One of the bizarre consequences of the independence referendum erupting onto the London news agenda in recent weeks has been a series of ill-informed articles on the Scottish condition. In good imperial style various hacks have regaled us with their prejudices without bothering to undertake any serious research or analysis. There have been many ignorant references to Bannockburn and Braveheart. It is not so much bias as laziness, or perhaps a condescension to bother their pretty cosmopolitan heads with trifling provincial details.
What becomes clear from several of the pieces, and indeed some of the comments of English politicians, is that they have never bothered to listen to what the SNP or supporters of independence actually say. Of course creating a false representation of your opponents argument in order to knock it down is an old political tactic, but the impression is that many of those lecturing us about how chauvinist and backward looking the “separatists” are genuinely don’t know any better. It seems they have never knowingly conversed with a supporter of independence. It is almost as cringe-inducing as the elderly aunt who has never met a black person but, when fortified by a couple of sherries, feels emboldened to explain what “their” problem is. [Read more…]