This stuff about the Scotland Office’s spending on propaganda is all very interesting. But we can get to the nub of the issue by asking a very simple question. The most fundamental of which is in respect of which best reflects and represents Scotland’s choices, priorities and aspirations. Is it the government that is actually elected by the people of Scotland and accountable to them? Or is it a department of the British government which has been consistently and decisively rejected by Scotland’s voters?
Even Unionists, were they capable of being honest, would acknowledge that the Scottish Government has the better claim. It’s a fairly straightforward matter of democratic legitimacy. There really isn’t much of a grey area here. Only the Scottish Parliament can credibly lay claim to democratic legitimacy in Scotland. For the Scotland Office to claim democratic legitimacy is ridiculous and rather offensive.
The point is that Unionists, without any exception that I am aware of, don’t care. They don’t care that the Scotland Office lacks any democratic legitimacy in Scotland. They still insist that it should have political authority on a par with and even superior to that of the Scottish Government. They are content to have the British state develop the Scotland Office as an unelected and democratically unaccountable shadow government.
British Nationalists are prepared to set aside considerations of democratic legitimacy in the name of ideological expediency. That makes them dangerous.
It is not totally accurate to say that the Scotland Office is spending public money for party political purposes. Not unless one considers all the British parties as a single British Nationalists entity. What they are undeniably doing is spending public money for ideological purposes. They are using Scottish taxpayers’ cash to fund British Nationalist propaganda.
It is a fine distinction. The real and significant contrast is between those who find this partisan politicking objectionable, and those who are prepared to shrug it off along with any pretence to democratic principles.
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