A week changes everything in the Scottish independence debate

Around a week ago there was the by now, usual stalemate in regards Scottish independence. Boris Johnson becoming Prime Minister had made independence seem better for so many people but there was no sign of Nicola Sturgeon or her government pushing for the referendum many of us in Scotland are dessperate for. Then a new Ashcroft poll was released and since then merry hell has broken lose as the momentum is clearly towards a yes vote.

In around a week carnage has broken loose with the Unionist side in a sheer blind panic not knowing what to do. Rumours of private Tory polls swirl around with these polls showing what Ashcroft revealed, and of course Labour come wading into the debate again pushing the same lines they did in 2014 but the difference is no, few are listening. In short,  they’re scared shitless.

On the other side the Yes Movement’s divides are open and bleeding, but frankly, it needs to be done. There’s always been an awkward divide between the West of Scotland intelligentsia and the mass of working class  Yes supporters which previously was shown up with RISE, who claimed to offer an ‘alternative’ to the SNP and Greens but ended up being typical champagne leftists whose support for independence buckled when Jeremy Corbyn fluttered his eyes at them in the 2017 election.

Then this weekend gone, Wings Over Scotland said that they’d be running candidates in the 2021 Scottish elections, and seeing as Stuart Campbell is equally hated by those on the Indy and Unionist side then as you can imagine social media has become a quagmire. However the plan to target only certain seats with Unionist MSP’s is quite attractive partly as it’d hurt the amount of Unionist seats but show there’s a willingness in the Yes movement to take the fight to the enemy as it were. I’m no supporter of Campbell’s personal views outwith of independence but I fail to see anyone else stepping up to do the job he does. He’s far more effective and frankly, if we go into the next referendum playing nice we’re fucked.

But there’s a clear divide between ‘polite’ Yes supporters and the mass of mainly working class supporters who’ve in many cases never supported anything political in their lives. Now as someone who went around political circles in their youth that divide comes from the old SWP days where thet’d look at the working class as people to manipulate and if they couldn’t they’d dismiss them. One of the wonderful things about the Yes movement is that there’s no SWP types at the helm to fuck things up as they have Labour under Corbyn.

Fact is though that without there being an actual referendum to fight all the divides are showing, things are creaking as after all, some people in Scotland on the Yes side may want independence, but not right now while they’re building up their media or political career but the fact is the last few days have shown that independence is becoming a real prospect for many people who’d not have considered it previously and if we can’t become indepndent when Boris Johnson is leading the UK into a circle of hell all of its own then we don’t deserve alternatives like independence.

Advertisements

The Edinburgh Festival: ”a festival for cunts by cunts”

It is August so pity those year-long residents of Edinburgh who have all the media of the world, but mainly London, discharge over them like warm sick for a month as it’s the annual Edinburgh Festival everyone!

Now as a Glaswegian it is easy to mock the Other Place through emerald green eyes of jealousy  but when younger I used to love the festival visiting it often and enjoying the somewhat anarchic sense that this establishment art festival was also the home of genuine alternative comedy, drama and so on.  Then in the late 80s (as regular readers of this blog know)  I moved to England swanning around the East Midlands, London and Bristol so I only observed from afar what was going on.That is the selling out of the Festival to corporations and the wholesale change of Edinburgh (well, the bits you might see on the telly) from a vibrant capital city to a playground for the wealthy and for tourists.

Now many cities are doing the same. I’ve blogged about how Bristol’s mayor and council are cleansing (a word I don’t use lightly) the poor from areas like Stokes Croft for a younger, wealthier crowd  There’s no money to be made from the poor so they’re shunted to out of town estates with shite infrastructure and a feeling of being robbed as their former homes are sold to private landlords who’ll make a mint from turning it into an AirBNB.

Edinburgh is no different. People are being priced out including the artistic community who don’t have access to a trust fund or their parents expenses account. Art is being commercialised, sold to corporations and rebranded back to us as lifestyle choices or ‘experiences’ that are mere shadows of what the real thing used to be but just edgy enough to appeal to the middle class leftish liberals who flood the city like Stepford nuclear families.

So, this brings me to one of Scotland’s newer media and politics commentators, Bonnie Prince Bob, and his thoughts on the festival. It needs to be watched because this isn’t something restricted to Edinburgh as said, but it would be a fucking shame to see that city wrecked.

Scottish independence won’t just be won by nuance and persuasion

The weekend saw hundreds of thousands of pro-independence supporters march through Glasgow in the sort of display that reminds the Tory government and the pro-establishment media that there’s a real appetite for Scottish independence, especially with Brexit stinking everything up with the rise of far right populists like Nigel Farage and Tommy Robinson. So you’d expect the SNP especially to be happy, except the Sunday Herald decided to print an article critical of ‘Cybernats’. Which is not the first time this has happened.

So since Sunday, Scottish Independence supporters of all types have been endlessly arguing online about how ”Cybernats” should moderate themselves to the point where opinions become only worthwhile if voiced only by certain folk in the political class, or Scotland’s amazingly fucked up (yes, I know, language!) media class, or those in the Indy movement who look upon grassroots organisations like All Under One Banner with suspicion and contempt because they welcome people of all political persuasions rather than whatever narrow persuasion owned by the person tutting loudly from their West End of Glasgow home.

In short, as the possibility of a second referendum draws closer, people are fighting for a level of control over a movement which is by far the most organic political movement not affiliated to a political party I’ve ever seen in the UK. For some in the SNP, Greens, and the media this has been an issue because as said, they don’t have control of things, so we now have this exceptionally manufactured outrage about how people speak and how they can essentially be controlled. Now like any large group of people there are people to avoid, and yes, there are those who are a pain who cause problems with their lunge towards conspiracy theory and worse. But I’ve never known any group to be so self-policing, especially considering that our opponents aren’t and don’t care about any offence they cause to people. You do not see Ruth Davidson, J.K Rowling, Jeremy Corbyn or any leading British Unionist politician or media commentator decrying the way many of their supporters are misogynist, homophobic, Holocaust deniers and worse.

And we’re stuck now on this eternal loop where we’re expected by some on our own side to play nice, which is a bit like asking someone to bring a stick of celery to a knife fight. You as a reader may not like folk like Wings Over Scotland, Wee Ginger Dug or the parade of Scottish bloggers who don’t just conform to media and political standards, but these people are effective in winning arguments or debunking the bullshit of a mainly Unionist media and establishment.

What I’m basically saying is this debate (for the sake of a better, ruder expression) has been a waste of time and energy which should have been used to motivate people after the independence march in Glasgow at the weekend. The supposedly independence supporting  Sunday Herald should be actually supporting independence rather than working out how to alienate what few readers it has left, and those SNP politicians giving them fuel need to remember that people can be voted out as well as voted in. The SNP may be the only real way towards independence but there’s nothing to stop people giving their vote to the Greens, or if people are members, protesting from within.

This is not the time for the Indy movement to again be going through this level of self-inspection when Brexit looms constantly and the far right are a sliver away from gaining actual real power in the UK. Do we really want to say that we failed to win independence because we were too busy arguing about the right way to speak to keep a minority of people (some of whom I’m not entirely sure want independence as it’d ruin their career path/business plan) happy?

Nah, fuck that.

Scottish independence is coming, slowly…

For a while now supporters of Scottish independence have been a tad frustrated with the lack of any progress during the increasingly chaotic, not to mention insane, period that is Brexit and all the frothingly mad xenophobic English/British nationalism which comes with it.

Well at last there’s some movement with Nicola Sturgeon making it clear the mandate her party & the Scottish Parliament has for a second referendum will be used in the lifetime of this parliament, so by 2021. For some that’s waaaay too vague a timeline, but for a vote to be held we need to know what the status quo of the UK is. Right now that’s a choice between a deeply racist and xenophobic Brexit favouring disaster capitalists favoured by the likes of Rees-Mogg and Farage, not to mention Theresa May and most Tories, or a slightly less racist but still xenophobic Brexit favoured by disaster socialists like Jeremy Corbyn or George Galloway. Both offer Scotland nothing, and both involve closing Scotland off from Europe and the planet as both plans are structured round accepting the referendum result, racism and all, rather than fighting against what was only an advisory referendum.

There’s a lot which also needs to happen. Neither a Tory or Labour government are going to grant a Section 30 order (essentially transferring power to Holyrood making the referendum legal and binding) easily if at all, and the full force of the British establishment will rain down upon Scotland as it did in 2014. But make no mistake, win this and Scotland can make all its own successes and failures without clinging onto the coattails of the British state. Lose it, and Scotland faces a generation at least denied any sort of respite because it’ll be punished and asset stripped to pay for the failed promises of Brexit and for being pro-EU/immigrant. We can argue about what type of independent nation we can be once we win the ability to make that decision, plus we’ve also got to remember we’re not in a fair fight so some on the harder left of the movement need to realise this.

So sign the official petition. Show support. Vote for pro-indy parties in the EU elections, so that’s the SNP, Greens and SSP. All others are a vote for the British establishment & (barring the Lib Dems to be fair) are a vote for a party strongly supporting Brexit.

Good luck. We’re all going to need it but at the end of this we could be getting something special indeed…

How a Scottish tourist video became needlessly controversial

Visit Scotland is responsible for promoting Scotland around the world so lots of tourists visit, and of course to convince people to immigrate here.Last Friday they released this video for worldwide consumption.

A bit cheesy, but a good message for a tourist video and of course, the 29th March was supposed to be the day the UK left the EU so a message from Visit Scotland asking people to come to stay and we’re still open was in fact, a slightly more subversive act than a tourist video would normally say.

So you’d expect Brexiters and the likes to kick off complaining about it? Well, no, the self-proclaimed ‘radical’ left in Scotland decided to descend like vultures upon it. Sparked by a Tweet from Cat Boyd there followed an extraordinary display of ‘woke’ bullshit from leftish Corbyn supporting Millenials.

The ad was ‘nationalist’ because it didn’t discuss Scotland’s horrific problem with sectarianism, or the poverty endemic in parts of it, or any number of social issues. It was ‘selling a myth’ and other bits of nonsense as Scottish Twitter became probably the only part of social media in the world where the alleged ‘progressive’ part finds a pro-immigration message a problem.

Fact is releasing this on Brexit Day was a nice act of subversion, and frankly we need positive messages about immigration these days but to a small, but vocal portion of supposed ‘socialists’ that’s wrong and we instead should be sending out a more realistic version of Scotland.

To translate to what actually is going on these people complaining are all Labour supporters and with a general election being possible soon, they’ve reverted to type in supporting Corbyn’s Labour which it has to be noted, has an awful immigration policy as they’re trying to lure in all those UKIP voters swimming around.

The fact is that Lexiters have as much of a problem with immigration as their Brexiter companions so we get a dull whine rather than supporting the message. Thankfully these people aren’t especially influential but this doesn’t stop these incidents of total fuckwittery.

A quick word about sectarianism in Scotland

This week saw Kilmarnock manager Steve Clarke rightfully despair about the sectarian abuse that comes from some Rangers fans, as well as the wider problem of religious bigotry in the West of Scotland.

This prompted not the widespread soul searching one would hope, but instead people started digging in, including sadly Steven Gerrard who decided instead of condemning what he clearly hears behind him since becoming manager of Rangers, decided to bring up the abuse of Kris Boyd. For the record Boyd sat with Clarke in a press conference to discuss the problem.

There is a feeling rife in Scotland that this ‘is just how it is‘ and that trying to change it would just be too hard, which of course is incredible nonsense. IF certain institutions and people wanted to change they would so we have to deal with the fact some people don’t just enjoy wallowing in this hatred, but they thrive from it. Ruth Davidson for example has helped get where she is today through pandering to Orange tinted bigots, while Labour have been hand in glove with the Orange Order for too long with Jeremy Corbyn being the latest leader happy to turn a blind eye.

Essentially large parts of Scotland’s establishment have strong links to sectarianism, or are themselves, sectarians happy to push that agenda with Murdo Fraser of the Tories being the most blatant example. As for the media, many wring their hands in faux outrage, but are only happy to cash in on sectarianism for clicks like the Daily Record is. Then there’s people like James Kelly MSP, who fought to get the ‘football act’ repealed which as flawed a bit of legislation as it was, it happened to be the only bit of legislation passed which targeted this specific problem. Kelly promised after the repeal that he and Labour would present ideas around the idea that education and other approaches would work. Over a year on we see there’s no educating some people and we still await Kelly,not to mention the Scottish media establishment’s ideas of ‘other approaches’ but Kelly wrings his hands in faux outrage while still celebrating his victory to let bigots realise there’s no punitive outcome for singing about ‘bathing in fenian blood’ or  IRA terrorists every week.

The SNP don’t get off the hook either. If they’d tightened up the law and made it more focused, while backing it up with some much needed reforms that Scotland desperately needs, they might not have presented people like Kelly and Fraser such an open goal. They’re now stuck in an impasse where they’re too scared to bring something into power, so we now have this situation where everyone (bar the extremists) want something to be done, but nobody is actually doing anything.

Fans of Rangers, and of Celtic, need to step up but the ongoing failure that is the SFA, fails the game at the most basic of levels has allowed this to fester for generations. Want it to stop? Next game where there’s something being chanted, the game after is played behind closed doors.. Still happens after that? Take away points. Fining clubs and slapping their wrists is pointless but nothing that will stop clubs quietly letting this carry on will happen and the Scottish establishment will wring their hands saying ‘och, it’s awful’ next time it happens, and the next time and the next time.

It is a fucking shame on all of us in the country to claim we’re tolerant, and different to the rest of the UK when we let this happen and we do let it happen because it isn’t challenged enough. If Scotland wants to live up to the potential we have, this archaic fucking monstrosity that blights us all has to go and if it means breaking down old institutions then fine. Nothing lasts forever and generations to come deserve better.

Lexit and the ongoing failure of the English left

One of the things about the fact the BBC’s Question Time had the same former UKIP candidate on for at least a fourth time to repeat pretty much the same speech he’s clearly reeled off millions of times in newspaper comments sections wasn’t the fact that Question Time is a big fat fix, but the reaction of some of the English left. To be precise the more Corbynist you were the more likely you were to see an ally in the rantings of an Orangeman. For example;

Which is clear nonsense for anyone actually paying attention to Scottish politics. No such claims have been made and the very idea of independence breaks the status quo clean in half; a fact Bastani ignores because it doesn’t fit his narrative or the idea that’s popped into his head.

And by narrative, I mean this;

There’s an idea among the English left that we in Scotland just need to pay heed to Jeremy Corbyn, fall into line with them and vote Labour yet polls show the Corbyn bounce Labour enjoyed in the 2017 general election is well and truly gone with Labour now firmly third in the polls and slipping. That’s not just down to the simply appalling leadership of Richard Leonard, a right hand man of Corbyn’s and someone who doesn’t even know what is or isn’t devolved. The fact is Labour are tanking partly because of Leonard & the fact the party can’t come up with one workable idea, but also because they’re a party of Brexit, or Lexit, the left wing version if you believe such a thing possible.Labour in effect have put themselves in the position of supporting removing our rights as Europeans, but also thanks to them aping Tory immigration policy, they’ve shown little opposition to the increasing deportations which are happening. This is all because of Lexit and the idea Corbyn is playing ‘a long game’.

Lexit is the idea that it’s possible to have a left wing Brexit. In effect from the ashes of leaving the EU, a new socialist utopia can be built which relies upon one major point; that things for people become so intolerable that they feel the only way out is voting Labour at an election, but polls clearly show Labour lagging, or such such a small lead that it falls within statistical error. So for people to be pushed to Labour they have to essentially suffer and for me, that’s the exact opposite of socialism and I find those advocating such a policy tend to be well off and able to survive when right now, people are losing jobs, or being hurt by Tory policies, or being pushed to take their own lives because they can’t take it anymore. Then of course there’s the fact Lexit throws EU27 migrants under the bus, and it risks the Good Friday Agreement.

So for me, if you support Lexit you’re in the same bracket as Brexiters who don’t care about the effects of what’s happening now, let alone what will happen come April, let alone what is to come longer term when all those folk let down by both main Westminster parties look to further extremes (with sections of both parties endorsing the worst of conspiracy theory led bigotry) out there for answers. With Nigel Farage rearing his ugly head, and talk of a ‘centrist’ party with Tony Blair’s cold, bloody hands at the helm, both Labour and the Tories look ready to tear themselves apart now that the contradictions of what are loose coalitions are being torn apart.

In effect we have the left, like the right, having an aspect who are rushing headlong into the destruction of people, their lives and relationships because they feel their version of political purity is worth a try. For people like myself whose life relies upon just in time distribution the idea that my life hangs on a thread because I’m threatened by zealots from the right, and the left, is deeply depressing. We are insulated in Scotland to a degree, but Brexit will rip that insulation aside, and without the protections of the EU and our European allies, we’ll be left to the whims of people who think in conspiracy theory, idiocy and xenophobia.

Basically we’re fucked. Like the Iraq War though, there will be Brexiter and Lexiter in a few short months desperately recanting as the people who have been ignored throughout all of this kick back and take their anger out on the cheerleaders of what is the single more insane act a nation has done to itself in peacetime.

Good luck to us. We’re going to need it.