Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Janus Revisited

It is sometimes difficult to know how to treat nationalists; I'm sure they're all very nice people, but their extremely middle-class prejudices are of the type that give being middle-class a bad name.
I recently bit the bullet of trying to engage with Scottish nationalist thought processes and read a book by the Scottish nationalist intellectual Tom Nairn entitled 'Janus Revisited'. Alas, the bullet was a rusty musketball, too long exposed on the field of Culloden. The kindest thing that one could say about it is that, to deploy a put-down once used by a prospective employer, the author has 'a few good lines'; if you can find them amidst the dense undergrowth of 'metempsychoses' and (my particular favourite) the almost Rumsfeldian 'particular particularities' - I kid you not.

And unless I've grossly misread him, and apologise in advance if I have, he admits to having been a Poll Tax Rebel; I was not, indeed paid the Community Charge while at university, and this experience has led me to believe that those who proclaim, indeed seem quite proud, that they are scofflaws aren't really worth an iota of respect.

Being a Unionist I am of course too stupid and coarse to understand such thought processes; but what Nairn seems to think about Scottish nationalism isn't in the least clear. As far as one could understand what it was he was actually saying, it seemed to be a sort of tartan-tinted version of 'Open Society', Karl Popper repackaged on a shortbread tin. And, er, that's it. But should Scotland ever become independent on such lines, there's one thing you can be absolutely sure of - the dinner parties will be fantastic.

8 Comments:

Blogger James Higham said...

Scottish nationalists are, I think, a different breed to us English nationalists. :)

15 July, 2009 17:17  
Blogger Martin said...

No, James, I would disagree.

In the nicest possible way, of course.

15 July, 2009 20:57  
Blogger Catholic Teuchtar said...

Sighhh!

15 July, 2009 21:01  
Blogger Catholic Teuchtar said...

while your moderating, I find unionists go on about Short Bread Tins, Tartan, and Culloden, much more than any Nationalists I know.


You are a fine example of this phenomenon. :-)

15 July, 2009 21:03  
Blogger Martin said...

Teuchter,

Shouldn't that be 'Wheesht!'?

15 July, 2009 21:03  
Blogger Martin said...

I am a fine example of this phenomenon.

I am THE example of this phenomenon.

15 July, 2009 21:07  
Blogger Catholic Teuchtar said...

nope

http://www.hebridesnews.co.uk/politicians_that_put_people_first.html

15 July, 2009 21:11  
Blogger James Higham said...

Of course, Martin. :)

16 July, 2009 13:40  

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