O God of earth and altar,
Bow down and hear our cry,
Our earthly rulers falter,
Our people drift and die;
The walls of gold entomb us,
The swords of scorn divide,
Take not thy thunder from us,
But take away our pride.
This is the opening verse of the hymn by GK Chesterton which I thought was quite apt for my recent experiences, and probably yours too, out there in the rough and tumble of social media land. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have any aspirations to take the cloth. This is also the first verse of the song “Revelations” by Iron Maiden, not everyone’s cup of tea I know but I like them. Rather amusingly my 9-year-old daughter asked me during the guitar solo, “Is this the intro?” I had to explain what a guitar solo was, she refers to my tastes as “Auld manny music.” I guess I can’t really argue with her there.
I can’t really argue with the gloating Unionists as they revel in the dropping oil price either. You’ve probably encountered a few of late, the standard refrain is that an independent Scotland would be sunk without the revenues from the oil and gas industry to support her economy. I have to agree, the oil and gas revenues may have made up almost 10% of an independent Scotland’s economy. My standard retort is that Scotland would not be independent at this point, however I really am spitting in the wind. They’re right and they know it.
But the gloating shows one thing, they have not got over the Independence Referendum. They are still going over the arguments showing how right they were, but as the saying goes, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting it to come out different.” It’s almost as if they don’t know that they won. Some of the Yes voters try to reply with the same arguments that were made during the referendum campaign, they are heading for insanity also.
The case that was made for independence was too weak in too many areas to convince the majority of voters to vote Yes. The main areas of weakness were, in my opinion, the currency, the volatility of oil and pensions. There were other areas too but it is noticeable that the arguments still revolve around these main issues.
It is a testament to the power of the mainstream media (MSM) that we are still making these arguments. They successfully constrained the terms of the debate and focused it on to the weak areas. It wasn’t pretty but it worked. The cost of the Better Together campaign is still being counted, I’m not talking about the monetary cost here I’m talking about the damage to the British state and the establishment which benefits most from it.
The organisation which is most badly damaged is the BBC. They have shown us that they are the government’s mouthpiece and all the fine talk of impartiality in their charter has been proven to be false. They will never be trusted by Yes voters, and quite a few No voters, again. None of the other media outlets covered themselves in glory either but they were forced to show themselves and what they stand for and now we know what we are up against.
The MSM, and especially the BBC, are still showing their bias. This time in favour of Jim Murphy who is given as much air time as he wants. It’s almost as if they consider him to be the Messiah who has come to save the British state. That he is Westminster’s man in Scotland there can be no doubt, regardless of the independence from UK Labour which he declares. My reading of the Labour Rule Book 2013 is that any changes to the rules, for instance different policies in Scotland from rUK, would have to be agreed to by the NEC and voted on at conference. Neither of which has happened yet.
The fact is Jim Murphy is a puppet of UK Labour and by extension the British state. For the sake of my voice I have given up shouting at the TV when he is being interviewed, the questions that should be asked aren’t and the evasions are allowed to pass. Andrew Neil please take note.
So what’s to be done? As the hymn goes, “The swords of scorn divide us,” and this is true. Rather than continue shouting at the Unionists, which is like beating our heads against a wall, we need to accept that we are going to have to work from within the British state. We cannot have independence now, we are going to have to move towards it in stages. The first, and most important, stage is to elect a phalanx of pro-independence MPs to Westminster. As things stand this means voting for the SNP. I know a lot of Yes voters don’t like the SNP but if you want to move towards independence then they are the only sane choice. We have to keep the energy of the Yes campaign going throughout the General Election campaign.
We also have to engage the Unionists, especially the natural Labour voters. We have to persuade them that if they want a constitutional settlement which is better for Scotland, and by extension the rUK, then they too should vote for SNP. Voting for any of the UK parties is a vote for the status quo, business as usual, same old same old. A vote for any of the UK parties is a vote for more austerity, more privilege, more cover ups and more illegal wars. In short we have to work together to achieve our common goals, like we did throughout the Yes campaign.
In the words of Iron Maiden in the song “Revelations”:
Bind all of us together,
Ablaze with Hope and Free,
No storm or heavy weather
Will rock the boat you’ll see.
The time has come to close your eyes
And still the wind and rain,
For the one who will be King
Is the Watcher in the Ring.
It is You.
It is You.
Dedicated to the victims of the George Square tragedy, their families and friends.