Gordosaurus obsolescens, one time Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, former leader of the Labour party, erstwhile saviour of the Union and the world, and vower extraordinaire, has been wearing holes in carpets again this week, pacing up and down before an invited audience that is contractually obliged not to jeer or heckle. Although they can’t be guaranteed not to fall asleep. The subject of his orations is the constitution following the Brexit vote. Yes, Gordie’s been intervening again. Well, it’s not like he’s got anything else to do.
Gordie infamously promised during the fag end of the 2014 independence referendum campaign that he would personally assure the introduction of the nearest thing possible to federalism, what he described as Home Rule. With a brass neck that would put one of those tribal women from Burma to shame, Gordie is now demanding that if the Union is to survive the changed circumstances of Brexit it requires the introduction of Home Rule. You know, that home rule that he vowed we’d get if we voted no in 2014. Gordie now wants all the things that he promised the last time that he’d personally hold the party leaders to uphold, threatening them with his morose presence on the backbenches where he had no power and influence, only then he buggered off and got a very high paid position as a consultant with a bank while the Tories introduced English votes for English laws. But not before Gordie had issued a press release claiming that his Vow was fulfilled.
Somewhere in the depths of the deepest trench in the Pacific Ocean, there’s a bottom feeding creature without a central nervous system subsisting in the ooze in the permanent blackness. It’s got greater self-awareness than Gordie has, and it also has more ability to affect the constitutional settlement of the United Kingdom. Gordosaurus obsolescens could have done something about securing a stable and lasting constitutional settlement for the United Kingdom while he was actually Prime Minister and in a position to do something about it.
But instead he preferred to utter meaningless platitudes about Britishness while showing that his only talent had been backstabbing and briefing against other members of the Labour party in an effort to get the top job, but once he’d got there he didn’t have the foggiest idea of what to do with it. Then after leaving office he prowled the carpets of conferences rooms, telling other politicians who weren’t answerable to him what they should do. Gordie suffers from the peculiar delusion that they are in fact answerable to him, and that they hang on to his every word. The only people who do hang on to his every word are the management team of BBC Scotland news.
He’s only been saved from the misfortune of going down in history as the worst Prime Minister since the Suez Crisis because he was followed in office by Davie Cameron who accidentally took the UK out of the EU in an attempt to settle a playground spat with Boris Johnson. The fact that Davie is the only holder of the office more incompetent and clueless than Gordie doesn’t actually grant Gordie any statesmanlike status. Gordie is the closest thing that the Labour party in Scotland have got to a big hitter, which by itself tells you how far and fast they’ve fallen from grace. There are small clumps of moist tissue with more weight and substance.
What Gordie is proposing now is a new constitutional settlement giving Scotland something far closer to the Home Rule envisaged by the founders of the Labour party than he was proposing the last time he was proposing something that he called Home Rule. Now he thinks that Scotland should get control of everything except defence, security, the pensions that he spent 2014 scaring pensioners about, and currency. He wants Scotland to be able to make its own international agreements on those areas controlled by Holyrood, although he’s vague about how that would work in practice. What he is a bit clearer on is that Scotland should pour a big bowl of Brexit cereal and eat it up without complaint. We can sell out our EU membership for an additional £750 million a year for the Scottish Parliament. Because that will make everyone happy.
Back in 2014 it was Brown’s own party which supported the absolute least amount of powers to be transferred to Holyrood. The self-proclaimed party of devolution was even out-devoed by the Tories. Gordie’s own party didn’t listen to him in 2014, and no one is listening to him now. All his statement proves is that the constitution of the UK is as bankrupt as Gordie’s reputation.
As long as Scotland remains a part of this Union we’re doomed to Gordie’s interventions and doomed to constant navel gazing and speculation about how to make the unworkable British state workable. Being Scottish within the UK is to continually ask how to ride a bicycle with square wheels. How can we be equal when we are kept subordinate. How can we be a country that isn’t allowed to act like a country. How can we be a nation that isn’t permitted to fulfil its nationhood. How do we determine our destiny when it is chosen for us by others.
There are only two answers to the questions posed by the anomaly of Scotland within the UK. Either we concede and accept that Scotland is little more than a glorified county, a bit of North British colour in the pageantry of the Union, Prince Charles’ kilt at the Braemar Games. We can concede our obsolescence and be the plaything of Gordosaurus obsolescens, allowing our future to be the endless meaningless carpet pacing of Gordie Broon, grand ideas which no one listens to, which no one cares about, and which no one is going to implement, or we take our destiny into our own hands and shape it for ourselves. Then and only then can we stand beside the other nations of this continent and these islands as equals in respect and equals in dignity.
Audio version of this blog post, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/plaything-of-gordosaurus-obsolescens-30th-august-2016
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