Reclaiming the future

Opponents of independence are very keen on attacking visions of an independent Scotland. They tut and they tsk. They tell us a million and one reasons why Scotland can’t possibly achieve things that any normal country can achieve. They insist that uniquely amongst the nations of Europe, Scotland is incapable of having money, of running a health service, of providing for its citizens. But what they’re not so keen on is telling us how Scotland can become a better place by remaining a part of the UK. Where’s your plan B, they sneer at independence supporters, while they themselves haven’t even thought to create a plan A.

Their only plan is for Scotland to shut up and do what Whitehall tell it. They can’t even pretend any more that they believe in the primacy of the House of Commons, not after Theresa May and the Conservative leadership have done their utmost to ensure that they can impose the Brexit they want without parliamentary scrutiny. The only plan is for Scotland to submit to an elected dictatorship which Scotland has little influence in electing and which doesn’t care about Scotland’s needs.

Opponents of independence are very eager to tell Scotland what it can’t do, what it can’t achieve, what lies beyond the capacity of this land of inventors and dreamers, but they never tell us what Scotland can do, what it can achieve. British nationalism in Scotland is a religion without faith, a belief without hope. Wheesht noo. Be quiet. There’s the shortbread tin with its Great British branding. Sit silently inside it while the lid is sealed. If you’re very, very lucky, you might get a Great British airhole, from which you can have a tiny and restricted vision of a world you’re not allowed to participate in.

Scotland’s fate is in the hands of Westminster ideologues. Which would be bad enough. However Scotland’s fate is in the hands of Westminster ideologues who have no ideas. Which means that all we’re left with are the logues. Short thick pieces of wood. The UK is a xylocracy. That’s ancient Greek for government by planks, not xylophones. It’s just that we’re the ones being played. Coincidentally, on a scale of 1 to 10 of the Conservative government’s list of priorities, Scotland scores less than a planck length. That’s the smallest unit of measurement, where the classical laws of physics break down. That’s why they can lie to us so brazenly and still assert that they’re being honest. It’s because they’re no longer dealing with a reality that any of us would recognise.

Boris Johnson is so obsessed with the purity of Brexit that when warned about the decision of Airbus to leave the UK and negative effect on business and jobs he reportedly said, “Fuck business.” This is a Tory talking about business. The one thing a Tory politicians fetishised above all else, at least until Brexit. If senior members of this Conservative government are prepared to fuck over business in order to get the pure Brexit that they crave, they’re not going to hesitate to fuck over Scotland.

Confidence in the willingness and ability of the British government to work in the interests in Scotland has plummeted. According to the latest Scottish Social Attitudes Survey, just 20% of people in this country trust in the British government to work in Scotland’s best interests. Even most people in Scotland who identify primarily as British over Scottish don’t believe that the British government is working in Scotland’s interests. That’s a pretty damning assessment. You might think that this would be the headline news in newspapers reporting the latest results of the survey, and indeed it is in The National. The rest of press has decided that it’s far more important to lead with the news that confidence in the Scottish government has dropped by 5% to 60%. The overwhelming majority of people in Scotland don’t trust the British government – but that’s not the “real” news. The real news is that now marginally less than two people out of three have faith in a Scottish government which has been in power for a decade. The utter distrust with which the overwhelming majority of people in Scotland regard the British government, that’s not worthy of comment.

The really surprising thing is that as many as 20% of people in Scotland still think that the British government has our best interests at heart. The utterly amazing and gobsmacking thing is that 16% of the people of Scotland still believe that as far as Scotland is concerned, the British government’s decisions are fair. But then these are probably the same people who think that Miles Briggs is witty and amusing. The same people like that girl on Love Island who didn’t know what Brexit is. Although to be fair, no one really knows what Brexit involves, least of all the British government. But those figures are significant, because they mean that not even everyone in Scotland who voted Conservative believes that the British government has Scotland’s interests at heart and makes fair decisions for us.

All you have to do to destroy people is to take away their future. That’s what the UK does to Scotland. It deprives the people of this country of any say in our future. It destroys hopes, it vanquishes dreams, it slays ambitions, it’s the graveyard of aspiration. There is no vision, there is nothing to inspire, nothing to strive for. All that the British state offers is a nostalgia for a romanticised past as we sit passively and get what we’re given by people who don’t give a toss for us.

The big difference, the essential difference, between the campaign for Scottish independence, and the campaign to keep Scotland a part of the UK. The first looks to the future, the second is afraid of it and anaesthetises itself with pageants and parades and bunting and royal weddings. The first wants to progress, the second wants to regress to an imaginary past. The first wants to make Scotland a better place, the second thinks that this sorry and inadequate state of British affairs is as good as it gets.

It’s only independence that gives Scotland its future back. Scotland is more than just a country. It’s an idea, it’s a dream. All that the UK offers Scotland is a dreamless slumber as we sleepwalk to insignificance. This isn’t as good as it gets. We have a future, let’s wake up and grasp it.


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26 comments on “Reclaiming the future

  1. […] Wee Ginger Dug Reclaiming the future Opponents of independence are very keen on attacking visions of an independent […]

  2. Pogo says:

    Well said, the stats tell their own story!

    Let’s keep up the momentum to Yes!

  3. Pumpherstoncowboy says:

    Thank you Paul

    “We have a future, let’s wake up and grasp it.”

    I think a lot of us are now waking up Paul. I was on the marches at Glasgow and Stirling and the feeling I got was that the vast majority of folk that marched with me were quietly determined to show the world that Scotland as an independent nation has a future.

    And if we stay asleep? Our very existence is at stake!

  4. Andy Anderson says:

    The attacks on us and our institutions are daily and upsetting especially when the people they attack cannot always reply.

    There has been two attacks in three days on the NHS. None of it true, all just BBC misrepresentation of facts and also allowing a union (the BMA) to mouth off just before it starts wage negotiations with the Scottish Government. Shameful.

    The only solution is to keep talking. I do see good stats coming in regarding peoples opinions changing. Hopefully opinion polls will move soon. It is hard to keep the Heid sometimes.

  5. Dan Huil says:

    Stay cool; stay positive. As WGD implies, the only thing britnats have to offer Scotland is a decidedly pessimistic future. We have hope and optimism.

  6. john 59 says:

    Bloody Hell Paul, what a post , sometimes a piece of writing or music hits the spot and just makes everything crystal clear and the listener/reader gets it . I GET THIS. thank you,


  7. Robert Graham says:

    A dismal look at what it’s like being shackled to a big unruly deaf neighbour who controls access to the outside world ,and what it means for people here and thats bugger all.

    So many supporters of the union here dont see they are being pissed on and still believe its raining

    The unionists ,all parties ,were pushing the Scottish Government to accept the deal on offer the last time the Block Grant was being negotiated , if the SNP had listened we would be Billions short in the settlement , when they actually were successful not a word of congratulation , total silence

    Exactly the same people see the power grab as just the way things are and Westminster knows what good for us , the same people are in for a bloody shock when a drilling rig parks itself next to their fence and starts drilling under their house .

  8. Robert Graham says:

    o/t just noticed SKYs weird weather map of britain , where Scotland fades into the distance , everything is in proportion until it gets to scotland then everything just shrinks , the bbc one used to look funny but this one SKY have been showing takes that to a whole new level of absurdity.

  9. Craig P says:

    Four years ago the big story was media bias.

    Today it is this.

    There is no unionist story for the future.

    Ask a unionist where they see Scotland in 20 years time as part of the UK.

    If it sounds good, ask if they believe it and watch the doubts gather.

  10. Illy says:

    Something I realised: Go read the accounts of children who were raised by narcissists, and compare to how Westminster acts.

    The similarities are striking.

  11. “The UK is a xylocracy.” Possibly the best description of of UK politics I’ve yet seen. Thanks, as always, for getting righ to the nub of the matter, Paul.

  12. Graham Niven says:

    Independence is normal.

    Time to restore normality.

  13. diabloandco says:

    Hear! Hear!

    I am scared for my country , really, really scared.
    I have had two encounters recently with the “I can’t stand Nicola Sturgeon” brigade – I try to point out that this is not a personality contest and then the red mist takes over and I have to walk away before I lose my temper with such idiocy.

    Everyone says we should talk – talk at bus stops , talk in pubs , cafes wherever – and I think I’ll end up shouting or belting them one with my handbag and I fear that is not persuasive.

    • Ken Clark says:

      I feel your rage, Diabloandco.

      The weekend after the referendum my partner and I took ourselves off too a music event in a Dundee pub. At the break, the drummer of the band, which we know well, came over and said, “Great result!” I replied, “Is the Dundee game finished?” “No”, he snorted, “I meant Thursday.”

      He then went into full-on, “I hate fatty Salmond and wee nippy” mode. As the discussion moved on he became angrier and angrier as our friendly replies and attempts to correct the many Better Together lies he repeated got further under his skin. He ended up moaning that we were typical Scotnats, always wanting to bang on about independence.

      I pointed out to him that we were out to enjoy ourselves and that he had brought the subject up. Shades of every unionist politician since. 🙂

      Two points. He got angry because he couldn’t provide an answer to what benefit London government provides. He resorted to the usual flags, wars and 300 years meme unionists are so fond of.

      Secondly, all the arguments we put forward came courtesy of Paul, Wings, Talking Up Scotland, Newsnet Scotland and all the other outlets we are truly blessed to have on our side.

      I love having so much material to hand. It gives me a confidence to engage with doubters on a sure footing.

      There are of course, the drummer, or the people you mention. Best to leave them. They are so ingrained with an emotional attachment to the British union that nothing reaches them.

      Thankfully there are many who aren’t so blinkered to it’s obvious flaws.

      All the best, Ken.

  14. paul mccormack says:

    Thank you Paul for your unstinting perseverance all these years. Pure amazing. Brilliant. Sustenance.

    Serendipity. I thought I’d share this.

    – Here’s the context – an irish visitor to the house couldn’t believe the press in Scotland always doing here down. He couldn’t believe it. then I came across this poem of Edwin Muir (the Orcadian) that I remembered as loving it from 30 odd years ago. (Incidentally, TS Eliot thought the sun shone out of Edwins arse – not that we’d know about it high praise indeed from the Queen Mary!)

    I think it has strong strong parallels with Scotland (cast here as Odysseus)

    Edwin Muir

    The doors flapped open in Odysseus’ house,
    The lolling latches gave to every hand,
    Let traitor, babbler, tout and bargainer in.
    The rooms and passages resounded
    With ease and chaos of a public market,
    The walls mere walls to lean on as you talked,
    Spat on the floor, surveyed some newcomer
    With an absent eye. There you could be yourself.
    Dust in the nooks, weeds nodding in the yard,
    The thick walls crumbling. Even the cattle came
    About the doors with mild familiar stare
    As if this were their place.
    All round the island stretched the clean blue sea.

    Sole at the house’s heart Penelope
    Sat at her chosen task, endless undoing
    Of endless doing, endless weaving, unweaving,
    In the clean chamber. Still her loom ran empty
    Day after day. She thought: “Here I do nothing
    Or less than nothing, making an emptiness
    Amid disorder, weaving, unweaving the lie
    The day demands. Odysseus, this is duty,
    To do and undo, to keep a vacant gate
    Where order and right and hope and peace can enter.
    Oh will you ever return? Or are you dead,
    And this wrought emptiness my ultimate emptiness?”
    She wove and unwove and wove and did not know
    That even then Odysseus on the long
    And winding road of the world was on his way


  15. chicmac says:

    Absolutely brilliant Paul, you just keep getting better and better.

  16. Ken Clark says:

    Another great post, Paul, which as always, hits the bullseye.

    I have asked the very same questions of unionist letter writers in the Courier, with absolutely no response. It’s comical, when refuting their lies with facts they simply dare not challenge, that the same letter writers will return and regurgitate the very same tripe a day, a week or a month later. The tag team of ugly sisters, the green ink brigade, more than most.

    Asking them for examples of good Westminster governance of Scotland, at any time, as a counter argument to independence, is a waste of time. Just like the unionist media, they have no interest in engaging or informing.

    However, we need to keep asking, as the absence of any reply speaks volumes.

  17. Janet says:

    I rather suspect that Yes is at 60% in the real polling data, or to put it this way, after all that has happened, with the walk out and brexit, the Establishment now has a problem: the published polling data has to move and the only way is up past 50%. Once that happens, indy as a concept gains traction. If the polls don’t shift then we know they’ve been doctored.

    We are playing against powerful people, those that control headlines, give shoppers shrinkflation, pack QT audiences…

    Bring it on!

  18. jfngw says:

    Maybe the word independence scares some people, they see it as separation. If they were deciding on who makes decisions, either politicians elected by Scotland or politicians elected by England (at 85% of voters and 82% of MP’s the other countries are practically irrelevant at Westminster) then possibly they would have a different view.

    With the recent poll of trust between Holyrood and Westminster showing how far ahead Holyrood is on trust then it is a area we have to make capital on.

    Are we going to drive the initiative this time and ignore the ‘can’t do’ campaign the unionists will employ again. They will try and drag it onto unanswerable questions on currency, and the minutiae of every detail. Of course the MSM will be driving this remain agenda , so it may be quite difficult to avoid this scenario, but we need to be dismissive of the negativity.

  19. romiveda says:

    so true, great additional points but this chap’s weary wondering what we’re gonna do and when.

  20. chicmac says:

    The usual World Cup super powers all seem to be under performing, meanwhile, England seems to have a better team than they usually have.

    While it may still be an outside bet, there is the possibility that England could win it.

    Please football God, make it happen, for indy.

    • Doug Porteous says:

      That may just what is needed an England win followed by a few months of the MSM telling Scotland’s voters on a daily basis how great England is in the run up to YES 2 could certainly tip the scales in our favour.
      I could stomach an England win with all its attendant keich in exchange for independence.

  21. Les Bremner says:

    No, please, not more endless replays of the winning kick of our glorious international transcendental highly skilled never to be forgotten ball sailing smoothly through the air towards the inferior side’s goalmouth in a vision of our rightful place as the nation above all nations.

    Please, not 1966 again, and again, and again……..

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