Galloway has become the first politician to utter the dangerous word “partition” in the context of Scottish independence.George Kerevan: Why George Galloway should stop using words like ‘partition’
I have to correct George Kerevan on this point. Although he can be forgiven for failing to recall such an unmemorable politician, a certain LibDem named Tavish Scott latched onto the word “partition” well before George Galloway. I recall writing an article for the September 2017 issue of iScot Magazine celebrating the announcement of Scott’s impending departure from Holyrood and condemning his insanely reckless talk of “partition” as part of the British state’s deplorable anti-independence propaganda effort during the first referendum campaign. That article begins,
“Against very strong competition, one of the most disturbing facets of the British state’s propaganda effort during the first Scottish independence referendum campaign was surely the attempt by the failed leader of the British Liberal Democrats in Scotland, Tavish Scott, to raise the spectre of partition. Along with the odd party colleague and, if memory serves, an even odder member of the aristocracy, it was he who most fervidly peddled the notion of Scotland’s northern and western island communities being partitioned from independent Scotland to form exclaves of the rump UK.”Tavish Scott: Goodbye! Good riddance!
George Kerevan is entirely correct, however, to point out the dangerousness of such talk and the fact that, like Tavish Scott before him, Galloway serves the British ruling elite by saying the things it is not politic for them to say. He and Adam Tomkins (see The Tomkins doctrine) may be attention-seeking British Nationalist fanatics. But the British state makes good use of such material. Their role is to insinuate into our political discourse ideas which have no place in rational debate around the constitutional issue. They seek to normalise inherently inane or insane notions. They make a space for madness.
We should not simply dismiss George Galloway’s talk of “partition” or Adam Tomkins’ proposal to bind Scotland by law to England-as-Britain. We should, rather, regard their purposefully outrageous utterances as portents of the British state’s intentions. It is not the rhetoric of the lunatic fringe of British Nationalism that need concern us, but the licence they afford the British political elite by moving the line separating political philosophy from political pathology.