Bold words

Bold words from Ian Blackford. We get a lot of bold words. What we don’t get is much in the way of effective action. The SNP’s Westminster leader assures us that he and his colleagues “will not sit idly by” while a British government led by Boris Johnson imposes a no-deal Brexit on Remain-voting Scotland. But what can they actually do?

It looks very much as if the SNP’s obsession with Brexit has blinded them to the fact that it stands as but one particularly egregious example of how the Union impacts Scotland. They seem to have forgotten that their purpose is, not merely to stop Brexit, but to stop Scotland’s democratic will being rendered null and void by a political union which acts to deny the people of Scotland the full and effective exercise of their sovereignty.

It appears that the SNP will do anything to stop Brexit except pursue, as a matter of urgency, the restoration of Scotland’s rightful constitutional status.

What is this talk of a no-confidence motion but yet another instance of the SNP dutifully abiding by the rules and procedures of the British political system? A system designed to protect and preserve the structures of power, privilege and patronage which constitute the British state. A system which, not at all incidentally, treats Scotland’s elected representatives with cold contempt. If there was any possibility of a no-confidence motion threatening established power, the SNP would be prevented from following that procedure.

And make no mistake, once Boris Johnson becomes Prime Minister, as is generally expected, he immediately embodies established power. No matter how much of an idiot he may be, or what kind of jeopardy he promises, he is the British Prime Minister. The status of that high office must be maintained whoever the incumbent may be. Because, as with the absolute monarchy from which it derives, all power flows from that office and depends on its status.

When the SNP is not targeting Brexit, they’re targeting the Tories. And when they’re not targeting the Tories, they’re targeting whoever happens to be the British Prime Minister. The one thing they never seem to target is the Union. Which is more than a little disappointing given that the Union is the issue. Whatever party is in power at Westminster; whoever happens to be Prime Minister, and whatever policy is being imposed of Scotland against the will of the people, it is the Union which empowers that party, enables that Prime Minister and facilitates the imposition of policies which are anathema to Scotland.

Put a different party in government! Nothing changes for Scotland! Install a different Prime Minister! Nothing changes for Scotland! Succeed in stopping a particular policy being imposed! Nothing changes for Scotland! Nothing changes for Scotland so long as the Union maintains its baleful influence over our land.

Nothing changes for Scotland until we #BreakTheUnion. The only way to break the Union is to #BreakTheRules. The SNP isn’t even trying to break the Union because the SNP isn’t prepared to break the rules of the British political system.

We have a problem. The problem is that the SNP is the problem. The further problem is that only the SNP can resolve this problem. And the problem with that is that to resolve the problem the SNP would have to do the very thing which is the cause of the problem because they refuse to do it.

Until the SNP is prepared to confront the British political elite with more than bold words from Ian Blackford, Scotland’s cause is stalled. Becalmed at the very moment when it should be driving forward with every ounce of energy the Yes movement can put behind it.

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8 thoughts on “Bold words

  1. YES, YES and YES again, Mr Bell. I am sitting on a carpet of hair, pulled out in frustration at yet more dilly-dallying. Brexit has been no more than a catalyst for the sidelining of Scotland. I am willing to believe that it is the main issue in England, but, up here, it is no more than the latest in a very long line of Anglocentric issues that have badly affected Scotland. We are spoiled for choice. The misuse of the oil in our waters was just as massive an imposition because it effectively robbed us of 30-40 years of being able to build up our economy and help our people, and, most importantly, to build up a fund for future generations. I understand completely that the huge English numbers mean that England comes first, but it can come first within its own independent context, not ours, or Wales’s or NI’s.

    That is where it all falls down: we are satellites, colonies, whatever you wish to call us, circling around the huge planet, England, unable to break free of its gravity. The Union is the gravity, that should be the target. It is the Union that allows England to keep us in thrall, and the worst of it is that the Union, bad as we believe it to be, is actually not at all the Union that we signed up to. Had that Union not been purloined by England, along with everything else, we might have had a real Union of parity and equality instead of the asymmetrical mess that we have because the English ruling elite’s ambitions ordained it that way, and our own sycophants, drooling and subservient, with pound signs shining in their otherwise dead eyes, handed us over like trafficked sex slaves to years of abuse and humiliation, while they recouped the dividends.

    That is the saddest thing of all. It did not have to be like this. We allowed it to be like this. We still allow it to be like this. We know, in our bones, that nothing will change because one partner refuses to change. You need two to tango effectively, and one refuses to do so, preferring to do things his/her own way to his/her own benefit and to the detriment of the other, and there are too many in Scotland who benefit from that arrangement.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. People vote snp as their eyes are now open & they want change now. They want the snp to get us out of this corrupt country. But the snp refuse to do that. That is the crux of the problem we have. Not every indy supporter sees it this way. A lot are happy to abide by the wait & never see approach. Now at some point more people are going to ask why aren’t the snp doing anything about independence. This will surely have to effect their election results at some point. No party can go on winning elections. People get fed up. They want change. If the snp don’t act & start pushing for indy much more aggressively & believe me they definitely won’t, then support for the snp will drop. Support for indy however won’t as once your eyes are open they’re open wide. And this is how the snp have completely betrayed Scotland with this wait & see approach. They are always waiting…
    Are they seriously going to be shocked when hollyrood is abolished? An idiot could see this coming. They shout down plan B vigorously but there is no plan A. I mean seriously you couldn’t make this up.
    I despair

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Peter, you will know the old joke about the guy asking for directions, who is told well if you want to get there I wouldn’t start from here. If the destination you wish to arrive at is Scotland being independent, might it be the place to start is encompassed in the word “dependent”?

    I invite you to make an – instant list, just straight out of your head – on that theme – upon whom, and upon what do you feel or recognise you are or you feel dependent?

    Frippery? Wasteful of your time? I (slightly) suspect you may deem it so, but for me those who may wish to dissolve a union it is the essential starting point. My own list as you know included currency, taxation, regulation, welfare, devolved and retained powers in opposition one to the other, and extended in a much longer list …. as far as the human being elected as the current First Minister with no more hours in the day than I have, and without criticism of any extreme nature, upon whom I appear to be dependent?

    I then chose items (from what was indeed a lengthy list) – items which I could influence, where I could suggest change, where it was possible to become independent, and no longer dependent, and by so doing testing their strength and/or weaknesses …. in an attempt at “dissolving” them, if you like, one by one. My personal journey on that theme, on that list has far yet to travel, but I have started..

    “Dissolve the Union” … I remain convinced it’s crucial to choose where one starts?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What you say seems relevant to an individual’s personal journey from No to Yes which, I am firmly persuaded, begins in every case with a readiness to question the Union – which may be taken as the sum of those “dependencies”. The starting point for that journey will, as you suggest, be different for each individual. Which is why we must have a powerful anti-Union campaign, offering as many starting points as possible in the form of doubts about one or more of the things on which they assumed they – or the country – was dependent.

      In political terms, however, this amount to overthinking the problem. Politically, we must start from the firm assumption that there are no dependencies. That independence is normal and the onus is on those who insist there are dependencies to prove their claim.

      There is, however, one ‘dependency’ that must be addressed by those charged with managing the process by which Scotland’s rightful constitutional status is restored. I refer to the ‘dependency’ on the framework of laws, regulations and procedures put in place by the British state. We have to address the notion that political action by the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament can only be legitimate to the extent that it is constrained by this framework. This is why we have so many people coming up with all manner of complex ‘plans’ for independence. They are trying to get to where hey want from a place which offers no access to their chosen destination. And they map out all sorts of circuitous courses in the hope of overcoming – or bypassing – this lack of access.

      The first step in the political process must take the process outside that framework of laws, regulations and procedures. It must, if you will, break the dependency on that framework. In this sense, the political process and the personal process are alike. Because I don’t believe it is necessary for the individual to work through a list of dependencies. In order to begin what will be an irreversible process, it is only necessary that a single dependency by weakened. In the case of individuals, we have no way of knowing which dependency is most vulnerable. Which is why we need a scatter-gun approach that aims to hit as many dependencies as possible. In terms of the political process, we know precisely what the target should be.

      When the individual starts to question the Union – or any aspect of it – the first domino falls. When our political representatives start to challenge the authority of the British state, that authority starts to evaporate.

      PS – It occurs to me, Mike, that I may have totally misunderstood your concept of dependencies. Alternatively, I may have developed my own concept.


  4. Peter, your last two paragraphs encapsulate perfectly my frustration with the SNP and their handling of the current situation. Nothing will change until the SNP do.


  5. Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP government, don’t give a monkeys arse about independence. They will be happy as pigs in shit if Scotland gets all the 100% powers minus nucs and foreign.
    To dismiss every form of steps to independence shows this in a naked light.

    It’s like SNP sleep walking into WM trap, they (SNP) don’t think WM will close down holyrood after Brexit. SNP and Nicola Sturgeon are so blinded by there power trip of 12 years they cannot see it being challenged.

    Oh I not a no or a converted no since the age of 18 I voted SNP but due to this narrow mindedness of the SNP I find I cannot vote for them as long as I live (I now 61).


  6. Is Nicola a FFA or Devo Maxer?

    In her heart she is independence through and through. However I think she would prefer FFA, at least in the short term.

    She sees the gradual approach as the answer. Softly, softly, don’t frighten the horses. This is an approach I have no truck with. Because it relies on a begging bowl approach. It also asks us to trust the British state!

    The approach will be made for FFA . Boris might just be daft enough to promise it. But he will never deliver it.

    Nicola has set herself a trap.


  7. Good post and although I had to edit it while reading, substituting “British” for English, “power” for office and “SNP” for Scottish Government where applicable, I completely agree. They are good at saying the right things and failing to carry through Possibly because they have become too comfortable playing by the English establishment rules and treating them as Scotland’s overlords. Scotland needs another answer than the one it currently has which is wait, wait then wait some more. Now is the time to.strike not when it is too late.


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