Racists always make sense. They make sense to themselves and other racists (presuming of course that they are of the same perceived racial/ethnic group).
For the last 500 years the dominant ethnic group on the planet has been the white western European group.
That much is undeniable and self-evident.
The top of that particular racial pile-100 years ago-were the British.
The Germans tried to topple the British, but they failed.
However despite their failure to take out Britain Germany drained the strength of the London state and, in the end, the colonials in America had to save the old country with Lend Lease.
The North European white tribe had a new leader.
The old boys in London didn’t realise this until Suez in 1956.
Now, of course it is the Americans that are top dogs and the British bulldog knows it.
The Ivy League Blue Bloods who have run the American state since the creation of the USA represents an unbroken racial supremacy dating back to Henry VIII.
Within western Europe the expansion of strong states to incorporate “ peripheral culture s of low prestige” was brilliantly mapped out by Michael Hechter in his “Internal colonialism”(1999) he used the example of the expansion of the London state to become the dominant power in the north European archipelago.
If all the subject peoples of these islands the rural Irish. Remaining catholic after the reformation and emotionally thirlled to the Brehon laws, even after Cromwellian ethnic cleansing, remained outside the emotional contract.
Like all peoples of internal colonies they provide military and industrial recruits to the power centre.
The Irish who flocked to British cities were no different to Bretons and Corsicans who provided the French republic with its soldiers and factory fusiliers.
The descendants of these reluctant arrivistes have several paths to take-these routes are often marked out for them by the powerful.
They can remain distinct by being systematically excluded and ghettoised like European Jewry.
They can fully integrate and become indistinguishable like the Cornish who provided greater Wessex with agricultural labour.
The Glasgow Irish over the last 150 years are probably somewhere in the middle.
At no time were the Irish locked up in ghettoes although there was a limit to their social mobility. In Scotland there was a tartan ceiling that the Irish could not pass through.
As late as the 1960s a certain major Scottish bank had a formal ban on Catholics being employed there.
Now of course that Scottish bank is no longer a Scottish bank, but in the 1960s the Scottish bank in question was owned and run by Scots.
Catholic was a handy badge to identify and exclude members of the Irish.
However the social division was never truly about religion.
Just like Rangers football club-everyone-including the Catholics knew the rules.
Some Catholics did better than others.
Rangers supporters sing and chant about “Fenian Bastards” not “Catholic bastards”
It wasn’t a crime to be an Italian Scot. They remained fiercely catholic. Their homeland was a republic and was home to the Pope!
Italy had sided with the Axis powers in WW2.
Yet a benign integration ,while being allowed to remain distinctly Italian, was afforded them.
Perhaps if only the Irish had been able to make ice cram!
As ever politics is in everything.
Despite being catholic from the losing side of WW2 the Italians in Scotland did not represent the threat to the entire British project that the Irish did.
In the late 19th century a Scottish catholic cleric Bishop Grey was concerned about the Irish refugees and argued with an Irish colleague Bishop Devine.
Given that both Bishops were probably Catholics we can rule out religious intolerance as well in this one!
What was the issue was that the Irish were Fenians.
The Irish had among their number revolutionaries who wished the empire nothing but ill will.
Karl Marx was alive and writing at this time and noted a definitive difference between the Irish and the British proletariat.
The Famine and the Land war in Ireland had produced the Fenian Brotherhood.
The first act of asymmetrical warfare in modern times in these islands –the Clerkenwell explosion- introduced dynamite to the arsenal of the Irish revolutionary.
The Catholicism of the Irish was never the issue for the host community.
Fenianism was THE issue.
The armed threat to the state was the issue, not transubstantiation.
The Fenian fuse finally reached its logical destination in Easter 1916.
The Proclamation is the written statement of a cultural revolution.
It mapped out the end of Greater England.
Historians may yet write that it was the start of the beginning of the London state’s grip on this archipelago.
The Republic of Ireland is-as Alex Salmond says- “an independence success story”.
That long journey to being such a success story started in Easter 1916.
Easter 1916 is justifiably celebrated by the Irish people and the Irish state. The British send their representative and wreaths are laid by the Irish Army and the British army.
Thankfully all of this is in the past and the Dublin state and the London state could not be closer allies on many issues.
Anti-Irish racism was a creation of the centrifugal force of the London state at its zenith. Although there had been writings about the barbarous Irish as far back as the twelfth century. Giraldis Cambrensis (Gerald of Wales) was also very catholic….
That centrifuge is slowing down now. We maybe in the end of days for the British state.
It will not, in my opinion, survive full Scottish freedom. Finally the Auld sang could begin again. That new beginning for Scotland will, necessarily be the end of “Britishness”. The Scots who berate the Glasgow Irish may finally stop wearing England shirts at Ibrox and realise how appallingly they behaved when they were England’s docile natives.
One cannot explain the “Famine song” of recent controversy without understanding the different roles that the Catholic Irish and the Protestant Scots played in the British Empire when that empire was in existence.
The British Empire is, of course, a thing of the past.
A historical fact, but something that is done with, over, finished and never to return.
The centre of that empire-that once spanned the globe- is now also in terminal decline. The UK is now struggling even to be a junior ally of the US empire (which is also starting to stumble in the imperial game as China waits their turn).
The new Scotland can have no place for the league of empire loyalist with their visceral hatred of the Irish.
Scotland, like Ireland can play a full part in the development of a European polity.
The “mother country” so loved of the England shirt wearing Rangers fans will soon be too busy dealing with the home grown Jihadis in Bradfordistan to notice that the descendants of a successful English annexation in the 18th century are finally being themselves again-just like the Irish.
I am confident that more and more Scots will find their confidence and their voice to take their place among nations once more.
I am glad I came home to Ireland, but I wish the country of my birth well in dealing with their British problem at Ibrox.
For if Scotland is to progress and takes its place among the nations of the world then the Ibrox psychosis will need to be finally dealt with.