Not being played by the Trump card

Another vote, and another crushing disappointment for those opposed to bigotry, racism, and homophobia. Another vote, and another victory for the nastiness and the urge to blame the victims of globalisation for globalisation. Another vote, and another descent into a crueller and less compassionate world. Another vote, and another reason why it’s increasingly vital for Scotland to determine its own destiny in this uncertain and unstable world comes into a painfully sharp focus. We either choose independence, or we choose to remain powerless and afraid, a carpet to be tread on, a child that’s neglected, a dog that’s kicked. The shortbread tin we’ve been forced back into won’t protect us from the gales and storms.

An unstable authoritarian narcissistic buffoon, a man who’s incapable of measured judgement, now has his stubby little finger on the nuclear button, and one of the biggest stockpiles of nukes in the world sits just outside Scotland’s largest city. We sit subject to his whims. We are prisoners of his vanity. We are hostages to his self-aggrandisement. If you weren’t Yes before, you need to be now. Scotland can never protect itself entirely, we need allies and friends, and what we know for sure is that Donald Trump and Brexit Britain are no friends of ours. We need to make alliances as an equal partner with nations which treat us with respect. We don’t get that from Theresa May. We won’t get that from a climate change denying Donald Trump who will go to war with our windfarms. If Scotland was independent we could celebrate his accession to office by building a gigantic windfarm right beside his golf course, and paint the turbines in the colours of the Mexican and rainbow flags.

America has chosen to succumb to the same knee-jerk right wing populism that infects the rest of the UK. Just like Brexit, Trump’s victory will only give succour to the bigots and the xenophobes, the racists, the homophobes, and the misogynists. It legitimises their hatred. It gives a veneer of respectablity to their prejudices. The right is emboldened and resurgent. The world is a scarier and more dangerous place. But the TV news is filled with a succession of straight white middle class Trump supporters and Brexiteers who assure us that Trump and Brexit Britain love and support ethnic minorities, gay people, and women. So that’s reassuring. Straight white middle class men are after all the experts on absolutely everything.

The Trump card has played America. The people who voted for Trump did so because they were angry with a political establishment that had ignored their concerns and taken them for granted. The same kinds of people in the UK voted for Brexit for similar reasons. And now they’re going to discover that they’ll still be the victims. Their protest was hijacked by the far right, by tax-cutting business people. The silent majority found its voice, and its voice cried, “We’re going to blame those who’re victimised even more than we are for the crimes of an elite that doesn’t care for us.” And the billionaire businessman who gets his products made in China smiled. He rubbed his little hands with their stubby fingers together with glee, and said it was all the fault of the Mexicans. Let’s build a wall to keep out those who suffer even more than you do, while we welcome those who cause your suffering into the corridors of power. Because that will really stick it to The Man, that will really drain the swamp.

Trump’s victory coming so soon after the earthquake of Brexit has destroyed the arguments that BetterTogether made back in 2014. No longer can it be argued that we need to stay under the tender care of Westminster if we want security and stability. The world is less secure and less stable today than it has ever been. The choice now facing Scotland is a choice between a cold and compassionless Anglo-America or joining on our own terms with an internationalist Europe.

If we want to preseve those parts of the British state that are valuable and good, the only chance we have to do so is with independence. Tolerance, an outward looking internationalism, a respect for difference, the NHS, our belief in public services, free education, all are at risk if we remain subject to the cold icy blasts of an Anglo-America that has no place for society, it only recognises money and power. We can have a social-democracy that we build for ourselves, or we become a powerless and impotent province in a right wing populist state. That’s the choice that faces Scotland today.

2016 has been a terrible year. It’s been a year when public distrust in a political establishment that ignores them turned toxic. Scotland has only been saved from the same descent into an ugly and vicious right wing populism because of the Scottish independence movement which puts forward a progressive and social democratic vision of a better country. If it wasn’t for the independence movement, Scotland would succumb to the same hatred and paranoia that has come to define the rest of the UK and now the USA. That makes it all the more vital that here in Scotland we continue to pursue our dream of a better country, a country that speaks for all its citizens, a country that welcomes and fosters diversity, a country that defines itself by how it treats its minorities, a country that strives for social equality and justice. Because then we can demontrate to the world that there is a better way. That there is an alternative to the vile and nasty populism of Trump and Farage.

We can continue to sit, powerless and afraid, being played by the Trump card and the jokers of Brexit, or we can play some cards of our own. That’s the decision facing Scotland. We need to make the right choice, we need to play the indy card, and we need to do it for Europe and the world as much as we need to do it for ourselves. We can play the indy card and show that there is no place for hatred, that climate change is real, that a nation can meet the needs of all its citizens in an atmosphere of tolerance and respect. 2016 belongs to the xenophobes, the bigots, the sexists, the racists, but the future belongs to us. Scotland won’t be played by the Trump card.

Audio version of this blog post, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984

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58 comments on “Not being played by the Trump card

  1. john57 says:

    What an excellent post, very sincere and heartfelt, AND ALL TRUE. thank you

  2. Macart says:

    A welcome post Paul.

    Fair sick of some threads out there today and some of the attitudes on display would make you weep.

    The greatest trick the devil ever pulled and still folk fall for it. An anti establishment protest vote they say. Forgetting of course just which party Mr Trump represents and the fact they have majority control of both houses in government. Those Republicans are such progressive rebels so they are. FFS!

    Beside his other outstanding qualities we also have the ultimate hypocrisy of one of America’s greatest tax avoidance exponents in the role of the individual who must now collect the taxes of the American public. You literally could not make this stuff up.

    The president of the ‘United’ States of America. A role of governance of the people, but who are the people? All the people of America? Apparently not, for Mr Trump made it abundantly clear that there are whole demographics he is not interested in governing, caring for, defending their rights or their safety.

    The leader of the free world? Again Mr Trump has made his isolationist intentions perfectly clear, but America will be great again. That was the promise wasn’t it? Do people remember what made America great? The thinkers, the politicians, the orators, the inventors, the civil rights giants, the explorers and scientists, the dreamers and all of them… the sons and daughters of immigrants.

    The choice which faced the electorate yesterday was awful. A Hobson’s choice and one you wouldn’t wish on anyone. I hope however, the American public do remember what made them a great nation and right quickly at that. Today, the world feels that wee bit darker and colder.

  3. Paul, Sam, I can add no more. Superb.
    I have no doubt now that Scots citizens will opt for Self Determination.
    Dugdale seems to have disappeared again.
    March or September 2018 at the latest.
    By then we shall know what Brexit means, and Trump’s National Guard will be rounding up Latinos and bussing them to Mexico, ObamaCare will be scrapped, and Climate Change Laws scrapped.
    It is always darkest before the dawn, guys.

  4. Thepnr says:

    Superb Paul.

    Forgive them for they know not what they do. Wolves in sheep’s clothing have led them like lambs to the slaughter.

    Apologies in advance for that guff.

  5. Illy says:

    “building a gigantic windfarm right beside his golf course, and paint the turbines in the colours of the Mexican and rainbow flags.”

    Can’t someone just buy the land and do it anyway? (And add the Trans Pride flag in as well)

    Does anyone know the planning permission issues and costs involved offhand? Or rough estimates of them?

  6. Deely says:

    Truly, bloody, marvellous post Paul…just what was needed…
    “The world is less secure and less stable today than it has ever been. The choice now facing Scotland is a choice between a cold and compassionless Anglo-America or joining on our own terms with an internationalist Europe.”

  7. stewartb says:

    The legacy of this choice of Trump will last long in the US.

    With the average age of US Supreme Court justices at retirement being c. 79 years, it is possible that three or four places in the Court will come up for replacement during Trump’s term. And with Congress having a Republican majority, it looks likely that right wing, socially conservative justices to Trump’s liking could be appointed relatively unchallenged.

    • finnmacollie says:

      Do you think the Ruth (don’t mention the Tories) for Strong Opposition Party would see that as a one party state – or is that phrase reserved for minority governments?

  8. Annie Martin says:

    Trump says now that he will be a President for all Americans. That’s as long as you are not a woman, black, muslim or latino presumably.

    This is what Patrick Harvie, MSP for the Green Party has to say:

  9. Graeme Timoney says:

    An excellent post Paul, we must win our independence for all the reasons you state but even just to rid our land of the nuclear stockpile which would see us being the first target in any war with Russia whether nuclear or conventional. The irony is that these weapons have been forced on us by Westminster against the wishes of the people, not for our security but only because they are too dangerous to be housed in England. If we fail again I fear for the future of my grandchildren and all of Scotland

  10. Anne says:

    Patrick Harvey is going too far in my opinion.This is easy to do when you don’t have the responsibility.If it doesn’t work out well he’ll just blame Nicola.

  11. Dointhebiz 1 says:

    Steady on there Paul!… Trump is indeed ALL that you say, but let’s not give him the credit of thinking any of this through? He won the presidency on a cocktail on populist nonsense that even HE doesn’t agree with!.. Much like the Brexiteers claim of the £350 million per week going to the NHS, he has absolutely no intention of keeping any of his claims! In fact, he wouldn’t be allowed, even IF he wanted to.
    No. what we’ll see here is the ‘New Trump’, reinvented, pretending to be compassionate, caring, considerate but basically controlled by the powers that be. He is but a mouthpiece, employed as the puppet by the very people that chose to put him into office…. The public vote?…Really? What Black, Hispanic, Muslim, or Jew – in their right mind – would have given them their vote?… And yet!…Our voter breakdown tells us different… Who’s telling the truth?

  12. hettyforindy says:

    Great article.

    It is of course also the case that we should be applauding Nicola Sturgeon and her government for standing up for Scotland re brexit, and for rejecting the britnat bigotry post the brexit vote. But look at what the SNP are up against. Their attempts to improve childrens’ lives with the named persons act, scuppered by the unionists, to keep the peace at football ball matches, scuppered by the unionists.

    Labour/tory councils keeping back funds for services, flooding etc, deliberately in the hope that the people will blame the SNP. Road widening, rail expansion, investment in renewables. What did the unionists, the so called Labour party ever do for Scotland? Bugger all.

    Today an extreme right wing government are in place in the states. Trump could well have a grudge when it comes to Scotland. Shackled to WM, a very right wing tory government for the forseeable, brexit, and now Trump.

    We need independence now more than ever, just hope it is not further away than it was yesterday.

  13. daibhidhdeux says:

    We are not quite fcuked and triumphantly trumped, yet, if we keep our progressive, anti-imperialist, democratic nerve and restore our sovereignty reinforced so that nary a ba’ hair of the Trump kind nor May may usurp our democratic will nor moral and rational freedom to consider that will and act on it.

    I smell the whiff of an end-game wherein the temporary triumphalists Will get a democratic doing by means of fucking hell mend them at the ballot box.

  14. John Edgar says:

    Reality check. The rag-msm trumpeting the “Brexit” factor world-wide are missing the point. Brexit is an anglo-welsh aberration here. Scotland voted remain in all areas. The real seismic shift here in Scotland is the decline of the “UK” establishment yoons.
    That does not feature in the rag msm because its focus is elsewhere!
    Yoonery is “disyoonited” here. Add the clueless No 10 lack of direction in Brexit detail, what next? Each time Mike Russell meets to find out more, we discover No 10 has no more details, let alone parameters.
    Mundell appears clueless and rants in generalities that the purpose is to get the best “deal” for Scotland. But no details emerge!
    Perhaps, “Brexit in full”, to quote May’s morphed response to “Brexit means Brexit”, is in the offing and the follow up term “global Britain” means that No 10 sees a “free trade” UK proselytizing the world.
    Or perhaps, there is no plan; wait and see what Trump will do with WTO and Nafta and …..
    If the US of A becomes “great”, it looks like it will become isolationist, yet strike in a new and unpredictable foreign policy direction untrammeled.
    We could be “trumped” and “mayhemmed” abroad and at home. Watch out for Gordo’s latest salvo on federalism and an elected HoL, but the HoC in his pop up is still sovereign.
    Time to leave the rUK to its own mess.
    Time to

  15. Andimac says:

    I couldn’t agree more that Scotland needs to be independent, but I’m not at all confident that an Indyref2 will achieve that anytime soon. If we have learnt anything from the results of Indyref1, the Brexit referendum and the Trump’s victory, it is that large sections of the electorate, majorities in fact, voted for policies and people which are repellent, retrograde and frankly against their own actual long-term interest. They do so, I believe, from mixed motives of fear of change, narrow self-interest, real ignorance of the issues involved and, not least, in the belief that they are somehow sending a message to the “establishment”. Their views, of course, are encouraged, even fomented, by a morally bankrupt mainstream media and by self-seeking politicians. I know a number of people who, whilst bemoaning Brexit and appalled by the election of Trump, have no intention of voting for Scottish independence. On this site and on similar others we are. so to speak, preaching to the converted. I think you’ll find that, generally speaking, those opposed to or indifferent to Scottish independence still get their news, comments and “facts”from the despicably partisan mainstream media. Also, I don’t think we should underestimate the capacity of huge swathes of the electorate to be thrawnly stupid. Believe me, I take no pleasure in expressing these opinions: I fervently believe in an independent Scotland. I hope I live to see one. It will not be easy to achieve. The fact that you want something badly does not mean you necessarily get it, even after great effort. And to those who would counsel being confident – ensure your confidence is not misplaced: recent electoral decisions really don’t give cause for it.

  16. I see that The Queen’s Eleven Sectarian bigot Murdo Fraser, Listory Boy political failure has taken to twitter lying that Trump’s supporters were trailer trash leathernecked ill educated white Americans, or some such, and implying that this was the voter base for Self Determination in the 2014 Referendum.
    He mused that while it worked for Trump, how come it failed in the Scottish campaign? The Dead Sea Troller Torrance supports him, by venturing an enigmatic ‘mmm’ tweet in agreement.
    They know of course that this is an out and out lie, on both counts, and the Twitterati have provided the stats to prove it. They are evil men in my book.
    FYI, Failed Constituency MSP Fraser, I have letters after my name that when rearranged spell out ‘Smart ersed baster’; as do hundreds of thousands of supporters of Scottish Self Determination. (I know you devour WGD, ye Blue Yoons.)

    Most of my mates and drinking buddies, who gather at our favourite watering hole of a week end are working stiffs, who contribute to the Scottish economy greatly, who are more politically aware than Davidson, Dugdale, or Rennie, and more importantly live and operate in the real world of mortgages ,rents, fuel bills, school clothes, and food on the table, unlike the Holyrood and WM Blue Red and Yellow Tories who write up everything they can to ‘expenses’. Oh, yes, and these lads don’t have a BA, BSC, or Professor, to their name. They are plumbers, electricians, car mechanics, painters, teachers, policemen, and the like, what some of us would call ‘the salt of the earth’. They live in the real world, not the spiteful little netherworld of the Unionist rabble rousers.

    I find this cack-handed attempt at a Class Divide to be as pernicious and sinister as Fraser’s self declared soubriquet ‘The Queen’s Elven’, and his fellow electoral failure,boastful bigoted WATP Professor Adam Two Jobs Tomkins.

    They disgust me, and many would argue that they are racists, bigots, and ugly rabble rousers.
    Trump is an obscene man, in any sense of the word.
    Fraser, Torrance, and Tomkins, should have a right good look at themselves.
    Independence is even closer now.

    • Macart says:

      The true separatists IMV, are and always have been the ‘unionist’ politicians and their media. In pursuit of their agendas they think nothing of dividing entire demographics or of the societal carnage they leave in their wake. Just so long as it achieves the desired effect of keeping them in the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed.

      If you didn’t know any better you’d say those were the actions of empathy free sociopaths to a ‘T’.

      • I am, on a good day, the most tolerant of men, Sam.
        My father, a man of few philosophical words,, observed often, ‘by their deeds, ye shall know them.’ which was curious, given that he would hardly have been described as a deeply religious man.
        That it sticks in my memory bank five decades later speaks volumes.
        I doubt that I could be in the same room as Fraser, Kelly, Torrance, Tomkins, Davidson, Dugdale, and Rennie these days.

        We have a Blue Red and Yellow Unionist Tory elite political class, and a MSM to match it, who will always be members of the Scottish ‘comfortably off’ Britnat Establishment no matter what happens.
        Therefore they care not a jot what chaos, financial hardship, division, social democratic decay, or even drunken deaths at football matches, that their weasel words, lies, distortions, and incitement to hate, engender,
        Unforgivable. Believe you me, I shall never forgive them, even post Self Determination. It’s not like@ Ivotede Smith: Corbyn won’. ‘I voted Remain: Leave won.’
        Och well, carry on regardless by backing Corbyn, or backing Brexit, against my principles.

        They are a Fifth Column.
        They will do or say anything for money.

        They are not backing Independence. There will be no place for them post indyref 2

      • Connor McEwen says:

        PARANOID i agree so much it hurts

  17. Brian Fleming says:

    Paul, I fail to understand your love affair with the seriously criminal Clinton family. They’re every bit as bad as the Bushes. At least now, the threat of WW3 should recede. Although, if Trump actually follows through with the promises over jobs and rebuilding America’s infrastructure included in his acceptance speech, I expect him to be assassinated before too long, by a crazed madman acting alone, of course, or by a loony Muslim with a bomb in his turban or a heat-seeking missile under his robes, whatever seems the more plausible false-flag story at the time.

    • weegingerdug says:

      I don’t have a love affair with Clinton. I made my feelings about her clear in the previous blog post. I just think Trump is worse.

      • Brian Fleming says:

        Point taken. Time will tell. Perhaps I’m more naive than I think I am, but I think we may now avoid WW3. I certainly hope so.

  18. Alastair Pelan says:

    You would obviously have as pus someone who is responsible for the slaughter and maiming of countless children in Libya, and whose proposed, illegal, US imposed no fly zone over Syria, would, as the head of the military in the USA conceded, immediately lead to a war with Russia. You come over as just another BBC drone.

  19. Dan Huil says:

    I think part of the reason people voted for Trump was their distrust of the political and media establishment. I can understand this since we in Scotland are faced with a daily onslaught of britnat bias and anti-Scottish propaganda. IndyRef2 will echo the US presidential election in that Scots will vote for independence partly because they are sick of the britnat media.

  20. leavergirl says:

    So I come here for my dose of witty repartee, and get instead a dose of self-righteous, humorless othering. Surely this does not bode well for the wee dug?

  21. bedelsten says:

    Birling through my brain is a wee thoght or two on the rise of the populists – where the voters are becoming acclimatised, and assuming it to be the norm, to vote out / vote for losers, hence making them winners; where there is decreasing differentiation between the non-reality as realised in reality (TV) and real reality as not realised is real TV because it, in turn, treats reality as entertainment and treats those in entertainment as a new reality; where it is assumed that a tweet is more than people can assimilate, thus reducing complex issues to trivia, leading to the impression that life can be reduced to slogans and simple binary choices. And don’t get me started on how people who be bothered to spell properly when sndng txt msgs.

    The proprietors of media outlets promoting populism politics are pretty well immune from any side effects their policy may (will?) cause and, unfortunately, they may, in fact, benefit – sales and influence wise, which means there is no incentive, none whatsoever, not to promote populism politics.

    So, we end up with slogans on the sides of buses, slogans which are lies, off-the-cuff utterances deemed to be commitments, meaningless statements treated as truisms, a philandering misogynist one side of the Atlantic and unelected mayhem on this.

    The good news, perhaps, is that by now it must be obvious to our esteemed leaders dawn sarth that Europe will need to develop policies to protect itself from the whatever is lurking to the east and, quite possibly, the west. But don’t hold your breath – that way lies asphyxia.

  22. bedelsten says:

    …on people who cannot be bothered to spell properly when sndng txt msgs – or proof read properly 🙂

  23. Gingerisla says:

    Thank you for your words, gingerdug. I feel so crushed right now, I feel like another dark era or another war is inevitable, but reading this has given me a little hope.

  24. Craig P says:

    It’s interesting the BBC has a Brexit Remainers guide to surviving a traumatic vote intended to help Americans.

    In 2014 I too survived a traumatic vote where the forces of fear and reaction won, but the BBC don’t seem to recall that.

  25. Dan Huil says:

    The bbc has now completely departed from its supposedly neutral stance covering Scotland’s politics.

  26. emilytom67 says:

    Can anybody be worse than Clinton? there have been over 100 suspicious deaths of people close to them as far back as the two boys on the rail track,they are serious criminals and very dangerous.

    • Anne says:

      They should both be in jail.

    • Eilidh says:

      I am utterley horrified by the amount of conspiracy crap that has been written about the Clintons particularly Hilary most of which came from dreadful tabloid publications such as the National Enquurer. She lost because she was not a good candidate.She had the charisma of a plank of wood and the whole email scandal was very badly handled by her.Trump on the other hand is complete scum and far more dangerous than either Clinton.He is a lying ruthless racist narcissist who people unfortunately believe to be the saviour of the American dream. I have real fears of what this nutcase will drag America and the rest of the world into.

      • Anne says:

        Dinnae fash yersel o’er Hillary.She committed perjury by lying to the FBI and Congress and got away with it, bloody chancer.Good riddance tae bad rubbish!

        • Eilidh says:

          A politician lied to a parliament what a surprise.Ruth Davidson has a flair for that and definitely gets away with it.I don’t think any politician is perfect not even Nicola but do think those who watched Trump on reality TV probably have a very skewed view of him. His whole campaign seemed entirely like trash telly

        • leavergirl says:

          “Good riddance tae bad rubbish!”

          Exactly. And that’s just the tip of the Clinton corruption iceberg.

  27. emilytom67 says:

    Eilidh check out the “Clinton Foundation” just another corrupt vehicle for her and her hubby to ride in,both candidates are vile as are most politicians,there has to be a better system as the present one is a total failure for 99% of the people,I include the SNP in that,how many initiatives have come from them how many refreshing ideas? fcuk all.Common Weal the way forward for me.

    • Macart says:

      No party and no movement will be all things to all people. So no, the SNP may not be your cup of tea and fair enough, but it’s unfair to say they’ve done nothing.

      For some they won’t be left enough and for others they won’t be right leaning enough (shrugs). For some they aren’t loud enough, others say too loud, or not ever just when they want them to be. They’re also too slow about legislating stuff or too fast, dependent again on personal taste. I personally just want my politicians to stick to their word as best they can, with as much transparency as possible and they’ll continue to have my vote. Oh, and to be close at hand where we can kick their cans when they step out of line.

      This blogger went to the trouble of drawing up a wee list of what those slackers in Holyrood have got up to so far.

    • Eilidh says:

      I have read a fair amount about the Clinton Foundation none of which surprised me.The entire political system there is utterley corrupt particularly how they raise political campaign funds.I doubt there has been a president in living memory who has not in some way been corrupt.That is sad.Trump will be no different.I’ve been to the states over a dozen times but my love affair with it died a long time ago.Right now I will try to adopt a hope over fear mindset about Brexit and Trump and hope that Scotland will prevail as an Independent country soon

  28. Macart says:

    Ruth Davidson – a not so rare talent.

  29. Anna Potrykus says:

    IT IS A GOOD ISSUE OF YOUR NEWS LETTER..but perhaps look at how wealth[Capital..resources[machinery and labour aswell as income] is distributed in Scotland >

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