Here’s my secret: I am not an independentista. I am a Liberationist. Liberation – the “Let my people go!” of the Book of Exodus – is as much about the liberation of the nation as it is about the liberation of society and the family as it is about the liberation of the person. Scottish independence, then, for me, is as much a cause of national liberation as it is a cause for the liberation of everyone in Scotland from the constitutional, social, and economic conditions that keep us in chains – and we are in chains; for some these are the fetters of poverty and for others they are the bonds of indifference.
It is no accident that from 1999, with the opening of the Scottish parliament, there has been a marked increase in the popular cultural use of the symbols of Britain and Britishness. Before then, with the exception of a minority of nationalists and republicans, the union flag flying over council offices and other public buildings in Scotland hardly raised an eyebrow. The flag of the UK was a simple and largely inoffensive statement of political settlement and reality. It was rare, if ever, it was featured in popular entertainment.
What Mrs Windsor and her pals haven’t been investing in retail fronts for class warfare on a high street near you they have been offshoring away from the revenue people in the Cayman Islands, Guernsey, and other paradise island tax havens. Truly vast sums of money are removed from the British economy – sums earned off the backs of ordinary working people – forcing the government to raise taxes to cover the basics of the safety net we all depend on from time to time.
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.
William Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha, second in line to the throne, and his “commoner” mate Kate are pregnant with yet another mouth we the taxpayers will be forced to feed. Since the news broke of this otherwise unremarkable biological process, when I’ve been unable to keep it from my mind, I have been raging over this announcement. What angered me was my own response to this news. Something in my head exploded when I heard the bulletin, and I have been upset over what this has made me think of a young couple I have never met, their children, and their foetus. It has taken some time for the better angel of my nature to return.
We pay our taxes in Britain and Northern Ireland to ensure our government – correction: her government – can slash social welfare spending, cut essential services, and cripple the health service, while paying her almost £40m annually.
An independent Scotland with Elizabeth Queen of Scots as its head of state sounds positively repulsive. For many of us Yes is as much about rejecting London rule as it is about rejecting the monarchy.
No matter how brutal the London austerity programme in Scotland, how much of our resources are plundered, or how much of our wealth is confiscated the tory will always put the Crown and the Union over all other concerns.