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By Jason Michael
Scottish people, according to the British nationalist narrative, are too emotional and giddy to be rational. We’re stupid. We don’t know what we are saying, and we can’t back up our assertions. Unionists are forever trying to get us to buy this nonsense.
Right at the heart of Britain’s strategy to maintain its hold over Scotland is the effort by the state and its shills to convince the Scottish people that they are less intelligent – “too stupid” – than the decision-makers in Westminster and Whitehall. Looking back over the past couple of hundred years we see that this psychological warfare has been an integral component in London’s domination of Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. This so-called Gaelic fringe has been lavished with false praise; we are emotional, talented, skilled – we’re useful – and we are gallant and brave – we’re perfect cannon fodder for Britain’s imperial ambitions.
What we are not is rational. In spite of the Scottish Enlightenment and the long history of academic excellence in Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, the British state has always invested great energy into the task of convincing us that we are intellectually inferior. It is not the case that we are “not genetically programmed in Scotland to make political decisions.” Rather we have been conditioned, over three centuries of cultural domination by England, to think of ourselves as political boneheads. This is how colonial domination works. Dominant powers have less difficulty extracting resources and wealth from colonies whose indigenous populations believe their colonial masters are superior.
Scotland is an English colony. It is always important to restate this fact and to explain why this is so. That the primary function of our resources and national wealth in the union is to enrich the dominant party – England – should be enough to end this discussion, but it’s not. British nationalists will always attempt to define colonialism narrowly. We were not invaded and settled by colonists. True, but this is settler-colonialism and not colonialism. Colonialism, as a system of social, economic, and political domination for the purposes of wealth extraction perfectly describes Scotland’s experience under London rule.
some things never change. Nationalists shout about 'yoon lies'. So I ask them to name some. They go to ground and aren't heard of again.—
Historywoman (@2351onthelist) September 15, 2017
On Friday afternoon Jill Stephenson, one of Scotland’s most prolific British nationalist trolls on social media, tweeted: “Nationalists [what she calls supporters of Scottish independence] shout about ‘yoon lies.’ So I ask them to name some. They go to ground…” She is saying two things here. Firstly she is implying “nationalists” are irrational; that they simply parrot slogans they have heard others use without understanding the basis of the assertions they make. Secondly, and by extension, she is saying that these statements – like “yoon lies” – lack factual substance. What she is saying, in a word, is that we are stupid; we say things we do not understand and lack the ability to back them up.
After reading this tweet I decided to play a game. How quickly, I asked myself, could I name five things the Better Together campaign actually lied about before the 2014 referendum? Without pausing to recall I rattled off: Voting No was the only way to guarantee EU membership, by voting No we would be rewarded with federalism or at least “Devo-Super-Max,” independence would mean border controls between Scotland and England, our pensions wouldn’t be safe, and that Scotland could lead the UK. What I discovered, to my delight, was that the only thing that took time was the time it took me to say them. I knew them all be rote, and I was only getting started.
Jill obviously hadn’t tweeted this to independence supporters. It was intended for the edification of a British nationalist audience, an utterly meaningless brain fart intended to do nothing other than reinforce the unfounded and ill-informed opinion of her echo chamber. Uncontested pronouncements on social media have the remarkable knack of entering the canon of internet truth. Dialogue based on facts and research brings us to the truth. No way was I about to let Jill – a retired academic – off with this epistemological blunder.
Jill here thinks we can't name a single yoon lie. Okay people reply below with all the lies you can remember then R… twitter.com/i/web/status/9…—
Butterfly Rebellion (@Butterfly_Reb) September 17, 2017
Using Twitter – her own weapon of choice – I shared her tweet with the followers of the Butterfly Rebellion, asking “nationalists” if they would be so kind as to reply with the “yoon lies” they remembered. Surely I wasn’t the only person on this side of the national debate that could cite five or ten such examples at the drop of a hat? It turns out I wasn’t. Within seven hours almost a hundred people had responded. That number now stands at a hundred and fifty.
“Uncontested pronouncements on social media have the remarkable knack of entering the canon of internet truth.”
It was only fair that Prof Stephenson be kept in the loop. The last think I wanted was to make her mistake and keep everything neatly tucked away inside my own echo chamber. Since I quoted her original tweet she was aware I had asked others to answer her question, but she never replied. I gave her a second chance. I tweeted her again asking if she would respond and acknowledge she was wrong. Nothing. The only person who went to ground and wasn’t heard from again was Jill Stephenson, leaving us with no choice but to call her out for her intellectual dishonesty and moral cowardice.
In conclusion this little experiment only confirmed my suspicion of such people. Jill Stephenson, like every other British nationalist shill, knows what she is saying is a lie. She is serving her state by recycling these ideologically motivated lies in an effort to protect the colonisers’ myth that Scots – weirdly, including herself – are stupid; driven mad by our passionate tempers, shouting half-crazed and meaningless things. We’re not. We remember well the lies that were told, and we have long memories. Scotland remembers 310 years of intimidation, lies, and violence. The difference now is that we have a platform. All she and her accomplices can do now – as indeed they are – is rely on the Spanish model – oppress, repress, criminalise, and eventually brutalise. Colonialism, just like the lies that assist it, is always a form of violence.
Better Together’s Broken Promises