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Forum » ..:: General ::.. » General Discussion » Scotland's 'Hun' underclass
Scotland's 'Hun' underclass
JohnPDate: Friday, 2014-05-30, 11:07 AM | Message # 1
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If I may be excused for posting about another Scottish issue, I want to highlight the plight of Scotland's PUL community, which has many echoes of their brethren in Ulster. Also, I've adopted the use of the term 'Hun', I hope nobody minds. It can be empowering to seize the words used against you.

Now, although this video is just another attempt to poke fun at Rangers fans, I think it encapsulates a lot of the themes surrounding Scotland's PUL community - their socioeconomic standing, their beliefs, their frustrations, how the rest of society views them, etc.

Republicans have a field day with this sort of thing. The PUL community is Scotland's answer to white trash - a deprived community within what is perceived to be the more privileged side of the sectarian divide. This latter point means that both the media and wider polite society show them no sympathy, despite their low standing in society. If an Irish Catholic in Scotland in poor, it is because of historic racism and injustice. If a Hun is poor - well, its just because he's a knuckle-dragging Hun.

The hallmarks of PUL culture - Britishness, Protestantism, monarchy, marching... these are viewed  as the remnants of an imperialist mentality that can't accept that it long ago lost its dominance in Scottish society. But the reality is that the the PUL community (which in Scotland is a blend of Ulster Protestant immigrants and West Coast working-class Scottish Protestants) was never the dominant culture. In fact, the Presbyterian Church of Scotland was notoriously hostile to the Orangeism of Ulster immigrants, because of the latter's association with the Anglican Church of Ireland (despite the fact that most Ulster Protestants were themselves Presbyterian). There was also an aspect of snobbery involved, as Church of Scotland ministers were outspoken in condemning the drunkenness and rowdiness of the overwhelmingly working-class Ulster immigrants.

These are trends that never really went away. Two recent Orange marches in my hometown and a neighbouring town were both condemned most loudly by Protestant ministers (middle-class and well spoken, of course), who felt offended at such a rabble proceeding through their streets. They do this because they are men-pleasers, who speak of unity but would curse their own people, the very people whose children they baptise.

The reality is the PUL community was always an underclass, who face not just the economic disadvantages of a working-class community, but the hatred of national media, international media, and indeed all society. Their hopes and fears are shot down as imperialist triumphalism, their identity as a 'false consciousness'. The community has faced such a concerted attack of slander and hatred that they have lost all hope, all confidence, and indeed have somewhat retreated into a reactionary mindset. If you tell people often enough that they are a certain way, eventually they may start to believe it, even to embrace it. They have become their own caricature. These people are largely unemployed, poorly educated, politically unrepresented, culturally isolated - all they have is, to sum it up, 'God and Ulster'. You can see all this in the video...

The individual who enters at around the 40 second mark is the stereotypical Hun. Despite having a Scottish accent, he's wearing an England top, and singing "You can shove yer independence up yer arse". The England top is significant - it shows the total rejection of Scottish culture, Scottish politics, Scottish identity. Huns feel alienated from Scottish society, so they reject it. His stance on independence is not surpring, yet I doubt he will feel represented by the pro-union Better Together campaign, which still embraces the civic nationalism of the SNP, and at its formation, immediately banned any Orange involvement to save itself embarrassment. His national identity is clearly British, and he shouts that famous verse first coined by a Scotsman:"Rule Britannia ya ******* ********, rule ******* Britannia".

The guy swears a lot, he's on something, and he's a bit chavvy looking. We can presume he's on benefits, because when noting the economic contribution of the royal family, he goes on to remark that without the Queen, "We'd be ******* living on ******* ten pound giro's mate". People may find such remarks hilarious, but they demonstrate a serious point - our PUL community is a socioeconomically deprived underclass, and there is an undoubtedly sectarian aspect to poverty in Scotland. Irish Catholics were central to the formation of the Labour Party here, and despite being a minority of the population, it is a well known fact that any council body in a working-class area on Scotland's western central belt (where Catholics and the rival PUL communities are concentrated) is overwhelmingly Catholic. Catholics have witnessed great social mobility, they are confident, they are embracing modern Scotland, they are the most pro-Yes religious group on independence - the PUL community on the other hand feels lost and helpless. They traditionally voted for the Unionist Party, but were isolated from it when it turned into the Conservatives and rejected unionism and paternalism in favour of Thatcherite laissez-faire and individualism. Now they have no voice in Scottish or indeed British politics.

Small wonder it is then that they should preoccupy themselves with Ulster and its own political issues. You may note you will see many Union Jacks and Ulster flags, but rarely a Saltire. Ulster and its plight matters deeply to Scotland' PUL community - they are the only friends they have. Note also the young individuals chanting "**** Bobby Sands, he's deed". This association with Ulster greatly disturbs polite Scottish society, and is the focus of much of the hatred directed against Huns.

It is no surprise then that Hun's don't feel welcome in Scotland. A lot have said they would rather move to England, they see themselves as British after all. The guy in the video knows he won't be welcome in an independent Scotland: "If Scotland goes independent mate, ma first stop is England". The reality is these people won't have the means to move, and they probably wouldn't find themselves much more welcome in the modern, multicultural English society. He knows this himself, as he remarks: "In fact, Go to Wales, because see England... England just let all the ******* immigrants in, right".

This is another issue worth noting - the PUL community feels let down by the modern world, they have gained nothing from globalization or multiculturalism - they are a largely unemployed underclass and it hurts them to see foreigners come in and get paid to work. The Scottish nationalism of Salmond and the SNP is not an ethnic nationalism, it is a civic nationalism - how could it ever appeal to an underclass that it completely excluded from civic society? The sense of shared progress, of building a shared future, of a social democracy that Scottish nationalists speak of simply doesn't apply to the PUL community.

Also, note that the individual conducting the interview is in many ways a face of modern, successful, multicultural Scotland - he's a well dressed, well spoken individual of Asian descent with some sort of Western accent. Somehow, it does feel like having salt rubbed in the wound to see such people acting in such a mocking and condescending way towards people of my community. Scottish political parties tend to take a very pro-immigration stance and stand up for immigrants, and this has jarred with the PUL community, which is equally deprived, yet has nothing but hatred directed against it. I expect these sentiments were behind the remark of the older gentleman, when he said to the Asian interviewer: "How the **** did you get a job, know whit a mean?".

The PUL community is a community in crisis, in decline, that feel unwelcome, unwanted. When issues relating to them are brought up in parliament or in the news, it is not in terms of an issue to be resolved, but as a problem to be removed. They are told to go back to the 17th Century, or to go back to Belfast, or to go to England. I wonder how many people that say these things would tell the interviewer to go back to Asia? But alas, there is a sense within the community itself that they belong in a different time and place.

For hundreds of years before 1707, Scots saw themselves as Britons and were at the forefront of forging a union with England. It is to me a tragedy to see their descendants made strangers in their own land, impoverished and slandered with all the names under the sun.

I wish I could offer a solution, but the only picture I see is one of decline. Still, I hope that by raising awareness of this issue and combating the narrative of mainstream media, some small good may be done.

Thoughts?
 
CulzieDate: Friday, 2014-05-30, 7:40 PM | Message # 2
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A lot there to take in, but having a quick read though it you are correct in what you say. You've summed the situation up very well. I would add that the coming of PC has also contributed to a feeling of isolation, and at the same time antagonism towards those who preach and promote it. You could say what you thought in times gone by, and some in the PUL community still carry on in that way. I have noticed for a long time, and in the past few weeks in particular how Protestants in general make statements and then end up apologising and retracting their statements. This has happened with two winning candidates in the recent elections in Ulster and then by Peter Robinson, and further back by Norman Tebbitt re Martin McGuiness, so it would seem this type of character is not confined to the working-class, though I would agree the working-class language is stronger.

The decline is not confined to working-class Protestants but is more strongly felt there, with the loss of the massive shipbuilding yards and engineering jobs in general. But also their institutions, traditions and belief has come under fire and some of these have been lost altogether. America or should I say Washington has played a very large part in how Britain is today. America is a comparatively young country and so has not the traditions of the UK and indeed Europe. So we have Rangers ending their ban on Catholic players. Yorkshire Cricket Club being told to allow those from outside of Yorkshire to play for them. The MCC were told the same re women members. The list of changes is a pretty long one and most of these rules came about when men 'ruled', more so than they do today. So following on from all these changes it was inevitable that immigration would be encouraged which in turn led to the downgrading of the working-class Protestant. I read an report in the Belfast Telegraph a good few years ago by a 'think-tank' which said that the indigenous people would have to get used to living on benefits because of the immigrants who would soon be coming into the country.

All the above has helped to change the world we now live in and the 'Huns' are uncomfortable in this world. Its not the world they or their fathers and grandfathers were part of and they probably learned from them the ways they have now. We 'shoot from the hip' and 'say it as we see it' and in this PC world that is not appreciated or acceptable.


Ulster Protestants consider themselves to be a separate nation. This nation they call Ulster
 
CulzieDate: Friday, 2014-05-30, 8:10 PM | Message # 3
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This is a link which is sorta what we were talking about. The Protestant middle-classes are mentioned as are the church's attitude towards working-class Rangers supporters.

In Protestantism it seems the middle-classes and the church will always distance itself from the 'lower orders'. Contrast this with the RC church's attitude towards its people whether they be bad or good. The IRA are not kept at a distance in fact sometimes they are lauded by the RC church, and are forgiven for anything they have done when they go to confession. On the other hand loyalist paramilitaries are treated as pariahs. This in turn gives an air of respectability to the IRA and a 'just cause', and onto that you can add the various persons of some distinction who openly support the IRA ie Ken Livingstone and movie stars Anjelica Houston, Mickey Rourke, Gene Kelly, Siobhan McKenna etc etc. Can we name one who has been supportive of loyalist paramilitarism, on the contrary nobody wants to associate themselves even remotely with loyalists.
http://www.therangersstandard.co.uk/index.p....cotland


Ulster Protestants consider themselves to be a separate nation. This nation they call Ulster
 
CulzieDate: Friday, 2014-05-30, 8:46 PM | Message # 4
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The last few lines by John Hewitt perhaps gets down to it.

Within a hundred years the immigrants transformed Northern Ireland into a thriving community. Thousands of these Ulster-Scots emigrated to the Colonies of British North America, first to New England and then to Pennsylvania and from thence on into Virginia and the Carolinas. They produced most of the pioneers of the American Old West; the Archetypal frontiersman, Davy Crockett, was a son of an immigrant from County Londonderry.

No less than ten United States presidents traced their ancestry to Ulster (Jackson, Polk, Buchanan, Johnson, Grant, Arthur, Cleveland, Harrison, McKinley, Wilson).

The aggressive Scots were always in the vanguard of the continual movement of Israelites westward, even after reaching the prophesied "appointed place" (II Sam. 7:10) and the throne of David had been established, for the prophecy of Isaiah had still to be fulfilled: "The children which thou shalt have, after thou hast lost the other, shall say again in thine ears, The place is too strait for me: give place to me that I may dwell." (Isaiah 49:20).

The Ulster poet John Hewitt, who died in 1987, wrote, "A writer [and for the term 'writer' we can equally well substitute 'person'] must have ancestors. Not just of the blood, but of the emotions, of the quality and slant of mind. He must know where he comes from, otherwise how can he tell where he wishes to go?


Ulster Protestants consider themselves to be a separate nation. This nation they call Ulster
 
JohnPDate: Saturday, 2014-05-31, 8:28 AM | Message # 5
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Culzie, I think you are bang on and thanks for that Rangers article, it was a good read.

The only celebrity I can think of to sympathise with the loyalist paramilitaries was Andy Goram. Well, and the 'lotto lout' Michael Carroll, but I'm not sure I would count him, lol.

It is sad that the PUL community lack the support in high places that the Republicans have, or even any sort of support from the 'respectable' elements of society. The Rangers article made a good point in noting that the Kirk has too many of its own problems to start adopting the controversial issues surrounding Rangers. Probably one of the reasons why Scotland doesn't have a PUL middle-class is that any in the PUL community that do experience social mobility tend to assimilate into mainstream Scottish society. It is easier for them to do that than Catholics because they go to the same church as non-PUL Protestants, go to the same schools, etc.

A bit like you were saying, the article also noted that the Kirk abandoned Rangers on their policy of not signing Catholics. I know a lot of working-class Rangers fans felt let down by this, I knew a guy in Belfast who used to have a season ticket and travel for every game but he stopped going completely when they let Catholics in. I don't see the problem with Rangers being a Protestant club, I don't get the issue with having politics and religion in football. The role sport plays in society and identity is an essential part of the package, if you take that out you are left with something pretty vapid and meaningless.
 
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