Wednesday 13 December 2017

British Labour now between the Thistle and the Thorn

Illustration by Jim Cogan
Illustration by Jim Cogan
Eoghan Harris

Eoghan Harris

I have no time for nationalism, at home or abroad. So I am glad Scotland said no. But I stayed silent on the issue until now because my voice would have been drowned out in the deafening Irish media consensus in favour of Scotland booting the Brits out.

Meantime, I reflected on the life and work of one of my own great political heroes, the late and much lamented John McGrath, founder of the famous socialist Scottish 7:84 theatre group, an author and activist who helped create the concept of civic nationalism. Or as I prefer to put it, Scottish patriotism.

George Orwell drew a hard distinction between nationalism and patriotism. "Patriotism is of its nature defensive . . . Nationalism, on the other hand, is inseparable from the desire for power."

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