We are not permitted the language of genocide – legally and technically precise as it is – because it makes certain people uncomfortable. That’s the seat of all the anger and vitriol right there: That Britain did this to Gaelic Scotland is discomforting, it tears from Britishness the fraudulence of benign and beneficial patronage and lays bare its naked and vicious and murderous ethno-nationalist imperialism. One simply cannot have the comfort of being “British and Scottish” and accept as historical fact that Britain did this and still does this.
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.
Once upon a time “poppy day” was an annual event most of us slept through, marked by an irrelevant old woman putting down a wreath at a pointless monument to violence in London. A box of cheap red paper poppies would appear in our classrooms at the start of the month and the teacher would tell us some patriotic lies about brave soldiers and we could “remember them” at the cost of just 5p a poppy. It’s all different now.
Britain is no different with regard to its power structure than any other bureaucratic state. Power is not truly in the hands of the people – the demos or the representatives it elects. In the bureaucratic state, which all democracies are, the locus of power is the upper reaches of the state bureaucracy. What makes the United Kingdom different – even from many other constitutional monarchies – is that this bureaucracy of state is thoroughly dominated by the hegemony of a medieval royal estate.
By emphasising the dissimilarities between Catalunya and Scotland, those who fixate on this idea of their unrelatability are failing to see altogether what is perhaps the single most important point of connection – the absolute sameness and predictability of the response of power to challenge. Right now Spain is behaving towards Catalunya in a manner which has sent shockwaves around the liberal democratic world. It is doing this because the Catalans have forced it into a position wherein it has no options left in which it can both win and maintain its pretence of enlightened civility.
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.
We will have the rare opportunity to take into our own hands our own country, our own destinies, and do with it what we want and shape it into the nation we want it to be. What will that nation look like? It can’t be a little Britain – a carbon copy or a replication of the system of abuse we have overcome.
Pointless and meaningless rhetoric is something the United States does very well. On this side of the world, utterly culturally dominated by the US as we were, during the Cold War, we were brought up on the neoconservative lie – the American Dream and the bullshit of America as the home of the brave and land of the free.