I still don’t understand why Gordon Brown commands the media attention that he does. Presumably it’s because the British establishment sees him as a “big hitter” in the war (for who can doubt that it is such) against the SNP, Scotland’s independence movement, and progressive politics in general. By rights, they should be doubting his efficacy as a bastion of the old order and the old ways after this latest semi-coherent, barely rational outburst. But that would require that the media were actually attending to Brown’s outpourings rather than simply trumpeting on the assumption that anything he says must be grist to the “SNP BAD!” mill.
Brown can spout the most obvious drivel safe in the knowledge that his fellow British nationalists are wilfully blind and deaf to the idiocy and hypocrisy of his remarks.
There is the idiocy of Brown’s personal take of the false dilemma fallacy. If the SNP administration does not fully fund all UK Government cuts them they must be in favour of those cuts. Presumably, if the SNP fails to find a cure for cancer then they are great fans of the disease.
What Brown has actually done here is to explicitly acknowledge that the Scotland Bill is intended solely as a weapon against the SNP. A weapon to be wielded regardless of any harm done to Scotland’s economy, public services, or democratic institutions.
This is hardly a startling revelation to those of us who have been paying attention. But one would think the Westminster elite that Gordon Brown speaks for would be less than pleased about him so brazenly exposing what they doubtless still imagine to be David Mundell’s very cunning plan to put Holyrood back in the hands of those whose loyalty is to the British state rather than the people of Scotland.
If the evident idiocy of Brown’s false dilemma was not enough to embarrass his British establishment clients, then surely the logic-grinding inconsistency and stomach-churning hypocrisy of his remarks about a “different social model” in Scotland in the light of British Labour’s similarly illogical and two-faced opposition to independence on the grounds of “solidarity”. The claim that for Scotland leaving the UK would be to abandon our “brothers and sisters” down south never made any sense. Not least because it relied on the plainly false notion that socialist solidarity cannot work across borders.
Perhaps crazier still, it amounted to saying that, in the name of this spurious socialist solidarity, the people of Scotland must accept Tory governments that we didn’t vote for in order to – maybe, sometimes – save voters in the rest of the UK from the Tory government that they DID vote for.
Now we have Brown, the consummate prevaricator, telling us that his rock solid, unwavering commitment to solidarity remains rock solid and unwavering only until it encounters a potential opportunity to inflict some political damage on the SNP. At which point, it wavers itself completely out of existence. There is no principle which may not be crudely compromised in the name of defending the British state and its structures of power, privilege, and patronage.
The rocks of Gordon Brown’s commitment to “One Nation” socialism melt in the dank chill of craven political expediency.
That Brown remains one of British nationalism’s great figures defies all sense just as surely as he does. But if he uses the media platform which he is so inexplicably afforded to expose the insidious purpose of the Scotland Bill then perhaps we should be glad that British nationalists are so pathetically desperate for heroes.