The line

…eventually even the meekest in Scotland will run out of cheeks to turn.

Wee Ginger Dug: There’s only one cure for British exceptionalism

How long have I been hearing assurances that the next straw will be the one that breaks the camel’s back of Scottish apathy and alienation? How often have my expressions of weary disgust at being defecated upon by the British state been met with exhortations to suffer yet more British contempt in the name of independence. Always just a bit more.

Whence this craven conviction that the road to independence must be paved with the mistakes, misdeeds and malign actions of others? Whither the proud principle that our fate should lie in our own hands?

British exceptionalism cannot be cured. Not least because the effort to cure it would only be required were the British exceptional. Exceptionalism isn’t susceptible to remedy or vulnerable to attack because it feeds on both triumph and victimhood. Exceptionalism is equally affirmed as either oppressor or oppressed. British exceptionalism shifts effortlessly from ‘Poor Old England Suffering The Slings And Arrows Of A Cruel World’ to ‘Brave Little England Triumphing Over Seemingly Unbeatable Odds’ to ‘Great Britain A Force For Good In A World That’s Just Not English Enough’ and back again. Exceptionalism means never having to say you’re ordinary.

How likely is it that British exceptionalism might be undermined by continuously submitting to the impositions of a British political elite so replete with self-regard as to be unable to conceive of regard for others?

Why would we want to cure British exceptionalism anyway? It’s their affliction. Let England-as-Britain tend to its own problems. We have our own problems that urgently demand our attention. Perhaps the greatest of these being a willingness to pander to British exceptionalism by meekly accepting the defamation, degradation, abasement, exploitation and humiliation served up by coldly contemptuous British ruling elite.

It’s not a cure for British exceptionalism that we require. Its a corrective for our own pusillanimous behaviour. Dutifully dancing in a rain of British effluent to the martial anthems of imperial Britannia does not betoken a nation capable of asserting its sovereignty, far less a nation preparing to do so. A policy of accommodating and appeasing British exceptionalism can never serve Scotland’s cause. If people are persuaded that being abused will bring rewards then they will tend to suffer abuse willingly and go on suffering abuse until a line is drawn. It is long past time to draw that line.

We cannot cure British exceptionalism. But we may at any time of our choosing decide that we will no longer be the inferior by which England-as-Britain measures its superiority.



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