By Jason Michael

Whatever they tell us about xenophobic nationalism and the divisiveness of the Yes movement, we have to accept that we have no choice but to be nationalists if we are to discover who we are. Only this will free us from the control of Britain.

We knew through the last independence referendum that nationalism had become a dirty word and Gerry Cinnamon wasn’t a million miles from the mark when he asked, “Did the TV man call you a nationalist for rejecting the lies?” It was put to us by the Union and its BBC media machine that nationalism was something the Scots, the Irish, and the Welsh did. That it was something emotional – “a feeling” as Sir Robert Frederick Geldof KBE put it – produced by the airy-fairy romantics on the Gaelic periphery of the perfect solidity that is the untarnished and civilising glory of Britain.

Our “family of nations” is a construct that was invented for the purposes of empire. It was crafted as a racialised hierarchy for the orders of the great white conqueror; from the thoughtful and rational Englishman, through the defeated singing Welshman, the bitter and resentful drunken Scotsman, to the feckless and uncontrollable Irishman. This ideology of supremacy has been the gendered iconisation of the domination of lesser whites over subservient whites in the name of exploitation, violence, conquest, colonialism, and imperialism. We have known this as the British Empire, as Britishness, and – of late – as Team GB. It was always a fiction.

As we have awoken to the lie, and as we have begun to shake from us the rot and ugliness of Britain’s nightmarish delusion and history, the very weapon that was used to subjugate us has been turned on us by the architects of empire. Nations are the fodder of empire. They are useful to the empire only insofar as the members of the inferior “home countries” accept the image of their nationhood with which they have been inculcated by the dominant nation. Nationalism becomes a problem to the empire – a threat to the empire – when it questions its inferiority to the ruling power.

It has been this threatening and dangerous nationalism that has been weaponised and deployed against Scotland since the advent of Scotland’s modern national awakening, and more so since devolution. We are the divisive and xenophobic nationalists. Against a British state that has reduced working people to dereliction, criminalised and alienated vulnerable minorities, and normalised the language of hatred and violence, it is a Scotland that says no more that must be evil because it rejects people – the people who have done this. In fact we are dangerous. We don’t accept the lies anymore, and this makes us a threat to the very existence of Britain, a threat to their existence. We have to embrace this. We have to be nationalists – to see who we really are for ourselves – first before we can break away from the control this empire has over us.


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