The Niemöller effect

A small thing. Easily dismissed. Scottish Civil Servants being peremptorily and unilaterally excluded from meetings with the EU is the sort of thing that it’s easy to make little of. It’s can readily be portrayed as no more than the petty squabbling of jealous bureaucrats. But, of course, it is much more serious than that.

Apparently minor incidents such as this are part of a process by which Scotland’s democratic institutions are sidelined and undermined in preparation for being dismantled completely.

The people of Scotland need to understand that the right-wing coup currently taking place in England-as-Britain will not be considered complete until Scotland is completely absorbed into a new British state given over entirely to the malign forces which put Boris Johnson in power.

This is an accelerating process. We do not have the time that some imagine when, even if they recognise what is happening, they make the mistake of thinking the process is going at a steady pace. In fact, it is exponential – or something close. Each incident is portrayed as being isolated and inconsequential. But they are all connected. Each one facilitates others. Each one exploits the complacency that follows acceptance of earlier incidents. When the public is inured to the little things, those malign forces move on to bigger things.

We might call it the Niemöller effect, after German theologian and Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller who famously said,

First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist

Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist

Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist

Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew

Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me

They are coming for the Scottish Parliament. We cannot afford to be complacent.



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9 thoughts on “The Niemöller effect

  1. In a similar vein. Events yesterday in Govan, in so far as they are being reported at all, will be seen as more of the usual Weegie sectarianism rearing an ugly head. Not as elements of the British State stirring up chaos to justify police redeployments. When all the Scottish cops are patrolling the British border in Ireland, we will be given Essex bobbies and squaddies with new uniforms.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Aye. No doubt. But it seems to me obvious from even a cursory reading of history that the state’s departments of dirty tricks will always be up to something. I’ll away and get my tinfoil hat.

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  2. For 312 years, the Scots have munched placidly and bovinely on grass, occasionally stretching their necks to reach the sweeter variety just out of reach, but never quite getting their lips round it. A friend used to comment frequently, when he was exasperated by someone’s unquestioning placidity: “there are wiser craiturs oot there chawin’ grass”. He might not have been a Niemoller, but he was right, especially when we see the furore around the court case in the Court of Session. What do they hope to achieve, except to make the English Brexiteers loathe us? Brexit was voted for by a small majority overall, but by a fairly large majority in England and Wales. We are screaming blue murder because we do not want to be herded like cattle out of the EU, but we are behaving in the exact same way towards the English people. If they have changed their minds, then they must do their utmost to show that they have and that they do not want Brexit. All the evidence is that they would vote for it in even greater numbers, contrary to all expectations.

    We, in Scotland, did not vote for it, and the SNP has a mandate to demand a referendum in those circumstances, but Nicola Sturgeon has stated that she will seek a S30 Order, knowing, as she must, that we will not be given one. I believe she was caught wrong-footed by Johnson’s latest wheeze, engineeered, I have no doubt by that master of the dark arts, Dominic Cummings. At the same time, both must be very aware that precipitating an decision on Brexit is a very risky choice, but I also have a feeling that the anti Brexiteers will lose. Even ‘the buffoon’ who is anything but, must know that a deal with the EU is preferable to NO Deal with the EU, even if he has to tweak May’s Deal and offer it up once again to parliament. We have lost sight of the facts here: yes, the insane and psychopathic Tories brought in the EU referendum, but it was a referendum in which the people voted for Brexit, and by a largish majority in England and Wales; no, neither legally nor morally, do they have the right to force us out with them because we voted by a largish majority not to leave. That is where we should be fighting the battle, not on the British field of battle, but on the Scottish one; and not in the Scottish court, unless initially, for a ruling, but in the international court.

    Perhaps Nicola Sturgeon is hoping for a legal miracle before she feels she can embark on the action that will precipitate another indyref, or perhaps she is waiting for the tide to turn, as Angus Robertson is hinting in The National today? It has not turned as one would expect in the circumstances, and the cattle continue to chew bovinely. I do not believe we would win another referendum right now, although I would be willing to risk it if that was the majority verdict, and I do not believe we will be able to win, or even to hold it, in the foreseeable future, for the very reasons that you outline so precisely, Mr Bell. Holyrood is certainly in their sights, but not yet, I think. They will not want to fight on two fronts, so expect all kinds of prevarication until Brexit is settled, at least, while the groundwork continues unabated.

    My greatest fear was that Johnson would break out and show his true colours early on. The SNP has been outmanoeuvred again, as so often. We are kicked in the teeth and we smile blithely through the splintered ivories, time and time again, never quite grasping what our neighbour’s ruling elite is really up to, never quite grasping that they never, ever have our best interests at heart, but always their own, first, second and last. That was what the 2014 referendum result demographics told us had we been willing to listen, that is what the large Leave vote (much of it also the NO vote) told us, but we were too busy pandering to the worst elements of colonialism to read the runes. That Tory One Nation State beckons. The Tory part in Scotland splitting from the UK version? Nah. Just the prelude to the infiltration of Holyrood for the final act. We are fighting the wrong battle in the wrong court. We are fighting the English Brexiteers’ battle in our court. How ironic is that for an independence movement?

    PS Mr Bell, folks, sorry about the loquacious comment.

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    1. We are in their sights right now. The Scottish civil servants travel to Brussels to discuss devolved issues like agriculture or fishing. Brexit hasn’t happened yet so the devolved powers have not reverted back to Westminster. Yet Stephen Barclay has excluded them and said, “From now on we will only go to the meetings that really matter, reducing attendance by over half and saving hundreds of hours.” Is this not de facto reversion of the devolved powers to Westminster?

      As for infiltration, have you seen this article “to what extent has Integrity Initiative infiltrated UK political parties?” http://archive.is/FRxX3
      Have you seen any report on the Charity Commissioner’s enquiry into the bogus charity Institute for Statecraft based in a derelict mill in Fife? Me neither.

      So we have erosion of powers, deflection of attention to a court case and a “sectarian” riot just to remind us that it could get nasty.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I encountered the term “England-as-Britain” in an article somewhere. I wish I could remember where. I’d like to give credit to whoever coined it. For me, the term nicely implies the existence of two Englands – the England that has been usurped by British Nationalism; and the England that is just England. We tend to forget that ‘One Nation’ British Nationalism is as much a denial of England’s identity as Scotland’s.

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  3. Chris Patten, a tory, saying the UK is becoming a failed state: https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/britain-brexit-failed-state-by-chris-patten-2019-08

    A unionist, lining up with your outlook on things, even if not on the precise detail.

    If we fire the gun too soon, it will prompt what we fear. If we fire the gun too late, we might find the gun taken from us.

    There is a timing for what we need. A window of opportunity. We must not waste effort on arguing when that window is. We must do what we can to influence our fellow Scots to go for Indy and the more we convince, the wider the window.

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    1. I hope, with all my heart, that you are right, оптик. I hope that we will not be handing the same colonial elements the same carte blanche to block independence as we did last time. Between them, the colonials and the DUP lookalikes, we could find ourselves in Quebecois territory.

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