Downing Street. Carnaby Street. Cable Street. All streets famous for one reason or another. And now there’s a new addition to that list – Kenmure Street. Just as Downing Street is a metonym for executive power in the British state. Just as Carnaby Street is synonymous with 1960s fashion. Just as Cable Street is famed for the eponymous battle. So Kenmure Street will now and forever be associated in people’s minds with… what, exactly?
George Galloway is a man who has turned his back on every principle he once held, along with a fair few he purported to adhere to but didn’t and quite possibly some that were invented for the purpose. Galloway is to principles as interstellar space is to social distancing. He’s an arse. He’s the arse all other arses bow to. He is the mother and father of all arses. George Galloway is useful only in that he provides a grubby window through which rabid British Nationalism may be observed. We turn to Galloway to discover what rabid British Nationalists think of events in Kenmure Street last Thursday. (13 May).
I think it’s safe to say George is no’ weel pleased.
Immigration and Asylum are UK government matters. A devolved assembly has openly and unlawfully defied the implementation of a UK government decision. This is an act of rebellion.
From other opinions I’ve read I’d hazard that few would object to Galloway’s pronouncement that Kenmure Street was “an act of rebellion”. Although most would state this with some pride and none of the bilious outrage that erupts from his Tweet like pus from a punctured furuncle. The general consensus seems to be that this was non-violent popular resistance at its best. An act of popular defiance. A big ‘Fuck you!’ from the people of Glasgow’s Pollokshields to the British state. The people took a stand in defence of two of their neighbours who were the targets of one of Priti Patel’s snatch squads. And the people prevailed.
The good people prevailed. Only good people were part of the crowd obstructing British Home Office Immigration Enforcement officers going about their lawful duty to put a couple of brown people on a plane to a destination where all that awaits them is the threat of violent retribution from their political opponents and/or death from the disease which runs rampant there. Lawful, that is, in the eyes of the British state. And George Galloway. Not so much in the view of the hundreds of folk who decided it wasn’t happening to anyone in their community.
There were only good people there. The others were presumably resting up ready to drape themselves in Union flags and shame our nation with their loutish conduct in Glasgow on Saturday. The best and worst of Scotland’s citizenry on display within the space of a few days. It was almost as if the obscene behaviour of those Rangers fans was a corrective lest we get too carried away with ourselves on account of Kenmure Street.
Galloway’s take on Kenmure Street is interesting – in a clinically academic sense – not because he declares it to be an act of rebellion, but because he attributes this act of rebellion to “a devolved assembly”. By which he means the democratically elected Scottish Parliament and by implication at least, the Scottish Government. To which my reaction is “I wish!”. Uplifting as it was to see the people taking to the streets in defence of their neighbours and in defiance of the British bully boys (and girls?), it would have been very much more heartening had our political leaders engaged in this “act of rebellion”.
Oh! there were statements. I’m not sure whether Nicola Sturgeon actually used the words ‘driving up support for independence’, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all. That’s what we get from SNP politicians. They complain when the British political elite propose to shite on Scotland. They object while the British political elite is shiting on us. They protest the fact that the British political elite has shat on us. And so it goes in a cycle unbroken by any effective action. It’s a very efficient system. Ian Blackford only needs three speeches. And should he get them in the wrong order the few who haven’t given up listening to his rote bombast are unlikely to notice.
If our government holds the actions of the British Immigration Enforcement to be wrongful then why are those actions not prohibited? I don’t doubt our First Minister and her apologists will take cover behind the law – British law – but this is Scotland. Surely our laws should take precedence. For all the protests from our political leaders I don’t hear any of them insisting that the odious practices of the British Home Office should be prohibited in Scotland. If the people can take a stand, why not our politicians? Is that not what we hope for when we elect them? Do we not expect that they shall devote themselves to defending Scotland’s interests; Scotland’s values; Scotland’s distinctiveness.
Given that we evidently cannot rely on our government and parliament to do so then it seems responsibility for defending Scotland against British interference falls to the people. To that end, I hope the people take Kenmure Street as their guide. That is how it’s done. The calm but determined and persistent defiance of few hundred people can achieve positive outcomes such as rarely if ever flow from rioting by thousands. Let’s actively seek more opportunities to put that determined defiance on display. Let’s organise so as to be able to manage similar action, ensuring it’s kept under control.
If the Yes movement is looking for a purpose now that the constitutional issue is being parked for another five years, then this is it. The target should be any and all direct operations by the British state on Scottish territory and every project the UK Government in Scotland attempts. Maybe we can shame our government into starting the process by which Scotland’s independence will be restored.
Let’s make Kenmure Street synonymous with our acts of rebellion!
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3 thoughts on “Acts of rebellion”
Hitting the nail on the head seems to be a thing with you! 😍
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Another excellent analysis of exactly why it is shite being Scottish. The best and the worst of Scottishness on display within a few miles and a few days. I am old enough to remember similar tactics being employed during the late eighties when sheriffs’ officers were sent to poind the meagre belongings of those who did not pay the poll tax. A few hundred people hanging about a tenement stair was enough to see them off. There was no violence, just people defending themselves against agents of state oppression. These are among the “other means” about which I have been rabbiting for yonks, that will be necessary to further the cause, especially now that the government has reestablished itself for another five years of prevarication.
I would not be so optimistic about this parliament being encouraged by such direct action to get the finger out and push at the constitutional issue. More likely that perpetrators will eventually become vilified, marginalised and lumped together in the same box as keyboard warriors, bloggers and followers of Alex Salmond. The shiteness of being Scottish is now in government, fabricating and intensifying any binary division there is and fomenting sectarian strife. There will be plenty opportunity for much more shiteness in the conditions of years to come.
Galloway may be a raving megalomaniac and a complete arse, but his opinion (I use the term loosely) is the equivalent, in the mental environment of our times, of the butchers’ apron wearing thuggery that is so frequently sanctioned by the Glasgow cops. Both of these are commonplace elements of being Scottish. We have grown so used to the threat posed by gangs of mainly young men with a drink inside them shouting about football that we allow it to happen, only becoming concerned if it gets out of hand. Confronting these things with reason, good sense, common decency would seem to be of limited utility given how habitual they have become. And yet they must be confronted. Although I suspect that Galloway himself will become less prominent now that the election is over. He will just go back under his stone and fester.
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Well Peter, I think things are going fine, and that there really isn’t another way this can be done.
But it doesn’t stop me having this on bookmark for occasional play, check it out on youtube, I won’t give the link in case it goes wrong:
Muse – Uprising [Official Video]
Give it a full volume blast 🙂
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