Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Tom Devine and Nationalism

The great Tom Devine (who this scribe has a great deal of time for) on the Guardian Politics Weekly podcast posted on Sep 19, 2014  reacting to the referendum result, summed up the result thus...

Alan Massie has made a fundamental error by referring to this dynamic as Nationalism .. I'm not a Nationalist. Many, many thousands of Scots who voted Yes are not Nationalists. This was a movement of the people for what they thought was the possibility of more control over their life...

Clearly that's how it seems to him. And he's an honest man. And yet if it looks like Nationalism ... and sounds like Nationalism..

Let's be honest, if we stumbled into a square in Poland or Lithuania and found huge crowds noisily brandishing their national flags, what would we think? Would we think... great .. this looks like the future? Clearly nothing to do with Nationalism? What if it was in Serbia or a Serbian populated area in Bosnia? Or a large French crowd in Paris? All good? Do we ever see crowds with UK Union flags? And if we did, what would our view be?
Nationalism may just be a bit invisible when you're inside it. It's just 'our' people. Isn't it?

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