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It's depressing to think that the work that has most influenced modern Scottish nationalism is the ridiculous Braveheart. At least the Jacobites had some excellent songs. Where's the sceptical spirit of Billy Connolly when you need him? He's someone that took the particular and made it universal.
I posted it over here as well and there's a discussion:- There's an interesting (and disturbing) comment- "The atmosphere in the Scottish universities is even worse, especially in literature departmentts where a climate of cultural exceptionalism is upheld by a bunch of semi-intellectual patriots who side-step any opposition by calling it ‘English elitism’ or ‘Tory condescension’. These cultural managers are busy massaging Burns, Hogg, Stevenson and MacDairmid, who were all either deeply contradicted or self-doubting in terms of politics, into seemless exmaples of early SNP pro-independence voters. It is utterly laughable! I once asked one of these smug lecture hall SNP lieutenants why they did not have MacDairmid’s ‘Hymn to Lenin’ or ‘On a Raised Beach’ neither in braid Scots, on the syllabus but only ever ‘A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle’ , that every one by now, is heartily sick of. The answer was very revealing, as a Scot, MacDairmid was ‘theirs’ to do ‘as they wished’ with and no further English literary ‘imperialism’ was to be tolerated. The whole project is rancid and embarrassing."
I suppose Becky Sharp in Vanity Fair was "tolerably virtuous" but of course condemned by the author. The "fallen women" in Dickens are so fallen that they die or repent and wail. Lucy Glitters the demi-mondaine marrying the rascal Sponge & setting up a cigar & lending shop is a great refreshment. Tho' Sponge is a crook Surtees makes him likable by (a) not having any wise, virtuous characters as his foil; (b) giving him a real love for hard riding and hunting.
Toggle Commented Jan 29, 2015 on The state of the roads at RosieBell
He's great on clothes and what a variety of colours the gentlemen wore - plaids and coloured waistcoats & fancy buttons. And how unlike the more genteel Victorians he is eg Trollope (who of course loved hunting as well). Everyone getting drunk all the time. The introduction to Mr Sponge says it's like Gogol's Dead Souls, with the journey of the rascal Sponge, the various houses, some quite ramshackle and louche, the swindling servants and little sense of an ordered state at all. I'm looking forward to reading a few more. I read Surtees' World, which is interesting on the hunting journalism of the day. Surtees' marriage takes up one paragraph!
Toggle Commented Jan 27, 2015 on The state of the roads at RosieBell
Yeah - Nehru or someone used to say "You needed a lot of money to keep Mahatma in poverty" when Gandhi used to play about with spinning his own loin cloth. You need an awful lot of infrastructure paid by taxation to keep the drivers driving in liberty.
Toggle Commented Nov 29, 2014 on Roads were not built for cars at RosieBell
I do wish there would be a kind of quasi regional bloc developing within the English branch of Westminster ie MPs from the north east of all stripes banding together to get investment for the north east. However as you say the system is sclerotic. However with more coalition government the party system may become less rigid. I do think that this referendum might have given a good kick up the arse of Westminster. Historically the British establishment has gone on its complacent way until being given a good kick up the arse. It then reforms itself a little. It was typical of it that it dismissed the Scottish question as being settled without much trouble and then fell into panic mode at the last minute.
Toggle Commented Sep 28, 2014 on Last post on that R thingy at RosieBell
I think a lot of Yessers would find it absolutely in order that Salmond would control the message since they are now busy boycotting the BBC for not being on their side.
Toggle Commented Sep 28, 2014 on Last post on that R thingy at RosieBell
This guy is quite good on the numbers:-
Yes, it was the Ashford poll. The indygov poll showed a slight majority of the young 'uns were for No.
I do remember reading that other immigrants who are Pakistani or Ugandan Asian have a more agreeable sense of "Britishness" over "Englishness". But of course the concept of "England" may change to something resembling "Britain." I do hope we never find out. One thing that I have often seen said is that if Scotland won independence the SNP would split back into more class-based .politics of the traditional Labour/Tory kind. However it has been pointed out it could be like Ireland in that the politics stays nationalistic. After all, why would the SNP change a winning game? Especially as they haven't made a bad fist of governing Holyrood. You've probably seen this already and I'm as ignorant as a stone about Irish politics but it's interesting.
Toggle Commented Jun 17, 2014 on Scottish Referendum 7 at RosieBell
Thanks Roger
Toggle Commented Apr 4, 2014 on Reasons to be cheerful at RosieBell
Thanks John. I've just cycled to the Gyle and back in a haar. Not the prettiest cycle I've ever done, but it's great to be able to do it.
Toggle Commented Mar 29, 2014 on Reasons to be cheerful at RosieBell
I remember the Exile as being creatively abusive but not his actual political stance. There's a sane post on Socialist Unity on the currency issue with reasonable suspicion that an independent Scotland would not be the socialist republic that left campaigners have as their far off vision.
Toggle Commented Mar 5, 2014 on Allies for independence at RosieBell
Glad you'll be playing it, Derek. A reunion sounds excellent. My own father was in the Pacific Islands and told us bits and pieces about his experiences. I'm sorry I never asked him for the full story and now it's too late.
Toggle Commented Jan 25, 2014 on D-Day Dodgers at RosieBell
Thanks for the comment. My knowledge of linguistics is non-existent. I just read this and thought "language games". So glad to have a little intellectual back up on this.
Toggle Commented Dec 22, 2013 on Unseating the Segregationists at RosieBell
I agree it's been an excellent adaptation. One of those things Radio 4 does really well. I find it less annoying than the books, where it's emphasised that Crouchback thinks he's fighting for Christian civilisation against barbarism, and becomes disillusioned. I always thought fighting against Nazism was a big enough cause for anyone.
Toggle Commented Oct 19, 2013 on Sword of Honour at RosieBell
Thanks Jim. I am very sad. I knew he was ill but thought/hoped that he was responding to treatment. Is social democrat wrong? Should I have said "democratic socialist?"
Toggle Commented Oct 19, 2013 on Norman Geras - 1943 - 2013 at RosieBell
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Mar 15, 2010