We are in the middle of another phase, it would seem, of British unionisation – cultural colonialism – in Scotland right now, and it is impossible not to notice. What’s more, we all know why this is happening. Independence has refused to go away. Almost weekly there are fresh calls from the unionists in Holyrood and Westminster for the Scottish National Party to take another referendum off the table once and for all. They appear to imagine that it is Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP fuelling the drive to self-determination.
Britishness has no meaning without the arrogance of the presumption to possess which is everywhere Britain’s hallmark and calling card. It is for this reason people of colour – no matter how long their families have been established on these islands – find it impossible to construct a sense of their own British identities, thus compounding the crisis. By its degrees and categories of imperial domination Britain has become both the mother and the father of modern racism.
Apparently we are British because our passports tell us so. This is the merry-go-round of unionist circular logic, the snake eating its tail that has kept us in the chains of British state irrationality for three centuries.
As a tactic, then, the imposition of such a definition amounts to the construction of a straw man argument. Regardless of this, it is employed by unionists in the debate because it is a useful propagandistic tool.
It would be wrong to imagine that the nationalism of Scotland is incapable of descending into this or something similar. Scotland is not immune to racism and intolerance. At this moment in time the nationalism of Scotland, of the Scottish independence movement, has coalesced as a reaction against the core of British state ideology and so has developed a radically different nature to that of Britain and Britishness.
Melanie Phillips has given us another candid glimpse behind the veil of unionism – of Britishness, of her Englishness. All too often we are presented with the soft – “Fluffy” – face of duplicitous unionism; with its talk of partnerships, equality, and mutual benefit.
Opportunities for Scotland to reclaim its rightful place in Europe seldom come around. Being the human shield of your psychopathic next door neighbour will do that. It has taken us 300 years to have another chance to assert our European self.
Our “family of nations” is a construct that was invented for the purposes of empire. It was crafted as a racialised hierarchy for the orders of the great white conqueror; from the thoughtful and rational Englishman, through the defeated singing Welshman, the bitter and resentful drunken Scotsman, to the feckless and uncontrollable Irishman.