A guest post by Samuel Miller
Been a hectic few weeks out there for political anoraks. Not to mention fairly enlightening for those of us who believe that self determination is the normal state of affairs for countries and individuals.
A Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, (badly) dances onto a stage when most folk are either on their last crust or nerve and promising, not for the first time, an end to austerity (sobs). A leader of the honourable (?) opposition, calling for folks to get all radical and doing some nifty dancing of his own, mainly on the head of a pin. Probably hoping against hope, that no one notices the gaping chasms of ideology and policy within his own party. Seems to me though, that if Mr Corbyn wants radical? Well, you’d think it doesn’t get more radical than the peoples of Scotland choosing their own form of government. One which truly reflects their needs and wishes for a change. Just a thought.
Oh, and both have local branch managers seemingly only too happy to redefine democracy for a population. To, how to put it? Manage your freedom to choose as and when the need arises, or when you might feel it’s necessary. Why? You may ask. In order to maintain a political union? Or… Or preserve the entitlement of the state to define your politics, your identity and your lives for you? The right of the tail to wag the dog. Readers can make their own minds up on that one I’m sure.
Both head office leaders did, however, absolutely paint the perfect picture of UK politics as it is practised. Oh yes. Both of them apparently focused on preserving the right of the few to use politics to abuse the interests of the many in any way shape or form they choose. Both of them intent on preserving a system and a parliament which historically and arguably, doesn’t really do partnership or sharing very well. A practice of politics, system of government and a parliament which you’d think might be aware that its existence is currently, (and some would say deservedly), hanging on a very shoogly peg.
Also safe to say that UKgov’s current woes regarding Brexit, the N.I. border (backstop/no backstop) and party in-fighting won’t have gone unnoticed. Ten MPs holding a party of government to ransom. Who’da thunk? The ironies (and there are a few) shouldn’t be lost on any of us really.
The Scottish government’s and the majority of the Scottish population’s opinion in all of this?
Pretty much ignored really. For now. Not for the first time in recent history though, now is it?
Scotland deserves better.” SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon’s keynote conference speech, October 2018.
I mean, if one demographic within the UK can be considered for exceptional status, then why not yer akchul nation partner? What message is being sent out by UK gov here? (Bit of a rhetorical question really.) Pretty sure Scotland’s population had the odd agreement and assurance from the government of the UK which were meant to be furrivver n’ always too. Ensure stability and warm fuzziness going forward. That kinda thing. In this instance surely what’s sauce for the goose applies? The next few weeks should send popcorn sales through the roof.
I know what I believe politics should be and what I would hope it should aspire to be.
It’s about care. It’s about keeping those in your care safe, helping them to put bread on the table and keeping a roof over their heads. It’s about tending to their hurts. It’s about service and compassion. Not a lot of any of that to be seen in today’s media and an absolute dearth of it anywhere near a Westminster politician. They’re a bit busy stabbing each other in the back playing that game of theirs.
Reading more extreme elements of the press today, you’d be forgiven for thinking that compassion is in fact a very bad word. Suitable only for the more crazed fringe elements of the population. Not, y’know, a mark of decent, reasoning, civilized humanity. Oh, and that’s regardless of your political background or point of origin. The more cynical among you might presume what they’re really about has more to do with political expediency and survival.
When it comes to narratives? You write your own. People are defined not simply by the words they say, but the actions they take and the choices they make. Just so yer average policy wonk is aware? Compassion doesn’t need redefining. It doesn’t belong to a particular rosette, and you don’t require anyone’s permission to have some.