Another day, and another Scottish Unionist EU lie. Wings Over Scotland has already explained the desperate mendacity and lies of a Scottish Unionist media which sees the writing on the UK wall, but it’s worthwhile going over it again for the obdurate. Jacqueline Minor is the EU Commission’s representative in the UK, which is a bit like being a climate change scientist trying to explain reality to Donald Trump. Being the EU Commission’s representative in the UK is a virtual guarantee that anything you say will be taken by the British media and spun 180 degrees opposite of what you actually meant.
This week Ms Minor explained that it’s perfectly possible that Scotland could get a fast track entry into the EU, pointing out quite reasonably that Scotland is already in compliance with EU membership requirements, unlike most of the other states which have applied to join. She also noted that new member states are obliged to sign up to membership of the Euro, but noted that there is no timescale for this and that a country could quite easily indefinitely postpone membership of the single currency. All of this is exactly what supporters of Scottish independence have been saying since way back in 2011 when Alicsammin (remember him?) was elected as head of a majority SNP government with a manifesto commitment to holding a Scottish independence referendum.
Yet here we are, six years on, and the Scottish Unionist media is still blaring out the same auld EU pish that it always has done. Who needs fake news when you have the Express, the Mail, and the Hootsmon? Scotland, they tell us, would have to join the queue for EU membership, failing as ever to point out that this is not a queue in which membership applications are dealt with on a first come first served basis. Scotland, they want us to believe, won’t even have its EU membership application looked at until Albania has sorted out its corruption problems, Turkey has become a properly functioning democracy, and Daily Mail journalists are able to locate Moldova on a map.
This shouldn’t need to be explained yet again, but here we are. Eligibility for EU membership is not determined on a first come first served basis. There is no ‘queue’. States are admitted to the EU as soon as they achieve compliance with the many and detailed conditions required for membership. Scotland is already there.
No country can be forced to join the Euro. It’s amazing how otherwise apparently sensible people assert otherwise. Joining the Euro is not like being conscripted into the army. It’s a complex process involving a number of discrete steps, one of the most important of which – the decision to join the European Exchange Rate Mechanism – is entirely up to the judgement of the member state concerned. A country can quite easily delay signing up to the ERM indefinitely. No ERM, no Euro. It’s that simple.
Despite what you’ll read in a UK press that insists that the EU is obsessed with the straightness of bananas, the EU isn’t interested in forcing member states to adopt the Euro if they don’t see it as being in their interests to do so. But then, if you believe the likes of the Daily Mail, being a member of the EU is not unlike being a member of the Wehrmacht and being ordered to invade Poland. Or rather, ordering Poland to invade Portsmouth.
The conditions of EU membership include amongst other things that a country is a properly functioning democracy with freedom of speech and freedom of the press – and this includes the freedom of the press to tell lies and systematically undermine the current government. Despite the spectacularly mendacious attempts of Unionist journalists to argue otherwise, Scotland is a fully functioning democracy with press freedom. In Scotland right wing Unionists are so censored that they have to resort to double page spreads in the Daily Mail. It’s not exactly a samizdat – which for those of you young enough not to remember the Soviet Union is a clandestinely printed and distributed publication which is banned by the state. Unionism in Scotland is so censored that it has to make do with every single newspaper except one daily and one Sunday. It is so censored that it’s able to print untruths on a daily basis.
Scotland is already a member of the EU by virtue of being part of the UK, and therefore is already in compliance with all the varied conditions of EU membership. However according to the Unionist press, we’d have to wait for Macedonia to resolve its naming dispute with Greece before anyone would even glance at our EU membership application. It’s such a ridiculous pile of nonsense that it’s amazing that those printing it can do so with a straight face. The truth is that the EU is open to the idea of a fast track for Scottish membership.
The real blow that the Unionist media doesn’t want to talk about is the blow to the chances of the UK remaining a single state. Ms Minor pointed out in her comments that the UK government shows no sign that it is disposed to negotiate a special deal for Scotland. The Unionist media describes this as a set back for Nicola Sturgeon, but really it’s a set back for attempts to keep the United Kingdom together. That’s the real story, that an independence referendum is increasingly likely, and it’s becoming increasingly likely because of the intransigence and short sightedness of the British state. But rather than point out the dangers of this path, the Unionist media act as cheerleaders in the reckless destruction of what they claim to hold dear. It’s not Scottish nationalism which is destroying the UK, the British government is doing a grand job of that all by itself, and all that the Unionist media does is wave a fleg and put up the red white and blue bunting.
Here we are, six years on, and the Unionist media is still spouting the same lies, the same half-truths, the same misinformation, all in an attempt to scare and browbeat the people of Scotland into submission. They’re coming out with the same old lies, lies that have already been challenged, debunked, and dismissed, because they’ve run out of ammunition. It’s a sign of their desperation and the bankruptcy of their argument.
There are times when it feels like challenging this turd torrent is like banging your head off the proverbial brick wall. But the hard truth for the Unionist media is that their flood of falsehoods isn’t working. Support for independence continues to rise. In 2011 we went into a referendum when only 28% of Scotland supported independence. Now we’re going into a second referendum with 49% support. When you keeping banging against the brick wall of Unionism, it’s the Unionist wall that crumbles. It won’t take much more for the entire sorry edifice to come crashing down.
Audio version of this blog post, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/wee-ginger-dug-10th-feb-2017
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