That Banner and That Word

There has been a lot of talk on Twitter, on the net, on blogs, and even Wee Ginger Dug about that banner and that sentiment.

I wasn’t at the march at the weekend, and there is some speculation as to whether the banner was there or not, but both have certainly opened up a debate about what is and is not acceptable within the YES movement.

Now I don’t have any sympathy for Sìol nan Gaidheal at all or their views and I think all of us can agree have little place in a modern Scotland. However, and maybe I’m an example of my life experiences, the sentiment on the banner in relations to the Tories doesn’t bother me all that much if it does.

Now I appreciate many don’t like the word, and many more feel that the use of the word ‘scum’ will turn some people away from the yes movement, and potentially voting yes in a future referendum,  but it really just doesn’t upset me.

When I think back to the economic and social devastation of communities all over Scotland, and the U.K., by Thatcher I feel anger. When I think about the rape clause, the bedroom tax, welfare cuts, waspi women, grenfell, the red bus, immigration speeches, the power grab, the deportations of hundreds if not thousands of commonwealth citizens, the lies of better together I feel anger. The list is actually endless and I just can’t get upset about the use of the word ‘scum’ to describe Tories in Government, and many who knowingly vote for them.

I don’t care if Tories, or red and yellow Tories, get upset at the use of the word ‘scum’ to describe them and their policies. I get upset about food banks, and people feeling their only recourse is to kill themselves rather than live lives of misery after benefits being removed by a heartless and morally bankrupt government, elected by people who either don’t care or are ignorant, and ignorance is no excuse for the misery caused by their parties either red, blue or yellow.

I appreciate the word ‘scum’ is not a nice word, it is a word that alienates, but when I reflect on my life experiences and how the Tories of all colours have impacted on it then it is difficult to feel any sympathy for those who knowingly vote for them, and certainly not for the politicians who know exactly what they are doing and the harm it causes while looking after their own and calling me a separatist and a nationalist for wanting something better.

They might not like to be referred to as ‘scum’ but does that say more about their guilt as they know that they have been associated with the word for nearly 40 or 50 years and their policies and actions deserve it. Is the concern of the yes movement, and many of its leaders,of the use of the word ‘scum’ more about fear of being portrayed as anything other than perfect or of being part of an intolerant movement in some minute way. All Under One Banner is an amazing idea, the YES movement is an inspiration and I understand that the Scotland they want to build is an inclusive and tolerant one, I also accept that the Tories of all colours are not going away in an independent Scotland and will play a role in the future direction of the country for good or bad.

So, while I understand the concern of the use of the word, of how it can be perceived to fall into the personalised politics that many of us don’t like, that it can alienate, there is a part of me that just can’t get upset at the term in relation to politicians and movements that have done so much harm to this country. I also accept that my view will not be shared by many, or any, and will potentially be viewed as offensive, you can’t get much lower than that word but there is also the part of me that understands that the reason I am no longer a member of a political party or any movement is that once political correctness sets in, when quotas and positive discrimination sets in, when you say that certain words cannot be used or are not welcome then that in itself becomes intolerant. I know that the word ‘scum’ can be viewed as the other words that have no place in the modern world, words that discriminate on the basis of gender, colour, race, sexuality or religion. I understand that I am more than likely wrong on this one but you can’t help but feel the way you feel and I am not going to apologise for that to be honest. I am my experiences, I don’t care what colour Tories are, what country they come from, what faith they follow or who they love but I do care about their actions and policies and for me those are something I don’t know that I will ever be able to forgive, maybe I will tone down the use of the word in this blog but the feelings will still be there, the anger will still be there.

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14 comments

  1. Gordie

    Siol nan Gaidheal, wild , I haven’t heard from them for over a quarter of a century. It’s a setup if every I have heard one.
    As for the Tory scum banner. I didn’t see it there. What I was aware of was that our march left Kings park did a swift about turn and went straight out of Stirling completely avoiding the town centre and any main roads where we might attract the attention of locals.

    It will be interesting to note if any other marches through the town centre this year.

    • grumpyscottishman

      Gordie
      The view is that the banner wasn’t at Stirling but it was in Glasgow. I don’t know if it is a set up and I wouldn’t put it past the yoons or the state to be honest but I just don’t get offended at the use of the word scum to describe the Tories at all.

      Thanks for commenting.
      Bruce

  2. Helena Brown

    My first reaction was that I did not like that banner at the March, but like you I wasn’t there, I shall be at Edinburgh. My other reaction watching the Tories here in Scotland, they are the scrum of the Earth. Tonight in the village I now live in, there is a a meeting regarding the closure of the Community Centre. I am not there, I have not been in it other than to vote. I wonder though how many of those attending voted for the Labour Party and the Tories who now have seats in the council. I feel sorry for the young families who have made good use of the building but those who will have enough to say are the guilty parties.
    There is very few words that sum up what the Tories are doing to this country, if indeed we have a country left after they have plundered it. Scrum is a very mild word.

    • Anonymous

      Helena
      It’s an interesting debate I think. The YES movement I totally understand don’t want to be open to any criticism as it will be used against it and the same standards are not used to judge the unionists but there needs to be a bit of balance I think. Political correctness turns people away and is also seen as intolerant, I also don’t mind anger shown at the Tory Party and it’s policies, and lets be honest anyone believing in those policies really need to question their moral compass, Labour and the Liberals are just as bad for supporting the union at any cost, they don’t bear the brunt of that cost ordinary people do and the poorest and most vulnerable the most. I can understand the frustration at the use of the word but it the shoe fits and all that for me.

      Thanks for commenting.
      Bruce

  3. East Neuker

    Regarding Tories, Aneurin Bevan, the driving force behind the National Health Service, had a different word for them. After the 18th time that they voted in Westminster against the NHS, and before the legislation eventually went through, he said that he found it very hard not to regard all Tories as vermin.
    That is generally how I regard them. They fall into a number of categories-
    I’m all right vermin
    Stupid vermin
    Vindictive vermin
    I own the world already vermin
    The rats of the Orange Lodge vermin
    The proto fascist vermin (a growing group)
    The self righteous church going (but not really Christian) vermin.
    Cockroaches (eg Murdo Fraser)
    The opportunist vermin (eg Colonel Davidson)
    And many more dregs.
    Maybe there are some Tory voters who are not vermin. Let me know if you can think of any.
    Personally I think “scum” is too mild.

    • Anonymous

      East Neuker
      Vermin is a good word also to describe them. I was watching some of the debate about Heathrow last night and as usual attack after attack on the SNP and Scottish Government, Scottish Tories being the worst, and I was sitting thinking total scumbags. This is no union, not even an unequal one, this is England and what England wants Britain gets, never been any different but I hope people are starting to wake up a little now. I don’t have a huge issue with calling it as it is and if the truth hurts oh well.

      Thanks for commenting.
      Bruce

  4. 100%YES

    Regarding the banner it was there that’s a fact as was I, I asked my wife who is English to sum up the Tories in one word and the reply was Scum and that’s a word she never uses. People lets not forget who have occupied our Country for 300yrs the British state and who are the British state the Conservative and unionist party or Little England as they have also been named and it was that long ago During a debate in WM, the new Tory MP for South East Cambridgeshire, Lucy Frazer, laughed about how Oliver Cromwell defeated the Scots at Dunbar and sent them as “slaves to the colonies” which had her fellow Tories guffawing and chortling with joy. I don’t know anything about the group your talking about but a Scot Is a Scot and if the Tories have there way well all be English.

    • Anonymous

      100%YES
      I remember her maiden speech and it was a disgrace, she later said it was a joke but it wasn’t, it’s how they truly feel. I know most of us would rather look to the future than the past, that’s the yoon game, but my late Dad used to say you need to know where you’ve been to know where you’re going and that is so true. I think so many people still need to be educated about this country and how Scotland is really viewed within it. The Tories hate that they are being found out and the pressure needs to be kept up, I don’t have a problem with the use of the word all that much to describe them as for me any party that can govern the way they do are scumbags, I would say the same if it was the SNP. This union is finished and it has always been about England, too many Scots have pretended that’s not the case and it’s getting harder for them to do that now and that is a good thing, we need to get out as quickly as possible and while being nice and everything to everyone is great sometimes home truths need to be told.

      Thanks for commenting.
      Bruce

  5. bjsalba

    To me, the problem is that people who are conservative with a small ‘c’ (and who still vote Tory out of habit) might think it applies to them – it doesn’t.

    Those small ‘c’ conservative are convertible to Yes, so it would be cleverer not to use the word and to be more precise about which Tories we want to ditch.

    • Anonymous

      bjsalba
      I do see your point but isn’t there a bit of ignorance is no excuse argument to be had. I know people who vote Tory, my son being one and we just don’t talk about it all anymore. He is a strict Presbyterian and believes in virtually zero state and he is wrong, is he a scumbag, no, so you are correct, but he isn’t ignorant either but I accept that we maybe need to be clearer who we are talking about, but I’ll be honest I will find it hard as I despise the Tory Party, more than the members to be fair, it’s the elected parts of it that I hate the most. It is an interesting debate.

      Thanks for commenting.
      Bruce

  6. Alan

    Plenty of people vote Tory because they buy into the narrative of economic competence and they saw their families prosper due to Thatcherite policies. I think they were awful on the whole, but they really DID work out for some people. Lots of people have been misled into thinking that national finances have to operate like household finances and therefore deficits and debt are unsustainable and Something Must Be Done.

    If someone agrees with that sort of logic, then there’s an argument that they are actually morally obliged to vote Tory.

    So calling those people “scum” is counterproductive. For the most part, those are quiet, retiring people who want to do the sensible thing and have been led to believe the Tories are the sensible thing. The trick to approaching them is to be quiet, reasonable and gently introduce a different way of thinking.

    • Anonymous

      Alan
      You’re not wrong in anything you have said, I totally accept that but its just so hard to be nice, and to even think rationally, when it comes down to the Tories, and people who may vote for them. I do think there is a mix of voters though, as you say the older generation brought up to believe a certain thing but there are those, the question time audience more often than not, who believe that social security is a hand out and those in need are lazy and underserving. Those are the people whom the Tories are reaching out to now and fermenting their hate, those people for me are scumbags and it’s a strong emotion not to have, its why I found the debate so interesting when it broke out on twitter.

      Thanks for commenting.
      Bruce

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