With a week to go until the results of the Scottish referendum on independence I find myself resigned to the thought that the first time I ever visit the place I may have to produce my passport at the border. I had a discussion with my dad earlier today regarding the narrative being used by English politicians, who made the poor decision of getting their now-apparently-irrelevant noses involved far too late in the day. During that discussion I asserted how they should all have stuck to plain facts and left their ideologies behind. Like all politicians stuck in that top right corner of the political spectrum they resulted to intense debate within a farcically narrow breadth. This problem seems also to be compounded by those Scots politicians whose faces are favoured by the popular media. Whether it’s Scottish Labour or the SNP or whoever, they’re all reduced to the narrow on telly.
I made the point that the Scots may well end up with their own wee band of blithe sociopathic neoliberals; more than ready to sell off the Scottish public’s assets for the gain of the rich, the corporations and the banks. I added that the currency ‘debate’ seemed to be a very convenient smoke screen used as a method of stagnating and deflecting from the really important arguments that desperately needed to be made on all sides of the referendum debate. As for the currency, there’s always a bespoke virtual currency ffs; but lets keep moving.
I originally started from a staunch selfish want for the Scots to remain in the United Kingdom. This probably originates from my intense dislike for division and a perception that division is inherently regressive in a social context. This was coupled with the enduring dogmatic facts of the Old Empire that the Scots have been the Enlightened key in the development of science, engineering, medicine, and philosophy during the time of our union. Anyway, I still do regard division as regressive, though the idea of smaller government does vaguely appeal to an anarchist and Humanist ideal construct that rests in my heart. My conception of the Scots as being a pragmatic people with an excellent sense of social evolution and social justice, more so than the inhabitants of England, has resulted in an implicit want for them to maintain their input in the UK’s governance.
This is probably a fallacious assumption. There is little to suggest that the Scottish people vote any differently than the English when it comes to selecting between our deceitful right-wingers. Labour and Tory both sing from the same hymn sheet, and most nationalists are fundamentally market driven. But despite the neoliberal propaganda and indoctrination, the Scots seem innately keener than the English in maintaining socialism’s ghost, as opposed to its hopeful resurrection here in England. This forces those politicians involved in Scottish politics to maintain a socialist facade to avoid candidly outing their true neoliberal ambitions. And lets face it, if the Scots discovered that facade they may want to chop the rot off and rebuild… Oh wait!.. Hmmm.
Now, I’m of the thinking that the Scots getting their independence may be a good thing for all of us. There is a hope in me, that if England and Scotland part and go their own separate ways, it may make the neoliberalism, or should I say movement towards corporate serfdom, more apparent and noticeable to our populations. The competition, that’s sure to ensue, between our countries could/hopefully will result in the heavily invested disguise of ‘people power’ and ‘democracy’ becoming torn and shredded. The referendum itself is already pulling at the seams of that disguise. The power that both our citizens have lost and naively acquiesced through the underhand and amoral tactics of our duplicitous and dissonant politicians will become obvious. The lie will be revealed. Our oppression unshrouded.
Unlike, any other country around the world, apart from the US in modern times, the English have always been linked to the Scots. We pay attention to them. They are like us. We’ve assimilated, interbred, cohabited, migrated, and generated symbioses from way before the Acts of Union. The jocks have had to endure the craic just as the sassenachs have, and it is different. There are not many in England who pay attention to the politics in France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Norway and Spain, yet we will be forced to watch Scotland. They are stirring a hornet’s’ nest that no one, not even the BBC, will be able to ignore. With two competing ‘civil societies’ to maintain the BBC will disclose their bias if they attempt to pursue a single narrative, which will force them towards the truth rather than the pacifying of the flock. When our separate governments start competing over who can give the biggest concessions to big business and corporations we’ll all see the true colours and ideological direction of travel. Hopefully.
My only fear is that there will be attempts to cover up, with the usual tactics of blame and demonisation and ultra nationalism, though this time with both sides complicit in the charade. The Scottish and English citizenry will be two distinctly separate nations, with all their stereotyped divisions being ramped up into a vicarious perversion. All the while, those with the power will be unified in maintaining those citizenries’ subjugation to the inevitable dystopia of neoliberal capitalism. That’s my fear, but I also know that it is impoverished. There is plenty that could go wrong; maybe nothing will change.
Perhaps, Scotland will become like those countries I mentioned earlier. They will no longer register in the English psyche. Much like the Republic of Ireland, whose benignity is so complete I failed to even recollect them in that international lineup. I just hope beyond hope that everyone keeps their eyes and minds open. I get a descending feeling that I am going to be defending the Scots and English from each others’ propaganda for a long, long time. Ultimately, I have no say in the referendum; even with Scottish blood in my ancestry. I like Scotland, I like its people and its cultures, but whatever happens I’ll be happy that they made the decision. As an Englishman, I’m looking forward to shit getting stirred and the many possible opportunities for creating a political shift to the left on both sides of the border.