No resistance

Once again I must remind everybody that it is not the Tories but the British political elite as an institution which is mounting this ‘assault on devolution’. Much the same would be happening regardless of which party was in power at Westminster. British Nationalism – including even the more extreme variants of that vile ideology – has always been an element of British politics. It is now the dominant force. Everything the British political elite does must be regarded as being driven by the imperatives of British Nationalism. This is not exclusive to the British Conservative & Unionist Party. British Nationalism pervades all of British politics.

Nor is it truly an ‘assault on devolution’. Or at least, not solely that. Ending the devolution experiment (For it was always regarded thus by the British establishment.) is undoubtedly one of the main imperatives of British Nationalist ideology. But it may be better to think of what is happening as an ‘assault on difference’. Or better still, an ‘assault on distinctiveness’. The British establishment could tolerate devolution so long as it didn’t threaten the power relationship between Scotland and England (latterly England-as-Britain) that was established by the Union. The first SNP administration in Scotland worried the British. The 2011 election result scared the skitters out of them. An SNP majority government under a shrewd operator like Alex Salmond marked a significant shift in power. This could not be tolerated.

For decades, the notion of ‘Britishness’ had been powerful enough to contain the distinctiveness of the annexed territories – principally Scotland – without impinging on the power relationship. To put it in a manner which while very simplistic nonetheless captures the essence of the ruling elite’s attitude to Scotland, the nominally competing idea of ‘Scottishness’ was acceptable so long as it denoted nothing more than the characteristics of a holiday destination and a premium brand. If ‘Scottishness’ was a matter of national identity for the people of Scotland this was of no consequence because the Union existed as an insurmountable impediment to the translation of national identity as a sentiment into its expression as democratic power. The SNP provided the means by which the people of Scotland could assert our sovereignty. Tentatively at first, to be sure. But increasingly as confidence grew. Recognising the potential threat to England-as-Britain’s supremacy within the Union, the British political elite determined that the Scottish Parliament would have to be reined in – at the very least.

The British political elite embraced this imperative to reassert its dominance with ever greater enthusiasm, leading to the elevation of that paragon of vacuous British Nationalist ideology, Boris Johnson. An individual who would pursue that imperative with the mindlessness of someone bred to the dearth of self-awareness coupled with a surfeit of personal ambition which made him the ideal driver of the British Nationalist juggernaut which is presently deployed against the SNP, the Scottish Government, the Scottish Parliament and ultimately the very idea of Scotland as a nation with a distinctive identity.

Boris Johnson is widely thought of as an aberration. It is more illuminating to regard him as the inevitable product of the British political system. The juggernaut needed a mindless driver. The imperatives of British Nationalism would always ensure a driver of Johnson’s ilk. That he is a Tory and that the Tories are in power is also an inevitability inherent in the British political system. The British state is a Tory state. The electorate can, in theory, vote them out of office. But the electorate cannot vote Tories out of power.

The Tory party under Boris Johnson is the unmasked face and ungloved fist of the British state.

The threat to Scotland’s distinctiveness is real and imminent. Ever since 2007 the people of Scotland have elected a Scottish Parliament and a Scottish Government for the clearly evident purpose of halting the British Nationalist assault on Scotland’s democracy and Scotland’s prosperity and Scotland’s very identity. That our democratic institutions have to date failed us abysmally is incontrovertibly evident in the fact that Scotland still labours under the burden of the Union.

It may already be too late to relieve our country of that burden. Power is relative. By allowing British Nationalist power to pursue its imperatives unhindered we may already have let the balance tip so much in England-as-Britain’s favour that it is all but impossible to recover. What we are witnessing at this very moment is the transition from normalisation of British power in Scotland to what will be a truly brutal deployment of that power such as to end forever the possibility of restoring Scotland’s democracy.

When the tipping point in the power relationship is reached, the result will seem sudden to those who have chosen to remain oblivious to the process. It’s not sudden. The process has been in train for nearly fifteen years. We are letting it happen. We are mounting no effective resistance. All we’re getting from the SNP/Scottish Government is a running commentary on the demise of Scotland’s democracy.

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6 thoughts on “No resistance

  1. You are right, Peter: there is no resistance from the SNPG. There has been none since 2014. Not once, when we have been up against it, has the SNPG used its devolved powers with anything like determination. They have become collaborators as surely as the Vichy government and the Milice were collaborators in Occupied France in WW II, but with less acuity.

    However, I take issue with your use of ‘British elite”. They are, in fact, and always have been, a purely English elite. Yes, Scots, Welsh and NI have been hovering around on the fringes, but this is English Nationalism at work – which, basically, is what the British State is. It merely uses us and the other lesser breeds in these isles to do its dirty work for it, as the Nazi regime, for example, used conquered native populations to man its concentration camps and death squads.

    The collaborators are always with us, much like the poor, and, while the collaborators are a menace and a source of disgust, let’s not lose sight of just who is at the helm here. Boris Johnson’s English Tories, and all the other English Unionists, might be the officers, while the Scots, Welsh and NI are the poor bloody squaddies, but we must not be gulled into believing that the officer class is not drawn from the same source as the ever-present, never-gone British establishment and the British State.

    They are all one and the same in the end, and, insofar as they owe allegiance to anything apart from their own perpetuity and hegemony, that allegiance is not and never was extended to Scotland, Wales or NI, not for one moment, no matter how much actual collaborating was, and is, done. If we can’t even recognize the real source of the problem, we are done for. The Maquis operating in France never lost sight of the real enemy, even as they tried to rid themselves of the collaborators. Collaborators are a cheap and unending supply; the real enemy is not, otherwise, why would it strive so hard to maintain its grip?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I take issue with your use of the word elite with reference to those who rule us. They are viscious and self serving and corrupt. The elite description somehow conveys worthiness.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. No offence meant Lorncal but I wish people would not append that word to people who are not worthy of it. I still detect a sense of worthiness in the word or description. The british are not and never have been.

        I also think that if we begin to call them what they clearly are and more publicly on the pages that we follow and those that we venture on to it would at least be appropriate. Our political process has been polite and ingrained in my generation at least. It has coarsened of late and in some ways I think less politeness is needed. Deference should certainly be removed from our discourse with them who are clearly unworthy of it.


  2. Britishness is toxic and a cancer. Our vaccine is Independence. It’s time to be rid of the obnoxious British. We shouldn’t lower ourselves and allow Johnson in Pole position. The man is just a disgrace. That’s all is worth saying about him. Britain is going down and will take Scotland with it.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Interesting take on Johnson, how the elite works and why he is where he is now.

    I agree that he’s not an “aberration” and he is in fact “the inevitable product of the British political system”. I don’t think I would call him “mindless”, however. He’s cold, calculating and dangerous. And Sturgeon, Blackford and the rest of the SNP are not even remotely close to having either the will or the political skills to effectively oppose him.

    Liked by 4 people

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