The Tories and their little helpers in the Labour party in Scotland have shown themselves in their true colours. The Tories with their arrogant contempt for democracy and refusal to accept votes which don’t go their way, and a Labour which is so blinded by its tribal hatred of the SNP that it’s acting as an enabler for the very sort of nationalism that it claims to oppose. Theresa May has pushed us all off the Brexit cliff, and Scottish Tory after Scottish Tory has lined up to push Scotland off along with the rest of the country and together with Labour they’re taking a knife to our parachute. Make no mistake, this is a direct assault on Scottish democracy. This is an attempt by Westminster’s little helpers to ensure that Scotland cannot have a say, cannot have a voice, cannot have a choice in its future. And it must be resisted by every legal means possible.
The Tory government, through the office of its single solitary beard munching Scottish MP, has said that’s it’s not going to enter negotiations with the Scottish government before the end of the Brexit process. Before, in other words, the Westminster government has negotiated away Scotland’s resources and assets, before it’s ensured that European citizens resident in Scotland will be deprived of a say in the future of the country that they’ve come to call home.
Labour is fine with this. Labour says it opposes nationalism but it doesn’t know what nationalism is, because if it did then it wouldn’t side with the Tories’ vicious British nationalism. Labour doesn’t oppose nationalism. Their solidarity depends on you being British. They shamefully voted against allowing EU citizens to have a say in Scotland’s future – apparently they hate nationalism but think that it can only be opposed by people with British passports. But of course it’s not that they hate nationalism. They hate the SNP, and they hate the SNP more than they hate the destruction that the Tories are wreaking on the UK and refuse to countenance a Scotland that might escape from it. You need multiverse theory to account for the contempt which Labour provokes in anyone who understands what democracy and socialism are really about, because that contempt is larger than the universe that we’re currently in.
The Unionists on social media howl in derision and disdain, but like Labour they can’t see past their hatred for the SNP to realise that what the Tories are doing is mounting a coup against the entire concept of democracy in Scotland. The Scottish Parliament has spoken, and that’s bigger than the SNP. Refusing to recognise a vote in the Scottish Parliament disrespects Scotland, disrespects all of Scotland’s voters irrespective of their views on the constitution, and it disrespects the long struggle to achieve a Scottish Parliament in the first place. Because the entire point of that struggle for a Scottish Parliament during the bitter and bleak years of Thatcher’s rule was so that Scotland would have a voice when it was faced with a government in Westminster that it didn’t vote for.
“The SNP doesn’t respresent Scotland!” the Unionists cry. And that would be true. But what happened yesterday was that the Scottish Parliament voted, by a majority of ten votes, for there to be a second referendum. The Scottish Parliament does speak for Scotland. It’s the only voice Scotland has. That’s how democracy works. The Unionists want to substitute the legitimacy of the Scottish Parliament for opinion polls. But you could bet your house that if there was a series of opinion polls showing a majority for independence those Unionists would be the very last people to say that there was no need for a vote and Scotland should become independent forthwith.
The contempt for Scotland is summed up by the Tory MSP Annie Wells, who said on STV that she refused to recognise the vote taken in Holyrood on Tuesday. If Glasgow list MSP Annie Wells doesn’t accept the legitimacy of a majority vote in Holyrood, the Parliament in which she sits, then if she had the slightest sense of decency she would resign. But of course she has no sense of decency. She’s a Tory, she has the opposite of a sense of decency. She’ll continue to take her salary that’s paid for by the taxes of Scottish taxpayers, she’ll continue to sit in the Parliament and enjoy a position that allows her a public profile, and she’ll continue to deny the legitimacy of the place that gives her the privileges that she continues to benefit from. Annie Wells is the epitome of hypocrisy in a party that stands for hypocrisy. As a list MSP, her constituency is the whole of Glasgow, and the whole of Glasgow should hold her to account.
We’re now living in exactly the kind of country that the Unionists warned us against back in the referendum campaign in 2014. Parochial, inward-looking, driven by nostalgia and a romantic vision of an airbrushed past, nursing grievances against historic enemies, with an unrealistic sense of its own importance and an unshakable sense of its own self-importance. Today the headline in a pro-Brexit newspaper was FREEDOM!, because it’s OK to channel Braveheart when you’re British.
Britain has embarked upon its project of epic self-harm. European leaders are lining up to warn the UK that Brexit is going to be painful for Britain. The Brexiteers with the delusions of glowing opportunities and countries queueing up to do trade deals are about to come up against the hard reality of an EU that has a vested interest in ensuring that Brexit does not end well for Britain. It’s not a question of malice. It’s simply that if a nation is better off by leaving the EU then there’s no point to the EU, so the EU has an existential reason to make sure that Britain isn’t better off. Theresa has invoked Article 50, and now the EU will begin to turn the screw.
Theresa May wants us all to unite behind her and her vision for Brexit. That’s not going to happen. The only way that we’ll get behind Theresa and her Tories is so we can push them off the Brexit cliff while we remain behind. We will resist them with every fibre, with every thought and deed. Theresa May might think that she can stop Scotland from having a voice, but she’s going to be sadly disappointed. If she continues to obstruct us, there are other paths to a vote. And Scottish democracy will win. Theresa’s pushing us off the cliff, but it’s her precious Union that’s going to smash on the Brexit rocks below.
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