The one sided love affair

Yesterday we had the pointless spectacle of a Conservative election manifesto dressed up as a state opening of parliament. None of the measures which the Queen announced were going to be implemented by her government will ever see the light of day this side of a general election. The entire episode was a waste of time and ermine dry cleaning bills. Still, from the point of view of Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson it guaranteed him a lot more TV exposure from gushing BBC commentators who were caught up in the flummery than would ever have been possible in a five minute election broadcast that no one paid attention to because they were waiting for Eastenders.

This is the second time within a couple of months that this Prime Minister has used the officially politically neutral head of state as a tool for giving himself a political advantage. At this rate we can expect Prince Philip to drive the Conservatives’ campaign bus during the General Election. Which would be entirely appropriate since it’s going to run over the plebs before taking us all over a cliff.

The measures themselves were the kind of mixture of electoral bribes and right wing dog whistles which we’ve come to expect from Conservative manifestos. Although it is surprising that the Conservatives announced that they are proposing to make photo IDs compulsory for voting. It means that many of them won’t be able to vote themselves. Aren’t vampires invisible to cameras as well as mirrors? Certainly the Conservative party has long since lost the ability to look at itself in the mirror. This may explain much about them. They still imagine themselves as suave and debonair superhumans, when everyone else sees blood sucking undead monsters who still walk the earth even though they belong in the grave.

Meanwhile over in the Guardian, the newspaper’s leader writer gazed upon the sad state of affairs in Catalonia and opined that Nicola Sturgeon is right to eschew the Catalan route and reject an illegal referendum. Unfortunately the leader writer neglected to explain to us mere Caledonians what the UK law is exactly that would make an independence referendum illegal. This is not Spain, there is no constitutional prohibition on independence referendums here. The Section 30 order agreed between David Cameron and Alex Salmond in 2012 did not create a law which provided that Westminster is the only body which can authorise a referendum. It merely provided a political guarantee that neither party would seek to challenge the referendum’s result.

We can only assume that the Guardian meant a consultative referendum being carried out by Holyrood without Westminster’s consent. However this matter has never been tested in the courts. There are good legal arguments as to why such a referendum would in fact be perfectly legal. Whether the court would accept those arguments is very much a moot point. As things stand, the lawfulness of a consultative referendum, which is in essence a glorified opinion poll, remains untested. Those who, like the Guardian’s leader writer, assert that a referendum without a Section 30 order are giving us a political opinion and not a statement of legal fact. Indeed, when newspapers start to prejudge a referendum without a Section 30 order as being illegal, they are guilty of the very inflammation of a delicate situation which they purport to condemn.

Equally the newspaper signally failed to point out that the responsibilities it places upon Nicola Sturgeon should equally fall upon the British government. If Scotland votes, yet again, to reinforce the existing mandate that the Scottish Government already has for an independence referendum, it is incumbent upon the British Government to respect the decision of the Scottish electorate. Because if the British Government doesn’t do so, then the quality of British democracy becomes every bit as questionable as Spain’s.

It’s becoming ever more clear that the rest of the UK is getting to the point where they’d be happy to see the back of Scotland. An opinion poll published this week showed that 55% of voters in England prioritise getting Brexit done over keeping the four nations of the UK together. A further 9% apparently want neither Brexit nor to keep the four nations of the UK together. A whopping 64% of voters in England have priorities which are more important to them than ensuring that the UK is kept together.

Well that must be a big slap in the face for Scottish unionists, to discover that the rest of the UK is just not that into them. England is in love with the vision of itself from the 1950s, when it could still tell itself it was a global power that the rest of the world looked up to. It’s like spending weeks and a fortune courting the object of your affections in the hope of persuading them to go on a date only to discover that you’ve been rejected because they’d rather go out with their racist granddad and listen to him reminisce about the empire.

The increasing lack of enthusiasm for the United Kingdom in the rest of the UK is definitely a development which works to the advantage of Scottish independence. It is a vindication of the SNP’s determination to resist Brexit. When voters in England see that Scotland is standing in the way of what they believe England wants, they are not going to concede that Scotland has a point. They’re going to seek to remove the obstacle. This means that British governments are going to find that there is ever less enthusiasm and energy within England for campaigning to keep the UK together, and makes the circumstances more likely to occur when a British government might see it advantageous not to block an independence referendum in Scotland.

However it also highlights the futility and bankruptcy of Scottish Unionism as a political philosophy. The refusal of voters in the rest of the UK to compromise for Scotland merely throws into stark relief the uncomfortable truth for Unionism that within the UK it’s always Scotland which ends up having to accept a position that it doesn’t want. You cannot realistically talk of a partnership when it’s only the one partner who always has to make the concessions while the other always gets what they want. Scottish Unionism is a one-sided love affair.

Right now, Scotland is caught in a nightmare created by English nationalism. It’s a nightmare populated by Tory vampires, by racist grandfathers who hark back to the days of Empire, and Prince Philip driving us off a cliff. It’s a nightmare that the rest of the UK is not going to wake up from, no matter how much Scotland screams. All we can do is leave them to their bad dreams and wake up to a better Scotland.

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11 thoughts on “The one sided love affair

  1. Pingback: The one sided love affair | speymouth

  2. Well done indeed Paul, spot on for content and timing, the divergence of England from any pretence of UK amply demonstrated by the pomp and bullshit emanating from the mother-f of parliaments, ScotGov would do it in 10 minutes without the dry cleaning bill.
    Regarding the Grauniad piece, there were a couple of equally distorted English perspectives, one by Zoe Williams demonstrating a complete misunderstanding of where Scotland is politically for which she got pelters in the comments section from Scots and less misinformed English alike.
    Even when the blue-rinses take their first steps into the sunny uplands of Brexit the media and political manipulators will still have to calm down the mob they provoked, if they think this jingo will merely disappear as the “disappointed’ shuffle off to their hovels they are seriously and dangerously deluded. The 66% who didn’t vote for this shitstorm will be on tranquilisers for years to come.
    I cannot forgive the media and it’s owners for this confection, but at some future point when England finally realises what just happened, we must be as separated from the mayhem as possible.

  3. It’s true England would rather break up the U.K. than not have brexit but what they would love even more than that is to have brexit and tell Scotland NI and Wales you are not leaving you are staying in the U.K. whether you want it or not , whether you vote for it or not , England refers to Britain and Great Britain and U.K. and England as “the country” , I heard many of them phoning in to LBC radio saying exactly that just the other day when Maajid Nawaz commentator for LBC was saying Scotland should just be told they are not having another referendum ,he said everyone should be told there will be no more referendums he also said it’s ridiculous because next it will be Northern Ireland or wales or Cornwall or Essex asking for independence referendums.
    There were many English people phoning in to agree with him.

    There will be no easy separation because even after Scotland has taken independence from U.K. we will see England doing its utmost to try and cause Scotland trouble be it refusing to return our treasured belongings in their museums or trying to influence trade and business with Scotland .

    Scotland is strong that is why we are still a separate country from England even after all the bad faith and bolshy behaviour we have experienced over a long time.

    I’m ready for independence

    • Terry, whilst I agree there is profound ignorance of Scottish issues exploited by English Radio, it is completely wrong to assume a radio phone-in represents English views. Those railing against Scotland going it’s own way are the “Daily Smell” phwa-phwa Torygraph variety, who pretend to represent the majority while representing their owners or presenter’s advantage. This rich elite are the last remaining English buccaneers, and even if they pull off this “coup”, it is England not the UK who will pay a heavy price, and certainly not Scotland.
      If this Mafia succeeds, MirageToryMk2PLC is the next phase, Mark Francois, Rees-Mogg, Blo-Jo, scammers to a man will play their part, but what follows? Pretentious and odious twats form a Government? RupertMurdochToryMk3PLC ?
      Comments I’ve read imply a very different English perspective – better the Scots escape this calamity, etc. – Perhaps use a smaller brush when painting… 😉

  4. Does the opinion of the 55% matter? They are not the ones who benefit by keeping Scotland in chains – it’s the ones who are robbing Scotland blind!

  5. Paul , while it may be a growing source of frustration to many in England that Scotland appears to be standing in the way of ”British” independence from the EU , it does not follow that they will be simply glad to be shot of us , as you say .
    I am more fearful by the day , given the make-up of this right-wing Tory Government that , rather than giving Scotland independence they will tie us ever closer by abolishing the devolved administrations .
    While there are those who will say that ”they can’t do that !”, would you care to bet on Boris Johnson and his crowd of criminals obeying any statutes supporting devolution ?

    As someone once said in a movie trailer ( or was at the Cabinet table ? ) – ”Be afraid …Be very afraid !”

  6. Millsy’s argument may not be that far fetched. We have a Tory Government who are increasingly prepared to by pass it’s own Westminster Parliament – having to be challenged through the courts to enable Parliament to trigger A50 and to prevent Parliament being shut down.

    All the while under a background context in which the same Party in Government are widely acknowledged as being prepared to use Henry VIII powered – via a vis the 1539 Statute of Proclamations Act – to get its own way regardless of whether it has a majority of not.

    The Mirror is reporting Bloody Stupid Johnson as determined to carry on even if the Queen’s Speech is voted down. Whilst police in London have simply decided to ban ER activities without bothering to go through the normal legal process (apparently) and are currently stopping pedestrians in central London demanding ID.

    Anyone fancy putting up money against a Ministerial decree under Henry VIII Powers to introduce compulsory voter ID before the next (imminent?) GE without the bother of going through a Parliament they clearly hold in contempt?

    Right now the only leg of what passes for a ‘Constitution” standing between that kind of scenario and sanity are the Courts. How long before Judge’s are replaced by Ministeria decree?

    There may well be 55% who prefer Brexit to keeping Scotland. There are also large majorities amongst the electorate for public ownership of the rail transport system, water and other utilities and a range of other things. But they don’t get them.

    It says Dz on the side of buses but they don’t sell soap powder.

    Reason being we are dealing here with a mindset and an attitude which wants it’s cake and to eat it at the same time and believes fervently in its privileged entitlement to expect it.

    When they treat Westminster as an optional extra to be discarded at a whim they will show no hesitation in dumping on Scotland, Wales or anyone else to maintain the Union. After all, they need it to project their post Brexit re-established 19th Century British Empire standing alone punching above its weight.

    Anyone who seriously thinks the post Brexit project is just going to be an England only affair is in for a rude awakening. These people deal in straight power projections not Constitutional convention. It’s all they know because it’s all they’ve been taught their whole lives.

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