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By Jason Michael
IN RECENT WEEKS we have each felt the pain, the betrayal, and the fury that have exploded out of the division and internecine infighting of the last Holyrood election. Whether we sided with Sturgeon and her both votes campaign or with Alex Salmond and the hope of a supermajority, the feeling is no doubt much the same — we imagine that the ‘other side’ has let us down, somehow betrayed the cause of independence. Considering what so many of us have invested in the struggle for Scottish independence, our frustrations and anger are understandable. I do not necessarily feel as though I ought to be conciliatory in this piece; like so many readers, I too feel the exquisite agony of this past battle and still bear a grudge at the obnoxious treatment we received from those who until very recently we considered friends and allies in the cause. At this moment in time — and I wish I was a better man — I am in no mood for holding out olive branches.
Time, however, is a healer — and for good or for ill Nicola Sturgeon has handed us buckets of time to heal and recover. How I hope to use my extended time in lonely exile, other than licking my wounds and nursing my wrath, is to reflect on the situation in which we all find ourselves and hopefully begin to formulate some solutions to break through the impasse and move the campaign forward and out of this present darkness. Continuing a bitter dispute with the leadership of the National Party serves no purpose. Sturgeon and her supporters hold all the high ground and castles. For the time being, the ground is theirs. On this, then, I will keep my own counsel and bide my time. It is for the victor to set the conditions and for the vanquished to suffer what they must.
Continuing a bitter dispute with the leadership of the National Party serves no purpose. Sturgeon and her supporters hold all the high ground and castles.
Our struggle is not against one another. It remains, as it always has been, against the union and its defenders in our country — against those who seek the national, economic, moral, and spiritual destruction of our country. And so we must keep this in mind, not allowing our internal squabbles to obscure the immense importance of liberating Scotland from London rule.
Right now those who sought a supermajority for independence are being punished and will undoubtedly face a significant degree of suppression over the next few years; not for supporting Salmond over and against Sturgeon — it was never about Alex Salmond, but because they broke ranks with the cancerous gradualist approach favoured by the bourgeois and mainstream pro-independence faction. Our grave sin is that we are impatient and have worked to accelerate a process the current power holders have no desire to speed up (they have their reasons).
Why do I feel the need to hurry independence? Of course, some are arguing that we should wait until all our ducks are lined in a row, until the polls promise an unloseable referendum, until the stars are perfectly aligned. These people, well-meaning as they are, are playing fantasy politics. Independence is necessary now — and without delay, and is something we should struggle for no matter the cost because Britain is evil, and daily its malignant and poisonous control is killing Scotland. I make no apology for this religious language here; I use this quite deliberately because it is my language and it gives me certain insights into the nature of the British state and the effect it has on us. As St Paul says in the Letter to the Ephesians:
Our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.Ephesians 6:12
What I mean by evil here is not some supernatural dark dualistic power of cosmic wickedness, but a primal enemy of humanity and life; a system of imperial politics driven by avarice which seeks its own enrichment and aggrandisement at the expense of peoples and languages and tribes and nations. Every moment Scotland remains under its power it is weakened and corroded. Three hundred years has been enough already. We have awakened and we must not fall back asleep.
In the past month, the criminality of British rule in Ireland was again exposed for the world to see. British soldiers, acting on the orders of the London government, massacred innocent and unarmed Irish civilians on the streets of British occupied Belfast — the continuation of a state terror campaign against the Irish nation. But Scots have been reluctant to accept this as a warning to them and to the Scottish nation. In their naivety and dare I say fear they have dismissed events in Ireland as a strange anomaly; a one off springing from the special circumstances of the conflict between Irish nationalists (the bad IRA and ‘fenians’ and Sinn Féin and similar monsters created by the BBC) and the holy and noble ‘heroes’ of the British Army (another British state myth).
What I mean by evil here is not some supernatural dark dualistic power of cosmic wickedness, but a primal enemy of humanity and life; a system of imperial politics driven by avarice which seeks its own enrichment and aggrandisement at the expense of peoples and languages and tribes and nations.
But Ireland was never an anomaly. What happened not too long ago in Belfast and Derry was simply a continuation of British colonial-imperial policy in Kenya, India, and everywhere else this empire of evil and violence attempted to impose its will. And neither is this a temporal thing, something that happened in the past and unlikely — because we’re civilised now — to ever happen again. The special skills-set of the British Army was called upon by the United States during the military occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. While, as Napoleon, Kaiser Wilhelm, and Hitler knew, the British Army couldn’t fight its way out of a wet paper bag, it has perfected how to subdue and terrorise civilian populations. The most powerful admission on the part of the British government that the behaviour of its thugs has not changed is its actions right now in the House of Commons to protect British military personnel from prosecution for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Israel too spells out in blood the callousness and viciousness of the British state. Unlike Ireland, a victim of British colonial-imperialism, which only yesterday condemned the State of Israel for the de facto annexation of the West Bank, Britain refuses to even level the most pathetic criticism at Israel for its brutal and genocidal assault on the Palestinian people. In fact, given the money Britain is making from arms sales to Israel, the murder of innocent Palestinians is lucrative business for London. It is estimated that during the present attack on Gaza Britain has made something in the region of £40 million for every Palestinian child killed. This is not the behaviour of a civilised state.
Only yesterday, in the deposition given by Dominic Cummings, we were given a look under the hood of a nightmarish regime and at the complete indifference with which it looks on human lives. The Covid-19 emergency started in the UK with Conservatives talking about how the deaths of elderly people would benefit the Treasury, it progressed with an insane policy of herd immunity in full knowledge of the dire warning given to the Prime Minister from Xi Jinping, the Premier of the People’s Republic of China — itself a state that couldn’t give a rat’s arse for human lives, and culminated in Boris Johnson announcing he would rather see corpses piled high than inflict more damage on the fragile post-Brexit British economy with another lockdown.
The conscience of the British regime is nurtured in elite schools like Eton and Harrow where boys are trained as in the Spartan agōgē to overcome the frailties of empathy and humanity for the good of the Greater English state, where little children are turned into the heartless monsters of British imperialism.
If we can diagnose states, Britain is long since over the line of being a psychopathic serial killer. The conscience of the British regime is nurtured in elite schools like Eton and Harrow where boys are trained as in the Spartan agōgē to overcome the frailties of empathy and humanity for the good of the Greater English state, where little children are turned into the heartless monsters of British imperialism. The murder machine of Britain begins in the cradle, ensuring nothing for the future but more of the same — more violence, more greed, more bloodshed, and more evil.
So, you ask why I want to see independence at the soonest opportunity? It may be alright — for the moment — for people with a little money and comfort in Scotland to delay independence, making sure that the independence they win will be one which benefits them. But this is not the case for the rest of us without the means and without the comfort, those most vulnerable to the vicissitudes of Britain’s hostile environment and its sanctions programme — the implements of class war used with abandon against those in Scotland who most need the sort of independence that will benefit everyone; a Scotland for all the children of the national equally. This, my friends, cannot wait until a magical and enchanted time in the future when all the stars in all the universe are perfectly aligned. We have already arrived at a point in the story of our nation where everything in our power must be done right now to secure our freedom from this vile and disgusting empire.
This is my struggle. It is not against you. It is with you and for you. But we are forced to hold off until Nicola Sturgeon decides we are ready. You know my thoughts on that — this will never happen. But I will hold all the same, bide my time and wait for an opportunity, wait until we can create an opportunity. In politics, as in life, anything can happen. So, like the defeated throughout the ages, we can sit back and watch … and wait.
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