Scottish independence, as a political aspiration, is not an ideology. It is an idea shared by adherents of a number of political ideologies. The independence movement is a broad church; a political spectrum that stretches from one lunatic fringe on the far-right, with such blood-and-soil nationalists as Sìol nan Gàidheal and its ilk, to the other on the far-left, with the pseudo-academic disco of Marxists, Trotskyists, and Bakuninists. This is a movement that is as politically colourful...
There are perfectly good reasons we do not tolerate the killing of animals for fun. There are good reasons we do not put up with needless animal cruelty – ordinarily. But above a certain wealth threshold the rules change. Rich people can do things for “unique” pleasure that are forbidden to the rest of us, and the state – in the pocket of the rich and ruled by the rich – makes blood sports perfectly legal – for the rich. People like Larysa and Jason sicken me. They are disgusting. But they are only symptoms of the real problem; a country that allows them to do these horrible things.
Listening to people in the “grassroots” of the independence movement, as opposed to those who have styled themselves the political, cultural, and intellectual leadership of the movement (the kites and the crows), we hear other objectives. There are those who want independence “for their children and grandchildren,” “for the future,” “to end austerity,” “to put power back in the hands of the Scottish people,” and so on. This is not the independence envisioned by Sarsfield, the leaders of 1798, nor indeed Ireland’s campaign for Home Rule.
This “common man” was never in the original chronicles of the Scottish Wars of Independence. History was written by the elite for the benefit of the elite, it never had the common man and woman in mind – they were always unimportant. The medieval chroniclers went into lurid detail when describing the deaths of knights on the battlefield, they seldom mentioned the village women who were raped and murdered or the peasant farmers conscripted as archer fodder.
What Hassan is doing, in effect, is imposing the political division he would prefer to see realised – the class division. There are those with education who know what they are doing because of where they were born into in society – “the more pragmatic,” and then there are those who are emotive, driven by passion and blind faith in a charismatic leader. This is why I have described his comment as both superior and sneering. Hassan’s “philosophical” gripe is that the movement appears to have transcended his class-based assumption...
Both the Labour movement and the Labour parliamentary party have been the greatest let down for the working class in the entire history of industrialisation and its aftermath, and – as far as we are concerned in Scotland – it can remain what it has become. The left in Scotland has shifted to the Scottish National Party and the independence movement. We have begun to waken up to the fact that if we are to make things better for ourselves then we have to do it for ourselves.
The era of the sick-note has ended. We have well and truly entered the age of “fit to work.” It doesn’t matter if people are fit to work or not, they are being declared fit to work in order to save money, and when people are fit to work in a country where there is no work they are subject to the cutting edge of austerity – the sanctions regime and the foodbank. The purpose of this is to reduce people to destitution, and they are duly complying. Under this pressure people are becoming depressed and stressed; they are getting sicker, suicidal, and dying faster. This was always the plan.
It hasn’t been an easy week for independentista bloggers in Scotland, and it most certainly hasn’t been easy for our readers. I have been as much a part of that difficulty as anyone else and for that I am deeply sorry.