A gut feeling

Wales Office minister, Guto Bebb, probably doesn’t realise it but his reported remarks following a recent visit to Edinburgh neatly encapsulate the attitude of British nationalists towards Scotland. They are perplexed to find that Scotland is “another country”, and bitterly resentful of our stubborn refusal to conform to their ‘One Nation’ vision of ‘Great Britain’.

What Mr Bebb was seeing is, not just that sense of nationhood which persists despite all efforts to contrive a common British identity, but a distinctive political culture developed through Scotland’s particular democratic institutions and processes. A political culture which now contrasts starkly with the insular exceptionalism of the British state. A culture characterised by openness and tolerance and inclusiveness. A culture whose nature and distinctiveness was amply in evidence at the SNP’s Spring Conference in Aberdeen last weekend.

But why is Guto Bebb “despondent”? Why should Scotland simply being Scotland be a cause for regret? What is diminished by Scotland following its own political path? Who is harmed by Scotland charting a course that is informed by the democratic choices of Scotland’s people, rather than the self-serving demands of a political and economic elite?

It may be true that “we achieve more together”, as Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns said when he was challenged about his minister’s comments on ITV’s Peston on Sunday Programme. But coexistence and cooperation do not require some imposed uniformity. Rejection of that imposed uniformity does not preclude a healthier form of association. Difference does not necessarily imply animosity or enmity.

Scotland feels like a separate country because it is just that. As such, it must be allowed to adopt and develop the form of government that best suits its people. Any power which denies this right and seeks to inflict its own form of government in defiance of the will of the people inevitably takes on the characteristics of an occupying power.

Perhaps the discomfort felt by Guto Bebb was occasioned by dawning awareness that he represents that occupying power.

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6 thoughts on “A gut feeling

  1. Liam

    It’s a pity he doesn’t feel the same way when he leaves Wales and visits London. But it’ll come.

  2. bringiton

    Don’t forget Peter that we are dealing with Tories whose philosophy is “Might is Right”.
    Democracy for them is just an inconvenience to be overcome in the pursuit of power.

  3. Simon

    I struggle to understand why people are concerned about saving the union! There really is no country anyway, but there are different ways of expressing country, and the expression of Scotland is NOT the conservative, outdated, narrow and ugly view of reality.

    I don’t consider the SNP as a nationalist party, it’s in name only! Words don’t always point to the direction they Intend. The SNP are all that stand between Scotland being marginalised and absorbed into a Tory hell!

    Ruth Davidson and that other chap (Scottish secretary) I can’t remember his name or care to, are bullies. Just look at there body language and physical presence!

    The people who are caught up in repeating what they read, appear to forget, Scotland already voted for the SNP, why should another referendum be a surprise, is this not what people, call democracy? I’m fatigued by hearing ‘the Scottish people don’t want another referendum’ we’ve already voted for one, right?

    It’s just a matter of time anyway, the union is over, it never really was anyway. I would pull our MSP’s out from Westminster, why not? Really, think about it. Why play the game? And a game it is!

    Message for the SNP, please start thinking in a different way, if you play their game, you will always be playing by their rules and lose, it’s been designed this way. Can your ‘experts’ not see this, can you not see this?

    Wishing you all a great day…

    1. Alan Johnson

      You are so right, Simon, and I have advocated on here before that we should withdraw our MPs to Westminster and reconvene the Scottish Parliament, to rescind the Treaty of Union and declare UDI.
      If, as I hope will happen, we have an SNP landslide in the May council elections across Scotland, that would surely give us added clout for doing just that.

  4. Edward Freeman

    It occurs to me that, as the fragrant Theresa did not see fit to let the devolved administrations know that she was about to trigger article 50, it is extremely likely that she will provide as little information as is humanly possible about the progress and content of the Brexit negotiations. Indeed, she is likely to want to divulge as little information as possible to the Westminster parliament as well … this is a regime that uses information (and misinformation, disinformation, propaganda, and lying by omission) as a weapon.

    When the ineffable David Davis was interrogated recently in his capacity as Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, he put on a remarkable performance of being totally clueless about everything under the sun, and has been widely condemned as such – but was it not more than likely that it was deliberate, an act put on at the behest of his Leader? “Tell the oiks, plebs, Jocks, backbenchers and other low lives nothing, Dave”, she would have said, “because if they know anything at all, I’ll have a revolt on my hands, and God knows they’re quite revolting enough already”.

    My conclusion is that we’ll have to rely on our many European friends to ensure that there is enough information flowing in our direction through back channels to enable our own Government to stay on top of things, and that the propaganda war waged against us by the BBC in particular and the Unionist meeja in general will reach a pitch of intensity that will surprise even us. If our voices and message are not to be drowned out, we really, really, really need our own public service broadcaster, funded by diverting the BBC licence fees paid here in Scotland, with complete editorial independence from any government or government body whatsoever.

    Ah, but Westminster didn’t devolve control over broadcasting to us. Can’t think why…

    1. MorvenM

      I’m sure you’re right about this, but I’m hoping the EU representation will leak like a sieve and show up the UK government in the worst possible light.

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