The Straitjacket

The Political Straitjacket – This week I have been reading a lot, listening to podcasts, watched the news or some of it, all on the back of the decision by our colonial masters in blocking the GRR Bill from getting Royal Assent. There has been talk of this decision making yes more likely, talk of the decision being the tough unionism that Scotland deserves and needs to see, of course from the unionists. There has been outrage, stomping of feet, letters, and pleas to the SNP and Nikola Sturgeon, and ideas from those on the outside looking in like the Alba Party and bloggers like myself I suppose.

None of it really makes a difference though does it. As long as independence remains roughly 50 / 50, as long as there is not a large majority for another referendum in the next couple of years, and as long as the Tories/Labour can drag the issue out and keep it on the back burner in England with their macho English Nationalism, on top of the shambles that is the SNP, the divisions in the yes movement, even though they are probably over played pretty much, we are stuck in a political straightjacket.

I would have hoped that the broken Vow, Brexit, mismanagement of Covid, the corruption within the Conservative Government, the right wing unionism of both the Tories and Labour, the cost of living crisis, the energy crisis, the public sector strikes, transport strikes, postal strikes, creeping unemployment, poverty benefits, enforced bereavement and worship of the Windsor’s, food banks, NHS crisis, the Supreme Court decision, the winter flu season, falling investment in the UK, the ferries, GRR, the never ending money tree for weapons for the Ukraine War, continued austerity, and the worst set of f useless politicians known to man would have woken up every single voter in the forced United Kingdom, but it hasn’t.

The straitjacket is the paradigmatic symbol of ‘madness’, from the Sex Pistols to the Simpsons. Its most typical use was for restraining people who may have caused harm to themselves or others, now we just use anti-depressants, drugs, alcohol, poverty, fear, political illiteracy,  poor education, poor health, benefit sanctions, imposed Tory Governments, these are all the new straitjackets for us Scots, or at least the 50% of us who would prefer another option.

The enforced UK is looking to the past, to imagined empire, and past imagined glories. As the rest of the world begins to grow post Covid, as the rest of the world embraces the risk of climate change and starts to invest in green energy, green futures, investment, the UK is embracing more austerity, supporting wars, allowing bankers to do what they want, as well as the politicians, while the world in many cases looks to the future we are looking to the past and allowing ourselves to be placed in a straitjacket.

None of the political parties have an answer to the rampant destruction of the Tories, Labour are bereft of ideas, principles, honesty or decency. The SNP are toothless and led by an incompetent who cares more for ego than she does Scotland. Alba and ISP are fighting a losing battle against a right wing media that won’t give them a hearing, against carrot eaters who lack the political awareness to understand that they are just the same as the unionist slaves that Labour and the Tories depend on, and the rest of us are also in that straitjacket but without the skills of Houdini to find our way out of it.

There is no ‘secret brilliant plan’ for independence. At the weekend the truth of the emptiness of the SNP’s promises were laid bare and it should stimulate some serious soul-searching in the independence movement. (Robin McAlpine)

I think Robin is spot on, we all need to take a breath right now and have a serious think about what we want, what we are willing to do, how we get there. I want independence, I don’t know how we get there. I want people to become more politically literate, I don’t know how we encourage them in the face of all of the things we face right now as even that doesn’t appear to be enough. What I do know though is that we need new leadership in the SNP, the yes movement needs to organise if it can and take control. I know that debate about process, claim of right, currency, borders, doesn’t work and we need a new story.

That maybe begins in a narrative that is about what we could be, not what we are, about what we want for our kids, not what we currently settle for. Maybe the starting point for all of us is finding our own way to escape our personal straitjacket, is that the soul searching that Robin implies, maybe the problem is us and not them. The Tories, the SNP, Labour, Greens, Liberals, they are all what we allow them to be, they are the infection. The cure is removing the straitjacket, I think I have started to lose mine, or at least one strap because I think, I reflect, the big question is how do we get others to do the same.

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5 Responses to The Straitjacket

  1. nacnud6452 says:

    Brilliant article Grumpy that sums up exactly how I feel too. It’s not just us Scots who are in the straight jacket though, nearly the whole of the western world has been restrained too. It’s been the neo liberal and US military/industrial complex plan for years to corrupt our so called “democratic” system by using corrupt politicians, propaganda MSM, creating “enemies” (Russia, China, Iran, migrants, etc). It’s like the old Roman system of bread and circuses to keep us plebs pliable and docile, the system gives most people just enough to ward off starvation whilst feeding them a constant stream of reality tv, propaganda news and online pap.
    Sturgeon’s nuSNP has bought into this completely by dangling the carrot of independence and blaming all their mistakes and disastrous policies on the big bad English. Notice that they never blame the capitalist system itself for the shite lives ordinary people have to live, their only answer is to tinker with it whilst it milks us dry and they enjoy their rewards on the gravy train.
    Like you I doubt that I will see independence in my lifetime but rest assured it will happen. GB and the capitalist west are failing and soon the tipping point will be reached, just like the Roman Empire, where the bread and circuses can’t be sustained and the Scottish people will have to make a decision-stay in an even more repressive, dictatorial Union or fight for independence. By that point I really hope passionate leaders emerge (like a militant Scottish independence version of Mick Lynch) who understand the true roots of our problems and can use the system itself to destroy it.

    • N

      I tend to agree with you. The English are as colonized as the rest of us, maybe more so in so many ways because at least we see it for what it is, they are lost in their servitude. I also agree with your opinion of the west. The new super powers are pretty much India and China now. The USA / UK are drowning in debt to the very system they allowed themselves to create and become slaves of but the sad fact is that they are beholden to the very people who are keeping the rest of us down as you correctly say with levels of subsistence that only allows existence and nothing more in the main unless you are happy to grasp some crumbs from the masters table. It is a mess and the best I can hope for is that in time people start to wake up and actually think for themselves. In the meantime all I have is really the blog to express my opinion so I don’t go all postal and encourage as many others to share their opinions as well as we can all learn so much from each other.

      Thanks for commenting.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Your blog is your personal straitjacket. You’ve been banging on about new SNP leadership since 2016. The great irony being that your party offers even older leadership.

    Meanwhile the SNP DID find a bit of new leadership, Flynn and Black. And the Tories showed us what happens when a party insists upon throwing out an incumbent leader without being prepared.

    Try practicising what you preach. Salmond should not have been retained after the first of Alba’s electoral outings. Certainly not after the second.

    • Anon

      If you have been reading this blog you will have noticed that I actually wanted AS to become president of Alba as it was time to move on. I would actually prefer to have either Neil Hanvey or Tasmina Sheik as leader moving forward. AS has a role there is no doubt about that but I see that as more of a guidance role now but it is what it is.

      Thanks for commenting.

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