I wasn’t going to blog again before leaving for my holidays, but today’s events in the Supreme Court can’t pass unremarked. Let’s be perfectly blunt here, Fluffy Mundell is a liar. He stood before the people of Scotland and he brazenly and openly lied to us. He’s a disgrace to Scotland. He’s the voice of an unrepresentative Conservative government in Scotland and he doesn’t even pretend to represent the interests of Scotland in that government. If he had the slightest self-respect he would hang his head in shame. But he won’t do that because he can’t bend that brass neck of his.
In the UK Supreme Court on Tuesday, British government lawyers argued that when the Sewel Convention was written into the Scotland Bill that it doesn’t actually have any legal force at all. In the eyes of the British Government the permanence of the Scottish Parliament is as permanent as a snowman on a sunny day. Government lawyers insisted that the law that says that the Westminster Parliament will not alter, change or interfere in the powers of Holyrood without the consent of the Scottish Parliament isn’t a law after all. It’s a serving suggestion that the UK government can overrule and override whenever it sees fit. It’s a guarantee of bugger all.
According to the British government the Sewel convention might be enshrined in law, but it’s merely a self-denying ordinance, it can be ignored whenever Westminster sees fit. Westminster’s attitude to power is a bit like the attitude of a heroin addict to their drug of choice. They can give it up any time that they want to. It’s just that they don’t want to. All those promises that Scotland was made by the Unionist parties in the summer of 2014, all those vows, all those commitments, they were exactly the same as the junky pleading for one more chance, one more opportunity, one more shot to prove that they had changed. And as soon as they got it they went and stuck it in a collapsing vein in their arm, then passed out in a pool of their own urine. Only with Westminster it’s Scotland that’s had the piss taken.
So when Mundell stood before the House of Commons, when he asserted in innumerable interviews afterwards, that he had delivered on one of the key promises of the infamous Vow of 2014, he was in fact being as truthful as Tony Blair’s Iraqi dossier. That’s a much bigger dereliction of duty than anything Humza Yousaf ever did. The Scottish Unionist media have spent weeks hounding Humza for the failures of Network Rail, an organisation wholely owned and controlled by the Conservative Government in Westminster, but they’re strangely silent on the duplicity and mendacity of Fluffy Mundell on an issue which is central to devolution and central to the place of Scotland within the United Kingdom. We can now look forward to a fortnight’s worth of headlines on Reporting Scotland hounding Fluffy until he resigns and apologises for lying to us all, can’t we. Oh. wait.
Now everyone ought to know what those of us who were cynical to begin with wondered about when the Scotland Bill was published. Why was it including the weasel word “normally”? Westminster will not “normally” legislate on reserved matters without the consent of Holyrood. Oh no, said the Unionist parties and their allies in the press. You’re just showing sour grapes, the Vow has been delivered. But the cynics were right.
But we all know now what normally means. It means that normally Westminster reserves to itself the right to decide what’s normal. Normally Westminster decides what Scotland has to do. Normally Scottish votes and Scottish democracy can be overridden. Normally means that the Scotland Bill is as fit for purpose as Michael Gove’s Brexit plans. Normally means that the permanence of the Scottish Parliament and devolution is a sham. Devolution has nothing to do with the democratic will of the people of Scotland, and everything to do with what is in the interests of Westminster and the Unionist parties. Do what you’re told Scotland, shut up, sit down, and be grateful that you’ve got a back seat as the British coach of state drives us all off a cliff.
And what we get in return for surrendering our self-respect is the chance to entrust our future into the hands of clueless morons with a sense of entitlement that encompasses a galaxy. You thought that Theresa May couldn’t descend any further into an intelligence insulting meaning free zone with her insistence that “Brexit means Brexit”, but she actually managed to be even more gob-smackingly inane than that on Tuesday when she told the press that she wanted a red white and blue Brexit as she stood on an airport runway in an oppressive Middle Eastern state to which she hopes to flog some weapons. Brexit means waving flegs. You might not be able to spend much with your post-Brexit pound that’s worth less than the dollar. You might not be able to travel anywhere without having to apply for a visa. And you might not be able to think about going in the first place because you will have lost your job. But you’ll be able to wrap yourself in the red white and blue and Britain can sell guns and bullets and tear gas to oppressive regimes in the Middle East. Huzzah!
There is no polite way to put this. There is no glossy lipstick to put on this pig to make it attractive even to David Cameron. There is no gilding that can be placed on this turd. The United Kingdom is a dysfunctional mess which is governed by fuckwits who don’t have the foggiest idea what they’re doing. The realisation that these balloons represent us to the rest of the world is an utter cringe making embarrassment. This is a country where greed and stupidity are elevated to the highest office, where selfish intolerance is regarded as a virtue.
This is not Scotland. We are better than this. We deserve better than this. We can be better than this. But the only way we can be better than this is to do things for ourselves. Britain is finished. Let’s start to work on building a better Scotland, an independent Scotland. Enough of gilding the turd, it’s time to flush it away.
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