As dawn breaks I can and will declare that the United Kingdom if not quite officially dead has certainly reached a point where the family have been called and told to prepare for the worst.
Yes I know that may sound slightly dramatic but as Britain votes for Brexit I and many others will be looking for an exit. However, the exit I want isn’t from Europe it’s from the United Kingdom which is now
more divided than ever after the most catastrophic decision ever made in the history of this mythical nation.
You see I have never bought in to the loyal and unionist fairytale of a united kingdom far less a great Britain and to me this result makes a mockery of the better together campaign to keep Scotland in the UK during our independence referendum as all through that referendum we heard this ongoing chant from the unionists that if we left the United Kingdom we wouldn’t be allowed to become a member as an independent nation.
This of course was nonsense, there tactic was to terrorise the gullible in to believing that they were somehow in danger of being kicked out the EU because David Cameron said so. This morning this cruel trick lies exposed for what it was and better together has been exposed as the fraud some of us always knew it to be.
Nonetheless as democrats we in the yes campaign accepted however reluctantly the result of independence referendum though we still reserve the right to campaign for the constitutional chance we sought and the restoration of Scotland’s place as an independent sovereign nation with the powers rights and responsibilities that comes with it.
Indeed many of us who voted yes in the independence referendum were amongst the most enthusiastic supporters of Scotland remaining in Europe and actively campaigned to achieve the outcome we wanted but what we wanted was far removed from what we got
No matter how uncomfortable it may be we have to face the fact that rampant British nationalism has triumphed in England and Wales where the voters were in my opinion duped by a lethal combination of ambitious right wing Conservatives such as would be Prime Minister in waiting Boris Johnson and his allies such as Education Secretary Michael Gove and former the voice of kindness at the Department of Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith.
and the even more extreme views of Nigel Farage and UKIP who with their toxic brand of politics managed to turn what should have been a referendum on our membership of the European Union into nothing more than a vote on immigration.
These views were given credibility by a fanatical right wing press and media who cannot get over the fact that Westminster no longer has an empire to rule over and yearned to return to the 1850’s yes I did say the 1850’s when everyone was British knew their place and bowed the knee to their so-called social betters. What Westminster doesn’t realise is that in Scotland at least we have a get out clause from this madness which has already produced its first causality with the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron and that get out clause is
You see whether the professional unionists like it or not 2014 wasn’t the end of the debate on Scotland it was only the beginning and these people think otherwise they are way more deluded than I ever thought possible. This however does not surprise me as ever since the morning of their victory in the last referendum which was only achieved through last minute promises they had no intention of keeping they have consistently implemented bully boy tactics and told those of us who voted yes to shut up and get back in our box. I regret to inform this has as much chance of success as Albion Rovers winning the champions league in any other setting than play station or a Des Dillon novel (Note quick plug for Des Dillon novel The Return Of The Busby Babes )
Anyway, nice idea as they might believe it to be Scotland is not going back to sleep and we are now in a much stronger position to campaign for the independence our country needs after this horrible referendum result. The result achieved by the leave campaign was based on primary factor and that was the demonising of those considered to be other. These are the people who don’t fit in to what the Brexiters traditional view of British identity. Unfortunately for those of us who voted remain this view which is an insular narrow minded view primarily but not exclusively based on race will now be how Britishness is viewed on the continent and beyond. This is a result which shamed Britain and exposed the shallow distrust of Brexiters towards those who don’t fit their agenda as being a highly significant factor in their victory.
It is my view and that of many others that this toxic legacy will make it much tougher for the professional unionist political class who were and remain Better Together to fight against independence than they were two years ago as one of their key arguments for this outdated union was based on the now shambolic proposal that if we didn’t do as we were told and vote to stay in the UK then we wouldn’t be allowed membership of the European Union.
This was an oft quoted argument which certainly seemed to resonate with the less well read I don’t do politics kind of voter as they tended believe what they are told by the BBC Daily Mail and unionist Westminster politicians as if they were quoting directly from the bible. To say this disturbs me would be putting it mildly. Well let’s be honest reading the Daily Mail is bad enough but to believe it is written on tablets of stone would be the actions of the demented and deluded.
Unfortunately many of the more gullible members of society appear to be taken in by this line and this was certainly the case at the time of the last referendum when the unionist establishment in which the vast majority of the press and media were a key part seemed to regard the European Union as their own private members club. I make this claim because I know how much it suited British establishment to act in this way until the vote secured Scotland for the union.
After the result of our referendum was declared in favour of the union, It was at least if you believed David Cameron and Better Together spokesman in Scotland Alastair Darling the end of the independence debate and the morning of the 19th of September was supposed to be a return to business as usual and we Jocks as the Westminster set refer to us were supposed to get back in our boxes and be nice colonial children speaking only when we were spoken to with nanny Britain’s permission.
That however is not how it turned out as a newly awakened Scotland had found our voice and we were in no mood to give it up.
In the first serious electoral test in post referendum the unionist political classes suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the SNP which was now led by Salmond’s deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon as the party smashed through what some its supporters had always believed to be the Westminster glass ceiling winning 56 of the 59 Scottish constituency seats and in doing so ending the political careers of some big name Labour MP’s such as Jim Murphy Douglas Alexander, and Ian Davidson.
A smart political operator Nicola Sturgeon had served a long apprenticeship under her former boss and was more than ready to take over the leader of both her party and her country. Impressive in TV debates Sturgeon captured the mood of the nation and gave supporters of independence belief that we not only had a future but our best days were yet to come.
As opposition parties crumbled in the weight of the SNP avalanche they desperately tried to convince themselves that this phase would soon pass and the return to normality they had been promised
This however has been and remains a million light years away from the political reality that is Scotland in 2016. As if to demonstrate this fact the SNP won a third successive victory in Scottish parliamentary election. Though the party fell two seats short of a second successive overall majority the fact that they won an increased number of constituency seats up from 53 in 2011 to 59 in recent election should not be lost on our opponents.
In fact if I’m being brutality honest the only thing that stopped a second successive
majority was the quite ludicrous
D’ hont electoral system which was so badly skewed that it gave the SNP only four extra seats whilst giving The Conservatives twenty four and the Labour Party twenty one. This resulted in painting an entirely false picture of how Scotland voted and giving the unionist parties a far greater sense of self importance than they actually deserve.
The refusal of the unionist parties to acknowledge that Scotland is not a one party state as they so often like to claim does them and their cause no good whatsoever and gives the impression that they are being childish and petulant and therefore unfit to hold office. I think that someone needs to tell them that there is a genuine and very real difference between what is really a one party state and what better together claim it is. The fact none of the unionist parties in Scotland are currently fit for purpose is not the fault of the SNP no matter how much the more fanatical amongst their number would like it to be. This is just the spin of the immature child who wants everything his own way and cries like a baby when it. doesn’t go to plan.
You know it’s funny how when Scotland was ruled by The Labour Party for almost five decades 1959-2007 (48 years to be exact) and having been alive for all but two of those years I never heard this one party state nonsense even once. In fact I can say with certainty I didn’t even hear it from the Tories not even during the Thatcher years but the minute the SNP or any pro independence party look like doing well they trot it out. This to me smacks of the back in your box Jocks kind of the attitude they would be very well advised to avoid if they ever want to regain the one thing they lack more than any other and that is credibility.
This is to me at least one of the most important factors faced by any political party or campaign if it wants to be successful. Without a credible leader your party or campaign will sink without trace and that at this moment in history in Scottish politics at least all the credible politicians are with the exception of Ruth Davidson on the side of Yes.
I have to say that though I dislike her politics intensely I do admire Ruth and more than that I actually respect her. Well I have to say that following Annabel Goldie as leader of Scotland’s conservatives was never going to be easy. Annabel at least in Scottish terms was a legendary figure who had done much to begin the detoxification of the Conservative brand in Scotland and Ruth Davidson with her personable and dare I say it likeable manner has continued the work started by her predecessor.
Ruth however faces one major problem which is that for many people in Scotland which is that no matter what you may think of them personally a Tory is still a Tory and if they are the only credible voice for the union there will be areas which will be closed to them especially after this result.
You see a significant number of those who voted to stay UK in 2014 did so not because of any sense of British identity being exclusive to their way of thinking but because they viewed their Britishness like their Scottishness as part of something better and perceived it as being more inclusive and outward looking than what they viewed as the narrow nationalism of independence. Now with Britain having voted to leave Europe whilst Scotland in large numbers voted to stay with in many of those who voted no in 2014 may already be beginning to rethink that decision and vote yes in the next independence referendum when it is eventually called. Indeed it may be that this vote on Europe has finally proved the very real political differences between the politics of Scotland and the rest of the UK have highlighted the need for independence to a far greater degree than was the case in 2014 as Scotland said yes to the civilised world by rejecting the Brexit Club.
Looking back to the afternoon of the 19th of September when Alex Salmond said in his resignation speech as First Minister the dream shall never die many people may have thought that this was just a politician trying to keep the flame of independence alive on what was for many of us this blogger included the darkest day in Scotland’s recent history. It was on that day as people began to flock to the SNP in record numbers Alex Salmond was proved to be a lot more correct than many of us dared to dream .
It was however a few days later in the interview on Andrew Marr show that Alex Salmond made his most telling comment, saying that at a time when the circumstances were right we would get the chance to finish the job we started. Thanks to Brexit that chance and our independence may come sooner than a lot of people think.
Love And Best Wishes