Three crises

There is no law of nature or humanity which provides that there can only ever be one crisis facing a nation or the world at any given time. And yet this is what apologists for the SNP’s failure ask us to accept. They effectively insist that because there is a public health crisis, nothing else may concern us or occupy a moment of our attention lest we be condemned as cold and uncaring – heedless of the human cost, if not actually responsible for some part of it. It would be interesting to examine this curious mindset. It could be informative to reflect on the causes of this extreme tunnel-vision. In particular, it might be illuminating to consider the role of the mass media in creating a population whose attention can so readily be manipulated by or on behalf of powerful forces in society.

But that is not my purpose here. Perhaps another time. For now, I think it important to consider the reality which is being excluded by the contrived and quite unnatural obsession with a public health threat which, while undoubtedly serious, is now being exaggerated to rationalise the irrational exclusion of all political and social issues from public attention.

As is very often the case, Scotland is the exception. It is strange that the thing that is most insistently excluded from public attention, the thing that is most immediately and comprehensively set aside, so consistently tends to be something that is of particular relevance to Scotland. Part of this irrationally obsessive mindset involves the well recognised phenomenon of abstraction from any historical context. Events are regarded as one-off. Singular. Unique. Failures of the capitalist economic system, for example, are reliably portrayed as unprecedented when, in reality, they are frequent enough to be commonplace. Economic crises are presented as isolated instances when, in fact, our economic system is in a constant state of crisis. It simply suits some purpose of the powerful to have us concentrate all our attention on one small section of the timeline. Like blanking out all but a few selected frames in a movie or ripping out all but a small number of pages from a book and convincing everybody – or enough people – that this is the whole story.

Lest you think this phenomenon manifests only in the realm of global economics I’ll mention one further instance which always comes to mind when this abstraction is discussed – the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers in New York. One aspect of this magnificently horrific incident evident to those inclined to consider its wider implications was that it was not considered fitting to consider wider implications. The incident was lifted entirely and completely out of the great play of history and placed centre stage and alone with every light in the house thrown on it and everything around it cast into darkness. Any attempt to restore the incident to, for example, the context of US foreign policy was, shall we say, vigorously opposed. In fact, even to attempt such a thing risked being metaphorically burned at the stake for heresy. If the attempt was made in America the immolation might be less metaphorical.

As with bank collapses and terrorist atrocities, so with the current public health emergency. It’s the only thing there is. One crisis only allowed. Nothing else matters. To suggest that something else matters is to invite accusations of attempting to diminish or dismiss the seriousness of the ‘real issue’.

But the world is not so monochromatic. There’s every shade of grey and every other hue besides. This is not a controversial observation. All but the most devoted coronavirus obsessives might agree were the question put to them directly. There is no law of nature or humanity which provides that there can only ever be one crisis facing a nation or the world at any given time. The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious public health issue. But it is not and cannot be the only issue. Life goes on quite literally regardless of the things that inevitably loom large in our personal sphere – such as bereavement – and the things that are made to loom large by those who stand to benefit from having them loom large enough to push everything else out of our sight.

In Scotland, what always and immediately gets unceremoniously pushed below the bottom of our list of priorities is the constitutional question. Is that not something worth pondering? The constitutional issue is one day the single overarching matter in Scotland’s politics, and next day nowhere to be found. How does that happen? Why this issue? To stay firmly within living memory, the tipping of the global capitalist system from constant to particular crisis in 2007/2008 instantly prompted shrill demands that Scotland’s constitutional issue be completely removed from the agenda. Note that it had to be purposefully, forcefully removed. Other issues could be relied upon to find their place in the calls upon the public’s attention and concern. Actual effort was demanded to ensure that the constitutional issue was consigned to the sub-basement of priorities. Have you never wondered why?

Likewise with the Brexit fiasco. Ever since the Leave vote in England and Wales meant that Brexit would be imposed on an unwilling Scotland, the shrill voices of those who presume to decided such things on our behalf have asserted as fact that it is not possible to both deal with Brexit and be in any measure preoccupied with Scotland’s constitutional issue. Only and always and most insistently Scotland’s constitutional issue. Have you never wondered why?

Now it’s COVID-19. Almost the moment the existence of the virus became known it was seized upon as yet another justification for taking the constitutional issue ‘off the table’ completely. Do you not wonder why? Are you not yet beginning to see a pattern emerging?

And it is particularly the constitutional issue that is the matter we are supposed to put entirely from our minds. Nobody suggests that the coronavirus crisis obviates the climate crisis. Nobody has suggested that the conflict in Syria has ceased to be of any importance because only the coronavirus crisis can be important. The public health crisis certainly hasn’t put a stop to the British political elite’s constitutional machinations. If anything, the malignant child-clown in Downing Street is accelerating its plans and intensifying its efforts to forcibly mould these islands into a new state made in the image of the imagined ‘Great Britain’ of a grotesquely mythologised past. Only in Scotland are we expected – required – to abandon our aspirations for something better than Boris Johnson’s tawdry blend of Little England and Greater England where every day is a crossover between Dad’s Army and Terry & June. Don’t you ever ask yourself why?

There is no law of nature or humanity which provides that there can only ever be one crisis facing a nation or the world at any given time. At this moment, there is a public health crisis. But there is also a constitutional crisis. The public health crisis needs to be addressed and can be handled without any difficulties which aren’t the product of human folly. But what of the 99% who survive? What of their future and the future of the generations to follow? When the COVID-19 pandemic ceases to hog the attention of the mass media and hence the general public, Scotland’s constitutional crisis will still be there. It will still need to be resolved. It will inevitably be even more urgent given that British Nationalists are not being in the slightest bit hindered in their campaign by the coronavirus pandemic. Does that not lead you to wonder whether it is a good idea to drop the independence campaign completely? Has it suddenly ceased to be important that we set up some resistance to the escalating onslaught on our democratic institutions, our distinctive political culture, our essential public services, our civil and human rights as citizens of Scotland and our very identity as a nation?

Which brings me to the third crisis I want to bring out of the deep, ominous shadow cast by COVID-19 (and whatever is to be the next mono-crisis) and into the light of public attention. There is a constitutional crisis in Scotland. But our means and effort to address this are also in crisis. The Yes movement is in crisis. The independence campaign is in crisis. And it has bugger all to do with coronavirus. Responsibility for this crisis lies squarely on the shrugging shoulders of the SNP. With their apologists perhaps due some small share of blame. It’s bad enough when the British political elite tries to demote our constitutional crisis to insignificance and with it our aspirations for a better nation and a better society. It is an entirely different and vastly more serious matter when our own government and the party on which the independence movement has hitherto relied collude with the British state in this demotion. That, I submit, is a whole new crisis. And one from which we should not be distracted if we are to have any hope of saving Scotland from the fate that is being decided for us by forces unaccountable to the people of our endangered nation.



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35 thoughts on “Three crises

  1. There will be no breaking of our union with the English state until the SNP is broken and its current crypto-Unionist leader and her cabal of wee pretendy nationalists are removed from power. That is the stark truth of it.

    If there are no drastic changes we will absolutely have a pro-Union party in power in Holyrood after the May 2021 election. That can be said with certainty because currently there is no authentic party whose raison d’être is independence that electors can vote for. There will be four prominent pro-union parties on the ballot next year: Con, Lab, Lib, and SNP.

    In term of concrete outcomes with respect to delivering independence, there is no difference between them. None of the four will do so. None of the four will have any effect on the pace of defenestration of our Parliament and other instruments of our state, or the consequent rate of subsumption of Scotland within within the English state.

    Materially, in terms of these metrics, There will be no substantive difference no matter which party is in government.

    That is the reality that now faces the SNP membership and all of us in the independence movement.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am coming round to your way of thinking. I am no longer a member of the party. Me! The person who has spent the last four or five years trying to persuade people to stick with the SNP. If they can drive me away then they’re in line to lose a lot of members.

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      1. That’s very sad, you feel forced to quite SNP.
        I was a member at one time, attending the meetings ,etc but work commitments forced me to give up that side of it .
        However, certain policies in recent years, made me decide against going back.
        One of my secret concerns tho, in 2014, when Nicola Sturgeon was swept in to position on a wave of euphoria, was she might end up letting them all down, as I knew she was ultra cautious.
        Even still, I didn’t expect this degree of abandonment, and ultimately, betrayal,for that is what it is..
        Something makes me wonder about that.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Only a blinkered nationalist would sandwich a pandemic between his favourite topics !! And then look for donations for the snp. Perhaps it’s for toilet rolls and pasta really ! The union is not English, England is a part of the union of Great Britain. If you were a rational sensible collective you would know Scotland can not afford Independence .

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      1. Sorry……. but Scotland can very easily afford Independence. What it cannot afford, is to remain in the Union.
        That absolutely has to end.
        And I don’t see to many here, at any rate, asking for donations to SNP!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Only a blind British Nationalist would equate donations to a blog for independence with the SNP!

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  2. I understand that the SNP or NS has decided to put the GRA debacle on hold until after the 2021 election , questions ?? 1 is that because she has read the runes and is FEART that it will stop her and her coterie gaining gov election , 2 is it that she is once again CONNING the voters and once elected for a further 5 years she will then introduce it into law and we will not be able to stop it 3 , re your post is it her belief that covid 19 must be dealt with solely as a priority and all other considerations have to be sidelined

    Referring to 3 , I note that there was great HASTE in sending a letter to sleazeball Gove which was totally and needlessly unwarranted , and reassured bozo and his carpetbaggers that the sweaties had been put back in their box .

    To me this is highly indicative of NS priorities , cancel the independence drive first and foremost and as a matter of urgency , and then days later realise that people might notice that the lunatic GRA is still high on the agenda so we had better shelve that for the moment too

    The bigger question is how do you get the dyed in the wool Nicola lovers and fawners to open their eyes and see the treachery for independence taking place

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Peter you are absolutely bang on the money.

    Every crisis is bigger than the nation of Scotland, apparently! In the present circumstances Nicola has used Covid 19 as a convenient get out of jail card. The referendum was dead the moment she went down the section 30 route.

    RTE also reported that Nicola had to wait for London’s permission to shut Scottish schools. So much for devolution.

    The Coronavirus crisis has put Scotland back in its box. London is now back in charge of us. Nicola is too timid to lead Scotland’s management of the crisis. Even when Westminsters strategy was disastrous she did what she was telt.

    I just don’t know how we are ever going to get our country back . Tories are now running our country again.

    How did we fuck this up so badly.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. We didn’t fuck up. We were betrayed as has happened in the past. The incompetence of the UK government in this crisis is another reason why independence is essential for the Scottish nation. As no date had been set for the IndyRef2, there was no campaign as such so why the rhetoric of putting a campaign on hold? Is it code for abandoning the goal of independence?

      Liked by 4 people

  4. Overcoming Coronavirus will be spun by our colonial masters and their MSM lackeys as the revival of the Dunkirk spirit and a solid gold case for Better Together.
    Scotland’s leaders have discarded our sovereign rights as an embarrassing anachronism . The dream
    of independence is back in its box along with a whimper.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree that the FM and her clique do not believe in the sovereignty of the people. However, there are SNP MPs and MSPs who still do. Look at Joanna Cherry’s actions.

      To quote from Declaration of Arbroath, “We are bound to him [Robert the Bruce] for the maintaining of our freedom both by his right and his merits, as to him by whom salvation has wrought unto our people, and by him, come what may, we mean to stand. Yet if he should give up what he has begun, seeking to make us or our kingdom subject to the king of England or to the English, we would strive at once to drive him out as our enemy and a subverter of his own right and ours, and we would make some other man who was able to defend us our king;”

      So the fight is not over.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. All you hear is Blitz spirit and keep calm and carry on. It’s the English nostalgia for something that was horrific. They have nothing left.

    Sadly Scotland is being dragged along with this fake Britania shite. Nicola is a willing lackey. Trying her best to be the diplomat the English wish they had.

    The cost is Scotland and it’s sovereignty.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Well, sad it is that #indyref2020 is a non-thing.

    The thing is this, if Stugeon makes a good fist of CV19, AND shows the ScotGov and UK Gov can actually talk to each other without **redacted**, it will attract a whole load of new people to Indy, and as an unimportant thing, the SNP. These are the people Indy doesn’t reach normally. Kind of like a certain beer.

    So the SNP could lose hard-working loyal and dedicatd members, and gain voters for them – and us who care about Indy and people like me who couldn’t give a used fig syrup about the SNP other than Indy, except as one party to consider voting for.

    I think Sturgeon is handling the CV19 thing well – and the unanimous support in Holyrood is also in our favour medium-term, as long as the SNP continue to make the acceptance of that support non-political. and non-Indy.

    Nothing to stop the rest of us misbehaving a little at times …

    Liked by 1 person

  7. They are so many SNP members who are on the cusp of resigning their membership. I find it very painful for me to even contemplate giving up the membership of the SNP. As a student I remember Margo McDonald totally wiping the floor with the arguments proffered by the so called working mans party. Our ancestors fought off the might of the Roman Empire and succeeded in containing them just north of the river clyde but now that we appear to have an enemy within we should never walk away from the challenge. Let the usurpers try to eject those of us who are not prepared to give up the fight for we must eradicate the scourge within.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think there’s a danger of hanging too long onto the pendulum before jumping off and therefore swinging too far in the opposite direction.

    Yes, I agree the current SNP position is problematic, the SG and NS are too timid. A neighbour (and friend) said some months ago, long before Covid-19 was on everybody’s lips (metaphorically) that NS wasn’t doing the “day job”; she was obsessing about independence. There’s a substantial proportion of the population who agree. I can imagine the apoplexy if she was seen to continue to “obsess” about independence while the economy crashes, people lose livelihoods, fall ill, die.

    I don’t buy this crypto-conspiracy theory that NS and her “cabal” are British Nationalist sleepers, or that they don’t really want independence, they just want cosy sinecures until they are ready to draw comfortable pensions, or that NS is some kind of Lord Haw Haw or Quisling in secret collaboration with Tories.

    There’s another dimension too. Gender. Most of the commentators on here seem to be male. Alex Salmond was a combative “alpha” male who took few prisoners. Nicola Sturgeon is female. The female mind, psychology, approach to problems, to potential conflict situations, to person-management, and a great deal more, is very different to the way males work. My wife was head teacher of a large secondary school and she frequently reminds me of this. And she re-reminded me after listening to NS’s address to the Nation tonight, which she found very impressive and much different to how a man would have done it.

    I too am deeply frustrated, and wonder if we will ever see independence. Shouting in an echo chamber doesn’t create intelligent dialogue. Perhaps a little less “me, me, me” from critics would be helpful and a little more introspection would be illuminating. And maybe we would get a little less nonsense and a bit more reasoned analysis.

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  9. “The bigger question is how do you get the dyed in the wool Nicola lovers and fawners to open their eyes and see the treachery for independence taking place”

    Good question Robert. I think the unseemly haste with which she has used the virus as an excuse to kick the referendum into the long-grass will be a major eye-opener for many. Has there ever been a more breathtaking example of opportunism masquerading as public duty?

    SNP grass roots are amongst the most loyal you will find, ever mindful that division amongst ourselves has been Scotland’s greatest weakness down the centuries,.but NS is testing their loyalty to destruction.

    If there is no challenge from within to her, she will do to the SNP what Blair did to Labour.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The SNP can ill afford an internal night of long knives as it would only end in the impotence of the nationalist movement……so far it has survived many challenges but the GRA issue rocked the boat to the point of tipping it over. The sheer naivety of promoting or accommodating that debate/issue at a very crucial junction in the history of the party must raise serious questions regarding the intellectual ability or indeed the motive in allowing that issue to be afforded a disproportionate amount of public oxygen. Was this down to a sheer chance of fate ? or was it just a coincidence that it was fired up to try to achieve a legislative outcome just before a certain former leader was being subject to intense public scrutiny. Ask yourself : who benefits ? was it a coincidence and will there be anyone left to pick up the wreckage.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. A night or perhaps fortnight of the long knives is required to exorcise the cabal which currently controls policy within the SNP and which employs impotence as a key driver from which to suffocate all progressive campaigning in the quest for Independence.

        Joanna Cherry is cited as a progressive force for change however, her status within the SNP is being undermined by a corrosive group of entryists embedded within the inner sanctum who have been actively campaigning to have her removed from party lists along with others who do not conform with policy as they, the woke brigade would have it be.

        Any opportunity to change direction is not coming anytime soon under the auspices of the party conference, as structured debate has become so restricted as to be rendered no more than a hand clapping demonstration which endorses the whims of the platform incumbents. Unfortunately I have to say to Jim that the process he fears has already taken place and that a cancerous cell around the First Minister’s office has sought to incriminate possibly one of the strongest proponents of Scottish Independence in recent times.

        In my opinion Nicola Sturgeon is the alpha female and she has set out her stall accordingly!

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  10. I am not surprised at your disillusionment.

    I was profoundly disappointed to see Nicola wash her hands of the anti-Semite disaster, unable to get it right and implemented, cause so much alarm and unhappiness to women with the muddled GRA Bill, and see Salmond humiliated in court, more examples of not anticipating what will ensue from badly thought through policies. The rift with Joanna Cherry, the odd going and coming of Angus Robertson, the disassociation from the |Yes groups, left a bad taste in the mouth.

    In the matter of another referendum, you can only give an elected representative so long to make a difference.Be bold is supplanted by the ‘Gold Standard’, a slogan meaning, play safe. I have never felt she had the heft or guile to resist interference from London but you give a politician the benefit of the doubt so long as there remains majority backing.

    With the coronavirus she is closer to London power and orthodoxy now than ever. I await the pawns of the British state telling us Scotland would never survive a pandemic lock down – look how well England manages, ad nauseam.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. “With the coronavirus she is closer to London power and orthodoxy now than ever. I await the pawns of the British state telling us Scotland would never survive a pandemic lock down – look how well England manages, ad nauseam.”

    Totally agree with that.

    Of course, England is definitely NOT managing, witness the panic buying in the shops leaving empty shelves which must be down to the confused and befuddled BoJo, who is like a myxomatosis-infected rabbit stumbling around in the middle of the road before suddenly getting caught in the headlights of an on-coming articulated lorry. He has no credibility as he gives out contradictory message and waffle from once press conference to another. Apart from an of that that he is a known casual and habitual liar.

    But, as yous say, once the emergency is all over it won’t stop the Cringers in the British press and political sphere in Scotland claiming that we needed the broad shoulders of, and pooling/sharing with, the rest of the UK to survive the health crisis.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. It seems to me that this is the time to strike with and on-line and on air independence campaign. While the English Government of the UK is in chaos and heading into totalitarianism a social distance campaign is just the thing to do.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. NS’s ‘performance’ during this crisis may have been impressive. But that’s all it is – a performance.

    Her address last night was self-indulgent pish. She added nothing (actually confused the message from Johnston slightly) but could not resist the pull of the cameras, positioning herself as the mother of the nation and to take credit for her part in this.

    Well, I have news for her. Her part has been to wait for political cover from London while her nation looks into the abyss. Yesterday afternoon she told us how important it was for young people not to socialise in pubs in case they transmit to more vulnerable people as a result. Yes, really. The same woman who felt it was appropriate to have schools fully open only hours before was telling us this with a straight face.

    Spineless, fraudulent, opportunist. If Scotland suffers on anything like the scale London is already suffering, she is to blame. I am utterly disgusted by her.

    To anyone who disagrees, DO NOT compare her actions to those in London. Compare with those in New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore.

    Not only has she exposed her people to unnecessary risk, she has squandered perhaps the best chance in our lifetime to show how a Scottish Government acting decisively and autonomously is in our best interests.

    But to do so would have required her to risk her reputation as a safe pair of hands. Her reputation is built on comparison with mediocrity and worse. Waken up people, this is a visionless technocrat whose career is the be all and end all of her existence.

    As someone once said, ‘This has gone far enough’.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I wouldn’t agree with all of that view. But there are some points I do accept.
      The First Minister is simply doing what any half decent person in that position would be doing.
      As for schools, etc, The First Minister did say they were looking at the possibility of all the schools having to close, and they were trying to sort that out in a sensible and orderly fashion.
      One big problem we do have, in not being Independent, is the Social Security system is run almost entirely from London, and there were, and are issues of concern, around many aspects of closing schools, on that side of things.
      That said, anyone with a bit of sense, would look upon such concerns, and see the Union as a major hindrance, but alas, instead of pointing out those restrictions the Union creates at a time like this, and thus the absolute need for us to be out of this Union, (and forget about the Referendum idea altogether and just go for it) the First Minister goes off to tell us forget about Independence!
      It is certainly the case, tho, Nicola Sturgeon does come over as more a competent manger type, rather than a person with a real bold vision.
      But Scotland needs a lot more than a good over all manager. We need someone who will take us to Independence. It seems to be generally agreed, as it stands, it doesn’t look like it will be Nicola Sturgeon. Not at this time, anyway.
      I don’t see her changing her mind for now, if ever.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. It’s a long time since I have read something so Inhumane, when was the last time you have watched someone fighting for breath?

    Folk drowning in there own fluid

    Folk coming into hospital feeling no to bad and never leaving.

    Folk who are unable to be intubated and die

    And today I saw a mum with a kid in a pram and another walking beside her looking for food in Lidls there was little, do you think independence was a concern of hers ?

    Don’t understand why stuff like this is promoted on line

    Like

    1. Is comment now to be policed? Please tell us what we need to speak about that will meet with your approval.

      Like

  15. As i said inhumane comments

    Medical Worker Describes Terrifying Lung Failure From COVID-19 — Even in His Young Patients
    “It first struck me how different it was when I saw my first coronavirus patient go bad. I was like, Holy shit, this is not the flu. Watching this relatively young guy, gasping for air, pink frothy secretions coming out of his tube.”

    https://www.propublica.org/article/a-medical-worker-describes–terrifying-lung-failure-from-covid19-even-in-his-young-patients

    Like

  16. Well said Peter, someone has to say it. Can’t the Scotgov multitask? Covid19 seems to have been NS get out clause. And don’t get me started on the nonsense that is GRA reform. I’ve had my eyes opened to the anti-democratic machinations of a cabal inside the SNP.

    Liked by 1 person

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