An existential battle

If you really want to understand why the Union is so ‘precious’ to the ruling elites of the British state then you’ll have to look much deeper than money. It is about their concept of ‘Great Britain’. With the emphasis on the ‘Great’. It is about the geopolitical importance of Scotland that the British propaganda machine works so hard to downplay. It is about status and influence at least as much as it is about resources and economic power.

Without the Union, the pretence of the British state as a major player on the world stage becomes unsustainable. Without the Union, the reality of ‘Great Britain’ as nothing more than the structures of power, privilege and patronage which serve the few at the expense of the many becomes undeniably evident.

It is also important to understand that it is not just the Union that matters to British Nationalists, it is the nature of the Union. Not just any political union will suffice for the purposes of British Nationalist conceit. A modern form of political union such as the EU is, as we have seen, anathema to British Nationalists. It must be a massively asymmetrical political union. The British don’t want partners. They want possessions. They don’t want mutuality. They want dominance. They don’t want equality. They want affirmation of the superiority they believe to be innate.

This is why devolution could never work. Because it was never embarked upon as an attempt to modernise the political union between Scotland and England-as-Britain. It was always intended as a means of preserving the anachronistic Union and the grotesque disparity of power that it entrenches.

If it was only – or even mainly – about Scotland’s wealth then the British would not be fighting so desperately to preserve their ‘precious’ Union. If it was just a matter of access to Scotland’s resources then a modern and more equitable form of association would suffice. If it was all about money then the British would surely be content with the kind of political union that might be freely negotiated between neighbouring independent nations on the basis of equal status and in an atmosphere of mutual respect.

In British Nationalist ideology the fight to preserve the Union is existential. We must understand that the fight to restore Scotland’s independence is also and equally existential. Because in the name of preserving their ‘precious’ Union the British ruling elites will happily destroy everything that we think of as Scotland.

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27 thoughts on “An existential battle

  1. Correct , to the point and spot on . Britishness is primarily about identity , witness Neil Oliver’s hysterics about independence threatening his British identity . Of course that identity has economic undertones , implications of a free booting, domineering John Bullism where market position is leveraged with gunboat diplomacy .

    Liked by 2 people

  2. For the British Nationalists keeping Scotland in the ‘precious’ Union is, to my mind, about resources, status and psychology:

    1. Resources

    a) Water
    b) Oil/Gas
    c) Wind/Tidal/Wave
    d) Whisky

    2. Status

    a) Permanent membership of UN Security Council – nuclear weapons stationed in Scotland’s ports
    b) Influential membership of NATO – proximity to North Atlantic seafaring routes

    3. Psychology

    The expanded landmass plays into the mentality of a Greater England of the deluded Brexit supporting populace south of the Gretna-Berwick line. A harking back to the empire, once far-off now merely near. But an empire of these islands nonetheless.

    It needs to be made plain to Scottish folk that British Nationalists who acclaim their ‘precious’ Union are not expressing an emotional attachment to the people of this country. It is, rather, the territory and all that entails in terms of material wealth, geopolitical positioning and self-perception (however imaginary) that is the apple of their eye.

    Points 1 and 2 are easy to explain and I believe not enough has been done to spell this out.

    Point 3, though equally important in understanding the jealously possessive nature of British Nationalism, is more difficult to explain to folk.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. One problem is that folk of a certain age, too young to have experienced WWII but who grew up in the immediate aftermath. First the early memory of Coronation bringing in the New Elizabethan Age (no really!), then endless dramas and documentaries on the theme of How We Won the War, not to mention all the propaganda around Our Empire/Commonwealth …
      All this tends to linger, if only at a subconscious level, meanwhile Europe has healed most of its wounds and found a better way forward. This is hard for such Brits to accept, it cuts to core of their national identity, as the Winner and Ruler. Even for people who consciously know better, it still lurks somewhere deep in the psyche. So that simply being equal and co-operative feels somehow humiliating. Sad!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Sorry, but I don’t agree at all – Come Scottish Independence, England will just carry on as they are at the moment. Britain will become England and the union jack will be replaced by st georges cross. They will act in the same deluded way as they have since the end of the empire, with a slow descent into irrelevance. Only difference being that we in Scotland will be able to look on and laugh, just like Ireland do at the moment.


  4. I agree entirely with this view of the UK. I doubt that the UK elite Governments particularly hate the average Scot any more than they do the average Northern English. They pretty much equally hate all non-elite people. The Northern English just haven’t realised this and maybe they never will. Those in Scotland do and want to get away from them.

    So assuming this is correct, what I think this means is that the current SNP have deliberately, since 2015, used a morally ‘right’ independence strategy in the full knowledge that using this against an immoral opponent such as an elite UK Government, is a complete waste of time. I think the SNP leadership avoided any legal actions against the UK Government (JC notably excluded) because they would have known that this would answer the fundamental question of whether Scotland has the right to hold a vote on independence and the answer would have quite likely have been yes, it can. The current SNP, by their actions (pointless repeat morally right position) and their (legal) inactions, clearly don’t want independence.

    The UK Government and the current SNP leadership have been dancing repeatedly to the same tune, none of which could ever resolve that question.

    SNP- Can we have a vote on independence? Most people in Scotland want one.
    UK – No, you had a once in a generation vote in 2014

    Repeating the same question, using morality as a reason for it, while prepared to accept an immoral but not legally tested response was always going nowhere. It gave the appearance of wanting independence without actually doing the one thing that was required to do so. In this situation the failure to reach an agreement could only be solved one way – establishing a legal position to it.

    That the current SNP have not gone down the legal route, indeed they have actively doing so (to say nothing about blocking Joanna Cherry as a candidate at Holyrood), for me clearly shows that they never had any serious intention of trying to gain independence. Stating that a Section 30 agreed with Westminster was a requirement for a vote was suicide for having a vote on independence, and I believe that that has been the SNP’s intent since Sturgeon took over. Establish a morality based strategy to appear focused on independence, but without the necessary legal backup to actually drive for it, resulting in a merry-go-round of going nowhere. SNP groundhog day again and again. Brexit was always the key issue since Sturgeon became leader of the SNP. That should have forced a change of approach and triggered legal options, but it didn’t. It shows the depth of the current SNP’s duplicity.

    The only way out of this as I see it, is to get a new SNP leader capable of fighting the inevitable legal battle with the UK to resolve the issue of having a vote on independence once and for all. It can only be resolved through the courts.


    1. Scotland’s independence can only be restored by Scotland’s Parliament. Not Westminster. Not the courts. Not any external agency. The Scottish Parliament.


      1. The Scottish Parliament means the Scottish Government which effectively means the SNP driving the push for independence, just as the tories pushed Brexit through the UK parliament. As for no courts, I don’t see how that would happen unless May 2021 was a plebiscite vote on independence and that was widely accepted internationally. Whatever happens, the SNP will be the key for the foreseeable future, hence the need for new leadership.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Brittish Nationalism is alive and well in England at the moment, as brexit shows us. But I think it is stretching things too far to say that it actually leads to some great upswell in support for the union with Scotland. The vast majority of english people hardy ever think about Scotland and care even less. They are mostly ignorant of Scotland and whats happening here, but I dont think that it is actually belligerent. The Brittish establishment may be belligerent towards Scotland but if, after 300 years of dominance, they have not managed to wipe us from existance, then it is very unlikely if they will do it now.
    When Scotland becomes independent (and it will), the rest of the UK will just plod on as Great Britain. When Ireland reunifies (and it will), the last of the UK will still see themselves as GB, only it will mean nothing.Then, hopefully a new generation in England will at last see where they really are and learn to live happily with all their neighbours


    1. Nothing I wrote suggests “some great upswell in support for the union with Scotland”. Noy among the general population in England. And not within the ruling elites either. The populace think what they’re told to think by the media. If established power wants a “great upswell in support for the union with Scotland” that can very easily be arranged. Or, more likely, a great upswell of anti-Scottish feeling. And the ruling elites feel the same way now about their ‘precious’ Union as they did three centuries ago. What “upswell” there has been is in fear for the integrity of their little empire.

      What we see in response to the rise of the SNP is a wave of defensive aggression that is little different from that which met the Jacobite uprisings. The Union is under threat. Established power is responding to that threat. As part of that response it will be necessary to mobilise public opinion in England and among hard-line Unionists in Scotland. This manipulated mob emotion should not be mistaken for passion about the Union.


      1. The jacobite uprisings is a poor comparison with our current political climate and quite daft really.

        The union is under threat thats for sure, but to mobilise anti-scottish puplic opinion in England would be the final nail in the unions coffin. Support for Independence would soar. Also, once they start mobilising such puplic opinion in England it would be difficult to stop it – as brexit has shown. It could easily be chanelled to a separation movement in England with the current views of the English population on Scottish Independence. The hard-line unionists in Scotland are small in number and we can always out-mobilise and out-number them.

        One thing we definitely agree on is that to gain Independence, an acrimonious encounter with the Brittish state will have to be faced, and we will all have to take to the streets at some point with non-violent protest. Sad, but I cannot see it any other way.


  6. What the courts think is completely irrelevant.

    A British Supreme court ruling on a Scottish matter, is against the whole point of sovereignty.

    You cannot claim to be sovereign and then allow a foreign court to decide if you are sovereign.

    You use your sovereignty, declare independence and then have it recognised internationally.

    A domestic court of the British Empire has no part in this process.

    Those that think this is a domestic legal matter, need to rethink their logic.

    Liked by 2 people

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