Instagram Phyl's Blog: A wee rant about Vote No Borders

Saturday, June 28, 2014

A wee rant about Vote No Borders

This has seriously been pissing me off since I saw it last week, but I haven't had the time to rant!

Even if we ignore the manipulative use of the photo of a sad three year old as the image discussing the views of a child who is supposedly 'ten and a quarter' (I have enough kids of my own to be able to tell the difference...), the opening line sums up everything that is wrong with the far south at the moment for me and indeed the great divide between the UKIP-lovers and the great, warm and accepting Scottish people I am surrounded by. It actually says: "My grandson in England, aged ten and quarter, looks utterly baffled and very sad at thought of  his Grandparents being in danger of becoming foreigners."

Let's analyse that language and its implications - having a foreigner in your family isn't just confusing, it should make you feel extreme sadness and worse still it is a danger! What is wrong with these people? Let me explain to Dr Richard Marsh - my children have foreigners in their family - their grandfather is German, their grandmother is Danish, they have cousins, aunts and uncles in Copenhagen and the East of France. They even have family members who speak no English - shock, horror! Does that make them feel sad, scared, confused or anything else? No, it makes them feel special, happy and thrilled. My six year old daughter proudly takes her Astrid Lindgren book to school to show she can read Danish, my eight year old son volunteers to sing the birthday song in Danish for his friends, my four year old daughter skips into nursery full of excitement announcing she's getting a visit from a cousin or grandparent abroad. She was absolutely overjoyed last year when they did a stamp collecting project to bring in the stamps from her foreign letters to share with her classmates, and her classmates in turn listened, not baffled or scared but actually excited and even a tiny bit jealous. My oldest boy has sat all his French exams early and takes delight in helping the teacher by sharing cultural anecdotes about France. The thing is, having a foreigner in your family, or indeed a dozen foreigners isn't a bad thing, when you have them it is simply normality. They aren't scary, they are family. And you love them just as you would if they lived next door, or for that matter in Australia!

Let's take my daughter's school class - she is six. She is half Scottish, quarter Danish, quarter German. She has friends whose parents are from (amongst others) India, Pakistan, Japan, China, France, Nigeria and Northern Ireland. Are they all scared of each other or offering each other condolences in the playground because of their foreign connections? Or are they simply thrilled to ask what things are like when they visit their grandparents back home, or what they bring when they come for a visit? Take a guess! That is why this ad from No Borders, and presumably the Westminster government, is so wrong. Things will not change while people are being taught to fear instead of embrace others' differences and that is one of the top reasons I want my multicultural family the hell out of the UK long before the in/out referendum of 2017ish.

I won't even bother to analyse the rest of the nonsense in the article, except to say firstly that I'm sick of hearing that it is a one-party push for independence - there are many political, and non-political people voting Yes, not simply Alex Salmond. I've never had any connections to the SNP. I simply know that Westminster is failing my country and we have a way to offer our kids a better future. As for: '
A wonderful country and people in the grip of a narrow, divisive, arrogant, controlling and insular creed called Nationalism.'You can only come out with a line like that if you have never engaged in any conversation with the amazing people at National Collective, Academics for Yes and similar, or if you are deliberately lying. Let's hope it is simply the former (though I suspect not). Never in all my 46 years have I had the privilege to witness the coming together of a less narrow, divisive, arrogant or controlling group of people. My friends in the Yes camp are diverse, multicultural and indeed multinational, (many are even English - they never mention that do they?) They are thoughtful, full of aspiration, forward-looking and not flag-waving nationalists. Whatever your nationality, religion or political leaning you are welcomed with open arms. 

And another thing while I'm on the rant. Since when did my flag become demonized? I seem to remember when the Olympics was in England everything, from your phone case to your pants had to have a Union Jack on it, but if anyone dares to show a Saltire, it is offensive suddenly! Why the double standard?! Maybe we should take a leaf out of Denmark's book. They stick flags in everything just to mean they're happy, not in a nationalistic way. Here's my (Danish) husband's and my birthday cake from this year:



4 comments:

Taranaich said...

My thoughts exactly. It horrifies me that there is a child who views the idea of his grandparents becoming foreigners being something to be sad, baffled and frightened about. It enrages me that his family chooses NOT to reassure him that there's nothing wrong with being foreign, NOT to explain that nothing's going to change, but to actively encourage the idea that being foreign is something undesirable.

Then I think, how many children is this happening to? How many grandchildren, children, cousins, nieces and nephews are being told that something terrible will happen to their family if they choose to change their government and become "foreign"?

It sickens me.

David said...

Great stuff! Just wish it could be shared more widely!!! Add a link button?

Marc said...

I want to share it too, please!

Phyl said...

I've finally worked out how to add share buttons - sorry for being dim! Share away!