Published on 1 May 2014

Immigration and identity in Scotland

Tweets by @jonsnowC4

9 reader comments

  1. Philip Edwards says:

    Jon,

    God almighty, did you have to wear that colour scheme of green, white, red and grey coupled with brown corduroy kecks?……It was enough to get you banned from Glasgow School of Art for life.
    :-)

    1. Camille says:

      Excuse me, Philip Edwards, but Jon Snow can pull off any look. Check out how he miraculously manages to coordinate his socks and ties in most of his broadcasts over the years. He is a man of style.

  2. Mike Harland says:

    I’m glad you came to Govan and talked to its multicultural community, especially the new arrivals from outside – we were all incomers once from beyond Europe as our DNA proves. Another fairly balanced piece, but still lacking the depth of some of the realities that make Scotland a country of welcome not one of rejection like distant parts of England. My daughter actually works with asylum seekers, the deprived and destitute in Govan, the ancient capital of Strathclyde, and could have given you a slightly different picture of those communities: of how Scottish law manages sometimes to counter the wishes of the London parliament and stand up for EU human rights legislation that Teresa May would have us ditch as they prepare to take us out of that wider ‘community’ of the EU.

    Scotland is not trying to take people out of the larger community of these isles and, as one commentator on your blog yesterday rightly said, England should stop talking of ‘great’ britain (lower case intentional!) neatly cutting out Northern Ireland, which of course is still part of the UK – ‘in’ when it suits the so-called Brits, ‘out’ when it doesn’t.

    It would be useful too for them to stop talking of ‘One Nation’ as Cameron is wont to do, forgetting that there are several ‘nations’ in the UK and Scotland is definitely one of them – it cost me a while to get used to hearing about the national team (i.e. Scottish), the national weather forecast, and so on, but it grows on you and you start to share in that identity. In other words, you can appreciate a separate identity and not feel alienation or rejection, just as being married to a Spaniard who has been a ‘UKish’ citizen for several decades with children who are both Scottish and Spanish makes me identify with Europeans and feel glad we are in the EU ‘community’ despite all the political/economic failure that has now brought such negative attitudes to bear. When it comes to friends, the NO campaign is immediately on to a loser since no friend could so willingly say NO so often to their friends and reject them at every turn, whereas YES is so positive, encouraging … unifying even.

    I hope when the Commonwealth Games is on you will come and see the performance at the Royal Scottish National Opera of ‘Anamchara – Songs of Friendship’ – members of the mixed community here will be singing with more professional singers from around the world to celebrate that greater world community and their continuing sense of friendship. The Commonwealth, for all its faults, is still a ‘global’ example of how distant nations can remain close friends and cooperate economically, politically, socially, artistically and culturally at the level of its people. So why can’t the same apply to separate nations living next door to one another?? Why such animosity?? It certainly makes me ashamed of my English heritage at times, but luckily I have many more worthy elements of my identity to make up for it.

    1. Mike Harland says:

      I realised later that I misheard and it was further east at Govanhill and not Govan that Jon had visited, but my points still apply to all these other areas and tower blocks where immigrants end up.

    2. Jonathan Story says:

      The UK is a multinational country at its roots, and has learnt over the centuries to live together, despite what in the past were considered great differences, of wealth or religion. That is a crucial capital worth preserving into the future. I note the negativity of Jon Snow’s reporting, the word “hate”, the antagonism to Westminister that he one widely records, and the ethnic definition of his being English. In fact, these islands could scarcely be more mixed than they are: we have had a British PM called Callaghan and his British treasury secretary called Healey; under Thatcher, MacMillan, a Scot, made a not very pleasant “joke” about the country being governed by E(s)tonians; we had a Scottish PM called Brown, and now an English PM called Cameron. We may have a future PM, Miliband, the son of a Belgian of jewish culture, not religion, and no doubt we will very soon have a PM from south Asian or Caribbean descent. This is to me a great thing. I find the attempt to divide our country into “nations” separate from one another odious. It was brought home to me when my wife and I went on a bus trip a couple of years ago around the Cairngorms. The driver was a Scot Nat. We were told that the fascoid film Braveheart was true, and in no time he was spilling out his venom. So I told him I disagreed, and was for the Union.”Oh, he said aggressively, you must be English”. “Well, my Mum was Welsh, name of Williams, and my Dad was a Geordie”. “The Geordies are as good as Scots”, he erroneously replied. He hadn’t a clue.
      The UK used to be decentralised. It centralised because of war and welfare. The obvious opportunity being offered the UK is to recreate that decentralisation via a federal state. Its in the air and we should vote for it by staying together.

  3. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

    I was out canvassing for YES in Edinburgh on Saturday 3rd May.
    All of the ‘New Scots’ doors I knocked (around 10) said they were for YES.

  4. Robert Taggart says:

    You do not have to be Scottish to loathe Westminster.
    You do not have to be an art student to appreciate Jonnies dress ‘sense’ !
    Signed, ENGLISHMAN – with Celtic roots !!

  5. Eddie says:

    What does Westminster offer Scotland? More of the same.

    What does Independence offer Scotland? Endless possibility.

    Not much of a choice really, is there?

  6. James Fleming says:

    Shame on you, Mr Snow, for your comment at the end of Jacob Rees-Mogg’s item last night. “Welcome back from the wilds.”? Really?
    I appreciate that in your mind this was a light-hearted bit of banter but what it was in reality was an implication that England is more civilised and advanced than Scotland.
    It is a form of casual, thoughtless bigotry that starts most on the the path to nationalism. I really don’t see you as a bigot or a racist, but transpose that comment to any other nation or ethnic group and see how it reads to you then. Had you made that comment after, say, a report from a heavily immigrant populated area about disaffected Muslims one can imagine the storm of protest you would now be suffering. But it’s only the jocks, so that’s okay is not acceptable, especially at this sensitive juncture.

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