The Conservatives and their British nationalist allies have been all over the Salmond-Sturgeon affair like an over-excited dug enthusiastically humping a leg. Today in the Scotsman we have the arch-Brextremist frother Brian Monteith assert that Scotland is now a failed state. Which can only mean that Brian doesn’t have a clue what the phrase failed state actually means, and if he did have an awareness that the term refers to countries like Yemen or Iraq where public services and government control had utterly broken down amidst civil war and widespread violence, he’d still obstinately turn a blind eye to the role of the British government in helping to bring this sorry state of affairs about. But then hyperbole and distraction is pretty much all that apologists for the British state have got going for them these days. It’s far easier and more comfortable for them to decry the Scottish government and Thatessempee.
People like Brian would far rather fulminate about Salmond and Sturgeon because it means that they don’t have to talk about their own detailed and carefully thought out plans for a much needed reform of the UK’s constitutions and structures in order to ensure that Scotlands needs can be met and that Scotland has a strong and constitutionally entrenched representation at the very centre of the British Government. This is not unrelated to the fact that no such plans exist.
The closest that there is to a Unionist riposte to plans for Scottish independence is the Labour party’s vague proposal for a commission to be headed by Gordon Brown which would have a bit of a think about some sort of federalism and then get back to us after a couple of years with some proposals that a hypothetical future Labour government could conveniently kick into the long grass before watering them down and then triumphantly telling advocates of greater self-government for Scotland that we can have control over road signs and some carefully delimited tax powers that the Scotland Secretary will gloatingly describe as a trap for Thatessempee. Vow delivered. And that is predicated on the success of the Labour party at the next Westminster General Election. A success which is by no means guaranteed.
Labour can’t make a dent on the Conservatives in opinion polling despite the fact we have a corrupt and chaotic Conservative government which has presided over the deaths of 125,000 people. The next Westminster General Election is still years away and will most likely take place after the expected post-Covid economic rebound when the Tories will seek to take the credit for the feel-good factor and relief that people will be feeling as life returns to normality after the end of the pandemic. It is entirely possible that the UK is facing another decade of majority Conservative rule at Westminster. And even if Labour does somehow manage to return to power, it’s clear it has no real appetite for the substantial constitutional reform which is needed. Party leader Keir Starmer didn’t even think to mention the issue in his recent keynote speech setting out his party’s priorities. The truth is that England has no interest in splitting itself up into artificial federal regions just in order to rescue the Labour party in Scotland from its electoral grave. It’s not going to happen. But even in the unlikely event it did it still would leave Scotland with a Brexit it didn’t want and didn’t vote for.
It’s a moot point whether the existing devolution settlement will survive until such time as the voters of England eventually tire of the British triumphalism and flag waving nationalism of the Conservatives and vote them out of office. The Tories have already set out to undermine and hollow out devolution. They will only redouble their efforts in the months and years ahead.
Meanwhile the big idea to save this so-called union is to plaster union jacks on everything. Apparently the reason that Scotland is falling out if love with the British state is because there are streets in Scotland that don’t look like there’s an Orange walk taking place. The Tories have already insisted that we have to carry driving licences with union flags on them. Now they want all car licence plates to be defaced with them as well. But even that’s not enough. All the projects which receive funding from the capital projects scheme which the Tories are using to by-pass the Scottish Parliament are likewise to be festooned with more union flags than a royal wedding street party in Windsor.
The Tories have nothing of substance to offer Scotland. Apparently Scotland’s desire for meaningful control can be placated with red white and blue window dressing. The Conservatives have no intention at all of surrendering any power or decentralising control from the office of the Prime Minister. They are certainly not going to permit anything that would allow Scotland to achieve a closer relationship with the European Union and they will not countenance any changes in the frankly corrupt influence that the monarchy wields over public policy in the form of the Royal prerogative and the Queen’s Consent.
Thanks to the secrecy afforded to the Windsor clan it has only recently come to light that in the 1970s the Queen successfully he Queen successfully lobbied the government in order to change a draft law so that she could conceal her “embarrassing” private wealth from the public. The Queen’s consent means that the royal family is able to withhold assent to a parliamentary bill. The Windsors have been assiduous in their deployment of their powers and influence in order to protect their massive wealth. They are aided and abetted in this by a media – most notably the BBC, whose coverage of the royal family is toadying, grovelling, and puts North Korea to shame. And should the 99 year old Prince Philip fail to recover from his recent bout of ill health, we can expect an orgy of arse-licking sycophancy combined with furious denunciations of anyone who seeks to limit the powers of the monarchy.
The Conservatives have no answers to the rising demand in Scotland for greater self-government or independence. So instead of trying to formulate some answers to the difficult questions they face, they prefer to distract us with hysterical hyperbole about Scotland being a failed state. That’s far easier and more comfortable for them. The truth of the matter is that the Conservatives don’t give the square root of hee haw about the rights and wrongs of the Salmond-Sturgeon affair. They care only about their own power in Westminster and maintaining it by any means. In pursuit of that goal they will not hesitate to use any excuse they can find to weaken and undermine the Scottish Parliament and to damage Scottish public faith in this country’s ability to govern itself. The Tories are the party of the cringe writ large, and they know that their best chance of retaining power lies in making Scotland doubt itself.
This is your reminder that the purpose of this blog is to promote Scottish independence. If the comment you want to make will not assist with that goal then don’t post it. If you want to mouth off about how much you dislike the SNP leadership ,or about some other issue not directly related to Scottish independence – there are other forums where you can do that. You’re not welcome to do it here.
Meanwhile, in completely unrelated news, my disabled bath lift has been delivered, meaning that this evening, for the first time since I suffered the stroke I will be able to enjoy a wallow in the bath with a good book. You’ve no idea how much I’ve missed that.
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