Save the Union!

Britain's Queen Elizabeth delivers her speech during the State Opening of Parliament at the House of Lords in LondonBy J Simon Jones

After the change in the polls the Unionist response has been all that it could be: predictably frenzied

Will Hutton, writing in the Observer, says there are now 10 days left to find a settlement to save the Union. He doesn’t realise the Union is already dead, we now have to decide whether to stay in it or go about building our own, functioning country. In a delicious bit of stock-image irony his plea for total federalism, a rejuvenation of Britain’s “liberal enlightenment” values, was at least for a time fronted by a picture of the Capitol building in Washington, DC. Apparently there wasn’t an image of a physical structure in the UK or Scotland which represented what he wanted it to. It’s now been replaced by a Union flag and a Saltire together.

After polling announced last night said there was, for the first time, a majority of voters intending to back Yes, the Unionist campaign went into overdrive in predictably self destructive fashion. The Observer announced that there would be an offer “within days” of a meeting with Scotland’s governing party “invited to take part.” How inclusive of them. Meanwhile Ed Miliband riffed on the possibility of border guards in the Mail on Sunday and Gordon Brown wrote in the Mirror that it’s all the Tories’ fault.

Politically we’ve seen Scotland’s opposition parties sent to their ideological deaths by their Westminster betters in an attempt to sell the UK’s austerity programmes, abandonment of social values and UKIP pandering to an electorate it thinks will adopt the same positions if it hears it from people with the same accents. Fortunately that’s now being debunked, with more than a third of what Labour vote remains now backing Yes, and wholesale revulsion at the cynicism of Westminster politics. Whether it’s a Yes or a No it’s clear now that Scotland’s political apparatus is completely unfit for purpose. There’s now the realistic prospect that Labour, Conservative and Lib Dem MSPs would be in a position of legislating on things they’ve gleefully fought against and claimed the country shouldn’t be deciding on. Even if they had an ideological backbone their co-operation for the good of the Westminster’s colonialist mentality damns them to irrelevance after the vote.

The media hasn’t escaped, either. With the BBC facing academic studies detailing, exhaustively, its bias and inconsistencies the state broadcaster clearly isn’t the broadcaster for the right state. The question of whether Scotland should even have an organisation with that remit must be in the minds of everyone going to the ballot box on the 18th. How can we take its journalism seriously after the 18th? Print media hardly fares better, with the lead story on the Scotsman’s front page this morning about the price of Billy Connolly tickets. The collective backing of the Union, its business interests and its point of view hasn’t been reached through rigorous analysis or in-depth reporting, it’s been orders from on-high. Whether or not Scotland takes Independence its mainstream media isn’t capable of being the voice it needs to be to hold the political system to account.

It’s tempting to write, rinsed with objective cliché, that there are two options here but realistically, in the mind of any voter with a determination to change the two critical problems in our country; politics and the media, there can only be one: vote Yes. Demand more of your media outlets, your politicians and yourself and give yourself the possibility of taking charge. Otherwise you’ll wake up on the 19th with only a husk of a country to live in.



Categories: Commentary

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26 replies

  1. Poor BBC Scotland! A crossword clue comes to mind:

    Backed….wrong….horse!

  2. Watch this space for the bribes being offered by an increasingly spooked British establishment. One could be cynical and ask why these powers haven’t been offered before the battle for Scottish Independence started moving towards the YES side? Indeed one needs to ask what powers are being offered? Surely Osborne and co could use that other example of “a state within a state” i.e the EU as a template for the offer they make to the Scots. I don’t believe the Scots are as greedy for power as the British right wing so I am sure if they were offered the current situation the British state has within the EU that might just work.

    Anything less than that, and I am pretty sure any offer will be less than that, will be insulting to the proud nation of Scotland.The only way to vote for those Scots who have a vision for a Scotland that fulfills its hopes, dreams and aspirations has to vote YES and join the many other successful small Countries of the world.

    • Hi britnot it’s illegal to offer more now and undemocratic they are breaching the codes laid out at beginning via the commission the panic has set in and they are rule breaking !

      • Alistair Darling was on Sky news yesterday afternoon telling us there would be no new powers and it was only a timetable that would be announced. Osbourne said the same thing later on, adding that he had been mistaken.

        I think there was a kneejerk reaction then someone told them they couldn’t do it, followed by a quick retration.

        We will see what this week brings, westminster is not above breaking the law if it suits their own ends.

  3. Ah, the Union. It’s kind of bittersweet seeing it go. It has been with us so long, that we have grown almost fond of it. But it’s like a tree that is rotten to the core and dying at the branches. Better to chop it down now rather than keep adding props and stakes to try and hold the last remaining branches up.

    There’s nothing wrong with shedding a wee tear for its passing, even if it is a gently mocking tear.

  4. Saving the Union is all about Westminster’s Union and the loss of prestige and income that an independent Scotland would represent.
    Why should they expend so much effort and time trying to placate 8% of the UK population if that were not the case.
    Their biggest problem is how to cover up all the lies they have told us about our financial circumstances which,when exposed,will cause more trouble in England than in Scotland.

  5. From this is it,”its either yes or no”. There is no win win situation”,two years ago.With the “line in the sand” in the sand! well the tide of popular opinion has came in and washed that line away.Now we get federalism! or much more powers! but its all “Devolved” which means no power at all.Devolved is retained,how many left will still fall for the Westminster twist,not many maybe one or two but they want convinced that they are not stupid,and that they have not been fooled before!!!

  6. Reblogged this on Bampots Utd and commented:
    Big yes now Scotland do it for the children and do it for a fairer political future !

  7. Reblogged this on charlesobrien08 and commented:
    From this is it,”its either yes or no”. There is no win win situation”,two years ago.With the “line in the sand” in the sand! well the tide of popular opinion has came in and washed that line away.Now we get federalism! or much more powers! but its all “Devolved” which means no power at all.Devolved is retained,how many left will still fall for the Westminster twist,not many maybe one or two but they want convinced that they are not stupid,and that they have not been fooled before!!!

  8. If this was a game of football it would be fair to say The no camp is ten nil down bogged down in there own penalty box with 9 seconds to go on the back beg come on ref blow the whistle put them out there misery lol

    The no camp can’t offer more as it’s set in stone via electoral commission so to do so is breaking the democratic code of conduct don’t forget postal votes are all ready out so this is a breach of rules am sure our learned friends will be on this and show how undemocratic the no camp are !

  9. “10days to save the union”

    I find the arrogance of that comment extremely offensive. The vote on the 18th. of September is to determine the democratic will of the Scottish people.

    His article was not intended to intended to inform. It was to champion his “side”

  10. O/T
    The photograph heading this article should be enough to make everyone vote YES.

  11. Should there be a NO on September 18 (and I’m seeing 70% support for YES where I’m canvassing!) there would be an immense groundswell for a rerun of the referendum when the NO side had so blatantly cheated.

    Put it this way: it was David Cameron who refused to countenance a 3-question ballot paper. Alex Salmond was willing for a Devo-Max question to be in there. Now that they’re about to be beaten, quite possibly by a big margin, NO wants a NO vote to mean not one, but two things: no change AND Devo-Max.

    Power-abusers, cheats – and serial liars on everything from oil reserves to funding of the Scottish NHS. Let’s take our country back and start again.

  12. Right I’ll get right on it….lol!

  13. Just a wee comment on the photograph at the head of this article.

    Here we see a large portion of our ‘democratic’ government in action, the power behind/alongside the throne, the individuals with vested interests in companies dedicated by breaking up the NHS, and those who think, because their ancestors banged a head or two on behalf of some monarch, and he gave them a castle, they are somehow destined forever to run the UK.

    Well, it seems forever is coming to town tomorrow. Whatever happens after the 18th – and I don’t really see any backsliding in Scottish voters – because of the lies, the manoeuvring, andhalf truths, the ladies and gents in ermine can pack up their bags and leave democracy to those to whom it belongs: the people. Starting with Scotland, the UK is going to unravel, with the regions of England seeking to assert their rights in due course.

    • The last bit should say, “with the people of England seeking to assert their rights in due course.” England is a nation, just like Scotland, not a bunch of ersatz regions. “The regions of England” is a phrase invented by divide-and-rule Anglophobes, to be used by other divide-and-rule Anglophobes.

  14. I have been puzzled for some time as to why Nigel Farage would come up here and campaign against our independence.?
    After all his party appears to stand for the principle of all power being retained within the nation state.
    It is now clear that he realises that England without Scottish resources is not viable as a standalone entity and will either have to remain within the Union of European states or opt for the Union of American states.
    Despite the efforts of Westminster to align us with the USA in terms of culture and economics, for pragmatic reasons rUK/England will have to remain within the EU.
    So,nothing,as usual,to do with what is best for us Scots but what is best for another English based political party.

    • Farage is coming up here because he wants a fight. He wants a riot. He wants to be able to play the victim card. This is where the No campaign are right now, desperate to do or try anything.

      So he’s here to enrage any protestors that come out to meet him and he’s hoping he gets mobbed and once again the press can portray the Yes campaign as a bunch of nazis.

    • Farage was banging on before about removing all devolved powers back to westminster. It does seem strange that he would want us to stay just so he could do that to us.
      He is however an empire builder with England at its centre.

  15. Mr Hutton et al. talk at us, not to us. Being Scots is an incapacity, an inconvenience which the system would rather not be bothered with. OK, we have finally got the message. We’ll not be troubling you again. But will we be left alone?

  16. Watching the Establishment panic, I am struck by the thought that they may have actually started to believe the popular, comic stereotype of Scots people as portrayed by Russ Abbot, Rab C. Nesbitt etc.
    They seem to have forgotten that we are a nation of very well educated, well read, creative, intelligent, articulate and community minded people who would eventually (in spite of a sometimes misguided sense of loyalty) realise that we have been getting shafted for a long, long time.
    Likewise, they will have failed to realise that a lot of our English cousins are also getting pretty fed up with being treated like consumer lab mice in a shop-till-you-drop maze.

  17. There’s something slightly humiliating about having to go to the trouble of separating ourselves from these fools and mountebanks. It’s like fighting a war of independence against the Keystone Kops.

  18. Can anyone tell me, who is Will Hutton?

  19. The Westminster establishment and London media elite will, no doubt, try to perform some utterly maladroit ‘interventions’ in the coming days. But they consider Scotland, Scottish politics and the people of Scotland simply infra dig – totally ‘beneath’ them.

    Thus the smorgasbord of ignorance and arrogance that assumes Scots are low IQ morons that cannot ‘possibly’ know what they are doing in voting yes. Such fundamental ignorance is a function of power and privilege. If you’re in the position of ‘top dog’ why even consider other alternative points of view? To do so would take a pro-active attempt to muster empathy, imagination and intellectual curiosity. Qualities in very short supply in Westminster or the editorial offices of the BBC or other London based media outlets.

    Structurally their collective tone deafness on this subject reminds me of the socio-cultural phenomenon of ‘white privilege’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_privilege) in which includes the ‘luxury’ of ignorance. The concept of white privilege also implies the right to assume the universality of one’s own experiences, marking others as different or exceptional while perceiving oneself as normal. Any form of power inequality can produce this lazy sense of normativity within those on the dominant side of the asymmetry.

    Obviously in the case of the Scottish referendum race is the not the axis of variation with regard to this form of privilege but rather a more subtle blend of class, geography and culture. London and its elites really do think they are at the ‘centre’ of everything and anyone on the ‘periphery’ is some lesser form of yahoo. The ‘Home Counties’ indeed – home to whom?

    Their radical ignorance shields them from even considering that their assumptions about the world might not actually represent the views or experiences of ‘everyone’. They are about to experience a very rude awakening.

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