Some British nationalists are trying to stir up some controversy because SNP MSP James Dornan said on Twitter that he despises being a part of the UK. Cue major harrumphage from the usual suspects, those British nationalists who are always the first to claim victimhood status in defence of the right of the British state to rule unchallenged. That vile cybernat MSP says that he hates every single person in the UK. He hates the baby prince. He hates little babies! Help, help, we poor British nationalists who are not nationalists at all are being oppressed by that horrible and nasty separatist. He’s saying nasty things about us!
It’s perfectly justified to say nasty things about a state which does nasty things. When someone condemns the actions of the British state, only a self-serving fool would believe that the condemnation extends to every single person in the British state. But Twitter is full of self-serving thin-skinned fools prone to anger, and so is British nationalism. Put the two together and you have a recipe for outraged idiocy.
James made the comment in relation to the UK government’s treatment of the Windrush generation of migrants. A cohort of people who arrived in the UK from what were the Colonies, having been told that they were British, having been told that the so-called Mother Country needed them. They arrived here to discover that their lives and opportunities were blighted by racism. Then that British failure was compounded by a Home Office which, in order to placate the howling bigots of the right wing press, told them that having lived and worked in the UK for almost all their lives that they were no longer welcome here. People who worked in the NHS for decades were told that they were not entitled to NHS treatment. People lost their jobs and their homes. Families were split up. All because Theresa May wanted to create a hostile environment for migrants, in pursuit of the approval of racists.
James has a point, and he’s certainly not the only one who despises being a part of an uncaring, xenophobic, and increasingly parochial Disunited Kingdom which prides itself on nothing but an exceptionalism which is entirely imaginary and is based on distant memories of a cruel and rapacious Empire. The truth is that the United Kingdom is and always was an exercise in exploitation. The UK began its life in 1707 as an invitation to the Scottish establishment to join with their English equivalents in the theft of resources and people, from Africa, Asia, and the Americas. British imperialism was based on the exploitation of working class people in Britain and Ireland, and on the exploitation of those countries which it pleased the British state to call its colonies.
British imperialism expressed itself in Scotland and Ireland with the imposition of an religious-ethnic hierarchy in which people of Irish and Gaelic Catholic origin were firmly at the bottom of the pile, for generations denied opportunities, jobs, and decent housing. The fact that the major working class expression of British nationalism in Scotland and Northern Ireland is still the bigotry of an Orange Parade tells you all you need to know about the nature of the British state. British nationalism in Scotland and Ireland is not and never was an exercise in inclusivity.
We live in a state in which people dependent on state aid are demonised and vilified, yet a large majority of people receiving financial help from the state are employed. We live in a state where it is not possible to work your way out of poverty, where the gap between the rich and the poor is amongst the widest in the developed world and is a chasm which yawns increasingly wider. 60% of families living in poverty are headed by people in work. We live in a state whose housing policies have created a generation of young people who are increasingly unlikely to ever own their own home and who will rely for the rest of their lives on precarious private rentals because that same state has destroyed the stock of social housing.
People don’t support Scottish independence because we think that the UK is a wonderful place. We support it because we believe it to be a dysfunctional state which is incapable of reforming itself. We support Scottish independence because being a part of the UK is damaging to Scotland’s interests and this country could do so much better if it were not shackled to a state which does not have Scotland’s interests at heart, and which lies and dissembles to the people of this country. We support Scottish independence because we despise a British establishment which creates its own wealth and privilege at the expense of the majority. We support Scottish independence because we seek a remedy which works for Scotland, a remedy which can act as an example to the rest of the UK.
If the British state wasn’t despicable, we wouldn’t be seeking to leave it in the first place. The reason that British nationalists hate the desire for Scottish independence so much is because Scottish independence isn’t driven by a belief that Scotland is better than anywhere else. Its motive force is not a hatred of the English or anyone else. The campaign for Scottish independence is driven and motivated by the failures and inadequacies of a British state that doesn’t work for all its citizens and all its constituent parts. It doesn’t work for all its citizens and constituent parts because that’s precisely how the British state was set up to work.
But rather than look at the legion of sins of the British state, rather than atone for its many victims, the poor, the dispossessed, those suffering the racism of the Home Office, the generation of young people who will never enjoy secure employment or accommodation, apologists for British nationalism would rather carp about those who condemn the failures of the British state. They have the utter gall to imagine that they are the victims instead of those whom the British state victimises. That’s pretty despicable.
The Wee Ginger Dug has got a new domain name, thanks to Indy Poster Boy, Colin Dunn @Zarkwan. http://www.indyposterboy.scot/ You can now access this blog simply by typing www.weegingerdug.scot into the address bar of your browser, the old address continues to function, the new one redirects to the blog. The advantage of the new address is that it’s a lot easier to remember if you want to include a link to the blog in leaflets, posters, or simply to tell a friend about it. Many thanks to Colin.
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