The big ‘what if?’

When waiting becomes established as the political strategy of choice, all you do is wait. Waiting is what you plan for. If you are a political leader who has let it be known that waiting is your preferred strategy, your most loyal and trusted advisers will constantly assure you that it is best to wait. Eager to tell you what they believe you want to hear, they will have an endless supply of justifications for waiting at the ready.

One such justification that is being bandied around at the moment is the supposed need to wait and see whether Brexit actually happens. Brexit might yet be called off, goes the argument. And that would change everything, wouldn’t it?

Would it?

Nicola Sturgeon took a gamble when she associated action to resolve the constitutional issue so closely with Brexit. She was betting that people would be smart enough to realise that we are not seeking to restore Scotland’s rightful constitutional status because of Brexit, but because the Union gives the British political elite the power to impose Brexit on us regardless of our democratic wishes.

In the unlikely event that Brexit is stopped, will that be because the British state has suddenly decided to respect Scotland and its people? Of course not! So why should it make any difference whatever to the independence cause?

It doesn’t matter whether Brexit actually goes ahead or not. Because Brexit is not the problem. The problem is an archaic, anachronistic, asymmetric political union which functions as a constitutional device by which the people of Scotland are denied the full and effective exercise of the sovereignty which is theirs by absolute right.

If past experience is a true guide, those peddling this particular justification for further delay will protest that they understand this perfectly. But ‘other people’ don’t. Which, unless they are arrogantly claiming some extraordinary perspicacity, is profoundly insulting to those ‘other people’.

Nicola Sturgeon gambled on people understanding that Brexit is merely a particularly egregious illustration of how badly Scotland fares within the Union. She bet on them realising that Brexit is just the current context for a political struggle that was born with the Union. A struggle which has not changed in its fundamental motivations since the Union was imposed on us. A struggle in which Brexit is just a fleeting episode.

When I hear people wonder what if Brexit doesn’t happen, I fear Nicola Sturgeon may have lost that bet.

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11 thoughts on “The big ‘what if?’

  1. I agree, Mr Bell. What the SNP were relying on was that people, viscerally opposed to independence, would suddenly grow a tolerance gene when Brexit hit. That worked, possibly, with a few, but the vast majority would still vote NO. What appears to be missing is an appreciation of the fact that NO, Leave and Tory are linked inextricably in Scotland within the Scottish Unionist/rUK Nationalist sphere. A minority of the Leave vote was YES, but that is not the area of politics where independence is anathema.

    If you voted NO because you don’t want independence, and you are of the imperialist/colonialist mindset, which the vast majority are, that we are all scared to even acknowledge as if it would be a gross insult to those who care not a jot for what we do at any time unless it disturbs their own comfort, it is likely that it will not shift. Almost every country that is now independent has had to face the truth behind the NO vote of the status quo-ers. That is how they like it; that is how they wish it to go on; and that is how they will always feel about independence until they have no choice. It is in not accepting that fact that any chance of a successful second indy vote will be lost.

    I know it is hard to accept without also accepting that there are people out there, in our midst, who would happily see Scotland reduced to a region of England. They want Scotland in their own image: this is the truth behind every imperial state. Unless we start to do something about that by introducing measures to boost Scotland’s knowledge of itself, we are lost. It is noticeable now that all the state institutions, and particularly the media, have taken it upon themselves to dilute or ignore our Scottishness as if it is an abomination. It is not. It is called cultural fascism.

    We are a signatory to an international treaty that, albeit we were forced into the Union, is being undermined and breached almost on a daily basis by Westminster. That most of the English MPs who facilitate this either do not care a jot or they do not even realize what a bunch of imperialists they actually are, is very telling. Any Scot who is not a grovelling lickspittle must see how Scotland has been treated. To try, as many Unionists do, to justify this maltreatment is shameful and most certainly anti-Scottish, even when it is Scots who do it.

    I have supported the SNP and independence since my early teens, but, if there is nothing forthcoming towards independence by Christmas, or Spring, 2019, at the very latest, then that is the end of the road for me. The evidence that has come forward, after a lengthy investigation by ‘The National’, that Willie McRae, nationalist and human rights activist, constitutional lawyer (the state of Israel) did not, in all probability, commit suicide, but was assassinated by the British State, or people working for the British State or the British State’s interests, has been allowed to lie. This, in the teeth of daily insults at the hands of the Scottish lickspittles like Willie Rennie, demanding that the SNP drop its core policy.

    I know that Alex Neil has made an appeal to have the case re-opened, and I do realise that most, if not all, of those in the higher echelons of the SNP now will have been children at the time, but Willie McRae did so much for the party and Scotland, and even for a country that was not his own, that he should not be left any longer with that verdict of suicide. Brendan O’Carroll, actor, found out only recently that his grandfather had been assassinated by the British State, which had even blamed the IRA for it. The man responsible for it was an agent for the security services and died of natural causes in his bed. Brendan’s uncles were all IRA men and the agents of the British State wanted to know their whereabouts, but their father refused to give them up. This is the reality of the British State: that, and causing wars that take hundreds of thousands, of not millions, of lives. So, folks, the next time that some ignorant Unionist/rUK Nationalist invertebrate calls you a Nazi, or some other equally appalling insult, tell them about Willie McRae, and tell them we have had enough.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I have been actively promoting Independence for 5 years now. I always will. However, the SNP will lose my vote if they continue to drag the Independence issue in to next spring and beyond. If there is a general election before that and the SNP do not go on an Independence ticket, again, they will lose my vote.


    2. @Lorna Campbell

      Great post.

      I would only add that the biggest *and most risky* SNP gamble was not starting a massive campaign of information on the new risks a Brexit world would bring. As such YES never really put Unionist on the spot and is now trapped with a public who are looking at independence though the old 2014 lens.

      You can’t convince NO voters of the new catastrophic dangers if they are still thinking is
      “What will be the currency” or
      “Will England still trade with us?”

      Liked by 1 person

  2. For many, the only alternative to the SNP against the BritNazi Establishment and its colonialism, exceptionalism, xenophobia and misplaced sense of superiority is frustrating, impotent desperation.

    And this would be bad. Really bad, invariably leading to violence. We’re looking at France and the GiletJaunes protests happening right now: the entire world is a powder keg of frustration and disdain for the elites, primed and ready to explode, stoked by oligarchies that can make a profit (financial and political) out of instability and volatility.

    Sadly, history books say that the only language the BritNazi Establishment talks, practices and understands is that of violence.

    Testimony to that is Northern Ireland getting a special tailored status in the Brexshit Withdrawal Agreement, because not doing so would rekindle the fire.

    The cowards in power at Westminster are afraid of Northern Ireland, not of the Republic of Ireland or the EU, because nowadays they cannot bury their lurid subterfuges and duplicity with the help of compliant media.

    Citizen journalism would pop that can of worms open from day one, destroying the BritNazi credibility further and giving ammuntion to the many in EU, UK and Scotland that had enough of them to shoot them down for good.

    Although I abhor violence, and resorting to that would destroy the Scottish Civic Nationalism heart and soul, I’m afraid that my bleakest forecasts have come to fruition so far: it will be out of sheer luck or exceptional statesmanship if nothing happens.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Patience, Peter

    We are in the endgame. Theresa May can only kick the can down the road a couple of days before her downfall (yes, it all reminds me of Hitler in his bunker in those last few days, desperately hoping that something will transform the situation).

    There is no chance of her deal getting through parliament. That leaves only no deal or the newly recognised option of staying in the EU. Either option is going to produce political chaos in England. A general election will cause the Tory and Labour parties to fragment as Brexit would be the main issue and neither can offer a policy that can unite all their candidates.

    If we can’t win an indy referendum in those circumstances then we are a failed nation.


    1. The brightest of the Tories know this, Mr Albiston. They know that civil unrest is going to visit England if Brexit is revisited. The far right groups are awaiting their chance. The fools up here on the Scottish Unionist/English Nationalist side believe it will all blow over and they will still deny Scotland a voice over her future.


      1. “The far right groups are awaiting their chance”

        This has always been the thing that worried me about UK’s acceptance of football violence. It embeds an organised network of violence across the country. Its so easy to see these being co-opted.


    2. @Dave Albiston

      OMG – you have made a fundamental mistake in your reasoning.

      You are arguing about an escape route as if nothing changes to the Scottish political system. Once No-Deal is triggered and the brexit legislation comes into force…that world you know now is instantly over.

      What do you think Westminster is planning to do with
      – Henry VIII powers,
      – Emergency powers
      – The announced plans for military on the streets
      – A Minister for food supply.
      – A Scotland Office of several thousand

      Your argument relies on political institutions you have already been warned may not exist.

      2nd. May doesn’t need to get her deal through parliament. If she can run the clock out by keeping it out of parliament then No-Deal is the default. Westminster is full of arcane rules and procedures and she will dig deep for any tool.

      Just look at the last 2 years. Her entire brexit MO has been delay and distract with political dead cats – each more crazy than the last.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Tom

        Yes, a lot could happen. You missed out a full military coup. But we are not there yet, Although the disintegration of UKIP has started and Theresa May now faces a no confidence vote. A Tory leadership contest will bring their squabbles to a head. At the moment, we are stuck on the sidelines but the pace of events is accelerating.


      2. @Dave Albiston

        The threats I listed are only items that have actually been discussed by MPs themselves, announced by Westminster, or included in legislation. These threats are severe enough they don’t need exaggeration. However, if you see those items as actually threatening as a coup…then your argument really does fall.

        I’m sorry but I don’t see the SNP’s position as you do. Once the SNP had the mandate, Scotland being stuck on the sidelines is a position it has chosen. Yes, keeping your powder dry can be tactical. But it is only useful if you don’t wait until its all over and everyone has gone.


    3. What a coincidence! Only yesterday – probably around the same time you were posting this – the thought crossed my mind that, had Hitler in his Berlin bunker heard tell of Theresa May’s present troubles. he might well have paused for a moment to think, “There’s aye somebody worse aff than yersel!”.


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