Getting educated

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.

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11 thoughts on “Getting educated

  1. Sandy

    Kezia wants her constitutional convention to take place in 2020. I wonder if she’ll go ahead regardless even if Scotland has voted for independence in 2018?

  2. Dan Huil

    I’ll be voting SNP in the local elections. I agree that all elections from now on will be focused on the constitutional issues, but I don’t think the results will effect the support for independence. Because of STV the results will, as always, be open to various interpretations. Regardless of the results britnats will declare themselves victorious, or the SNP defeated, even if they are not.

    I have confidence the people of Scotland will treat any britnat misinformation with the contempt it deserves, after all people of Scotland are very experienced by now on the deceitful vagaries of britnat claims.

    I will, however, be trying to instruct people on how best to use their STV vote[s] and persuade as many people as possible to vote SNP in the local elections

  3. Big Jock

    Londoners coming up to Scotland to tell us about democracy. On what planet do they think that this would be a good move.

    Can you imagine Sturgeon going down to London and calling them all racists. You only need to tune into the 6 o’clock news to realise how little they know about us. We certainly know about their failing health service,education system and ethnic wars in their cities. We get 20 minutes of English news every night. They only hear about us when Andy Murray wins a tennis match and they claim it.

    1. Anne Meikle

      you’re right, it’s only when you reverse the scenario you realise the absolute arrogance they can even think it a good idea to come north and spout such rubbish.

  4. Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh

    Peter A. Bell writes:

    “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.”
    I write:

    Broadening the reach of the ‘Getting Educated’ title of Peter’s post, and with an eye to the above quote, we can remind ourselves that the concept of “democratic sovereignty” is not a recent import to Scotland. Far from it. It has been a keynote of Scottish constitutional thought, articulated with profound intellectual rigour, from Scotland’s earliest statehood. We have it with pristine clarity in The Declaration of Arbroath (1320). Subsequently, we find it expansively annunciated by globally influential thinkers such as John Mair (1467-1550), George Buchanan (1506-1582), and Samuel Rutherford (1600-1661).

    And let us not forget the doughty Andrew Fletcher (1653-1716). In his book ‘Fletcher of Saltoun: Selected Political Writings and Speeches’ (Scottish Academic Press, 1979, p xxxiv), David Daiches writes:

    “The 1703 session was a notable session of the Scottish Parliament, in which Fletcher played a notable part. Lockhart of Carnwrath understandably regarded it as the most glorious of all sessions of the Scottish Parliament:

    ‘And thus I have thro’ this Session of Parliament, which did more for Redressing the Grievances, and Restoring the Liberties of this Nation, than all the Parliaments since the 1660 Year of God: And it cannot be thought strange, that Scotsmen’s Blood did boil to see the English […] have such influence over all our Affairs, that the Royal Assent should be granted or refused to the Laws the Parliament made, as they thought proper; and, in short, every Thing concerning Scots Affairs determined by them, with regard only to the Interest of England; to see Bribing and Bullying of Members, unseasonable Adjournments, and innumerable other Ungentlemanny Methods made use of, to seduce and debauch People from the Fidelity they owed to that which ought to be dearest to them, I mean the Interest, Welfare, and Liberty of their Country and Fellow-Subjects, by whom they were intrusted in that Office. These Considerations, I say, enraged and embolden’d a great Number of Members to such a Degree, that many strange and unprecedented Speeches were made, Enveighing against, and Exposing the Government, especially by that worthy and never to be enough praised Patriot Andrew Fletcher, of Saltoun.’

    And back to the Declaration of Arbroath. I have been wondering recently what energy-source its own electrifying clarion-call on behalf of democracy was plugged into. I have just come across the following audio lecture by Professor Alexander Broadie. Broadie is convinced that John Duns Scotus (2266-1308) was the prime influence, and stirringly calls him “the greatest philosopher Scotland has produced”:

    ‘The Past as Propaganda in The Declaration of Arbroath’
    by Professor Alexander Broadie FRSE
    (Talk given to The Royal Society of Edinburgh, 16 Nov 2010) (1 hour)

  5. Anne Meikle

    First conservative leaflets already out in Fife, one side for the councillor & local stuff, other pushing that voters should use this opportunity to oppose another referendum and vote for them. Ruth Davidson prominent. Nicola Sturgeon achieved her mandate last May and it was in the manifesto. Desperate stuff from the brexit tories.

  6. Jockanese Wind Talker

    The Tories (Blue, Red and Yellow) can ONLY campaign on a Constitutional line at the Local Elections in May as they have cut Billions of £s from the Scottish Budget with their votes and abstentions in Westminster which impact Scotlands Councils.

    They have refused to allow Scotlands Emergency Services a VAT rebate whilst doing so for Academy Schools.

    This is the message from The Westminster Parties “We will punish you for voting SNP” in the vain hope we vote for them.

    The BBC/MSM will continue relentlessly monstering the SG/SNP running of SNHS, Polis, Fire etc. etc. running from now until May.

    Make no mistake their plan is to try and get a ‘protest vote’ they can try to use as proof that there is “No mandate” for a Second Indy Ref.

  7. Andy McKirdy

    Every vote in Scotland since 2014 has been about YES or NO for independence, the Brit Nats get this while some on our side don’t.
    Agendas, whether, local, national or international mean diddley squat until we are independent, all supporters of Scottish Independence must get this concept and quickly!!!!
    We will see, in the local elections, the best examples of UKOK togetherness with red, yellow and blue Tories all supporting each other in their work against Scotlands interests, while as usual we will probably see the Greens, Scottish Socialists and independents, all of a YES persuasion, competing against each other and kidding themselves on that they have the moral high ground as it’s their democratic right to fight for their own agendas— NB the Yoons love you for this.
    Take a lesson from the Yoons, all personal agendas put aside until independence is settled, it’s no rocket science!!!!!!!
    There are no such things as local issues and personal agendas if we have Yoon control from London, NOTHING WILL EVER CHANGE!!!!!!!
    Divide and rule, always the Britannia way, Scotland- wake up and grow up, they have been taking the piss for centuries how thick are we?????

    1. Robin J Barclay

      I could not agree more with you Andy. I find it strange that alot of people just cannot see the bigger picture.
      I am a party member because they are the vehicle in which will take us to an independent Scotland.
      I knew that by voting remain in the EU Ref would definitely see our mandate pushed through because I just had a feeling the fools dahn sath would believe all the lies (luckily we had a heads up to that).
      I have no problem with the people of an Indy Scotland looking to have a another EU Ref after the fact. I have no issues with there being a right wing party after independence to balance the equation.
      I just know that we can do better than what has gone on for the past 310 years. I don’t need to read anymore on the subject.
      I only share what I see and read these blogs now so that I am fully equipped to shoot somebody down if they even bother with me with their hardcore yoonacy.

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