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By Jason Michael

The Withdrawal Bill amendment has become yet another broken British promise to Scotland, but at what point does our continued engagement with a lying state make the consequences of these broken promises our own fault?

From August last year the BBC went full tilt in its efforts to present the British government and the devolved governments of Scotland and Wales in two very different lights over the issue of what was even then being described as a Westminster “power grab.” Reporting Scotland consistently depicted the London government – which strenuously denied attempting to arrogate all returning EU powers to itself – as the grown up, responsible party busy trying to get on with the business of Brexit, while Scotland and Wales were treated as petulant and immature children stamping their feet and hindering the work of the ‘real’ government.

Infantilisation is one of the standard colonial tools deployed by imperial states like Britain against their possessions. It has long been known by psychologists and illusionists alike that the creation of the adult-child relationship between the client and the patron forces the client – the subject of the power play – to regress. By offering milk and cookies to the subject, for example, while the adult has tea and biscuits and speaks to him or her as an adult would to a child, the subject unconsciously becomes a child; more obedient, more submissive, and more susceptible to manipulation.

This is precisely what the BBC was doing to Scotland during this political standoff. On Wednesday 9 August when the Scottish and British governments met to address Westminster’s intention to return all EU powers to London Brian Taylor, BBC Scotland’s political editor, described the UK ministers in the most grownup terms. They were the ones “negotiating Britain’s exit,” they were in the “driving seat,” their proposals were “common sense,” they had come to seek “compromise,” and they did not wish to “fall out” with the Scottish administration. But against this construction of a ‘good parent’ by the BBC, at the table to cajole the Scots, it was the actions of the naughty children – who “dissent” – that risked causing a fall out.

Language like this continued through August and September in relation to the issue, and the “common sense” approach of the British government became the de facto frame in which the BBC in Scotland reported the story. Ultimately, however, the Scottish and Welsh governments made their case – even though this was muted in the media. The London government began to talk of an amendment to the Withdrawal Bill, and eventually promises were made to Scotland that the Bill would be amended to better protect Scotland’s interests.

So far so good, but where did this talk and these promises lead? Nowhere! Time ran out and the Bill went ahead unaltered. Naturally, after the chief of the British administration in Scotland, David Mundell, announced this to the Scottish government on Tuesday more promises were made. This time we are told the necessary – and promised – amendments will be put before the House of Lords in the spring.

All of this is a pattern with which we in Scotland are well acquainted; talk, promise, time, broken promise – wash, rinse, repeat. In fact, it would be fair to say that the course of Britain’s engagement in the 2014 independence referendum can be written up under the exact same headings. The same can be said for the hanging carrot that was the Smith Commission. We were talked to, promised, and made to wait and see before the promises were broken one by one.

Each time this happens we have the same predictable look of shock and frustrated anger on our faces. The pro-independence media kicks up the same storm, almost reprinting the same words that were printed the last time it happened. Britain brings us in to the office for a chat, we sit quietly in the low chair, promises are made, we’re sent away, and the promises are broken, and every time – going by what we read in our movement’s press – this comes as a surprise to us.

That the British government does this should not come as a surprise. Britain behaved exactly the same way towards Ireland and Irish republicans in Northern Ireland until the United States intervened to help bring about peace. We now know the British government was even conspiring to assassinate the Irish Taoiseach so as to facilitate another series of broken promises in Ireland. London has followed this exact same strategy in India and in almost every imperial and colonial possession it has been forced to relinquish. This is how Britain behaves.

Once again we have been sent out of the office to wait for the delivery of yet another promise. This will all be fine. It will all be sorted in the Lords in the spring. No it won’t! The compromise brought to the Scottish government in August 2017 was nothing less than the already decided “common sense” approach of the British government. At every stage in these negotiations London has been playing Scotland and the Scottish government for time, knowing that it will run out and Britain will get everything it wants while we wait patiently like fools. Britain does not negotiate with its possessions or with those it considers its possessions.

Sooner or later we are going to have to accept this as a cold hard reality of dealing with Britain and stop acting so surprised every time the same thing happens. Nothing the London government says can be trusted – not now, not ever. Only when our own government and media accept this fact and begin to act accordingly can we hope to get what we want from these people. Its promises are worthless and the longer we sit on our hands hoping that the next one might just maybe be kept the more damage we are allowing to be inflicted on our country, our people, and our interests. We are now well and truly at the point where trusting London and suffering the consequences of its broken promises has become no one’s fault but our own.

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BBC Reporting Scotland making an idiot of Scotland


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11 thoughts on “We’ve had Enough of Broken British Promises

  1. Agreed.

    One glimmer of light – Scottish parliament to legislate, touch wood, for it’s own Continuity Bill.

    Trust other measures in respect of the Union are being subject to ScotGov contingency planning.

    2018 may yet prove to be the constitutional tipping points that may see Ireland re-unified and Scotland re-independent with both working together and both in the EU.

    Time for England to go it alone and for Wales to reassess its relationship with perfidious Albion.

    Time, also, for all the nations of the world to do so, too.

    Bring it on!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What can we do to change this? It is depressing and demoralising just reading the facts. I believe every word you say. We are heading back to square one if indeed we ever got past it. This is too easy for Westminster. Can we develop a strategy to defeat these predictable moves? I think the only course of action is to demand answers and show strength of purpose if we don’t like the answers. Refuse to accept their delaying tactics and widely publicise the reasons for our actions before the lying Press can given their version. Fight fire with fire. Refuse to accept their legislation for Brexit. Don’t sign. Don’t let them get any further with it so that they can claim it is too late to change it. It’s not much but it would be a start and show we are not prepared to be a door mat any longer. Am I being naïve? By the way,I am one of the older generation but not one who is blind or deaf to my country’s needs.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I agree, time has past and Scotland should now be well aware of the path brexit is taking us. Patience is however a virtue in this case. It would appear that the Scottish government are building infrastructure, creating a new investment bank and currency etc. Time to get these issues to fruition is needed also, hopefully by the spring we will see them come into being and can push ahead for our 2nd independence referendum.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. the scottish sub committees that represent scotland at meetings with the westminster government always show a nice friendly manner with nice smiles and friendly handshakes but when the meetings end they come away with nothing but shite the westminster crew walk all over them and scotland end up worse than when they started scotland are going to have to find negotiators that goes to the meetings with a steely look and a stiff backbone that looks after scotlands interest if they cant do that dont have meetings scotland needs to start fighting for scotland westminster are trying to marginalize scotland so we dont matter to the negotiations its time for scotland to stand up and fight for scotland time is slipping by we cant allow westminster to walk all over scotland

    Liked by 1 person

  5. In a country with its own media, this would have been in banner headlines since the first broken promise (if anyone can remember the first one). Foreign owned media spewing out its propaganda each and every day is the greatest hurdle to overcome. We have to accept that a large percentage of the population pays no attention to politics, other than absorbing the headlines in that self same hostile press and the equally hostile broadcast media.
    I know that social media have been behind many protest movements, but Scots, for good or ill, seem slow to get angry.
    I do hope, however that we reach boiling point this year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would think that after English votes for English Laws the English M.P.’s would became M.E.P’s,this would make them non U.K. Ministers?and if the Scottish M.P.’s are recalled back to Scotland then Westminster would not have any U.K. Ministers left apart from some N.I.and Welsh M.P’s.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. If they call us a member of a “family of nations with equal voice” then we just have to speak up. We need not shout nor insult but simply state that what we wish to do is …
    I have no doubt that without the continued oil revenues and without the revenue taken by excise duty on Whisky, which we know are purloined and fed back to us diminished, England’s economy would collapse. This is the danger point, countries tend to go to war over such events and if the greater part of the population of England are plunged into the consequences of an economic crash they will not turn on those who led them into it but on those “outsiders” who, they will be told, are “stealing their resources” and deliberately destroying their livelihoods.
    It will not be torches and pitchforks to the castle gates but “Cry ‘God for Harry, England, and Saint George!'” and they will rise in their droves against us. We however must challenge the Westminster establishment and offer a treaty relationship which is generous, magnanimous but which puts Scotland first and is initiated and driven by us and for us. This is a process we must begin now and should have begun in 2014. I cannot see Fluffy Mundell, my MP god help me, and other ministers being a match for the current politicians who make up our government at Holyrood. Let the game begin, better late than never

    Liked by 1 person

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