I find it exceedingly hard to believe that anyone in the Yes movement ever suggested that Carolyn Leckie was wasting her time “trying to persuade Labour members and activists to support independence”. Who among Yes activists is so stupid as to fail to realise that Labour members and activists are prominent among the people we must wean away from the Union? And some of our best prospects for conversion to the cause of normalising Scotland’s constitutional situation.
Perhaps Carolyn has misheard or misread or misunderstood those who point out the futility of hoping that the British Labour Party in Scotland will ever abandon its devotion to the British state, its ruling elites, and the structures of power, privilege and patronage which give succour to any who bend the knee to jealous Britannia.
Or perhaps Carolyn just got a bit carried away with her own rhetoric there. I mean, anybody who uses the term “UDI” obviously isn’t thinking too clearly about what they’re saying. In relation to Scotland, the concept of “UDI” is totally inappropriate and inapplicable. Not to mention the fact that the term itself is nonsensical – when is a declaration of independence NOT unilateral? – or the not totally inconsequential negative associations with white supremacists in colonial era Africa.
Using such an expression is, to say the least, ill-advised. Using it in such a way as to give the impression that “UDI” is an option being seriously considered by anyone in the Yes movement is just embarrassing. I am aware that there is a handful of ill-informed individuals who have latched on to the term, mainly because they imagine it makes them look politically sophisticated while saving them having to spell any words of more than two syllables. I am aware, too, that certain journalists nominally sympathetic to Scotland’s cause like to use the idea of ‘extremist factions’ within the Yes movement to spice up what would otherwise be insipid copy. But I’d like to think Carolyn Leckie doesn’t fall into either of these categories. I prefer to suppose she’s just been a bit sloppy.
Not that Carolyn Leckie has any interest in what I think. I know my place as part of that mass of ‘ordinary’ independence campaigners who are regarded with a mix of sneering disdain and smirking condescension by the self-proclaimed elites of the Yes movement. Just as I recognise that, as an ‘ordinary’ SNP member, my views and concerns and ideas are of no interest to the party managers and leadership. It is not uncommon that those most in need of a bit of street-level wisdom tend to be those least inclined to heed it.
What should I do? What should any ‘ordinary’ Yes activist do? Should we retreat into chastened silence just because the elected elite forget where their power and status stems from? Should we go eat our cereal just because those who claim to speak for us are so scornfully dismissive of what we say? I think not. This is too important for us to keep quiet. I may know my allotted place. I don’t have to accept it. Even if nobody is listening, I am compelled to speak. The less the elites want to hear what ‘ordinary’ independence campaigners have to say, the more, and the more loudly, it needs to be said.
Here’s a bit of that street-level wisdom for Carolyn Leckie and the rest to ignore. Boris Johnson is not listening! Boris Johnson doesn’t care! It is utterly pointless sending any kind of message to him because he won’t receive it; won’t understand it even if he does receive it; and won’t do anything other than instantly reject it even if he both received and understood it.
Boris Johnson is not the one you need to try and influence. That you imagine him to be is a symptom of a colonised mind. Boris Johnson can’t be influenced. Because Boris Johnson just doesn’t care. He can’t be made to change his attitude to Scotland no matter how many people march in however many Scottish towns and cities. Because Boris Johnson just doesn’t care.
Boris Johnson doesn’t care because he doesn’t have to care. The Union means he doesn’t have to care. The No vote in 2014 means he doesn’t have to care.
Boris Johnson isn’t even supposed to care. He’s the British Prime Minister. Beyond ensuring that the people of Scotland continue to be denied the full, effective and dangerous expression of their sovereignty, caring about Scotland is no part of Johnson’s remit.
Sending a message to Boris Johnson may well be the daftest waste of time and effort ever. Because he doesn’t care. It’s the sort of idea that could only be born in a mind that long since lost touch with the reality of Scotland’s predicament. A colonised mind that continues to regard Westminster as the locus of ‘real’ politics and the centre of legitimate political authority. A mind that frets endlessly about the legality of what Scotland does but never thinks to question the legality of what the British state does. A mind urgently in need of a jolt of street-level wisdom such as might just shake it free of its colonised state.
By all means organise mass demonstrations across Scotland. Not for the definitively futile purpose of sending a message to Boris Johnson, but to remind our political leaders that they are supposed to care. They do have to care. They are meant to listen to us and be influenced by us. They are supposed to speak and act for us.
Forget Boris Johnson! Forget Westminster! Forget the British state and all its ugly apparatus! Forget all of it! What possible hope might there be in seeking Scotland’s salvation in the source of the threat to our democracy?
Scotland will not be rescued from the onslaught of ‘One Nation’ British Nationalism other than by action taken by the Scottish Government in the Scottish Parliament with the authority of the Scottish people. If ‘ordinary’ people need to send a message to anyone it is to Nicola Sturgeon. A message demanding that she act now to get Scotland out of the Union by whatever means necessary and as a matter of the utmost urgency.
If you find these articles interesting please consider a small donation to help support this site and my other activities on behalf of Scotland’s independence movement.