My regular readers will be aware that I am not averse to a bit of ‘robust’ language. I tend to be fairly forthright in my efforts to put the case for independence; and point out the inadequacies, inaccuracies, inconsistencies and inanities of the anti-independence campaign. But I hope those regular readers would allow that I am also scrupulous in eschewing certain terms – such as ‘traitor’ and ‘quisling’. I simply don’t consider it appropriate or helpful to hurl such epithets at those of a unionist persuasion.
For the most part, accusations of treachery are undeserved; if only because those arguing for the union at any cost are almost always unaware of the cost that is involved for Scotland. They are unaware because they have never questioned the union. They have never scrutinised it. For the most part, those putting the unionist case are merely parroting stuff that has come to them from the British political establishment via the British media. They have never critically examined any of this. Those who have – even in the most cursory fashion – are now to be counted among the most ardent advocates of bringing Scotland’s government home.
True treachery is wilful. It is a deliberate, premeditated act. It is not something incidental to even the most stubborn ignorance and complacent mindlessness.
But there is a problem. Whilst wishing to avoid calling anybody a ‘traitor’, we cannot do other than acknowledge that there are people who promote positions which are unmistakably contrary to Scotland’s interests. There are those who speak and act in a manner which cannot be construed as other than having the intent of doing harm to Scotland’s reputation or economy.
We have lately been subjected to the sickening spectacle of British nationalist fanatics gleefully celebrating their success in sabotaging a potential £10bn inward investment deal which the Scottish Government was in the very early stages of negotiating with a consortium of Chinese businesses. From the very moment news of these negotiations became public, the British parties and the British media have been intent on scuppering any possible deal.
Now, I am no dewy-eyed naif who imagines inward investment to be an unalloyed blessing. Nor am I under any illusions about the kind of businesses which can bandy around figures such as £10bn. But the very commonsense scepticism that bids me be wary of Chinese corporations bearing gifts also alerts me to the hypocrisy and double standards of those who have sought to deny even the possibility of a deal which might have been of some benefit to Scotland.
Not all of us are ready to throw ourselves wholeheartedly into the mindless hysteria whipped up by the British parties and their friends in the media every time Scotland’s democratically elected government looks like scoring some notable success. Some of us, therefore, have time to ponder the fact of a very noticeable overlap between those shrilly condemning the SNP administration for even considering a deal with a firm rumoured to have been suspected of corruption, and those urging us to bow down in forelock-tugging gratitude before a Westminster elite which supposedly saved shipbuilding on the Clyde by doing a deal with a company that we know to have been guilty of corruption.
And its not only rank hypocrisy that is exhibited in the malicious effort to wreck any potential deal with the Chinese. Just as sickening is the arrogant air of self-righteousness with which it is assumed that “Johnny Foreigner” must be morally and ethically inferior. The reality, of course, is that the Chinese shoot people for the kind of practices for which British companies pay huge bonuses. They execute people guilty of the sort of corruption that the British state rewards with titles and privileges.
It seems that, in the minds of British nationalist ideologues, the imperative to undermine the hated SNP takes precedence, not only over Scotland’s economic interests and the welfare of Scotland’s people, but over all decency and even reason itself.
If we are not to call such people traitors, what are we to call them?Views: 4970
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