Tweet Follow @RPJblog
By Jason Michael
Reading unionist blogs can give us a spectacular insight into the inner dynamics of British nationalism and what it is that motives its true believers. We see that its view of Scotland is deeply contradictory and that it’s willing to destroy rather than lose.
In order to break out of the echo chambers created by our choices of who to follow and who to avoid on social media it is often a good idea to go and read the material being produced by Scotland’s unionist cyber literati. They too have bloggers, and it is useful to read them. We have to know what their cultural outriders are thinking and what makes them tick. Earlier today a new entry was posted to Effie Deans’ Lily of St. Leonards blog, invitingly titled: “Sturgeon just revealed her hand.” Fearing that the minions of the Union were at last onto us, I made the necessary movements and clicks with the mouse and started reading. Underwhelming doesn’t begin to describe this promised denouement.
UK Union Voice 🇬🇧 (@ukunionvoice) January 14, 2017
Effie Deans, for the benefit of those unfamiliar with the Scottish unionist blogosphere and twitterverse, is a rural Aberdeenshire woman who – after studying at Edinburgh, Cambridge, Copenhagen, and Nizhny Novgorod (as all who visit her blog are dutifully informed) – returned to her bucolic paradise to take “unionist inspiration” from Walter Scott. Perhaps this is enough to give the reader a fair insight into the truly superior nature of this goddess of Britannic wisdom. Ms. Deans takes frequent flights across Twitter sprinkling the fairy dust of British patriotism and the hope and glory of banishments to her blocked list to poor unfortunate cybernats who sully her view.
Her article begins with a beginner’s course in poker of sorts; making the point that the art of winning at the table isn’t so much in always having the right cards, but in the ability not to let the cat out the bag by maintaining a well-practiced poker face. Apparently Nicola Sturgeon isn’t very good at Texas hold’em, because she has revealed her hand – or, as Deans later writes, “I think Nicola Sturgeon has poor cards.” So which is it Effie? Nicola Sturgeon has revealed her hand or you just happen to think that she has been dealt a bum hand? In the end there is no great exposé on the First Minister’s “bluff.” The entire piece is little more than opinion, supplemented with genuinely interesting plans to actually scupper Scotland in the event of independence, and a pointless click-bait headline.
She does, as previously mentioned, have some real attention grabbers. Deans is well aware that Scotland may well gain independence and says as much in writing: “[Nicola Sturgeon’s] chance of winning is about 50/50. Support for independence rose from 25% to 45% last time. It could certainly rise from 45% to 50.01% if there were a next time.” So much then for the unionist mantra of Scotland will never leave Britain. It might, she confesses, and the outlook – in the event of another referendum – is pretty good. All that is needed, as Effie Deans does that maths for us, is 50.01 percent. Yet the most surprising thing about this article isn’t its willingness to face up to the reality of the direction in which our country is moving. The most surprising thing about it is that, even after acknowledging the real possibility of independence, Effie goes on to outline a counterrevolutionary strategy by which unionists can act now to damage an independent Scotland – their own country.
Before we get to those saboteurial ideas it is worth turning to Ms. Deans’ thoughts on how her beloved British state should deal with her follow Scots who are less inspired by the unionist daydreams of Sir Walter Scott. In her fertile imagination the idea that other people have other opinions on the future of Scotland and that they are prepared to use democratic means to realise their vision of the future constitutes a threat to her country. It stands to reason then, given that Britain’s soldiers are trained to kill foreign threats, that they should all be put to the sword. If nothing else this it is this sentiment that truly convinces us of her genuine Britishness. This is, after all, the British way.
On the 9 June 2016 she wrote of her first thoughts on hearing the result of the EU referendum. She was off sunning herself in Spain at the time. She woke to hear the news with shock. “It would probably have been better for me financially,” she wrote, “if we’d voted to remain.” Someone who has the economic freedom to traipse off around the universities of Cambridge, Copenhagen, and Nizhny Novgorod, who lounges around with Walter in her arms, and who has the readies to swan off to the Costas, realised at that moment that leaving the EU would hit her bank account. That is some revelation. Likely the real reveal of the article in fact. She doesn’t stop once to reflect upon how this decision will affect Scots who are far less privileged, and there are a few of them.
Having acknowledged this in her ramblings she continues in today’s post to describe how the economic conditions of Brexit can be used to best effect against an independent Scotland. There is simply no mistaking her callousness. Her plan is to force Scotland’s capitulation to Westminster by scorching the earth, and the same goes for Northern Ireland. She sees that the border arrangement between Northern Ireland and Ireland furnishes nationalists with a brilliant argument for ongoing trade with England – the England she insists we despise – after independence. This is where she envisages Brexit as the perfect weapon. “Better by far,” she schemes, “to man the Irish border than give the SNP an argument that they can use to break up Britain.” Effie would rather impose another famine on Ireland than see an independent and prosperous Scotland in an open-border commercial relationship with England.
As utterly psychopathic as these blogs can get they are still worth reading. We note from them that they never make a positive case for the union. To them the union is to be preferred for no other reason than they prefer it. Like the circular reasoning of Theresa May’s “Brexit means Brexit,” these bloggers are about preserving the status quo and their privilege for their own sake. No reasons need to be given, and no case needs to be presented. This is distilled unionist fundamentalism, and it is prepared to use extreme measures to fend off any change that might challenge their precious union. What is useful in all of this is to know that this is how they think and what they work tirelessly to propagate to others. Thankfully most people who voted No in the September 2014 referendum are not as block-minded. It will only help us to know what these bloggers are saying so that we can demolish their idiocy on the doorsteps when we hear their lazy repetition.
Unionists take and scrawl ‘no surrender’ on Glasgow’s George Square