Ruth Dudley Edwards

Ahead of the referendum on Scotland’s independence.

Dublin-born writer Ruth Dudley Edwards writes:

“These days Scots, however, would do well to learn from the example of the island immediately to their west.
There, the people of the Republic of Ireland have mostly ignored the rest of the Celtic fringe, being obsessed instead with nurturing old grievances towards England (aka the Saxon, perfidious Albion, the old enemy and so on). Anti-Englishness was our identity: the evil country’s role was to take the blame for all our wrongs and accept our immigrants uncomplainingly. Ireland was thus a mean little country that I gladly quit in the Sixties – insular, sectarian and with a political class that allowed itself to be bossed about by a rigid and intolerant Roman Catholic hierarchy and drove out most of its writers and creative minds along with the jobless.
Such narrow-mindedness is a grim warning of what might await an independent Scotland.
In Ireland’s case, the narrowing stemmed from a revolution in 1916 that began the process of taking Ireland out of the United Kingdom, cutting off contact with the British Empire, silencing anyone who retained unionist sympathies and airbrushing out of history the 200,000 or so Irishmen who fought in the First World War. If they chose to stay, Protestants kept their heads down and said nothing about “Rome Rule”.

…For much of the 20th century, in its constitution Ireland claimed ownership of the entire island, ballads were sung about our divided nation and there was hero-worship of various members of the IRA who tried to bring about Irish unity by crossing the border and attacking police. This kind of aggressive, divisive republicanism should serve as another warning to Scotland. There will be a push to undermine institutions with unionist associations, and to foment a kind of class war. If the Scots Nationalists win next Thursday, how long will it be before they morph into republicans and call for a referendum on ditching the monarchy?

Scotland should heed a harsh lesson from across the Irish Sea (Ruth Dudley Edwards, Daily Telegraph)

Ruth Dudley Edwards

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53 thoughts on “Ruthless

    1. CousinJack

      And have some gobshite politician as head of state, Tony Blair, George W Bush, Sarkosy, for examples.
      Most people in Scotland, England, Wales and elsewhere are happy to have an herited irrelevant person as head of state rather than have some gombeen as their head.

  1. aubrey

    Knowing they were our betters, yet keeping their heads down … such grace and nobility on a ship of fools … *tugs forelock*

  2. Spaghetti Hoop

    She raises a couple of truths there…but she emigrated in the Sixties. Now I know that some fine historians can write knowledgeably about Ireland while not living here…..but there’s a gaping hole in her experience of the last 4 decades of Irish life in my view.

    1. Sidewinder

      Plus she completely fails to take into account any variable besides being part of the union. We barely had electricity when we left the union never mind commercial airlines, affordable ferries, telephones, television, the internet, the EU, the UN etc etc. All these things have had a major impact on society and the way it views those who make up said society. Basically Scotland in 2014 ain’t Ireland in 1920.

        1. Odis

          It’s not about electricity, and the twentieth century progress, Its about British tribalism, and starts, in terms of recorded history, with Hadrian’s Wall about 1,900 years ago.

    2. Italia'90

      I’m pretty sure she moved back to north Wicklow in the early 80’s.
      I was at school with her son(think of a curly, blonde Hodor but not as intelligent)

  3. well

    I agree with her it caused some problems, however I’m not thinking of any that she listed their.

    Wanting to block Scottish independence because a few loyalists might throw a tantrum is silly.

  4. rotide

    What a crock of agenda driven biased shite

    She’ll obviously be lauded here for the easy target anti-church sentiments but the picture of the country doing nothing but grinding their teeth about england and keeping the prods down is absolute horseshit.

    Also the CHEEK of Ireland claiming ownership to you know, Ireland. What a backward bunch of paddys writing songs about a divided nation…

    She claims that all the talented writers were ‘driven out’ by the church in the 60s? Well silver lining. We lost her and noone will ever care.

  5. bisted

    …Ruth Dudley Edwards and John McGuirk on the same day…wtf Broadsheet…I thought you had a voluntary code of no more than one contrarian per day.

  6. Jane

    Well I guess she’s entitled to peddle a point of view that dovetails neatly with the prejudices of her employers for money.

    Pensions won’t really keep you these days, I hear.

  7. Formerly known as

    There is a fair chance, that if all of Ireland had been given independence, as per the democratic wishes of the previous 5 UK general elections up to 1918, we would have moved on from resenting England.

    Did she mention the artificial partition of our country? I want to hear Cameron and his cronies state that if a large proportion of a region of Scotland, let’s call it the Highlands, vote for separation, that they will partition Scotland.They wouldn’t dream of it.

    A nice simplification of history that Republicans “from across the border” were the cause of the problem. 1955 was a long time ago. She might be keen to learn that the Troubles largely came about when peaceful protests were met with the might of the loyal Crown forces. Maybe, if London did the right thing in 1969, the following 30 years would have been a lot better.

    1. Sidewinder

      The fact that it’s a kip has everything to do with us and what we did after separation and very little to do with England. Scotland is its own country. Acting like Ireland’s problems are a result of us not having England to save us from ourselves is plain ridiculous. Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland are not without their own problems in case ye haven’t noticed. Our experiences of the last century are not an accurate forecast of Scotland’s experiences for the next one.

      1. Formerly known as

        “The fact that it’s a kip has everything to do with us and what we did after separation and very little to do with England.”

        A 32 county entity, including the highly productive and industrialised northern part, would have been a lot more successful than the 26 county statelet. If you took California off the USA, the rest of that country would not do as well.

        The liberated part of Ireland has been a lot more peaceful, more successful society, than the bit that continues to be part of the great United Kingdom.

        The wonderful British parliament stuffed up Ireland, north and south, by forcing partition on us. Our history would have been very different, if the border was not fabricated into existence.

        We might have had to share the constitution with a large non-Catholic minority.

        1. Sidewinder

          The Scots aren’t voting on a possible partition of Scotland. They’re voting on whether or not to secede as a whole.

          1. scottser

            they’re simply being asked to vote on whether you think scotland should be an independent country – a principle, a theory. what the state looks like or what arrangement they come to with westminster is all up for negotiation.

        2. Sidewinder

          And I vehemently disagree that the way the UK handled Northern Ireland is the sole reason for Southern Ireland’s problems.

        3. Odis

          @ Formerly, If you just said you were here to shill for the Shinners rather feigning an interest in Scotland’s referendum it might be more honest.
          But I rather suspect you have no idea what honesty is.
          On account of the fact that you seem pretty good at self delusion

  8. Nigel

    I thought she building up a fine head of rhetorical scheme, but her dreadful vision of The Horrors Of Independence rising like a Dark Old One from the frozen waters of the North Sea is: ditching the monarchy? I don’t think she was striving for bathos, but she hit it note perfect.

  9. Peter

    There seems to be a suggestion that ditching the monarchy would be a bad thing? Or that us wanting to unite the island politically is bad, but Westminster wanting to retain the unity of the island of Great Britain is somehow, diametrically, an intrinsically good thing.

    At the risk of sounding like a bigoted, IRA worshipping, insular, Romish, anti-WASP, Irishman, Dudley-Edwards (Cu Chulainn’s mother’s maiden name, if I’m not mistaken) should take her 1960s view of Ireland and shove it where the sun doesn’t shine. That’s her arse, by the way, not the Hebrides.

    Oh, also, who is Ruth Dudley-Edwards?

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