“Self-evidently a party that is intent on the break up the United Kingdom cannot, it seems to me, act in the interests of the United Kingdom. Thought of the Scottish Nationalists having influence in the next parliament, or being part of the government, god forbid, absolutely horrifies me.” Norman Lamb MP, on BBC ‘Question time’.
That statement was uttered by the Liberal-Democratic MP, Norman Lamb, on the BBC Question Time show. For readers uninitiated in the wily ways of BBC’s phony platforms of democratic discussion, Question Time is an instant opinion show, broadcast weekly.
Normally five public notables are asked to take questions from an invited audience. The audience is made up of people from various factions of society, most living locally to the programme’s location. The programme is broadcast from a different city each week.
Panellists are, in the main, politicians, on the rise or on the wane, plus a sprinkling of celebrities, usually ready to spout wild, provocative insults, or waffle on in a desperate attempt to hide their inadequacy, vanity having got the better of them when they accepted an invitation to be patronising or pontificate for forty minutes.
Now and then a celebrity guest will talk sense. The audience will respond with applause and a superficial reaction asking, ‘Why isn’t he (or she) prime minister?’
Phony democracy No 1
I participated on a BBC panel, broadcast nationally. I arrived early and was surprised to see all the audience questions neatly typed on cards before the audience was allowed into the theatre. Once settled in their seats the producer asked who felt strongly about so-and-so topical event of the week. Once he had identified that person they were handed the card to read. The questions did not come from the audience. It was the BBC’s choice of topic, the one it wanted discussed.
BBC phony democracy No 2
The BBC is able to justify its selectivity because the speaker of the question agrees with the sentiment on the card. (A producer will also claim they have to find those not shy of speaking in public.) You can see the lack of naturalness at work when you watch the show. A member of the audience will read the words on the card in a halting fashion with less than full conviction.
Phony democracy No 3
Panellists are not there to take note of what people in the audience have to say, to extrapolate the mood of the people. Politicians do not go back to their constituencies or parliamentary office, dictate a letter to their senior colleagues suggesting a change of policy based on what the ‘representative’ members of the audience had to say. They return to colleagues to discuss how well or not they got across their message to the public.
Question Time is an entertainment ‘show’
What we are given is not rational discourse or logical analysis of a thesis or principle, we’re given theatre. For real discussion to take place only two guests, perhaps three are enough to conduct topics on a civil basis, ideas communicated to viewers, follow-up questions from the chair able to elucidate clear thinking and new information.
Panellists come prepared with the party line they must sell. They stick to their scripts. They do their best to interrupt the opinion of opposition members on the panel. Question Time is drama, revenge tragedy, sound bites, gaffes, and platitudes, egged on by boisterous audiences, heightened by the producer’s choice of some controversial personality keen to ensure their name in the press on a regular basis. Democracy is badly served.
The slaughter of a Lamb
Scotland stands as the only nation that voluntarily accepts rule by a foreign country, and only then by 5% of its voting population. That can not hold steady for much longer.
It is becoming clear to thinking people on both sides of the Border a 300 year-old Treaty is grossly out of date, and consequently, as a means of representing voters in a modern economy, does not work. Cogs have snapped, pistons worn, wheels loosened.
Running on hot air
The whole machine is clapped out; it does not and will not function for either nation, principality, province, protectorate, or region. Unless, that is, you are an arrogant English colonial. In which case your thinking is, only a few minor things need fixed for we live in a Garden of Eden. Norman Lamb is one such man.
According to his mind-set one of the key things needing fixed is how to stop the people of Scotland demanding constitutional progress.
Norman Peter Lamb, a former employment solicitor, plans to handle democracy and the will of the electorate with an iron fist. He is Liberal-Democrat MP for North Norfolk, and Minister of State at Westminster for Care and Support. (For how long is another question.) Alert readers will see ‘Care and Support’ as glaring irony. By his incautious, unseemly racism made as a panellist he is recognised as neither liberal nor democrat.
“Part of the next government, God forbid, horrifies me.” There’s the arrogant colonial again assuming the Almighty is on the side of the English.
It seems Unionists are fatally incapable of acknowledging Scotland as an equal partner of the United Kingdom. The SNP is not an obscure sept of a Scottish clan. It is a legally instituted, legally organised, run and elected political party. It wins elections, and as such has every right to influence decision-making at Westminster that affects Scotland, authorised under constitutional law to do so by voter election.
Creating a diversion
A fundamental goal of any well-conceived indoctrination campaign is to direct attention away from effective power, its roots, and the goals it disguises. Westminster is a corrupt and incompetent institution. If a political entity seems about to gain superior influence the corrupt institution is bound to undermine it by any means possible. Paint the Scottish National Party, a political party in existence over seventy years, MPs in parliament generations, as an evil influence, out to ruin civilisation as we know it.
The SNP does not seek to dismantle the UK, but rather to disconnect Scotland from Westminster in order to attain self-determination once more, and better represent the people of Scotland. In so doing, it offers England the opportunity to correct its own fouled democratic structures, and to find new solutions.
Scotland can not ‘secede’ from the Union, not if its adheres to its current policy of retaining the Royal family. The Union of the Crowns remains intact.
For two years and more of the Referendum debate its adversaries cajoled and exhorted to the people of Scotland to remain in the Union. Celebrities and academics from all walks of life appealed to Scotland to see the United Kingdom as the best means of maintaining world influence and economic security. They did this despite admitting Scotland had all it needed to be a successful nation state, and do it without oil revenues as a dividend fund. Scotland would be the wealthiest small country on the planet, a reborn state without debt.
To Norman Lamb’s insult there is only silence. Where are the Izzards, the Rowlings, the Rankins, the Bremners, the Bowies, the McCartneys, and the Dan Snows? Did they not say Scotland was part of the UK, a valued and an equal partner; stay with us, we love you?
Where is condemnation of Lamb’s horrendous remarks?
Lower than the lowest
Lamb sees the SNP as a sub-species, a race apart, undeserving of constitutional rights. Many members of the SNP are English but that has not entered his frozen brain. It does not matter that Scotland functions as a legitimate part of his democracy. The will of the people of Scotland must be resisted, blocked, at all costs.
It is true that ever since Gordon Brown proved a poor UK chancellor, and prime minister, Tony Blair took the UK into Iraq on a lie, any politician with a Scots accent walking the corridors of Westminster is vermin in a kitchen. So, to an extent Lamb’s comments echo what some English feel about Scotland’s ambitions – a province too big for its boots.
Lamb sees only English as fit and qualified to govern the UK. In the words of a great Scot, economist Adam Smith, “It is all for themselves and nothing for other people.”
Smith condemned mercantilism and colonialism as harmful to the people generally, but of great benefit to the merchants and manufacturers, who are the principal architects of state policy, and whose interests are, “most peculiarly attended to.”
Lamb intends to protect the merchant bankers and the corporations in defiance of democratic rights and progress. Freedom and liberty do not apply to the Scots, nor by implication to the English.
Norman Lamb is not fit to be an MP.