Ever since the independence referendum, the UK government, its agencies, agents, and its cheerleaders, have gone out of their way to rub the noses of Scotland’s independence supporters in the brown stain on the underpants of the narrow victory for No. Although they saved their Union, at least for the time being, the victory was not the crushing one they’d hoped for. The desire for independence was unleashed and remains unleashed, stalking the land and spreading the virus of hope, preaching the possibility of change. A year on, and the independence movement is still here, still loud, still proud, still organising ourselves, still putting the fear of Gord into the Unionist establishment. We came out of the kailyaird and into the streets and the cities, and there’s no going back. The independence referendum wasn’t the end of Scotland’s road to self determination, it was the beginning.
You’d think, given such circumstances, that a sensible Unionist government would go out of its way to placate Yes supporters, to stave off the inevitable as long as possible, to buy friends, to split enemies into opposing camps by means of judicious bribes and carefully constructed carrots. Giving Scotland devo max, and making this country the most devolved nation in the history of devolving would satisfy many. That’s only what was promised back in the fag end of the referendum campaign when the Union was a doubt. It would reduce the demand for independence to a level that might be manageable. It would keep Scotland addicted to the cancer sticks of Westminster, at least for the time being.
While such a strategy would not ensure that the demand for independence would fall entirely quiet, it would at least buy the British state some breathing space during which it just might find some means of reforming itself. The greatest issue facing the British state in 2015 is to find a lasting solution to the deep seated problem that half of Scotland think our Parliament in Westminster is so fundily-mundily corrupt, so out of touch, so unfit for purpose, that we’d rather walk off and start again with a Scottish parliament we can keep on a short leash. You’d think that this imperative would be even more to the fore in the minds of our rulers, given the utter humiliation which the Scottish electorate heaped upon the parties of No during the General Election in May.
But no. Instead the UK government is trying to return to business as usual, to pretend that the events of the past couple of years were like season nine of Dallas, and Davie Cameron woke up in the shower in Number 10 on the morning of 19 September to discover that Alicsammin was just a bad dream. It was back to business as usual, the same cast of bad actors spouting their hackneyed lines. Not even the destruction of the Unionist parties’ Westminster representation could force the spin doctors to realise that they needed a new plot line. They’ve lost the plot entirely.
We are governed by trolls who are howled on by arrogant ignoramuses who wear their lack of understanding like a badge of pride. We live in a country whose foodbanks are protected by nuclear warheads, where dying after being found fit for work by the Job Centre is the leading cause of murder, where the respect agenda means only that we must respect the No vote and never respect ourselves or expect to be respected. We live in a country where progressive politics means the progressive proscription of hope.
The solution to the Tory problem, say the Westminster chatterati, is Andy or Liz or Yvette, interchangeable middle managers returned from a Human Resources course. Andlizette have redefined sensible to mean whatever the Tories and big business say, and everyone else must sign up to that agenda. The modern definition of common sense is for a small number to get obscenely wealthy while raping the planet’s resources and impoverishing the rest of society, spending billions on weapons of mass destruction whose use spells the end of what’s left of civilisation. The role of the modern government is to manage our expectations, to ensure that we are quiescent and put all the blame on the poor. Andlizette offer everything that the Tories offer, only with a sad face, while telling us it’s all for our own good.
We’ve reached such a low pass in this country, that weapons of mass destruction are what we are offered by Westminster as a job creation scheme. It’s a shameful, disgusting obscenity. And our media doesn’t see fit to challenge the Goverment on just how many jobs depend on Trident, the number is blown up in direct proportion to the vanity of the politician making the announcement. It’s a number that blows up like a Trident missile. We spend billions on a machine of evil whose only product is death, and we are supposed to welcome this. We spend billions on a device that puts Scotland at risk, the accident prone nuclear base could make half of Scotland uninhabitable for a thousand years. Our Westminster masters don’t care, they already think Scotland is uninhabitable by anyone who counts.
Yet on the day that George Osborne came to Scotland to promise some radioactive viagra for the nuclear dildo that substitutes for British great power status, the Unionist trolls on Twitter focused their spleen on two Gaelic words on the side of a police helicopter. The greatest wrong faced by modern Scotland isn’t that the government chooses to spend £500 million more on a useless weapons system that does nothing except inflate the vanity of politicians while citizens starve after their benefits are sanctioned, it’s that poor North Britons have occasionally to look at words on signs that are written in Gaelic and so be reminded that Scotland has a culture and a history independent of the Union that they fetishise as the core of their identity.
I don’t mind people who have no interest in a part of Scotland’s heritage. I am quite happy for people to define their own Scottish identity, and if that’s a Scottish identity that doesn’t include Gaelic or Scots I have no quibbles with them. But what I do object to is them telling the rest of us that their monolingual Scottishness is somehow superior, and that their ignorance of Scottish linguistic history is a form of erudition.
And I object even more when they use their ignorance as a weapon of mind destruction, as a means to distract us from other issues, like the the weapons of mass destruction imposed on our country, the democratic shortfall that gives us a Tory government, the decline into sad irrelevance of the Labour party, and the obscenity of foodbanks protected by nuclear weapons.
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