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Manchester: The Scottish Link We Mustn't Break

Jonathan Schofield, the Scots, Manchester, and sticking together

Written by . Published on September 8th 2014.


Manchester: The Scottish Link We Mustn't Break
 

SO Scotland in a few days time might break the family tie. Given Manchester’s links with Scotland – let alone those with the rest of the UK – this is desperately sad. 

The city has been full of over-achieving Scots for more than 200 years. 

The role of many communities has been highlighted in Manchester by many other commentators - German, Jewish, Irish, Greek, Italian and latterly Asian, Black and Chinese - but the most influential has been Scottish.

The first Scot to make an impact under-achieved. This was Bonnie Prince Charlie who with his tartan army passed through in an attempt to wrest the crown from George II in 1745. Artillery Street in the city centre, off Quay Street and Byrom Street, marks the spot where he practised his canon. He failed miserably although several foolish Manchester men who joined him would be hanged, drawn and quartered and their heads put on the Manchester Exchange.

Bonnie Prince Charlie

 

 

Bonnie Prince Charlie

A little later Aytoun Street got its name from Roger Aytoun, a Scot who came down to Manchester in the 1760s and swept Barbara Minshull (hence the parallel Minshull Street) off her feet. He was in his twenties, she was in her sixties. She was also the richest widow in the town. Tongues wagged. Aytoun was famous for scrapping in pubs and his nick-name was Spanking Roger. Eventually he drank and gambled the money he inherited from his venerable wife away and returned to Scotland.

But the real Scottish influence began when a legion of businessmen and engineers came south to seek their fortune in Manchester in the early nineteenth century. They knew the place was a magnet for entrepreneurs.

Plaque to the Murray family in Ancoats

 

Plaque to the Murray family in Ancoats

Four such Scots were William McConnel, John Kennedy and brothers Adam and George Murray, businessmen who seemed to make money wherever they turned. 

Their surviving cotton mills along Redhill Street and the Rochdale Canal in Ancoats have now been converted into offices and apartments. These structures amazed the world when first built, defining a new way of living. German architect Schinkel when he visited in 1825, wrote, 'Here are buildings, seven to eight stories high, and as big as the Royal Palace in Berlin.'

One of the greatest British engineers of all time also settled in Manchester from Scotland. Sir William Fairbairn, the engineer, who perfected boilers so they didn't blow up every few years, designed factory machinery and claimed to have been the engineer behind nearly a thousand bridges including the famous tubular Menai Straits bridge connecting Anglesey with mainland Wales.

That Fairbairn bridge

That Fairbairn bridge

Much of the success of his civil engineering was down to his collaboration with Eaton Hodgkinson, and the pioneering of an efficient H-girder, which altered and adapted, still holds up the world’s buildings. 

Another Scot boiler-maker, engineer and industrial pioneer was William Galloway. His company’s collaboration with Henry Bessemer at their foundry in Knott Mill, Manchester, led to the Bessemer Process, perfecting the manufacture of steel. As with the H-girder, this helped create much of the modern world. 

As a commentator said in the early nineteenth century: ‘It was rather remarkable that nearly all the original millwrights in Manchester came from the neighbourhood of the Tweed... All were Scotchmen – quiet, respectable and mostly middle aged, with experience, for in those days a man was not put to mind one machine year after year. He had to understand pretty nearly the whole process, from taking particulars and making patterns, to fixing machinery in the mill.’

Another of these 'Scotchmen' was James Nasmyth who made his mark as the inventor of the steam hammer at his factory in Patricroft.

Many of these engineers and industrialists played a major part in the cultural life of the city. Fairbairn for example was the president of the Manchester Literary and Philosphical Society. Another member of the society was James Young, a Manchester-based Scot, who became well-known for distilling paraffin from coal and oil shales: a sort of proto-fracker. 

Charles Macintosh of Glasgow formed an alliance with Mancunian Thomas Hancock in 1830 and together they started to manufacture the Mackintosh on Cambridge Street in the city, spreading the popularity of the waterproof, rubberised coat across the globe. 

There were big Manc Scots in medicine too.

James Braid lectured in the Athenaeum on Princess Street, now part of Manchester Art Gallery in 1841, and introduced the word ‘hypnotism’ to the word. This led from his studies of what had been called 'mesmerism'. He was also an innovator in the treatment of club foot. 

Earlier John Ferriar from Jedburgh had been a pioneer in improving sanitation across the city and within medical institutions. He fought gainst child-labour, advocated the use of foxglove in medicine and the opening of public baths. He wrote a four volume history of medicine. 

John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown were the first to fly across the Atlantic non-stop in 1919. Brown was born in Glasgow but was raised in Manchester and has a plaque marking this on his old family home at 6 Oswald Road, Chorlton.

Brown on the left, Alcock on the rightBrown on the left, Alcock on the right

Latterly the achievement of Scots in Manchester sport has been notable, especially in football and especially at Manchester United.

Manchester City line-ups have featured Scots such as Willie Donaghie, Denis Law and Sir Matt Busby - but the latter two were always more associated with United. 

MUFC have featured Scots footy players sucha as Willie Morgan, Pat Crerand, Martin Buchan, Joe Jordan, Gordon McQueen, Lou Macari, Gordon Strachan, Brian McClair and Darren Fletcher.

Joe Jordan celebrates at Old Trafford

 

Joe Jordan celebrates at Old Trafford

The Irish might come over in their droves to watch United but it is the Scots who have been far more influential on the team. Sir Matt Busby was the manager for more than two decades, while Tommy Docherty won the FA Cup in the seventies. 

In recent years the dominant United Scot has been Sir Alex Ferguson, the most successful manager in British history and a man who’s also been actively involved in the city’s social and cultural scene. 

Apparently there was a Scot called David Moyes who did something somewhere - anybody remember him?

Finally with sport it was Chris Hoy in Manchester who did so much to make British track cycling our most gold-heavy Olympic sport of recent years. 

Chris Hoy

 

Chris Hoy

The Scots are still lead performers in cultural life. Alex Poots is the Director of Manchester International Festival, Since 2007, he has masterfully crafted a critically acclaimed biennial with global-pulling power.

Alex Poots in Albert Hall

 

Alex Poots in Albert Hall

Another cultural contemporary is the current Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy. As one of her biographical references describe, she is 'the first woman, the first Scot, and the first openly gay person to hold the position'. She is a Professor of Contemporary Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University. 

Nor should Dr Jimmy Grigor be forgotten who as the chair of Central Manchester Development Company in the 1980s kickstarted the regeneration and active use of a huge area of central Manchester strung along the Rochdale Canal from Castlefield to Piccadilly.

Carol Ann Duffy

Carol Ann Duffy

Of course there has been a dark side too to the Manchester and Scotland link. Ian Brady, the monster of the Moors Murders, came to the Manchester area from Glasgow in the late fifties as a man in his early twenties. 

That aside, this article is about the shared history, the entwined stories of Manchester and Scotland. It's a celebration.

The role of many communities has been highlighted in Manchester by many commentators - German, Jewish, Irish, Greek, Italian and latterly Asian, Black and Chinese - but the most influential has been Scottish.

Perhaps the reason for the lack of examination is because England and Scotland are composed of essentially the same people, the same culture (with occasional nuances of difference) so the contribution does not seem as remarkable. Nobody has crossed the sea to get to Manchester from Scotland (well maybe a few from the Hebrides). None of our achievers in the list above had anything other than English as their first language. 

Let me explain this.

Manufactured culture gets in the way of people seeking common ground. It forces them apart.

Thinking of Scotland most of us think of kilts, bagpipes and peaty landscapes where everybody goes by the name of Mac. That ‘Highland’ image, manufactured in the late 1700s and through the 1800s has always represented a tiny proportion of Scotland’s population. Mostly the image is just corney sentimentalism. 

None of our Scots listed from the nineteenth century in the article above were Celts, mostly they were southern Scots whose families had always spoken English – albeit the English of Rabbie Burns. They were Anglo-Saxon and Norse. They would never have dreamt of wearing a kilt. 

As for that kilt, the short version now used by anybody with any passing Scottish connection attending a wedding was invented by a Lancashire man, Thomas Rawlinson, who went to the Highlands in the 1700s to set up an iron works. The kilt at that time was a long piece of material that reached the floor and was unsuitable for industrial work so Rawlinson cut it to knee-length in an early health and safety initiative. He was sick of seeing his workers going up in flames.  

1407621933_7864

 


                         Hey, Sean, how's the Lancashire kilt doing?

The NW has more than 7m people, Scotland has more than 5.3m. Scotland’s landscape is wilder in the north than the south, so is the North West’s. Scotland has two dominant cities separated by 46 miles, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Liverpool and Manchester are separated by 35 miles. 

Manchester, clearly has much more in common with Glasgow than it has with Dorset or for that matter Dortmund, and Glasgow has much more in common with Manchester than it does with Wick or for that matter Marseilles. 

The similarities are clear.

Back in the 1400s Manchester Cathedral received a gorgeous timber roof. Up there, still visible today, are carved angels playing instruments. Two of them are playing bagpipes. 

The common roots of most of Scotland with most of England - and especially our bit of England - run very deep. The truth is we’re the same people in the same country.

Discuss, a forward-thinking Manchester debate forum, will tackle the Scottish referendum at 'Manchester's Message To The Scots' - Manchester Town Hall, Wednesday 17 September, 6.30pm

You can follow Jonathan Schofield on Twitter @JonathSchofield or connect via Google+ 

Happier together

Happier together

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85 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Ed GlinertSeptember 8th 2014.

And don't forget "Scotland" and "Scotland Bridge" are in Manchester. The road signs went up when the street was reopened about five years ago and soon stolen. They're back now, higher up.

AnonymousSeptember 8th 2014.

Am I missing the point here? Yes lots of people from Scotland have been influential in Manchester's past, it doesn't mean they will stop being so in the future if they vote for independence. Scotland should do what's best for Scotland and in my opinion that means voting yes. And given the choice I'd vote for Northern England, Lancashire or Greater Manchester to join them if I could. We do have more in common with Scotland than the south of England.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousSeptember 8th 2014.

agree completely with this ... all the Scots i know are not about to 'break links' with any of us ... its about acknowledging that the government in Westminster will never seriously look after the interests of Scotland. Why on earth did Westminster not start to offer many more things to keep Scotland on board, 2 years ago ... because they thought they could get away with no concessions at all. How wrong they have been and how little they have really understood Scottish emotions

AnonymousSeptember 8th 2014.

It's up to Scotland if they want to be in the UK or not. 'The truth is we're the same people'.. I'm sure a lot of Scots would disagree.

AnonymousSeptember 8th 2014.

Beware of Westminster politicians bearing gifts... in the run up to an election. Lessons for Manchester and any other big city here.

paulsouthernSeptember 8th 2014.

I think your photo is of the wrong Menai Straits bridge. That's Telfords suspension bridge not the Stephenson/Fairbairn box girder Britannia Bridge.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Jonathan SchofieldSeptember 8th 2014.

You're right and the picture has been replaced. Thanks

Brian JacobsSeptember 8th 2014.

Oh yes lets go back to medieval time and break ulp the UK completely so we can fight with each other. ...... remember what a first rate Scottish whisky is? Well water it down and ahat do you get? A drink no one wants here or round the globe. Without Scotland the remaning uk will fade into insignificance: a backwater , a stag nating pool of parochial negativ ity.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Charlie ButterworthSeptember 8th 2014.

Very funny inversion Brian. Scotland becomes a nothing state without the UK when we can all be one country with different accents and somewhat different drinks. But remember there is a Red Rose Whisky produced in Wigan.

Calum McGSeptember 16th 2014.

Brian, are you mad?

DavidSeptember 8th 2014.

Why don't we try being proud of own country England and our history and stop the sentimentality about another country who have made quite clear their desire to leave the Union.Mr SCHOFIELD the union is over,deal with it.

7 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousSeptember 8th 2014.

I can't see it happening despite how many people vote yes. The BBC is total biased in its views and is scaremongering to frighten as many people as possible. The Royal Family and Prime Minister don't want it to happen too.

Simon TurnerSeptember 8th 2014.

The fact that the Royal Family and the Prime Minister don't want it to happen, is one very strong reason why it could though. Who in their right minds think that the Royal Family and the Tory Party have our best interests at heart?

AnonymousSeptember 8th 2014.

Why do you think Labour do? They are as London centric as any party if not more.

Simon TurnerSeptember 8th 2014.

I was responding specifically to the statement "The Royal Family and Prime Minister don't want it to happen too".

AnonymousSeptember 9th 2014.

Oh right, I was responding to you mentioning the Tory Party!

AnonymousSeptember 9th 2014.

How can we be a United Kingdom any more when our Prime Minister, our Deputy Prime Minister, our Leader of the Opposition and our Head of State - are all being advised/told to stay away from Scotland and play as little part as possible in the debate? So looks as if you're right David - the Union & our farcical United Kingdom are already over!

Calum McGSeptember 16th 2014.

Pretty sure it's not over til at least Thursday, David...

DavidSeptember 8th 2014.

For every great great Scot there are a dozen more great Englishmen.Our achievements far out weight them.Its time we English put ourselves first ,we made the largest Empire the world has ever seen and it's our language that is the global language.Without the moaning dead weights of the Celtic nations we will be much better of.Let them go and shed no tears.

8 Responses: Reply To This...
JuiceSeptember 8th 2014.

A very sad attitude, to put another nation down to boost one's own stinks of personal insecurity. Not to mention obvious ignorance.

Jonathan SchofieldSeptember 8th 2014.

David, the whole point of the article is that Scottish celticness is a myth.

AnonymousSeptember 8th 2014.

Quite a few Scots among our Empire-creating troops, though. It was the British Empire and not the English Empire. I'm not an Empire fan; I just wanted an argument with David.

AnonymousSeptember 9th 2014.

And you wonder WHY so m any NON English BRITISH hate the English?????

AnonymousSeptember 9th 2014.

David, shush for once. JS is saying (and rightly so) what we romantically refer to Scottishness and Englishness is just that. A romantic notion. Our paths have intertwined for so long the lines are blurred. On a political note the Tories have everything to gain by letting Scotland go. Gone is a raft of Labour MPs and the West Lothian Question but all the main parties believe the Union is best(which I as an Englishman believe to be true). The problem with the 'Better together' campaign' is putting an idiot from the last Labour government in charge. Why are we better together ?..Darlings response...because I say so. I paraphrase of course but Salmond delivers an answer. It's nonsense but it's what voter can identify with.

Poster BoySeptember 10th 2014.

"Salmond delivers an answer". Oxymoronic.

Proud BritSeptember 10th 2014.

DAVID... are you so deluded?? The British Empire came about through trade and the industrial revolution which Scots played a huge part in too... As proud as I am to beboth English and Scottish.. prior to the Union the English and Scots were too busy fighting each other to think of Empire!

Calum McGSeptember 16th 2014.

You got your its and it's the wrong way round.

Poster BoySeptember 8th 2014.

Great read.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousSeptember 9th 2014.

Don't agree with Jonathan's political viewpoint here, but yes, it's still a great read. Thanks mate. Sadly, now that the Labour Party in London have taken control of Manchester's local newspaper and dumped all its columnists, we don't read such informative pieces in the MEN any more.

soulman1949September 8th 2014.

Agree totally with the Scottish independence sentiments expressed above by the various Anons. The vote is essentially about self determination. Whitehall is not interested in anything other than the home counties - the last minute panic concessions offered by Osbourne today are evidence of that. If the London government truly cared what the Scots thought, they would have offered those concessions much earlier, not now when it looks like "Yes" may be a possibility. If you go right into the Highlands, London is SOOOO far way, in fact Norway is nearer! There are some great road signs, one of my faves is "The South Edinburgh" which sums it up perfectly. Totally disagree with Jonathan about Scottish celticness being a myth, it's a reality that the English seem to struggle to accept. I don't blame the Scots, heaven knows we get a bad enough deal from Whitehall here in the North West. I think it's totally arrogant of the English to be offering suggestions to the Scots, it's THEIR nation, a different nation to the English or the Welsh. The Union has only been going a few centuries, the Scots were independent for far longer. Other countries have disengaged successfully, for example, Czechoslovakia, although I would readily accept that country was only a 20th Century concoction. Me, well, I'm a Polak born in the UK to post WW2 refugees - I've a great fondness for and affinity for the Scotland and the people, as have a lot of Poles. Power to their elbow, says I!

4 Responses: Reply To This...
HowDareYouSeptember 8th 2014.

Astonishing that you as a Pole born in the UK should have affinity with Scotland as though they have been as consistently repressed, murdered and overran as Poland. The Scots were enthusiastic, perhaps the most enthusiastic, empire builders of the British Empire, partners in all England achieved, suffered or dished out. You ridicule your own past to compare your country of almost 40m with a country of 5.3m that in the modern age has never been the victim of anything but shared in the benefits of a secure democracy. How dare you compare the traumas of the Poles with those of the Scots. Polish history includes the shifting of thousands of Poles out of the east of the country and the equally abhorrent shifting of loads of Germans out of the east of their country so the Poles could occupy those areas. How long has Wroclaw been called that and how long was it Breslau? Glasgow remained Glasgow and Aberdeen remained Aberdeen after WW2. Scottish pain has included constitutional crises brought about through the poll tax and the miners' riots imposed by a Government of the state it was part of, a state that was steadily losing its industrial base - exactly what the North of England was suffering. Hardly the 6 million Polish dead in the war or being part of the dreary communism block thereafter. Scotland was also part of the UK which went to war in 1939 because Hitler invaded Poland - honouring a commitment it had made to the Polish people. Scotland is part of the UK that accepted tens of thousands of Polish refugees after the war when the West didn't have the power to impose itself on the Soviet Union. No gratitude for that? Why do the nationalists in Scotland see themselves as victims? Have they not seen the instabilities in the world outside their shores? The whole yes campaign is that of the stamping teenager who doesn't like its family but doesn't really know why and doesn't know what it wants. Why do you have an affinity with Scotland, when it should be with the UK.

JuiceSeptember 8th 2014.

Jesus Christ, open a window or something will you??

soulman1949September 8th 2014.

"Howdareyou", I really don't need lessons in Polish history, I'm perfectly aware of it and unless you have Polish roots too, probably more so than you could ever have. Poland's history has been one of the underdog routinely dismembered by its neighbours. The Poles have long had an affinity with Scotland as they did with France. My love of the country is based initially on its staggering beauty but I've also always felt "at home" in my visits there while my English friends have slagged off the Scots. You imply that I was comparing the suffering of the Polish nation to that of the Scots - I did no such thing. Indeed I would go as far as to say that NO indigenous people in the UK really understand what's like for your country to be the battleground of a major conflict, to lose your country, to lose control. A number of countries on the continent have suffered in this way, Poland more than most. For this reason, I am deeply grateful to the UK collectively and individually to all its constituent countries for the assistance given after WW2 in resettling hundreds of thousands of displaced persons such as my parents. I recognise Scotland has been part of the shared history of the UK and GB but during my lifetime I've certainly seen an increased cynicism by Whitehall in its treatment of the Scottish nation - the Poll Tax was, in my mind, a turning point. Scots have seen their nation treated with contempt, the same treatment meted out, incidentally, to the regions including the North West (I'm a passionate Mancunian, by the way). It's little wonder that their desire to be able to make their own decisions has grown over the years. I totally empathise with that. I feel that as a Northerner myself and, should the "yes" vote become a reality, I can see some of the English regions pushing for more powers to counteract the over-reaching self-obsessed interests of a London-centric government. In my lifetime I have seen increasing separatism in the World, for example, Pakistan/Bangladesh, Yugoslavia, Sudan. In recent years we have witnessed what happens when the peoples' wishes are ignored. In Ukraine where a President ignored the wishes of his people for greater links with Europe, rather than Russia. And although a lot of the problems in Eastern Ukraine have been fomented by Putin, it's undeniable that the ethnic Russian majority in that part of the country feel more comfortable looking towards Russia than the EU (before I'm accused of anything further, I am VERY anti-Russian as regards this conflict). In Egypt where we had a Government leader that was pro-Islamic and now we have a replacement regime which is diametrically opposed to everything he did. In Iraq where Sunni and Shia factions cannot find a way of living together and sharing power in a harmonious way. In Israel where the Palestinians and Israelis can't do the same. I'm quoting these examples because they indicate the dangers of a voice feeling it hasn't been heard and how things can escalate. The Scottish example has not been accompanied by the same degree of violence and loss of life but however you look at it, although the Scottish nation has shared history with the UK, it also has its own history, recognised for example by a very different legal system to the one in England and Wales. When you compare Scotland to a "stamping teenager who doesn't like its family but doesn't really know why and doesn't know what it wants" it's obvious that you haven't been listening to what they've been saying. The Scots want to make their own decisions, it's about self-determination and I totally respect and empathise with that.

AnonymousSeptember 9th 2014.

Has Poland ever thanked Britain for entering WWII?

TimSeptember 8th 2014.

I'd be very surprised if there were no Celts among the Glaswegians mentioned in this article!!

1 Response: Reply To This...
JumblesSeptember 8th 2014.

There are none amongst the nineteenth century inventor lot and not that many among the footy players

DavidSeptember 8th 2014.

The country that has actually had the most influence on us,and is our closest neighbour.That would be France.

6 Responses: Reply To This...
JuiceSeptember 8th 2014.

Yeah, but no.

AnonymousSeptember 9th 2014.

We have way more in COMMON with Denmark than have with France..

AnonymousSeptember 9th 2014.

I lived for a while in Scotland and found many to be fervently ANTI-ROMAN CATHOLIC..They were NOT happy until saw you crying like a baby and wanting OUT....

DavidSeptember 9th 2014.

We share lot of words with French thanks to the Normans.We have population with similar colonial history and similar post war immigration.Our culture,food and fashion has been greatly influenced by them.London has huge French population now and Many English live in France.The sporting influence is huge too with French players like Henry,Ginola,Cantona,Pires filling the role Scots players once filled.

rinkydinkSeptember 9th 2014.

I'd say the country with the biggest influence on the UK culturally and politically is the US

AnonymousSeptember 15th 2014.

Often, people who are "ANTI-ROMAN CATHOLIC" are the same people who have spent time in a Magdalen Laundry or have been abused by perverted priests. Sadly, many people in Scotland and Ireland have experienced one or the other.

Voice of the Ironing BroadSeptember 9th 2014.

Jackie Kay?

DavidSeptember 10th 2014.

There was a big Scottish contribution to Manchester but that's mostly in the long distant past.When Darren Fletcher leaves,there are unlikely to be any more Scottish footballers at either club.The decline of the Scottish manager and import of foreign managers means also there are unlikely to be any Scottish managers at either club.the Scots and English maybe similar but they are going to divorce and go own way and the influences on Manchester are going to come from elsewhere,like From China and Europe.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Salford RedSeptember 10th 2014.

I think for the foreseeable future, Abu Dhabi is the place that will have the biggest impact on Manchester. The ties they have with Man City and what they have done to the club and the surrounding area is amazing (and I say that as a born and bred United fan! Credit where credits due) The link they the airport and new routes they are opening up. The £1B deal they have with the council to build 6000 new homes. And it's been announced today they are going to fund half of the £60m needed to set up Manchester's second Graphene research centre. They are pumping money into our economy and with it comes jobs and tourism.

AnonymousSeptember 10th 2014.

Yes Salford Red, George Osborne today announcing "yet more" investment in Manchester. When are the Labour apologists round here going to acknowledge this - and admit that this city's infrastructure investment & economy "thrives" under Tory governments, yet is totally forgotten about under Labour ones?

AnonymousSeptember 10th 2014.

The combination of labour council and tory government seems to be a happier marriage at times than england's and scotland's.

AnonymousSeptember 10th 2014.

Jonathan Schofield you don't speak for the people of Scotland or Manchester. Forget politics, stick to what you know.

6 Responses: Reply To This...
Trish KarneySeptember 10th 2014.

Here here. Scotland has a chance to never have another Tory government again. I thought the Chablis Socialists would have been in full support.

AnonymousSeptember 10th 2014.

....and even better they will never have to put up with a Labour government if they vote SNP....

AnonymousSeptember 10th 2014.

...and if Scotland votes YES England will never have to suffer another Labour government ever again...

Duke FameSeptember 10th 2014.

It will be interesting and should give us all a move to the right. The RUK will not elect a Labour government for many years and as Scotland looks after it's own matters, those contributing in Scotland will be less willing to prop up those not contributing. If the result in the long run is a for all sides of the boarder to have a small government, centre right approach, we all could be winners (although I think Scotland's economy may collapse along the journey)

Clive GansSeptember 10th 2014.

It's clear we have lost our sense of the grand idea from many of these responses, that people like to reduce everything down to a tiny notion of nationhood.

Calum McGSeptember 16th 2014.

*Hear, hear

Alex24September 10th 2014.

From a purely selfish point of view, Scottish independence would actually benefit Manchester - so I'm hopeful they leave.

Proud BritSeptember 10th 2014.

I still cannot believe that people cannot see through Smug Salmond and his arguments... If the vote goes his way and he gets his way over keeping the pound.. his independent Scotland will have a currency controlled by a UK Parliament with NO Scottish representation.. HOw the heck is that independent.. VOTE NO.. #bettertogether

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousSeptember 10th 2014.

As an Englishman I can see why we'd want us to stay together as one, but from a Scottish point of view I think they'd be mad not to vote Yes. They'd have total control over their country and wouldn't be dictated to from Westminster. I'd like to see it happen but to many people in power don't want it happening so it probably wont.

DavidSeptember 10th 2014.

As an English man I can see why we would not want to stay together.The end of the Barnet Formula and England's subsidy to Scotland greater public spending.The ungrateful and whinging Scotish attitude to England we won't have to listen to anymore.No more England being run by Scits like Blair,Brown,Darling and Cook.who lavished their attentions on their own country and London and not on the North.Goodbye and good riddance to them.

DavidSeptember 10th 2014.

Oh yes ain't those Scots Nat selfish wanting independence and so making the prospect of a future Labour government impossible.Thats what Better Together really means to Labour.Thats what got the socialists like Leese going on about this,the thought of living in a Labour free England

David MooresSeptember 10th 2014.

Alex Salmond reminds me of those smug little gits you sometimes meet in the pub - always sounding off their own bigoted opinions but never listening to anyone else. I'm proud of my country and all we've achieved (by which I mean the UK as a whole - Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, not just England) and don't want to see it diminished just because smirking Salmond wants to strut around as Prime Minister of his own country. The fact is the oil is running out, major industries and financial institutions will leave Scotland, and the predicted run on Scottish banks has already started. But a reduced UK will not have the same economic strength or status or in the world that we have now. However if the Scots. Nats. do con enough people into voting their way, it will be those far sighted Scotish people who can see the folly of turning their backs on England, Wales and N.Ireland that I feel desparately sorry for - they are the ones who will be really left high and dry.

1 Response: Reply To This...
DavidSeptember 10th 2014.

Sorry to tell you your country,how you describe it,won't exist if Scotland votes to leave.

Ed CaseSeptember 11th 2014.

David Moores: I would wager you are a Daily Mail reader... and one who genuinely believes the tosh within it's vile pages, at that.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
David MooresSeptember 11th 2014.

Edward Vaughan - no I'm not a Daily Mail reader. I rarely read any newspapers these days and get most of my news from the BBC local and 24 hour news channels. If I do read a paper it is usually the Independent. What has your obvious hatred of the Daily Mail got to do with my views on Alex Salmond and Scottish independence?

AnonymousSeptember 12th 2014.

The Daily Mail's demonisation of Alex Salmond and the Scot nats is so infantile it's hardly worth bothering about. However the BBC's "more subtly biased" 6 & 10 o'clock news bulletins are far more disturbing. (Although this past Wednesday & Thursday's BBC evening bulletins weren't subtly biased at all, they were "blatantly" Westminster biased & choreographed.) Our STATE NEWS AGENCY or what eh?

AnonymousSeptember 11th 2014.

I hope the scots do vote to leave. Not because I dislike them or their country, but because as a passionate mancunian I sympathise with the frustrations of living under the rule of a distant, disinterested and overly centralised state leaving many people increasingly detached from notions of a national identity. Westminster runs our towns and cities like the last remnants of Empire, desperately clinging to an outdated model of command-and-control. The future is local and global. The nation state is becoming less and less relevant. So here's hoping for a YES vote to deliver a wake up call to a complacent and detached Westminster (and the media establishment that apes this model) and give momentum to growing calls for dramatic and much needed devolution down to towns and cities within England.

Ed CaseSeptember 12th 2014.

David Moores: You believe the BBC is an impartial broadcaster... are you for real? (Would you like to buy some magic beans?) This establishment propaganda tool is rife with government stooges - of all political persuasions - intent on maintaining the status quo, thus denying huge numbers of the population from enjoying the liberty and democracy enjoyed by truly independent countries. I reckon ill-informed people, such as you, still hanker after 'Empire', the 'Days of the Raj' and harp back to when the map was predominantly red - and yes, many Scots helped perpetuate those days - but they've gone. Let them go! Scotland is not part of England, however much the ignorant - at home and abroad - believe it is. Too often people say 'England'', when they mean Britain. It is offensive and patronising. Alex Salmond has taken Scots further forward in the last decade than any other politician; the fact that you believe the MSM when it tells you he wants to be King of Scotland/President/Fuhrer etc... means you've bought into the lies. I'll also say this; should Scotland fail to win independence this time around, the campaign will continue, however long it takes. Slainte!

9 Responses: Reply To This...
Henry VSeptember 15th 2014.

Oh Dear. A bit of oil and some fools get giddy. The grass isn't green on the other side my friend.

Ed CaseSeptember 15th 2014.

Henry V: That 'bit of oil' was used by Tory governments to subsidise the UK's unemployment benefits for years, following the witch's destruction of Britain's manufacturing base. You sound peeved, much akin to a spurned lover that can't understand why their partner wants a better life. Get over it 'my friend', we'll still allow you access to our bounties, you just won't have a share in them.

DavidSeptember 15th 2014.

Goodbye Jock.I think you will find if England was given a vote there would be be no doubt about the Yes winning.Hopefully after independence and England leaving the E U you and the other Scots will no longer be entitled to work and live in a country you detest.The English have far more affection to for the charms of France rather than dour,miserable Scotland.The British establishment may be making efforts to keep you,but don't mistake that for the attitude of the English people. Also you Scots are such hypocrites,the Act of Union was because of the failure of your colonial adventures,you were then the most willing participants in the British Empire and now you act like you were some poor exploited colony of the English.Please go Mr Vaughan we don't want you and your country.

JuiceSeptember 15th 2014.

David who are you to speak for the rest of us?

DavidSeptember 15th 2014.

A union like a marriage depends on two willing partners,if one is constantly threatening to leave all the time unless they get what they want,then eventually the other partner becomes tired of them.Even if the the Scots vote No the Union is finished,we have had enough of them and there is no chance of any of the concessions the British establishment has been throwing at them getting through parliament. English voters will demand equal treatment.That means devolution in England,an end to the Barnet formula,with Scotland welfare state being subsidised by the English,it means an English parliament and an end to Scots having any say in English matters.

Henry VSeptember 15th 2014.

Edward, do the maths. Scotland have got a darn sight more out of the Union in the past few centuries. If I had my way I'd boot you lot out right now.

DavidSeptember 15th 2014.

The pro independence mob standing outside the BBC ,trying to intimidate journalists,because they dared to question the assumptions of Salmond about independence,is hardly a great advert for any future independent democratic Scotland.

AnonymousSeptember 15th 2014.

Can we have a vote to sever the union with David? x4

Obollox The GaulSeptember 15th 2014.

I'd vote Yes for that, Anon.

Ed CaseSeptember 15th 2014.

David... you really have your drawers in a bunch, don't you? I 'heard' you the first time. As for a 'mob' outside Auntie Beeb... any arrests, any broken bones - or even the odd window, no, none of the above. Sorry to disappoint you, but us 'Jocks' know where to draw the line. (I'm an NUJ member, BTW.) Look to Voltaire, who famously said: "We look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilisation." Anyway, you Kippers (sic) really are a sad bunch. I look forward to you and your chum, Henry V, desperately trying to lead your fellow knuckle-draggers triumphantly from the EU... but I reckon I've only got around 40 years left, so hurry up! My regards and best wishes to those posters who see the impending divorce as something to be celebrated, I reckon it will suit everyone. I do find it bizarre though that those who knock the 'Yes' campaigners and claim they want the 'subsidy junkies' of Scotland to go forth and fail... yet seem intent on hanging on to 'us'. I response, I could say that Scotland has been manacled to the corpse that is England for too long... but I'm too polite and I wouldn't mean it. Anyway, some of us have work to do to keep jolly old England afloat, so cheerie-bye for noo. xxx

DavidSeptember 15th 2014.

If England is a corpse that you want to be released from then why are you here Edward?.Why are you living in a country and with a people you so obviously despise?..By the way post independence you won't be in the E U,and I will be most happy for us to stay long enough to veto your membership application.

7 Responses: Reply To This...
Ed CaseSeptember 15th 2014.

David: where is 'here'? You and I are posting on the internet... I could well be anywhere with web access. FTR: I certainly don't despise England, or English people. You are making it up.

AnonymousSeptember 15th 2014.

Edward. The only good kind of scott was Selina Scott - a genuinely inspirational leader much better than this Salmond chump. Now if he was running Scotland along with Frank Skinner, HS2 would be running up there already, Glasgow Airport would have a second runway and Edinburgh would have a supercasino that was cancelled by Gordon Brown. Basically if these bloomin jocks had the sense to elect more than one Tory MP they would be a darn sight better off than they are!

Ed CaseSeptember 15th 2014.

Selina Scott? The talentless tart that was recently linked with a vacant Tory seat in Yorkshire... no wonder you post anonymously! The man's a fool, a fool ah tell ye! Yer doomed!!!

DavidSeptember 15th 2014.

What a nasty mysognist you are Edward.I think Selina Scott is a lot more talented than you.

Ed CaseSeptember 15th 2014.

Mysoginist, me? I'll have you know all four of my ex-wives and bevy of assorted concubines, think I'm a darling. In fact they worship at my feet - that's because I keep my bawbees in my shoes. Hrmph!

AnonymousSeptember 15th 2014.

Edward talks sense and he puts forward a reasonable, well articulated, cogent argument. It must be embarrassing for you David that a satirical spoof post can be so easily mistaken for one of your own.

AnonymousSeptember 15th 2014.

And you can't tell me you're not using the term 'jock' as a pejorative? Borderline racism David.

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