At long last we finally know what the hitherto meaningless phrase Brexit means Brexit means. Thanks to some Tory aide who wandered out into Downing Street clutching some briefing notes which were accidentally, or possibly accidentally on purpose, on show, the world has discovered that what we all thought all along is actually true. Brexit means Brexit means that the British government wants to have its cake and eat it, and that the refusal of Theresa May to reveal her strategy is indeed because she doesn’t want to weaken her position during negotiations. But that’s only because her negotiating position would be seriously weakened if it became known that she doesn’t actually have a strategy at all.
It’s embarrassingly obvious now that not only does the Conservative government not have a strategy for Brexit, but some of its leading figures don’t even have a clear idea of how the European Union works. David Davis thought that the UK would be able to negotiate a trade deal with Germany before the UK leaves the EU, only for it to be pointed out that this would be illegal. Fluffy Mundell struggled to answer when asked whether he knew the difference between the European Single Market and the European Customs Union. He refused to answer the question, because he didn’t know the answer.
Essentially the customs union means that the members agree to have no customs duties on trade between member countries, and a common system of tarrifs and duties on non-members. The single market means harmonising rules and regulations so not only goods but services, people and investment are free to move within the area. The harmonisation of standards allows for the free movement of goods and services such as electrical installations or plumbing. There ye go, you now know more about the working of the EU than the Secretary of State for Scotland. Although that’s not saying much as a stuffed teddy in a shop window knows more about it than he does. Stuffed teddies are subject to single market rules on toy safety. We’re governed by idiots and fools. Those broad shoulders of the UK bear the head of a small and none too bright child with an entitlement complex. Yet we’re supposed to put our faith in balloons who don’t understand how the EU works to negotiate the best deal from the EU for us.
There are four year olds in nursery education plotting how to take over the doll’s house and mount a coup de teddy who have a firmer grasp on strategy than the British government. Historically Britain has never been very good at strategy, relying instead on bullying. This worked out just fine when Britain was an empire and one of the most powerful countries in the world, but now the UK has turned into a nasty and antisocial old bastert who hates all the neighbours and is despised by them in turn yet relies on them to go to the supermarket and maintain the house. Britain might think in its delusion that it can boss everyone else about and get exactly what it wants, but the truth is that the neighbours are planning to pack Britain off to the Bide-A-Wee-Brexit-Home where it’s going to sit in the glorious isolation of its own rank mess and no one will ever come to visit.
And this brings us in turn to one of the most pressing and important reasons for independence. The United Kingdom is, to put it bluntly, an utter embarrassment. In Scotland we talk a lot about the cringe, and how historically we’ve been taught to be ashamed of Scottish language and culture, to diminish and disparage them. Scotland still has a long way to go before it gets over its national cringe, but we’re making progress. Britain on the other hand, is going backwards into an idealised vision of a 1950s that never existed.
The realisation that we have nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about with Scottish culture is increasingly being replaced by the realisation that the United Kingdom is an affront to decency, common sense and good taste. The Scottish Cringe is being replaced by the British Mortification. Scotland builds a grass roots political movement that informs, engages and motivates a people who have learned that unless the people participate then democracy dies. Britain is descending into reactionary senility where poppy parades and royal correspondents substitute for popular engagement in the democratic process, where newspapers print lies because the truth doesn’t suit. Britain is where hatred of foreigners is stirred up by demagogues who call it patriotism. Britain is where Theresa May gets to decide all by herself what the decision to leave the EU means and where those who campaigned for the sovereignty of the Westminster Parliament froth in anger when some insist that that parliament must have a say.
How can any sane person with a functioning set of neurones not look on Boris Johnson and Liam Fox and curl up and die inside? These clowns represent us to the world. We might try and distance ourselves from them in Scotland, and disavow that they have anything to do with us, but as long as we remain a part of the UK they are the face that Scotland presents to the planet. The shellshocked moronity of the Boorish one and his backstabbing pal Gove as they stood open mouthed and empty headed the day after the Brexit vote is the perfect illustration of the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the British state. Silly little boys playing party political games with our futures.
Meanwhile the Scottish Government is due to reveal Scotland’s options for Brexit. The only administration in the entire UK with a plan for Brexit is the Scottish one. The only government in the UK which has a plan is the one in Edinburgh. The only country in the UK that Europe is taking seriously is Scotland. The only leader from anywhere in the UK who can go and address the Parliament of another EU state and receive a standing ovation is the Scottish First Minister. The days of the Scottish Cringe are over. The days when we needed to be ashamed by Scotland are done. It’s Britain that is embarrassing. Britain is cringe making. Britain is the class clown of Europe. Britain is a state that desperately tries to cling on to the dignity of the past because its got a future as the drunken jaikie in the European street, shouting racist abuse and god save the Queen. Britain is a state that Scotland needs to escape if its to retain any self-respect.
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