It’s very possible that Scotland has reached the tipping point, when it shifts from being a country which is ambivalent about independence to becoming a nation which is resolved that it can only reach its full potential if it has all the powers of an independent state. There have been reports this week of a secret poll on independence, whose results were let slip in an article in the Guardian by a former advisor to the Treasury, Prof Mujtaba Rahman. According to the professor, the cabinet was told that 56% of people in Scotland support independence. While he has refused to reveal his sources, the professor confirmed to The National that the figure was correct.
If all recent public opinion polling had been reporting that support for independence was somewhere in the higher 40s percentile as it remained for years following the 2014 referendum, we could dismiss this latest report. However the 56% figure comes following a series of opinion polls all of which have shown support for independence to be in the 51% to 55% range. That makes it a far more plausible result. If it is indeed true, it confirms that support for independence is continuing its incremental rise as more and more people look upon the British Government and realise that Scotland could do far better, despite the best efforts of the vast majority of the media in Scotland. There is now, for the first time, a solid ground of majority independence support in Scotland, and that’s before an official campaign has even begun
Meanwhile the Johnson administration continues its descent into the murky depths of the incoherent deceit which is the only thing that it’s world beating at. This government’s Brextremists, which is all of the government, are now complaining that the current deal breaches the UK’s sovereignty. Yet this isn’t a deal which anyone forced on them. It wasn’t Theresa May. It wasn’t remainers. It wasn’t Brussels. This is a deal which was signed by Boris Johnson last year and which he announced as a triumph. He even put it to the electorate in the General Election in December 2019 and won an 80 seat majority on the back of it.
Most objective observers, as well as critics of the Conservatives, believbe that there are no discernible benefits to no deal. It will destroy swathes of the British economy, put hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk, and alienate the UK’s closest allies. Yet so far the British Government has not clearly articulated just why this no deal Brexit that they’re taking us all into is so great for the UK. All we get is waffle about UK sovereignty and the ability to make trade deals freely. Yet they don’t want to explain just how they’re going to manage that after demonstrating to the world that the British Government’s word is worth about as much as a Dominic Cummings assurance that he went to Durham for an eye test.
Today Jonathan Jones, the head of the legal department in the UK civil service, resigned his post over reports that the British Government wants to rip up parts of the Brexit deal for Northern Ireland and trash the Good Friday Agreement. His resignation suggests that there is a dispute within the topmost levels of the British Government about the lawfulness of Johnson’s decision. Spokesapologists for the Government have claimed that their actions are being taken in a very “specific and limited way”. Can you break international law in an unspecific and unlimited way? Asking for a former Empire.
Today former Prime Minister Theresa May, who bears a considerable amount of the responsibility for getting the UK into this mess by going full tilt for a hard Brexit and refusing to take the views of remainers into account, has attacked the Johnson administration. In a speech in the Commons she pointed out that if the British Government takes this step, it will only prove to other countries that it cannot be trusted to act in good faith if they sign a treaty with it.
In an interview with STV on Monday night, part time branch office manager DRoss insisted that a no deal Brexit could offer “great benefits” to Scotland and went so far as to claim that a UK government which rips up international treaties was acting responsibily. But then Douglas only has his job because the bosses in his party decided to rip up the result of a democratic election amongst party members, so he is operating with a very loose definition of responsible.
DRoss made his claim despite the fact that none of the Brextremists in the Conservative party were publicly advocating a no deal Brexit before or during the EU referendum, insisting instead that achieving a deal with the EU would be the easiest negotiation in the world. Some of them even warned that saying there was a risk of a no deal Brexit was scaremongering of the worst sort. And yet here we are, with Baroness Davidson’s muppet on TV trying to sell us a no deal Brexit.
This is the man who asserted that he’d stand up to Johnson when he felt it was necessary to defend Scottish interests. But he can’t even stand up to Johnson when we’re facing the catastrophe of a no deal Brexit on top of the Conservative decision to end furlough payments even though the pandemic has far from run its course. He’s never stood up to Johnson before, he sure as hell isn’t about to start now.
Johnson’s bad faith and untrustworthiness has been noted in Europe. So for example the Spanish newspaper El Pais warns that Brussels has been put on alert by an apparently treacherous manoeuvre which runs the risk of blowing up bridges. https://elpais.com/internacional/2020-09-08/el-jefe-del-departamento-legal-del-reino-unido-dimite-tras-los-cambios-en-el-plan-del-brexit-autorizados-por-johnson.html
The UK is being crushed to death by its own delusions. The British state of British nationalist Brexit imagination is far removed from what the rest of the globe sees. The Conservatives still believe in a UK that bestrides the world stage like a colossus, imposing its will on lesser breeds and going unchallenged. The reality is a British state which has never come to terms with its loss of Empire, which is lost in a reverie of past glory, and which is blind to the harsh truth that the UK is merely a medium sized European state with pretensions far beyond its abilities. However more and more people in Scotland see the truth and have come to realise that Scottish independence is not an unrealistic proposition. It’s the dreams of British nationalism which are unrealistic, unfeasible, and unattainable.
Scottish independence is nothing more than the desire to live in a normal country which engages with the rest of the world on a basis of realism. As the Johnson administration becomes increasingly unmoored and lost the waves of fantasy which is all that Britannia rules over these days, that 56% support for independence is only going to grow. Only an independent Scotland provides the solid ground of reality upon which we can build a better country.
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