Why is it that politicians think they are fully aware what the consequences of Brexit will be – “Brexit will be an absolute disaster for Scotland, cutting average pay by £2000 and resulting in the loss of 80 000 jobs.” – but suppose that the rest of us must actually experience the impact before we become similarly aware? Politicians can figure it out from the evidence available. But voters can’t. We need to feel the pain in order to be motivated to act.
Even if this were true, surely we elect these uncommonly prescient politicians to rescue us from our own stupidity. Surely we expect them to use their powers of analysis and deduction for our benefit. What’s the point of them if they don’t warn us of imminent danger and lead us away from the perils and pitfalls?
But, of course, we are not stupid. For the most part, Scotland’s people are perfectly capable of working out what Brexit implies. At the very least, they know that it is being imposed on Scotland against the democratic will of the people. And they’d have to be sub-couch potato dullards to be oblivious to the blundering incompetence of the British government’s cracked team of Brexit negotiators.
Politicians seem to imagine that we need to have hit the Brexit iceberg and be going down like the Titanic before it dawns on us what is happening. This is both fallacious and insulting. With the exception of a few blinkered ideologues (mainly British nationalists), we all can see that looming iceberg. And we want to avoid it. We sure as hell don’t want to hit it just to prove a point. We don’t relish the prospect of standing on the deck of that sinking ship chanting, “We told you so!”.
Pete Wishart says the Scottish people “will almost certainly want to fully review and consider all their available constitutional options” in the light of Brexit. But what might those options be? The only certainty is that the status quo is not on the table. It is plainly evident, even to those of us lacking the prognosticative attributes of the politician, that the existing devolution settlement is headed for the British nationalist shredder. The British political establishment could hardly have been more explicit in telling us that neither the people of Scotland nor our democratically elected representatives will be permitted any meaningful role in shaping whatever it is that replaces the existing constitutional arrangement. The new arrangement will be imposed on Scotland in the same way that Brexit and austerity are.
So, what are our “constitutional options”? Or, more importantly, what choices will be available to us if we wait until the Brexit process is finalised?
How credible is it that, having unilaterally ripped up the devolution settlement and arbitrarily imposed a new regime without consultation or consent, the British state might still be prepared to accommodate popular sovereignty? Why would anybody believe that, having taken the No vote in 2014 as a mandate to ride roughshod over Scotland’s democratic institutions, ‘One Nation’ British Nationalists will decline to take measures intended to eradicate Scotland’s distinctive political culture?
How likely is it that, having put a massive effort into denying Scotland’s right of self-determination, the British political elite will then have a change of heart?
Given its all to evident ambition to lock Scotland into an imposed political union, we must assume that the British government will use the opportunity offered by quitting the EU to constitutionally redefine the UK. We must expect that they will enshrine in law the ‘indissoluble unity of the British nation’, emulating the Spanish constitution and creating conditions that would make Scotland liable to a British version of the vicious repression currently being visited on Catalonia.
What “constitutional options” will we have then, Mr Wishart? Is it possible that, being so long embedded in the very heart of the British beast, you have lost sight of just how covetous and malicious it can be? Could it be that those of us on the outside see more than you do?Views: 4826
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