Sunday 19 November 2017

Paddy is in danger of losing himself in a fog of nationalism

It's unconvincing that we Irish have somehow escaped the rise of 'Eurosceptic' parties

Illustration by Jim Cogan
Illustration by Jim Cogan
Declan Lynch

Declan Lynch

Billy Connolly was asked recently by the BBC about his views on Scottish independence and he put it like this: "There's a thing I was always saying when I was asked about nationalism – I've never been a nationalist and I've never been a patriot.

I've always remembered that I have a lot more in common with a welder from Liverpool than I do with someone from an agricultural background from the Highlands, though I do love them, I love Scotland and all its different faces."

There was an echo of this in the words of another brilliant Scottish artist, the musician Roddy Frame, when he told Herald Scotland, "My view is probably coloured by what I experienced growing up in the Seventies. Labour were the good guys, the Tories were the bad guys, and the Scottish Nationalist Party were these odd, fringe-y types whose idea of Scotland didn't appeal to me. It was the kind of Scotland that Postcard Records made fun of, tartan and shortbread tins. My world in East Kilbride wasn't about any of that. my Scotland was T Rex, double nougat and Starsky & Hutch."

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