And in today’s instalment of “What the actual @*!& is wrong with the UK?”, we learn that it’s perfectly OK not to have the largest party in Scotland represented in a General Election debate to be broadcast in Scotland. Because union of equals. Because the most successful partners of nations in the history of the multiverse. Because Scotland needs us to look after it. Because we say so Jockos. Look, we let you vote in OUR elections – what more do you want?
Raise a glass to your imperial masters, Scotland, and salute their decisions about you. It’s just not on to allow anyone on the tellybox who’s going to put the case for Scotland having its own say on its own future. It’s for your own good. Far better to restrict the debate to those who think it’s perfectly fine to ignore a democratic mandate from Scotland. It’s cleaner. It’s simpler. It’s more British. That way no one is going to challenge Boris or Jeremy when they say that they’re not going to permit another independence referendum. It avoids all those nasty complications. When there’s an SNPbadfest, it only spoils the fun to allow those vile nats a right to reply. That’s how proper British democracy works isn’t it?
It’s not just the SNP. The Lib Dems aren’t being allowed to participate either. This is also a good thing. It would only confuse the voters to allow people who don’t think Brexit is a good thing to speak. You can’t have people voting in an election that everyone keeps saying is all about Brexit and then allow them to hear from parties that want to stop Brexit. Can’t be done. It would be wrong. Will of the people and all that.
This is a general election. It’s supposed to be at time when all sides in current debates get the opportunity to air their views, freely and fairly. We’re supposed to live in a parliamentary democracy. We don’t have a presidential system. But we have broadcasters who look at their American colleagues with the presidential debates and who long to have some of that. That’s the curse of the UK, doomed to forever look at America as the only possible model because few can be arsed to learn the languages of our nearest neighbours. You can have Republican or Democrat, Conservative or Labour. Anything else just isn’t to be taken seriously.
There’s only certain things that are considered fit for public discourse in the UK. It’s fine to allow right wing provocateurs on the telly, but not their left wing counterparts. It’s fine to glorify the military, but we must never, ever cast a critical eye on the actions of the British army. It’s fine to offer mild criticisms of individual members of the royal family, but never the queen, and never the system. Scottish independence likewise belongs to that category of things that are unBritish, and when discussed must only ever be examined like something unpleasant on the sole of a gentleman’s oxford brogue.
So what is going to happen is that the two largest parties, the Conservatives and Labour, will be given an unfair advantage in an election in Scotland in which the two of them combined have less support than a party whose presence has been rejected. This isn’t a UK election debate, it’s an English one. Because from the perspective of the Home Counties English and British are the exact same thing. That’s why the likes of Boris Johnson can declaim that the UK is the most successful union in the history of forever. For him and his like it’s successful because it puts no demands on him, it puts no demands on the ruling classes. It’s very successful for them if Scotland has been subsumed, silenced, and locked in the shortbread tin. You can have your democracy Scotland, just as long as you don’t place any demands on your betters.
We have a Prime Minister who lies every time he opens his mouth. And we have a public broadcaster that the public are forced to pay for which allows him to get away with it. According to the Conservative commentor Peter Oborne writing in the Guardian, he spoke with senior BBC executives who told him that they thought it would be wrong to expose Boris Johnson’s many lies as it would undermine trust in politics if the public were to discover that their rulers were liars. That’s the same defence used by the Vatican when it was confronted by accusations of abuse. Far better to maintain the great lie.
Johnson lies and lies again, and again and again the broadcasters indulge him. Just last week he was filmed sipping a whisky when he graced Scotland with his presence, safely tucked away from any of the public who might heckle him. Then the next day he claimed that he’d given up alcohol for the duration of the election. He lies on the big things too. He lies when he said there is an agreement between the SNP and Labour. He lies when he says that he’s going to get Brexit over and done with, when all that’s going to happen is that Brexit will drag out for years and years to come. Even after the UK leaves the EU, the topic of the UK’s relationship with the EU will dominate British politics for a generation. Brexit’s long and malign shadow can’t be wished away by Boris Johnson’s lies.
It’s not the job of a proper reporter to tell us that Boris Johnson says that it’s bright and sunny, but critics say that it’s snowing outside. The job of the reporter is to look out of the damn window. Yet time and time again, the broadcast media allows Boris Johnson to tell us that all is sunny when really the snow is falling.
The UK is being failed by its political leaders. It’s being failed by its media. It’s a corrupt dance of the self-serving, liars and enablers, locked in a fatal embrace. It’s a state of disgrace. This is not a state that can be fixed. There’s no federalism fairy about to wave a magic wand. This is only a state that can be abandoned. Scotland needs to escape. It’s time. Look out of the window, and vote.
I’m publishing today’s article a bit early as on Tuesday the dug and I are off to spend the afternoon with Philippa Whitford’s canvassing team in Prestwick. We’re determined to do our wee bit to help get as many pro-indy MPs as possible. So if you’re going to be helping Philippa’s campaign tomorrow, we’re looking forward to seeing you. Philippa’s fundraiser has already reached its target, so here are some other worthy campaigns that need a bit of assistance.
Robert Leslie – Orkney and Shetland
Robert is the SNP candidate in Orkney and Shetland. He’s got a mountain to climb to dislodge Alistair Carmichael, but Robert’s got his crampons and climbing rope at the ready. Give his campaign a wee lift by donating to his crowdfunder
Patrick Grady – Glasgow North
Patrick has represented the north of the city of Glasgow since 2015. Help him to get reelected and ensure that the city has a clean slate of SNP MPs.
Amy Callaghan – Dunbarton East
Amy is standing against Jo Swinson, so naturally the Lib Dems are throwing everything into the seat. She’s got a battle on her hands, but she’s young, she’s determined, and she can overturn the Lib Dem vote and give us a historic victory by unseating the Lib Dem’s national leader.
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