A guest post by Samuel Miller
Yesterday oor PM, Treeza of the ‘strong and stable’ party, marked the Uk’s one year to Brexit countdown with what was called a whistlestop tour of the UK. This apparently, in order to promote unity within her presiousss, presciousss union. By whistlestop what they mean is basically back hame in time fer tea and a spot of cabinet whack a mole or Brexit bingo. No public walkabouts, no unscripted public questions and no fanfare. Selected venues, photo op, meeja questions only and a hard day of pure uniony unifying over and done with. Quite the speedster.
Oh, and so far as the devolved legislatures are concerned there’s no such thing as a power grab. Treeza sez – “Let’s be clear, there is no power grab, we are not taking back any of the powers that are currently devolved to the Scottish Government, indeed the Scottish Government will be receiving more powers as a result of us leaving the European Union,”. (my bold) Which, y’know, is weird. As I understand it those powers currently are not in the remit of UK gov either, nor are they covered by the current devolution settlement. They have been exercised by the EU and again as I understand it, those powers not specifically reserved by Westminster government should revert to the devolved legislatures on repatriation.
Question: If there is no power grab, then why the need for a negotiation process with the Welsh and Scottish governments? Certainly sounds like a power grab, doesn’t it? (shrugs)
Moving on and in a further show of unifying unity. Mr Mundell, our Secretary of State for something or other (squirrels, wildebeest, who knows?), insists there’s no need for Scottish Government representation on the Migration Advisory Comittee. Seems the SoS for small cuddly toys didn’t take too kindly to being pressed on the issue by the SNP’s Pete Wishart either. When questioned on Scotland’s particular population needs and demographics. Mr Mundell, in a blistering display of unity replied, “We do take a different approach, Mr Wishart, because I don’t want to see Scotland in a separatist manner, that everything in Scotland has to be separate and different if that is not the best way to deal with it”. (my bold) He doesn’t want to see Scotland in a separatist manner? He doesn’t? Righto.
As both an aside and yet more comic relief, Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes reply to Mr Wishart’s questioning also merits a special mention. This is Ms Nokes view on Scottish Government representation. “I do not think there is any greater case to put a Scottish Government official on it than one from the Welsh Assembly or indeed any county council who wanted to come forward pointing out there was a specific shortage in their area.” (my bold)
Can you feel the luuurve readers? That is just the past few days and of course the latest in a long line of what many would consider a litany of casual arrogance and ignorance by representatives of the Westminster establishment.
Good God! They’re still spinning like a top over what is widely perceived the recent betrayal of the fishing communities of the UK. An action which displays, for any reasonable observer, the complete lack of Scottish Conservative representation at ANY significant consultative level on Brexit negotiations. Apparently they were pure ragin’. Ignored mainly by the PM, but still, pure ragin’.
For the removal of doubt though, let’s have a look at that word unity. Just in case there’s some misunderstanding of the concept.
UNITY: NOUN: oneness, being one or single or individual; due interconnection of parts; harmony between persons etc; thing forming a complex whole; Math: the number one.
Any part of that definition resemble today’s UK to you readers? Are you feeling a particular oneness or harmony?
It’s been three and a half years since Scotland’s indyref of 2014. Had the British state been remotely interested in the concept of unity, of promoting unity, it’s had ample time and opportunity to put words into practice.
Smith Commission, Scotland bill debates, general election, Scottish elections, Brexit, another general election. Throughout ALL of the above, the parties of the Westminster establishment sought to belittle, to punish, to alienate the Scottish Government and its support. All with the seemingly willing aid of the Uk’s media. The current government have seriously endangered standing agreements with devolved legislatures. They’ve broken pledges and assurances made to Scotland’s electorate throughout their indyref and as for their assurances to demographics of the UK electorate post EU ref? See under CFP, N.I. border issue and settling financial commitments to the EU. Oh and don’t forget impact reports.
There hasn’t been a day without some Essenpee badness, some Scottish service or institution undermined and portrayed in deepest crisismageddon. As for the alienation of half Scotland’s electorate? What can you say that hasn’t already been said? If you are a supporter of Scottish self determination, it’s safe to say that there’s been a positive dearth of olive branches out there from Unionist politicians and their more vocal support. You’d be forgiven for believing that you pretty much live on the same level of popularity as the infamous fart in a lift. But, y’know. That’s politics as it is practised… apparently.
The United Kingdom is anything but united. There are serious divisions along political and societal lines. Divisions created by the same political establishment that now wants you to forget their appalling narratives and unite to save their arses and the lifestyle to which they’ve become accustomed. Unite to save the UK from what has been described as “an extraordinarily painful process of national self-mutilation”.
Personally and after the past three and a half years? I’d say you’ll have had your unity then.