It is all too easy to simply dismiss anything that David Mundell says. He has no legitimacy. He has no credibility. His office is a sick joke at the expense of democracy and the people of Scotland. And his nickname is ‘Snackbeard’.
He has no mandate. He does not speak for Scotland. The pretence that he is Scotland’s voice in the British cabinet fools only those who choose to be fooled. Most recognise him as the agent in Scotland of a government which we decisively and repeatedly rejected at the polls but which nonetheless asserts the right to impose on us policies that we abhor while treating our democratically elected representatives with undisguised contempt.
And his nickname is ‘Snackbeard’.
But it is precisely because he is the British state’s man in the north that we should attend to what he says. For in his words we will find clues to the concerns and purposes of British establishment. When, for example, Mundell talks of Nicola Sturgeon using the Brexit process to “leverage the argument for Scottish independence” we should not discount it as empty rhetoric, but should look for the meaning and intent behind the words. Which is not to say that we should accept his perspective or his assessment. That would be an even greater folly than disregarding him completely. If a British nationalist politician says the First Minister is doing something then the default assumption always should be that this is not the thing that she is doing, but the thing that the British political elite wants people to believe she is doing.
Nicola Sturgeon is most certainly NOT using the Brexit process to “leverage the argument for Scottish independence”. In fact, she is going to great lengths to avoid even the perception that she might be doing so. Because she is perfectly well aware that nothing would more surely sour the relationship that she is seeking to build with the EU than the impression that she was using Brexit for her own political purposes. She knows that the rapport she is seeking will be impossible if she is thought to be insincere in her commitment to Europe.
Of course, Mundell and his bosses are also aware of this. Which is precisely why he has been instructed to say what he is saying. It’s all about planting seeds of discord. It’s about driving a wedge between the Scottish Government and EU leaders. It has absolutely nothing to do with securing the interests of the people of Scotland. It’s the old British strategy of divide and rule. It’s the dogma of ‘The Union At Any Cost!’.
Don’t ignore Mundell. Whatever your natural inclination may be, listen to what he says. You can be sure it will tell you a lot more about him and the British nationalist mindset than it will about the SNP or the wider independence movement in Scotland. Listen carefully when he describes Nicola Sturgeon as being a “prisoner of her own party”. Think about that. What does it mean? Does it not imply that Mundell is offended by the fact that Sturgeon is doing what she and her party have been mandated to do? In what sense might she be a “prisoner of her own party” other than in the sense of doing the bidding of its 125,000 members; adhering to the policy agenda that they helped formulate; and honouring the manifesto endorsed by Scotland’s electorate?
What do Snackbeard’s own words tell us about his attitude to Scotland, its people and democracy?Views: 4962
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