The UK Government continues its descent into pariah-hood. Today it was announced that the EU is to take legal action against the British Government over the latter’s decision that international law is a particularly unhygienic pick and mix buffet where you can put oven ready pies back in a very specific and limited way after you’ve committed to it by putting it on your plate and Boris Johnson has stuck his fingers in it and used it as an electoral prop. Being sued by the people with whom you’re currently engaged in delicate trade talks is not a reassuring sign that there is sufficient trust to reach a deal. Reneging on a deal that was the cornerstone of the campaign you fought in order to win a General Election isn’t the sign of partner who negotiates in good faith.
It is of course entirely possible that some sort of barebones deal will be cobbled together at the last minute. Johnson and Gove and their cheerleaders in the Brextremist media will cheer this as a fantastic win for the UK. It will of course be nothing of the sort. It will still result in job losses and cutting us off from the rest of Europe. It will still leave the UK open to the predations of global companies who have their eyes on the NHS. It will still see a race to the bottom in the UK in terms of employment rights and consumer standards. But it will be presented with bunting, union flags, and great Britishness plastered all over it and the Daily Telegraph fanboys and girls will be telling us that we won the war you know. And that’s the best case scenario. No deal is still a very real possibility.
Meanwhile there are reports that the UK Government wants to adopt a similar policy to Australia in dealing with asylum seekers. This will consist of taking people who have fled to the UK from war zones and repressive regimes which are abundantly supplied by British arms manufacturers and sticking them on Ascension Island, which is essentially a barren rock in the South Atlantic. This is because being stuck on barren isolated island where nothing can flourish and where every aspect of your existence is controlled by right wing hypocritical zealots who are telling you that they’re doing it for your own good is the perfect life lesson for living in the UK after Brexit.
The British Government has refused to rule out reports that it might be considering some Scottish islands as the location of its detention centres for innocent people. That ought to tell you what they think of us. In the minds of the Conservatives in Westminster, Scotland is pretty much the same as one of the remaining British colonies. It’s far away, remote from power, and none of them care very much about what goes on there. Which is much the same reason why we have Trident.
Other places that the UK is reportedly considering for dentention centres for refugees and asylum seekers include Moldova, Morocco, and Papua New Guinea. This is what Australia has already done, to much international criticism. Australian detention camps in the south Pacific island nations of Nauru and Papua New Guinea have been widely criticised for their poor conditions and for fostering a culture of “deliberate cruelty and abuse” intended to deter others from seeking asylum in Australia.
A report from Amnesty International entitled Island of Despair found that conditions in the Australian camp in Nauru “amount to torture”. (See the full report here: https://www.amnesty.org.uk/files/2017-05/island-of-despair.pdf?ixQRwFFZA.DsEUHOwgrxwxTXQ029jASw) Yet this is what the British Government tells us we should aspire to – a policy of deliberate cruelty and inhumanity in order to reduce immigration statitistics and to pander to the Express, the Mail and the Telegraph. Britain under the Conservatives is an island of cruelty and despair.
Meanwhile in Scotland the British nationalist parties have decided that the real mistake that they’ve been making which has led to increasing support for independence is that they’ve been far too respectful of Scottish democracy. The manager of Labour’s branch office in Scotland, Ragnall Lamplighter, has said that his party’s “pro choice strategy” on another independence referendum is what is to blame for its poor performance. Because what a political party in a democracy really needs to do in order to win popular support is to deny the existence of democracy. He follows the Illiberal Undemocrats in deciding that democracy is too dangerous for Scotland. It risks people in Scotland making decisions that are not to the liking of British nationalist politicians, and that cannot be allowed.
Ronald Lunchpacker really has his finger on the pulse. In an interview with the New Statesman he claimed that people who want a second referendum or an independent Scotland will vote SNP, they won’t vote Labour. However opinion poll after opinion poll has shown that as many as 40% of Labour’s remaining voters in Scotland support independence. RuPaul Lookslesslikelier has pretty much just told those voters that he doesn’t want their support. This isn’t so much a political strategy as it is a suicide note. On the one hand he’s telling a massive chunk of the voters he’s got left that he thinks they ought to vote SNP, on the other he’s telling that majority of Scottish opinion that supports independence that his party will not respect the views of the majority. The lesson here is clear. Scotland can only have democracy as an independent state.
So there’s that UK that Scotland was told that the whole world looks up to and respects. It is world beating at trashing international law. It is a global leader in breaking its own commitments to Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The whole world looks to it as an example of a state that treats those who have suffered the most from British foreign policy with cruelty and contempt, proposing to shut them away on an isolated island where no one can complain and no one can easily check if their rights and dignity are being respected. And the British nationalist parties in Scotland think that their biggest tactical error has been to concede the right of the people of Scotland to democracy. Cruel Britannia.
Comments – I’ve had enough. Moderation has now become a full time job because people, supposedly adult people, just can’t behave. If you think that the comments which appear are bad, you should see the stuff that doesn’t make it to publication. I’ve been getting abuse, personal insults, and there have been posts which are grossly homophobic, racist, or misogynistic. (Apparently this counts as standing up for women’s rights, who knew?)
The purpose of this blog is to make a positive case for independence, to attack the pretensions of British nationalism, and to formulate arguments which will help to persuade no voters, undecideds, and soft yes voters to support independence. It’s also to boost the morale of those of us who are already involved in this campaign. I do not provide this platform to allow people to attack others in the movement with whom they disagree. Other people might choose to use their platforms to do so, I don’t.
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