Mary Poppins and pro-Nazi MacDairmid: the Scot Nat connection!

October 1, 2016 at 2:17 pm (apologists and collaborators, Beyond parody, fascism, literature, posted by JD, reactionay "anti-imperialism", scotland, SNP, stalinism, war)

From Dale Street:

Just a quick reminder about the quality of Scottish-nationalist politics and journalism.

The front cover of The National: It’s becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between the spoofs and the real thing.

I assume the connection is: Mary Poppins wanted to fly above London with a brolly; Hugh McDiarmid wanted to fly above London with the Luftwaffe:

“Now when London is threatened
With devastation from the air
I realise, horror atrophying me,
That I hardly care.

“The leprous swine in London town
And their Anglo-Scots accomplices
Are, as they have always been
Scotland’s only enemies.”

(On The Imminent Destruction Of London, June 1940)


  1. Robert said,

    Ah, the Natsitional
    the traditional
    tuim inanity
    touted as destiny
    nanetheless anal…

    Poor MacDiarmid aka Grieve, a man whose pre-war associates continued to hold in the highest regard, while regretting a great deal of what he produced after 1934, when following a breakdown he turned into rather a parody of himself, as happens in a lot of cases. Mental illness does tend to turn folk into parodies of themselves, and sometimes a clue to recovery is recognition by the individual in question of how much they have swung to one side of themselves, or become narrowed.
    Among the complex factors affecting MacDiarmid/ Grieve, was that he was blacklisted from any employment in Scotland other than the job he was in in Montrose, and whatever else his wife was unhappy enough there that he finally leapt at a job in London, which fell through just as health problems from the past intervened, and his self-parody became established. The anti-London rather than anti-Hitler line should not however be taken as representative of Scottish Nationalism, for although Grieve played variations on that theme which have been called Nationalist Deviation he was quite in line with CP directives, as William Cowe at the time told a former colleague of mine, which permitted conscience to intervene without any instruction regarding whether to fight against Hitler or to be a conscientious objector.
    And to apply a phrase MacDiarmid resorted to a lot, au fait with political realities he was not, in 1940 having spent quite a time with his head down and himself working hard while living in poverty on a Shetland island, for certain aware that he might not have a long time to live and it would seem trying to earn something for his wife’s likely widowhood and for their child, as well as working through a great deal of draft material collected and worked up before 1934.
    So he was still assuming around 1941 that Hitler’s anti-semitic rantings were only means of raising a bigger rabble and represented nothing more! And he was anticipating not Operation Barbarossa but the stalemate and depletion a functioning efficient French army in 1939 might have made possible, prior to a liberation of Europe from the east.

    Of course this is all a bit much for Lallans Earache, or whatever the editor of MacDiarmid’s not entirely Collected Works is called. For him 1934 and the move to Shetland was a great dawn, and rather than a hampered but still big beast Earache presents us with a liberated Giant, and above all OPTIMISTIC. Well, if you were a Stalinist out of range of Stalin’s whims you could feel as optimistic as any of the Hitler Jugend or any triumphalist group anywhere. And that absolute mess of brilliance and bathos and buncome and bumwipings LUCKY POET is for Prof. Earache wonderful. In the most crackpot of his numerous mediocre introductions to works by MacDiarmid he goes through various criticisms of the book — and turns one set of them on their head and has the critic having said the very opposite of what they did say!!! — all of which are it seems trumped by MacDiarmid’s own commendations of the book, saying what, before or after or regardless of all, he would say.
    Careless attacks on MacDiarmid, bad as the silly anticritical deliverances of an Earache, just serve to conceal the still too much concealed evils against which he fought.

    Betray him like the parade of utter falsehoods delivered by Andrew Marr on the BBC some time back. MacDiarmid sacked from a post in Montrose when he’d been out of the town for three years? MacDiarmid feeling Edwin Muir’s SCOTTISH JOURNEY as a stab in the back when there is no evidence of any such response or indeed no republished evidence of any response whatever? T.C. Smout did long ago allege that MacDiarmid would have been offended by Muir’s statement in SCOTT AND SCOTLAND that an independent Scottish state was a non-starter within the (then and now) present international economic system, but Smout was talking nonsense given that the same view was held by MacDiarmid, and by a lot of people when MacDiarmid said the same as Muir was to, not so much earlier and by no means as Muscovite as he became.

  2. Scott Reeve said,

    It was during the non aggression pact when Moscow ordered all good communists and some bad ones to say there is nor difference between the Nazis and the capitalist democracies

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