Billy Connolly ‘deeply suspicious of patriotism’

BILLY Connolly has entered the debate on Scotland’s future, just months after vowing to steer clear of the issue, by admitting he doesn’t have “great belief” in the Union but declaring that he is “deeply suspicious of patriotism”.
Connolly with his wife, psychologist Pamela Stephenson. Picture: GettyConnolly with his wife, psychologist Pamela Stephenson. Picture: Getty
Connolly with his wife, psychologist Pamela Stephenson. Picture: Getty

The comic vowed in February to “shut up” over the future of his home country, describing the debate as “a morass that I care not to dip my toe into”.

The American-based comedian has now spoken of his belief that patriotism was “paved with fools”.

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He said: “I don’t have great belief in the Union of England and Scotland. But I have a great belief in the union of the human race.”

On the referendum, he said: “I’m not gonna say. It’s too important for people like me to put in their tuppenceworth.”

He added: “I’m really tired of people saying England won the war and calling Britain England. I think that does more harm… But you must remember that the Union saved Scotland. Scotland was bankrupt and the English opened us up to their American and Canadian markets, from which we just flowered.

“And I dislike patriots. I’m deeply suspicious of patriotism. People following the band, you know? I don’t want to be part of it… It’s paved with fools.”

In an interview with the BBC in February, the former Govan shipyard worker said: “I have never been a nationalist and I have never been a patriot.

“I love Scotland, all its different faces. That’s why this referendum thing is so difficult.”

Rebus star Ken Stott became the latest high-profile figure to support the case for independence at the weekend, saying: “I am very aware of how warmly Scotland is regarded around the world, and a vote for self-determination would raise our international profile even further, with lots of benefits for Scottish arts and culture.”