Can we draw breath for a moment? The political Insanity since the Brexit referendum has been off the scale!
The Tories having knifed each other to death, are now forming themselves back into the Tories we all know and love….Self Interest and Power tops everything, irrespective of how much carnage one does to everyone else in the process.
Thus we have Theresa May as PM in charge of the most right wing cabinet since Ghengis Khan, with Boris Johnson as the Court Jester and Foreign Secretary.
Labour have lost any sense of propriety and ceased to exist as democratic member driven movement, while also abrogating any semblance of responsible opposition.Precisely at the time when effective opposition to the Conservative government is most needed. Their Red Flag is no longer flying, it has been ripped up and trampled into the mud.
Meanwhile as Europe and the rest of the world look on aghast at the current lunacy of British politics, and while the Tories try to sort out the awful mess they made from their own infernal internal creation, we in Scotland are about to be faced with an Indyref2 which I doubt any of us were anticipating or prepared for quite so soon.
It is quite clear to me already how the arguments are going to be shaped this time, and they will be quite different from those used before.
May has already made clear from the onset that she will resist any attempt to have Indy2, but she will ultimately fail on that score.
Nor is she or her right wing cabal prepared to remotely consider exploring any avenue where agreement and cooperation can be made between Scotland and the rUK which would allow for Scotland remaining in the EU while rUK departs.
Brexit means Brexit, is her mantra, and that doesn’t include any dilution of Westminsters hold and control over Scotland.
The arguments already being floated as a sop to Scotland is Federalism, allowing Scots to have more say on our own internal governance, but ultimately answerable to the British government on Foreign affairs and Defence and Currency,and being outwith the EU.. Well, we know this argument very well….it has been used since 19canteen!
Remember the VOW, how could we forget? That old sop is now a complete non runner, but it doesn’t preclude them trying it. It might still work on sufficient of the cognitively challenged among us.
Actually, of far greater threat to Scottish Independence now is Europe, or the EU to be precise.
Not Europe or the EU in itself, but rather ignorance of what the EU is, and what our relationship to it would be.
It is precisely that ignorance of the EU which was utilised by the Leavers of the Brexit campaign, and also Ironically by Camerons government and the remainers.
I remarked during that debate that I wondered If Cameron and his government were trying to actually persuade the electorate to vote Leave? Such was the negativity of their argument for remaining in the EU whilst not endeavouring to put any positive case for the EU, that they rightly got called Project Fear. In effect they were putting into play precisely the same tactics that they had used during Scottish Indy Ref.
Their problem was that while these tactics worked before on sufficient Scots, the Leavers also used Project Fear tactics on immigration, and did it far better! Not only that, but they used worthless promises too, such as EU subsidies to farmers etc would be paid by the British government, and the NHS would receive 350million a week if we left.
The Leavers used the carrot and the stick, the government only used the stick on this occasion, no love bombing, and no Vows.
None of this worked half as well with the Scots, we had seen it all before.
The only positive case I heard for remaining in the EU came from Nicola Sturgeon, but she was really a lone voice in the British debate, and hadn’t really entered into it until a month beforehand, once our own Holyrood elections were out of the road.
So how does this all play into a forthcoming Indyref2 debate?
Circumstances have changed a lot since Indyref, and are about to change much more.
During Indyref…. both sides were arguing about who was better placed to keep us in the EU, with the British government claiming that a YES vote would see us cast out and adrift in the big bad world as Shuggie no mates. That we would lose our representation at the big tables of the EU, NATO, and everywhere else. Only a NO vote would ensure we stayed in the EU…..See how that one worked out suckers, could be our expression, but it is no laughing matter!
Interestingly and alarmingly enough, I have heard plenty of expression by some of my fellow Scots who voted YES to Indyref, that they would now vote NO to Indyref2, on the basis that they want out of the EU, and the SNP government would bring them back into it!
Contrary to opinion, not all Leave EU voters are racist, but plenty of them are. Don’t lets kid ourselves, we have our racists and bigots too.
Others would not class themselves as racist, but have serious concerns over turning into a country which with rampant immigration, because of freedom of movement in the EU, would flood us and our services, and employment and housing, and deny home grown Scots the standard of living which they aspire to, so they would rather stick with being ruled by an increasingly inward looking and xenophobic Westminster.
Others are of a type of Independence seeking Scots, who want to do pretty much what the Brexiteers have done. They conclude that there is no point in Scottish Independence if we are ruled by Brussels, therefore they will not vote for an SNP led Independence in Europe stance and will stick with the Devil they know in Westmonster instead. Yet they voted YES last time, when both Scotland and rUK would have remained in the EU…
Don’t get me wrong, I am not a massive fan of the EU, but it is not the Bogeyman some are making it out be!
Indeed, prior to the last Indyref, I would have advocated examining an Independent Scotland examining our relationship with Europe, with the possibility of considering leaving the EU and joining the EEEA or the EFTA instead, and having a referendum about that. I still consider that these options should remain, should Scotland decide to vote for Independence this time round too. First off though, we need to rid ourselves of the shackles of the British establishment, and if the price for that is remaining in the EU for the present, so be it! We will not achieve independence for Scotland, unless we vote for it first!
A major factor of an Indyref 2 will though be over the EU, and it is imperative for us to be educated and know just what the EU is all about.
The British establishment, press and media, are counting on us remaining ignorant, and they have used that ignorance to deliver Brexit, we cannot allow them to use that ignorance against us.
Ask the vast majority of men and women on the street what they know about how the EU works, and you will be met with a startling amount of incomprehension, and propaganda based misinformation.
This is absolutely no surprise whatsoever, consider the turn outs for EU elections and MEPs, these are attended by less than some community council elections,with very little information about what these MEPs do, apart from pick up expenses.
There is no doubt also, that the EU needs to be reformed, and there are certainly moves within the EU to do that now. But outwith the EU as Brexit will ensure, will not cease immigration, it will not stop EU laws impacting on our lives, but it will make life a dann sight more expensive for us, and it will make our foreign holidays more problematical, and it will stop us having any say on what happens in the EU governance.
The alternative is a lot more challenging to say the least… If Britain wants to trade with Europe, it will have to abide by EU rules, in the EEEA or EFTA like Norway or Switzerland…the British government will have to agree to free movement….so immigration will carry on regardless.
In the EU or out… If you want an Independent Scotland…. Educate yourselves!