British Unity Fail

For a while I have been involved with British Unity, the campaign started on Facebook to oppose Alex Salmond’s drive for Scottish independence.

Most of the people involved are good sorts and have a passionate desire to maintain the Union, hence my support of the campaign.

I did have cause, however, to voice my disapproval of this group when I discovered that they practised the sectarian smearing so typical of life in 21st century Scotland.

On the British Unity support group page on Facebook, it was put forward by someone that loyalist groups be linked to as they are devout supporters of the Unionist cause.

This was immediately machine-gunned down by the admins of the page who were scared of an SNP backlash should their campaign be seen to promote such groups.

I, along with others, pointed out that loyalists are Unionists and, indeed people whose votes are needed to win the coming Referendum.

However, I was informed that British Unity does not want to be linked to any political party or religion i.e. be sen as getting involved with sectarianism.

Now excuse my ignorance but when did loyalist = sectarian other than in the heavily politicised world of Scottish society? In other words, if we are going to buy the labels that Salmond and his kind slap on us all, why bother resisting his attempt to break up the Union?

The reality is that Salmond & co did not invent this political labelling; it has long been the work of Labour activists, of whom is one of the founders of British Unity.

It has to be said that no specific loyalist links were mooted to be added to BU’s links but the very word “loyalist” was treated with contempt and disdain. Also, it was stated that there would be no link to any Rangers groups or the Orange Order.

Now people may think much ado is being made here by myself about nothing and that it makes good political sense to not link directly to any one “side” in what is supposed to be a neutral campaign.

But there are two things wrong with this viewpoint.

Firstly, that there are “sides” is itself a commentary on Scottish society. For example, if the BU campaign was being held in England you would suppose that you could have “Manchester Utd BU Branch” and “Manchester City BU Supporters” all happily supporting the campaign and even being in UNITY concerning their support.

How strange that in Scotland you cannot be seen to be courting the supporters of a team whose entire constituency could hand you a crushing victory in a Referendum you are trying to win. It’s like keeping Messi on the subs bench.

What could be the consequences of British Unity being involved with Rangers supporters? That they would lose votes they weren’t going to get anyway from the Tartan Army and their Anglophobic ilk?

Or that thousands of Celtic fans who are Unionists would vote for separation just because Rangers fans supported BU?

Who or what is stopping Celtic supporters who support the Union forming a group to promote the British Unity campaign?

The big problem with British Unity is that it is way too scared of upsetting people when it should be making a bold stand for the Union.

The second thing I referred to in relation to BU’s neutrality is that it isn’t neutral. It supports Better Together and as such is part of a multi-party campaign.

That’s not neutrality.

Neutrality is not having an opinion one way or another concerning something and being totally inactive.

British Unity is not a neutral collective of Unionists  – it is a selective collective of Unionists..

The Morningside Knitting Club For The Union is welcome but loyalists are not. Well, they are but they can’t mention anything to do with loyalist things.

And the real tragedy of all this stuff and nonsense is it highlights the class divide still there in Scottish society.

If you’re a “Queen & country” loyalist from Harthill who has been in the Orange Lodge for 30 years, you are welcome to support the British Unity campaign as long as you don’t talk about the Orange Order.

But if you are a middle class Tory from Jordanhill you are a “real” Unionist and your views matter.

In my opinion, it sucks.

It’s not representative, it’s just a front to hide the fact that of the hundreds of thousands who vote for the Union in 2014, a vast percentage of them will be people who are disenfranchised by their fellow Unionists.

THEIR reasons for voting for the Union, don’t matter because they don’t have a voice. No political party acknowledges them and all are happy to smear them as sectarian while asking for their vote.

Hundreds of thousands of people support Rangers Football Club. The overwhelming majority of them are staunch supporters of the Union. But no political party or campaign has the testicles to be seen seeking their votes because in 21st century Scotland they would rather play the coward’s game of political correctness.

Let me just say here that many Celtic fans and, indeed, if you want to bring religion into it, Roman Catholics, are staunch Unionists too and a good percentage are loyalists in that they support the monarchy.

And that is really the hub of it – overt support for the British Throne.

Being a loyalist is support for Queen and country. Regardless of race, religion, colour or creed.

Many of the Unionists that support British Unity and the Better Together campaign are what you would call political Unionists.

They are not “Queen & country” people and look down on those who are.

But I have news for them.

The real Unionists will not be brushed aside by political or politically correct Unionists.

Because the Unionism of a true patriot transcends politics.

And the real patriots are uniting…

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11 thoughts on “British Unity Fail

  1. I believe that most of us with a similar mindset will back the Union as it is in our blood. However the fact that we are not welcome or have any main stream representation within Scotland means that the insipid rise of Scottish Nationalism will continue relatively unabated till the next referendum, assuming we win this one.

    The end of the so called Orange vote killed the Tories in Scotland and it will eventually hold the same consequence for the Union.

  2. Fellow Loyalists, take a look at British Unity, a site supposedly made up to promote and maintain Scotland as part of the Union. But they chose, no exclude anyone with loyalist links, they see Loyalists as sectarian for simply promoting the Protestant faith with maintaining the Union.
    Visit this so called British Unity site, leave your messages of disgust for we are Not Sectarian for maintaining the Protestant faith.
    If my protestant faith, and how I promote the faith offends anyone, then I say it is they who are sectarian and unable to accept protestants.

  3. Correct me if I’m wrong, Bill, but this entire diatribe against the British Unity team is based on the fact that they don’t want to openly affiliate themselves with Rangers Football Club (or “The Rangers” to which I gather they must now be referred)?

    You’ve gone on to explain that their reluctance here comes from the sectarianism in Scotland. This is a concern you reject with such force that you’ve decided to post a blog criticising them for it.

    I’m sorry, Bill, but this all seems to be a great big tantrum over nothing on your part.

    British Unity is, it would seem fair to say, one of the largest online groups for Scottish Unionists. And, in an effort to avoid generating unnecessary distractions and infighting, they’ve taken the decision to avoid being drawn into a debate (i.e. the omnipresent – and frankly boring – Celtic/Rangers sectarianism wrangle) that is secondary to their focus on keeping Britain united, by simply not declaring a position one way or the other on it.

    What’s wrong with that?!

    You also note that football-related sectarianism is only a problem in Scotland. This may well be the case, but the fact remains that it IS a problem in Scotland; why else would our leaders in Edinburgh (in their infinite wisdom) decide to legislate over the matter?! And, given that the debate on Scotland’s position within the UK is happening in Scotland, complaining that sectarianism in football is not a problem elsewhere would seem rather irrelevant.

    To be totally blunt, incidentally, I find the very notion that what team someone supports could have ANY bearing on their vote in this referendum to be one of the strongest arguments for autocratic dictatorship going. After all, if such large swathes of the electorate consider solidarity with their footballing heroes more important than the long-term prospects for their country, as you seem to imply, I’d rather their views were not a factor in the governance of that country.

    But perhaps that’s just me…

    In any case, I’ll end by saying that you seem to have overreacted over what is, when all’s said and done, a pragmatic decision by BU to stay out of a debate that doesn’t concern them. And I for one hope you see your way to dropping this, and return to your earlier position of support for what is, by and large, a very well-run campaign.

    • I doubt they would have me back anyway.

      I am not suggesting they affiliate themselves with Rangers FC. But I am constantly being asked as an admin of a Rangers page on FB to share the British Unity page. This is two-facedness on a monumental scale – to say that they don’t want to be associated with Rangers fans because of sectarianism (which is a disgusting SMEAR anyway) but to ask Rangers FB pages to share their page. Without reciprocating, it has to be said, which is bad form on FB.

      The simple political reality is that the working-class Unionists considered so toxic by British Unity will have to turn up in droves for their campaign to win the Referendum.

      I would suggest that by smearing them with the sectarian and religious brush you will not deflect them from voting against separation but you won’t have them signing up to British Unity.

      You won’t be able to read the thread on the BU Supporters Page; it was pulled very quickly.

      I remain a staunch supporter of the Union; I’m just fussy about the company I keep.

      I did think long and hard before I blogged on this as I can be a touchy soul. But as time goes by, I remain convinced I am right.

      More on this here.

      • My reply:

        I appreciate you’re reacting to what you feel has been an affront to “working class unionists”, but I can tell you for certain that this was not what was intended.

        My feelings towards football verge on contempt, as I’m sure you can tell, but even I am aware of the strength of feeling on the matter, particularly when it comes to the Old Firm. Indeed, it’s bad enough that two of my friends visiting from England – who chose to buy a football shirt each (for different teams) to commemorate their visit – were refused entry into pubs across Scotland’s largest city while wearing their new purchases.

        It’s not hard to see why, with such strong feelings on the issue floating around, BU prefers to remain publicly neutral in – I’ll say again – a debate that is of little concern to the matter at hand.

        And on the subject of requesting shares on Rangers pages, you yourself have highlighted repeatedly the staunch pro-Union stance of that particular section of the people. Clearly, then, a page supporting the Union would be of interest to a great majority of them. And, that being the case, why wouldn’t you be willing to share the page?

        Refusing to share in return, meanwhile, can be explained very simply. Though you may well be right to suggest that most Rangers fans are Unionists, would it be similarly true to suggest that all Unionists are Rangers fans?

        I’d suggest not, given that I am a staunch Unionist, and yet couldn’t care less about Rangers (although please don’t hold this against me, as my indifference is indiscriminate!).

        So again, I’ll point out that this is a storm in a teacup. The lads at BU simply don’t want to project an image that turns off all that don’t religiously follow the fortunes of a particular group of overpaid people whose sole contribution to the world is some skill in kicking a ball around a field. This is by no means a crime, and is in fact pretty understandable, so it’s difficult to see this outburst as little more than a disgruntled attack on an organisation by someone that, forgive me, clearly places altogether too much significance on what is, at the end of the day, just a bloody game.

  4. I consider myself a working class guy in my mid-forties and I have always supported the Tories in Scotland. A legacy from my dad I am sure. I go into that poll booth each time and I sway a little but I still put the cross next to their name. It frustrates the life out of me that we have such a bad name in Scotland and that we have had no prospects of changing that.

    My frustration was such that I wrote to the party in Scotland and suggested that they make a play towards the working class loyalist (in British terms) vote in Scotland. Not a peep was heard from them for the reasons that you so clearly state in your blog.

    In my opinion the Tories are finished in Scotland but if there was one glimmer it would have been this that could have been the catalyst for change.

  5. Most Lhabour party support ‘for the union’ is self servingly political – they hate Salmond because he has upset the applecart in terms of their cosy little Monklands-style fiefdom that was Scotland. Unionist supporting Rangers supporters have been almost completely disenfranchised in modern Scotland while Lhabour and the Tartan Fascists try to outdo eachother in appealing to only one section of the community. The Conservative Party in Scotland are nothing but a bad joke.

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