Friday, 29 August 2014

Best Wishes Scotland

I've made my mind up. Oops, I don't have a vote. I was always sympathetic to Scottish Independence, simply on the grounds that an identifiable people should run their own affairs, so long as they were easily part of other unions, and this means the Europen Union.

Then more recently I was less in favour on the same principle, as in what is wrong with the United Kingdom. Actually, there is plenty wrong with the United Kingdom, including its inability to devolve to the English. Westminster could reduce itself if there was an England-wide Parliament; I'm not in favour of regional devolution. I'm in favour of what emerged out of Wessex and Mercia, from Alfred and Aethelstan, and of the Celts before them and continuing. The Normans afterwards plastered their rule over the rest of us, like a ready-built hierarchy, and England has been class-ridden ever since, from feudal power and monarch to capitalism, including inviting the Dutch to invade and get rid of the Stuarts.

Scotland is complex. It is silly for Scotland to have a welcome sign in Gaelic in Aberdeen. Gaelic was never spoken in Aberdeen among the ordinary population. Gaelic was always part of Scotland, to its west, and of course suffered ethnic cleansing at the hands of the English and the tut tut of modernist Scots. It was an English power that could take kilts from the Gaels, ban them culturally, and then pop them on to royals, while people had to leave and sheep took their place.

That's the difference between the Gaels and the Welsh, in that Welsh is of the whole of Wales. Indeed, properly speaking, Welsh is part of the whole of England too and up to the Scottish border. Celtic is continuous with Welsh - old manuscripts can be read today in Cymraeg but try and get the English to read Anglo-Saxon. Anglo-Saxon may as well be a foreign language - it is, through time.

I'm in favour of Scottish independence and here's why, and despite losing left-leaning votes (though these days Labour is so right wing and compromised it's hardly worth the loss). Set against the nastiest, most right wing government we have ever had in modern times, including those turncoats called Liberal Democrats (who'd have thought it - I didn't but I will at the ballot box next time), the Scots seem civilised, collective, communal. They properly believe in communities and responsibility, one to the other.

What we have is a London that is a casino, and notions that Liverpool to Leeds should be another urban casino. Somewhere in between is Birmingham. Gone are the real notions of manufacturing, serving, craft, skill and career; it's all instrumentalism from school and college to mobile CV. If you are not a profit centre individual, you will exist on the margins in a no-world of meagre benefits with a system to force you to become one of those individuals. It's a dog eat dog world of liberal economics and Tory self-satisfaction.

What Scotland will become, independent, is a beacon of decency. It might not be quite as rich as a dog eat dog land, but it won't be as unequal either. It will consider things as a community, across complex populations and a rich inheritance. The English surely won't stand for it, to see the Scots enjoy a decent life while we are run by class-soaked right wing boys. The English gwerin can't be the losers all the time, to see the collective protections at work dismantled, and forced into the trough. They'll rise again, but it will take the Scots to show them how, and the Scots need their own power to do it.

Here's the contrast: English politics has Douglas Carswell defecting to UKIP on the usual narrow-minded agenda that has Cameron promising a referendum on in-out once he has negotiated a narrative to claim to stay in. This is about the British elite divided, uncomfortable with the European political elites but some more practical than others. The Scots are somewhere else: this politics is irrelevant. It should be irrelevant (although the democratic deficit in Europe is not irrelevant: but positive reform not removals).

Given the situation in Ukraine, we need the European Union more than ever - not politicking about how to leave.

The right wing Tory nutjobs will be with us for some time, unfortunately, because of a de-politicised South East gives them their space. The rest of us, also English, have to wake up. Otherwise we could lose Wales too, and even the Cornish. But then they might also teach the English how to behave.

Or, another idea, why not just dump London and let the rest of us organise our lives better?

1 comment:

Battersea Boy said...

Surely the situation in Ukraine only arose because the EC's overtures towards that country made Russia nervous of losing its "buffer zone"?