Scotland is "narrow, Presbyterian, racist" according to Labour aide Watch

The West Wing
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http://timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/po...cle3216680.ece

DES BROWNE, the Scottish and defence secretary, was under pressure this weekend to sack one of his top aides for describing Scotland as a “narrow, Presbyterian and racist” country. John McTernan, a special adviser to Browne and former Downing Street aide to Tony Blair, made the comments in a personal e-mail to a Labour politician.

The document was obtained by The Sunday Times under freedom of information legislation. McTernan, who was among those cleared of wrongdoing in the cash for honours affair, wrote to Karen Gillon, a Labour member of the Scottish parliament, before a visit to Sweden: “If you’ve not been to Sweden before, I think you’ll really like it – it’s the country Scotland would be if it wasn’t narrow, Presbyterian, racist etc. etc. Social democracy in action.”

Alex Salmond, the Scottish first minister, said last night that the remarks showed Labour's true “contempt” for the Scottish people, and questioned why McTernan should keep his publicly funded £99,000-a-year job.

“It’s a remarkable insight into the attitudes of the special adviser that London put in charge of Labour’s election campaign last year,” he said.
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“It shows why Labour lost the election. They seem to have developed a unique contempt for the Scottish people. But it’s not Scotland that is narrow; it’s the Labour party.”

The e-mail was written while McTernan was working as a policy adviser at the Scottish Arts Council in late 2002. Before that he worked as a special adviser to Henry McLeish, the former Labour first minister who was forced to stand down after a scandal involving his office expenses.

McTernan, 48, who was born in London but grew up in Edinburgh, said it was “ludicrous” to suggest the remarks affected his job.

“These comments are from private correspondence and are taken out of context,” he said.

“People who know me will make a judgment of me based on everything I say and feel about Scotland. I have always worked hard for the interests of Scotland.”

McTernan’s loyalty to New Labour and no-prisoners approach to politics earned him the nickname “the McTerminator”. In 2004 he wrote in a Sunday newspaper: “I have never found descriptions of national characteristics particularly persuasive; most are at such a high level of abstraction that they are transferable with ease from country to country.”
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mfm89
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Blown out of proportion a bit, no? i guess the guy has scottish roots, just seems like usual self-deprecating british thing. Especially since he sent it to a MSP.
Not a brilliant idea to piss off the scots since his boss and half labours parliamentary seats are scottish
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L i b
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And of course, Alex Salmond instantly wades in to demonstrate just how narrow-minded Scotland is. Well done, old boy!

This McThingy fellow is quite right. The place sometimes does seem quite narrow, intolerant - and there's no doubting that it's full of bloody Presbyterians.

It's the usual SNP tactic, playing the more-Scottish-than-thou card. To be frank, I'm absolutely disgusted that the Scots get drawn into these most simple and base appeals to nationalism and actually vote for these morons.

I suppose it's the only ammunition they have. Remove the Scottish nationalist element, and the SNP and Labour are effectively the same party. Obviously as a Tory, I loathe both for fairly sound ideological reasons. They simply hate one-another for the sake of it.
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ukebert
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Sounds like a joke taken out of context to me.
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username156343
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Previously in Scotland the presbyterian part was true, but now i'd say its not so bad and the only real problem with bigotry is the orange walks (walks which basically support the killing of catholics) are still allowed to go ahead. Usually planned to go past Catholic churches and there is usually loads of violence stirred up by it.
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L i b
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(Original post by Ronan1888)
Previously in Scotland the presbyterian part was true, but now i'd say its not so bad and the only real problem with bigotry is the orange walks (walks which basically support the killing of catholics) are still allowed to go ahead. Usually planned to go past Catholic churches and there is usually loads of violence stirred up by it.
Oh for Christ's sake. What has being Presbyterian got to do with religious bigotry, exactly?

Right, firstly the usual disclaimer: my family loathe the Orange Order and I have a strong distaste for Presbyterian worship. But to pretend they are remotely violent in normal situations (particularly in Scotland) or somehow want to kill Roman Catholics is absolutely, completely and utterly ludicrous. They are, in the main, a social club for men to get pissed on the cheap.
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pretz
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I think England is narrow, soulless and xenophobic

Oh well.
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ssk2
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He'll end up going though, the press being the driving force.
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EssexDan86
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(Original post by pretz)
I think England is narrow, soulless and xenophobic

Oh well.

Being based in Lincolnshire, that's pretty understandable!
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pretz
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(Original post by EssexDan86)
Being based in Lincolnshire, that's pretty understandable!
Haha!

Even more so considering the fact before then it was... dun dun dunnn... Peterborough.
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Thud
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Alex Salmond, the Scottish first minister, said last night that the remarks showed Labour's true “contempt” for the Scottish people,
So much so that they even have a Scot as leader, after the former, also Scottish-born, leader stepped down.....
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cottonmouth
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The thing that gets me is that this was a personal email to someone. I'm not comfortable with heads always rolling when people say thigns that are not meant to get out. Everyone has a right to a personal opinion, and if they are fully capable of doing their jobs without those opinions, which may be discriminatory, getting in the way, then people should be left alone. Having said that, in a lot of cases, people are incapable of letting their prejudices lie low while doing their jobs, but we cannot make that assumption immediately.
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naivesincerity
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Talk about a gift to Alec Salmond.
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naivesincerity
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(Original post by pretz)
Haha!

Even more so considering the fact before then it was... dun dun dunnn... Peterborough.
Understandable. Peterborough is a hell-hole. Anyway, England is an extremely tolerant and not narrow country. Too tolerant if you ask me, the US take no **** from immigrants.
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ssk2
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Too tolerant if you ask me, the US take no **** from immigrants.
What '****' do we take from immigrants, if you don't mind me asking...
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Thud
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(Original post by naivesincerity)
Understandable. Peterborough is a hell-hole. Anyway, England is an extremely tolerant and not narrow country. Too tolerant if you ask me, the US take no **** from immigrants.
I see...



http://www.shropshirestar.com/2007/0...cist-graffiti/

http://www.viewimages.com/Search.asp...partner=Google

Maybe it's just if they have a different skin colour? :rolleyes:
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naivesincerity
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(Original post by Thud)
I see...



http://www.shropshirestar.com/2007/0...cist-graffiti/

http://www.viewimages.com/Search.asp...partner=Google

Maybe it's just if they have a different skin colour? :rolleyes:
Well, on the whole I mean. You'll find that in any country. On the whole we are regarded as tolerant.
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Thud
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(Original post by naivesincerity)
Well, on the whole I mean. You'll find that in any country. On the whole we are regarded as tolerant.
Well not in my experience.
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YAP
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(Original post by Thud)
So much so that they even have a Scot as leader, after the former, also Scottish-born, leader stepped down.....
...and the new Bank of England £20 has a Scot on it. Which is ridiculous: what with Clydedale, RBS and BOS all producing bank notes, there's not much English paper currency in circulation in Scotland for them to even particularly notice.
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L i b
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(Original post by YAP)
...and the new Bank of England £20 has a Scot on it. Which is ridiculous: what with Clydedale, RBS and BOS all producing bank notes, there's not much English paper currency in circulation in Scotland for them to even particularly notice.
Bank of England currency circulates more or less equally with that from the Scottish banks. It also acts as a central bank for the whole UK.

Moreover, it was founded by a Scotsman. Either way, I'd be very happy to have Adam Smith on my banknotes, regardless of his nationality.
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