The smell of panic

There’s a strong smell of panic in the Brit-Scot establishment just now. Things have got so bad for opponents of independence and their desperate attempts to forestall an independence referendum that the SNP is even giving the Lib Dems a run for their money in the Shetland by-election. That’s like a leafy suburb in the Home Counties returning extremely promising canvassing results for Jeremy Corbyn. Shetland was the safest constituency seat in the whole of Scotland, and Shetland is – as we’re always being told by opponents of independence – so opposed to Scottish independence that it will secede from an independent Scotland in order to remain a part of the UK. Yet here we are with the SNP with at best a real chance of taking the seat, or at worst making a serious dent in the Lib Dem majority. If the forces of Scottish independence are on the metaphorical march in Shetland, nowhere is safe for British nationalism.

The crisis of confidence amongst a bunch of people who have hitherto been most notable for their arrogance is scarcely surprising. Lumbered as we all are with a lying Prime Minister who has just been caught telling pork pies about actual pork pies, a looming national crisis, and a resentful Scotland which is being dragged out of the EU against its will, it’s very difficult to put a positive spin on Scotland remaining a part of the UK at the moment. Search amongst opponents of independence for their vision for a better Scotland that’s a part of the UK and you will search in vain. All that you will uncover are a lot of angry narrow nationalists asserting their hatred of nationalism, while they’re proud-Scot-butting the same old threats and scare stories from 2014. But now thanks to the British government itself, those scare stories have lost much of their original force.

You can only get so far with frightening the kiddies about a deficit when a British government report is warning about possible food, fuel, and medicine shortages in the UK following Brexit. There’s not a lot of mileage in terrifying pensioners about their pensions when a think tank close to the British government is airing a plan to raise the state pension age to 75. The scare story that an independent Scotland won’t be allowed back into the EU loses a great deal of its force when you’re being told it by supporters of a UK which is hell bent on taking Scotland out of the EU.

There is very little left in the anti-independence armoury. All the while there’s a groundswell in support for independence amongst former No voters who are repelled by the yawning chasm between the UK that they were promised that Scotland would be a part of, and the tawdry reality that has been delivered. And Brexit hasn’t even happened yet. When it does, thousands of Scots will be confronted with a choice forced upon them by the UK between Europe or the UK. There’s no guarantee that they’re going to choose the UK, especially not given the casual disdain with which the British government has treated Scottish concerns about Brexit, especially not when they can contrast it with the respect with which the EU has treated Ireland. Claims that Scotland is a respected member of a precious union ring hollow, and that’s thanks to the behaviour of the British government and its ruling party.

The Brit-Scot panic is created in no small measure by the dawning realisation that they have brought all this upon themselves. Had the main UK parties actually ensured that the promises and commitments made to Scotland in 2014 had been kept, then we wouldn’t be in this position just now. Had the British government paid as much heed to the concerns of Scotland following the Brexit vote as the EU has paid to Ireland, there would be no upsurge in support for independence and no talk of another referendum. This current constitutional mess is owned by, created by, and the property of the anti-independence parties themselves. They are plummeting to their doom. Now they’d love to tell you that times of crisis like this clear the mind, that they laugh in the face of adversity, that it only gives them greater confidence in their ability to survive and to thrive. The truth is that the only thing that’s going through their collective mind is “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaggggghhhhh!”

We see the panic in an article written by Ed Davey of the Lib Dems in the Independent, pleading with people in England to put the unity of the UK before Brexit and to join together to reject the reckless English nationalism that’s turning its back on Europe. But he doesn’t actually have any concrete proposals other than a romantic and nostalgic appeal to a British past, and he certainly doesn’t propose any measures for Scotland and Northern Ireland that might allow them to protect themselves from that English nationalism that he decries.

We see the panic in an article by the former editor of the Scotsman, Magnus Linklater, in the Times, in which he bemoans the number of previous No voters who would now vote for independence in a future referendum. He was shaken by the number at an event in Edinburgh for the Festival who voted No in 2014 but plan to vote for independence next time, or who are now undecided. He claims that they are lost to reason and rational argument, but what he really means is that they’re no longer listening to the lies and deceit, the contempt and disdain, that has characterised the British government’s handling of Scotland. What Magnus forgets is that rational argument only works when those delivering it has a proven history of acting honourably and truthfully. That ship sailed the morning after the Scottish referendum when David Cameron told us all that it had really been about England all along, and announced English Votes for English Laws.

We see the panic in yet another Broontervention, as the Gordosaur accused the SNP of “hardline separatism” and attempted yet again to conjure up the federalism fairy. Hardline, because the SNP are now no longer pursuing the currency union that Gordie had ruled out the last time. He says no, and then blames the SNP for believing him. Nowhere in his speech was there the slightest recognition that if he himself had done what he’d promised to do, and had stuck around to ensure that the other party leaders would abide by the promises he told Scotland that he’d got them to agree to, if he’d ensured the delivery of that federalism that he’d promised in 2014, then he wouldn’t need to be Broontervening now and still trying to conjure up a federalism fairy that’s deader than Ross Thomson’s prospects of reelection. But then there never is. Gordie doesn’t do self-awareness any more than he does keeping his promises.

The panic is rising because opponents of independence in Scotland simply have no idea how to respond to the growth of English nationalism and how to deal with it. They have no answers, no solutions. All that they can do is to cross their fingers and hope that the genie that Brexit allowed out of its lamp will go back of its own volition. It’s like we’re living in the last week of the independence referendum campaign of 2014, and already they’re at a fever pitch of panic and alarm. It’s not sustainable, and they know it. Eventually you shriek at such a high pitch that the human ear no longer registers it. Magnus realised that for many, that point has already been reached. He doesn’t know what to do about it.

The panic is rising because it’s becoming increasingly likely that there’s going to be a snap UK General Election. All the polls point to a resurgent SNP that’s going to take seats from Labour and the Conservatives. In fact, both the Conservatives and Labour are facing the very real prospect of electoral annihilation. That’s going to make it extremely difficult for the proud-Scots-but to maintain the line that Scotland doesn’t want another independence referendum. The electoral landscape of Scotland will change drastically, and not in a way that’s beneficial to those who don’t want another independence referendum. The smell of Brit-Scot panic is the smell of a better Scotland that’s about to be born.

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37 comments on “The smell of panic

  1. Bob Lamont says:

    Love it… Very well said…

  2. Marie Clark says:

    Ach no Broon again. Dear god, who keeps dragging him oot. Do they not realise that we don’t care about anything that he has to say. Stable door and horse kinda comes to mind.

    The Broons’ of this world, just plod on with the same old song. As you say Paul, if he had ensured, as he said he would, all that was vowed to Scotland, we would federalism as good as independence or some such rubbish. What did we get, well, we got the Smith Commision with all the wonderful powers that it would give us. Then, remind me El Gordo, who was it that was against virtually all of the proposals. Oh aye, that’s right, it was LABOUR.

    Well Gordo, karma is a bitch as you are now finding out.

    Could someone please put him back in his crypt, and seal the damned thing tightly with concrete to keep the eejit in.

  3. bringiton says:

    Unfortunately,five years after indy1 isn’t a long enough period for Scots to forget the lies and broken promises of the Vote No campaign.
    Brexit is just one of them but a very important one it seems for many Scots.
    All that the Broons of this world can hope for is some sort of delay to allow them to con the electorate again.

  4. Alasdair Macdonald says:

    A couple of random points:

    1. Shetland separating from Scotland – opinion polls in Shetland indicate about 85% of the population see themselves as Scottish. However, being more than 100 miles from the mainland and further from Edinburgh than Edinburgh is from London, with some justification they see that their specific circumstances are not given sufficient attention by Holyrood. They see the autonomy their near neighbours in the Faroes enjoy. Holyrood is too centralised. The northern and western islands should be granted considerable autonomy. However, for the rest of us, we really need to see much more power restored to local authorities (whether it is the current 32, is up for debate) and, within local authority areas, we need more power devolved to communities within them.

    2. I see that Labour and the LibDems are joining with the SNP and Greens to debate a motion by Mr Mike Russell opposing a ‘no deal’ Brexit. Given that such an action,like the opposition to the Westminster ‘power grab’ potentially puts the Scottish branch offices in a camp which, logically, is for greater devolution of powers, perhaps making the transition to independence a smaller intellectual leap for some of their supporters. Can Scottish Labour be sure that they really have the support of people like Jackie Baillie, Iain Gray, James Kelly, Jenny Marra on their side?

    3. All the members of the Stormont Assembly except the various unionists have declared a similar stance to that being proposed in Scotland. This is a majority of the assembly members. Of course, Stormont has not sat for more than two years and the Good Friday Agreement gives the unionists a veto. Nevertheless, given that NI voted by a majority to remain in the EU and that a majority want to continue with no border controls, this is a pretty potent action. Already there have been stirrings of direct action within the Irish Republican support and there is talk of Police Scotland being used to assist with policing in NI. Now, Police Scotland is under the authority of the Scottish Government, so, what if the SG refuses to have Police Scotland redeployed? In addition, unlike the PSNI, Police Scotland does not have the degree of expertise in dealing with the kind of civil unrest that police in NI have developed since the 1960s, and, if deployed in areas which return SF members would they have the ‘consent’ of the populace? Would the Scottish Police federation have serious concern about the safety and welfare of its members?

    4.Will the Scottish media, other than the National and the various independence supporting websites actually report on the Holyrood debate on Monday? I foresee a bit of propaganda being delivered by Sarah Smith on the BBC!

    • benmadigan says:

      with regards to Scottish police deployment in NI –

      I would strongly advise Scots to refuse to go – for their own safety.

      “if deployed in areas which return SF members would they have the ‘consent’ of the populace? ”
      In a short answer – NO!

      Remember all the border counties are held by Sinn Fein. Scottish policemen would be seen as enforcers of Brexit and British Border in Ireland.

      Please don’t go there!

      If you value the lives and safety of Scottish officers and any future relationship with Ireland once Scotland becomes independent

      • Janet says:

        That might be a Cabinet Office matter, regrettably. I recall that they have final say!

        • Stuart MacKay says:

          The brains that came up with this idea cannot be ignorant of history and the Plantation of Ulster, so sending police from Scotland must specifically designed to be divisive. Perhaps they can also make sure that any renewed presence by the British Army is solely by Scottish regiments.

          If there were any need for an example of the colonial mentality that is alive and well in London then this is surely it.

        • Bob Lamont says:

          Indeed Stuart, it is deliberately provocative for anyone but Irish to be in uniform there given history, but if the PSNI need reinforcements England no longer have the capacity to even meet their local duties, SG has kept numbers up, etc.. Personally I would bring back conscription for every politician who slagged off SNP’s policy re emergency services. For starters, martial arts and TA Ruthie patrolling with a baton instead of a tank and a host of luvvies on the photo op, second Fluffy armed only with words of imperial wisdom, a 10 sec start should be enough, before a camouflage tent and a pink tutu appear at the ROI border pleading with Varadkar for sanctuary under the Geneva Convention…
          The point Jack made earlier on proximity of war concentrating minds if not sphincters is absolutely correct, god help us all if this kicks off again, but generals should lead from the front, and from Paul’s previous epistle Capt Benny Johnson should do well before his bowels open (5 secs or less)…

  5. […] Wee Ginger Dug The smell of panic There’s a strong smell of panic in the Brit-Scot establishment just now. Things have […]

  6. Robert Harrison says:

    Whats going on is the englanders are insane totally insane how else would tje keep voting tory and labour over and over Scotland broke that by voting snp wales is slowly thinking of giving plaid a chance but England no its still con or labour with them even farages brexit party is just more cons really.

  7. Macart says:

    Ayup! Economic hardship. Constitutional crisis. Political upheaval. Intolerant and societally regressive government. A fractured society no less.

    Not exactly the UK going forward they predicted to be sure. Its advocates such as the aforementioned Gordosaurus? I’m reasonably sure a goodly number of former no voting folk might be less than impressed with his words of wisdom, (see under disingenuous pile of wossiname), by this point.

    Some folk chose poorly and the diehards blindly. The latter may very well continue to do so. The former? Those they conned or intimidated into voting with them? They might yet get a chance to vote differently.

    They don’t have to like the current Scottish government. They don’t have to like any political party. (All and none wasn’t a serving suggestion after all)

    They do have to believe they deserve better than this. They have to believe WE can be better and do better than this. Scots old and new. Homegrown and all points of origin, but a Scottish population nonetheless. This is their home. It is our home.

    Fairly certain we can do a better job of caring for that home.

    Just sayin’. 🙂

    • Anne Martin says:

      “They don’t have to like the current Scottish Government” – exactly. If Scots think that the SNP are not good in government, there must be independence first and then vote in the party they think will be better. Simples 😄

      • Macart says:

        Pretty much Anne. 🙂

        As for Onionist politicians, their support and their meeja? Self government and freedom of choice aren’t owned by politicians of any party (though they’d like to think so). They’re the inalienable right of the whole population in any country that calls itself a democracy. Oh, and that freedom to choose thing? That includes the right of the individual to change their mind in light of new circumstances or evidence. To CHOOSE differently.

        When some sociopath in a suit, (and remember, politicians are supposed to be public SERVANTS), decides to publicly remove that right? We no longer live in a democracy.

        It’s up to them I suppose, but it’s mibbies not a good look for ANY political party, ANY government, to deny the public that pays their damn wages.

      • Bob Lamont says:

        Spot on…

  8. Thank you Paul.
    I needed to read this today as the situation down here just fills me with a sense of impending doom the likes of which I think I last felt as a 16 year old in 1980 as the leaders of the West cranked up the Cold War rhetoric to fever pitch.
    I’m trying to get my gaff into a saleable condition for the spring but I worry that Brexshit is going to make it unsaleable and I’ll be stuck here, even as Scotland makes its great escape.
    These are strange, unsettling times in England, especially for a Scot desperate to get home.
    It is good though to see the sands shifting in favour of independence due to the lies of the BritScots being exposed on a daily basis along with the contempt shown Scotland by their masters.

  9. Jack collatin says:

    How’s the clean up of nuclear waste in Dalgety Bay going?

    No still polluted with WWII toxic waste.
    Brown was and is one of politics chancers, and Tom Gordon must be his love child.

    The man is a joke, and I can only assume that he gets air and print time because of the secret little ‘village’ they all seem to inhabit.

    He is, to use the religious condemnation, a ‘godless’ charlatan, who is millionaire on the back of the suffering of hundreds and thousands, if not millions, from the scrapping of the 10% lower tax bracket to the Shock and Awe of Iraq, for which he, and Blair, and Straw, and Reid, it may be argued should have faced a War Crimes Tribunal.

    His PFI schemes have cost Scotland tens of billions, and his light touch approach to banking opened the Treasure Chest for his pals and Barrow Boys in the City of London, whom he gave £500 billion to bail them out of their criminal money deals.
    £500,000,000,000,000 of our money handed over to the Biggest Swindlers in UK Financial History.
    And nobody went to jail, but 120,000 UK citizens died because of enforced ‘Austerity’ (what a fucking joke that word is now!) while this man swans around the globe lecturing any one who’ll listen.
    And just for good measure, he began the slow death of final salary pension schemes, but not his own juicy package as PM.

    I cannot fathom why anyone would hold this man in anything other than utter contempt.

    • Neil Anderson says:

      “…120,000 UK citizens died because of enforced ‘Austerity’.” And the rest! That’s a very old figure Jack, the deaths haven’t stopped. The euthanising goes on.

    • Brian Fleming says:

      Not that is detracts from your general drift, Jack, but you’ve got three too many zeros in that £500…….. figure. That’s 500 trillion.

  10. Millsy says:

    You have to wonder if there is an unseen force at work in favour of Scottish Independence ( and with the break-up of the UK , so Wales and N I may go their own way too ? ).

    The election of Boris Johnson as PM with his Cabinet of all the talents ( that were left after every sane Tory departed the sinking ship HMS UK ) ;

    the inevitable NO DEAL Brexit which is hurtling towards us at warp speed , which will not be matched by the speed of Westminster’s reaction to crisis – ” let’s have a long holiday ! ” ;

    the latest intervention of Broon the Loon , spouting his utter pish about ”hard line nationalists ” and trying to give mouth to mouth to a Federalism that died before he was hatched from his dinosaur egg ;

    These , and many more events and actions of Unionist individuals , have combined to produce the perfect storm which will see us free as a nation to guide our own destiny ( yes , and make our own stupid mistakes – but they will be OURS ! )

    As Paul rightly says , the Unionist arguments against Independence are melting faster than an ice-cream in an August Bank Holiday heatwave .

  11. Hugh mcsween says:

    considering the denigration Scotland gets from the london luvies ,why are they so desperate to be in a union with us.

    • Because they think of, and are motivated by nothing except their own ego and obsession with pecuniary advantage.
      Every one of them should be swinging from a gallows.
      And I speak as one who opposes capital punishment. Under the unique and appalling circumstances we find ourselves in I make a temporary exemption.

  12. Mark Potter-Irwin says:

    I don’t see much about the elephant in the room, IE Emergency Powers being declared in October by Boris the Bastard and the potential dissolution of the Devolved Administrations. When will the Scottish Government act? Soon I hope, because I know a lot of people who are getting anxious..
    Anybody care to comment?

    • imacg says:

      Yep, it’s there, right there in the corner….and like you I am wondering what the SG are going to do about it. Seems we are going to wait and see, then all feel the pain before anything concrete happens. I hope I’m wrong.

  13. benmadigan says:

    with regards to No Deal brexit – here’s some info about what’s going to happen – Warning it isn’t nice!

  14. Charles McGregor says:

    As I’ve said before. If the judiciary (Supreme Court) does back dictatorship when Boris tries to suspend parliament, it will then be down to whether the constabulary and the army does so as well.

    The latter two I think will make decisions based on how big or how small the ensuing street protests are.

    Interesting times.

  15. ArtyHetty says:

    ‘The Scream’ image there, a tortured soul. Very apt.

    It’s obvious to many more people, that Scotland has been ignored, sidelined, told to shut up and treated with absolute contempt by the government in England, Brexit has really highlighted that.

    Anyone notice though how the Britnats and state controlled media are using the name ‘Britain’ now, not ‘UK’. They are playing the Britannia card, because ‘UK’ has connotations. ‘UK’ conjures an image of the four states making up these islands, two countries, one of which is Scotland. ‘Britain’ much as they love to con people into a false sense of colonial security with it, is old fashioned, and antiquated, it means empire and that ship sailed long ago.

    People of Scotland see through the ‘British’ lies now, and my have the Britnats told some porkies as Paul points out here.

    The UK is no longer viable, it doesn’t work, England will not be well pleased if Scotland stalls or stops their Brexit. The anti Scotland stuff is already happening over on social media. Time to go our seperate ways, it really is. The ‘union’ is over.
    Independence will be better for all concerned in no time at all.

  16. Welsh Sion says:

    What Plaid Cymru are up to – and their stance with regard to Brexit and Corbyn.

    Meeting today @ Westminster from 11.00am

  17. Petra says:

    Well it looks as though it won’t be long now folks. Too long before we get out of the hellhole. Scottish Police, like cannon fodder, seemingly being sent to Northern Ireland first, unarmed like rubber ducks being lined up in row. Scots in first? What’s that all about I wonder?

    All the plans in place including Gillian MacGregor, International terrorist expert and now Director of the Scotland Office with DCC Will Kerr moving from from NIreland to Scotland 9 months ago.

    If ever their was a recipe for disaster this must be it. Scottish Police being sent to Northern Ireland with, no doubt, English Police heading here. And then when that doesn’t pan out for them, a cop is injured / killed, the Army will take over.

    England and Wales wanted Brexit. English and Welsh cops should be used to clean up their own mess, not the Scots. Alternatively they should resign or strike enmasse to demonstrate their depth of feeling.

    Some say that the Scottish Government should put a stop to this, but as far as I can make out Westminster has the power to do so due to the enactment of emergency measures that overrule Holyrood. You know that’s the Holyrood Parliament in Scotland said by the Westminster Parliament in England to have the “most powerfully devolved Parliament in the World.” My ass.

    They, Westminster, can’t see it (maybe?), but taking control over our Police Force, and risking the lives of our cops, will surely help the Independence stats to rise and lead, with all else, to us becoming an Independent Nation once again. Add to that a reunified Ireland. And add to that the Kingdom of England finding itself in one sorry mess.

  18. Petra says:

    Wee Willie Rennie must be feeling panicked too, lol, when they, the LieDums, have to resort to even more lying.

    And while I’m on the subject of Rennie, Witchfinder General of Police Scotland / the SNP, what does he have to say about Scottish police being sent to NIreland? Wee Willie the man who’s constantly berating Nicola Sturgeon / the SNP about policing levels, health and safety / wellbeing of our cops. Saying nought? In hiding? Sharing Ruth Davidson’s cave? If so, the latter must be pretty well jam packed by now.

  19. Luigi says:

    Its funny how Gordzilla only broonterveens when his precious union is threatened.

    Where was he when we were told to shut up and accept being dragged out of the EU against our will? Where was he when the entire economy is on the verge of meltdown? Where was he when the suicide rate of people of reduced or cancelled benefits rocketed. Where was he when foodbanks, the only growth industry in the UK, multiplied? Surely those were the times to come out and speak up?

    The old reptile was nowhere to be see, I’m afraid. Yet when there is a whisper of growth in support for Scottish independence, out he comes, lumbering and spouting bovine excrement.

    Gordzilla, please go back to your cave and stay there. Just cloes your eyes and fossilise. t will be all over soon. We have had enough of your crap. We dont need any more brooterventions, just because your fake union is under threat.

  20. Our police, if drafted into NI should head for the border and defect to the republic.

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