Scottish independence: Yes voters hit out at Bowie

David Bowie’s plea for Scots to reject independence met with frosty reaction from Nationalists on social media sites yesterday.

File photo of David Bowie, who was the subject of online abuse after voicing his support for the union. Picture: PA
File photo of David Bowie, who was the subject of online abuse after voicing his support for the union. Picture: PA
File photo of David Bowie, who was the subject of online abuse after voicing his support for the union. Picture: PA

The music legend’s message was read out live on UK-wide TV by model Kate Moss who was accepting his Best Male British Artist award at the Brits on Wednesday night.

The singer’s lyrics were even liberally quoted by political leaders including Alex Salmond at Holyrood after his acceptance speech which read: “Scotland, please stay with us.”

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Bowie’s Facebook page was littered with angry messages from so-called Cybernats. One Facebook user said he would be deleting all of his music from his laptop after the intervention. Another wrote: “What gives him the right to tell Scotland what to do when he doesn’t even pay taxes over here?”

Another berated him for saying nothing about “spiralling poverty, the bedroom tax, and tax dodging firms but has to get ‘political’ about Scotland? Wrap it, you out of touch has-been.”

But Bowie’s intervention was welcomed by another English singer Billy Bragg.

The left-wing star is among several high-profile musicians – including The Proclaimers and Annie Lennox – who have voiced their support for a Yes vote in September’s referendum.

But he said: “Bowie’s intervention yesterday encourages people in England to discuss the issues of the independence referendum, and I think English people should be discussing it, so I welcome his intervention.

“Obviously we don’t have a vote but we can have an opinion.”

Annie Lennox, right, who grew up in Aberdeen but lives in London, wrote on Facebook yesterday: “The decision is not something to be taken lightly, or to be swayed by heady patriotic emotion.

“It will be taken by the citizens of Scotland themselves, who need to seriously weigh up the pros and cons.”

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The topic reared its head during First Minister’s Questions at Holyrood yesterday morning, with politicians slipping Bowie lyrics into the debate.

Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont began her questioning by asking First Minister Alex Salmond to “turn and face the strain”, a lyric from Changes.

Later, responding to Team GB’s Scottish women curlers’ bronze medal success in the Winter Olympics today, Mr Salmond said it was a “demonstration we all can be heroes just for one day”.

Stuart Braithwaite, right, guitarist with Scottish band Mogwai, used the hashtag #indyref to tweet: “I somehow forgave Bowie for the Placebo collaboration. I’m sure I can forgive him for this folly too. Ironically, cringe-fests like the Brits are one of the biggest adverts for cultural independence you could muster.”

Meanwhile, speaking on his weekly LBC radio phone-in this morning, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “We certainly are in the United Kingdom together and I hope we remain together – as does David Bowie, one of my great childhood heroes.”

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander tweeted: “Great to hear @davidbowiereal speak up for Scotland in the UK – if you agree sign up with @UK_Together.”

A spokesman for the pro-Union campaign Better Together said: “David Bowie has spoken for the millions of people across Britain who don’t want Scotland to leave.

“This week has been more about the pound than pop, but it’s great to have the support of this British legend.”

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On the other side of the debate, Scottish culture secretary Fiona Hyslop cited the date of the independence referendum as she tweeted: “Congratulations to David Bowie for #BRITs2014 award ‘We can be heroes, just for one day’ #sept18th2014.”