A Brief Argument for English Independence

A Brief Argument for English Independence
by Sean Gabb

The normal English response to Scottish nationalism is to ignore it, or to see it as an irritation, or to try shouting it down with reminders of all that shared history, or to point out the value of English subsidies and to wait for common sense to win the argument. None of these, I suggest, is an appropriate response. None takes into account that England and Scotland are different nations, and that the loudest and most energetic part of the Scottish nation has decided that the current union of the nations is not in Scottish interests. This does not make it inevitable that the union will be dissolved. It does, however, make this desirable. Scotland may or may not have suffered from the union. But the union has done much to bring England to the point of collapse, and it strikes me as reasonable to say that England can never be safe while there are Scottish members in the Westminster Parliament.

Let us take the New Labour revolution as evidence for this. Since 1997, England has been largely remodelled. There are few institutions, or administrative and legal forms, or even assumptions, from before 1997 that now make sense to anyone who has grown up since then. The gutting of the House of Lords, the altered functions of the judges, the laws to regulate political parties, and that allow unelected officials to supervise and even unseat elected representatives, the new criminal laws and new modes of criminal and civil procedure, the appointment of commissar units in every government agencies and most private corporations to impose the totalitarian ideologies of political correctness – these and many others combine to make present life in England very different from anything known before. There is also our continued and even accelerated integration into the European Union. And there has been the state-sponsored settlement of England by millions who are alien in their appearance and their ways. Every thread of continuity between the English present and past that could easily be snapped has been snapped.

Of course, this creeping revolution did not begin in 1997 – it became undeniably evident when Margaret Thatcher was in office. Nor has it been confined to England – every other civilised country has fallen into the hands of a totalitarian elite. There is an attack on bourgeois civilisation in every place where it exists, and the attack is led by those who were young in the 1970s, and has the support of a mass of economic and other interest groups. But, this being said, just think how many of the Labour ministers were Scottish. There was Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, Robin Cook, John Reid, George Robertson, Wendy Alexander, Yvette Cooper, Doug Henderson, and so on and so forth. Below the leadership, an astonishing number of Labour members of parliament or Labour Party officials had Scottish accents. The Labour Party that emerged from its troubles of the 1980s was disproportionately Scottish – and assertively Scottish. Their political ambitions lay in the Labour Party, and not in the Scottish National Party. This did not give them other than a very weak sense of British identity, and gave them no observable understanding of or liking for the English.

Now, the central fact of Scottish history has been English domination. Since the eleventh century, England has been a rich and powerful and unified nation, loyal to a government that, broadly speaking, has been accountable to it. For most of the past thousand years, Scotland has been sparsely populated and without trade. Its people have been divided by language and culture, and by political allegiance, and sometimes by religion. It would be a miracle had Scotland ever managed real independence in these circumstances. It almost never has. The 1707 political union put Scotland under an almost purely English Parliament. The 1603 union of the crowns gave Scotland, after one reign, an English King. Even before then, the most important commoner in Edinburgh had almost always been the English ambassador. Even when there was no English army stationed there, Scotland was subject to varying degrees of rule from London.

In no meaningful sense, therefore, can Scotland be independent so long as it has England as its neighbour. And this is the main significance of the New Labour Revolution, and of the disproportionate Scottish contribution to New Labour. Undeniably, this was part of an overall project to destroy bourgeois civilisation, and understanding it requires a reading of Karl Marx and Antonio Gramsci and Louis Althusser and Michel Foucault, and all the others. At the same time, it was an attempt to make Scottish independence possible by destroying England. Divide England into half a dozen Euro-regions; set these in competition with each other for money and privilege from Brussels; fill the country with ten or twenty million aliens; make it illegal, or at least in poor taste, to refer to an English identity – and the way is cleared for Scotland to be as independent as any other small nation can be.

This would explain the rising levels of Scottish hatred seen by many English visitors. When I visited Glasgow in 1994, there was much good-natured mockery of the English. When I was there again in 1997, I was driven from a coffee bar by the hostility even of the staff. In 2000, a taxi driver had the nerve to claim he was unable to understand my accent. In 2002, when I replied to hatred with hatred, another taxi driver tried to get me arrested for unspecified drug offences. Scottish politicians and administrators cooperate in discriminating against the English. The Scottish lower classes are best avoided.

The reason is simple. If you hate someone, you may want to destroy him. But, if you want to destroy someone, it is nearly always necessary to hate him. The Scottish claim to hate us for what we have done to them. In truth, they hate us for what they want to do to us. Bearing in mind that the Labour Party remains a Scottish front, and that the Conservatives might lose the next election, the 1707 union is actually more dangerous for England than membership of the European Union.

I will ask in passing why so many English Conservatives disagree with this analysis. One reason is a sentimental attachment to facts that have ceased to exist. This leads to what I find the most bizarre claims from Conservative supporters– for example, that the European Union wants to dissolve the United Kingdom in order to absorb England, whereas the European Union is simply part of the Scottish attack on England. A less creditable motive is that many of the Conservative leaders are themselves Scottish, and an ending of the union would reveal them as foreigners in England, and confirm them as unelectable in Scotland.

Most importantly, there are the electoral considerations. In the short term, removal of the Scottish members would bring about a Conservative domination of Parliament. In the longer term, however, removal of the Labour threat would mean that English conservatives were no longer locked into voting Conservative. I do not believe that many of those who voted Conservative in 2010 felt the slightest enthusiasm for David Cameron and William Hague and George Osborne. These got into office only because a majority of the English people feared and hated the Labour Party. Take away the Labour threat, and there would be the freedom to vote other than Conservative in general as well as in European elections. Obviously, union with Scotland benefits the Labour Party. But it also benefits the Conservatives by keeping alive the Labour bogeyman.

I say, then, that the union between England and Scotland should be wholly severed. I say that there should be no customs union or common currency, no rights of movement or of settlement, no shared head of state, no coordination of foreign policy or defence. Scotland and its citizens should become as alien, under English law, as Uruguay now is. This might not suit the interests of the Scottish people, as reasonably considered. But that is not my concern. It should certainly be English policy to prevent the sort of instability north of the border that might encourage foreign – and therefore hostile – intervention, or that might cause mobs of starving refugees to press against the electrified border fences. But, once the union has been severed, I shall be inflexibly opposed to any structure of shared institutions between England and Scotland.

England requires no less. Perhaps, all things considered, Scotland deserves no less.

13 responses to “A Brief Argument for English Independence

  1. There is no prospect of the Scots voting for independance while their assembly can do what it likes and England pays the bills. Watching “Bravehart” too many times won’t be enough.

  2. I do not see how the spirit of the 1960s (i.e. the undermining of British legal cultural traditions – and the spitting on British history and independence) can be blamed on Mrs Thatcher – he appear more like the local version of the international “cultural Marism” of the Frankfurt School (which goes back to the 1920s) and the final take over by the Fabians and Bloomsbury types (who go back to the 19th century).

    As for English independence – that is, in part, In Scottish hands.

    Should the Scots vote to break with England (and it would NOT be a vote for independence, as Scotland would continue to ruled by the European Union) then the United Kingdom that remained would be utterly different.

    Wales and Ulster would be vastly outnumbered – the United Kingdom would be England (in all but name).

    The question would then be – should it be an INDEPENDENT United Kingdom (without the population of Scotland this would be England in all but name), or one ruled by the European Union?

    For once, Sean Gabb and myself are on the same side on that question – unless…..

    See next comment.

  3. Sean Gabb’s second to last paragraph seems to be designed to get Scots to vote NO to a break with England.

    “No common head of state” – so no return to the pre 1707 position.

    A denial of the same right that Canadians, New Zealanders, Austrialians (and so on – even the Isle of Man and Guernsey and Jersey) have to a common head of state in the person of the Queen.

    As Sean knows loyality to the monarchy is the heart of “Englishness” (being English is not been a RACIAL thing, it is cultural thing, – there have long been Celts, Normans and so on in this part of the island of Britain).

    Loyal English men and women are no more obsessed with racial delusions than they are with class warfare delusions – they know that the “blood” of many ethnic groups(although, I admit, all basically European) flows in the bodies the Queen and so on.

    However, loyality to the monarchy is also a large part of Scottish culture (as can be seen in the ceremonies, the Scots regiments and so on).

    Saying that the Scots could no longer have the same Head of State as England is basically telling them to vote NO in 2014.

    “No customs union”.

    “No rights of settlement”.

    Well one can have free trade without a “customs union” (indeed I oppose Customs Unions) – but Sean makes clear what he really wants.

    “Electric fences on the border”.

    In short people and goods from Scotand are going to be prevented BY FORCE from civil interaction with people in England.

    No freedom of trade – no freedom of movement.

    There are two logical possiblities at this point……

    Either Sean Gabb has gone mad – that he has become a lunatic.

    In which case one should have compassion for him (although some concern for the the fate of “baby bear” and Mrs Gabb).


    Sean Gabb wants the Scots to vote NO.

    In short Sean Gabb does NOT want “English independence” – it is all some weird game.

    As for the demented stuff about many in the leadership of the Conservative party being “Scottish”.

    The names “Haig” and “Cameron” may be Scottish – but their families have been in England for centuries. What is this – some sort of “blood guilt”?

    As so often in the last few years one is led to the question.

    Is Sean Gabb insane – or is it all some sort of joke?

    I suspect that Sean is perfectly sane – and that this post (like so much of his stuff over the last several years) is meant as a form of humour.

  4. Mr Ecks – With a good push from our side of the border, they might just be bounced into walking away. I suggest much laughter.

  5. Sean Gabb – your threats (and end to the Queen as head of state in Scotland, the denial of free trade and freedom of movement) are going to make it less likely that Scots will vote to “walk away”.

    Surely you must see that?

    Or have you gone mad?

  6. Ummm…Paul, we could just sack them. You know: tell them…”You Are Having To Be Let Go”.

  7. David – a certain country in the middle of Europe (now two nations) may be what you have in mind?

  8. I think there is a simpler explanation of “Scots Labour” and their remodelling of Britain.

    Scotland has a famously very strong Calvinist heritage. Since the New Progressivism (whatever you wish to call it) is a synthesis of puritanism and marxism, it prospers most in those communities with a strongly puritan (Calvinist inspired) heritage.

    But getting rid of the Scots would make very little difference to this. I may, I must add, be slightly biased, since I am one quarter Scottish by heritage (my left leg is tartan). But the epicentre and source of this plague is not Scotland. It is the USA. It was developed in New York and Berkeley, New England and the Ivy League. Not Glasgow.

    Its enormous power is because the USA is the world’s superpower, culturally. Their music, their movies, their fashions, their modes of speech, their politics. This is normal for superpowers. The British Empire had a similar cultural effect at its height, as did Ancient Rome. People copy superpowers, and thought modes of superpowers gain general hegemony.

    The New Progressivism is most malignant in those lands culturally closest to the USA. The Anglosphere. Scots are particularly prone to it, as noted above, due to their cultural Calvinism. But, if you want to isolate yourself from it, you wouldn’t cut ties with Edinburgh. You’d cut ties with the USA. Because that is where it is coming from.

  9. Ian – I am no Calivinist, I despise the doctrine of predestination (and not just in its Calvinst form – which, yes, brings me close to the semiPelagianism) and I also dislike their hositlity to art a music (not that I know about such things).

    However, both in Scotland and in the United States it is those people who have rejecterd their Calvinists heritage that have been the arch statists.

    In Scotland Chalmers (the leader of the hard core Protestants) was the arch FOE of compulsory poor rates (believeing that help for the poor should be voluntary) one reason that most of Scotland did not have a Poor Rate till 1845/.

    As for the United States – it is an historical fact that American statism was a development of Prussian statism.

    In the 19th century it was direct Prussian influence (H. Mann based his education ideas in Mass on the Prussian system – the idea of the state as a force for enlightenment) and other German educated people (such as Richard Ely and the John Hopkins University crowd – which spread to Princeton and elsewhere).

    In the 20th century it is a indirect Prussian influence – via the “Red Priussian” and his Frankfurt School followers.

    In the 19th century one could indeed argue that as people rejected traditional religious faith they adopted “new religion of humanity” – and the religion they tended to be rejecting (in the North East) was Calvinism (of various forms.

    In the South religion had mutated – either into Cumberland Presbyterianism (a non Calvinist form) or (more often) into Babtist faith.

    The Babtists are still the most common form of Christian in the South – and rather rare in the North East.

    In the North East (as you say Ian) the intellectual elite adopted a new “religion” utterly different from traditional doctine. Hence the “Social Gospel” and “collective salvation”.

    However, it should be honestly stated that it was not Calvinism that most of the leading Marxists were rejecting – it was Judaism that they hated.

    Perhaps because (if one looks back a generation or two) most of the leading Marxist thinkers (although not all) were of Jewish origin.

    It can not be stressed enough – that the modern P.C. movement is NOT American in origin.

    It is was not created in Frankfurt Kentucky.

    The United States is where most (although not all) of the German Marxist thinkers fled to – fled mostly because of their “Jewish blood”.

    And they found American Progressives rather weak minded and easy to lead – regardless of intelligence or education (a weak minded person can actually highly intelligent and well educated).

    I suppose you could argue they found empty people (whose traditional religous faith had died – sometimes generations before) and “filled” them.

    In both the South and most of the West (apart from the far West) they did not do so well – largely because (whatever other problems and vices the people had) they were not “empty suits”.

    By the way this does not just effect places like Harvard – it can also be seen (for example) in the Korean war.

    Those POWs who broke when subjected to brainwashing tended to be people who did really have any strong beliefs to start with.

    A “Redneck” might die – but they did not tend to break.

    It was the empty people (the people who had no clear belief system) who brook – deep down they wanted to be “filled”/

    I should point out that there are effective atheist belief systems.

    For example – Randian Objectivism.

    I doubt many Objectivists would break.

    No more than one of those quiet (but deep) Lutherians from the Dakotas would be likely to.

    The other (good) side of the German tradition in the United States.

    Some of those quiet Lutherians people in North and South Dakota – you could cut off their arms and legs and they would still keep fighting.

    But unlike those of us with more Celtic manners – they would not raise their voice (let alone curse).

    That would be rude you see……

  10. Of course of the big North Eastern States – perhaps the LEAST leftist (the most conservative) is Indiana,

    The State that (of the big North Eastern States) is one of most German.

    Of course the other very German North Eastern States that is very German is Wisconin – which histocrically has been very statist.

    LIfe is complex.

    By the way – perhaps the best thing that happened to Germany after World War II was the choice of most of the Marxists who had fled (to go to Britain as well as the United States) not to go back.

    A savage thing to say (considering the reason they fled) – but the truth. The international socialists (the Marxists) either stayed in Britain or America or went to East Germany. And National Socialism was discredited by the utter military defeat of Adolf Hitler.

    Just as Frederick the Great’s statism would have been discredited.

    Had Empress Elizabeth lived just a few months longer……..

    One of history’s might-have-been’s.

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