Friday, August 3, 2012

The Duncan Hothersall conundrum

One or two of you may have noticed that my previous post triggered a brief Twitter spat with Scottish Labour's one-man online presence (or so it seems at times) Duncan Hothersall, who decreed that I was guilty of "bitter nationalism". The exchange followed a familiar pattern - I pointed out that he is a British nationalist, he denied it, I challenged him to justify the denial given that he enthusiastically supports the existence of a British state, and he then resorted to some highly entertaining obfuscation and sophistry. The most creative example of the latter was this -

"Ha. The Olympics, despite protestations from your side, is not about nationalism, just nations."

Now that's very interesting. One of the arguments unionists like to make is that the British state is different and morally superior to other states because it isn't a nation state, but rather a "multi-national state". OK, we all know this is bunkum, but let's pursue the point just for a moment. Britishness, the theory goes, transcends nationalism, because Britain isn't a nation at all, it's just a state. The nations belonging to the state are Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales - the UK state, therefore, is supposedly a shining example of Duncan's much-vaunted "internationalism" in action.

But wait just a moment - if that's the case, and if the Olympics is "just about nations" rather than about nationalist politics, why is the Scottish nation barred from taking part? Why are Scottish athletes banned - literally banned - from displaying the flag of their own nation? And why the attempts to browbeat Scottish and Welsh athletes into singing an anthem they clearly regard as foreign, and which they don't want to sing?

I'm confused, Duncan.


  1. I look forward to being enlightened on these points by a unionist expert.

    Well... you need a laugh sometimes.

    Carry on Duncan...get out of this one!

  2. Ah, I see. So having a small minority of MPs in an "international" super-parliament and being outnumbered on all the decisions made that affect your nation, handing over all your revenue and getting pocket money back, having WMDs that you don't want stationed next to your biggest centre of population...... THAT'S what "internationalism" is? I hadn't realised!

  3. I'm not so sure Duncan is a Britnat, more a fanatical Labour supporter. Told that Scottish Labour support the Union unconditionally (and hate the SNP), Duncan falls into place like any good cannon fodder.

    This is the man, after all, who will argue that the Grayman himself would have been willing to co-operate on shaping a referendum on independence, if only the SNP had brought forward their referendum bill, that Lamont's demands that Salmond work with her and the rest of the Unionist cabal to present a question to the Electoral Commission were a mere suggestion/invitation to work together and that people who object to descriptions of Salmond being killed, be it being run over by a bus or disemboweled at the Olympic stadium, are simply nats with no sense of humour (but woe betide anyone who "jokes" about Thatcher's death now that Labour HQ have condemned those that do).

    Look up "contrary" in a dictionary and it would be a picture of Duncan. Of course, look up "mindless, unthinking drone" and you'd find much the same.

  4. You simply touched a very raw nerve James.

    Of course Duncan Hothersall is a British nationalist. Your crime was to label him.

    Labour can decry anyone with an inconvenient argument a "cybernat" or "narrow nationalist" with impunity but it's terribly bad form to label them back.

    I've heard both Ruth Wishart and Alf Young grumbling about being called unionists.

    Labour in Scotland are used to labeling people and the time worn lie that the SNP are anti-English is familiar enough to be heard on a daily basis across all areas.

    Contrast that with the instant and furious reaction to Joan McAlpine's opinion that the actions of unionist parties in attempting to take control of the referendum were anti-Scottish and you see the "one rule for us, one rule for them" hypocrisy in action.

    The idea that the actions of London based parties and their supporters could be "anti- Scottish" would be extremely dangerous if it got legs which is why it was sat on so fast and so hard.

    If Duncan Hothersall, Aidan Skinner, Tom Harris etc are uncomfortable with the idea of being called British nationalists perhaps they should review the Party and policies they support.

  5. Duncan's just following the standard Labour doublethink on nationalism.

    Nationalism is bad especially Scottish nationalism but British nationalism is good because it's not nationalism.

    To be quite honest if the Olympics were being held in an independent Scotland and the Saltire was being shown and slapped on everything moveable at every opportuinity in the same manner as the Union Jack is at the moment and if Scotland's TV channels were as absurdly obsessed and as jingoistic about the Scottish Team as Britain's TV channels are about Team GB I'd feel distinctly uneasy even as a Scottish nationalist.

    At the moment the constant Britain, Britain, Britain refrain of flag, soundbite and video clip from the Olympics is British nationalism in overdrive. It's a joy for Labour because it's Britishness not British nationalism isn't it?

  6. Duncan certainly is a British Nationialist. He tries to cover himself in the flag of Internationialism, but that Internationailism stops at thge UK border. There is no commitment to International Socialism.

    I can't see Manny Shinwell greeting him as a fellow traveller

  7. Does Duncan actually have a job, or does he just spend all his time on twitter?

  8. I think Duncan is a bit worried that his potential career as an MP may be blighted if we vote 'Yes' in the referendum. Indeed, he has rolled his dice on a 'No' vote.

    But his actual contribution to any debate about independence is pretty marginal. Indeed, this article itself kind of makes the point, does it not?

    He was a major contributor to 'Labour Hame' which lost his chum Tom Harris MP his unworthy title as a new media advisor to the Labour Party in Scotland.

    The last time I looked in, Labour Hame was completely moribund.

    It must be difficult to actually be Duncan Hothersall. Because if Duncan told me that the 'No' vote will win, I'd bet on the 'Yes' vote. If Duncan told me that it tasted just the same as butter, I assume that it didn't. Duncan is just wrong, every time he speaks. He is, somewhat sadly for him, on the wrong side of the debate.

    That glittering career at Westminster just ain't going to happen. It must be a huge disappointment.

  9. The purpose of Dunc and his ilk is to waste our time and demoralise us, preventing us from working constructively towards independence, or to provoke us to anger which can be used against us.

    He and his kind are not persuadable. The only sensible path is to avoid any direct contact, and focus energies on those who are.

  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  11. NOTE : The above comment has been removed at the request of Duncan Hothersall, on the grounds that it contained false information about him.