Birflatt Boy adding weight to the argument

Birflatt Boy adding weight to the argument

Birflatt Boy emerges from his customary shadows to rue the possible departure of the Scots from the UK. Has Fletch let on as to where he stands? What do George Herd and Billy Hughes make of it all? We cannot honestly imagine Phil Bardsley having a view one way or the other. The headline reference to Celtic is naturally tongue-in-cheek with no intention of offending people who believe a big chunk of the west of Scotland is already a fifth province of Ireland …

The devolution debate and upcoming referendum on Scottish independence has got my mind racing.

By the end of next week we may be facing the prospect of a genuine border crossing as we head north. Who can say which way the vote is going to go. Alex Salmond claims that Scotland is on the brink of history. The same might have been said about all manner of eye-watering historical blunders too.

My simple Birflattian mind, befuddled by the potential prospect of having to regard our brothers and sisters north of the border as foreigners started me thinking of some of the ramifications of devolution, either real, very tangible or fanciful and far fetched. It would surely put and end of the call for the bigger Scottish clubs to join the English league system.

What would happen for example, the inhabitants of the northern English counties decided that they’d had enough of Westminster rule and threw their hat in with an independent Scotland? If the Scots can go their own way, then what would stand in the way of Tyne and Wear and Durham, Cumbria and Cleveland going the same way?

Would the Scots want us in? Important question to answer.

Imagine Sunderland playing away fixtures at Hamilton and Kilmarnock for example? How the world could change. Rangers (well eventually, perhaps), and Celtic. Aberdeen and St Johnstone all visiting the SoL. Mutton pies and haggis and tatties on offer alongside the burgers etc.

On my various travels across this merry little globe of ours I have always gravitated towards the Scots.

Unquestionably there is a similar cultural and political outlook, sense of humour and general way of life. There have been few political events that have made me feel more sad, anxious and fearful than the prospect of the Scots going their own way. Billy Connolly once said that he had far more in common with a welder in Liverpool or Portsmouth than any Highland landowner. Billy was right. Very few people could speak as much common sense and make you guffaw at the same time has he has over the years.

All flights of fancy aside, the leagues of both Scotland and England should stay as they are, and the unique union that binds us should stay as it is. For the people of Worcester and Hove etc it probably doesn’t matter one iota.

They possibly view the Scots like you would an infrequently seen neighbour who has a habit of lighting a bonfire when you’ve just put the washing on the line. That’s a poor analogy as it must be several decades since damp washing saw pegs and a line in Hove, but you get my drift, I’m sure.

For northerners, it’s very different of course. Their way of life is so much like ours that it’s virtually inseparable. I’ve always considered myself pro-Scottish until they start having a real go at the English, and then my hackles rise in what is usually a temporary indignation, as I remind myself that the things they dislike in the English are the same things that I also dislike in the English too. Stay with us, lads and lasses. We’d miss you.

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25 Responses to “Message to Rangers, Celtic and Scotland: keep your Wee Bit Hill and Glen British” Subscribe

  1. Mark September 11, 2014 at 4:21 pm #

    Nicely put my friend . As a passionate jock I am in fear that the nationalists will kill our country.

    It’s a lovely thought and back during the times of the clans it used to work. But they didn’t have mortgages,pensions and savings.

    • Carntnye September 11, 2014 at 9:12 pm #

      Nationalists will kill our country?

      Which ones?

      The Westminster government is strangling Scotland with their austerity programmes, and things are not going to get any better.

      They’ve announced £25billion of cuts are still to come.

      If we don’t Vote for independence there’s a lot of pain waiting for us…

  2. the lt September 11, 2014 at 4:56 pm #

    Sorry mate. It does not matter which party is in power in westminster, they are out to shaft the working man. Time for change.

    I hope the us separating ourselves also leads to change in England and a devolution system where you have a modicum of control.

    If it doesnt you are welcome to join us

  3. jojopicasso September 11, 2014 at 7:37 pm #

    so you really do want to shaft the working man.
    because the’ll be no jobs in scotland if we are stupid enough to leave the uk.
    will we pay back the money the tax payers of the uk paid to bail out RBS?

    • Carntnye September 11, 2014 at 9:06 pm #

      The Tax payers of all of the UK, not just England, have already paid their share of the bail out.

      You are not very well informed…

      • Keith Hutton Africa September 12, 2014 at 6:29 am #

        If you want RBS! it will come at a cost, of that there is no doubtf

  4. TJ Hooper September 11, 2014 at 7:50 pm #

    It’s not all about nationalism BB. It’s as much a rejection of the Westminster political model. Mainstream politics moved so far away from the Scottish Central ground (leftish and pro European) that there isn’t one of the main UK parties that adequately represent what Scotland wants to vote for. There isn’t a single mainstream alternative to free market capitalism for example. The more the UKiP etc move the goalposts away the more disenfranchised we become. The major gains for snp are disillusioned labour and liberals (cardinal sin-getting in bed with the Tories) realising that the future for them is a move away from Wetminster politics. There just isn’t a way for Scotland to be heard or taken seriously there. Here’s an example:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NthEdcoQ_Hs

    I’m not surprised there’s empathy from Northern England. You boys are in the same boat

  5. real world September 11, 2014 at 9:19 pm #

    Sorry to burst your bubble old bean, but rangers(IL) died two years ago, that’s what ‘in liquidation’ means, and the tribute act now playing out of the crumble dome will be lucky to last the week end.
    They died after being caught with their hand in the taxpayers
    pocket and thieving food out of sick peoples mouths to pay millionair football players they couldn’t otherwise afford.

    Dear dear, how sad, never mind.

  6. Andybhoy September 11, 2014 at 9:23 pm #

    As a YES voter I would like to take this opportunity to make it clear to our English brothers and sisters that our desire to become Independent is NOT borne out of any dislike or hatred of the English people, it is a desire to break free from the deeply corrupt Westminster/London elite who care nothing for the people and are only driven by their own greed and self interest.

    Since the banking crisis began the Westminster establishment have shown exactly what kind of people they really are. While they allow the very same bankers who brought this country to it’s knees carry on picking up their massive salaries and obscene bonuses the people of this country are being made to pay over and over again. While the poorest and most vulnerable in our society are demonised and marginalised and the hard working men and women of this country struggle to meet the cost of living these people are giving themselves huge wage rises, claiming bloated expenses and giving tax cuts and peerages to their friends in big business.

    The people of Scotland who are voting YES are doing so because we have had enough, there are better and more fairer ways for a society to operate and this is our chance to achieve that. If it were possible we would have gladly brought you with us but maybe just maybe our Independence will be the catalyst for the English people to take a stand and call time on the Westminster cabal.

    • Joan September 12, 2014 at 11:07 am #

      Talking to a couple of Scots the other day, and they would be happy to shift the border to York. I’d go with that for the very reasons you give. Things seem only to be going one way towards greater and greater inequality. If it goes ‘yes’ I sincerely hope you can demonstrate that an alternative model can work.

      • Andybhoy September 12, 2014 at 12:17 pm #

        I would echo the sentiments of my fellow Scots Joan. The desire for Independence is NOT a rejection of the English people it is a rejection of the Westminster establishment and a rejection of their policies which is the driving force behind the disgraceful inequality we see in our society today.

        • Drummer September 14, 2014 at 6:07 am #

          I’ll go with that , we were talking with a Scottish freind recently and came to the same conclusion ,York it is !

  7. Birflatt Boy September 12, 2014 at 2:02 am #

    Andybhoy, TJ etc. I fully understand that this isn’t about nationalism. I can only apologise if I created that impression by my post. I was trying desperately to inject some levity into this issue which genuinely troubles me to the core.

    I am not in favour of nationalism anywhere and I understand the complete despair that Scots people feel about the Westminster model to the point where the opportunity to reject it in favour of a journey into unchartered waters seems a rational choice. If I was Scottish I would desperately want to see the same sort of changes that you lads on here are all asking for. I might even be tempted to vote “yes” in protest.

    However, I wouldn’t want to see my Scottish brothers and sisters voting themselves off the edge of a precipice into the abyss and this is what I fear will happen. The experience and know how required to build a nation may well be in short supply when it comes to the establishment of a stable currency, providing armed forces as well as creating the conditions which will attract business and industry (and a yes vote seems to be likely to result in quite the opposite result). I’d love to see a more prosperous and flourishing Scotland irrespective of whether the union is dissolved or not. It is my belief that things would be much worse under independence, not least because the powers that be in Westminster will do their damdest to ensure that you stand on your own feet the moment the bell tolls for midnight after a “yes” vote.

    As far as the north of England goes we are in the same boat as yourselves. Without you it will be an even more uncomfortable and smaller boat, with a bleaker future than ever. Scotland has kept the Tories at bay for some of the time. That will no longer be the case, as the north becomes even more and more impoverished. As I said at the start of the debate there hasn’t been a single political issue that has struck such deep fear and sadness into me like this vote has.

    You have my sincere wishes, brothers and sisters for a better and more prosperous future, regardless of which way you decide to go. I too lay the blame for this situation at the same door as you do. I dread the day that I have to look at a Scotsman as a foreigner and a stranger, because to my heart you can never be neither.

    • Andybhoy September 12, 2014 at 11:39 am #

      No need to apologise Birflatt Boy I fully understood the sentiment of your post and your reasons for posting it. In truth it is great to hear an English point of view that isn’t coming from a Westminster politician’s mouth for a change.

      Whatever happens next week the people of England should understand this was never about breaking away from England’s people it was about our aspiration and hope to see a better future for our people, to see our children and grandchildren set free from those who seek to get rich from our poverty.

    • TJ Hooper September 13, 2014 at 12:13 am #

      I echo what Andy says. What I’d add though is that there is no reason a grassroots popular movement could not affect regional change in England either. It just might not have nationalism and a kick start on devolved power to get it going. I’m actually getting pretty sick of the rhetoric from John Prescott, Gordon Brown, etc that Britain needs Scotland to keep the Tories out. Labour lurching to the right away from its trade union roots and what it was supposed to stand for is one of the key drivers in what has happened. It’s blatantly ridiculous for them to be pandering to Essex, Northampton etc with policies out the conservative play book, then squealing to those they are ignoring that they need to sacrifice themselves to keep the Tories out. We’ve just been out on the margins without a real say in anything for too long. We didn’t keep the Tories out BB. Scottish votes alone not even being counted would only have marginally altered one single election in my lifetime. We are (hopefully were!) ignorable.

  8. Keith Hutton Africa September 12, 2014 at 6:26 am #

    What is it to be Scots, from a football and particular Sunderland point of view. In recent years, Bardsley, Fletcher and Hutchinson have represented Scotland all English by birth and culture, yet decided to ply for Scotland, was it national passion or a flag of convenience. The UK is a union therefore in my opinion if it is a desire to dissolve the union all should have a say. Will Berwick Rangers get their passport stamped every forthnight. It just all seems avoidable to me

  9. Neil September 12, 2014 at 6:57 am #

    I’m not sure that it is avoidable. A number of events have led to this, the self-disassembly of the Empire after WWII, the creation of the EU, the disappearance of Tory MPs largely attributed to revulsion caused by Thatcher, the creation of the Scottish Assembly and finally the appointment of the most socially exclusive ruling elite in recent history. Personally I’m ambivalent ie happy either way as against indifferent. Either way we’ll all survive. Sadly I suspect we’ll end up with a Yes but only just…I say sadly as it will leave a substantial minority feeling disenfranchised. A clear win either way would be better…..bit like our election in 2010….

  10. paul mc September 12, 2014 at 9:04 am #

    Tjhooper, “a cardinal sin getting in bed with the tories”. What short memories people have, it was the SNP getting in bed with the Tories in the late 70’s to overthrow a Labour government that led to Thatcher being elected. We all know what a great job she made of ruining Scotlands industry.

  11. Steve September 12, 2014 at 10:18 am #

    As usual it is funny to see the Celtic fans trying to peddle their mis-truths about Rangers dying. Better get on the phone to UEFA, FIFA and the SFA to tell them that they are wrong Timmy boy!
    Although your article starts with the comment about some of Scotland being a province of Ireland and you say it is “tongue-in-cheek” you would be surprised as to how much closer to the truth you really are. A lot of these people (and believe me, there is a lot of them) have had this plastic culture drummed into them from a young age, so much so that they are programmed to hate the English and the Union because of its less than glorious history relating to Ireland (even though they are 4th generation or made-up generation Irish). There are Republican marches through Glasgow on a regular basis (which the news rarely mentions) and (along with Orange marches) these belong in the history books. It is this ridiculous fake Irish nationalism that is genuinely making folk vote Yes and it is ridiculous.

    For me, there are some advantages of removing ourselves a bit from Westminster, but there are more advantages of sticking together. One Great Britain with our N. Irish, Welsh and English cousins.

    • real world September 12, 2014 at 12:34 pm #

      If rangers (IL) are not dead who are the club who are being LIQUIDATED?
      Maybe you could inform all of us how much shares in rangers (IL) are worth today, and why.
      You could also inform us of how many charges of TAX EVASION rangers (IL) were found GUILTY of?
      You might also tell us how much NHS contributions rangers (IL) deducted from ALL their employees, players, office and cleaners alike, and failed to pass on to the struggling health service to pay millionair footballers, most of whome became millionairs through illegal tax EBTs?
      You could also, if you like, tell us how much rangers (IL), and indeed sevco rangers, pocketed intended for charities?

      I await your reply with bated breath, NOT!

  12. Steve September 12, 2014 at 1:03 pm #

    Please all from other teams reading this take this as an example of how incredibly bitter Celtic fans are. We have a good discussion about a totally different subject then they appear with their deluded ramblings.
    UEFA, FIFA and SFA all recognise the same club. Remember that different companies can own different clubs. You better tell Portsmouth, Middlesborough, Napoli and Fiorentina fans that they are all supporting the wrong clubs. But then again, sense or fact doesn’t get through to you lot does it?
    Funnily enough, after being cleared TWICE, the HMRC have appealed for the third time so we’ll wait and see who’s guilty.
    EBTs were used by a number of clubs as well as Celtic surprisingly enough (Juninho).
    I’m glad my club’s history is intact when in fact I’m sure you wish that certain parts of your club’s ‘colourful’ history could be removed.
    Anyway, for anyone reading, please don’t let morons above want you to actually remove us from the Union 😀

  13. real world September 13, 2014 at 11:38 am #

    Rangers in liquidation were found guilty on several charges of tax EVASION, that’s a fact .
    Your atempts at revisionism are admirable, but it’s a worn out tiresome path.
    How many creditors were left unpaid, including the NHS, and
    how much were they owed?
    How many poppy t-shirts were sold and who trousered the dosh?

    Rotten to the core since your formation till 2014 and the tribute act are carrying on the tradition.

    Did the wee lassy that done the face painting ever get her money?

    SHOCKING!

    • Drummer September 14, 2014 at 6:24 am #

      Just from an outsiders view regarding the diss agreement between the Celtic and Rangers fans here . Two excellent clubs with fantastic history’s that in all honesty need each other in the SPL . Without a healthy competitive old firm outside interest and money in the Scottish game will reduce . It’s happening already , look at Celtics underperformance in the Champions league compared to recent years . In my view you need both clubs healthy , prosperous and driving each other on , it just isn’t the same at the minute , sorry .

      • Steve September 15, 2014 at 7:48 am #

        Drummer, I wholeheartedly agree with you but unfortunately the bitter ranting of the Celtic fan above epitomises their general view of Rangers or anyone who disagrees with their warped logic. They are happier to see Scottish football crumble rather than see anything red, white and blue have any involvement in anything.

  14. Steve September 15, 2014 at 7:46 am #

    “Real World” (ironic name), if you were insinuating that the current club is a new one, then it would have finished in 2013, not 2014, but don’t let any minute point of any twisted kind of fact get in your way 😀 People reading this; this is the kind of rubbish that Scottish football has to put up with – twisted fans making up “facts” when. They couldn’t be further than the truth. The sad thing is that they repeat themselves so much that they actually start to believe it.

    Yes, the financial fallout left some businesses unpaid, but that’s business. It’s unfortunate but life goes on. Out of interest, why would Rangers owe anything to the NHS? Ah, maybe it’s just another “fact”. You talk of rotten to the core? Why don’t you elaborate on some really dark parts of a football club’s history eh? I’m sure plenty of people would love to know about the history of Celtic and their boys club. And some of the questionable organisations your fans have collected for in the past? Or the booing of the armed forces? Or the disrespect to the poppy? The list goes on.

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