The British establishment tried something like this before. During the first referendum campaign they thought it would be a good idea to stick labels on stuff declaring “Funded by UK Government” alongside the compulsory union flag. That didn’t work out too well, as I recall. Social media was immediately flooded with images of nuclear weapons, bombed cities, unelected lords and other obscenities pointing out that these too are “Funded by UK Government”. Or, to put it another way, paid for with taxes levied on the people of Scotland who had comprehensively and repeatedly rejected the politicians making these spending choices.
Now, they’re planning on persuading us of the merits of the union by burying us under a mountain of union flags and trumpeting reminders of how powers that should reside with Scotland’s democratically elected parliament are being withheld by the Westminster elite. It’s not too hard to figure out what the response will be from those who do not meekly accept the superiority of the British state. Those who adhere to the noble principle of popular sovereignty and reject the pernicious notion that sovereignty is rightly vested in a bunch of British politicians. The response may not be what the architects of this cunning plan hope for.
If they imagine people in Scotland are going to respond with gratitude to all these reminders of the “services” provided by the UK Government then they are sadly deluded. It is likely that the response will be rather more resentful than appreciative. Few will be so naive as to fall for the idea of the British state as Scotland’s benefactor. Few will delight in having “Britishness” rammed down their throats in this way. Many will find it irksome and offensive.
People will, indeed, be reminded that Scotland has two governments. But, inevitably, they will also be reminded that only one of those governments is ours. Only one of those governments is elected by the people of Scotland. Only one of those governments reflects the aspirations and priorities of the people of Scotland. Anything that encourages the people of Scotland to compare and contrast their own government with the one in Westminster can only be good for the cause of bringing all of our government home.
Let the UK Government plaster Scotland with union flags! The most significant effect of this clumsy, artless propaganda will surely be a more widespread realisation that the union flag does not represent a nation or a people, but a political ideology – the odious ideology of British nationalism.Views: 2844
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