After the gut wrenching disappointment of 2014 and the not entirely unexpected but still surprising General Election results, independence supporters had two events to look forward to; the local council elections in Scotland and the EU referendum.
The local council elections in 2017 have been a target for Indy supporters for some time as the opportunity to strike the final nail into the coffin of the dead dog that is Labour in Scotland. Unfortunately that campaign is likely to be as dull and uninspiring as an Indian restaurant advert at the cinema, without the garish colours and Alan Partridge voiceover. The EU referendum however held one hope; if Scotland voted Remain and were ousted from Europe by the rest of the UK, it was game on.
The anticipated perfect storm happened but despite the potential for a second independence referendum being realised most Yes supporting remainers were genuinely upset by the result, a reaction which exemplifies the attitude we need going forward.
Those of us that believed a second independence referendum lay years ahead were suddenly faced with the possibility that we may have to dust off our decorum and be polite to people who, in the words of the bard, were total fannies a lot sooner than we thought.
At this point in time no referendum has been announced and British politics has entered a dangerously erratic state of limbo where no clear path has been laid out. England is eating itself, Wales has gone quiet and only Scotland appears to show the desire to make things happen. If the previously unimaginable comes to pass and a campaign for independence develops, how do we approach it and what will the issues be?
Only joking. We know what the issues will be.
I have my own opinions, somewhat sweary and occasionally controversial. You have been warned.
Most People Think Politics Is Shite.
They don’t view the media as being political and thats why banner headlines and inaccurate, repeated memes win the day. The majority of the population see the world in black and white; they’re too busy striving to get by to be concerned about detail and truth. The mob will reduce the most nuanced argument to the lowest common denominator and referenda are the ultimate expression of that because they are often an emotional response rather than an intellectual one. Deconstruction of myths and detailed analysis are vital in any campaign but there also needs to be blunt, powerful and preferably true memes which capture the public imagination. Yes Scotland was a strong brand but its output was often weak and uninspiring; that has to be addressed. Dissemination will be a problem because….
The Mainstream Media Are Utter Utter Bastards.
It can’t be said often enough; if you believe newspapers are on your side you haven’t been paying attention. It’s all about the filthy lucre. Editors may worry about falling circulation but it’s tempting to believe that owners couldn’t give a shit. They have other interests that make money and like a supermarket offering loss leading products, they’re prepared to take the hit to push their own agenda. They play the long, lucrative game and they’ve been doing it for a long time. They shape public opinion, not mirror it. Realistically, if we are to win independence it will require the help of the press and their decision will be based on the financial implications for their owners, not loyalty to the cause.
An online presence is therefore vital to garner support and create networks in the same way it did during the first Indyref but the problem is that…….
Facebook And Twitter Are Hoaching With Die Hard Unionist Wankers.
And some of those are ostensibly Yes supporters. We’re not talking about the genuinely undecided or those that may consider an alternative to the status quo through discussion. We’re talking about trolls whose sole purpose is to cause doubt, friction, division and persuade other people that they are right. They will support the union regardless of the impact on Scotland for reasons that most normal people would regard as archaic or mercenary. Seriously, why would we give these people a platform? Every time we comment, retweet and engage with them we invite them into our networks and allow them to spout their own often sneering and bitter propaganda. Its self defeating.
There are times however when it’s appropriate. The opportunity to mock the ridiculous or highlight blatant hypocrisy should never be passed up but temperance and intelligence should be applied when dealing with the Dark Half.
Like a self replicating and evolving terminator intent on its own survival at the expense of all else, unionists have learned the lesson of 2014; social media is the perfect vehicle to spread their mantra. They will be visible in far greater numbers this time around although we have consolation that one of their arguments has been fatally wounded because…..
The Game Has Changed.
As it stands we are out of the European Union despite Scotland voting to remain. Another key promise of the No camp has been broken in spectacular fashion and many who believed that promise will be reassessing their position, especially businesses that were sceptical of independence two years ago.
The mood, particularly in Europe, has softened. Independence to many now seems like a sensible direction rather then a radical one. The danger comes, ironically, from within the anti-EU elements of our own ranks. A significant minority of SNP voters opted to Leave and while some of those are against independence it’s fair to say that most voted Yes in 2014. We have suffered from the sin of pride in assuming that Scotland was inured from the daily vitriol and hate spewed by the press. From anecdotal evidence it appears that we may be seriously underestimating the effect that may have on a future referendum. There is a fifth column at work on social media that will seek to exacerbate this divergence of opinion and we can only hope that education and knowledge will heal the rift. Ordinary working class people have potentially the most to gain from an independent Scotland in Europe but that does not mean that…..
Scotland Is A Fucking Socialist Country.
We’re not. We are a collection of disparate political views and opinions like every other nation. The Yes movement got it badly wrong when we decided to focus almost entirely on the concept of a left wing country, alienating the 434,000 Conservatives voters who felt they had nothing to gain from independence. Put that figure in context against the No vote majority and the significance becomes clear. When we say ‘social justice’ they see ‘punitive taxation’. The Tories will always get their vote out, the working class won’t.
Radical Independence produced sterling work in the schemes and undoubtedly increased the turnout and Yes vote but we simply can’t ignore a substantial minority in our own country. We complain about England having undue influence over our country purely due to population size so it is hypocritical to deny our minorities the same voice. Wanky ‘socialists’ who have never worked in a zero-hour, minimum wage job telling ordinary people how they should vote and think has never appealed to me, in the same way that wealthy and privileged individuals assuming they know best leaves me cold.
Left and Right are a construct designed to label us and put us in a box. Most of us are a mix; we are not purebloods, which is a good thing because most purebloods are dicks. Labels permit us to forgo proper thought and consideration and tow the party line. Perhaps this time we should be seeking the things that bind us, the common ground that can allow us to come together regardless of political shade.
This Could All Go Pete Tong
There’s simply too many variables at play to be certain what’s going to happen next. Brexit could go through prior to independence and leave us having to apply to join the EU. Westminster could block a new referendum. The U.K. may not leave Europe. Whatever happens it’s guaranteed that Labour will find new and inventive ways to kick itself in the balls so the Tories are likely to be in power for some time. Now would be a great time to head for the hills.