Something said by Nigel Farage during the EU ‘campaign’ (for want of a better word) keeps rattling around my head. He said something to the effect that he would take the UK out of the EU and save the union. There is no doubt that Westminster got a sizeable fright during the 2014 Scottish independence referendum which, not only inspired Scots but many in England as well. Now, I don’t pretend to know how Nigel Farage’s head works but if he thought that by reviving British Nationalism and Empire 2.0 Scots would see this as desirable or an opportunity not to be missed, he made a serious miscalculation. As we all know 62% of Scots voted to remain in the EU. This has not changed and a very recent Mori Poll shows that 61% of Scots think that economies of both Scotland and the UK will be damaged as a result of Brexit.
Don’t get me wrong, I have many problems with the EU and fully understand why the Scots who voted to leave did so. It is so frustrating that here we are again in Scotland being treated with contempt and dragged around by a Tory UK government who’s only real interest is in preserving their right (as they see it) to lord it over the rest of the UK. If you ask me, and many haven’t, the thought of loosing this right scares the sh…. out of Westminster. The way they have handled the withdrawal negotiations so far has seen them at their most sleekit. Blatant power grabs with the intent of rolling back devolution is the order of the day. I don’t oppose Tories as people, some of them can be mildly amusing on the rare occasion, I oppose what they stand for.
It is hard to trust those who claim to be building a country that works for everyone whist perpetuating neo-liberal policies of austerity and all the damage this does. (one of the reasons sited for leaving the EU!) Tories are their own worst enemy. How can you accept devolution, talk of equal partnerships and make all sorts of promises with one breath and with the next totally ignore these things in your own self interest?
Tell you what bothers me. The thought of returning to a pre 1972 (correct me if date is wrong) UK. A UK which, once again, has total control of these islands and will throw whoever it deems necessary (i.e.. those nations out with England) under the bus in order to get the biggest bite of the cake. That is the direction we are currently headed in. Potential trade deals with the USA which might see us having to accept bleach washed chicken, GM crop products etc. and London policies which impose fracking, re-branding of Scottish produce, undermining of Scottish renewable energy projects and so on are all bad, very bad. However, these are not my only worries.
In my younger days you could often hear people say, whatever America does, 10 years later the UK does the same. It was true then and still is only, as others have remarked, the time lag seems to have shrunk somewhat. Now it seems to be that whatever America does the UK immediately follows suit. In observing America it seems to me that there is something not quite right about the way it now operates. An article by Chris Hedges describes an America with which, in my opinion, the UK runs a number of striking parallels. He describes a kind of politics and culture which, personally I don’t want to see adopted in these islands.
There is no doubt in my mind that the result of referenda should be honoured. To prejudge the result and make a promise on that prejudged result, in my book, is both extremely foolish and dishonourable. I refer of course to the promise made to Scotland during the 2014 referendum that the only way to be sure of staying in the EU was to vote no. You have to wonder just how dishonourable that promise was when you consider that EU nationals in the UK were not allowed to vote in the Brexit referendum. The very people most likely to vote to stay in. It is of little surprise however, since that is the way the imperialist mind works.
Scotland has been put in a very difficult situation once again. I know that after a lifetime of Westminster at the helm, I for one am pretty sick of it. The interesting thing about all this is that the arguments that it would be too difficult and complicated to unwind Scotland from the UK put forward in the run up to 2014 are now shown to be rubbish. All that’s needed is the political will. If the UK can be unwound from the EU, then Scotland can be unwound from the UK.
There is no easy answer to all this. The easy answer escaped us in 2014 when Scotland voted no. Now Scots need to decide what is best for our future. As I have said I have problems with the EU myself but 62% of my fellow countrymen decided that they wanted to stay in the EU. That’s good enough for me. I am a democrat and on balance I find the picture being painted of a UK outside the EU and the potential damage it will do to Scotland extremely distasteful and unappealing (that’s fancy talk for ‘not on’)
I appeal to all Scots to get behind the Scottish government and send a message to the UK government that they mess with the devolution settlement at their own peril. If they choose to dishonour devolution, they will face a constitutional crisis of their own making.