By Paul T Kavanagh

Thatcher’s former Governor General of Scotland, Ian Lang, made a wee speech in the House of Lords in which he said that Scottish independence would dishonour all those who had fought and died in the UK’s assorted wars.

As far as I can discover, Ian Lang has never seen active service in the military.  Instead he’s made a very lucrative career for himself in Tory politics, followed by his pretendy Lordy title and a series of directorships.

According to Businessweek, the privately educated Lang has amassed a very profitable portfolio of part time directorships which bring him in over £240,000 annually.  It’s the natural career path of a Tory poshboy.

So I asked my other half what he thought about Lang’s intervention.  Himself is a former Royal Marine who saw active service in Suez and Cyprus, two not especially honourable episodes in Britain’s imperial past – but we’ll gloss over that.  He killed people, his friends died, and he got some shiny medals for his pains.  After leaving the Royal Marines he served for 25 years in the Metropolitan police, where he continued to protect the likes of Ian Lang.

The other half is English, not a person of Scottish parentage who happened to have been born down south, he’s yer actual Englishman with the yew wot accent and everything.   He fully intends to vote yes in September’s referendum.  His exact words on hearing Lang’s comments were:  “Lang can go fuck himself.  He doesn’t know what honour means.  He won’t tell me what I fought for.”

I wish I hadn’t asked, because the other half then went into an extended rant about how a former Thatcher cabinet minister has no business telling anyone what is or is not “honourable”.  It’s pretty rich for an ex-serviceman to be called dishonourable by a man who spent his career betraying working class servicepeople and took a leading role in a government which slashed the services those servicepeople now rely on when they are infirm or disabled.

All across the UK, frail and elderly ex-servicemen are left lying for hours  in their own shit because care provision has been axed.  Where’s the honour when you reek of stale urine Ian?  Thanks to Ian Lang and his colleagues, former soldiers freeze because they’re forced to choose between eating or heating.  Where’s the honour Ian?

If that’s the honour Ian Lang speaks of, who is dishonouring who?

If anything, my partner fought for the Britain of consensus, the Britain of the NHS and the welfare state, the Britain of free education, the Britain that cares for the infirm, the disabled, the elderly, and those who’ve been dealt a bad hand by life.  He did not fight for the Britain of ATOS, the Britain of cuts and privatisation.  He certainly didn’t fight for the Britain of illegal wars.

But that’s the Britain Lang has created, and now he has the audacity to claim that we dishonour the selfish nasty and narrow little Parliament that is a tool of the misrule of those who know no honour, only profit.

No Ian, we are not dishonouring servicemen by voting for independence.  We are honouring them, because we’re protecting them from your betrayals, your cant, and your lies.  With independence we can create a land that really is fit for heroes.  We can preserve those good parts of the postwar consensus that you have made it your life’s work to destroy.

We are dishonouring YOU Ian, because dishonour is all you and your so called “Lords” deserve.

I do hope the Daily Mail is listening, because this particular instance of cybernattery comes from an English ex serviceman who has never used a computer in his life.

Courtesy of Wee Ginger Dug


# 1314 2014-02-01 09:57
I have thought, with various issues in the past, and Mr Lang's comment comes into this category, that the most effective treatment is complete silence. First because his words are so obviously unworthy that no comment is required and second because silence is that much harder to achieve - and therefore all the more impressive.
# Abulhaq 2014-02-01 10:15
Is there no end to our catalog (rational spelling) of sins? The Great Lang and their Lordships having woken up, spluttered, coughed and expectorated bile, let us be driven from the land....there is no more pathetic sight than the puffed-up establishment Scotch lackey in full flounce.
# Breeks 2014-02-01 11:21
I feel a bit cautious about this. I don't think it's particularly helpful if our hereditary peers are given the impression that all that awaits them after a YES vote is a short ride in a handcart.
Irrespective of how you feel about it, there are a lot of people on rural estates who depend on such estates for their homes and income, and they come into direct contact with our Lords and Ladies.
Personally, I've known the stereotype shotgun tooting idiot, but I've also known some very fine people as much a victim of their privilege as a beneficiary.
A lot could be gained by slaking the fears of these people, because a YES vote outwardly promises them very little.

I can't do the subject justice in a few lines commentary, but it wouldn't hurt to spell out how a YES vote might actually prove no bad thing for them too. Our country piles, and they are ours, are falling to bits. Ownership is transient, but decay is merciless to all.
# Ben Power 2014-02-01 16:58
Yes some are genuinely lovely good people and probably do good works, but it does not change how their vast estates were purloined in the first place from the broader Scots Community.
A priority after independence should be to work out a sane equitable manner of redistributing the rural land ownership over a wider ownership insisting those use the land productively.
Wide consultation in this that includes the elite ownership needs to happen. Those who indeed use the land productively would have nothing to fear in Independence and could establish more honest claims on their estates in that scenario.
As for the crumbling houses, well if they cannot be utilized maybe we should not keep them maintained at public expense as monuments to privilege and theft by past elites.
# Breeks 2014-02-01 17:42
I don't disagree, and I know several estates were forfeit to the Crown after Culloden; it's history, bad hardly ancient history. Nevertheless, I have no appetite for evictions or seizures of property. If change has to happen, and it surely does, let's hope it can be reached through compromise and agreement. If ever there was a country blighted by the bitterness of people being put out their homes it is Scotland.

I don't agree about the houses. From doocots to cathedrals, they are our history, and say as much about the lives and skills of the tradesmen who built them as anything they say about the occupants. We haven't looked after these trades, and once these buildings fail, they are gone forever. We are losing a lot clever and irreplaceable features, and modern policy threatens a lot more.

Buildings, carvings, ironwork, stonework, glass work, leadwork, horticulture... Think of the quality employment created restoring these.
# call me dave 2014-02-01 11:39
Mr Bell has a compelling article on this toady... (Freudian slip) today.
# Breeks 2014-02-01 14:51
When I see Cameron and UKIP leaping to the barricades to defend the Empire from the nasty European Empire, and by doing so bolster its standing with the Neoliberal Empire of the USA, then what is so very different from a century ago when the British Empire, Russian Empire, French Empire, Ottoman Empire, Austrian and German Empires all flexed their muscles over elbow room in Europe?
Isn't that what the EU is all about? Common interests and common markets shared by consenting neighbours?
For all its faults, war in Europe is dare I say it, unthinkable. There is unprecedented stability, even to cope with the difficult Euro crisis.

In contrast, the US/UK 'Empire' hardly knows peace, and sees everyone from Asia to the Middle East as a threat, and isn't opening its mail from the bank.

It makes me proud Scotland is there in the vanguard, ready mobilise its resources for another war, but a war to save our planet. Our future is in Europe.
# weegie38 2014-02-01 16:18
I seem to recall a tale from Lang's miserable tenure as Scottish Secretary, when during a security scare at Westminster he was barred access from Downing Street for a Cabinet meeting.

"But I'm the Secretary of State for Scotland, don't you know?" he challenged the police in his plummy tones.

Upon hearing his accent, the police officer reached the logical conclusion, and replied "Yes, and I'm the Queen Mother, sir. Now push off."
# banditti 2014-02-01 23:25
My father is 90 three weeks today he was in the navy during the war.His brother was killed in Malta aged20 in the RAF. My dads cousin joined the International Brigade to fight fascism in Spain when tiffs like Lang supported Franco.
I spoke to him about Lang's speech and he was annoyed that he used dead servicemen to attack those who want to live in a better fairer country who treat elderly citizens with respect and pay a pension at a rate where you can live without the worry of paying bills to PLCs with rich shareholders such as lang

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