The beast stirs

By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.

Macbeth Act 4, scene 1

Do you feel it? Do you not sense that something significant has just happened? Something has changed. Something ominous. It is not something new. More of a qualitative shift in an ongoing process. Just as a passenger in a car may feel even quite subtle acceleration or braking or changes of direction, so it is often possible to sense analogous alterations in the flow of events we call current affairs – until we call it history. A ferryman long accustomed to the tides and currents and eddies and shallows of the waters he navigates may become aware of a subtle anomaly amidst the roiling mass when all others see only the river as it always is. So, on occasion, we may discern a change that while seemingly minor, might well presage a major upheaval.

I sensed just such a change recently when Jackson Carlaw was so ignominious deposed as leader of the British Conservative & Unionist Party in Scotland (BCUPS). It is all to easy to view such goings-on among British politicians as the random twitchings and squirmings of pond-life viewed through a microscope. Encouraged by the media, the general public may focus on the relative trivialities of personalities and what they do and what they say to the exclusion of the connections to the bigger picture which make the petty portentous.

We have long known that the British state has plans for Scotland. Or perhaps we had better say intentions. The term ‘plan’ suggest a set of moves plotted in advance for the purpose of bringing about a specific outcome. Such plots and conspiracies exist almost entirely in fiction alone. In the real world the affairs of humankind are messy. Writers tell their stories from the perspective of one who starts from the outcome and works backwards in meandering fashion selecting only the things that relate most directly to that outcome until the chosen starting point is reached. Discard the other stuff, straighten the zigs and zags of that meandering path then when run forward you have the neat plot of a tale that can be told in less than a lifetime.. Reality does not have a plot. It does not proceed according to any plan. For all the great schemes that men or mice may pretend to, our story would unfold in chaotic fashion but for the imperatives and capacities of the players.

There is no plan. There are only more or less evident trends arising out of the chaos as certain imperatives coincide with concentrations of power.

It is evident that the concentration of power referred to as the British state has coincided with an imperative to quell the democratic dissent arisen in Scotland on account of the anti-democratic iniquities stemming from a grossly asymmetric political union. Details of neither end nor means need concern us greatly. All that matters is that the British state is being driven by an imperative to restore something closer to the power relationship between Scotland and England-as-Britain created by the Union than was permitted to develop by a devolution experiment which, from the perspective of the British establishment, has gone badly awry.

Whether this restoration of what the British regard as the natural order is achieved by, for example, closing down the Scottish Parliament completely or simply by transferring all significant powers to the UK Government in Scotland depends on opportunity. As do the methods by which either of these ends might be realised. It will always be possible to go to a granular view and find things that in isolation can be presented as piffling and not worthy of fuss. But undo the abstraction and reconnect the seemingly insignificant with the overarching imperative and the capacities which serve it to gain a better sense of what is happening.

The ousting of Jackson Carlaw together with the almost simultaneous elevation of Douglas Ross and Ruth Davidson as well as surrounding and subsequent antics is one of those things our hypothetical writer would surely regard as a major plot development. For a start, the whole thing is so obviously premeditated. It was arranged. And one can detect the patterns which speak of coordination among various components of the apparatus by which the British state gives effect to its power.

Note, for instance, the sudden frequency with which the ‘once-in-a-generation’ trope is being aired. Consider the likelihood that this is striking our consciousness anew because in every case it is the same variation on that trope stating as fact that the Scottish Government had given a formal undertaking that no further referendums would be sought until a generation had passed. In a recent radio interview, another of the British establishment’s discards, David Mundell, said,

We perhaps thought, as had been signed up for ahead of the referendum, it was going to be a once in a generation event and the result would be respected and we would move on but that’s not what happened.

David Mundell says no indyref2 even if pro-Yes parties win big

The emphasis has been added to highlight the relevant reference to ‘once-in-a-generation’ being part of the Edinburgh Agreement. Here’s Douglas Ross a couple of days earlier.

Nicola Sturgeon did sign that agreement with the UK and Scottish Governments that it would be once in a generation.

Douglas Ross ‘rewriting history’ with indyref2 claim

This is, of course, a lie. A quite deliberate and malicious falsehood told with the intention of deceiving the public. A very British thing done in a very British way.

The lie was not challenged by the British media. They rarely are. But outside that bubble of systemic dishonesty there was a great deal of comment about the lie being peddled by British politicians. As, indeed, there was about the removal of Jackson Carlaw to make way for someone more adept at telling such lies. But focus on these incidents diverts from the way they fit with the imperative to override and trample Scotland’s democracy. Regarded in that context it seems almost as if a signal has been given. Word has gone out to start ramping up attacks intended to undermine Scotland’s democratic institutions and, not at all incidentally, to prepare our essential public services for disposal.

Some may say that these attacks have been such that it is hardly possible to suppose they might be increased in either rate or intensity. You ain’t seen nothing yet! Here’s another lie from David Mundell.

Essentially the Yes campaign continued, and we didn’t continue at the same level of intensity or effectiveness at making the case for Scotland’s place in the United Kingdom.

David Mundell says no indyref2 even if pro-Yes parties win big

This is an example of a lie which turns truth on its head. A BIG lie! A rewriting of history which defies any effort to avoid the clichéd term ‘Orwellian’. The great thing about the BIG lie is that if you can make people believe it then you can make it a container for lots of smaller lies. Again there is something about this that suggests the British state’s propaganda machine moving up a gear or two.

The beast is stirring. It has sensed a vulnerability that can be exploited. Something wicked this way comes. It’s coming for Scotland. It’s coming for us. I have never been less persuaded that we are prepared to meet the coming onslaught.

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21 thoughts on “The beast stirs

  1. I agree. The British state has been preparing itself for this for many years. It may even have been one of the major reasons behind pushing Brexit so hard down the throats of the sheeple.

    So what next?

    If it is true that the British state intends to emasculate and undermine autonomous Scottish institutions or government and bring us all back under the control of Essex butchers wearing aprons, what can we actually do?

    Are there any “legal” or “democratic” or “legitimate” means available now to the independence movement?

    I am a fervent supporter of your own idea to persuade any Scottish government to initiate a referendum with a question of the form: “shall we dissolve the Union?” But I do not see this happening any time soon; neither this, nor the next Scottish government is going to depart from the safe section 30 route. Meanwhile the British state will take advantage of every opportunity.

    So, to borrow a phrase from an old Russian author, better known for writing very long stories: what then must we do?


    1. We can only keep pushing for the SNP to adopt a Manifesto for Independence. However unlikely it may be that this will actually happen, there quite literally is no alternative. We’ve run out of both options and time. It’s #ScottishUDI or absorption into the British state.

      Liked by 4 people

        1. Made rather difficult by the public health situation. Besides which civil disobedience requires even more of the focus, unity and discipline that the Yes movement lacks than other forms of campaigning.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Undoubtedly all true.

            Of course nobody in any respectable public forum is going to advocate anything other than so called legitimate political action. But circumstances are now emerging under which respectable pubic fora are going to be the last place actual strategies are discussed.


      1. Peter

        I wrote this on your post “Doubts-are-traitors” back in 2018 and it is still the case today as your post here shows.

        …The public is falling for a Westminster campaign of misdirection of massive proportions. While people are [venting outrage at] the Tories for lack of planning…Tory Cabinet has been building the foundations of a new and very dangerous legislative framework. Think of it like a “joining the dots” picture….at the moment we the public only see random dots…The full impact will only become obvious once they link them at the end.”…

        …”for all the urgency, [YES’s] current discussions don’t capture the real risk. There maybe many who subconsciously do, but their default language is not able to move the YES case forward….I.e. lots of earnest energy being spent, but people are exhausting themselves with little gain in momentum.”…

        Now the question for YES is:
        if you only have 6 months to gain indy…what do you need to do to make that happen?

        YES has to start thinking strategically for itself – it can no longer wait for the SNP to be the ejector-seat they were voted in to be. However, all I see is people chasing after every Westminster/SNP dead cat and re-running lost battles with a bit of brexit outrage sprinkled on top (a number key YES tied up fighting SNP legislation). Given what is steamrolling down upon Scotland, YES can no longer wait for the SNP.

        I have yet to see any major YES figure start thinking strategically about the new and real risk to Scottish sovereignty. No one has gone back to first principles and asked: How do you make it happen in 6months?

        – What is really essential?
        – How to you move YES in the same direction?
        – What message is able to do that in that time window?
        – How do you make a YES groundswell visible so the SNP acting is the SNP’s best option?

        Then think what organisation do YES need to make that happen in a pandemic.
        What language do YES need to move people – your words have to cut like a scalpel and leave no oxygen for Westminster gas lighting you know is coming from every nook and cranny of the Union apparatus.

        If YES keep twiddling their thumbs, YES are lost.


  2. We’ve been on the look out for this for some time now of course, and now the emerging pattern is organised, obvious and superficial.
    The timing and tactics are both cynical and intelligent.
    Lets pick a few fights on Brexit, Internal Market, direct UK Govt funding of projects in Scotland, and revive some hoary old lies about “once in a generation”, and the strength of the UK in the Covid crisis and grab power back from Brussels on 31st December at a time when mass protest marches are unfeasible. The Scottish Government will complain powerlessly and will be deemed to have acted against the interests of the British state and simply be abolished. Clive Ponting, famous whistleblower about the Belgrano lies, died very recently but predicted exactly this course of events just a few years ago, including the declaration of “emergency powers” following Brexit.
    By the time we get out on the streets it will be a fait accompli – devolution at an end, Holyrood closed down, then what ?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I noticed it.

    From the T.A. Colonol talking of ‘putting the boot in’, to the car crashing and burning of Carlaw, to the Orwellian reinvention of Ross and Mundell it’s become apparent that the dogs of Britannia are being unleashed.

    The Union as Soron has sent forth his Orc armies led by Ross & Davidson and commanded by Johnson as Saruman to protect their Precioussssnessss.

    We need our own Aragorn and to boldly defy then defeat this odious enemy.


    1. Unfortunately but by design our Aragorn is engaged in fighting ScotGov. Sturgeon is befuddled by duplicitous advisors working for Woke & Union & not Indy. Aragorn tried to raise the alarm & was assailed by Orcs & Harpies. He besieges the Citadel to bring the Nation to its senses again.

      Meanwhile ordinary folk are massing the legal forces to fight them in the Session Lists.

      Gollum squats in Mordor with a fat & atrocious Sauron pulling his strings for his precious.


  4. ‘The Union as Soron has sent forth his Orc armies led by Ross & Davidson and commanded by Johnson as Saruman to protect their Precioussssnessss.’

    Surely we fancy our chances against this rag-tag mob of failures?

    If we don’t then what right do we have to call ourselves a country?


    1. Hitler and the Nazis were considered a joke in 1928 in the Weimar Republic. By 1930 Hitler and the Nazis were the largest party in the Reichstag parliament. By 1933 Hitler and the Nazis had passed the ‘Enabling Act’ and were in absolute power.

      Hell followed thereafter.

      The Union has been around for 313 years. Underestimate it at your peril.


  5. Scotland: Beware the Death Star!

    It just looked like a small moon…until the empire turned it on and became the most dangerous weapon in the universe.


  6. I’m sure everyone who has been paying attention expected that regaining independence would eventually become a vicious and dirty battle.

    Everyone, it seems, except the SNP perhaps whose sentries seem to have been asleep at their posts whilst England prepares her forces and chooses the battleground.

    Of course, we mustn’t underestimate the enemy. However, neither must we concede defeat before a blow has been struck.

    England is a formidable enemy but has lost her empire and was defeated in a dirty war by little Ireland.

    Like the Vietcong against the mightiest war machine ever created; the people who have most to lose can overcome any odds.

    If the battle is about to commence, perhaps it will finally awaken the Scottish people and their government from their chronic torpor.

    Maybe England will be the one left to regret bringing the situation to a head.

    Time will tell.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Poetic stuff Peter and many excellent BTL comments. Sticking with the Tolkien imagery , the eye of Sauron is focussing on us and the orcs are getting busy. We’re still living the bucolic life in Hobbiton , heedless of the hammer being fashioned.


  8. Nicola is fuming at the irresponsibility
    Of Aberdeen footballers, Fuming!
    Quite rightly so,
    Yet! Since 2014 we’ve had an Engerlish virus threatening to take our nation.
    Where is the effing fuming about this.
    People make change not politicians.
    Onwards and upwards.
    Take the battle to them.
    How is it the Engerlish cess pit swimmers can nip in and out of our country, on a whim, without us having prior knowledge of their sneaky in and out, I’m sure if we had prior knowledge we can muster folk to meet them.
    Surround the Scottish office ( the last Engerlish outpost in Scotland) once a week camp out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t recall any expression of fury when her own Chief Medical Officer broke the rules she imposed on everyone else.

      Speaks volumes when you think about it.


  9. Are the people of Scotland strong enough to withstand the onslaught? I would say yes. Are the people within the Scottish Government strong enough to withstand the onslaught? I would say no, that is, until the rotten core within the bowels of the Scottish Government is flushed away.
    Over to you Nicola.

    Baroness Radge has got that mad glint in her eye and is fantasising about driving her tank along Princes Street. on her way to Holyrood


  10. We need an emancipation declaration for the people of Scotland trapped in impotence by a colonial master. Who is worthy of that expression. It certainly won’t be made by the Westminister political puppets. The question is who are the real puppet masters. ?


  11. IF – IF – the British state has been preparing for years, then we have to look at every event from the point of view of knowledge, guile and competency, rather than sheer ignorance and lack of interest. And it’s worth looking at any event from all sides, to see how it fits into any plan – or lack of one.

    From that point of view, there’s the visit of Sunak to Bute. Unlike BoJo Sunak is quite popular, grants, furlough, loans, whatever. The National, as could be expected, made a full 3 course meal out of that visit, and you have to ask not how we would see it, nor even how the dedicated Unionist would see it, but how it would be seen by what for want of anything better, I’ll call “normal” people.

    On the face of it the Chancellor bumped 3 cars in the queue for the ferry. And some have been saying that could make people wait for hours. Another has said why didn’t they queue and get a bag of chips? But the same goes for those bumped, and the station is always worth a leisurely look.

    The thing is this, the ferry isn’t bookable it’s always a turn-up and queue job, and at normal times pre-covid, people would get there and not get on a ferry becuase it’s full. OK, the ferry is on average every hour – there are two on the route. A simple check shows that yesterday there were STILL two ferries on the route. There’s another factor, even on bookable ferries space is left for an ambulance just in case, and that’s the equivalent of 2 or 3 cars. Regulars would know this. I;’ve often got on from the wait queue for many ferries – no ambulance. That’s a ferry by the way we use at least once a year, sometimes twice.

    So – was this a bit of a trap? To get “seps” steaming under the collar about the arrogant Westminster? Claiming that Sunak personally told people to get out of his way – rather than it being the protection police for a senior cabinet minister? And would perhaps most uncomitted people not think it’s only reasonable that a potential target be expedited out of the car park and onto the ferry?

    Or was it pure ignorance and arrogance?

    It’s something everything from now, everything should be looked at through the lens of a neutral observer as much as possible, so as to take advantage but not fall into traps.

    Liked by 1 person

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