To be fair to Paul Kavanagh, the headline on his column in The National is rather misleading. He doesn’t actually say “Scottish independence is about escaping the UK’s Brexit fantasies“. But it would be understandable if he did. Because this is precisely what the Scottish Government has done. Intentionally or otherwise, it has linked the independence cause so intimately and inextricably with Brexit that it is now common to hear people say a new referendum cannot happen if Brexit is called off. Or that no action can be taken to move the independence project forward until after Brexit has happened.
Rarely, now, is independence or a new referendum discussed without Brexit being mentioned. Nicola Sturgeon may occasionally make some passing remark saying it’s not all about Brexit, but a few throw-away lines cannot outweigh the months and years of talk that has been all but exclusively about Brexit.
Scottish independence is NOT about escaping the UK’s Brexit fantasies; as I am sure Paul Kavanagh realises. In fact, it is now apparent that the Scottish Government isn’t even trying to effect Scotland’s escape from Brexit fantasies. To the very limited extent that the First Minister has revealed her intentions, these would appear to be to let Scotland be dragged out of the EU against the will of Scotland’s people and then maybe do something at some unspecified time after that.
The Scottish Government’s remit is to save Scotland from Brexit. Not to prevent it happening altogether. I, for one, would never give them a mandate to disrespect England’s voters the way the British political elite disrespects Scotland’s voters. While the Scottish Government is busy failing to thwart the democratic will of England’s voters, the British government is being allowed to get away with denying the democratic will of Scotland’s people. Am I the only one who sees something wrong with this picture?
Scottish independence is NOT about escaping the UK’s Brexit fantasies. It is about escaping the Union which gives the British state the power to impose Brexit on us. Brexit is merely a current, and particularly egregious example of how the Union leaves Scotland at the mercy of a corrupt and incompetent British political elite and an English parliament that has NO democratic legitimacy in Scotland. What is the point of escaping Brexit while the Union remains? It will only be a matter of time before the British state once again treats Scotland’s voters with the same contempt shown when Scotland’s Remain vote was summarily dismissed and our elected representatives excluded from negotiations.
Brexit is but a symptom. The Union is the disease.
Right now, the Scottish Government isn’t even treating the symptom effectively while apparently having forgotten about the disease entirely. Lashing the independence cause to the millstone of Brexit was a very bad idea. Failing to attack the disease of the Union has been a fateful mistake. I don’t know if it is possible to recover from these errors of judgement. But I know the Scottish Government has to try.
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