By Mike Small
As Jenny Hjul appears to be cooking nicely in a ceviche of her own bile, the contrasting experiences of the campaign strike home. For one side the entire last year is something they wish never happened at all, for many of Better Together it’s been an excruciating and tedious period that has made them more and more miserable and angry. Instead of ‘imagining a new Scotland’ they’ve been busy shutting down any possibility of change. Britain must be protected. Set in stone. Nothing must change. No surrender.
The intellectual task has been formidable: how to make ‘nothing at all’ look engaging?
People have asked ‘why are there no Unionist blogs?’
The reason is (whisper it): they have nothing to say.
Where is the equivalent to Commonweal, National Collective or the outpouring of books from Yes?
Contrast that to the outpouring we’ve had from Yes: intellectual; political; cultural and social. Frightened Rabbit, Withered Hand or Wounded Knee, whether it’s a timorous bunny or an injured body part, the cultural response has been impressive (Wounded Knee aka Scottish vocal artist Drew Wright) was a standout at All Back to Bowie’s last week.
Reading IDP: 2043 featuring Barroux, Hannah Berry, Irvine Welsh and Denise Mina the outstanding dystopian graphic novel from Freight Books, or Caledonian Dreaming, or Yes, or Blossom, or Commonweal – Practical Idealism, or Cat Boyd and Jenny Morrison’s ‘Scottish Independence, a Feminist Response’ from Word Power books is to stand in the middle of a new wave of political and literary energy. As Bridget Fowler (University of Glasgow) puts it: “Its most distinctive and welcome element is its new strategy fora Scottish collectivist feminism.” It adds a new dimension to the referendum debate and the exciting potential of seeing, on the ground, through praxis, the connections between and amongst movements and breaking out of the single issue silos of the past.
It’s almost as if as the No campaign becomes narrower and more banal, focusing on less and less, the Yes movement is expanding and becoming richer and drawing on a wider diversity.
But if this sounds like some kid of dire 70s revivalism, doomed by self-seriousness and part of a descent into a purely theory-based witterings, we also have Kevin Bridges and Frankie Boyle. We also have Greg Moodie. Parp.
Like most of the indyref movement he has re-invented himself as an online entrepreneur and is currently seeking support for his tuba-obsessed graphic novel. Buy it here. Do it now. We’ll be featuring extracts all this week, watch this space.