States simply do not survive this level of internal division, and – as we can see from the headlines on every newspaper – Britain is no exception. The very forces that held the United Kingdom together in the past; a strong English state, a sense of shared hostility towards everything on the other side of the English Channel, and England’s willingness to exert brute force on its possessions, are now wholly evaporated. The dominant opinion both here and around the world is that England is in a tailspin, the centrifugal force of which is pushing Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales out.
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.
Our movement is not a leftist movement. It is a national movement embracing people and ideas from the entirety of the political and social spectra of Scotland. Our failure to realise this – and become truly inclusive – will be the death of the movement and indeed our dream of independence. Whatever shape the politics of Scotland takes after independence is a matter for then. Right now we must be authentically revolutionary and mobilise the nation – the whole nation – to the ends of the revolution.
“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.
Those of us critical of the cynical use of the poppy as a recruitment tool and a means of ramping up militaristic British nationalist sentiment have found ourselves under serious fire for daring to question the neutrality of the symbol. With the obvious exception of elected right-wing unionists, people are expected to meekly accept the unassailable truth of the poppy as an emblem of remembrance for everyone who has died in all wars.
Those in the independence movement currently quaking at the thought of assisting the Russians – like Russia needs or help – should remember the help Russia Today gave us during the 2012-14 independence campaign. While the BBC, every UK television and radio media station bar none, and every national newspaper waged a relentless war of threats, disinformation, and lies against us, Russia Today, naturally with its own agenda, gave us a voice and a fair hearing. Are our memories that short?
What’s so fascinating about all of this is that we in Scotland are free to use whatever media is available to us without having to swear allegiance to any network or its political masters. In turning to Russia we are merely assisting in a Russian project that is very much in our own interests, the further weakening of Great Britain. The commissars’ offices in the UK’s newspapers and media outlets know this as well as we do, and this is why they are raging.