Marcus Brigstocke’s views on Scottish independence quickly descended into a volatile, full-scale row over the weekend, during which he was accused of racism.
The English comedian approached the subject slowly at first.
Commenting on the debate over Scotland’s EU membership, and just a day after Scotland’s first minister Alex Salmond accused the three main UK parties of “bluff, bluster and bullying” over their opposition to a currency union with an independent Scotland, he tweeted:
“Without full clarification on the pound, EU membership, oil rights etc how the hell are Scottish voters supposed to decide how to vote?”
But he quickly took a full run-up at the issues with a series of posts as follows:
I'm disappointed by the rhetoric of Scottish Nationalists satisfied to go into the referendum with so little solid info on possible outcome.— Marcus Brigstocke (@marcusbrig) February 16, 2014
I'm pro union - and very keen to see Scotland remain in the UK. Both sides of debate are weak & dishonest at present. I hope it improves.Marcus Brigstocke (@marcusbrig) February 16, 2014
If Scotland go their own way (knowing what that will mean) so be it. I love the place & wish them well.
Marcus Brigstocke (@marcusbrig) February 16, 2014
If Scotland go their own way (based on fingers crossed, fuck the Tories, William Wallace bollocks it'll be a damn shame. Still wish 'em wellMarcus Brigstocke (@marcusbrig) February 16, 2014
Taking particular offense to the last tweet, Brigstocke soon came under fire from angry Scots and Englishmen alike, some of whom seemed as riled by the 'King of Scotland' Big Society commentator being from an English background as they were by his perhaps inflammatory William Wallace reference.
So his timeline started to look a bit like this:
. @JayStringer No, that's right... There's not one Scott with an over inflated sense of patriotism or angry attachment to romantic past.— Marcus Brigstocke (@marcusbrig) February 16, 2014
. @MichaelGannon So what? You were insulted because I mentioned Scot's history? Ok. Get out & vote on the anniversary of Banach Burn.Marcus Brigstocke (@marcusbrig) February 16, 2014
As the stream of posts he received overflowed, he decided to conclude the argument with the following:
For those who've disagreed (forcefully), corrected, questioned or agreed with me whilst remaining courteous & funny - thanks.— Marcus Brigstocke (@marcusbrig) February 16, 2014
But he quickly flung open the floodgates once more by posting:
Those who are now responding as if I've just killed all of Glasgow's first born & shat in a Saltire you's can get ta fuck - ken?Marcus Brigstocke (@marcusbrig) February 16, 2014
The result? An endless barrage of abuse, that at best spawned accusations of racism, and at worst was blatantly racist. These are no-where near the worst of them, but they are some of the few publishable ones:
@marcusbrig does your leg hurt really badly........shameD J (@Itsatweetslife) February 17, 2014
@marcusbrig RacistFaithSchoolCriminal (@UKRaider164) February 16, 2014
He ended his own comment on the row with the following:
Now then: Gibraltar - I'll tell you what I reckon...— Marcus Brigstocke (@marcusbrig) February 16, 2014
The referendum on Scottish independence will be held on 18 September.
Voters will be asked the Yes/No question: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”
Chancellor George Osborne said in a statement made in Edinburgh on Thursday: “If Scotland walks away from the UK, it walks away from the UK pound.”
The Scottish government are arguing that keeping the pound and the Bank of England services as part of a currency union under independence would make sense for both Scotland and the UK at large.
But Osbourne, Labour shadow chancellor Ed Balls and Liberal Democrat Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said they could not recommend the plan.