Thursday, August 11, 2011

#ukriots: Defending Alex Salmond

Difficult thing for me to do, what with not being a nationalist and taking the view that Salmond is not a political colossus who towers above the Scottish body politic but in fact something of an asshole. Still, he has a point in his comments about the English riots. Perhaps his mistake was to complain that the description of them as UK-wide was unfair. Rather, it is simply inaccurate.

I'm not sure what Salmond means by Scotland having a different society but the criticism of his comments is absolutely absurd. It has been described as the 'worst face of nationalism' by the Scottish Lib Dem leader - a man in need of some remedial history, if ever I've seen one.

It's not even the worst in terms of the tedious exchange of accusations that passes for debate in Scottish politics. Blaming all your own country's problems on a historic connection to another is boring, stupid and can get fairly unpleasant at times - but what Salmond is saying isn't even this. What he is saying is perfectly accurate. These are English riots. They have not happened in Scotland yet all the conditions that have been cited as factors are present here, not least in sunny Glasgow. So why not here? It is others who are too parochial and narrow-minded to ask why this is. World doesn't revolve round London, y'know.

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