What have we learned this weekend?
We have learned that, despite the harsh lessons of the first referendum campaign, British Labour in Scotland (BLiS) still fails to realise the utter folly of inviting London politicians to venture North for the purpose of gracing the uppity Jocks with lectures that are as appallingly patronising and contemptuously insulting as they are abysmally ill-informed.
Why bother? Should we inexplicably feel the need for the kind of crap dished out by Jeremy Corbyn and Sadiq Khan at the grindingly depressing BLiS gathering in Perth over the weekend then we need only pick up any one of the British newspapers, or tune in to the BBC. We can read lies about independent Scotland being forced to join the Eurozone any day of the week. We are already inundated with silly scare stories about a hubristic British state imposing illegal trade sanctions on independent Scotland. The British media never tire of peddling the grotesque caricature of the SNP that Sadiq Khan has so embarrassingly swallowed whole. What was the point in Khan and Corbyn coming to Scotland to regale us with more of the same?
Perhaps they imagined that they carry sufficient authority to lend substance to the standard British propaganda message that Scotland is unfit to be a normal nation. Maybe they thought they were the ones to make a convincing case that half the people of Scotland are either racists or fools or both. Is there any possibility that they have been disabused of such quaint notions by the angry ridicule that greeted their lectures? Don’t bet on it! The dumb arrogance which bade them deliver those lectures in the first place will surely protect them from realisation of what fools they made of themselves.
We learned that Kezia Dugdale is determined to persist with her vacuous proposals for yet another constitutional talking shop charged with finding ways to preserve the British state whilst putting on a show of considering meaningful constitutional reform. This despite the fact that nobody else has the slightest interest in her ill-thought project. Not even anybody in her own party. She continues to flog the very dead horse of devolution as if her desperation alone might be enough to revivify its putrefying corpse.
Just as increasing numbers of people are coming round to the idea that only the people of Scotland have the rightful authority to determine the powers of their parliament, Dugdale proposes a device by which to ensure we will never be able to exercise that authority. She seeks to make our constitutional status a matter on which we can be outvoted by the rest of the UK.
Just as more and more people in Scotland are realising that the democratic right of self-determination is theirs, to be exercised entirely at their discretion, Dugdale launches her own version of Ruth Davidson’s anti-democratic petition opposing this fundamental right.
Should the lesson have somehow eluded us up until now, we learn that Kezia Dugdale is the very epitome of political ineptitude. she is quite stunningly gormless. Whatever the opposite of ‘gorm’ is, she is replete with it. Suffused in it. She is the ‘anti-gorm’.
Following their conference we know that Kezia Dugdale and BLiS are totally defined by mindless hatred of the SNP and unthinking, unquestioning devotion to the British state. And we have to assume that these twin obsession will inform BLiS’s approach to campaigning in the coming local elections. Which is worth noting. Because, just as Kezia Dugdale declares her fanatical opposition to both independence and the right of the people of Scotland to decide, we learn that Theresa May has chosen to make the council elections in Scotland a plebiscite on #indyref2.
Holyrood Magazine informs us that,
“Prime Minister Theresa May has urged voters across Scotland to use the upcoming local elections to express their opposition to Scottish independence.”
She has, according to this most reputable of publications, framed the local elections, to be held on 4 May, on constitutional grounds.
We have learned that both the main British parties intend to fight the council elections, not on local issues, but on the basis of their rabid British nationalism.
This is not news. The realists among us long since realised that the British establishment was fervently hoping for an outcome in the local elections such as might be portrayed as a ‘blow’ to Nicola Sturgeon and a ‘setback’ for the independence movement. The UK Government urgently wants the First Minister weakened ahead of Brexit negotiations and talks preceding a second independence referendum. Anything less than a significant increase in the SNP vote could readily be spun by the British media as a ‘collapse’ in support for the party and a diminishing of demand for a fresh independence referendum.
What we are somewhat surprised to learn is that Theresa May is prepared to be totally explicit about using the local elections as an opportunity to undermine the independence campaign. In political terms, it is a move which seems to make little sense. By placing her cards face-up on the table May has created a situation in which the British parties must come out of the local elections a lot better than anyone expects. She has, to all intents and purposes, declared that anything short of a highly improbable trouncing of the SNP will represent an endorsement of #indyref2.
Why would she do this? Is it a desperate last throw of the unionist dice? Is it a panic response to the sustained popularity of the SNP? Or has she convinced herself that Ruth Davidson can lure enough British nationalists from BLiS to bring about a Tory surge?
Does it matter? What we now know is that, whether we would wish it so or not, the local elections are being turned into a straight contest between the British nationalism and the Yes movement. It goes without saying that this is a contest Scotland cannot afford to lose.
Those who most need to learn this lesson are the parts of the Yes movement which, even in the face of Theresa May’s latest intervention, continue to peddle the dangerously naive notion that the local elections can somehow be divorced from the wider context of Scotland’s politics. Realpolitik dictates that voting for any British party in the local elections is incompatible with the aims of the independence movement. In practical terms, to vote for any party other than the SNP is likely to constitute gambling with our prospects for another referendum, and with the hope of bringing our government home.Views: 4871
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