News from Nowhere
Andrew Tickell (still at The Times) talks of Theresa May wincing her way through high office, “immunised by the mediocrity of her opponents” (ouch). He writes: “Mrs May ruled out a second independence referendum on Nicola Sturgeon’s timetable, with the strained roboticism that has become her hallmark. “Now is not the time,” she said. When pressed, the prime minister clung to her soundbite like a drowning man to flotsam”. More at “Mutant Brexit has the power to transmogrify”.
Joyce McMillan at The Scotsman ponders that Nicola Sturgeon: “must be delighted by the response she received yesterday from Theresa May and David Mundell; which not only relieves her of the need to fight a furious and probably losing referendum campaign any time soon, but makes the Westminster government look high-handed and undemocratic, and condemns Theresa May to conduct the entire Brexit negotiation, from start to finish, with the threat of losing a large chunk of her kingdom still looming over her shoulder.”
While over at CapX a Marian L Tupy writes of the (apparently obvious) parallels with Scotland and Slovakia (‘What Scotland can learn from the Velvet Divorce’):
“While the Scots resent their much bigger neighbour in the south, they are heavily reliant on English subsidies, which are bound to grow larger as Scottish oil becomes scarcer and falls in price due to the fracking revolution in the United States. It is that subsidy that allows Holyrood to maintain a much more socialist economic model than would be the case if Scotland had to fend for itself. The English are putting up with Scottish dependence and periodic hissy fits because of a deep emotional commitment to the Union by a succession of British leaders.”
Some of this is a sort of anthropological mistake. It’s people who don’t really know what they are talking about writing on a subject they have to sound confident on. Others, such as Fraser Nelson, has no such excuse. He writes:
“Nicola Sturgeon, meanwhile, is heading into the second act of her staged drama: l’Ecosse, c’est moi: “my ideas are the Will of the Scottish People, to defy me is to defy the whole of Scotland” etc. This rather creepy mentality is one of the darker aspects of nationalism. By calling a new referendum the SNP is acting in defiance of the will of the Scottish people.”
This sort of aversion to reality is growing as the unionist bloc realise that their attempts to suppress or delegitimise Scottish democracy has completely failed, and they’re going to have to do it all over again. there’s quite a lot of uncontained British nationalist anger flying about.
“The issue is not whether a Scottish break with England makes money or sense, or is even comprehensible. The issue is whether the people of Scotland want it. Next week, the Edinburgh parliament is expected to articulate that want. In a democracy, if a dissident province wants partition from a dominant neighbour, that should be its decision, not the neighbour’s.”
A ‘dissident province’. Oh well, if one thing has changed fundamentally from 2014 it is, as the good people of Bognor Regis shouted at us on Question Time, that the Love Bombing isn’t really a goer any more. As talk of ‘our sacred union’ becomes a new (odd) soundbite, the language of partnership has been abandoned. As Jenkins explains gently: “One day there must be a new constitutional relationship between London and Edinburgh. It will almost certainly be one that, at very least, removes Scotland from Westminster’s parliament and budget.”
Is that clear enough?
Scotland isn’t one of a ‘family of nations’ it’s a ledger item on a budget spreadsheet. And, if we were ever stupid enough to believe that we had a place in the Motherfucker of all Parliaments (™), we should be disabused of that notion. It’s Westminster’s parliament, not ours. The message seems to be, ‘You certainly can’t leave, but you’re not welcome either.’
Okay, we’ve got the memo.
We are a dissident province and citizens of nowhere. Bella is the News from Nowhere. Let’s begin on that basis. You can support us here.