A long sentence: From listening to people bemused by an SNP intent on saving England from self-harming rather than saving Scotland from getting shackled for decades to come, SNP energy is squandered not preparing Scotland’s electorate for the benefits and challenges of independence. I am not alone in thinking the SNP needs a sharp poke in the eye with a Saltire. Whether Brexit stands, as is most likely, or falls, unlikely, Scotland is in for a long sentence of a different kind, the sort imposed by a Tory cabinet exploiting the fears of an English electorate.
Plans to emasculate Scotland hinted by Boris and his Colombian-style anti-democracy runners are comprehensive, sinister, and lethal to Scotland’s very existence:
- Remove key civil rights
- Block constitutional change
- Withdraw Holyrood’s powers
- Restrict freedom of movement
- Handle taxation from Edinburgh
- Privatise Scotland’s Health Service
- Claim chunks of the Barnett Formula
- Hamper international deals and contact
A plague of grey squirrels
The SNP hierarchy must avoid telling England how to run their own country. It makes no sense. We are in a crisis and the SNP chose the worst possible course of action. There is nothing radical in chasing squirrels. Cats and foxes kill squirrels and botanical staff when a garden is closed to visitors, but politicians kill hope.
Talk of a quid pro quo deal with Boris has hands thrown up in horror. At some point in a war the two sides have to get together to parley. A UK Tory government might be one occasion. Boris hopes to secure a majority government from a general election so that he needs no help to pass his Withdrawal Bill. And any proposal to support Boris’ Bill in return for a guaranteed Second Referendum on independence is fraught with danger.
Labour and Scotland’s House Jocks will tar the SNP ferociously as tartan Tories. Any agreement on a plebiscite demands a written and co-signed document, another Edinburgh Agreement if you like, for Boris’ word is as reliable as a starving seagull avoiding the temptation to steal your poke of chips.
If the SNP help the Tories get beyond the final Brexit hurdle, polls warn Tories will be in government for a decade. A nascent, liberated Scotland faced by an antagonistic right-wing Tory party aligned to the Brexit party and the DUP, is the equivalent of Sir William Wallace shouting ‘freedom’ before being hung, drawn and quartered.
A vengeful state
Polls are consistent placing Back Door Boris streets ahead of Captain Corbyn in the popularity stakes, a Labour leader who fluffs and stumbles over his own prepared speeches and long-held beliefs. That does not guarantee the Tory party is streets ahead of Labour. It could be returned with another hung UK parliament. And yet some pundits and psephologists think a snap general election Boris’ Achilles Heel, the turnout pre-Christmas in bad weather making a Tory win unpredictable.
True, almost anything could happen. The electorate is volatile and thoroughly cheesed off. Professor Rob Ford calls this “the biggest gamble in modern political history”, with recent polls showing the Tories anywhere between 3% and 16% ahead. In that presides the chance of a national government, the last seen in Stanley Baldwin and Chamberlain’s day, with Churchill running a caretaker government after the Second World War.
Labour’s cement shoes
The lack of a stable governmental alternative for the ruling class points to the possibility of a national administration. Firstly, as cited, to avoid a cliff-fall EU exit, it could result in a hung parliament where neither Labour or Tory form a working majority.
Secondly, if a government led by Captain Corbyn came to power ready to carry out a radical programme of nationalisation and heavy taxes on the wealthy and big business, the backlash from energised, emboldened Brexiteers financed by corporate interests could see street protests and violence, a prime reason the SNP should have kept well back from meddling in England’s Brexit.
A Labour government is faced with dire imponderables. Tempted to renegotiate a ‘better’ Withdrawal Deal presupposes it returns from Brussels with conditions unacceptable to English nationalists. There are some truly ugly extremists running around with Union Jack’s tattooed on their foreheads and a Swastika on their back. They are certain to be joined by Mr and Mrs Britain already angry at Brexit delays, sure to be livid at a watering down of the ‘will of the people’.
Corbyn is anti-European. He will do his best to keep faith with Leave voters while doing the same for Remain voters – dancing in circles like a whirling Dervish. He is without the leadership qualities to assuage a mass reaction in any direction.
Labour preoccupied in quelling insurgency from the far-Right could see itself attacked from within by Blairite refugees, by Momentum, or Israeli propagandists shouting down any support for the Palestinians as anti-Semitic. Who in their right mind would want to be attached to all that? Surprise – the SNP does. The SNP keep offering Labour deals.
Nevertheless, nowhere are the problems facing Labour more deathly than in Scotland. Their north star is long washed down the gutter stank. A recent poll in Scotland for a general election – from early September 2019 – had Labour at only 15%, the Tories on 20% and the SNP on 43%. Labour’s lacklustre leader Richard Leonard is lucky he has no competitor for his job otherwise he would be emptying waste paper baskets back at his old place of worship, GMB union headquarters.
Richard Red Scarf’s leadership of Labour’s motley Scottish branch is woeful, credibility hampered by his predecessors’ crass disenfranchising of the poor and the vulnerable, and failing to fight austerity. His Yorkshire-Westow accent leads him into verbal banana slips mispronouncing Scottish and Gaelic place names, or ignorant of what powers are reserved, or worse, lecturing Scots on how to behave. Scots dislike told what to do by an Englishman with no connections to their culture. His only satisfaction is not being quite as invisible as Lib-Dem’s mascot, Willie Rennie.
Labour, up to its neck in sinking sands, would rather suffocate in the struggle to spit in the eye of the SNP one last time than fight a cruel and corrupt Tory party. This in Glasgow, a city that voted overwhelmingly Yes for restoring independence. When stupidity is sufficient explanation there is no need to have recourse to any other.
The SNP’s pelt of squirrel skins
There’s a good chance the SNP will, as a result of Labour’s incapacity and the Tories chaotic mess, win back many of the seats it lost in 2017, though for the unionist media to admit that is one in a hundred. They will run the election campaign on two issues: Stop Brexit and a campaign of winning all 59 Scottish seats bolstering their existing mandate for a second referendum on independence.
The reiteration that once over the Brexit hill there’s Nirvana only to be told there is another bloody hill, is irking supporter’s faith in SNP’s will power.
The unsavoury behaviour of Brexiteers, the sneers of Westminster politicians to the point of walking out of Westminster whenever the SNP stand up to debate a point, is proving to be counter-productive. Support for independence has increased: on average, it stands at between 49-52% in the last four polls, if polls are to be trusted. If not trusted, it must be closer to 60%. The mental change in Scotland’s electorate has surely more to do with England’s toxicity, less to do with Scotland’s inclusive politics.
Boris’ victory at a general election will lead to a significant increase in SNP support. The working class of Scotland, together with the brow-beaten middle class, have a strong desire to escape from the poverty trap, austerity and class oppression. Though not as radical or adventurous in policies as one would wish, the SNP offer succour to socialists and reasonable safety to democratic capitalists. The repercussions from Brexit can only propel the anger of those people to vote for the one party seeking full self-governance.
The first delayed food or medical supply truck from the Kent channel crossing will light a beacon of discontent hard to douse once alight. Brexit and its aftermath shows every sign of finishing the Tories off, for their historic crime of leading the country astray with brazen lies and false visions. In their victory is their demise. Perhaps we should help things along by delaying that truck ourselves. Confronted by a viscous authoritarian Tory government we might have to lie down in front of it.
NOTE: For a list of powers to be withdrawn from Scotland on the advent of leaving the EU click on this link: The Great British Power Grab – https://wp.me/p4fd9j-ngL