The racist origins of Stephen Kerr’s ‘kith and kin’ argument – The REAL Scottish Politics


YOU can inform when British nationalist politicians have run out of believable arguments in opposition to Scottish independence after they pull out the Margaret Curran defence.

Through the 2014 independence referendum marketing campaign, Margaret Curran, the then Labour shadow secretary of state for Scotland, argued that she was against Scottish independence due to her son who lived in London, saying: “My son, for instance, who went to college in England, I believe I’d be uncomfortable with the thought that he is now a foreigner.”

What she did not add was that her mother and father have been Irish, but she apparently feels no discomfort about the truth that they too are “foreigners” – residents of a rustic aside from the UK. It seems that British nationalist discomfort about “foreigners” is extremely selective.

After all, in the true world, following Scottish independence, the offspring of Scots who’re presently British residents would additionally nonetheless be entitled to British citizenship on account of getting mother and father who’re British residents, and so wouldn’t be “foreigners” even within the strictly technical sense of holding the passport of a distinct nation. They might solely lose this entitlement to British citizenship if the British Authorities determined to vary its citizenship legal guidelines.

The federal government of an unbiased Scotland can no extra strip British citizenship from an individual who qualifies for it below the citizenship legal guidelines of the UK than it may take away American citizenship from an individual who qualifies for it below American citizenship legal guidelines. The query of citizenship is determined by the legal guidelines of the state conferring the citizenship, nobody else.

The offspring of Scottish residents who dwell in England would even be entitled to Scottish citizenship and to Scottish passports following independence. So no British citizen dwelling in Scotland goes to seek out that Scottish independence makes their kids or grandchildren in England into “foreigners” following Scottish independence.

Nonetheless, even when it have been the case that Scottish independence meant that the youngsters of Scots in England have been now “foreigners” within the strictly technical sense of holding a distinct passport from that of their family in Scotland, so what? An unbiased Scotland would stay part of the Frequent Journey Space together with the remainder of the UK, the Republic of Eire, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. Residency rights and the correct to work or settle all through the islands of Britain and Eire will stay unaffected.

The newest determined British nationalist to quote having household in England as a cause to oppose Scottish independence is the Scottish Conservative MSP Stephen Kerr who mentioned throughout an episode of Debate Evening on BBC Scotland that he was in opposition to what he referred to as “the break up of those islands” as a result of the Union “is the illustration of issues to do with kith and kin”. He added that three out of his 4 kids and 9 out of his 11 grandchildren dwell in England.

Thoughts you, if I used to be unlucky sufficient to be associated to Stephen Kerr, I might wish to dwell as distant as attainable from him too. The phrase “kith and kin” first entered British political discourse within the Fifties, when immigration into the UK from Commonwealth international locations was changing into important. The phrase carries unlucky racist overtones.

Based on a research of the racism inherent in British immigration coverage within the Fifties carried out by researchers at Warwick College: “While wishing to stop Black British topics from getting into the UK, the Cupboard was involved to protect the correct of white ‘kith and kin’ within the Dominions and to free entry.”

In Kerr’s remarks but once more we see the British nationalist xenophobic terror of “foreigners”. It seems to be based upon the decidedly peculiar perception that that high quality of your love for and the character of your relationship together with your closest family is set by and predicated on their citizenship standing. If that’s certainly true, it’s not an argument in opposition to Scottish independence, it’s merely proof that you’re desperately in want of household counselling and remedy and have to develop up.

The emotional and psychological shortcomings of Stephen Kerr should not a cause to not have Scottish independence. The xenophobia of British nationalism most definitely is a cause for Scotland to flee its malign affect.

This piece is an extract from as we speak’s REAL Scottish Politics publication, which is emailed out at 7pm each weekday with a round-up of the day’s high tales and unique evaluation from the Wee Ginger Dug.

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