The howls of anger and derision that greeted Back Door Boris on his visit to Edinburgh to meet first minister Nicola Sturgeon were deliciously reassuring. So too was reading articles penned by well-known British opinion makers, hitherto happy to accept a posh accent as indication of leadership qualities, readily acknowledging an Etonian-Oxbridge education is likely to produce muddled-headed politicians potentially lethal if given power.
‘Viceroy’ of all India
A British unionist sees liberty as his right to do as he likes, and a licence to determine what Scotland must do. Looking at the Etonians who rule Scotland now I searched for an antecedent to understand their mentality and arrived at Earl Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten, last Viceroy of India.
Mountbatten was the Queen’s second cousin, a man forever associated with the end of the British Empire. If ever there was a symbol of the British ruling class he epitomises it, the naval uniform, the medals, the gold braid and the ceremonial sword, appurtenances from a bygone age. A biography depicts him sexually as a thoroughly unsavoury type.
Wikepedia insists on describing him as a statesman. He was anything but. Earl Mountbatten of Burma’s all-too obvious absence of skills in anything was acknowledged when he was alive. (He haled from an aristocratic German family, ‘Battenberg’, the family in England Anglicising their name alarmed by the rise of Nazism.) His reputation was minced by one of his kind, the right-wing historian Andrew Roberts who described him as a “mendacious, intellectually limited hustler”.
Mountbatten presiding over the destiny of some 400 million people, given the job of taming an increasingly volatile India led by Pandit Nehru and that ‘second-level Inner Temple lawyer’ Mohandas Gandhi, an insult coined with contempt by no less than Winston Churchill, another man who thought the English placed on Earth by God to rule.
Read India’s struggle for independence and you come upon Mountbatten’s colleague, the blundering lawyer, Cyril Radcliffe, who partitioned India from Pakistan by running a red line on a map through villages, over mountains and pass, without visiting those areas first. The calamity left thousands of innocents slaughtered in the partitioning that followed. The record states almost a million people died, women raped, children murdered, the world’s largest mass of refugees created during the population transfers. But who counts multiple deaths? During India’s time under British rule an estimated $45 trillion of wealth was secreted to the UK to keep Queen Victoria’s estate all-powerful.
Plotter and plodder
Men such as Mountbatten are looked upon as defenders of ‘Britishness’ against the evils of socialism and do-gooders of society. When Peter Wright, in his book Spycatcher, claimed that in May 1968 Mountbatten attended a private meeting with press baron Cecil King, and the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Solly Zuckerman, Wright alleged that “up to thirty” MI5 officers had joined a secret campaign to undermine the crisis-stricken Labour government of Harold Wilson. (Jeremy Corbyn take note.)
Mountbatten proved not up to the coup, “reluctant to act”, a typical reaction from an Englishman who feels he can relax, finish his game of bowls, because history is on his side. MI5’s treasonable intervention reminds us how free are its Oxbridge types to divert passion from the goal of independence. No wonder Britain, the defender of democracy, is seen by our European friends as ‘Perfidious Albion’, the island of hypocrites.
Derided as a “Master of Disaster” in British naval circles, Mountbatten represents a group of men commanding top jobs they screw up. They stumble through political crisis and come out the other side garlanded with awards and medals.
Back door Boris
Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is no better than the bounders and cads of the past, creators of political fiasco, taught how to be so by costly private education, beneficiaries of England’s elitist boarding schools. He tells brazen lies about his achievements and downright criminal ones about the EU. Is he a hypocrite? No, because that’s the upper class way; they assume we know they are exceptional and entitled. They are not schooled in logic or honesty.
Johnson is the bigot who insisted of late that potential food, fuel and medicine shortages, months of chaos at ports and possible recession under a no-deal Brexit are – (drumroll) – merely “bumps in the road”. One way or another it will ‘sort itself out.’
Taught at public school that feelings are a terribly bad thing, old chap, the Etonian will keep everything rigidly superficial. Practical minded, moral Scots find it near impossible to relate to English upper class mores, never mind their loathsome class system. They are the men who admire Wellington – an Irishman they prefer had been English – and wax lyrical over the Light Cavalry charge up the Valley of Death in the wrong direction.
Johnson’s tenure as mayor of London was a portent of things to come, costing unrecoverable millions from the public purse in a vanity garden bridge, and his time in the Foreign Office one cock-up after another. The eternal schoolboys whose “weight is out of all proportion to their numbers” – to quote novelist E.M. Forster – are vastly over represented among Tories. They have plunged the nations of the UK into a crisis.
Hating the English
“There is no place in the SNP for those who hate the English”, Sturgeon warned, forgetting those who have ruled us, and intend to keep ruling us, pursue a fantasy of imperial-era power driven by arrogance and obduracy. They ignore Scotland’s democratic rights with a brief sentence spoken between mouthfuls of foie gras, “Now is not the time”. Or put another way, Scotland is small potatoes.
Sturgeon overlooks David Cameron and his ‘English votes for English laws, pretty well hammering the last nail in the Union’s coffin. This is the English at India’s colonial end, imperious, egocentric, an unshakeable belief in their entitlement. They are all Jacob Rees-Moggs to a morning coat and top hat.
At last the signs are everywhere English have become discerning about the English. When The Economist, a publication dedicated to the British elite, decries the incompetent ‘chumocracy’ closing down our freedoms, we know arteries of the decrepit regime have silted up. Those “Oxford chums” who coast through life on “bluff rather than expertise”, wrote the Economist, is a “chumocracy that has finally met its Waterloo.”
England, the great separatist
The terrible legacy of the British Empire is expressed in two words, partition and death. Division is the British Empire’s only strategy, divide to rule, divide to leave. The ruling elite left us the deaths of millions: India, Egypt, Suez, Iraq, Palestine, Sudan, Persia, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Somaliland, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Sierra Leone, China, Hong Kong, even to betraying the very English protectorate of Gibraltar that voted overwhelmingly to stay in the EU. The list of grotesque disasters is endless. Scotland could become one of them.
Johnson is the man saying the Irish backstop is just “pure millennium bug stuff”. English arrogance thinks nothing of telling the Irish to rejoin the UK if it wants to be a ‘real’ nation again. English arrogance is boundless.
And now insular Albion is left with a ‘chippy’ Scotland, a nation fooled so often by false promise of political equality it could use the chits to rescue hundreds of refugees fleeing our wars in leaky boats across the seas. We want to believe the British state means well.
Scotland must educate its masters
I began with Mountbatten. He was less pigheaded than Winston Churchill. His land of hope and glory stiffens the spines of Brexiteers. Churchill was a fanatical imperialist. He refused to help Indians see the year through faced by famine in 1943 on the grounds that they “breed like rabbits.” I know, from overhearing them, there are English who are as dismissive of the Scots. Churchill was Liberal MP for Dundee in 1908, a carpetbagger, disliked for not attending to Dundee’s problems and for flashing his wealth “when he deigned to visit the city”. His associates thought the ‘lower classes’ should not be taught to read ‘lest they spend their time reading Tom Paine’.
Just as Mountbatten knew next to nothing of Indian society, so Boris Johnson and his cronies know nothing about Scotland except it has oil, lots of it, and other great natural resources to plunder, but above all it has youth to waste in England’s wars.
It is difficult to see how the people of Scotland can be fooled again into remaining a feudal territory of England, but with the combined effort of the British state, MI5, house Jocks, BBC propaganda, smear campaigns and a natural hostility to dissent, they might pull it off a second time.
In Scotland we have Alister Jack, a house Jock presiding over us, ‘Union’ Jack educated at Glenalmond, an all-boys boarding college in his day, who might be the last secretary of state for Scotland as Mountbatten was the last Viceroy of India, two peas in a pod.
When Nicola Sturgeon the school teacher instructs us to be pleasant to our governors, assuming we disagree with her particular nostrum, she calculates without the pride in superiority of the British ruling class that has never managed to co-exist with Scotland as an equal partner in all the centuries of a one-sided Union.
Let the SNP forgo finger wagging piety and instil instead a sense of destiny in Scotland.