election Campaign, but I suppose anything that keeps the focus off the Tories is a good thing for them, but we need to stop it now. Where we have problems with our services it for us to sort out as we do things in our own way. Are things better in England, I don’t know and I don’t really care, the Scottish Government doesn’t govern England.
Yes I understand that devolved powers don’t go far enough, yes I understand that Barnett dictates what we can and cannot do to a degree, yes I understand that the Smith Commission was a trap but lets not keep falling into the trap that allows unionist hacks to talk us down all the time by comparing us to England or anywhere else. It’s time for our Government to just refuse the comparison anymore, avoid the traps and the temptations. We are Scotland, no more comparisons with other countries just look at our own record.
We need to challenge Westminster at all points, esp around devolution until we get to the point where all powers are held in Edinburgh, but let’s try and move away from allowing the likes of Andrew Neil to talk us down and to lead us into a blame culture of looking to others for our current situation. We are more than capable of sorting out our own situation, we have the skills, the talents, to make a real go at it. We need independence and part of getting there is by standing up and being Scotland, not better than anyone else and not worse than anyone else, just Scotland.