Nordic Numptie

Just when we thought our Nordic neighbours would be waiting their moment to congratulate Scotland on joining them as a small independent North Atlantic nation, we get their version of Project Fear shoved in our face.


Martin Lidegaard of Denmark was first with his claim that there could be no fast track into full EU membership and a full entry process would be required. Then we have Sweden’s Carl Bildt warning that our nationhood would Balkanise Britain, a phrase straight from the George Robertson playbook and deeply insulting to Scots since Bildt was an envoy to the former Yugoslavia. His remarks in the Financial Times link the Scottish independence movement with the racial conflict between Serbs and Croats, implying some equivalence which, coming from the man who was the EU’s special envoy at the time of the Srebrenica massacre, is breathtaking.

It is in fact a line that could have been written by the British Foreign Office who are now delivering on their international diplomatic programme of vilification of Scottish self-determination.

There is no evidential back up for Bildt’s assertion of course, mainly because it is a contrived insult rather than an actual probability and we are given no insight from Mr Bildt on who will turn on whom, which houses will be set alight, which individuals (English bank staff?) will be rounded up and placed in concentration camps (in remote Argyll?), who will be starved and tortured or by whom (Scottish Territorials? Vigilantes?) and where the mass graves will be dug. These are perplexing questions. Perhaps if it’s the SNP branch in, say, Montrose who do the executions of young fighting age males, they should remember not to film it out of bravado in case it turns up in subsequent war crimes trials at the Hague.

Is this your image of our movement? Is this the Yes campaign? Do you feel the hate at public meetings? Did I miss the barely controlled anti-English fury at Linlithgow Bowling Club or Bogbain Farm?

Perhaps you think Mr Bildt was just making a general point about countries splitting into smaller entities and Balkanisation was meant in purely geographical and governance terms…I fear a man with a deep and public connection to the Balkan wars cannot make that excuse. Mr Bildt is a right wing friend of the British Tories and an ally of David Cameron with a record in office of privatization and public spending cuts. He has a plethora of commercial interests and in is the International Institute for Strategic Studies which links former British diplomats with those from other countries and which argued for war in Iraq.

So we shouldn’t be surprised that there anti-democrats with extreme views in Scandinavia. It’s just a pity that a friendly nation’s foreign minister sees it as his role to interfere in our domestic affairs. Will the British government object? Here’s what the Swedish Foreign Office says: ‘The aim of Sweden’s foreign policy is to contribute to freedom, peace and reconciliation both in our own region and in other parts of the world. Sweden’s foreign policy proceeds clearly from the values on which our own society is built and from our own interests.’


I’m not clear that talking of Balkanisation in peaceful countries contributes to peace and reconciliation and surely the ‘values’ of Sweden’s region would include a democratic process with a referendum that gave Norway independence, no?

Perhaps the most accurate phrase is ‘from our own interests’ as it implies Sweden under Mr Bildt’s government is, however small, a country with a Big Nation mentality. Once they are in the club, they regard themselves as superior to mere democratic movements of peoples. That’s all far too messy and complex when they already have their hands on the levers and won’t have them prised off.

He clearly has a problem with Catalans too and any other group wishing to overthrow the Big Nation regime. This is the status quo in the diplomatic club where everything is just fine as it is because it keeps upstarts in their place but I find it extraordinary that after the Europe-wide rebellion in the EP elections, someone with a track record as a serious diplomat could be so wide of the mark.

The first thing that the club of nations must do is listen…listen to the people of Europe and stop dictating to them. A sign of some respect would be welcome for Europeans wishing to run their own affairs to create a wealthier and fairer society. They should not be denigrated by a pompous outsider playing a political game. Tak sa mycket.

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62 thoughts on “Nordic Numptie

  1. Derek, it was a real pity you didn’t have time to come to dinner with Anders Heger after our Aye Write event in April as you’d have heard him share deep insights on the resurgent right across Scandanavia. Many are lining their pockets with money from Russian oligarchs while dog-whistling about immigration. And in Norway they are desperate to get their hands on that massive oil fund to cut taxes for the rich.

    Present Nordic social models may be something an independent Scotland can aspire to, but global power brokers aren’t going to leave us alone just because we break with Westminster. They will do everything they can to corrupt and compromise our new Parliament to serve their ends – which is why I believe we need to enshrine the most robust principles of transparency, accountability and recall of elected representatives in a written constitution.

    Setting out the clear principles of a radical, inspiring draft constitution will be crucial to the whole debate over the summer, bringing something to the table the UK parties could never even begin to match. That’s where we should focus next.

    • Margaret Brogan

      This a very interesting analysis and fully supports the proposal that there should be a wide range of input from the people of Scotland when preparing our constitution. This may take longer than the politicians would wish, but it is too important for the country’s future for it to rushed or skimped.

    • Sweden’s economy appears to be failing. There is large unemployment amongst the young in Sweden now, to the extent that many young people come to work in bars and restaurants in Norway now.

      This is a massive reversal of roles for Swedes who were used to thinking of themselves as the top dogs in Scandinavia, and I wonder if this is a reaction to this situation now. Anything to maintain an illusion of hegemony, and keeping the peasants in their place?

  2. So the daily diary, post independence, would be;
    afternoon tea
    pre prandial massacre
    dinnner, a pint, then bed

  3. Who massacres the Danish pigs? It wisnae me.

  4. Consider, Scotland and Catalonia, two of the rich counties of Europe, out of the EU, no Spanish fleets in Scottish waters etc.
    I wonder how that would go down in the EU.

  5. This is just typical scares and smears that we are all used to. Sadly it feels worse when some from outside the country talks as if they are experts in Scottish affairs.

    Thank god we only have a few more months of this sh*t and we can get on with putting our house in order.

    And in a few years time we can look back at a successful iScotland and say “told ye so”.

    Good work Derek , as usual .

  6. Of course when Norway gained its independence from Sweden it led to the Balkanization of Scandinavia.

  7. More neep than swede I would say.

  8. Perhaps we should have a body of people (not politicians) who can reply to such politicians, telling them their interference is not welcome and that the people living in Scotland are the ones who will determine the outcome of the referendum. No doubt I’m wrong, but I don’t think such scares from politicians of other countries should go unanswered — in the most respectful, informative, yet decisive way of course.

    • I’m not sure. It’s as well we know about these character. Forewarned is forearmed, at they say.

      And we would of course welcome supportive comments.

  9. Wonder what the rest of the turnips have to say and is representative of his patch?

  10. Does the UN charter not protect the rights of a people of self determination, free from fear or interference from idiot foreign politicos?

    • Yes Bunter, you are correct, but you can forget the signatories.

      They won’t lift a finger to protect anyone’s rights.

      Unless you are someone really important and of international significance.

    • Erm, I think this only applies to people who are horribly oppressed, which Scotland clearly isn’t. There is apparently no recognition of the right of secession in international law if you’re not actually being horribly oppressed. It’s a gap we need to work on.

  11. Is he ony merr representative there than the NEEPS (North East Ethnic Party) here?

  12. Don’t worry folks, although he is still currently FM here in Sweden, he is a has been. Reminds me of wee George Robertson in many ways. He likes to mouth off as if the movers and shakers are actually listening. Remember too that Sweden is the “Big bother” in Scandinavia/Nordics.
    Latest polls for the Swedish GE, also in September, indicate a strong shift back to centre. That is to say the Social Dems and Greens.
    Tack för mig!

    • Thanks for letting us know that the man is on his way out. We have enough numpties of our own. We can do without interference from dolts belonging to other nations.

  13. We need to watch the news in the next few weeks to see what the UK has promised them for coming out against us.
    There is always something.

  14. nicely put – I’m afraid it shysters like Mr Bildt that were responsible for the unrepresentative turnout at the European elections.

    At the U of Dundee event the FM said he expects an 80% participation – now that’s representation which will legitimise things.

  15. Free Scotland

    The thoroughly repugnant westminster propaganda machine (I refuse to give westminster a capital letter) is aiming to dupe a majority of referendum voters into voting “no” by bombarding them with endless ramblings about queuing up to join Europe. That same propaganda machine will aim to dupe a majority of voters from south of The Border into voting for the tories, by dangling before them the promise (believe it if you like) of an “in-out” referendum on Europe.

    Scotland, it’s time to wake up: Europe is not the prize, Scotland is the prize. Don’t be distracted by those who want to use our country as a storage base for weapons of mass destruction while they plunder our natural resources to make themselves richer, and who care nothing for the fact that they are making us poorer in the process. Go public, stop hiding, let people know that you are voting for independence for Scotland. Sweden did not want Norway to become independent, but ask any Norwegian today if they would swap their independence for a restoration of Swedish rule. If they considered your question worthy of a response, it would probably be something like this: “Are you for real?”

    • The Norskies consider the Swedes to be stand offish and snobbish, like they consider the English. They also remember how easily the Swedes let the Nazis in to Norway.

      Even so, the man is no more representative of Sweden as Lord Mickey Forsyth of North Britain, or Quisling of Norway.

  16. Cag-does-thinking

    You mean Sweden has political views like this? I preferred Abba’s political take. Knowing Me Knowing You could make a great Better Together anthem.

  17. Derek you forgot to mention one of the most important factors that have rattled the exrtreme right in Europe. That is nuclear weapons . There are not two adjacent deep sea water lochs anywhere in Ruk. A lot of r/wing politicians in Europe feel protected by the British nuclear deterent

  18. Maybe the Yookay has promised to stick their Trident up his Fiord?

  19. What is even more distressing in the use of Balkanisation is the implication of ethnic and religious tensions between us and rUK.
    I am English, live in Scotland and will vote Yes. However I doubt that you could find any genetic marker in my DNA that would scream “English” or that could not be matched by a Scot. Likewise as an atheist I have no problem with Presbeterianism being the Established Church here but I do have problems with the Church of England being formally represented in our government. Bildt may know about the Balkans, he knows nothing of our Referendum.


    There seems to be no retribution for making statements of which they know nothing
    ,the big guns are out now and unless we do something exceptional,we may face extinction as a free nation,
    I dont like the idea,and no negativity just pragmatism,but I will be first on the barricades!!!!

    • Bob – I fear that this bullying is going to get even worse. I advise my kids to stand up to bullies, but the Yes campaign doesn’t respond to these attacks. I understand why, but I feel that we are being weak. Disrespectful bunch these europeans.

  21. I have no doubt that his comments will be counter-productive. We in Scotland don’t take kindly to being pushed around or threatened, and like many other negative comments from others sticking their noses into our affairs they’ll simply strengthen our resolve.

    It’s said that the people in your life can be a blessing, or a warning of how not to be. That’s rather how I perceive these scaremongerers, resolutely trying to prevent us from winning our independence based on their needs, their political agendas and their non-democratic ideologies, and conceited enough to believe that their views matter a jot to those of us hoping to build a country on fairness, equality and justice.


    @ SCED300 – That made my night. lol

  22. I agree Cynical Highlander. They are often interviewed in the news when asking for public attitude to the referendum and then of course those who only read the Scottish tabloids. I despair sometimes.

  23. Carl Bildt’s party has been presiding over the Balkanisation of Swedish society if recent reports and my own recent visits are anything to go by. By that I mean the party’s neo-liberal privatisations and erosion of the archetypal Nordic social model leading to inequality and ending up in the riots in Malmo and Stockholm. Bildt’s party is aligned in Brussels with EPP grouping which, surprise surprise, includes Spain’s Partido Popular, so it’s hardly a surprise that Bildt would open his mouth and let his belly rumble in this way. I don’t suppose it’ll be long till he has some doom-laden prognostications about the Balkanisation of Spain.

    • “ending up in the riots in Malmo and Stockholm” – yet another piece of news that the BBC didn’t ever mention.

      Par for the course. Sweden is not English speaking which equals “don’t report” and the same goes for any government that privatizes.

  24. This orchestrated intervention has already had one positive effect for the Yes campaign. My lovely Swedish wife is incandescent, and is currently writing a response to this for Herr Bildt’s Facebook page, tearing him a new one.

    She has no interest in politics, or, rather, respect for politicians in general, and does not vote in the European and local elections, but I think this may well have tipped her into voting Yes.

    I also sent a link to this article to a friend of mine, a Yorkshireman who has lived in Sweden for more than 30 years. Here is an extract from his reply:

    “Dear Fergus

    Not seen or heard any hints of this before, but I couldn’t agree with you more. My standpoint is that Scotland’s decision to remain within the UK or go its own way is a decision for Scots and Scots alone. Full stop! (Although, from a national romantic perspective I must confess that I find the idea of an independent Scotland rather appealing.)

    As Bateman writes. “It’s a pity that a friendly nation’s foreign minister sees it as his role to interfere in our domestic affairs.”

    Any comparison with the Balkans is of course, absurd (as Bildt must know!). Scotland’s advocacy of independence has been consistently peaceful, civic and democratic. And the risk of “ethnic cleansing” patently does not exist. (The Sassenachs got there first anyway with the Highland Clearances!)

    I’m sure that the more scaremongering that goes on and the more that Westminster politicians, EU panjandrums and now meddlesome ministers of other nations rail against the idea of an independent Scotland, the more the people of that country will be swayed to taking their destiny in their own hands. Maybe Carl Bildt has done Alex Salmond a favour…”

    I have the personal consolation of knowing that, when we lived in Sweden, I voted for the Centre Party, not for Carl Bildt’s “Moderates”.

  25. smiling vulture

    Alistair Darling says SNP isn’t civic nationalism, a former chancellor#deliberate and dangerous quote

  26. Norwegians have this saying: ‘Don’t make a Swede of yourself!’ meaning that the Swedes are fearties that lack the guts to stand up for anything.

    They’ve never forgotten how they pushed them around for centuries and caved in to the Nazis.


    Now Obama joins in.

    However, I think we need to be prepared for this. The international community likes Britain, sees it as a positive. The English are well-liked across the globe. (They think we are also English).

    Instead of getting all het up about it, we need to take a statesmanlike attitude and convince world leaders that an independent Scotland would continue to share the same ‘strategic vision’ as the rest of the free world.

    This was what the Norwegians did in 1905 when they broke away from Sweden. They cultivated the British royal family (then a power in the world) and global business leaders so that they gained their tacit support ahead of their referendum.

    Which returned 99% in favour.

  28. Spooky isn’t it? Overseas contributions to the NO campaign seem to be from the right wing of politics.

    Balkanisation is it? In the event of independence we’re going to set about ethnic cleansing and serial abuse of human rights?

    Whatever this halfwit is drinking, someone should have pointed out he’s not old enough to partake.

  29. Mr B.
    The Scandinavians are not that interested in Scotland.
    I am aware that a Norwegian minister, about two years ago, said publicly that the SNP should stop comparing us to Norway, but I can’t remember who it was.
    It is true that we are often encouraged to compare ourselves to the Scandianvians, but they don’t see us as comparable to them. We are part of Britain to them. That’s Britain where the Norwegian monarch came to live, and half the government, during the war. That’s why they send the tree to London every year.
    On BBC Radio Scotland-GMS 10.05.14. The Norwegian Foreign Secretary, when asked about the Shetlands position post possible independence said ‘We’re not taking up that debate again.’
    They would wish to support the Union and of course don’t rock the boat in the EU.

    • “The Scandinavians are not that interested in Scotland.”

      You’ve spoken to all of them?

    • As a regular visitor to Norway I get that impression too. They tend to get their UK news from the same UK news agencies and are very UK focused. That’s not to say that links and awareness of Scotland don’t exist or could not be improved. But they closed down their consulate in Edinburgh some years ago, saying the ones they had in England were sufficient for UK. The main co-operation these days is the oil industry with Wideroe operating a three times daily commuter air service between Aberdeen Stavanger and Bergen.

      During the last war links were far closer with Norway. The exiled king was offered a country seat near Dumfries by a Scottish aristocrat, and that became the exiled court. The Shetland bus ran during the war and was a means by which Norwegian resistance fighters were supplied and volunteer agents from Norway were trained in Scotland by the Special Operations Executive which became the SOS. Churchill was convinced that Hitler would launch a naval attack from occupied Norway.

      I think we have to be realistic here if we are to be canny.

      The UK and ‘England’ are well respected internationally. It will not do to keep dissing the English with a rhetoric of oppression. This will only alienate potential allies. We just have to keep quietly stating that we are merely seeking a constitutional adjustment in our favour in order to improve democracy and our economy and that this is a domestic issue which will not affect things internationally; that we share the same strategic vision internationally as UK, and there will be no change in that.

  30. Viking Girl I was in attendance the day the Queen made King Olaf an knight of the Thistle, I should say I was a school girl, you know anything for a day off, Norway has as many close ties to us as they do to England. Edinburgh gets a tree from there also. Many many marriages made here during the war.

  31. Is it safe to say that the yesnp don’t like the scandinavian countries anymore?

    …and there i was thinking that if i voted yes it would be just like sweden, denmark or norway over here… back to the drawing board for the yesnp methinks…

    • Yes we like Skandies. We just don’t like Quislings of any nationality.

      • Well said, and our guides in Sweden were much more courteous to us than to the rude English, specially those on our bus to the Vasa Museum. We got a special mention for bringing industry, education and religion to Gothenburg as well. We have many ties to the Nordic and Baltic Countries.

      • Nice reply. Sums up the true motivations behind the yes campaign perfectly. Mind I’m sure I’m not the only person who sees the irony in a nationalist labelling others quislings. Perhaps you should research the history of the snp in World War 2.

        • Not sure what you are implying about the SNP in WWII? Best if you said it straight.

          The lumpens on the Hootsmon forum keep saying that the SNP supported the Nazis, when the didn’t Many, including Donald Stewart fought in the that war. You would have to look closer for Nazis in the Royal family and aristocracy. Moseley and other Labour MPs formed the British Union of Fascists.

          Hugh MacDiarmid was fooled by Mussolini, who edited a communist newspaper before he invaded Abyssinia. Hugh came back to the Communist Party, but keeps being misrepresented.

          Today Labour leads the British Unionist Movement. B.U. M.

    • Well Jings when you dislike what Parliament is doing in Denmark they get outside and tell them, try that in London if you can afford the fare.
      NO/Labour/Tory/ Prostitute should have a good look at what they are offering, I will be able to say I told you so if the idiots like you vote No, you will have to take the insults for having your hand in the English people’s pockets ( I have had that said to me on various National Newspapers) that the Scots are too canny for that read mean, to go for independence. So enjoy what you reap.

  32. @jings

    Why would the SNP or Yes supporters dislike the whole of Scandinavia because of the comments of a single right wing politician from Sweden?

    That would be like denigrating Scotland day in and day out just because you didn’t like Alex Salmond.

  33. Obama! What a nerve! And to think I cheered him on all the way to the White House!! Good for AS reminding him of YES WE CAN…………and we certainly CAN and WILL.

    • Well Panda, I certainly di not cheer a certain smirking Tony Blair into number 10, I was proven right as to his character, first impressions in my eyes always ins out. As for Obama, I doubt that there is one true person who has ever been elected to be President of the US, they system works against it. Obama has not been able to beat the system.

  34. Afraid so. Fortunately BtP, the “net” has changed all that for the better.

  35. Never mind, yet another poll for the FT proves we’re moving relentlessly towards independence.

  36. Mair o a Neep nor a Swede?

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