By Jason Michael

SCOTLAND AND ITS POLITICS are a great comfort to an author whose attentions are split between two homes on opposite shores of the Irish Sea. While the earth was moving in Ireland as Sinn Féin shook the very foundations of the Free State establishment and sent a shiver of fear over Britain and its political ruling class, I could rest easy – safe in the knowledge nothing much would change in Scotland. Yes, perhaps this assessment is unfair and maybe a little cruel. Scotland has changed a great deal over the past decade. Our constitutional outlook is better today than it has been in three centuries, but the strategic thinking of our current leadership tends to be more like Aesop’s tortoise than the image of Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish we’re getting used to in Dublin.

After a week of frenetic and electrifying politicking in Ireland, returning my attention of Scotland was like hitting a brick wall after doing full throttle in a jet-propelled rocket. The illuminati of the SNP’s yoof division, with barely a pubic hair between them, was still hunting down our most seasoned and gifted pro-independence politicians with their little red circles, and the grassroots of the movement was still wasting its energy reacting to unionist pot-shots. Questions around whether or not penises can be female – the dismal black-is-white hardware versus software argumentation of modern identity politics, regardless of where you stand on the subject, will not get independence moving, and traction will not be created as long as we are squandering our time and efforts trying to answer bullshit phantoms cast up by Tories to do just that – bog us down in irrelevances.

Queensferry Crossing, or Nicola Sturgeon’s ‘vanity project’ as the unionists like to style this essential infrastructural development, was closed briefly during dangerous and potentially life-threatening weather. Bearing in mind that bridges all over England were shut for the same reason at the time, to use its closure as a political weapon is right up there were resisting the expense of fire-retardant cladding on high-rise flats. This was not a good look for the Conservatives. That failing to close a bridge in dangerous weather is just inviting a tragedy, is a statement of the obvious. Anyone condemning this eminently rational decision automatically puts themselves firmly in the ranks of the insane, proving from their own mouths their unsuitability for government. It is nothing but a waste of time answering this lunacy back, but we’re like flies to shite.

Rather than letting ourselves down by engaging in this nonsensical Tory bleating, we should be calling it out for what it is – a tactic designed to sow chaos in an otherwise sensible and well-informed society; a favourite tactic of the far-right, populists, and the winning formula of the Brexit campaign in England and Wales. It was shocking, quite frankly, that even The National failed to grasp this in its report on Jackson Carlaw’s contemptible hypocrisy. Sure, Carlaw was part of the committee which chose the design and route of the Queensferry Crossing. So, when he writes rubbish like ‘commuters are stuck without vital infrastructure’ because the First Minister ‘is swanning about Brussels,’ we must take stock. His word ‘vital’ is important – necessary to life. Closing the bridge was necessary to save lives, and Ms Sturgeon, the democratically elected leader of a nation which rejected Brexit and had it imposed on it against its will and without its consent, is off swanning around Brussels working to ensure the future life of Scotland at a time the British government has conceded the fact that there will be food and medicines shortages as a result of England’s decision.

What is being missed here, and where we’re letting the cause down, is that Carlaw is a shit merchant, and he’s one of many. He is not an intelligent man. Like his boss in Downing Street, he is a pathological liar – and his behaviour is not benign. It is dangerous. Carlaw, a man with the mentality of a dodgy second-hand car dealer, and those around him in Scotland trying to protect the union are bad for Scotland. They are deploying tactics introduced by the architects of Brexit and the Trump election, Dominic Cummings and Steve Bannon – a playbook that demands the destabilisation of democracy with the rapid introduction of disinformation, lies, half-truths, and complete and utter shite intended to confuse, frighten, and unsettle otherwise ordinary and reasonably well-informed voters. Queensferry Crossing closed. It had to close. The sun rises and it sets. Some things are just facts of life and facts of living in an organised state. Bridges close and ferry crossing cease in dangerous, potentially life-threatening weather. In using these ordinary and normal events in order to manufacture doubt and sow confusion, Carlaw and his ilk are following a playbook being used at the behest of the British government to destabilise Scotland.

We all like a good slogan, but they are rarely helpful. People keep repeating this ‘Keep your eyes on the prize’ line at me as though it contains the recipe for winning independence. Telling a striker to keep her eyes on the goal is not great advice. Before we are ready to strike there are equally important and more important things to keep an eye on. This is not an empty pitch, and this is not an open goal. Keeping our eyes off these dangers and pitfalls does nothing but ensure we won’t score. Right now, the British state has arrayed against us a whole host of defenders and blockers prepared to do whatever it takes to shut us down and to stop Scotland becoming a free and independent country. The bridge closure is a fugazzi – ‘it’s a whazzie, it’s a whoozie… it’s a… fairy dust. It doesn’t exist. It’s never landed. It’s no matter, it’s not on the elemental chart. It… it’s not fucking real!,’ to quote Matthew McConaughey in The Wolf of Wall Street. What we are dealing with are the bridges over a manacled country, and we have to learn how to deal with them.


Steve Bannon Stepped Out Of The Shadows

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12 thoughts on “The Bridges Over a Manacled Country

  1. I’m really at a loss to what we can lawfully do against the mechanisms delivering this barrage of malevolent propaganda against Scotland and its people.
    Is there any historical precedent anywhere in the world for a national media so full of hatred and malice for its own people?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. @maxstafford60093
      Let’s start with being honest.

      Scotland can stop the Union propaganda any time…it just needs to dissolve the union. Until then, it is what you have signed up for.

      historical precedent ….WTAF
      What do you think the people of NI had to put up with and still put up with? What do you think was in the Indian papers of the day? Scotland is only now waking up to what the UK has always done and for many years were willing participants in. The UK knows media is an integral part of its colonial enterprise and the racism embedded in that endevour.

      Stop thinking Scotland is immune from what the British have done the world over. As always the British when challenged are brutal…now you have put your head above the parapet you are about to see what Britishness really means (not the fairytale).


  2. The Independistas need to up their game, when we see the Tory/Unionist bullshit call it out and attack, attack, attack, they are ruthless and utterly unscrupulous and that succeeds in spite of their obvious stupidity, its easy to lie, and the gullible are ever so receptive.


  3. Tol. I’m under no illusions of the true nature of the British, you don’t need to mansplain that stuff to me.
    Where did I mention that I thought Scotland was immune from Brit brutality; I fully expect it at it happens.
    My exasperation was at the fact that Scotland’s media is universally hostile to it in a way I can’t truly imagine being the case in any other country.
    Do you understand what I’m trying to say?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. @maxstafford60093
      When you take the position that what Scotland is seeing is “historical precedent”. Then sadly, yes you are implying an illusion about the true nature of British. That position makes invisible all the actual historical precedents and by extension whitewashes the true nature of the British enterprise.

      As per my original post. …”Let’s start with being honest”…
      That was about not erasing what is happening in Scotland. It was about how understanding the reality of the context perhaps gives insights into how to overcome such propaganda.


  4. I and probably half of Scotland agree with you. The question is how do we tackle this when indeed the media are totally hostile and ignore us?
    I think its time for the YES movement to form its own 77th brigade.


  5. @Tol. It was a question, not a statement.
    I’m here to be educated as to where we go forward from here, but your tone came across as patronising.
    Anyway, I’ll let it go now; this issue is more important than our individual egos.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @Davy Smith
      Apologies if it came across that way. That was not my intent.

      As I noted, without addressing the reality of where Scotland is the harder it is to resist the British efforts of control..its the pulling back the curtain on the Wizard. For me, many in Scotland and YES have been in a stupor walking into a Brexit disaster. Much of it fuelled by this misconception that the British state wouldn’t do that to Scotland. Add it to that is a carry over of the beautiful emotions of 2014 – that were for a different fight in which many believed there was a status quo to go back to.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. @maxstafford60093
      Thanks for the kind words. I know for many YES this will be a difficult time when it is so close but so far. Hope you get some sunny days and tasty treats to power you on.


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