Shut up. Wheesht. Don’t dare imagine that you can voice your views. You’re a vile nationalist, a supporter of independence, and that means you’re the same as an English gassing Nazi. I say so and I’m British, which means I’m not nationalist at all. Being British means not being nationalist, that’s why the UK doesn’t even mention itself on its own stamps. If you don’t want Westminster to govern Scotland it’s because you’re a moral degenerate and an anti-English racist. Scotland would be a basket case without us. A snakepit of internment camps. A wasteland of bare supermarket shelves. A cultural desert with no Doctor Who or Harry Potter. Scotland can’t be allowed to govern itself because people who want independence are all incompetent racist fools who hate everyone. Every single one of you. No one wants you. You’d be nothing without us.
Shut up. Go away. Go back to your politically biased websites and The National and leave my unbiased and balanced BBC, my Herald, Scotsman, Record and Daily Mail alone. Stop oppressing me by existing. Stop victimising me by pointing out my hypocrisy. Stop persecuting me by mocking my bigotry. Stop trying to silence me by answering back. I’m the real victim here. I only have 36 out of 38 newspapers and all the telly news to back me up. I’m being marginalised. Help, help, I’m being oppressed.
That’s a pretty accurate summary of where British nationalists in Scotland are these days. Although you shouldn’t call them British nationalists. They oppose Scottish independence because they hate nationalism you see. Except British nationalism, which is better than all other nationalisms by virtue of not being nationalist at all. There are still many British nationalists who delude themselves that they back the non-nationalist option in the Scottish constitutional debate.
There is a non-nationalist option available, but it’s not supporting the British state, it’s to campaign for the abolition of all states and for one world government. In the absence of that, supporting Scotland’s continuing subordination to the British state makes you a British nationalist, whether you accept your nationalism or not. Just because you’re deluding yourself doesn’t mean that the rest of us should be co-dependents in your delusion. It doesn’t mean that the rest of us are oppressing you because we refuse to be complicit in your fantasy. You can dope yourself up on the imaginary opium of non-nationalist British nationalism all you like, but you’re still every bit as much a nationalist as a supporter of independence.
There seems to have been a ramping up of the British nationalist hysteria over the past year. They are more shrill, more frantic, more irrational than ever before. Their accusations are ever more outlandish, their slurs ever more ridiculous. They’re becoming ever more unmoored as the British state itself becomes unhinged due to Brexit. It almost makes you long for the calm and quiet reason of George Calamity Robertson who only warned of global catastrophe if Scotland became independent, or the rational and careful thought of that Tory MP who warned that the rest of the UK might have to send the RAF to bomb Scotland’s airports. Well, almost. But not quite.
Back in 2014, the Better Together campaign was infamous for its scare stories and its threats, but it did manage to tempt many with a positive vision and vows of what Scotland could get from the British state in return for a No vote. It was still credibly able to portray itself as a non-nationalist option for those who hate nationalism, those who don’t know the difference between the two distinct political concepts that the English language conflates as “nationalism” – the aggrandisement of an existing state, and the desire for independence for a people who don’t currently have it.
Opponents of independence can’t credibly do that any more. You can no longer pretend that supporting the British state is the non-nationalist option when the British state is breaking us all on the wheel of the intensely nationalist project that is Brexit. Well you can. But only if you’ve drunk deep from the draught of the Scotland in Union cool aid, the soma of the Scotsman. You can only maintain that fiction by having recourse to ever more unhinged hysteria.
When you’re reduced to claiming that independence supporters are Nazis who hate the English, you’ve already conceded that you have no dignity or substance in your arguments. It’s the political equivalent of wearing your Union jack knickers on your head and sitting in a corner muttering “wibble”. You can make yourself believe all sorts of things when you’re sitting in a dwam of nostalgia fuelled self-righteousness, the rest of us still see you sprawled there with the drool dribbling down your chin and the urine stain on the crotch of your trousers.
British nationalist attacks on independence supporters have increased in venom. It’s because they have nothing positive to say. Ask them where their answer is to the challenges facing Scotland, and they have none. All that they can suggest is that Scotland continues to trust that those who got us all into this Brexit mess will get us out of it. All that they can suggest is that we sit back passively while others are the agents of our destiny. All that they can suggest is that Scotland would do even worse. But all they are doing is expressing their own lack of faith in themselves.
Next time round there is nothing that opponents of independence can credibly present as a positive argument for Scotland remaining a part of the UK. There can be no second vow, no second promise of greater and better devolution. All they’ve got left are scare stories, threats, and an increasingly unhinged poison. It now turns out that it was a well known opponent of independence who was behind the recent complaint to the BBC which resulted in the shutting down of pro-independence YouTube channels. They have no arguments of their own, so they seek to silence ours. They are terrified of us.
The anger of British nationalist attacks on supporters of Scottish independence are a symptom of a British state and its supporters who know that they’re losing the argument. It’s a fear of an independence movement that hasn’t gone away, and which will enter the coming campaign with the support of half the population. They know that their grasp on Scotland is slipping. When you are reduced to making claims about independence supporters that are demonstrably untrue, you’ve already lost. When you are reduced to trying to shut us up it’s because you have no answer.
Their hate only makes us stronger. We’re winning.
This weekend I am speaking at the launch of Greg Moodie’s new book Cool Scots. The book launch will be downstairs in the Yes Bar in Glasgow from 2pm. Entrance is free and everyone is welcome.
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