Essay talk:Too small, too poor, too stupid

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what exactly is this? a book? a film? or has someone written an essay? or is this "Scottish independence". please retitle.--Pink mowse.pngGodotDear god, fucking grow up 01:24, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

Its a meme, Google it! Auld Nick (talk) 02:20, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
Then you need to say so in the article. Your article makes the assumptions that non-scots would have a clue. Pink mowse.pngGodotDear god, fucking grow up 02:22, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
Good idea! Auld Nick (talk) 02:52, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

what is...[edit]

this?--il'Dictator Mikal (talk) 03:01, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

Perhaps move to Essay space? Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 18:56, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

The origins are a lot older than stated.[edit]

The phrase 'Too Wee, too poor and too stupid' or 'Too Small, too poor and too stupid' was used in discussion forums of soc.culture.scottish, scotpol and elsewhere at least as far back as the mid 90's. I know I was attacked fopr using it then but whether I contributed to its origin or not it is too far back to remember. Archives for these discussion groups should still be available. I might have some old email archives somewhere if necessary. — Unsigned, by: Chicmac / talk / contribs

Is this a RW article or a political tract?[edit]

Is this a RW article or a political tract?--Weirdstuff (talk) 20:15, 21 October 2012 (UTC)

I agree. This seems to just be arguments in favour of independence rather than a balanced article. Why does there need to be an article on rational wiki arguing that unionists are wrong?

Since when has debunking some crap been an argument in favour of independence? Where in this article are the arguments in favour of independence? Auld Nick (talk) 01:42, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
The British state, like the rising of the sun and the ebb and flow of the tides, is revered as the natural state of affairs. Anything that appears to undermine that reality is outside many people's comfort zone. Those who blindly accept the British state as the natural state of affairs react to anything that challenges that act of faith in much the same way as creationists react to Darwinian evolution. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

So if I wrote an article titles "We Hate the English Filth!" in which I explain that the SNP vote in based entirely on the idea that the English are filth and how much they hate them. I can add in a bit at the start saying that the SNP haven't directly said the English are filth or that they hate them, or ever used the exact phrase...but reading between the lines it becomes obvious that is what they really mean. I can then write a huge article showing how narrow minded and wrong the SNP are for thinking this terrible thing. I assume you would (rightly!) consider that article an offensive strawman that is fighting an argument the SNP never made and don't (I hope) believe. Same thing with this article. If you start out by saying unionists never said this...who or what are you arguing against? Can you find any unionist who would even agree that this phrase was accurate, let alone say it and believe it? You might as well do an article proving how wrong David Cameron is for wanting to murder babies. Now I know he never directly SAID he wants to murder babies...but if we read between the lines....— Unsigned, by: ‎ / talk / contribs

This is no longer a RationalWiki article but is now an essay attributed to one editor. You will see that the point that it is a complete straw man has been made below.--Weirdstuff (talk) 13:28, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

Scottish independence[edit]

The Scottish should leave and form a free democratic capitalistic society. The English have been using them as their socialist slave class for centuries. Perhaps they could merge with Ireland. Talsley (talk) 15:54, 5 January 2013 (UTC)

Last two Labour Prime Ministers: Tony Blair (b. Edinburgh, Scotland), Gordon Brown (b. Govan, Scotland). Prior leader of Labour Party was John Smith (b. Dalmally, Scotland) who followed Neil Kinnock (b. Tredegar, Wales). Founders of the Labour Party: Ramsay MacDonald (b. Lossiemouth, Scotland), Keir Hardie (b. Newhouse, Scotland) and Arthur Henderson (b. Glasgow, Scotland). Ah yes, those bloody English socialists. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 19:45, 5 January 2013 (UTC)


So why do we have this wall of text? I don't get it.--Weirdstuff (talk) 09:55, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

You have pages and pages about the Tea Party, chickenhawks and Ayn Rand, so the least you can do is give some over to other countries' politics.
Scottish independence is a big deal right now, a referendum has been announced in the last few days.
As a Scotsman myself, I am happy to see this article on RW as it addresses some of the idiocies used in arguing against independence.Albannach (talk) 10:22, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
The articles on those organisations exist because they fit the mission objectives. What mission objective is fit by this article? And plese wait for consensus before deleting the mission template. --Weirdstuff (talk) 11:03, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
How does this article not fit the mission? It's about a false argument against a fairly popular political view. If you don't like it because it has a wall of text, then edit the article. SophieWilder 11:13, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
How does it not fit the mission? OK.
"Analyzing and refuting the anti-science movement, ideas and people" Don't see it.
"Analyzing and refuting the full range of crank ideas" Don't see it.
"Explorations of authoritarianism and fundamentalism" Don't see it.
"Analysis and criticism of how these subjects are handled in the media." Don't see it.--Weirdstuff (talk) 11:56, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
If it isn't on mission then the mission should be reassessed because this is the sort of article we should have. Fortunately though, it is criticising a particular argument that is basically a form of political woo. I don't know if I go along with all the article's conclusions, but it is an interesting read and pretty broadly on mission. DamoHi 11:25, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
It looks more like a party political broadcast by the Scottish National Party. It's pretty evidently written by somebody with a personal political axe to grind.--Weirdstuff (talk) 11:52, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
The SNP makes some idiotic arguments too, but the notion that Scotland is not viable is covered by the "media" bit at the top. The real question is not if Scottish independence is viable, but whether it is desirable, quite different. A lot of dishonest arguments have been used to claim it is not viable. In at least one case, the McCrone report, information was repressed and cenoserd for decades. As for SNP broadcasts, it doesn't sound anything like them. Albannach (talk) 12:09, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
To answer the above, it is refuting an allegedly crank idea and probably fits under the media's coverage of crank ideas also. You might not think it is a crank idea, and I have some sympathy with the view, but there it is. The article itself is not set in stone however. If you think you can improve it, or add some balance to it, then please do. I don't know enough about Scotland to do so, but you clearly do. Be bold and get stuck in if you like. DamoHi 12:15, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
I know virtually sod all about Scotland - but I can tell obvious one-sided political propaganda. From the little I do know about Scotland it seems to me that this could have been written by by the SNP. Furthermore, given that I don't think the article should be here I have little interest in editing it.--Weirdstuff (talk) 12:26, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

To give you an argument of the silliness of the arguments, they were also used against devolution in the mid nineties. We were told that Scotland was too poor and too small to have its own parliament despite the fact the parliament governs a larger population than many US states and has less power than their legislatures. The argument also relied on ignorance. The Isle of Man twenty miles from Scotland has its own parliament and only 70k people

It has been a challenge to get Scottish political affairs any reasonable airtime on TV or to get impartial coverage. Things are better, but the British media's still London-centric. Plenty of woo arguments have made against both devolution and independence. Some of these are debunked in this article. - Scottish resident, registered voter and political anorak (and not an SNP member) Albannach (talk) 12:43, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

I started the article because of some daft claims that started appearing in the UK media regarding Scottish independence. Anyone with a passing general knowledge of the world about them couldn't fail to notice how nonsensical some of them were. I thought...debunk them... reference nonsense claim ... e.g. newspaper report ... find non-SNP source (preferably one with no interest in independence debate) that provides some tangible facts. I've tried to use the headings from the meme "Too small, too poor, too stupid". That may not be doing the subject matter justice. Especially the too stupid bit. If the article is on mission ... feel free to edit it. If analyzing the daft claims and the fundamentalist crank ideas of (mainstream) British nationalism is off mission ... delete it. Auld Nick (talk) 00:41, 31 March 2013 (UTC)
PS. Feel free to do the same for the daft claims and the fundamentalist crank ideas of (mainstream) Scottish nationalism. Auld Nick (talk) 00:42, 31 March 2013 (UTC)
Actually careerism is a bigger danger to the SNP vote than fundamentalism... who wants to vote for someone more interested in money than principles. The SNP has a few careerists in the ranks already.Albannach (talk) 20:56, 31 March 2013 (UTC)


What this article should be about is explaining why the statement "too small, too poor, too stupid" is wrong. That's all this article needs. But unfortunately, this article also starts to talk about why Scotland should become independent from Scotland in 2014, which is straying away from the article's intended purpose. It also talks about the benefits of universal healthcare and the welfare state, which is NOT the purpose of the article.

TL;DR: This article ought to be about why Scotland could be an independent state, not why it should. Keep this article, but rewrite it. -- (talk) 14:51, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

BoN is correct. Osaka Sun (talk) 18:56, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

Straw man?[edit]

So this article argues strongly against something that nobody every actually said in those words? It argues vehemently against a statement that nobody every explicitly made? Is that right?--Weirdstuff (talk) 19:03, 13 September 2013 (UTC)

Auld Nick (00:41, 31 March 2013) above writes that(s)he used the headings from the meme "Too small, too poor, too stupid" to 'debunk' daft claims that started appearing in the UK media regarding Scottish independence. The introduction to the article includes "Although unionists have never actually used the phrase too small, too poor, too stupid in its entirety, nationalists assert that the individual sentiments contained therein are re-occurring elements in many unionist arguments against Scottish independence." I'm not sure exactly where the straw man is.
It's a straw man because nobody every actually said it. The actual phrase itself seems to be an invention of the Scottish Nationalists.--Weirdstuff (talk) 19:58, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
You have a fair point there Weirdstuff. I have attempted to kill the straw man that was hiding in amongst the text. Is he all dead yet? Auld Nick (talk) 19:09, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
Actually I've been thinking about this some more and I think it's even more of a straw man that I first thought.
Our straw man article states:
"Straw men are notoriously easy to construct, and require little more than extending the opponent's arguments beyond their original point until their stance appears ridiculous - appearing like the fallacious use of reductio ad absurdum. Once the opponent has accepted (or failed to refute) such a set-up, one can simply attack the straw man position instead of the opponent's actual points, and claim any subsequent attempt to correct the situation as a conceding the argument."
We have already seen that no opponent of the SNP has actually said "Too small, too poor, too stupid" so arguably the whole phrase could be "extending the opponent's arguments beyond their original point until their stance appears ridiculous". Those who like to use the phrase justify it by claiming "Well the government said something like that." But did it?
It seems likely that somebody may have said "Scotland is too small to be independent" or something close enough that it doesn't' matter.
It seems somewhat less likely that an opponent would have said the words "Scotland is too poor to be independent". The use of this deliberately emotive changed vocabulary starts to move us towards a straw man.
Finally we have "Scotland is too stupid to be independent". (I'm not even sure this really makes sense - people are stupid, not countries.) I find it hard to believe that anybody actually said these words. I'm pretty sure that this would come under "extending the opponent's arguments beyond their original point until their stance appears ridiculous". What do you think?--Weirdstuff (talk) 15:52, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
well, that's wonderful. :-( I really should have read your edits before posting the wall of text above. OK, I accept that you have burnt the straw. :-) Though doesn't conceding that the point was never made by unionists rather remove the point of the article? --Weirdstuff (talk) 15:55, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
I hope that the article now does clearly concede that the point was never made by unionists. However, the wider purpose of the article is to provide examples of what unionist have actually stated and to explore those statements in order to show how unjustified Scottish Nationalist straw man is, as well as qualifying the unionist statements with some factual background information.
BTW, the non-nationalist position is a nationalist position, a British Nationalist position. I have changed that to unionist position. Auld Nick (talk) 22:47, 19 September 2013 (UTC)