A guest post by Samuel Miller
I honestly don’t know who or what is worse; Corbyn and his wannabe Kezia Dugdale, or May and her mini me Ruth Harrison (Fallon, the gift that keeps on etc.). Today was a benchmark day for both teams in hypocrisy and shear disingenuous cobblers.
Let’s start with Ruth Davidson shall we? It seems Ruth gave a speech to the George Orwell Foundation (irony klaxon). Aye, apparently people get confused between nationalism and patriotism and they’re really quite different you know. Nationalism, especially Scottish nationalism, is bad. It’s all that ‘bullying and hectoring’ the Scottish government and their supporters do. Patriotism however, especially Ruth’s fleg wavy, tank riding, buffalo wrangling variety is good. So some folk who wrap their bigotry, their violence and their hatred in flegs will be delighted to find out that they’re not bad nationalists, but rather good patriots. Who knew?
Just for the removal of doubt and of course to prove that both hypocrisy and irony are dishes best served cold, I’d suggest Ruth looks up both words in a dictionary.
Here’s the thing though, patriotism and nationalism are just words and a flag is merely a piece of cloth with bright colours. What gives words weight and a coloured symbol meaning are associated actions. The extremes of both those words have led to some of the greatest crimes in humanity’s history, equally some of the worlds greatest criminals hid behind the symbol of their country.
Of themselves there is no harm in feeling patriotism or national pride, a sense of belonging in your community, your country, your population. Taken in the extreme to a sense of exclusion, exceptionalism and even xenophobia? That is a different and darker path altogether. Which politics in the UK reflects the latter more accurately today? That’s one for the reader to decide.
A final thought for Ruth (in case she’s confused you understand). ‘Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel’ Samuel Johnson
Then we come to Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour manifesto. Well what can you say?
This is the relevant quote from page 104 of Labour’s 2017 manifesto:
Labour opposes a second Scottish independence referendum. It is unwanted and unnecessary, and we will campaign tirelessly to ensure Scotland remains part of the UK. Independence would lead to turbo-charged austerity for Scottish families.
‘Unwanted and unnecessary’ … says who? Last I checked the Scottish government is the only legislative body in the UK with an overwhelming public mandate across all elections and under three completely differing balloting procedures. ‘Independence would lead to turbo charged austerity’. On two counts this is pushing the boundaries of credibility. Firstly, that is an untested and unquantifiable opinion. No one has any idea what measures an independent Scottish government would take to grow their economy, marshall their resources and revenue stream or indeed who that government may be. Secondly, Scotland was already promised a great deal of security, pooling and sharing, broad shouldered better togetherness a little over two years ago. What Scotland received was somewhat less than that, as thousands of newly unemployed folk can attest to. We were also promised guaranteed membership of the EU, that we’d be living in a near federal state, that our state pension arrangements were safe and that job security was assured only by voting NO.
Safe to say that Mr Corbyn’s idea of ‘unwanted and unnecessary’ may be somewhat different to anyone else’s. Jeremy’s big catchphrase this time round is ‘For the many, not the few’. So far, he’s doing a damn fine job of protecting the entitlement of the few to decide the fate of the many. Also worth noting Mr Corbyn’s well publicised stance on leaving the EU. Regaining full sovereignty is good for only the goose apparently.
Just so he’s aware?
The UK is ‘notionally’ a union of nations. Scotland is a nation, a partner, a signatory to the treaty of union and the people of Scotland have the inalienable human right to self determination. The principle… is that we have the right to choose.