As we would expect and, indeed, as is proper for the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon does no more than hint at the threat to the Scottish Parliament. But be in no doubt that the threat is real.
The attitude of the British establishment to Holyrood is evident in Theresa May’s contemptuous disregard for decisions taken by our democratically elected representatives and in the efforts of the British parties to deny the legitimacy of both the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government. It is evident also in the disrespectful treatment of our First Minister and the manner in which the British print and broadcast media report – or fail to report – the work of the SNP administration.
It is evident in the denial of Scotland’s distinctive political culture. Or, where it cannot be denied, the barely disguised implication that, being different from British political culture, it must perforce be inferior.
As I said back in March 2016,
Because, as a British nationalist, you do not consider Scotland’s democratic institutions to be worthy of respect. At best, you consider them inferior and a presumptuous imposition upon the established order. [link]
None of this is new. Neither is it idle speculation or trivial scaremongering. In fact, the antipathy of the British establishment is the politically obvious defensive response. Given the nature of the British state, antagonism toward Scotland is precisely what we would expect. In October 2015 I wrote the following,
Make no mistake. The British establishment is out to destroy the SNP, which is regarded as a threat to the structures of power, privilege and patronage which define the British state. And they don’t care what damage is done to our parliament, our institutions, our economy and our people in the process. They are determined to put Scotland back in its box. And the only truly effective means we have to resist them is to bolster the democratic mandate that we afford the SNP. [link]
In the aftermath of the No vote in the first independence referendum, I had this to say,
The British establishment thought that would be an end of things. There would still be the “nuisance” of the SNP to be dealt with and, obviously, the threat from Scotland would have to be neutralised by various means, such as undermining confidence in major institutions seen as symbolic of Scotland’s distinctive political culture and using devolution legislation to effectively cripple the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government. But it was anticipated that it would soon be exploitative business as usual. [link]
The British establishment’s assault on Scotland’s democratic infrastructure was readily foreseeable. The British state simply could not tolerate this challenge to the dogma of ‘no other way’. The SNP government’s determination to maintain a genuine public health service and its unshakeable commitment to the principle of universality are a growing embarrassment to a British political elite which claims that there is no alternative to its ideology of austerity and privatisation.
And, of course, there is always the threat posed by the independence movement. Another quote from an old article.
I would contend that the most important factor in the rise of Scotland’s progressive independence movement has been the fact that a distinctive political culture has evolved in Scotland because the democratic processes and institutions native to Scotland have been more effective in translating the attitudes of the electorate into public policy. [link]
What we are seeing now is the British establishment’s rancid attitude towards Scotland being translated into malicious intent. We cannot afford to be complacent about the inevitability of this malicious intent turning into aggressive action.
In the run-up to the 2015 UK general election I expressed the view that it was all a question of trust. I posed a question which is, if anything, even more relevant and urgent now than it was then. It is a question which should be in the minds of everyone in Scotland as they stand with pencil poised over the ballot paper.
Who are we to trust to truly represent, defend and advance the interests of the people of Scotland in a British state which is increasingly hostile to Scotland’s political and social institutions; intolerant of our distinctive political culture; and contemptuous of our aspirations?Views: 4840
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