Friday, 21 February 2014

Bowie's Britain

David Bowie, international rock star and UK tax exile, stole some headlines this week when his acceptance speech for his Brit award included a plea to Scots not to vote for independence in the referendum this September. His call was delivered in his not unusual absence from these shores by model Kate Moss. It came at the end of a rather disastrous few days for the "No" camp, where a combined onslaught by the UK parties on SNP plans for a post-independence currency union badly backfired with a strong pro-Yes reaction nearly halving the gap between the two sides.

Bowie - Not waving goodbye to Scotland
Bowie, who has enjoyed something of a comeback recently with his first album for some years, has often courted controversy before and it seems unlikely that this stunt has much more to it than a spot of publicity seeking. At any rate, if the anti-independence brigade want to laud his support for their cause, they may want to reflect on some of his past statements, albeit some time ago, about his ideas for the Britain he wants Scots to stay part of.

“Britain is ready for a fascist leader… I think Britain could benefit from a fascist leader. After all, fascism is really nationalism… I believe very strongly in fascism, people have always responded with greater efficiency under a regimental leadership…Adolf Hitler was one of the first rock stars…You’ve got to have an extreme right front come up and sweep everything off its feet and tidy everything up.”

These were back in 1976 when the National Front was on the rise and to be fair, he subsequently did distance himself from these comments attributing them to "being out of (his) mind at the time", but it nevertheless seems unlikely that many Scots will be much attracted by the latest calls of this Manhattan resident. If they have any sense, the No camp might sensibly have Major Tom dispatched to Mars, maybe in search of the Missing Inaction Scottish Secretary of State, Brusier Carmichael.

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