Scots tell David Bowie to ‘f*** off back to Mars’

Singer’s calls for Scotland to stay in UK provokes flood of online abuse

David Bowie’s intervention was raised in the Holyrood parliament yesterday, where Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont urged  first minister  Alex Salmond to “turn and face the strain” – words taken from Bowie’s song Changes. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA

David Bowie’s intervention was raised in the Holyrood parliament yesterday, where Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont urged first minister Alex Salmond to “turn and face the strain” – words taken from Bowie’s song Changes. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA

Fri, Feb 21, 2014, 01:00

Singer David Bowie’s politely phrased call to Scots “to stay with us” and not vote for independence in September’s referendum has earned him waves of abuse on social media from pro-independence quarters.

Bowie’s comments, made on his behalf by model Kate Moss at Wednesday night’s Brit awards, prompted a torrent of foul-mouthed rhetoric, with one user rather wittily suggesting he should “f*** off back to Mars”.

Some said he should have condemned the British government’s welfare policies, rather than urging Scots to stay in the union – while others threatened to destroy their collections of his records. The invective unleashed against the singer, however, is but the latest chapter where the so-called “cybernats” – social media-friendly nationalists – target for abuse those who favour the continuation of the union.


Right to contribute
Bowie’s right to contribute was questioned, since he has lived in New York for many years, though past declarations of support from actor Sean Connery earned praise from the same quarters.

Connery, who also lives in the US, has since put some distance between himself and the independence battle, declining all interviews, while comedian Billy Connolly said the debate is a “morass that I care not to dip my toe into”.

Bowie’s intervention was raised in the Holyrood parliament yesterday, where Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont urged Scottish first minister and Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond to “turn and face the strain” – words taken from Bowie’s song Changes .

Praising the British Winter Olympics women’s curling team – all of whom are Scots – for winning a bronze medal in Sochi yesterday, Salmond quoted another Bowie lyric, saying: “We all can be heroes just for one day”.


Poll
Meanwhile, the number of voters now in favour of independence, according to the latest Survation poll, has increased on foot of last week’s declaration by chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne that an independent Scotland will not have use of sterling.

The gap between those for and against independence is now down to nine points, with 38 per cent in favour and 47 per cent against – a result, said Scottish deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon, that showed Osborne’s words have met with “a severe backlash”.