Tweet Follow @RPJblog
By Jason Michael
Stop waiting for others to do the work. Scotland is on the threshold of real and lasting change. We are on the verge of independence. All that is needed is a decent shove, and we are the people who have to decide to shove it.
Revolutions come in all shapes and sizes. In politics and history we tend to think of revolution as a negative thing, with images of the October Revolution bringing Tsarist Russia to an end and so forth. The high drama of images such as these and the shade that has been cast over them are largely the result, not of the events themselves, but of the spin western society has put on them over the course of the last century. There are other revolutions with considerably less cultural acrimony; here we can think of the American and the French Revolutions of the late eighteenth century. But revolution is not limited to the iconography of bare chested women storming the barricades. There are other revolutions, and here the sexual revolution and the digital revolution come to mind. The word describes the reality of radical change.
In Scotland we are in the middle of just such a revolution, one that is in some places active and in other places latent – but it is no less a real revolution. Our political landscape is changing and the rate of that change is on the verge of accelerating, and it is in our best interests to make sure that we – each and every one of us – are at the front of the line.
Whether we see our future in the European Union or not, the reality is that the process triggered by the British government of leaving Europe has fundamentally destabilised the pillars of the British state. It has created for Scotland an opportunity to make the break from the United Kingdom we have dreamt of as a nation for over three centuries. Britain’s Conservative political establishment, supported by its Labour lapdog, has set about doing something so utterly stupid the consequences of which are unimaginable. At every stage of this worsening débâcle the British government has lied to us, it has manipulated and distorted our media, and it has attempted to strong-arm us and bully us. States behave like this only when they have nothing left. Britain has nothing left. Read the international press: This fact has become apparent to everyone.
Revolutions can happen at any time, but revolutions are successful only when the state is weak; when it begins to fracture and shake. Looking at the British state, only an idiot would fail to see that the prospect of revolutionary success in Scotland is already a foregone conclusion. All that is required of us is that we stand up and begin to take action.
It is all too easy for mass social and political movements to become despondent in the face of prolonged political inaction. Over the country the feeling is growing that the Scottish National Party – the de facto political vehicle of our revolution – has become inactive, that it is no longer pushing for the referendum we want. This may or may not be the case. It’s not important. The SNP is not and nor has it ever been the independence movement. The SNP is a part of the movement, but the movement itself is the sum of all its parts – and this includes you and me. We are the ones responsible for creating the opportunities for Scotland. What so many of us fail to fully comprehend is that the SNP and the Scottish government are answerable to us; the independence movement. We are in the driving seat and sometimes it feels as though we are asleep at the wheel.
Now is the time to wake up and give ourselves a shake. There’s work to be done, and the bottom line is that none of that will get done unless we do it. If we want a referendum in 2018 – a year beginning in a matter of weeks – then we have to work for it. We have to create the conditions, as a movement, in which the SNP and our government are following us to where we want to go.
It is so amusing that while independence is our goal, we seem so content to let others think up the ideas and do the leg work of getting things moving. What are we? Sheep?! If only we knew and fully realised we have a revolution sitting in front of us for the taking. If we realised that we would grab it with both hands… and, yet, here it is.
Two years ago I wrote in the Butterfly Rebellion blog about the necessity for passive resistance and mass civil disobedience. The response to that then was disheartening. ‘That’s not what we’re about,’ was the answer. ‘Boycotts and civil disobedience will hurt the economy and put people off the idea of independence.’ Okay, I thought, maybe we need to suffer a little more. Maybe we need to hit rock bottom before we will get it. Well that time has come. Can we afford to suffer any more? Right now we have a fairly good idea where England is taking us. It isn’t over the Brexit cliff edge; it’s down the Brexit plughole. If we fail to be the catalyst for action we are faced with the promise of being taken by the nose into oblivion. Now is the time to act.
What I am thinking and what I am trying hard to spell out is that we must give ourselves permission to create mayhem. Scottish independence is a fight against the British government – one of the most viciously violent and psychopathic régimes on the face of the earth. Britain isn’t going to play nice. We mustn’t play nice, and we should kick the ball first. We don’t need to bomb the BBC offices to get our message across. We can turn it off. We can stop paying the licence fee it uses to poison the minds of Scottish people. We don’t even need to pay the fines. Let them waste their money on stamps. In Ireland people told their government they wouldn’t be paying for water. They never paid the bills, they never paid the fines, they ignored the court summonses, and they laughed in judges’ faces. No one in Ireland pays for water. After spending billions of euros on installing water meters and posting intimidating letters, the Irish government abandoned the idea of charging people for water. So tell me, who the hell is going to force you to pay your licence fee?
Boycott the goods produced by companies supporting the union. More than this; boycott the shops and retailers that sell them. Do the same with the unionist press. Businesses are in business to do business. Losing money over the head of what they choose to put on their shelves is bad for business – only the bad businesses will go out of business, and we don’t need bad businesses. We are in an odd predicament, so we are. Scotland is subjugated by a foreign state and a unionist agenda that are paid for by the Scottish people themselves. How ridiculous is this? We have the means of a brilliant and successful revolution in our wallets and purses. That pound is our weapon. Use it.
Will Brexit Prompt Scotland’s Independence?