Adore the Rising Sun

By Alec Ross 

Alec RossToday the First Minister announced that she was ramping up preparations for a no-deal Brexit. This is where we are.

To be honest, even a people’s vote with a so-so outcome falls short of what Scotland voted for, and we’d be spending even more time, money and energy mitigating stuff than we currently are. We are good at mitigating stuff we didn’t vote for. This is Scotland. We are world class mitigators. This is what we do.

Honestly, I don’t get it – we’re fighting for a mandate for a vote that won’t solve anything instead of using the mandate we actually do have to solve both Brexit and save Scottish Democracy. Frankly, I’m as pissed off as the hundreds of people on the Twitter thread posted by Joanna Cherry about the Scottish mandate for the People’s Vote on Brexit. I’m a big fan of Joanna, incidentally, but I wasn’t surprised at the level of dismay at her continuing support for a vote that won’t happen and, even if it does, achieves nothing.

We cannot and will not win by playing nicely. It’s like bleating about Question Time, when it’s run by a media whose entire raison d’etre is to preserve the status quo and deny Scotland its democracy. A total, utter, waste of time. Westminster is an English Parliament (if anybody doubts this, ask them why it, not Edinburgh, continued after 1707). We will never be granted a second vote, so we call one ourself. Or we declare UDI. Or we make the next election the de facto independence vote.

What we mustn’t do is continue with this utter charade. You know, the 2014 vote has become a stick to beat us with. We said: “Aye, colonise us! Come on ahead!”. What does it say about when we are now – despite everything that has been done in our name – still here? It reeks of acquiescence. Fool me once? Shame on you.

But twice?

We can’t keep trying to help England save itself from itself. There comes a time when prudence and canniness tips over into cowardice. There’s never been a more propitious set of circumstances to become independent in a short period of time. To not call it now would be a betrayal, a catastrophe. If I’m honest, I’ve put seven years into this and would love to think I’ve not been wasting my time. Part of me wants to say: “look, I’ve a business to run here. I need to know you believe in this. Call me when you need me. I’m ready. Because we had a chance in 2014 and blew it. There’s an even better chance right now and we’re pissing about calling for a people’s vote that isn’t going to happen that still sells us short”.

Tony Benn used to say this about socialism – “it’s either a crusade or it is nothing” . But this isn’t a political cause. It’s about morality, doing the right thing; standing up, being brave. Not necessarily for your country, but for each other. About believing that actually we’re about more than our (positive) contribution to the GDP and the price of oil and the value of our investments and mobile ‘phone roaming charges. We shouldn’t be measured on the width of our wallets but by the depth of our humanity.

Time we stopped apologising for wanting our lives to be better. Time to stop apologising for who we are. And God save us from another consultation. If not now, when? Jesus, it’s either a good idea or it isn’t, and mansplaining pensions and the Barnett Formula to already scunnered folk won’t work. Because we’d be imagining independence from within the prism of that strange, colonial, deliberately unequal, neoliberal clusterbouroch that we have been conditioned over 312 years of imperial and cultural colonialism to see as normal. Which brings us back to my original point.

Most folk get this, which highlights the subtle but crucial disconnect between those who make our case publicly and those who essentially want our leaders to say – “look, we’re getting nowhere here with these clowns. Our job is to look after the people of Scotland. We can’t fulfil our job description within the existing constitutional arrangement that Scotland voted for, but ruled by governments which we haven’t voted for since just after the Second World. Which makes our continuing presence in this deeply unholy of alliances – which no Scot should have any truck with – utterly self-defeating. It’s baffling. Either we are a country, or we aren’t. Either we want independence or we don’t. Either it’s a good idea or it is not. We can boast or we can cower. It’s up to us. We can serve the people of Scotland or we can go to London. But we cannot do both”.

Frankly, the rest is a distraction, noise. The singular purpose of the Scottish Government is to do its best by us and extricate us from this bouroch. Not in three to five years. Immediately.

“Lay your schemes alone / adore the rising sun / and leave a man alone to his fate”, writes Burns in “Ye Jacobites By Name”.

We can help our neighbours no more. I fear for them and I wish them well, I truly do. We leave them, reluctantly, alone to their fate.

For better or worse, we must now follow ours.

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11 replies »

  1. Just decided to read your blog again, Alec. I was right. It is absolutely spot on. Should be put through every letterbox in Scotland. Excellent piece.

  2. Thanks Derek. That’s the thing. With the chaos that no-deal brings, Brexit will be the least of our problems. For the Goves of this world, hard borders in Ireland and power grabs aren’t unfortunate collateral damage – they are actually the goals they pursue. We are dangerously naive in thinking these people think like us. They do not. An empathetic fallacy of biblical proportions.

  3. 100% with you on this alec , as you say the SG were elected to PROTECT AND SERVE SCOTLAND not save england from stupidity
    As I posted on Barrhead boy blog

    Roddy this isn’t just wastemonster , we ALL have to remember that the english people voted for these corrupt , amoral , imbecilic arsewipes , obviously not all of them but enough to keep returning them and the red tories to power , I would like to think that us Scots have a natural aversion to this britnat , fcuk everyone else , self serving , corruption is good , imperialistic brand of politics that appears to find favour with the ORDINARY voter in england and wales.
    Even now reading lots of comments on the britnat rags it seems most of the voters are still aggressively supportive of the tories ( red and blue ) imperialistic , exceptionalist , superior mindset , where it is ALL the fault of the EU for not giving in to their demands.

    Taking all this into consideration , when we DISSOLVE THE UNION and the brexshit devastates the rUK economy I don’t want ( Faragesque ) hoards of self harming , should have listened people coming to Scotland to wreak havoc on our country by voting in these monsters and their dehumanising beliefs, similarly I don’t want hordes of sectarian bigots from ANY side bringing their brand of religious cultism ( we already have enough of our own ) to create aggressive division
    I have never obsessed about borders , but I really feel that due to the possible long term devastating consequences of civil disruption , Scotland must protect it’s citizens and it’s infrastructure by imposing them

  4. The problem is having to second guess the arguments against the conditions for the mandate for indyref2 not being met..

    The obvious go to is the repeated claim that there was a hidden clause in indyref1 that said the matter was settled for a “generation”

    When unionists say it was a UK wide vote they say that in voting No or abiding by that decision we agree to the majority opinion.

    They would claim that the EU ref was advisory. The Scots Tories occasionally try their hand at being pro Brexit and good little britains. No Borders means Scotland is just another region of the UK.

    Who knows, perhaps a people’s vote might see a lower support for Remain in Scotland than the firs time. On the other hand it might go the other way and combined with a change in the rUK reverse the decision. Even then that won’t settle things. Imagine riots in England because the tail is wagging the dog if they’re dragged back into the EU against their will.

    Pushing for a People’s Vote keeps that thought at the forefront of Mays mind. It keeps the pressure up. You want Scotland as part of the UK then we get to speak. And if the wind is in our favour we get to decide.

    I’d be surprised if there was a People’s Vote. Campaigning for one in order to salvage a UK we might be stuck in for the foreseeable future isn’t a bad idea. Simply getting it to calmer waters before it sinks makes abandoning ship easier.

    It also makes it harder for other advocates of one second vote to oppose another.

  5. It is going to happen, Alec. You won’t have wasted your time.
    Here’s something …
    I was starting to go on at someone, about the behaviour of Shamima Begum, and I started, thus…”This country, is deporting people who have lived here, worked, paid their dues, and in many cases served their communities……….”
    I then realised, I shouldn’t say “This country” – this country, is Scotland – as far as I’m aware, the Scottish government aren’t doing this ( I may be mistaken?), it’s the Westminster government who are doing this. So, I then added ”No, I shouldn’t say ‘This county’, I should say…’Britain’”.
    This showed me just how much I see this country, as Scotland – and how much this country, is Scotland.
    It will happen Alec, and the sooner Scotland is detached from the things which the British government does, the better.

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