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.
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12 thoughts on “Sending a message”
Everyone is looking through the wrong end of the telescope, Peter, including you, dare I say it.
Everyone is focussed on who should be receiving the message, but the real issue here is the sender of the message. The message that the Scottish People want Independence is to be sent by the Scottish People. We hold sovereignty, Johnson or Jack shall not be allowed to muffle our thunder nor should Nicola send lightning bolts that the Scottish People have not put into her hands.
I think Nicola probably realises this and the attendant small problem. I’ll get on to what the small problem is in a moment, but let’s first deal with where the problem lies. It lies with the Scottish People, who are not culpably at fault in this. Trying to fix a problem which lies with the Scottish People by trying to fix Nicola – or even Johnson – is destined to be ineffective [as you correctly identify for Johnson] at best and counter-productive at worst.
Now, what is the problem? It is simply this: That the Sovereign Scottish People are on the cusp of deciding for independence, but many of our number are still doubting or fearful. But we have not decided yet.
It is up to you and me at street level to convince those around us of the need for independence. It is for us to do it out of ourselves and not out of a centrally provided goody bag of campaign leaflets. You and others are right to reject the colonised mind, but I fear that all you have done is rejected the colonisers and left the space they occupied in your mind vacant. And now you are disappointed that Carolyn Leckie is not filling that space and you are arguing that Nicola Sturgeon should fill it.
When we have succeeded in convincing people, the Sovereign Scottish People will speak. It is harder this way, but the result will be a better independence. I don’t want to see a half convinced populace shuffling in the mud of the Jordan and mumbling ‘Aye’ to independence as a way out of the mud. I want a confident people who want to be sovereign and who have no desire for mind colonisers.
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WTF does any of this have to do with me or anything I have written?
“…I don’t want to see a half convinced populace shuffling in the mud of the Jordan and mumbling ‘Aye’ to independence as a way out of the mud…”
Then you’ll die waiting. As will your children and grandchildren, and their children. Talk to people in the Baltic States, the former Yugoslav states, even those in the former Czechoslovakia, or best of all, ask the Americans, if all of their peoples wanted independence all at the same time. History itself can give you the answer, if you could be bothered doing the research. I do not wish to be unkind, оптик, but it is people like you, with your attitude, and the reactionaries against change, no matter how desperately required it is, who bring disaster down on others because they wait too long or try to halt the march until the breach in patience is made and all hell breaks loose. This is yet another reason for involving the international community and having them oversee the transition to independence both timeously and peacefully.
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Finish the quote, don’t distort. “I want a confident people who want to be sovereign”.
The rest of what you have written about me is mistaken and destructive.
I’s sorry to have to say… but a lot of Scottish voters are very culpable, in regards the 2014 vote, and of the 2017 General Election vote.
They allowed themselves to be fooled yet again by Labour spin, in the form of Gordon Brown, coming from nowhere,to “save the Union” when he has been all but silent for most of the period of debate.
The Daily Record helped them in this sham, and suddenly, Gordon Brown was given near Presidential status, but had no power, no authority to give anything…. and that too, was pointed out.
And yet,they didn’t heed the warnings.
Now we have a cabal of inferior politicians who think they are superior to everyone else, because half the most senior ones went to the same posh school beside a Royal castle palace in England.
Not only are they incompetent beyond measure, but they are the most extreme bunch the UK has seen in power ever, and a far as their Social Security agenda is concerned, the most extreme since perhaps before Victorian times, and even that is pushing it a bit.
The Labour Party in Scotland is most culpable of all.
They deserve the greatest blame, I’d say.
This is troll behaviour.
UDI is a term that is bandied around. We are a co-signatory to the Union, not a supplicant. As you say, unless the colonizer agrees in advance, all colonies’ independence is UDI. Who cares? The term has no meaning anyway in the context of Scotland because, we are a co-signatory to the Treaty of Union. What do people not understand about the word, ‘treaty’? Yes, I absolutely agree that we must carry the Scottish people with us, and if we can do that by means of a second indyref and win, count me in. If we really can’t win by that means, or an election (very unlikely) and be forced to wait, in hopes of achieving that magical 60%, we are going to miss the boat so we need to find a different route – and fast – to we take the risk anyway. Not as an alternative, but as a parallel action to maximize our chances of success should be have the Treaty adjudicated upon in the international courts, alongside a case for resiling it on the grounds that the co-signatory has been acting ultra vires and illegally for 312 years by usurping the Union and creating an asymmetrical UK for its own advantage. It is a disgraceful thing to have done, but hardly shocking when you think about the perfidy which has become an art form, but what is even more disgraceful, is that we have allowed it to happen without challenge. We really are a poor excuse for a nation.
You are also absolutely spot on when you say that neither is Boris Johnson listening and nor does he have to. So long as it’s a case of: “we will, I’m telling you, we will…”; “okay then, do that again, and you’ll know about it…” we are going nowhere. If we cannot persuade enough people that independence is, and always was, from a purely detached position, our only hope and option, then go for it anyway. Much as I agree that everyone in Scotland must be allowed to stay, much as I would fight for their right to stay and make Scotland their home, much as I would agree to their having a ratifying referendum after independence, I cannot lay aside all sense and allow them to dictate our future by shutting up and toeing the line either, while they allow us to become part of the Borg. When you are inside a collapsing building and everything around you is disintegrating, do you ask politely: “Now, tell me, what do you think we should do? One person, one vote. Queue up. Tories take the lead, then Labourites, then Lib Dems. You want us to stay and be crushed to death? Oh, can’t we persuade you otherwise? Really? Not even a teensie, weensie bit? Take your time. Oh dear, too late, I think we’re all dead…”
The SNP is the political wing of the independence movement; the SNP leadership were elected to safeguard us against the predations of Westminster; and the SNP leadership and MPs and MSPs were all elected not just on a ticket to enable independence, but also to take the really hard and unpopular decisions on our behalf. In other words, their priority first, last and always must be Scotland’s people and Scotland. How can Brexiting at Hallowe’en with rUK, which means to imprison us in a Tory (and British Nationalist) One Nation State thereafter, help Scotland or Scotland’s people? How many mandates do we need? If the deranged Stockholm Syndrome sufferers, selfish, self-centred British/English Nationalists and other assorted nay sayers amongst us don’t like it, tough, оптик.
Peter. To date we still don’t know what Nicola intends to do as a result of Boris and others saying no to a section 30.
We just want to know how she intends to proceed. I trust and hope that she isn’t going along with this Holyrood 2021 , next mandate stuff.
You are absolutely correct. Sending Boris a message is like kissing in the wind. We need to realise how futile this is. The strategy must be to proceed with naming a date for indi ref 2. If he wants to ignore the referendum result. Then so be it. The people of Scotland are the ones who will recognise it.
We do not need a section 30!! How many times does this need said.
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Pissing in the wind!!! Kissing might be more fun though.
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Those last 2 sentences were the most essential part of this post. I so wish the post was re-editied to create that as the frame (with CL as an example) because at this moment YES needs to start making SNP know where it is at and bring the SNP with it.
SNP appears to have forgotten the relationship and separation between the political arm of YES and the YES movement.
– Political SNP is given a degree of free reign – everyone knows it has to balance day-to-day governing.
– INDY SNP….if the SNP is the party of indy, then this is where the SNP needs to be tightly aligned with the movement….hence it either needs to always be building a shared rhetorical frame for its vision or it needs to be taking cue from the movement. ONE OR THE OTHER!
INDY SNP can not just keep its own council or be the sole arbiter or Indy is doomed.
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