When the new culture, the new society has been established in Scotland we shall look back at all the puerile spats, frantic, inane trolls, unionist fabrications and manufactured disputes and insults with a comforting warmth knowing we surmounted them all. We might allow ourselves a tinge of regret that we got involved with a few fanatics instead of ignoring them. And before readers cheer too loudly, I include odd supporters of the SNP one would not wish to associate for fear of being seen as irrational or ill-informed.
Indeed, my first ever attendance at an SNP meeting in 2013 – there to observe – I encountered not one but two members resolutely set against Scotland’s independence. In such moments of horror I am apt to wonder if man has any right to exist. It was if they had gotten onto the wrong train going to the wrong destination but were so stubborn that they insisted on getting their money’s worth determined to see the journey to its bitter conclusion.
Anyhow, not being much attracted to the boring but essential business of branch meetings I lost interest in the sameness of discussions, repelled when Angus Robertson managed to swing the SNP to seek membership of the USA puppet force called NATO. Why seek to overthrow one schizophrenic tyranny only to welcome another? I slunk away to fire enthusiasm for liberty expressed in soapbox essays. Wisdom is not only intellectual, we need emotion to propel action.
Occasionally I read of supporters who think the party will disband soon as independence is reinstated. Why will that happen? Contrary to popular belief, the SNP is disinterested in brief power. Momentary expediency isn’t in the veins of a political force that has waited patiently for almost 100 years to show its mettle.
Now that the SNP has held power for a decade and more, with independence in sight, what it must guard against is thinking any criticism of Scotland’s renaissance is an attack on that renaissance or indeed on its governance. It has to embrace dissent that isn’t hell bent on destruction but strives for construction.
The SNP seeks a wider point of view than mere governance of a small country. I want Scotland to join the world of nations, so does the SNP. I mean by that, the world beyond and including the European Union. I want us to achieve internationalism not by tartans and whisky exports and Scottish movie stars, and not by having to ask England’s permission for leave of absence from the UK to take a walk outside the garden gate.
Bring a note from your parent
Why ask Westminster for permission for anything? Look at the state of England now – what a mess.
To follow England’s lead or sit back and let their racist, intolerant ideology infuse our daily existence puts the future of our very society, our community at stake; we have very little time left to raise Scotland to a nation state again, to defeat the forces of unreason that wish us to remain servile and provincial.
Scotland be advised:
For the first time in 800 years Ireland has greater power than England. Simple arithmetic: shoved aside in the past it was isolated.
Now Ireland has twenty-seven states rooting for it. A small country inside the EU has superior influence than a large one on the outside. One decade Ireland is highly prosperous, the next in debt to the EU the butt of arrogant Englishmen, the next back on its feet again and fighting fit – how fortunate to live in an independent nation.
You’re throwing away your sovereignty, cry unionists, chucking it out by leaving the grip of the UK for the membership of the EU. Well, that’s fine by me, for it is pertinently obvious we shall be in a superior position to organise and handle interdependence with England when we have twenty-seven other states minding our back.
In a shopping mall car park I got into a brief conversation with an owner of a French car. Out of left field I heard him say, “I hope the French get it in the neck for what they’re doing to us over Brexit”.
Doing to us? England voted to leave France and all EU states. What was he talking about? Dunkirk? Did I really hear the spirit of Dunkirk outside Tesco’s? Was he about to ask me if I owned a small boat and could he commandeer it to Calais? Was he worried about Brit expats, their potential loss of pensions deserting the EU and wanted to bring them home to safety and endless editions of Coronation Street?
Have you heard the prattle from the Tory 1922 Committee? Did I really hear chief Brexiteers invoke the hundred years war as a cri de coeur for English hegemony? Jacob Rees-Mogg and his medieval knights must keep suits of armour in their lobby halls. Do they forget Scotland was on the other side?
You don’t need to be a student of drama to recall Shakespeare’s Henry V riding out to battle at Agincourt warning that we Scots will use the moment to attack England’s northern towns. And that we certainly did. Scotland was allied to France. By all accounts that seems to be the SNP’s model of campaign – wait to see how the ravages of Brexit affect the downtrodden English and then strike while they are in disarray chasing rats for dinner.
Do we have to wait until Brexit does its worst? How many small nations had to wait on a neighbour state falling apart before declaring their independence? The historic tendency is to demand autonomy after years of colonial rule.
What we witness is England’s determination to hold tight to its last vestiges of empire, the Union between Scotland and England, and their utter indifference to Scotland’s rights. And they don’t much give a damn about Ireland either.
The Hundred Years War might resonate in the breasts of a few English folk but it has damn all relevance to Scots and Irish.
A very English revolution
England is undergoing a seismic shift in its identity. At the moment it defines its self solely in terms of not being Johnny Foreigner. It has yet to define what it is to be English, and where England should sit at the world’s round table. They are going through a very painful rebirth of navel gazing, retreating from the world’s stage, insular, chronically uncertain of who they are and where they want to go. How long this phase will last is anybody’s guess. What it signifies to me is the death rattle of a broken UK.
We Scots have held on to our identity over three centuries against all the odds and know our urge has always been outward. Our revolution is of a different sort; no amount of jeering and booing from Westminster and Whitehall can dispel that unified outlook.
A natural state of being
Social cohesion demands a code of behaviour, a set of values, principles too, preferably a combination of all three if a community is not to disintegrate and become the play thing of a tyrant or a foreign power. If that togetherness is to be effective, that oneness that rejects ‘them and us’, it has to be deeply felt. The great majority must feel it a natural state of being.
Once a conqueror steps in and imposes his will free thought is threatened. When that happens national pride is all that left to sustain the wish for democratic empowerment. Hence, there is nothing bad or evil in small country nationalism that fights for the civil and constitutional rights of its population. Simply put, when empowerment gives us the opportunity to participate in what governs and shapes our lives the result is happiness for the majority. We will have tamed power.
Courage and hope
Those of us who lead Scotland out of its second-rate colony status need courage and hope, the two qualities unionists attack mercilessly day in, day out. In fact, you can reduce a large percentage of our opponents arguments to those two targets. Absolute control and a pathological requirement of conformity compels the colonial to tie down and weaken courage and to dispel hope.
A better Scotland awaits, free of fear and domination, a place where the creative spirit is alive, motivated by the impulse to construct and not suppress or possess. A new society is possible, it only awaits our determination to create it.