Scottish independence

A misty mountain view

The psychopathology of everyday nationalism

Psychotherapy teaches us that when people are attracted to visions of a perfect future and then become aggressive towards people who do not buy into their fantasy, they are in denial about some aspect of themselves.  So what, therefore, might a psychological understanding of the appeal of Scottish nationalism look like?

This article by psychologist and psychotherapist Jock Encombe, first published in the week leading up to the 2014 Scottish referendum, is just as relevant to the heat and fury of what passes for Scottish political debate in the 2015 UK general election campaign.   As new focus group research indicates that supporters of the SNP regard any discussion of policy as ‘white noise’, Wake Up Scotland is republishing this ‘psychopathology of nationalism’ – and interestingly we discover from our statistics that many of you have beaten us to it. Over to Jock Encombe. (more…)

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Jacobites and Jacobins: the problem with Yes fundamentalism

The most read article on this website is the one by Ewan Morrison ‘Yes: Why I joined Yes and why I changed to No’. It is interesting to see that some Yesses are now voicing their criticism of the Yes movement and some of this echoes what Ewan was saying in his article. So we thought it would be worthwhile reblogging an extremely thoughtful blog which appeared on the faintdamnation website. In this piece the author explains his unease with various aspects of the Yes movement such as the Glasgow rally and the way that the SNP and many Yes activists are content to discard the view of the majority of Scots. He particularly dislikes ‘the tone’ of many of their pronouncements and wonders if he still wants to be part of movement which he believes has ‘authoritarian’ tendencies.

Faint damnation

It all seemed so positive at the time.

In the run-up to the referendum, many, many thousands of people took the time to educate themselves, and each other, about how we in Scotland are governed. Information came to light about taxation flows, media coverage, oil revenues, voting records, expenses payments. Everywhere, people were interested in politics.

I always wanted that to happen, so the last few tumultuous months before the vote were quite dizzying to live through.

I voted Yes. I was sure it was the right thing to do.

It was an article of faith on the Yes side that lots of citizens had journeyed from No to Yes, but no one ever headed in the opposite direction.

Well, more than two months after September 18th, I look around me at what the Yes movement has become. And I think I want out.

It all seemed so positive at…

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Carol Craig – On Selfishness and the Scottish Independence Referendum

A few days ago a woman I know told me that she was no longer going to accompany me to a meeting. The clear implication of her email was that she had made this decision because I had come out as a No voter. Indeed at one point she wrote about her annoyance at my ‘stance on the campaign for a better, fairer Scotland’. What I find astonishing is that this person knows that for over ten years I’ve written or commissioned books, organised events, and given talks, all with the aim of bringing about a better Scotland. But clearly none of this matters, now I’ve voted No. (more…)

Nigel Smith – Next time a supermajority will be needed

This article first appeared in Scottish Review on 8th October 2014

On the whole, a simple majority (50% + 1 vote) works for democracy including referendums. It has the great merit that all voters understand and usually accept the result.

One exception is the constitutional referendum where some countries and states require a supermajority sometimes as low as 55% more often 60% or even 67% majority before the result is valid and the change adopted. (more…)