by Rab Bruce’s Spider

I honestly thought that the old "I don’t want my relatives to become foreigners" line had long been consigned to the list of failed arguments against Scotland becoming a normal, self-governing country, but I noticed someone using it on a Facebook thread I had the misfortune to stumble across. Not wanting to get into an argument, I let it slide, but it irritated me so much that I haven’t been able to shake off the sheer stupidity of the claim.

It’s easy enough to point out that many residents in the UK have relatives who are citizens of another country. (Oh, wouldn’t it be great if we could qualify for the exalted status of citizens instead of being subjects, but that’s another story). We have a large number of relations in Australia, and we think of them as relatives, not as foreigners. I’m sure the same goes for most Scots.

But – and perhaps I am a bit slow on the uptake here – I have come to believe that there is something rather more sinister to the desire not to have foreigners as relatives. It is, I suspect, part of the long tradition within the UK of regarding all foreigners as somehow second-class human beings, somehow inferior to the magnificent Brits. Foreigners are, at the very least, incapable of accomplishing anything to the same standard as the Brits, And that’s the best that can be said about foreigners. According to the BritNat way of thinking, most of them are good for very little at all.

If that is indeed why some Unionists still cling to this view of foreigners and think that their relatives will suddenly become second-rate human beings simply by dint of living in another country, then there is a word for that. It’s racism, pure and simple.