Making a Difference Update

I recommend you look at the outpouring of Scotophobic hate in the Telegraph unleashed by  Nutty Professor Tom Gallagher. It is nauseating and dripping with racist poison which no doubt was his intention. He’s an expert apparently in sectarianism. By God, he is. For rebarbative, brutal hate for an entire people and their history you’d have to attend a BNP rally to better it. How proud the professor must be to see what his writings stir up, how gratified he must be that he can turn the zealots and the bigots on so easily. I doubt if even the American government propaganda machine is paying for this service. But what it does reveal is just how sick some of the opponents of self determination are and how ill-informed and self-obsessed about the country they claim to be proud of. If this is the Union you can keep it. I know this is a tiny proportion of public opinion but it does no harm to be reminded of just how airily ignorant and wilfully prejudiced some people are and how it can drive your desire to escape to create our new Scotland free from their contempt and hate. Try’ve-never-voted-conservative-but-scotlands-anti-tory-hatefest-fills-me-with-shame    but take a  deep breath first

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32 thoughts on “Making a Difference Update

  1. I just posted to this effect on your article. I don’t mind robust discourse, but the BTL is full of the very worst ill-informed bile.

  2. I came across this same phenomenon last Saturday in the Telegraph – see Dear Telegraph Reader on my blog.


  4. Some ex pat Scots,particularly those who plow their trade in England,seem to have difficulty understanding what democracy is about (perhaps having been exposed to London establishment politics for too long).
    The Tories are not elected because the SNP and Labour parties say not to do so (although British Labour have used that ploy frequently in the past) but because Scots simply,by and large,don’t vote for their policies.
    Unless a right of centre party in an independent Scotland can come up with policies which appeal to the electorate,then that situation will continue.
    The referendum,certainly for me,is about giving the people of Scotland democratic governance for the very first time in our history and not about hating any particular person or political entity.
    The fact that the British parties are doing all they can to try and prevent this,is sadly a relection on how business is presently conducted in the UK.
    This will leave the London establishment with no credibility in future when it accuses “failed” states around the world of not taking into account the views of their people.
    The Torygraph view of Scotland and it’s people reflects that of the British establishment in that we are only worth having around so long as they are in charge.
    Thanks Derek.

  5. Back in the 1980s, Tom Gallagher wrote quite a good book about sectarian politics in inter-war Edinburgh. I remember discussing it with him over a pint. At that time, he was suspicious that the SNP had a Protestant bias, based on some unpleasant views expressed by the likes of Andrew Dewar Gibb a good long time ago. While I didn’t agree that Tom’s assessment had contemporary relevance, I understood how it had been arrived at. Since I met him, his views seem to have become decidedly more extreme. He has a visceral dislike of Alex Salmond and clearly now feels that no accusation is too implausible or lurid to fling at supporters of Scottish independence.

    • Hi Graeme,
      Unsure if Derek will allow a ‘nutty’ professor space here (though if I provide levity in this intense atmosphere can he really refuse?)
      I’m not disparaging your memory, but I don’t recall in the 1980s believing that the SNP was a hang-out for anti-Catholics . It was certainly a view absent from my 1987 book, Glasgow the Uneasy Peace in which I devoted a lot of attention to the party.
      In my later 12009 book, viewed as a hatchet job by some blogers over on the Telegraph today), I deliberately excluded any account fo th SNP and the flirtation of some figures with extreme causes. Why? Because I din’t think it was relevant to the modern SNP.

      I ceased to be sympathetic to the SNP when I personally witnessed the deep hostility to backing the devolution campaign at the Port Glasgow meeting of the party in (I think) 1988. This deep reserve was consolidated by Alex Salmond’s stance during the 1999 Kosovo crisis on which he was backed by the entire party. That’s a long time ago but I’ve never ceased to believe that independence can work with a different kind of nationalist party from the one currently on offer.

      I think today’s responses to my article, not just from Derek have been somewaht revealing and may explain why MSPs like John Dornan have, in the past tweeted when i write something to’ just ignore him’.

      • Slightly disingenuous comments on the Balkans there; it was, specifically, the bombing of the city of Belgrade (with civilian casualties) that Salmond described as ‘folly’. And it was folly, helping to harden support for Milosevic among the hardliners and peasants and causing death and hardship in the city which was the seat of anti-Milosevic activity. Belgrade was not a military target.

      • If you reread my post, Tom, you will see that I did not claim that you believed that the SNP of the 1980s was “a hang-out for anti-Catholics”. The term I used, and I chose my words carefully, was “Protestant bias”. I have a good recollection of our conversation. It was well referenced on both sides and conducted in measured terms.

        I was one of those SNP members who disagreed with the stance on devolution taken by the SNP leadership in the 1980s. I remember the hostility, but it only came from a minority. Significant numbers of SNP activists chose to campaign for devolution through cross-party vehicles such as the Campaign for a Scottish Assembly/Parliament, Radical Scotland, Scotland United and the Calton Hill vigil.

        I have no idea whether the entire SNP backed Alex Salmond’s stance on Kosovo. My recollection is that what he condemned was the dropping of bombs on people. That point got rather lost in the furore that greeted his remarks.

        I believe that more can be achieved by doing the best we can with the national movement we have rather than wishing for another one.

  6. I suspect Tom Gallagher has written his way out of being a member of “The Wines of Burgundy Wine Club”.

    Internationalists have basic standards.

  7. What a pile of drivel that Telegraph is…followed by lots of misinformed and downright nasty opinions.

    Reminds me why I stopped visiting online papers a long time ago.

  8. Well I read it and it is as ignorant and arrogant as you indicated. Some of the comments are quite reasonable, such as Alistair Grey (?) correcting his smear. But it reinforces my own view that it is pointless reading the BTL stuff in newspapers as they seem to attract the most ignorant trolls. And it is never wise to engage with a troll. It just encourages them. Ignorance is OK, it can always be corrected with education. However if combined with arrogance then there is no hope. Let Mr Gallagher cling to his delusions of relevance. He only has 5 months of them left!

  9. Dinna fret, Derek. I was an honorary professor once ( Cairo ! ) and the title of Emeritus at Bradford is a meagre one, so carries little weight.

    This guy is struggling – probably upset at the poor sales of his book – going by which paper he’s allowed to put a piece into, especially since he’s ” never voted tory “

  10. I read Mr Gallagher’s very peculiar piece about the SNP wooing Catholics in January and frankly it made no sense, not the Scotland I live in!
    Great blog BTW Derek!

  11. Derek,I think Prof Gallagher has responded to your comment on the Telegraph article.

    • He certainly responded to your one also. Gave him a piece of my mind too, though he will not bother with mine.
      Now I need a shower, the Telegraph does that to one, hahaha, see what I mean.

  12. smiling vulture

    “The anti-Tory hatefest (and indeed Salmond’s relaxed attitude to the roughing-up of Nigel Farage in Edinburgh last May”

    SV–it was a the Radical Independence Campaign —-shouting out,blocking road,some in wheel chairs, against UKIP policies,disabled cuts,,foreign students ect

    he also said he voted for independence during maggies time—mmmmm?

  13. A peculiar character: never been in favour of anything for long, and always found evil intent where nobody else can detect it.

    Incidentally, Severin Carrell’s degree is in Peace Studies, at Bradford.

    • Good grief, really, Bradford has a peculiar taste in Profs and students.

    • Iain – eye-opener about Severin Carrell. Without wishing to be ad hominem, some people’s mindsets seem to suffer extreme mutation at some point, not sure what it says about their personalities.

  14. thanks for the warning, but I still need a shower. horrible

  15. Bugger (the Panda)

    I am proud to say that I am banned from posting on the Telegraph website.

    Bugger them.

    • I have decided after that last foray, that I am banning myself. The shower is always in use after I have been there. What is it about the people on there that there is no leavening. I used to post on the Independent and there were enough nut jobs there as well but never quite the disgusting mob that is on the Torygraph.

  16. Looks like you have upset David Vance (failed Northern Ireland “politician) and his cohorts at Biased BBC.

    Good to see that Vance’s tame commentator’s “editing” has already been called out.

  17. I remember a professor who expressed slightly non-PC views on race being howled down and forced out of his job at the U of Ed. If you expressed the same hatred of any national group on Earth apart from Scots then you’d be in gaol but tom gallagher is paid to do it. A genuinely evil man. Another one who is opposed to an independent Scotland because he’ll be unable to peddle his racism here.

  18. I had never read an online Telegraph before, nor it’s comments but out of interest I did. That was about 5 hours ago and I still be feel dirty from the filth! I did notice that the vast majority we’re speaking of Scots in the 3rd person and there was no evidence of cybernats but lots of references to them.
    To my dismay and vocal disapproval my parents get the Telegraph every day because ‘we get a voucher so it’s cheap’. It has now been elevated to all out warfare.

  19. Interesting reading about the good prof. From Scottish Left Review.

  20. Is Ivor Griffiths still at school (or some other institution ) and do his parents know that he writes really, really naughty things online? Perhaps they should tell young Ivor that that kind of schoolboy boasting is puerile and doesn’t impress grown-ups.

  21. Worth pointing out Professor Gallagher is a “research fellow” with the US National Endowment for Democracy, a well documented propaganda front of the CIA. He has been active for a while and the NED has been involved in subversive activity in other democratic countries where “US interests” risk being subverted by progressive, truly democratic movements, like the independence campaign. The reason he and the right-wing unionist press are attacking “cybernats” is they fear the Arab Spring affect, where social media and genuine ground based activists subvert state-led propaganda. Don’t be surprised if there are calls, nearer the referendum, to close down some social media in the closing stages of this campaign.

  22. For someone who is “carrying no Tory baggage” Tom Gallagher’s comments about Prime Ministers from Thatcher onwards, both Tory and Labour, are remarkably closely aligned to those of the average Tory voting Telegraph reader. That, and the fact that his supporting link for the Derek Bateman quotes is to the Daily Express rather than the true source, suggests that he’s just using his academic credentials to turn a few quid as a jobbing hack. It’s hardly a crime but it should be seen for what it is; profiteering in rather tasteless fashion from the independence debate.

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