THERE’S NOT much left about Great Britain to justify the qualifying adjective great. But our political masters in the Tory party still inhabit a mental universe in which the Yookay is still a great power which bestrides the world stage like a mighty colossus, at least once they get permission from the White House. It’s a pretty mental universe. Our Tory government still affects to believe that other nations are actually cowed by their threats or believe their bluffs. The EU is as threatened by Team GB as an Olympic athlete in peak physical condition is threatened by a pensioner with a zimmer frame and a urinary tract infection. The UK is the incontinent old ruin of international politics, and with the Brexit vote its bladder is well and truly burst.
It’s now been four months since the voters of England and Wales decided to collectively shoot themselves in the foot and to shoot Scotland and Northern Ireland along with them, yet we still have no idea what Brexit means. Apart from Brexit meaning Brexit of course, although you’d be as well saying Brexit means a bowl of cereal for all the semantic content that Theresa May’s tautological soundbite contains. Although to be honest Brexit means a bowl of cereal is exactly what it does mean as far as Scotland is concerned. Brexit it the stale cereal served up by Westminster that Scotland is expected to eat up without complaint, even though we have no idea at all what it actually consists of. The only thing we know for certain is that it’s deeply unappetising and Scotland actually ordered something else.
The contrast with the independence campaign is striking. During the independence campaign, proponents of a Yes vote were pressed for exact details on every imaginable aspect of independence, up to and including telling the massed ranks of the Unionist press how much a first class stamp would cost. The Brexit campaign on the other hand got a free pass. That same media which insisted on an impossible level of detail about Scottish independence allowed Brexit to happen without so much as a shrug of their shoulders. The claims of Boris Johnson and his merry band of take back control freaks were completely out of control.
Four months on and nothing much has changed. We still have little idea of what is in store for us. There is uncertainty on a scale that dwarfs even the most scaremongering fears and hyperbole of the Unionist press during the indyref. Will the UK remain a part of the single market? No one can say. Will we have to apply for visas to visit France? No one knows. Will the pound be worth less than the US dollar by this time next year? No one can say with any certainty that it won’t. Will jobs be safe or will companies seek to relocate outwith the UK after Brexit? No one has any idea. Will EU citizens living in Britain be allowed to remain? No one can say. What will happen to the hundreds of thousands of British citizens living in other EU countries? No one has any idea. There’s no stability, no certainty, no security. We’re living in a test paper on existentialism, all the answers are blank. That’s the only test that the UK government is capable of passing right now.
What’s worse is that the office of the Prime Minister is content to allow the uncertainty to continue. They don’t want to show their hand before negotiations start with the EU, they say. Meanwhile millions of ordinary people live with fear and doubt and without knowing whether they’ll be able to keep their jobs, their homes, or their kids will be able to remain in their schools. We are all hostages to the shameful fortunes of the Conservative party. Can you imagine the howls of outraged anguish from the press and the Unionist parties if the Scottish government permitted such a lamentable state of affairs to occur in the aftermath of an independence vote?
This Conservative government has put a lie to the Heisenberg principle in physics. They don’t know where we are but they don’t know how fast we’re going either. If this was the management of any other institution they’d be sacked for incompetence. But this is the UK, and the only certainty that we do possess is that the clowns responsible for creating this uncertainty will be rewarded with titles and peerages.
Back in 2014 the Better Together campaign told Scotland not to become independent because we need the stability and security of the UK. But the only stability that is on offer in the UK is the stability of the grave. The only security that Westminster can give to Scotland is the security of the coffin as we bury our hopes and dreams in the wasteland of Brexit. That’s the freedom of movement that Scotland has as a part of the UK, the freedom to wither, the freedom to decay.
It’s never been clearer that politically Scotland is a different country from the rest of the UK. We vote for different things. We have different goals. We have different aims. And we know without any shred of doubt that the UK can’t accommodate a Scotland that’s different, a Scotland that refuses to bow to the demands of a Tory dominated Westminster that looks set to remain under the kitten heels of Theresa May and her colleagues for possibly decades to come while the Labour party tears itself apart.
If Scotland wants certainty and security then it’s going to have to create them for itself. If we want a land in which our dreams can be realised and our hopes can flourish, then we need to build it for ourselves. Because what we can most assuredly be certain of is that Westminster won’t do it for us. Another independence referendum is looming, and this time it’s the case for independence which offers security and stability. This time, Scotland’s going to do it for itself.