The sluagh ghairm of the second Scottish independence referendum is ringing from the hills and glens of the country. All across this ancient land, an anguished people cry out, “It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for Pot Noodle and Marmite, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.”
The descent into Brexmess continues with Tory xenophobia and lists of foreigners, a plummeting pound and empty supermarket online shopping carts. Brexshit means 1970s Soviet shopping opportunities and the welcoming attitude to non-citizens last found in 1930s Germany, along with a pound that will soon be trading on a par with the Zimbabwean dollar.
Many voted for Brexit because they wanted to return the UK to some mythical glory day long in the past. Well they got their wish. The pound is now trading at a historic low, on a level not seen since the 1840s and we’ve got soaring levels of poverty and inequality that wouldn’t be amiss in Victorian times. At this rate if we wait a bit longer Westminster will take us all back to 1706 and Scotland won’t need to bother with another independence referendum.
Still the Tories must be happy. A plummeting pound, an economy in the toilet, a future that’s bleaker and more barren than Iain Duncan Smith’s soul, and xenophobia as public policy is a perfect way to keep immigration down. The centre ground of British politics is now a right wing blood and soil nationalism that even Margaret Thatcher would have thought was a tad on the extreme side.
The pound is predicted to fall even further. It’s a far cry from 2014 when sterling was touted as the gold standard of currency stability and Scotland was threatened that if we became independent we’d have to adopt the euro with all its uncertainties and risks and warned us that we’d not be allowed to keep the pound. How things change, during the next independence referendum, Chancellor Philip Hammond is going to come to Scotland and threaten us that we’re going to have to keep the pound. Or as it’s now known, approximately 68p.
At the SNP party conference on Thursday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that she’d be introducing a draft bill for a second independence referendum which will go ahead if the Westminster government doesn’t protect and respect Scotland’s expressed desire to remain a part of the European Union. Scotland didn’t choose to be here. Scotland wouldn’t be standing on the edge of another independence referendum if the Unionist parties had kept the promises that they so solemnly vowed back in 2014.
Sure, those of us who truly believe in independence would still be arguing for it, but the difference is that few would be listening. They’d be pointing to how Scotland’s membership of the EU was safe. They’d be saying that we still had the pound and how it was a great advantage instead of a millstone around our necks. They’d be noting how the permanency of the Scottish Parliament was enshrined and absolute, they’d be marvelling at all the shiny new powers it had been granted. They’d be listing the jobs that were safe and the new opportunities that were being created. Instead here we are, wondering whether to stock up on Marmite with a currency that will soon be less than the euro while hoping that our jobs will still exist in a few months time.
So the ball is in Theresa May’s court. It’s up to her to prove that the Tories will do all those things that they promised Scotland that they would do. Where’s the respect for Scotland? Where’s the promise that Scotland would be a valued equal partner in this Union? Where’s the commitment that there needed to be a UK-wide agreement on Brexit before it could proceed? If Westminster won’t protect the interests of Scotland, then Scotland has every right to take whatever steps necessary to do it ourselves. The Scottish government is publishing this bill for consultation, and then it will be presented to Holyrood, unlike Theresa May’s Brexit which is being done by fiat without parliamentary scrutiny.
Ruth Davidson took to Twitter to accuse the SNP of creating division. Ruth certainly knows a lot about creating division, her party is responsible for most of it. There won’t be a second independence referendum if I have anything to do with it, claimed Ruthie. To which thousands retorted, “But you don’t have anything to do with it, and you can’t stop it.” There’s a pro-independence majority in Holyrood and All Ruth and her wee band of converts to the cause of Brexit can do is complain on the sidelines. Funny how converts are often far more zealous. Ruth opposed Brexit, but now that the Tory party in England has espoused it wholeheartedly, Ruth’s recanted her previous views and the woman who leads the party that’s created the greatest divisions and the greatest risks and the greatest uncertainty rails against those who seek to put an end to the malignity that she and her colleagues have created.
Ruth can complain all she likes about a second independence referendum, but her party’s abject failure to protect and respect Scotland is the reason we’re having it. Ruth should go and do what she’s good at. Posing for whacky photo-ops with farmyard animals, otherwise known as Tory list MSPs.
Independence is the radical notion that the people who live in a country should have the right to decide how that country is governed. It’s the dangerous idea that a government is best made up of people who live in that country and who are elected by the people of that country and are answerable to the people of that country. Scottish independence is about one thing only, that it’s for the people of Scotland, wherever we came from, to choose the path that this country takes. Because it doesn’t matter where you were born. It doesn’t matter what ethnicity or race you belong to, all that matters is that we walk together on a journey to a better Scotland. Our path is an inclusive path, a path of tolerance, a path of peace, a path that leads to a more just and fair society. That’s the path to Scottish independence. And we’re walking it.
Audio version of this blog, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/wee-ginger-dug-13th-oct-2016
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