The SNP should be congratulated on managing to get this implied slight to the Scottish people to have been assumed by so many. "They're telling us we're too wee, too poor, too stupid" ... say it often enough and (apparently) people will believe "they" are actually saying it.
Here's a recent (June 1st 2014) example from Nicola Sturgeon
- “As a country, we’ve spent an awful long number of years being told we’re too wee, too poor and probably a bit too stupid to be independent,” she said. “If we were too small and too poor and too stupid, if we were the economic basket case, if we were the subsidy junkies that some of our opponents try to imply that we are, then don’t you think Westminster might have offloaded us by now?”
- "And that is why they will always run down the Scots - why they will always say we are too stupid and too poor to be trusted to run the affairs of our own country.
I've looked very hard for evidence of the No campaign using this line I really have. I've engaged with those referencing this slight to the Scottish Nation and asked them to show me where they read it, who said it, when.
In response I get links to people pointing out some of the challenges an iScotland will face (tough negotiations with the EU, increased exposure to certain economic risks, damage to trade with the UK etc), lots of rational and reasoned arguments that are well covered elsewhere on this blog.
Those links have never yet pointed to anyone saying an iScotland is "too small" (either economically or - as hilariously implied by the "responses" to this imagined slight - physically). Similarly they never link to anybody arguing an iScotland would be "too poor"; just to some people who argue as to why an iScotland may be relatively worse off economically as a result of breaking the Union. Not "too poor" without the Union, not unable to stand on our own feet ... just better off within it. I don't even need to discuss the "too stupid" line, agreed?
Now I'm sure someone will be able to dig up a frothing Unionist somewhere who has made some stupid and antagonistic statements that could be at least inferred to be making this slight (although I've yet to find it); but let's just dip our toes into the Twittersphere to see how consistently the separatist campaigners work to perpetuate this myth.
What follows is honestly representative of what is out there on Twitter (do your own searches if you don't believe me, read my Twitter feed) and if you follow the links (as I have) they don't go to anybody even implying it. These are, of course, all Yes campaigners responding to this assumed slight so as to implant it in the collective consciousness.
Too Small Too Stupid Too Poor We are none of these Ignore those that deride us VoteYES for a BetterScotland💙#indyref pic.twitter.com/XXrVItuYTV
— Rona MacDonald (@Ronandbarlow) May 17, 2014
#indyref #ChooseYes Not too small.. http://t.co/kPhGUFWkCO
— Paul Clarkson (@Clarkson77) May 16, 2014
Us Scots are too small to manage our affairs. We need a large country to support us & the UK finances. Why even try, we might fail? #indyref
— Adam Davidson (@abdles) May 15, 2014
Too wee,don't think so!The most successful countries are small or highly federalised&with #YES so can Scot! #indyref pic.twitter.com/IQ0HP85YkL
— Iain McDowall (@iainmcdwll) May 3, 2014
About that whole "too wee" thing?. 9 of top 20 states pop in UN best indx are smaller than Scotland's http://t.co/joUhAqPbwU #indyref UK? 24
— Christian Wright (@ChristainWright) April 29, 2014
From the archives: "Too rich, too small, too stupid" http://t.co/pqAfNQSV8y #IndyRef
— David Halliday (@DavidJFHalliday) April 7, 2014
@weeandrea Vote No for a low aspiring Scotland. Were too wee and not genetically programmed to be independent. #indyref
— Anonymous (@Anon_Sailor) May 20, 2014
Westminster and @UK_Together are attacking @YesScotland by basically saying that we are too wee, too poor and too stupid #indyref >>>>
— Jim Lamb (@MijBmal) May 19, 2014
if we are indeed too wee, we'd hardly make a dent in the overall UK Empire, so why the desperation to keep us in the Union? #indyref
— Gordon Sinclair (@ThistleWeb) May 19, 2014
Too wee? #IndyRef YES pic.twitter.com/yKtlYaClue
— Serendipity (@NEBhoy) May 19, 2014
Norwegian Independence Day, that'll bloody well teach them, eh? Too wee, too poor, too stupid. Come the catastrophe, I warn you! #indyRef
— David Hardie (@DHardieTweets) May 17, 2014
If you THINK that we are too wee, too poor and too stupid to be a flourishing vibrant new nation state, DON’T vote No, THINK again! #indyref
— Big T Bone (@zumbatone) May 15, 2014
If weekday Herald comes out in favour of No, it will be entertaining to read their reasoning. #indyref Too wee? Too poor?
— Newsnet Scotland (@NewsnetScotland) May 4, 2014
Top 5 Reasons for NO 1 I'm Feart 2 We're Too Poor 3 We're Too Wee 4 Scotland Not A Real Country 5 I hate Alex Salmond #IndyRef #YES
— traquir (@traquir) March 17, 2014
It's part of a strategy that claims you are 'too wee, too poor and too stupid' to be part of a successful independent Scotland. #IndyRef
— National Collective (@WeAreNational) March 12, 2014
This guy actually manages to get "too wee", "too poor" and "too stupid" all into 82 seconds: http://t.co/6XGssKscT8 #indyref[Watch the clip, that's not what he says]
— Wings Over Scotland (@WingsScotland) February 2, 2014
Too Wee, Too Poor , Too Stupid, Nope just staple terror&insults from #ProjectFear #IndyRef http://t.co/6UlHueF4XV
— traquir (@traquir) January 4, 2014
Not too wee. #IndyRef pic.twitter.com/5mRtCsbxlv
— David Halliday (@DavidJFHalliday) December 29, 2013
#WagTheNob #indyref http://t.co/PGDuMQFuKF[To be fair, the "no borders" cinema advert referenced in this Tweet is embarrasingly piss-poor]
— Roddy Macdonald (@logicsrock) May 17, 2014
Remember how the No camp DEFINITELY ISN'T arguing that Scotland's too wee, too poor or too stupid? http://t.co/j3z2xUh88P #indyref[Read the quotes linked to, they say nothing of the kind]
— Wings Over Scotland (@WingsScotland) November 19, 2013
We're no' too wee & we're no' too stupit & we're gonnie do this! #YES we can, YES WE WILL! @NicolaSturgeon #indyref pic.twitter.com/9aOvusrtFJ
— AyeHaveADream (@18SEPT2014) October 6, 2013
Scotland Too Wee ? Yep if you believe that then @scottishlabour controlled BBC Brainwashing is working well http://t.co/ND7sjR93pK #IndyRef
— traquir (@traquir) October 4, 2013
"Too wee, too poor, too stupid"? Well that's "too poor" sorted - what's next? #VoteYes #IndyRef pic.twitter.com/2nd8SEBgKD[This GDP/Capita argument crops up a lot; I cover it here > Look at Ireland's GDP/Capita
— YesRoslin (@YesRoslin) August 17, 2013
Too wee! Too poor! Too stupid! Learn more about the positive side of the #IndyRef debate: pic.twitter.com/QiQX9gyxeuTrust me, I really could go on much longer with this, but I think you get the idea by now ...
— YesBonnyrigg (@YesBonnyrigg) August 14, 2013
So my response to the rhetorical "Who says Scotland's too wee, too poor, too stupid?" is something like this ...
I'm indebted to @aluminiumville for pointing me towards this: an actual example of a No proponent using these fabled words. I mean, he is using them in a light-hearted blog for rhetorical effect as an echo of the sort of complaints being made above .... but he does say it. What's the matter with the Scots.
My serious point stands.