Scottish composer in ferocious attack on nationalist leader

Scottish composer in ferocious attack on nationalist leader


norman lebrecht

May 08, 2015

James MacMillan, Scotland’s most successful composer for centuries, spent the last days before the general election campaigning for a Liberal Democrat candidate in the Gordon constituency against the SNP ex-leader Alex Salmond.

He called the SNP ‘a divisive force’ and said ‘the arrogance and bullying of nationalism has come from the very person of Alex Salmond.’

Salmond went on to win.

james macmillan no


  • Stereo says:

    Well said James. It appears Nicola Sturgeon now has power in Scotland but thankfully won’t have the influence she expected at Westminster.

  • Stereo says:

    Well said James. Though Nicola Sturgeon has power in Scotland thankfully she won’t have the influence in Westminster she so desired and expected.

  • Alexander Prior says:

    The positive voice of nationalism – i.e. caring about and investing in people, putting people before money; a voice of caring and community engagement, a voice of standing up to austerity and tory rule over a nation than hasn’t asked for it for years and years prevailed. The SNP adore Scotland and want to create a better future for people with more self-belief and opportunity. A wind of change is blowing through Scotland and it won’t be tamed. Scotland has rejected business as usual, it is a reawakening nation – nothing will be the same again.

  • James Alexander says:

    I think the FACT that SNP wiped out the other parties tells us that McMillan is not progressive is not in tune with his fellow Scots and continues to pursue his “poor me” agenda. Jimmy waken up and welcome to the 21st Century where your fellow Scots want more than you seem to be happy to settle for.

    • Fiona S. says:

      You been reading any of the Lisitsa threads? (Or the Montero one?) 😀

      I wouldn’t get too exercised about campaign rhetoric.

      And the post itself seems to suggest that by going on to win, Salmond somehow disproved MacMillan’s opposing comments. On the contrary, his characterisation of Wee Eck seems right on the money — this is a man who did a very dodgy deal to have a Special Scientific Area approved for a Trump golf course, much against the wishes of the local community. Which is not the half of what he would have done had the referendum gone the other way.

      Nicola Sturgeon was a very impressive campaigner. The man MacMillan was campaigning to defeat was a hoary demagogue. I doubt he will be a force at Westminster. Though I fear he will be a noisy windbag — I recall him during the referendum campaign.

      England voted Conservative for a variety of reasons, one of which must have been at least in part distaste for the recent Labour leadership. Scotland had an alternative and took it. Labour has rebuilding to do on both sides of Hadrian’s Wall. Meanwhile, the campaign rhetoric of a composer will sound like music compared to the bloviating you are going to hear from Wee Eck if the Speaker ever makes the mistake of recognising him.

    • Paul Bentley says:

      I thought the Scots wanted to stay in the UK? 55 to 45? At least I’ve learned that in Scotland “progressive” means more debt & taxes. Slàinte mhath!

      • Martin Locher says:

        It’s roughly the same 45% which voted for the SNP.

        But as I see it ,the main problem is that the UK voting system is outdated and outright silly.

        In the constituency I live in (Motherwell) and the surrounding 3 areas in average 32,52% voted for Labour and 53,82% voted SNP, but 100% of the seats went to the SNP.

        • Fiona S. says:

          Ms. Sturgeon campaigned for SNP votes with an agenda to improve things for Scotland, which she sees as her constituency, and said that voting SNP was not going to be construed as a vote for independence. Salmond does not buy that. He is determined upon independence in his lifetime. MacMillan’s antipathy to him is representative, apparently, of what over half the electorate felt. I do not understand this picking on him as if he were some sort of antediluvian. I am Scottish and would prefer Labour or the Lib Dems any day of the week to Wee Eck. As is my right, and MacMillan’s, and as is the right of those who chose SNP candidates to speak on behalf of theirs.

      • Alex Prior says:

        Around 52-53% of Scots voted to be independent. However they are not the only part of the electorate – there are also immigrants from England and elsewhere and they absolutely rightly had he figt to vote on the future of the country they were living in, but Scots voted yes

        • Don Giovanni says:

          I don’t know how you got that “52-53%” of Scots voted to be independent? It was 45%, and it was a vote for a vote, Yes or No. No first past the post or anything. It was also a stunningly high turnout (84.6%). 1,617,989 voted Yes, 2,001,926 voted No.

          In last week’s general election they secured 56 of the 59 seats in Scotland. That’s 95%. But 50% of the voting Scottish people actually voted SNP (1,454,436 people). There’s no questioning the fact that more people voted SNP than anything else, but there is an alarming fact that Scotland is now represented pretty much by a single party in the Commons.

          I agree with the point made above – many Scots will have voted for the SNP because Labour and the Lib Dems just weren’t offering an alternative. But the main thing that bothers me about the SNP and their following is this: (Quoted from Alexander Prior above)

          The very language of this post concerns me. It is common with the way I perceive a lot of the SNP support.The almost personal cult following of the SNP leadership smacks of 1930s Germany. Every SNP supporter I have met has a blind faith in their party’s motives and track record. This is exactly how the Nazis gained power. Their constant self glorification bothers is similar too. Then there’s the fact that they silenced high-profile people’s opinions who disagreed with independence during the referendum campaign. The fact that they cover up their failings (such as their own stream of cuts to NHS, which they blame on Westminster despite actually having full control of NHS matters in Scotland). Then there are a group of supporters who feel they can take it upon themselves to violently acost and intimidate non-independence/SNP campaigners in streets. And the new wave of pointing out English people in a negative way (online and in person) bears vague resemblence to Nazi action on certain peoples.

          People are putting such blind faith in the SNP. Surely they must realise that they are a party of politicians, just like all the others? They will spin whatever they need to in order to achieve what they want.