Scotland’s sometimes pro-independence left is not particularly large in terms of numbers. It would not be a significant threat to the stability and cohesion of the wider movement if this element decided to defect en masse to Jeremy Corbyn’s side, but we must also consider the weight this group has on social media. At present it seems safe to say that half – if not, more – of the movement’s bigger pro-independence blogs define themselves as belonging to the radical left, but they have been losing traction in recent months. The defection of these certainly does pose a problem.
One response to this has been the creation of the “safe space,” a concept that routinely excites these right wing vloggers into apoplectic frothiness. What right, they ask, do these “snowflakes” have to a space of their own where they do not need to put up with our constant stream of vitriol and bile? They have presented the safe space as some sort of spatial free pass within the academy, the college, and the university, where the delicate can ride through towards graduation without anything they might find upsetting, offensive, or “triggering.”
So Mike Small thinks we’re being terribly childish in our “one dimensional” critique of the establishment media. Bully for him. Right now it is just a statement of fact that we can’t do everything. It is not, as Angry Scotland once suggested on Twitter, that we independence-first types want to put all other issues – as pressing as they are – to the “back of the bus.” As grown-ups we just know that nothing will be achieved at all if we do not first win the most urgent front in the media war – independence from Britain and a proper Scottish media.
The “leadership” of Scottish Labour is and has always been meaningless. There is no leader of Scottish Labour. Scottish Labour is not a political party in its own right. It has no legal or political reality. Scottish Labour is the British Labour Party in Scotland and every decision of any importance is made by and for the benefit of the real party leadership at 105 Victoria Street in the City of Westminster, London.
How simplistic can his analysis be? We could have told him all this years ago. Torrance’s reduction of the intersections within the independence movement to just two camps is derisible. We are talking about a national movement of hundreds of thousands of people – hundreds of the thousands of very different people – all working together towards a common objective.
On Saturday night I was chatting online with Jordan Daly, the Huffington Post and Common Space contributor who wrote the piece on sending Wings packing, about the importance of keeping the independence movement together.