The Corbyn delusion

Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp is almost certainly correct when he says that Corbyn won’t win. The danger is that the goodies he’s dangling before voters will persuade the more credulous on the left to return to the British Labour fold – where good sheeple belong. They will vote for the rhetoric of rail re-nationalisation and tuition fee abolition because it makes them feel good to do so; not because there is any realistic hope of these things actually being delivered by a British government.

They will vote for British Labour in Scotland (BLiS) from sentiment, not sense. And in doing so they will undermine the SNP – the only party that can at least maintain a political environment in which progressive policies are a possibility.

They will vote for BLiS candidates telling themselves they’re voting for Corbyn, when the reality is that the candidate they’re voting for is vehemently opposed to everything Corbyn claims to stand for. And in doing so they will only give advantage to a viciously right wing Tory regime which has the ability to spin the slightest setback for the SNP as a triumph for British nationalism and a rout of the entire independence movement.

They will vote for BLiS candidates in dumb disregard of the realpolitik which dictates that, in an electoral contest which pits the SNP against the Tories, whatever weakens the former must inexorably strengthen the other. And in doing so they will hand the British nationalists the power they crave. Power which will be used to progress their ‘One Nation’ project, at horrendous cost to Scotland.

All of this the gullible on the left will do in the name of their ideological purity and a political fantasy. Somewhere deep inside, some of may realise that they are making a futile and potentially disastrous gesture. They know that they will lose. But, like moths to a flame, they are drawn to the warm glow of honourable defeat in preference to the chill of real-world politics.


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The end game…

You know, I’d thought that I’d heard all the bollocks that a Unionist politician or journalist could utter, until last Thursday.  You would never have thought that the SNP had increased its number of seats and vote share given the rabid claims of a Tory revival in Scotland.  In short, there is no such thing.  Let me show you this little graph:

The SNP have just won three successive elections, each with a different voting system. However, let’s make the headlines all about some non-existent Tory revival.

There’s an end game being played here.  On June the 8th, should the SNP win the majority of the seats…again, then that’s it, the Union is over.  The British Press and British Nationalist MP’s know this too.  This next four weeks will see a propaganda blitz like no other trying to scare, cajole and push people into voting anyone but the SNP.

Hold your nerve, the game’s almost over.

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Doing what must be done

While The Scottish Green Party, and James MacKessack-Leitch, are to be congratulated on their all too rare show of pragmatism and integrity as they stand aside in favour of the SNP’s Angus Robertson, it really shouldn’t have been a difficult choice for them to make. If one genuinely believes that the existing political union is seriously detrimental to Scotland and that this is a situation which can only be adequately addressed by restoring the independence of both nations, then one should be prepared to take whatever action is necessary to move towards that objective.

This applies to every individual, group and party engaged with Scotland’s democratic process. If we are firmly persuaded of the absolute necessity of bringing Scotland’s government home, then each and every day should start and end with each and every one of us asking what we can do to aid the lawful, peaceful, democratic independence movement. No sacrifice should be so great that we are not prepared to make it. No impediment can be so daunting that we are deterred from tackling it. No advantage or gain should be so alluring as to cause our commitment to falter.

I do not underestimate what the Scottish Greens and James MacKessack-Leitch have done. In the context of ‘normal’ politics, it is an extraordinarily bold and generous gesture. But in the context of the democratic struggle in which Scotland is now engaged, it may represent the least that might be expected of any of us.


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Killing hope

There’s a great deal in this article about British Labour in Scotland’s (BLiS) bitter resentment of the SNP and a fair bit of wishful thinking about what might restore BLiS to the status which it regards as its entitlement. There is nothing at all about the needs, priorities and aspirations of Scotland’s people.

Duncan Hothersall is a British nationalist and a BLiS loyalist. As such, he is totally blind to a fact which is blindingly obvious to those who have not sacrificed their capacity for rational thought to facile dogma. That fact is that around half the people of Scotland want independence. And a large proportion of the rest want meaningful constitutional reform of the kind that is anathema to British nationalists.

Duncan sees the whole independence movement as nothing more than a ploy to deprive his beloved party of what it believes with a religious fervour to be its rightful place. It is not the SNP that has destroyed British Labour in Scotland. It is the naked lust for power for its own sake combined with a sneering contempt for voters that has repulsed people.

Duncan imagines the answer to BLiS’s travails to lie in the destruction of the SNP. He fails utterly to recognise that it is not the SNP which has dragged the people of Scotland along on some political adventure. It is the people of Scotland who have pushed the SNP to the vanguard of the fight to fulfil their aspirations. His project is, not the elimination of a political rival, but the eradication of a democratic movement. He doesn’t just want to vanquish the SNP, he hopes to destroy hope.


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All monies received are used in furtherance of the campaign
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Peak British nationalism?

It will surely seem counter-intuitive to decent folks, but I genuinely believe we should be heartened by the anti-independence campaign’s descent into extremism. It tends to be the case that the more extreme a movement becomes, and the closer the extremists get to real political power, the more people choose to reject them. People vote for far right parties, like the BNP, as a way of protesting about particular issues, such as the EU or immigration. But they don’t want extremists in government. Nothing better ensures the demise of extremist movements than a wee run of electoral success. Look at the BNP. Look at UKIP. Where are they now?

This process works in a number of ways. As extremists gain prominence so they are subject to greater scrutiny. Nick Griffin’s appearance on BBC Question Time did more to bring about the collapse of the BNP than any amount of protest against their policies and activities.

Success affects the leadership of these extremist parties in one of two ways. Either they are emboldened to be ever more explicit about their bigotry, in which case they put off the protest voters; or they feel the need to moderate their rhetoric, in which case they alienate their own supporters. Some combination of both these factors invariably brings any run of electoral success to a fairly catastrophic end.

Ruth Davidson got herself crowned Queen of the British Nationalists by appealing to the furthest fringes of ‘blood and soil’ devotion to the British state among both Tory and Labour voters. But it is this very elevation by the British media that spells her doom. The more the British establishment’s propaganda machine trumpets a ‘surge’ in support for the extremists, the more voters will be pulled up short by their natural caution.

We may not yet have quite reached ‘peak British nationalism’, but I suspect it’s not far off.


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All monies received are used in furtherance of the campaign
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Scotland is not a ‘failed state’

As you watch the anti-SNP propaganda being pumped out by the British media, bear one thing in mind. It’s always possible to selectively quote statistics in order to further a political agenda. It is relatively easy to portray all change as being for the worse – simply by dint of the fact that people tend to find change disturbing. In fact, these are favourite tactics of British nationalists determined to portray Scotland as some kind of ‘failed state’.

If these peddlers of doom and gloom were to be believed, all of Scotland’s public services are in a constant state of terminal crisis. They denigrate our NHS, our police service, our education system, our social services and more. In the process, they demean the people who make these services work.

And they do work. The everyday lived experience of people throughout Scotland contrasts markedly with the situation painted by those whose bitter resentment of the ‘upstart’ SNP and unthinking allegiance to the British state is such that they would gladly vandalise our public services and our democratic institutions in the hope of turning the clock back to a time before people realised that there was an alternative to the stale, self-serving parties of the British establishment.

I too could cite figures. Figures which indicate that, overall, Scotland’s public services are improving. Or, at the very least, being maintained despite the destructive onslaught of the British government’s ideologically-driven austerity agenda. But I know that, in general, people tend to be turned off by tedious games of statistic trumps.

Instead, I’ll simply ask folks to take a look at the facts about their country’s public services and the work being done by the SNP at national and local level and ask themselves whether this accords more closely with what they see around them than the image of collapse and catastrophe peddled by those who see those services, not as a solemn responsibility of government, but as a device by which to lever the political power which they regard as their entitlement. And, not at all incidentally, as a potential source of private profit.


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Tools can also be weapons

Theresa MayEven if the accuracy of these reports can be questioned, the credibility can’t. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (FAZ) account of the dinner meeting involving the Prime Minister and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is damaging because it is believable. It fits with what we already know about the UK Government’s woeful handling of the whole Brexit fiasco.

Theresa May simply doesn’t have a clue. She appears to lack any awareness of political implications beyond the issue of presentation. It’s not a matter of what she can achieve, but what she can make people believe she’s achieving. So long as every failure can be blamed on somebody else, she’s satisfied. It’s all about her image as a Churchillian leader going in to bat for good old Blighty against that awful Johnny Foreigner. The hope and intention is that relentless projection of this image will conceal the dearth of substance.

Express the slightest doubt about this image; attempt to scrutinise the substance, and you will be labelled a “saboteur” – a term deployed in such a manner as to leave no doubt that it is a reluctantly adopted euphemism for “traitor”. It’s the old ‘with us or against us’ ploy which, throughout history, has been the resort of inadequate individuals elevated by circumstances well beyond the level of their meagre abilities.

Theresa May is not a leader. She is a tool. A device to be used by the unseen forces which wield the real power within the British state. Such tools are all the more useful when they believe their own myth. But we should be mindful of the doubtless malign purpose behind the feckless facade.


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All monies received are used in furtherance of the campaign
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