Brexit Resignation

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What does it take for an individual to realise Scotland is not North England?

At the back of my mind there is the anxiety people will get so bored with the daily diet of Brexit stodge going around and around the gut getting nowhere, its deleterious impact will lose strength and voters will forget what it means to Scotland. You just know some are already resigned to their fate. They need a quick jolt of 100 Volts.

A few examples of the catastrophe on its way: It means the loss of European friendship, ditching  Human Rights, travel rights, scientific exchanges, university students, farming grants, rises in food prices with some foods unavailable, critical medical supplies halted, tariffs on exports, car parts unavailable, and Westminster keeping powers for the next seven years.

The Scots who voted to leave the European Union did so before Scotland negotiated how it wanted to retain membership. Talk about slitting your own throat.

The UK economy is already 2.5% smaller than it would have been had Remain won the referendum. Public finances are depleted by £26bn a year. This translates to a penalty of £500m a week, a figure that is growing.

It is no cure for Scotland’s economic disadvantages under Brexit for Boris Johnson and his IKEA policies to suggest a road bridge from Scotland to the DUP in Northern Ireland, his party previously having a whale of a time dissing the advent of the Queensferry Crossing linking north with south Scotland. The east coast road from merry England, the A1, is still a trunk road after over fifty years of Labour and Tory rule, while plans for trillions of pounds spent on a hyper-fast train from London to Manchester is applauded as a good idea to squander taxpayer money, among other hubristic English farces.

That aside, withholding powers from Scotland is extremely worrying. It represents the view of the ‘libertarian’ faction of British right-wing in all its forms, Tory, Labour, Lib-Dem and the obnoxious EDL felon Tommy Robinson, their ‘final solution’ to tame Scotland. ‘Seven years’ a polite way of saying Scotland won’t get the powers back again. As in the past, we will always be out-voted. Seven years is two political terms, enough time to screw the independence party and have a Unionist coalition returned to power.

To put it bluntly, anybody who thinks leaving Europe is a blessing for Scotland deserves a jail sentence for stupidity liable to injure the nation.

Scottish nationalism has never been about taking over and running other nations. It’s a resurgence of confidence in our own ability to manage our nation, awakened by the knowledge we have been right-royally exploited for over three hundred years.

Protestations of how well we did out of slavery or the British Empire when we remained an exploited region of England are repugnant. It is amateur psychologists recycling the ‘you should feel humble’ line. What they want is to hear Scotland squeal like a live pig getting slaughtered.

Unlike current repulsive xenophobic English nationalism, Scottish nationalism is about small country pride, not large country imperialism. We do not hate other nations.

“I am so bored of this “you hate the English” crap. So one last time – I am English. I want Scotland to be independent I voted for it in 2014. I’ll march in Edinburgh on 6th for it. I will vote for it again But I still love my mum.” Julie Murray

What is so perplexing is how much tyranny and humiliation people are prepared to suffer. One faction with a taste for self-flagellation is the British Unionist, a breed able to take a lot of sado-masochism, the one’s with a split personality, believing in a country and a nebulous abstract, proud to be Scots and British. They don’t realise ‘British’ cancels out the Scottish they are so proud of ever since England decided Westminster belongs to them alone. A Scottish-British nationalist is a person without an address.

A Scot who says with the greatest moral rectitude he’s British is expressing his insecurity – he knows the term is fragile.

You’ll find a lot of them work in academia. They talk a lot of ‘grievance politics’, another way of dismissing political debate. They don’t give a damn about civil or constitutional rights. They infect Scotland’s universities with their attitude that colonialism is natural.

Now and again one breaks ranks.

The letter below is from the latest. Let us hope it is not the last.

Dear Richard Leonard,

You can accept this letter as my formal resignation from membership of the Labour Party. And you may not like to hear that you are the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Having been a Labour supporter for over 20 years, and member for over a decade, I have seen the party, particularly in Scotland, lose its identity, purpose, and relevance as it has moved toward becoming a party of sound byte policies, and pure opposition, devoid of any substance or reasoned opinion.

In the wake of the Brexit vote two years ago, I simultaneously sent formal communication to both Kezia Dugdale and Nicola Sturgeon. To Kezia I was imploring her not to play politics and not to immediately discount a future Scottish independence referendum without first taking stock and commissioning an evidence based economic report on the whole set of circumstances and likely costs and benefits to all potential outcomes. In other words, not to jump to a non evidence based position that could not be reasonably substantiated.

At the same time, in my email to Nicola Sturgeon I emphasised that I was not an SNP supporter, rather I was a Labour Party member, but that I was (I am) an expert on EU law and other aspects of international law, and that if required for any analysis in the aftermath of the Brexit result I would be willing to put party politics aside for the good of the country’s future.

The result of both of those emails? I received a timely and personally written response from Nicola Sturgeon, acknowledging my offer and outlining potential approaches that may have been taken. And from Kezia? No response at all and the actions that I suspected i.e. a kneejerk response to discounting a second independence referendum with no evidence base whatsoever.

I considered resigning from the party at that point, but convinced myself that things might improve. Sadly however, things have continued to go from bad to worse for the party I once loved, and your recent announcement of seeking to block another independence referendum by inserting it into the next manifesto is a step too far. Yet again, neither you nor the party (as far as I know) has conducted any real economic or social research that backs up the approach of automatically discounting such a referendum, and the only logical conclusion I can come to is that this is yet another cynical (and yet again horrendously misjudged) exercise in opposition for opposition’s sake.

Let me be clear. I did not vote for independence in 2014, but the circumstances HAVE changed. I’m afraid this is a point that cannot be rebutted, as there is no valid argument to the contrary. One of the main crucial arguments in 2014 was that remaining in the UK was the only way to definitely protect EU membership. And at the time that was absolutely correct. However that is no longer the case. Instead the only likely way for future EU membership for Scotland would be as an independent country, unless there is an almighty Westminster U-turn and somehow the UK does not depart the EU in 2019 as currently proposed.

As such, and yet again, any hard decision to discount Scottish independence as of now without awaiting the eventual result of the Brexit process is indisputably premature. It is not something I will support (and nor should any reasonable individual who is not entrenched in rhetoric).

Sadly, these issues are so crucial that I cannot be party to, or complicit with their eventual outcome. Through your poorly judged approach to this issue, you have lost a formerly dedicated party member. My direct debit to the party will be cancelled with immediate effect.

Yours Sincerely,

Dr Allan T. Moore   

Lecturer in Law and Criminology, UWS; External Examiner in Law, Glasgow Caledonian University; External Examiner in International Law and International Human Rights Law, De Montfort University

This entry was posted in Scottish Independence Referendum, Scottish Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Brexit Resignation

  1. Alan Gordon says:

    That is a powerful dis missive. Can we share?

  2. Grouse Beater says:

    I only object if essay’s are lifted in their entirety for commercial gain without my approval, such as newspapers or magazines, so please feel free to pass around. 🙂

  3. Alan Gordon says:

    👍

  4. Ricky says:

    If you look at things another way , for 300+ years Scots have been conditioned to think a certain way and believe in the Great British State . A daily bombardment of negativity about Scotland , its government and the way we do things ( even though we only control 15-22% of our own country) this conditioned thinking doesn’t creep in , it gets rammed in and stays there . Since 1999 we have made inroads to this British centric way of thinking , the new media online and technology in general has shown people a different view of their own country .
    Are we as a nation and a people ready to stand on our own two feet , my answer has always been yes . Now slowly but surely those who voted no in 2014 are finally seeing what the rest of us have witnessed for years , that Scotland doesn’t matter only our resources . Let’s be honest when a government of any colour doesn’t need the vote of Scots to get elected , it can do what it bloody well wants , and that’s exactly what we have been living through .

  5. Grouse Beater says:

    There were plenty of No’s who grieved to have voted No who now will vote Yes. I’m sure the Tories know Brexit has brought on a sea change in attitude, hence all these warnings of blocking a second referendum.

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