In person the author of the Wee Ginger Dug is every bit as sharp and erudite as he is on his blog. His language is measured and precise. He uses words like surgical blades, always cutting right to the heart of whatever it is he has to say – and this is a rare quality in people. It’s impressive and intimidating in equal measure. What’s more is that he delivers this show, this oratorical performance, in the finest Glaswegian voice you’re likely to hear. This is something, given our horrible national inferiority complex, I had never thought possible.
Gerry Hassan demands, following an editorial trend in much of Scotland’s supposedly pro-independence new media, that independence must be the answer to an as yet unknown question. This is not an episode of Jeopardy! The progress of a nation through time need answer no questions. It moves by its own accord, under the steam of its own initiative, following the complex calculus written out by the thousands of expressed and unexpressed desires of its people.
The plan is to take up what IndyRef2 started – with its support and freedom to use the work produced, write detailed analysis and comment on the daily spin of Reporting Scotland, and produce quality videos to help people all over Scotland and beyond to more effectively respond to the mis-reporting of Scotland by the BBC. Will we be any more able to keep this funded than IndyRef2? We’ll just have to wait and see, but fortune favours the brave. Besides, holding a light up to the BBC – holding it to account – is something we, as a movement, cannot afford not to do.
Now is the time to wake up and give ourselves a shake. There’s work to be done, and the bottom line is that none of that will get done unless we do it. If we want a referendum in 2018 – a year beginning in a matter of weeks – then we have to work for it. We have to create the conditions, as a movement, in which the SNP and our government are following us to where we want to go.
What is most apparent from this willingness on the part of London to create an Irish exception by adjusting the border [back to where it should be], is that the UK has now begun the process of physical deterioration. Regulatory divergence between the north of Ireland and the rest of the UK is and can only be the thin end of the wedge that will see Northern Ireland leave the UK and join a united Ireland. Regulatory cohesion and economic unity have always had political ramifications, and as the EU continues towards political unity both parts of Ireland will be pulled closet together.
“Scexit” has entered the field. This isn’t quite the #Sexit of sexy socialism. This is a fundamental reframing of independence as a Brexit-like Scottish exit from the United Kingdom rather than the affirmation of nationhood-to-statehood that independence describes. Just as Brexit requires Europe in order to have meaning, Scexit requires England. Scexit, as an imposed terminology, makes Scottish independence about England – whereas “independence” was and is only ever about Scotland.
Catalonia will become an independent state. That much is now a historical certainty. Scotland too will break away from the United Kingdom. Forces have been unleashed that have refused to go away, and as the neoliberal project continues to unravel the conditions are being created for greater state instability. Italy, Belgium, France, and to some extent Germany will face the same movements in the next decade.