Can you smell the fear? It’s reeking, rising in a fog of incomprehension, wafting up from the sweaty furrowed brows of Unionist politicians, dripping from the pens of the metrocommentariat columnists. It’s the rank odour of a rotting and rancid Project Fear which is now eating itself, consumed in hubris, dissolving in its arrogance. Confused and lost by how events have turned against the winning side in the referendum. The wind has changed. It blows fair for Scotland.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Better Together was supposed to mean that Scotland better listen passively, Scotland better do what it was told what was best for it. But Scotland isn’t listening any more. We no longer listen to those who don’t hear us. Scotland wants Home Rule. Scotland was promised Home Rule, we were vowed the closest thing to federalism it was possible to get. We were told that Scotland would have more self-government than any other devolved or autonomous administration. But we got control of road signs and unusable tax powers. So Scotland will use this election to take Home Rule.
The old rules of deference are dead, and we’ve learned that you get nowhere in this Union by being Miss Nice, by asking politely and patiently for things that the establishment refuses to recognise are ours. That’s the lesson Scotland learned from the referendum. We’re not asking nicely any more, and it’s scaring them. An entire nation cannot be marginalised. There’s more of us. They promised home rule, they didn’t deliver. So we’ll vote for parties which will take it from them.
Still the Union sails on, in a tide of sewage of its own making, of scandals and sleaze, child abuse and corruption. It promises tweaks, it tries to tack against the wind of change with a tattered sail of entitlement and a rudderless privilege. But the wind is sweeping it away, sweeping all before it. The life raft of their victory on 18 September is sinking, battered and broken by those who cannibalised it for their own ends. Ed Miliband and the Murph E Coyote are not waving from the stage of the Labour conference. They’re drowning. The game is over, the game is lost. All that is left is to rescue what they can from the wreckage.
Labour stood with the Tories. Alistair Darling basked in the applause of the pensioned-off Thatcherites of Scotland. Johann Lamont railed against “something for nothing” and stood outside ASDA and grinned as a pal of Davie Cameron made threats to increase food prices. Jim Murphy drank Irn Bru on expenses and argued for Trident, for Iraq, for student fees, for privatisation. Labour stands exposed as the Frankenstein party of Tory policies dressed in a flayed dead skin of socialism that’s peeled away to reveal rotting flesh and a cold dead heart.
Labour and the Tories both support the renewal of Trident. Both support illegal wars, both support demonising those on benefits, and in their poverty of spirit both sanction the poor. Both support privatisation, both worship the market, both bow down before the lords of the banks. Vote SNP get Tory, all it means is that the bully’s wee pal is telling us to give him our pocket money instead.
John Major’s old spin merchant Jonathan Haslam was on Sky News paper review on Saturday night. He doesn’t know what more “we” can give “them”. You and me, we’re not “us”. We’re them, we’re another, we’re quasi-foreigners already within this happy family of nations. The old spinner for the Tories expresses the hope that “they” will come to their senses and vote for the Smurph. A man who spun for the Tories now wants Scotland to vote for the man who tells Scotland that he’s all that stands between Scotland and the Tories.
Meanwhile his old boss writes in the Telegraph that the SNP can’t be allowed to get near any power at Westminster, because, he says, they’ll only seek to further the interests of their own party and boost Scotland, not the whole UK. Because the Tories have never done anything like that John, have they. The Conservatives have never sought to further the interests of their own party and to boost the Tory shires at the expense of everyone else. Scuse me while I do up the buttons at the back of ma heid.
But they keep spinning the nonsensical babble that is treated like sense by a media which lost all sense a long time ago. Investing all their hopes in a gibbering gaggle of monkeys with typewriters, battering out gobbets of sound bites and incoherent policy initiatives, seeking a Shakespearean line that will resonate with an audience which is no longer watching the absurdist theatre. The audience is too busy writing a Scottish play of its own. One in which Glasgow East’s Lady Macbeth doesn’t make it past the first act, where she’s sent back to her stairheid. We’re writing a play in which Labour exits stage right, pursued by a Scottish bear.
Project Fear instilled fear, and created a Union defined by fear. Now it’s being destroyed by fear. People forget arguments, they forget spin. But they don’t forget how you made them feel. We remember the cannaes, the wullnaes, the dinnaes. We remember the smirks and the smugness, the condescension and the contempt. We remember the concert of scares and the orchestra of intimidation. Scotland has not forgotten, not forgiven. Now we’re making the fearmongers fearful.
We are the demons of their imagination, the spectres at the austerity feast. Scotland is the conscience that Westminster lost. There’s an uprising in the kale-yaird. We’re fed up with the over-boiled vegetables of Westminster, Scotland’s planting exotic fruit, like the thought of home rule, the idea of sovereignty, the radical notion that in a democracy the political classes do what the people want. No wonder they are afraid of us.
The clock is ticking until the people have their say. And the people promise harsh words for those who spoke down from on high with words designed to cow and frighten. The levelling time approaches for the entitled ones. We’re coming to get the Frankenstein party, pitchforks at the ready.
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