A guest post by Samuel Miller
It was inevitable really (sigh).
Last week, as we are all well aware, UK government had a near biblical meltdown. Politics UK style and government were, by any standard, reduced to a near *shambolic mess. (*Way too big a list to go through folks, so just see the previous post)
As I was saying, what came next was entirely predictable and inevitable. That being, Scotland’s regular reminder of how vital and cherished blah, blah. Internal market, waffle. SNP baddery, boo hiss. Released, of course, side by side with examples of how uniquely unsuited we are for, and how completely maahhhhd we’d have to be to consider, self government. Obviously! Mind you, I’m not entirely sure your average policy wonk or supporter of political orthodoxy has yet grasped the true meaning of union or unity in that lot. Which is…
UNITY: NOUN: oneness, being one or single or individual; due interconnection of parts; harmony between persons etc; thing forming a complex whole;
Personally, I’m still not feeling that whole harmony between persons, parliaments or governments at the moment and seeing less and less evidence of oneness across the board by the day. Also, I’m fairly disinclined to feel said unity or oneness with any Tory’s definition of Britishness and/or government. Just sayin’.
No. What Scotland’s electorate got instead was a debate in parliament about ‘strengthening the union’. (see under – reminding the natives of better togetherness. Also? 2014 was the end of democracy and the changing of your mind… FOREVER!). Worth considering, but you’d have thought the Government of the United Kingdom, and those parties who are pro Westminster system, would have and should have, put more thought into that whole strengthening unions and partnership thing a while back? Y’know, BEFORE throwing the populations of these islands into the constitutional and economic mincer of austerity ideology and Brexit. Seems a bit thought-LESS actually. Maybe that’s just me though. (If you want a blow by blow of the debate? Go HERE)
The cherry on top came from Secretary of State for (something or other), David Mundell, speaking in Edinburgh:
Fair do’s. Mr Mundell did get this partially, (and I do mean partially), correct. A ‘no deal’ scenario being bad for Scotland really can safely be filed under who knew(?) though. In fact Brexit, in all of its scenarios, is a bad thing for Scotland. We know this because the impact assessments of both UK gov and Scotgov apparently agree on this point. However, the whole ‘preferable to breaking up the United Kingdom’ bit is most DEFINITELY arguable. Especially since it was the practice of politics, the parliament and government of the United Kingdom which, also arguably, placed the populations of the UK in this predicament in the first place. Or were they not really in charge of making these decisions? Big boy did it and ran away perhaps?
We also had a ‘think tank’, (see under – NOT exactly pro Scottish self government organisation), release a paper which conclusively proves that pro UK government supporters don’t think being a self governing, independent nation state is a good idea for Scotland. Unless it’s their idea of a United Kingdom independent nation state, in which case that’s a good idea. Different strokes I suppose. Worth mentioning though, that a lot of people paid attention to pro Westminster think tanks last indyref as I recall. How did that work out for Scotland’s population so far d’you think? At the end of the day, I’d say you pays your money and pick your think tank. I’ll pass on yet another doom laden black hole prophesy/economic cataclysm for Scotland thanks. Anyways, I’d say the horse has already actually kinda bolted on that one under the current UK government.
Finally we come to the bribe. Oh, and it’s a beaut. A UK spaceport to be based in Scotland no less. Unless of course we become independent and then it won’t happen at all. DAMN THAT INDEPENDENCE! Frankly, I’m struggling to see what the building of a spaceport has to do with the principle of Scotland’s population governing themselves? Again, maybe just me, but prioritising the kind of government we want. Prioritising the correct administration, the needs we wish to see attended to and the care we wish to see applied by that government might be considered fairly important. Goes a long way to determining the teeny matter of the kind of country we want to live in. Also, I’d say those points are all a bit more pertinent to the debate than a sometime, (mibbies never), bribe.
The reality of Westminster government and the bestest union in the history of unions, appears to be somewhat different from mainstream political narrative though. Today the self same parliament, which yesterday discussed means of strengthening the union, is taking the Scottish parliament to the Supreme Court to determine who has the right to claim and exercise otherwise non reserved powers returning from the EU upon Brexit taking effect. Those would be your powers by the by. But still, it’s for our own good, partners and family of nations, leading with… etc. Not such a friendly family after all then?
You’d be forgiven by this point for holding the opinion that those defending their preciousss, preciousss, seemingly do so by intimidation, misrepresentation, belittling and abuse of power. Let’s face it, they do have the soapbox and they do have the access. Who is there to stop them from enacting such abuses?
Other than you perhaps?
In my own opinion, the parties of Westminster’s political class and their practice of politics are a byword for exclusion and alienation of demographics. Clearly they seem to believe only in a status quo which favours party or personal interest over duty of care. The UK’s evolving (cough) constitution? A serving suggestion open to interpretation and semantic amendment by turn and/or expedience. Long standing agreements and pledges apparently are for lesser mortals and a moveable feast for the UK’s government, (ask the devolved administrations or the EU about that).
On the basis of what most of us have seen and experienced over the past four years. Just why should those alienated by Tories, Labour or any other pro Westminster party, vote for their vision of government? Their idea of what they laughably call unity or identity? Why for instance, would any EU resident in the UK vote for continued Tory government after what they’ve witnessed in the past few weeks alone? A government that has betrayed their trust and even now is using their futures and their rights as a bargaining chip in a demented negotiation process.
Readers might also be forgiven at this point, for observing that there is little stability, safety, or hope for a socially just society to be found in a UK government of any stripe. There is however Brexit and a never ending austerity ideology. There are alarmingly increasing levels of societal, cultural, ethnic and religious alienation. There is an ever widening wealth gap. There are also increasing levels of poverty and the prospect of more yet to come. There is the very real threat of self imposed national and international isolation. That’s the reality of Westminster government today and I’m seeing no good reasons or argument to believe it will change going forward.
Seems to me in fact that there’s very little carrot on offer, but quite a lot of stick.
You can, as ever, make up your own mind on that folks. Just as you can, IF YOU WANT, change your mind on a past decision. Make a new, more informed by time and events type choice and maybe, just maybe, avoid a fair chunk of the unfolding omnishambles we see before us today.
Worth a thought.