09.15.2014 06:32 PM

In Tuesday’s Sun: Scotland divided, plus bonus 007 reference

Scotland, heed the wise words of the guy who bites the heads off chickens.

You know, Alice Cooper. According to urban legend, the rock star once bit the head off of a chicken. Reportedly, Alice then went on to play golf with former Republican presidents. It’s true! (The golf part, not the chicken part.)

Quoth Alice: “To me, that’s treason. [Stars] should never be in bed with politics.”

And: “If you’re listening to a…star in order to get information on who to vote for, you’re a bigger moron than they are.”

Alice’s sage advice comes to mind, this morn, as we reflect on the implications of Scottish independence. A vote is being taken on it at this very moment.

To referendum-weary Canadians, the arguments against are all too familiar. Shared history. Economic uncertainty. Constitutional gridlock. Blah, blah, blah. Canadians have heard it all before.

What makes the Scottish “yes” campaign truly unique, however, is the abundance of world-famous celebrities, stumping for independence. We Canadians don’t see that, so much.

There’s the Proclaimers, for example. Remember them? They had a single hit, several generations ago, and have lately become experts in the allocation of natural resource revenue. “Scotland has huge national resources, with its people, its wave power.” say the lads, who closely resemble former Liberal leader Stephane Dion, except with guitars. Are they right?

Scotland certainly has waves, but we’re not quite sure how “people” are properly classified as “resources.” If we harness the energy caused by tossing cabers and eating haggis, perhaps. Worth thinking about, over several cases of Glenfiddich.

Now, another star who has lifted the kilt on his politics, as it were, includes Sean Connery. Sean, as 007, got to make out once with Ursula Andress. That, alone, should give Sean a seat at the big kid’s table when and if Scotland goes it alone. And Sean says an independent Scotland will “revitalize culture and heritage.”

Is it true? Well, the last time Sean worked was to provide the lead voice in an obscure animated film called “Sir Billi.” Ever heard of it? Us, neither. Perhaps the thing that will be “revitalized” is Sean’s career. It needs it.

Annie Lennox has also weighed in. Rock star Annie, who usually energetically devotes herself to anti-Israel causes – she says that Israel engages in “slaughter and systematic murder” – is a Scottish separatist. Says Annie: “Scotland could have a new, ethical, visionary stance and could take on fresh ideas. That could be really amazing.”

We’re not quite sure what Annie is referring to, here, but if her gentle and nuanced approach to international affairs is any indication, she should not be considered for the post of Foreign Minister in the new Scottish state. She might, you know, start a war or two.

Actor Brian Cox has hit the hustings for the “yes” side, as well. Brian, who has played a villain in series of movies about a comic book, has also had “a prominent role” in important video games, such as “Killzone,” “Killzone 2,” and (who can forget?) “Killzone 3.”

Says Brian about Scottish independence: “It’s about equality [and] trying to get back to egalitarian principles.” What, exactly? Brian says the Scots have “a sense of inferiority,” but if you ever saw Sean Connery making out with Ursula Andress – or someone in a skirt tossing a caber and swilling Glenfiddich – you’d probably have doubts about that. We doubt the Scots feel “inferior” about pretty much anything.

About ripping apart a great country, the Scots should (hopefully) have doubts, too.

Take it from us Canucks, Scotland: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Also, go ask Alice: movie and music stars should stick to movies and music.

Not, you know, politics.


  1. Ty says:

    Kinda unfair to Annie, because she actually took your advice:


  2. davie says:

    Lots of constitutional complexities if the yes vote comes out ahead. (Ontario separatists will be watching closely.)

    I am still waiting to hear whether or not members of the Pict diaspora have a vote.

    I sometimes think that a plus for celebrities in other fields becoming a part of a political discussion is that it can bring interest from people who would otherwise not pay attention.

  3. VC says:

    Admittedly, most (all) movie and music stars are idiots and should be ignored, but their opinion is worth the same as everyone else’s in a democracy, especially deliberative activities.

    Also, some might say that you, Mr. Kinsella, fall into the ‘music star’ category (I saw last week’s picture from the 80’s and can draw no other conclusion), yet many are duly influenced by your reasoning. Without the visceral pronouncements of Sean or Annie, we probably wouldn’t have your cerebral reactions for the rest of us to intellectually digest.

  4. Sezme says:

    And on the No side we have JK Rowling who will be fine either way. And then there’s Betty Windsor who steadfastly refuses to express an opinion, possibly because she doesn’t have one, but more likely because she’ll be Queen of Scots if they choose to leave the UK, and that would be undeniably cool. But Queen either way so who gives a toss?

    At least if Scotland votes for independence it won’t sever the rest of Great Britain the way Quebec’s separation would leave the Maritime provinces cut off from the rest of Canada (and us from them).

    • Scotian says:


      Thank you for making the point I was going to, as I am a born and bred Haligonian Bluenoser who has watched as the Quebecois Separatist threat has for decades destabilized my region economically and socially while they tried to split up this nation. Given I never heard much consideration being given to this region by most of Canada/Canadians, especially from some in the West (I mean you Alberta) about how getting rid of Quebec would be the best thing for Canada that is a bit of a sore point with me. At least the Scots aren’t doing that in their quest. That said, I have no opinion in the issue re Scotland, I have not paid it enough attention to have an informed opinion, and on something this profound I prefer to have my opinions based on substance and considered reflection on said substance before I offer any, and on this I cannot.

      I could wish more than few “stars” could learn that lesson whatever their political issue and whomever they support.

      • Bill MacLeod says:

        @Scotian “(I mean you Alberta)”

        Interesting comment, but here’s the thing. When I was born, Alberta had 17 federal seats, Nova Scotia 12, and the huge Leduc oil field had been discovered a few years earlier. Today, Nova Scotia is pegged at 11 seats while Alberta will have 34. Birth rates and immigration rates are essentially the same, so those extra — and larger, I might add — ridings had to come from somewhere.

        I experienced first-hand where they are coming from just before the LAbour Day weekend, driving home to Manitoba from Nova Scotia. The roads were awash in westbound Bluenose adorned licence plates, cars, trucks, SUVs loaded to the gunnels with household effects. I talked to a few of them, stopped at a gas station near White River, ON.

        It was reminiscent of the 1981 eastbound exodus after the NEP worked its magic across the oil patch.

        So, frankly, if you really think Alberta and the West aren’t sympathetic to the plight of Maritimers, you might start by asking your own!

        For the record, I’m a transplanted New Brunswicker.


        • Scotian says:


          I wasn’t talking about the ongoing brain/employment drain to Alberta that has existed for decades here, I was talking about those voices throughout the decades long fight against the Quebecois Separatists who had no thought for us in the Atlantic when they said let them go, Canada would be better for it, and a strong base for those voices came out of Alberta. This is just basic fact. And if you think I do not know people who commuted from here to the West, and understand the demographic make-up involved, well then you underestimate me. I was not talking about that demographic nor that issue, I was talking about a fairly tightly defined specific issue/point, and are you going to seriously tell me that the loudest voices for letting Quebec go as the best thing for Canada without any consideration for us on the other side of that Province DIDN’T come out of Alberta?

          I’m sorry Bill, what you replied with was a rather nice diversion from the actual point being made based on the actual factual record. I will say it was one of the better quality diversions I’ve encountered but that does not change the nature of what it is. I was pointed about Alberta because the current federal government whose core is in the Alberta political scene was also very prominent in years past from the PM on down in saying let them go without saying word one about the Atlantic Provinces except for saying they should move to the West and work out there as a solution. Well sorry Bill, some of us still believe in this region too and aren’t willing to abandon it so easily, and that is not a serious solution in any event. This btw is not a knock on those who go to work in the West, my point is solely about how the sole consideration for an entire REGION of Canada regarding its future when they recommended the best thing for Canada was to let Quebec go was to transplant the population as a work force. THAT is my sole point.

          I get very irked whenever I see apologists for this mentality put forward arguments like yours, and while you may not be an apologist for that movement you are clearly mixing apples and oranges with that reply. As I said, can you seriously say it was not voices from Alberta over the decades past that were the loudest in saying let Quebec go Canada would be better for it from its political class, especially those who currently make up our federal government, without actually having any demonstrated concern for this region in the process, or as Harper once famously called us a “culture of defeatism” back in the 90s when he addressed a local conservative think tank? That was my point in that one little point you quoted and then took such exception to, and I stand by it.

          So please do not assume that this Bluenoser is unaware of the demographic makeup of the workforce in Alberta, what I was talking about as should have been obvious about the political classes/voices from Alberta on a very specific and important issue, not the average citizen/voter (but since they seem to elect nothing but Conservatives both Provincially and federally one could have stretched it there with some basis for it, but that was not where I was going).

          Seriously Bill, my problem with Alberta/Albertans in many ways is the holier than thou attitude too many from there have towards us because they have easily accessed energy reserves while we do not. They are the powerhouse they are not because of inherently superior methodology of government or economics, they are because of a natural resource, and arguably over the past couple of decades they have started to seriously mismanage that resource to boot. How they have spoken about Quebec and the relationship to Canada and the complete disregard for this region is only one of the many manifestations of this mentality, but speaking as a citizen of Canada I find it reprehensible when ANYONE disregards the basic value of Canadian citizenship/citizenry as was seen on this specific issue. Given that half the founding Provinces of this nation are in this region I think we are entitled/due a little bit of consideration/respect when talking about such major issues, don’t you? I certainly would think the Western Provinces should have such in a similar context, because before I am a Bluenoser, before I am a Martitimer, I am CANADIAN, and that as much as hometown pride is where my anger on this point comes from.

          For the record I found your reply irrelevant, disingenuous, and deflective from the actual point being made, and I’m from Nova Scotia, born and bred, and proud of it. Polite/civil though, I will give it that, which is a major step up from a lot of deflections I’ve seen on this point over the years.

  5. que sera sera says:

    “Scotland: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

    It appears Scotland decided the UK government is broke, and unfixable which apparently is why the Scots elected the SNP and gave FM Salmond a mandate to seek independence from the UK.

    The antics of Westminister and the BBC (among others) over the past four weeks have done an outstanding job proving how corrupt the UK ruling class really is and proving why a majority of Scots are determined to vote YES for independence.

    Pretending it’s inappropriate for Scotland (unlike Ireland and 190 other countries of the world) to seek independence and self-determination, or pretending the Scots are incapable of managing their own affairs, seems a tad disingenuous & more than a little patronizing. Even more specious when celebrities campaigning for the “NO” side include the likes of: Sir Mick Jagger, Dame Judy Dench, Sir Paul McCartney amongst others.

    The future of Scotland is for the residents of Scotland to decide through the referendum on independence on Thursday, September 18.


    • smelter rat says:

      Nailed it. I predict a yes vote. Too many Scots believe they have nothing to lose. Also, screw David Cameron, the two faced little git.

    • Justin says:

      Obviously nobody knows the true implications for a Scottish Yes independence vote. Now every minority of language and peoples will be crying out for their own state within the European continent. The Basque region of Spain, the Flemish in Belgium, North and South Italy, even perhaps the Bavarians in Germany since they insist on having their own separate police force and customs control at Munich airport why not independence. Nobody likes to talk about the ‘slippery slope’ this will cause, but the risks are great if Scotland becomes independent. Not to mention that North Sea oil revenues have been on the decline since the 1990s because of ever decreasing amount of oil being discovered there. Scotland would benefit of maybe a couple of decades before it becomes dry and then what? Tourism? Then it becomes the Greece of what was the British isles.

  6. Swervin' Merv says:

    (Let Sean Connery) Fuck Ursula Andress. But I’d follow Annie Lennox anywhere.

  7. Lord Kitchener says:

    God Save the Queen…with some good Dalwhinnie

  8. socks clinton says:

    So if Scotland separates will that enable them to draft legislation so Socttish men can marry their favorite sheep?

  9. patrick says:

    Or we could just listen to billionaires, politicians and tabloid reporters’ opinions. Hmmmm, gonna feel dirty no matter what.

  10. Adam says:

    “Scotland has huge national resources, with its people, its wave power.” say the lads, who closely resemble former Liberal leader Stephane Dion, except with guitars. Are they right?


    • que sera sera says:

      Easy to watch, articulate 3 minute video on why Scotland is seeking independence & self-determination, set to the Proclaimer’s Cap in Hand tune.


      • Jon Powers says:

        According to this video, “6 million families live in poverty”. Really? That’s incredible, considering that fewer than 6 million people live in the country. Hyperbole is the best thing ever! Well, the Scots can do as they want. As a Scottish-Canadian, I’m glad my ancestors left.

        • que sera sera says:

          The comparison appears to be between the UK politician’s 11% pay raise and the UK’s 6 million people living in poverty.

          I notice your Scots ancestors’ quest for self-determination and independence necessitated their relocation from Scotland to a foreign land. The present day Scots appear unwilling to abandon their country to achieve the same.

  11. davie says:

    Ach, Hugh McDiarmid, see whit y’ha’e set afoot?

  12. Bill Mcvitie says:

    Historical Fiction

    Separatist, nationalist, and fantasist can often be used interchangeably.

    In 2008, Gilles Duceppes, then leader of the separatist Parti Quebecois Party, ranted, “I say to all the Uncle Toms that are in Ottawa who say to us, ‘If you want to enforce French, do it in Quebec,’ it’s time for them to act if they are serious about recognizing Quebec as a nation.” – Duceppes was alluding to the classic Quebecois separatist text, “les Nègres blancs d’Amérique” (“white niggers of North America”). Wrong on so many levels, not the least, the Quebecois elite were slave owners back in the day. But, one mustn’t let the historical record get in the way of a good separatist yarn.

    The Parti Quebecois under Pauline Marois as a kind of Quebecois Marine Le Pen (another historical revisionist) tried to roll out the Quebec Charter – a stringent plan to remove all “religious” symbols from the Quebecois State. This plan reeked of ethnic purification schemes a la Serbia. Voters, correctly noting the party was trying to put the national back into socialism, largely rejected this vision of a modern nation state based on ethnic nationalism.

    Mel Gibson is perhaps Hollywood’s premier fantasist and historical revisionist and created Braveheart which many credit as the prime driver of Scottish nationalism. Christopher Hitchens wrote: “Braveheart and The Patriot are two of the most laughable historical films ever made. His vulgar and nasty movies, which also feature this prejudice, are additionally replete with the cheapest caricatures of the English.” Indeed, the Scots, excepted only by the English themselves, reaped the rewards of the British Empire including displacing the Aboriginal peoples of what was then British North America. The first prime minister of Canada was a Scot. Untold wealth flowed into the pockets and purses of the Scots both in the old country and the new. This hardly indicates a people on the very margins. Scotland was and is an integral part of the United Kingdom.

    Hitchens’s also notes of Gibson: ” And it has been obvious for some time to the most meager intelligence that he is sick to his empty core with Jew-hatred.” Likewise, there are disturbing strains of anti-Semitism in certain segments of Scottish nationalism. Annie Lennox, militant anti-Israeli and separatist, must dishonour the 34 000 Scots who died in combat fighting National Socialism.

    The Daily Mail questioned Gibson (who it must be noted at least once is Australian) about a return to Scotland: “‘I haven’t gone back since because I’m afraid. I’d never get sober for one thing, and to have to run around in a dress. . . it’s cold up there!’ he adds, seemingly unaware that Scottish men have since discovered the use of trousers.”

    It is one thing to immerse oneself in a good fantasy movie over a glass a scotch or three on a rainy night. It is quite another to contemplate an extreme makeover of one’s political house based on fantasies that have little to no bearing in history or reality. Therefore, the wise course of action is “no.”

  13. Neil says:

    Don’t pick on the best Bond.
    Mr.Connery retired a few years ago and just enjoys golfing.
    No reflection on his career.

  14. M-J says:

    Comedy is hard.

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