Away back in 2016, when the world seemed a saner place – which is saying quite a lot because the world was pretty messed up in 2016 – the idea that the UK might crash out of the EU without any deal or with a deal that left us outside of the single market and the customs union was regarded with horror. In Scotland, it was viewed as especially noxious to the body politic, and particularly unacceptable, even to the likes of then Labour in Scotland leader Kezia Dugdale. Now here we are in 2018, facing the very real prospect of crashing out of the EU with no deal, and leaving the single market and customs union is touted as the will of the people by our Westminster rulers.
It’s the worst of the worst nightmares of the Remainers in 2016, who were supported by all the leaders of political parties in Scotland. Even worse, we now know that the campaign was bought by dirty tricks and the flagrant breaking of electoral law by the Leave campaign. The vote was bought by dirty money and outright lies. There are allegations and suspicions of Russian meddling in the campaign. Then after the Leave campaign secured the result that it had longed for for so many decades, we discovered that despite having a lifetime to prepare not only did it not have a Plan B, it had no Plan A. It had not a clue. All it had was a hatred of the EU and all its works.
British politics ever since has been defined by the pursuit of the impossible by impotent imperialists. They think Brexit is the Viagra that will make Britain stand proud, but it’s just a sop to a senile sexual fantasy of an empire that shrunk away a long time ago. It’s the blue pill of blissful self-indulgence, the ignorance of illusion. All of our futures, all of our prospects, all of our possiblities are being held hostage to Boris Johnson’s ego and careerism, to the vanity of Liam Fox, to the self-serving backstabbing of Michael Gove, to the casual cruelties of Iain Duncan Smith, to the Britannic wet dreams of Jacob Rees Mogg. Oh, nanny.
Yet there is no cry of outrage from the British nationalist parties in Scotland. Instead there’s a shuffling of feet and mass pointing at any SNPbad squirrel that comes along, and a complete betrayal of their responsibility to stand up for the interests of Scotland within the UK. Scotland is leaving the EU despite the fact that Scotland voted to remain a part of it by a much larger margin than it voted to remain a part of the UK, despite the fact that those British nationalist parties which are now so silent told us in 2014 that only a vote to remain a part of the UK could ensure that Scotland remained a part of the EU. And not one of them is demanding that the British government respect the will of the Scottish people. It’s only independence supporters who have to respect the result of referendums in Scotland.
I don’t despise the British nationalist parties in Scotland for wanting Scotland to remain a part of the UK. That’s a perfectly respectable view. It might not be the vision of Scotland that I share, it might not be the vision of Scotland that I believe allows this country to thrive and to flourish and to reach its full potential, but it’s a view that deserves a measure of respect if not agreement.
But I do despise the British nationalist parties in Scotland for failing on their own terms, for failing to stand up for Scotland’s interests within this UK that they insist Scotland must remain a part of. They are so terrified of doing anything that might lead to a growth in support for independence that they refuse to criticise or attack a British government for trampling over the interests of Scotland within the UK. They refuse to stand up and defend the devolution settlement that they sold to Scotland as the great British alternative to independence. They condemn the nationalism of Scottish independence supporters, but are blind to the visceral British nationalism that infests the British state. They do Scotland a huge disservice. And worst of all, some of their number actually welcome a no deal Brexit and the economic havoc it will wreak because it will in their eyes help keep Scotland enthralled to the UK.
This is possibly the worst, the most inept, the most malign and malicious British government in living memory. It flails about from crisis to crisis. It lurches towards self-destruction and it is taking us all down with it. Theresa May’s government may not survive much longer – but there is no answer to the question, “And then what?”
Another general election won’t solve the problem. At best it will replace a weak Conservative government which doesn’t have a clue how to tackle the Brexit its leadership is committed to with a weak Labour government which doesn’t have a clue how to tackle the Brexit its leadership is committed to. Both the main British parties are determined to take the UK out of the EU so it can strike trade deals of its own at the very time that the IMF is warning that the trade war sparked off by Donald Trump could cost the global economy $430 billion.
Theresa May and the Labour leadership both refuse to countenance a second EU referendum to decide the question of what sort of future best suits the peoples of the UK. There is a failure of politics in the UK, a failure of political leadership, and there is no apparent way out of the mess. However only a popular referendum can provide the political clarity that British political leadership cannot. The failure of Brexit is a failure of political leadership, a failure of the very concept of Britishness that is so beloved by Brexiteers. It’s a failure of the British state. Britishness is being destroyed by those who say that they love it. If you honestly think that an independent Scotland couldn’t do better than this sorry shower of incompetents, then you suffer from cringe that is pathological in its extent. You are Gordon Brown. We don’t need predictions of dooooooom about an independent Scotland, dooooooom is already here and it’s draped in a Union fleg.
If the British state won’t offer the peoples of the UK a referendum, then it’s up to the Scottish Parliament to offer the people of Scotland a vote. Changes in material circumstances don’t come much more material than the changes we’ve witnessed since 2016.
WEE GINGER FUNDRAISER
It’s that time of year again. It’s been a year since I last did a fundraiser. This year is going to be a particularly expensive one for me personally. There’s a wedding to pay for, and I need to ensure that my earnings are sufficient to prove to the Home Office that I am able to import my American spouse into Scotland to live here permanently. As well as the need to demonstrate a minimum level of annual income, £18,600, there are also hefty legal and visa fees to pay.
I really don’t like doing fundraisers, and I really don’t like to blow my own trumpet, but I work my wee socks off for the independence movement. I publish this blog, and I do talks to local indy groups all over Scotland without asking for a fee. Don’t get me wrong, I greatly enjoy it. It’s a huge privilege to meet all the wonderful, talented, and committed people who make the Scottish independence movement something really special. However it takes up a lot of time and energy to keep blogging and doing public talks, time and energy that I could be using to generate an income to prove to the Home Office that I am able to support my American spouse.
The truth is that if every regular reader of this blog gave just one pound a year, I’d be pulling in well over £100,000 annually. Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that. Publishing and selling books and maps helps, as does selling t-shirts, but it’s pretty hit and miss. I do get paid by The National for my twice weekly articles, but that doesn’t pay anything like as much as you might think it would. In order to be confident that I can meet the minimum income requirements demanded by the Home Office, cover the cost of a wedding on both sides of the Atlantic, and cover the fees required to pay the visas and associated legal costs, I need to do a fundraiser for £10,000.
Any help you can give would be immensely appreciated. Help me to keep campaiging, and help me to show that Scotland is a welcoming place for migrants – at least one special migrant in particular, the man I’m going to marry in October.
You can donate by clicking the following link and donating on my Gofundme page.
Alternatively you can donate by clicking on the Paypal “Donate” button on this page, or by logging in to www.paypal.com and making a payment to me at firstname.lastname@example.org If you would prefer to donate by some other method, cash, cheque, or bank transfer, please contact me at email@example.com for details.
Many thanks for all your support. You’ve no idea how much it means to me.
You can help to support this blog with a Paypal donation. Please log into Paypal.com and send a payment to the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. Or alternatively click the donate button. If you don’t have a Paypal account, just select “donate with card” after clicking the button.
If you have trouble using the button, or you prefer not to use Paypal, you can donate or purchase a t-shirt or map by making a payment directly into my bank account, or by sending a cheque or postal order. If you’d like to donate by one of these methods, please email me at email@example.com and I will send the necessary information. Please also use this email address if you would like the dug and me to come along to your local group for a talk.