Independence is Here



Nicola Sturgeon with her new Westminster MPs photographed against the Forth Rail Bridge in Queensferry

How amusing to see David Cameron as smug as a slug in a plug hole bathing in the glow of his new recruits opposite the House of Commons, an attempt to ape Nicola Sturgeon’s joyful ranks photographed a day earlier under the Forth Road Bridge.

Nicola gave us a memorable image, dramatic and, against the massive arches of the bridge, in perfect scale. Cameron gave us gum spattered domestic stone steps and a few over-trimmed tree stumps as a backdrop. I can hear his PR advisers. “We can’t be outdone by those Jocks, David. Get our new MPs in serried rows and tell ’em to smile!” They had the opportunity to book something fitting, symbolic of their ability and character, London’s Eye as a backdrop, the giant Ferris wheel that goes round and round getting nowhere, or Madam Tussaud’s Waxwork Museum, but he chose the banal and the commonplace for his photo opportunity, pushing in and out the group as if a penguin seeking warmth.

The archetypical party of and for Scotland faces the archetypical party of and for England. The symbolism could not be starker. The two countries could not be further apart in policies, values, outlook, international aspirations, and caring for its citizens. Fair to assert Scotland has independence now, only not yet fully formed, not signed and sealed.

Independence is a state of mind

We know what the SNP stands for, we know it aims and objectives at Westminster, but we know next to nothing of Cameron’s policies, he keeps things general. He wants to ‘renegotiate’ EU membership but never specifies what that means. That is no way to demand a meeting. For what reason? is the reply. Remove this? Modify that? He plans twelve billion cuts in Welfare payments but won’t specify what and where. The Unions are to get another bashing, but the public are not happy to see civil rights whittled down even more. He wants to ‘abolish’ Labour’s Human Rights Act without putting anything in its place, anything we could call ‘British fair play.’ The court of international opinion will come down on his head if he rips it up, but they waste their time. Inside his skull is a meringue somebody sat on.

The recent riots in London, quietly side-lined by most of the British media and press, are the latest of many. They will get bigger and more ferocious as Cameron’s Welfare cuts bite, and the English NHS drags itself onto a stretcher. Scotland knows where it is going, England is in a tizzy, a government that knows only how to cut and slash, not to build. Labour and Tory incoherent, Liberal-Democrats cast into the wilderness looking for a new name and a new cause. The political map of Britain has changed, altered irrevocably.

You pinch yourself in case you are dreaming

“SNP to head the Scottish Affairs Select Committee in Westminster”. Something to look forward too, civil war contained to an anti-room. That will be fun. First up to explain his scurrilous behaviour, acting like a punch drunk boxing promoter, the previous chairman of the committee, Ian Davidson. Next Sir Nicolas McPherson, head of the Treasury, to explain why he is not clipping tickets for pedal boats on the Serpentine after leaking an anti-SNP memorandum, an action breaking all civil servant codes of conduct.

A post-election survey produced some heartening results. (Normally I avoid percentages and surveys in preference to empirical fact and actual quotations but this one is interesting.) The most intriguing finding is that English respondents are now much more supportive of independence than they were prior to the referendum. They liked what they heard and saw, and that aligns with Nicola’s warm acceptance by many in England. Despite continued sniping from the British Establishment’s old guard, the malicious assertion that Labour all but got embalmed and buried because English voters were scared of a Labour-SNP partnership has not held up. How to insult Scots and English voters simultaneously.

Reading between the lines, almost a third of English voters feel no threat from SNP MPs in Westminster, and, now that antagonism has greatly lessened, a significant number feel independence the natural end game, both countries better off.

Scotland is winning the battle of expectations

Over half of those taking part in the survey across Britain, and three-quarters of those in Scotland, think full independence will happen within the next fifteen years. I am as convinced as I can be that if Cameron found himself with a No to EU membership Scotland would hold a second Referendum. The idea Westminster can stop us mixing and trading with Europeans is unthinkable.

A decade is too long for me. The feeling is rather like a Ryan Air flight, you are pleased the flight cost so little, but after a three-hour struggle with luggage to get to the airport, taken off coat, jacket, belt and shoes, put them on again, the airline has had you stand in a queue for over an hour without offering a consoling word. Exhausted, you are losing patience.

While we wait for our team at Westminster to spool up, we can enjoy the remnants of Labour’s Scottish branch trying hard to engender a semblance of humility. Humble does not come naturally. Everything they were told to embrace before the Referendum, and rejected, and again for the General Election, and dismissed, now they wish to consider. They still believe the Labour party is not the problem; they believe everything else in Scotland is.

And what of the chief narcissists, those who saw a last chance to hog the limelight?

Hiding, everyone

Jim Murphy, that ‘powerhouse’ of ‘intellectual ability’ who was certain no Labour seat would fall and is convinced he is the man to keep the reigns of leadership – hiding; George Galloway hustled away from defeat for fear of being tarnished by it – suing for unfair dismissal; Archie Macpherson, whose ‘stomach turned’ to hear of the ‘lies and deceit’ of the SNP – probably checking for tape worms; (I slipped oor Erchie in there because the pompous speech he gave was all about himself, a display of naked vanity) Ed Miliband, the rookie Labour leader whose rallying call was vote for him or else … or else don’t vote for him at all – spending quality time with his family; Ed Balls, a man who sought safety in membership of the Tory Economics Club – banished; and Gordon Brown, the ‘colossus’ that bestrode the world’s stage called the Senior Citizen’s Knitting Society, Kirkcaldy, doors locked at 9pm – probably looking for Miliband’s monolithic standing stone to add a final clause: ‘You bastard! You blew it for all of us!’

The sadness is not in their going, but in the manner of their attempts to stay.

Michael Dugher, shadow transport secretary, makes a candid admission:

There was a highly visible elephant trap that the SNP set for us, which is that Labour and the No campaign would be for the status quo, for Westminster, for London, for the old political establishment and elites – and Scottish Labour all joined hands and they jumped into that elephant trap. We shouldn’t have been in bed with Tories. It was a complete strategic disaster. It killed us ” (New Statesman)

They have all been sentenced to perpetual ignominy-no! Wait. That’s an impossible sentence. There’s no verb in it.

But the biggest surprise of all is to see the SNP the third largest party in Britain. No one can tell me we are not enjoying the spirit of independence now. By that standard we should conduct ourselves accordingly, and stop telling each other we have too many to convince. They are converted already.

We lost the Referendum but gained our nation’s future. Satan is Santa inside out.

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17 Responses to Independence is Here

  1. donald says:

    The bread and circus distractions could never last , in england or america . Empires are built on conceit , nurtured by bribes and held in place by corruption. So while the scum rises to the top ,the real economy and its people suffocate under the spume . Wars take by force what could never be honestly bartered , because the lie does not treat with truth. It cannot for fear of exposure. The net is a spiders web controlled by a venomous bloated citadel . Even the queen goes cap in hand to the mayor of London.
    Now Santa has to treat with a people who found their feet . Tough times ahead for the white and red .
    Cameron’s harvest was garnered with lies , bundled together with empty promises and will come apart at the seams when hunger drives the people mad with righteous anger.
    There is no crooked smile that will pacify this injustice . No propaganda machine that can paste over the cracks . The paper barons have wiped to many arse’s to make copy and the s*** is writ large now for anyone half awake to see. MSM is recycled toilet paper without the recycling .

    Auntie Beeb will continue trying to appeal to a ‘glorious’ history and bulldog spirit . But a snuffling inbred dog does not help you feed your family or get you medical attention you can afford.
    Doctor Who , once an engaging and useful series is now reduced to simpering platitude. The rest I don’t even care to watch from this far flung colony . I saw only garbage when I went home. The box is just a cameronised hypnotic toad with no handsome prince in the offing . Kiss his plug hole and you will just get a mouthful of short curly hair minus the basic hygiene . Its the only orifice on offer so not many takers these days. Twerk all you want Cameron , its not going rock my world.

  2. Robert, (Auld Bob), Peffers says:

    There are two plain facts that expose the whole United Kingdom house of cards as about the fall down.
    The rich list details that the richest in the United Kingdom are now 2.2 times more wealthy and the food banks for the poor are the greatest UK growth industry during the period of austerity, “We are all in together”. (Thank God we are all in it together or the rich might have been 10 times richer and the poor ALL queued up at the food banks – where else were those rich guys getting their riches from?)

    The other obvious fact is that while UNITED KINGDOM Members of the UNITED KINGDOM Parliament from ENGLISH ONLY Constituencies are campaigning to prevent every other UNITED KINGDOM Member of THE UNITED KINGDOM parliament from voting upon what they deem ENGLISH only matters in the UNITED KINGDOM parliament. While the rest of us are still looking for an elected as such PARLIAMENT of ENGLAND. The nearest we can find is the unelected as such de facto Parliament of ENGLAND that is nominally the PARLIAMENT OF THE UNITED KINGDOM.

  3. TheItalianJob says:

    Good summary ref Cameron in victory and Labour in defeat. Although I was happy at the Scots MPs who were kicked out esp the Alexander “brothers” and Mags Curren the other highlight for me was Ed Balls being defeated. When he came out during the referendum in supporting Osbornes sermon on the pound to Scotland that was a defining moment for me.

    The Labour party were strung hook line and sinker by the Tories by fronting the BT campaign and now the reap their just rewards.

    Like you I can’t wait for Independence to be a reality although it may feel like it already.

  4. Grouse Beater says:

    Balls’ arrogance, his open threat against the will of a nation, was a defining moment. It conveyed so much; it said we ‘own’ Scotland. You’re captive or you’re cut adrift.
    I too was shocked.

  5. Another good article.

    Re the GE the only Labourman I thought slightly better of after the event was Alexander. I thought his (and Mhairi’s) speeches were professional and courteous. All the rest remain in denial. “It woz the electorate – not us” seems to be their posture.

    The next couple of weeks in the lead up to the QS will set the stall, and we will all know by then how the Tories plan to operate until such time as the majority dies off – one way or another.

    I remain optimistic about the impact the SNP will have – small at first, but growing in strength as the “new recruits” find their feet.

  6. Grouse Beater says:

    I was surprised by Alexander’s tone because only days before he was still expressing animosity towards the SNP: “They want to destroy us’. Perhaps he saw Armageddon coming and duly reduced his ire. But as Labour’s election organiser he must take a chunk of the blame. He ought to have demanded they join with the SNP – pride before a fall.
    I followed the debate very closely and never once got that impression independence supporters wanted a wipe-out, only that the some SNP hoped Labour would be taught a lesson, others that Labour would join with the SNP, a forlorn hope.

  7. Clootie says:

    I’m afraid my approach is rather simplistic. The UK will never achieve a balanced and fair society given it’s general right wing bias, evident during the GE2015. Even if an improved fairer manifesto was somehow attained across the UK for a period then it would revert back once again and undo any progress made. (It would also be a watered down version or the party promoting it would never get elected). Westminster will remain a turns each right versus left be that as two parties or alignment of parties.

    It therefore comes down to developing a working unit that can make those progressive changes and lock them in. The working unit given the history of this island is Scotland.

    An Independent Scotland will have a Holyrood focused on the interests of the people of Scotland. Holyrood will (I hope) be made up of strong “Scottish” based parties from every part of the spectrum.

    Perhaps greater devolution will help mitigate some of Westminsters excesses. However ONLY Independence will fix the changes in place.

    The journey to Independence may be 2 years or 20 years… but only one long term solution to building a fairer society exists.

  8. TheItalianJob says:

    Funny. I always thought that a number of Labour MSPs would walk across the floor and join with he SNP during the referendum campaign. That none did surprised me. I was expecting defections to the SNP but this didn’t happen.

    What did happen though was the ordinary labour voter defecting to the SNP post Indy culminating in the surge in the GE result in Scotland.

    Interesting times.

  9. Grouse Beater says:

    That’s an interesting observation, IJ – too hateful of the SNP to consider it? Must a few now wondering if it is time to cross the floor.

  10. Ghillie says:

    I believe Scotland HAS declared Independence! In our hearts and in our heads =)

    That is what i saw unfolding as we watched through the early hours of May the 8th.

    And now we have 5 more years ( maybe less!) to show the people of our neighbouring three nations how to stand up for themselves too, how to dare to visualize how they would like their lives to be just as the people of Scotland are doing, and that it CAN be done and that THEY decide, not a supercilious bunch of self-serving wee bully boys!

  11. Grouse Beater says:

    You’re very upbeat. 🙂

  12. donald says:

    Yes Ghillie ! That’s the stuff . Its not really happened here (oz) yet , but there will be a stirring soon enough. Greed is not sustainable .It does not share the wealth and good will , it steals it. The corruption here is off the charts just like everywhere else.
    Dont get me started on Tony Abbott and his sleazy side kick treasurer .

  13. Grouse Beater says:

    By coincidence I met an Aussie couple taking photographs in my lane. After a few minutes establishing trust they mentioned the stupidity of Abbot awarding the Duke of Edinburgh a knighthood – then their anger took off and they described his nefarious ‘habits’…

  14. donald says:

    Bob , are you referring to the the United kingdom that’s supposed to defend and protect our common law rights or the UNITED KINGDOM all caps, a publicly listed corporation masquerading as the same and stealing those rights ?
    And lets not forget the birth certificate your parents were swindled in to selling to the bond market so they could use innocent children as security for lending money from nothing . Birth certs are printed on Bond paper , the number is registered on the stock exchange . Your really are bondsman/slave . They got it in writing. Makes it all ‘legal’ then .

  15. donald says:

    That’s funny GB. I promise it is just a coincidence . Unless your being stalked by ASIO. If you are, my apologies.
    The Aussie’s hate Abbot ,still cant believe the sleaze bag got in to power somehow.
    The duke of Edinburgh thing was a massive gaff. I usually cant bear to read the papers or watch the news now , it just makes me to angry.

  16. osakisushi says:

    Only when the final whistle, the chequered flag, or the fat lady sings do we become independent. Any other frame of mind is in error.

    Then again, no-one ever won a race by expecting to lose. Tough one, this.

  17. Grouse Beater says:

    First the public has to share the sensibility all is inevitable because it is the natural place to be; that they are paddling in the right river in the right direction. By all accounts, a majority, the enemies of democracy included, feel the accoutrements of independence are gathering pace with only one destination.

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