What do we learn about Tory England and its Englishness when Conservative MPs are roaring at little girls to get back to their own country? Not much. We just get to see the whole thing for what it really is: Pathetic aggressive thuggery.
Verbal abuse is violence, and can often be every bit as harmful as physical violence. It is important that we are clear on this point before we proceed. James Heappey, MP for Wells in Somerset, made the headlines for telling a Scottish schoolgirl to “fuck off back to Scotland” when he visited her class because she said she would vote for independence if she was given the chance. Not a single report on this incident called this an act of violence. It is time that we set the record straight.
This sixth form pupil at Millfield School in Somerset is Scottish. She lives in England with her family. Her friends are English, and she is perhaps the only Scots student in the class – maybe even in the whole school. As a foreigner she stands out, making her a little more vulnerable to being socially isolated and bullied. We hope that this was not the case for her, but the last thing in the world she needed was an adult in authority telling her to get back to her own country in front of her classmates. Imagine the outrage had she been Polish or Pakistani.
Yet this is exactly what happened to her. What is more shocking is that the adult authority figure who verbally assaulted her wasn’t simply a janitor or a teacher from her school, but her local member of parliament. James Heappey, a Conservative Party MP, is a 36 year old man with a formidable build – certainly for a school child. Heappey served as a British soldier in Afghanistan at a time in that conflict when LiveLeak and the Guardian were reporting on the vile behaviour of British squaddies towards schoolgirls and girls as young as six.
Have Afghanistan & Iraq swung public opinion too far away from intervention in Syria? Stuck between rock & hard place but chemical weapons!?
In what appears to have been in the context of political education, in which middle class English kids were being taught how to speak on Scotland’s behalf, this thug asked the class how they would vote if they were in Scotland during another independence referendum. Little did Heappey know that one brave wee Scots lass was there listening to his pish. She said that she would vote for independence, but instead of praising her for her political engagement – what one would have thought was the purpose of the class – he set upon her. This wasn’t about education. This was political indoctrination.
Of course she went home and informed her parents of the attack, and we discover that her father is a member of the Scottish National Party. In England the public are being informed that men like her father are violent ‘Cyber Nat’ extremists, but we have to hand it to him – many a father would have taken a wee stroll to the Tory constituency office to sort the matter out man to man.
Here is where we have come to in the politics of this island. England’s ruling establishment knows that its goose is cooked. It has finally dawned on people that Brexit is not a good thing. The Union is quaking and coming apart. It really is last throw of the dice stuff when you have MPs venting their frustrations on children, and this is far from an isolated incident. In a week we have had a House of Commons Defence Committee staffer pontificate about the inferiority of Gàidhlig in the Scotsman, another Tory telling Ireland to keep its “Gypsies,” Ruth Davidson describing the efforts to make peace in Northern Ireland as “offensive,” and this. England has only one real lesson to learn from all this: Its tea’s oot.
BBC Planning its Unionist Strategy on Scottish Independence