A huge thanks to Macart for keeping you all entertained in my absence with his great blog articles. That’s me back from a trip to soon-to-be Trumpland, where the prospect of the Donaldmaggedon had got everyone I met even more depressed than a black gay muslim EU immigrant at a Ukip Christmas party. Admittedly I was in liberal New England, but for every Trump sticker or poster I saw, I saw five Hillary ones and almost as many Bernie Sanders ones. On the way there and back I had a stop over in Dublin airport, and in the space of just a few hours no less than four Irish people and a Dutch guy unprompted and unasked told me that they hoped that Scotland would vote for independence and assured me that everyone in Ireland was supporting us. Admittedly it’s hardly a representative sample of European opinion, but it was nice to feel loved and wanted. It’s all a very big contrast to what you feel being Scottish in the UK.
It was a nice wee ego boost because I’m pretty depressed myself, as depressed as an American viewing the impending car crash of a Trump unpresidency where US foreign policy will be determined on the basis of whatever it is that gets planning permission for a new hotel or golf course. I had a wonderful time with my significant other only to have to leave him and then come back to an empty bed in a cold and wet Scotland where Ruth Davidson is spouting pish about Spain maybe vetoing Scottish membership of the EU. Sigh. Some people should stick to the photo opportunities with open mouthed fish. Although she’s less likely to do that now that Michael Gove’s career is going much the same way as post-Brexit Britain.
Mind you, Ruth of all people ought to know what the Partido Popular is planning, since before the last independence referendum she was meeting with them in private in order to discuss ways of putting the hems on Scottish ambitions. There’s a word for people who conspire with foreign forces in order to damage the interests of their own country, and it’s not a pretty word, but then Ruth’s party isn’t a pretty party. However even Ruthie should know that the supposed Spanish veto threat has been done to death and beaten over the head with a battered merluz and then diced up, fried and served up with a side order of humble pie, but mere facts won’t stop a Tory politician with a Union to save. Especially when it’s a Union that the Tories themselves have broken.
But for the benefit of Ruth, I’ll spell it out as simply as possible so that it can even be understood by someone sitting atop a tank. If Spain vetoes Scottish membership of the EU, after Scotland achieves independence having negotiated it with Westminster, Madrid will not discourage the aspirations of the Catalans. Madrid will instead destroy its own argument against Barcelona. Because Madrid’s argument against Catalonia rests upon constitutionality and the claim that a Catalan referendum and independence is contrary to the Spanish constitution. If Madrid were to veto Scotland “just because”, it would not discourage the Catalans. It would merely give the Catalans evidence that Madrid’s claim that it opposes moves towards Catalan independence because they’re unconstitutional are simply a convenient excuse. And that would give the Catalans the justification that they require in order to internationalise their dispute with la Moncloa (the seat of the Spanish government).
What’s going to happen in what seems to be the increasingly inevitable event of Scottish independence is that the morning after a Yes vote in a Scottish indyref2, the Spanish government will announce that it has said all along that Scotland’s circumstances and Catalonia’s circumstances are completely different from one another and Scotland’s vote has no bearing on what happens in Spain.
What is making Scottish independence ever more inevitable is the behaviour of the British government. While I was away we discovered that Theresa May is indeed capable of giving careful consideration to things within an incredibly short measurement of time. That’s a nanosecond, which is somewhat longer than the amount of time that passes between Boris Johnson’s gaffes. You might have imagined that with the long delays in Theresa giving any information on what her plan for Brexit might consist of, that she needs months and months in order to consider the implications of important decisions and takes forever to process all the relevant facts. But no. Theresa has actually got more processing power than a Samsung Galaxy Note7, and is equally prone to self-combusting. Having promised that she’d give careful consideration to the proposals of the Scottish government to find some means of reconciling Scottish membership of the UK with Scotland’s vote to remain a part of the EU, Theresa sat down, carefully considered it, and then within a Boris gaffe’s worth of time announced that she’d given it all the consideration it required, which was none at all.
If the British government had a milligramme of commonsense, it would grasp at the proposals from the Scottish government like a drowning man grabs a lifeline. But it doesn’t have a milligramme of commonsense because milligrammes are an unBritish European unit of measurement and we’ll be having none of that nonsense in a red white and blue Brexit. Knee-jerk opposition to anything that comes from Holyrood is the default position of the British government. Scotland is a part of a Union which it doesn’t get any say in determining, which is increasingly indistinguishable from being a colony.
Accepting the proposals of the Scottish government would mean that Theresa May could stop calls for a second indyref and then blame any failure for the plans to be realised on Brussels, by which time Scotland along with the rest of the UK would be outside the EU. Instead she decided to reject them out of hand, demonstrating that Scotland’s supposed position as an equal partner in this most perfect United Kingdom is as mythical as Ruth Davidson’s reputation as a political giant or Michael Gove’s ability to drink a glass of water without looking like a malfunctioning host from Westworld. All of which has only made a second independence referendum far more likely than it was a week or so ago. The rejection from May, that is. It’s nothing new that Michael Gove acts like a malfunctioning android, although one with considerably less processing power than a Galaxy Note7.
So here we are, going into 2017 with a UK government that’s even less competent than the previous one, something which no one who had ever so much as glanced upon David Cameron could ever have thought possible. But it’s equally recalcitrant, equally arrogant, and equally dismissive of Scottish aspirations. Their weary Brexmess is the best Christmas present the Scottish independence movement could ever have wished for.
We’ve got work to do, to take the existing support for Scottish independence and turn it into a substantial majority. 2016 will go down in history as the year that the union was broken, 2017 will be the year that Scottish independence became the will of the majority of the people of Scotland.
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