Does anyone have any idea yet of what’s going to happen to the country over the coming weeks, even the coming days? Because the British government and the official opposition sure as hell don’t. They’re more concerned about their own parties and their own careers than they are about Britain’s impending flouncing off from the EU, Scotland becoming independent, the Northern Irish peace process being sacrificed on the altar of Tory selfishness, or an economy that’s as threatened with extinction as the rhinoceros. It’s easier for them that way. When you’re facing with a catastrophe of unthinkable proportions, it’s a lot easier to argue about the colour of the wallpaper in the Cabinet meeting room than to try and wrap your wee heid around the enormity of the flustercluck that you’re responsible for.
Vote Leave wiped out the hopes of a generation, wiped out the United Kingdom as a union, and wiped out any chance of an open tolerant and inclusive country, and now they’ve wiped their website too. They don’t want anyone reminding them of all the lies they told and the dubious promises that they made in order to win the EU referendum. Uncomfortable promises like the one they made to invest £350 million a week in the NHS, promises that they’re now frantically trying to deny that they ever made in the first place. They’ve managed to break Davie Cameron’s previous record for backtracking on commitments made during a referendum when he stood up the morning after the Scottish referendum and announced it had really been about England all along.
On Monday morning chancellor George Osborne finally crawled out from under the rock where he’s been hiding to make a speech in an attempt to calm the markets. He succeeded in much the same way that that annoying guy in Jurassic Park succeeded in giving a velociraptor a severe case of indigestion, and indeed George managed to look like he was about to be devoured by the press and the markets. Which he was. Jurassic Park has now gone on to reopen its doors three times, and despite a record of unmitaged disaster somehow manages to keep getting public liability insurance. But no one is opening their doors to George Osborne any more. The markets are not prepared to insure Britain’s decision to throw itself to the dinosaurs of the Tory right. Britain has just lost the prized Triple A rating that was the hallmark of a leading economy.
The Labour party is incapable of taking advantage of the Tory disarray and putting forward a positive vision of a Brexit in which workers’ rights are protected because they’re far too busy with yet another of their interminable civil wars. They make Game of Thrones seem peaceful. This time the Blairite tendency on the shadow cabinet hasn’t bothered merely to stab Jeremy Corbyn in the back, they’ve stabbed him in the back, in the front, sideways, and dropped the dead weight of Ian Murray on top of him for good measure.
Corbyn has been forced to appoint a whole slew of non-entities to the shadow cabinet to replace the non-entities who have just left. At the time of writing there wasn’t a shadow Scotland Secretary amongst them. Labour only has the one Scottish MP, and he’s just demonstrated that his zeal to get rid of his boss is greater than his desire to tackle the Tories when they are weaker and more divided than they’ve been at any time in living memory. So Scotland has no voice in the official opposition, has Fluffy Mundell as the voice of the Tory cabinet in Scotland but not the voice of Scotland in the cabinet, we’re about to be taken out of the EU against our will, and there’s no one in either the UK government or the official opposition who is fighting Scotland’s case.
It’s not like we didn’t know already that Westminster doesn’t give a toss about Scotland. Amidst all the upset over Westminster’s breaking one of the main promises it made to Scotland in order to ensure we’d stay a part of the UK, another of their promises was sunk today too. The MoD has announced that it’s not after all going to go ahead this year with the construction of eight Type 26 frigates on the Clyde. Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has said that he’s not going to sign off on the deal until he receives reassurances that it’s good value for money, although that never appeared to be a consideration for the MoD when it decided it wanted to renew Trident. So there you go, are there any promises that Westminster made to Scotland during the independence referendum that they’ve actually kept?
Let’s face it, Scotland currently has all the disadvantages of independence with none of the advantages. There is absolutely no one in any position of power or influence in the UK government who is fighting Scotland’s corner. There is no one in the official opposition who is putting the case for Scotland. All we’ve got is the Scottish government and parliament and the unofficial opposition of 54 SNP MPs. The fight to put Scotland’s case, to make Scotland’s voice heard, comes from within Scotland. We’re getting no help from anyone in the British establishment. Scotland looks at Westminster and its parties and asks itself, “What is the point of you?” There’s no answer.
We have no need for a Westminster which is holding us back, holding us down, and taking us in a direction in which we’ve expressly said that we don’t want to go. Today as Westminster debated the Brexit vote, Angus Robertson spoke for many in Scotland when he said that Scotland voted to remain a European nation, and we will not be ripped out of Europe against our will. Westminster’s little men and women with their red white and blue imaginations and their delusional vanities of British exceptionalism can do as they please, but the days when they could drag an unwilling Scotland about against our will are over. Scotland will not consent to Brexit.
Scotland’s independence movement is currently the only organised political force in the United Kingdom. Let’s get started. Let’s get going. We’ve got a lot of work to do. I’m up for it. I know you are too. Independence is on the horizon.
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I’m now taking advance orders for Volumes 3 and 4 of the Collected Yaps. For the special price of £21 for both volumes plus £4 P&P you can get signed copies of the new books if you order before publication, scheduled for mid-July. Covering the immediate aftermath of the independence referendum until the Yes campaign’s destruction of the Labour party in the 2015 General Election, it’s a snarling chronicle of Scottish history.
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