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.
Mapa Gàidhlig na h-Alba / Gaelic Map of Scotland
The Gaelic map of Scotland is now available, the cost is £15 plus £7 P&P within the UK. Please note P&P outwith the UK is more expensive. P&P to Europe is £10, P&P to the rest of the world is £15. If you require multiple copies of the map, you only need pay once for P&P, up to 3 copies of the map which is the maximum that can fit in one postal tube.
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The Wee Ginger Dug has got a new domain name, thanks to Indy Poster Boy, Colin Dunn @Zarkwan. http://www.indyposterboy.scot/ You can now access this blog simply by typing www.weegingerdug.scot into the address bar of your browser, the old address continues to function, the new one redirects to the blog. The advantage of the new address is that it’s a lot easier to remember if you want to include a link to the blog in leaflets, posters, or simply to tell a friend about it. Many thanks to Colin.
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