Not the day, and not the hour

Having read and reread Cat Boyd’s article in The National, I’m no closer to seeing the point of it. In fact, it seems to me that she’s taking innumerable stabs at making various points – not a few of which may be contradictory and/or mutually incompatible. But I’ve a feeling that, even if I had a clue what she was trying to say, I’d still be left wondering why she’s banging on so obsessively about the EU and Brexit. Whilst, at times, appearing to suggest we shouldn’t really be talking about either of these things. I don’t get it!

That last, if indeed it was what Cat intended, is one point I can agree with. As I have stated elsewhere, the independence campaign is NOT intimately or inextricably bound up with the whole Brexit fiasco. A second referendum was always going to happen. The Brexit thing is merely the current context within which we are moving towards #indyref2.

Brexit is overlaid on the Yes campaign. Not the other way round.

Of course, we cannot ignore the fact that Scotland is being dragged out of the EU in contemptuous disregard for the popular will. We cannot be oblivious to our democratically elected representatives being treated in a manner which brings to mind the British state at its arrogant, imperialist worst. We cannot be impervious to the insult of being dealt with, as a nation, in a way that is disturbingly reminiscent of the conduct of the British ruling elites towards those peoples whose inferiority was assumed to be as much part of a divinely-ordained ‘natural order’ as the righteousness of outrageous wealth secured by overwhelming military might.

All of that having been said, the issue really isn’t at all complicated. We have two reliable indicators of Scotland’s stance regarding the EU. We voted decisively to remain part of the EU. And we voted emphatically for a government and parliament that favours a policy of independence in Europe. The people have spoken. The British establishment May not be listening (See what I did there?). But the Yes movement must.

Even more incomprehensible than Cat’s article is the attitude of those who claim to want independence – which necessarily implies they want decisions such as that regarding EU membership made in Scotland – whilst demanding that we should Scotland’s choice regarding EU membership (as described above) being overruled by the rest of the UK. It seems these people are prepared to set aside the claim to nationhood where being something less, and having decisions imposed on us, is expedient in terms of a narrow political agenda.

It’s not a question of whether the Yes campaign is “pro-EU” or not. It is a question of whether the Yes campaign respects the will of Scotland’s people – to the extent that this can be meaningfully determined prior to independence. It is a question of basic democracy. It’s not the Yes movement that’s pro-EU. It’s the people. Even Leave voters and fervent Europhobes have to accept that… for now!


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About Peter A Bell

Thinker. Listener. Talker. Reader. Writer. None of my attitudes are immutable. None of my conclusions are final. None of my opinions are humble.
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2 Responses to Not the day, and not the hour

  1. Hugh Wallace says:

    Dammit Peter, you made me read Cat Boyd, I really wish you wouldn’t do that. I think the main thrust of her article was to write something so that she would get paid. But she points out that the main pro-EU support can be found in the more affluent while many of the poorer, those she credits with nearly delivering Independence last time, are somewhat less enamoured with the institution. So I think what that means is that we have to aim for the middle classes while not forgetting the poor. Finally, someone on the radical left gets it! The final appeal to solidarity among Yes amused me as I can think of few who have contributed more to the lack of solidarity among yessers than Ms Boyd. I take it this means she is now 100% behind the SNP until after we have win our independence?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peter A Bell says:

      I am extremely dubious about a simplistic view of support for/opposition to the EU dividing along class lines. I suspect it is more directly related to individual susceptibility to a decades-long deluge of anti-EU propaganda from the British media. As with independence, there appears to be a strong correlation between understanding of the issues and attitudes. Just as those who know something about the EU and how it works tend to be less averse, so support for independence seems to increase with political engagement and awareness.

      Liked by 1 person

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