For decades left and radical politics have increasingly followed a path of well-worn scripts and actions, the march, the rally, the speeches. These have reduced radicalism to a kind of performance theatre playing to an audience that knows the format, and a large part of the alternative radical political community have at times been no better. Scotland’s independence movement, like most radical political forces around the world, have too often fallen into this cul-de-sac. (Gerry Hassan)
I can’t help but think that we are talking to ourselves now, that minds are set and the only thing that can answer the question about our future, is for that question to be asked. The sad reality though right now is that both the SNP and the unionists are doing everything they can not to ask the question. The SNP for fear of potentially losing their access to the English colonial gravy train, and the unionists because they might lose and have to face up to the thing that scares them the most, just being left with England.
If we are just talking to ourselves then there is every chance that we lose the argument, the house jocks are not going to change their minds in any way I don’t think based on the arguments for yes. I know I have blogged about ground hog day before but Gerry Hassan is probably right as well, what we think is radical has become a cliché and as Morrissey said “Further into the fog I fall Well, I was just following you” “Dial a cliché” . I wish I had the optimism of Robin McAlpine but I don’t but that’s not to say I can’t, we need a campaign to fight.
Is the campaign even about independence? Is the campaign we need to fight about turning the clock back to the 80’s and fighting the Tories because Labour didn’t, or wouldn’t. Is the way to independence a fight about the corruption of the Tories, the ineptitude of Starmer and Labour, the incompetence of Sturgeon and the SNP. Is the path to independence a fight within the union, about the state of the union, but within the union, by fighting for it would we be demonstrating how utterly broken it is, has always been. Can winning independence be about not winning independence but about fighting for what we have right now in the hope that it educates the house jocks to what they are actually fighting for, what they are a part of. Would radical be joining them which would disarm them, scare the shit out of them by agreeing with them.
Have we got it all wrong and what would be more radical would be a bit of reverse psychology, should we be encouraging the behaviour and belief in independence by advocating its opposite, the union. We have struggled to get no voters to even think about the union, so by fighting for what we have in this shitty union is maybe the key to getting the house jocks to think outside the box and consider what their colonial status actually means, force them to confront it, face it head on, or am I way out there expecting them to actually care.
Maybe I am losing the plot, maybe I am losing my will, either way we need to do something, anything.
It was the house jock, now lord, Malcolm Offord who said the Union was like ‘a cup of hot chocolate’ in his infamous ‘No borders’ astroturf video, promoted 24/7 by the BBC.
House jocks are doing very nicely from the Union. They’ll happily stick with it as Unionism is essentially feudalism, and they are nearer the top of the pyramid as long as they obey the English crown.
They never answer any questions while demanding answers in minute detail from the yes side. Maybe turning the tables would force their hand, force them to come up with some answers if we fight on their turf. Refuse to talk about what a future Scotland could be and only talk about what the union is, demand their solutions to our problems with the same evidence that they demand of us.
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But radical is not inclusive. In any case the left gave up on trying to help the poor and headed off in another direction entirely.
Centralised control or centralised planning have never delivered. Perhaps it’s time to try something new. Something that would deliver the ability for people to make their own decisions. Government should deliver a level playing field – level for everyone. Then step aside and let the players get on with it.
It should but it doesn’t. I am a Liberal in nature and really do believe that as much possible should be devolved down. I also think we need to consider fighting the fight on the unionists turf now. Refuse to talk about the future Scotland we have a vision for and that they demand every detail. What if we only fight on the union and devolution, what if we demand that they come up with the solutions to our problems in detail, only engage on the union and nothing else. We need to do something different is what I am thinking now. I may be way over the top but I am starting to think radical is the way to go if that even qualifies.
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Very interesting, Bruce. If you think about it the whole independence movement has fallen for the simplest of tricks – being asked to justify every word of what is being said. That leaves us jumping through hoops and scrambling to find answers to all the objections when the other side is not interested in the slightest. Their only goal is throwing cats in amongst the independence pigeons.
That is what I think, the unionist have in many dictated our strategy so we need to turn the tables on them. Unionists only have soundbites and we have played their game long enough. Many yes supporters know the arguments, we don’t need to explain them anymore. Unionists however only have sound bites like pulling and sharing, defence, ask for detail and don’t answer any indy questions until they provide detail and the defences go up, they lose it. So let’s not talk about independence, let’s only talk about the union and force them to prove why it is the answer to our problems.
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Reblogged this on Ramblings of a now 60+ Female.
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There’s Sinecure Indy (SNP), the professional politicians and bid recipients who need Yes to bumble along around 50% to hang onto their cosy jobs.
There’s Militant Indy (ALBA & ISP) who love to be radical and yearn for the good old days of Militant Tendency.
And there’s Flagging Indy (AUOB)- great if you like marching and flags.
None of them particularly interested in addressing the concerns of the people whose votes they need to reach their stated objectives, all quite happy being “radical” and “Left”. We need a Third Way between them and currently Unionist Scots.
Is the third way maybe fighting the fight on the unionists turf. Is refusing to talk about our vision for Scotland in all of the detail that they often demand allowing them to sow their fear and keep us on the back foot. What if we fight them on the union and devolution, refusing to answer any questions on independence but rather demand that they answer the problems we face in minute detail, as they do us, in unionist terms. I would bet they have no answers, or their answers will be the union, it will be hollow and empty. It is time to try something different, to force them on the back suit. I do know we can’t continue the way we are right now which is no where at all really is it.
Thank you for reading the blog and taking the time to share your opinion.
Cheers Bruce. Actually it’s taking back some of the Unionists turf, because they’re squatting on a corner of common sentiment that we should never have surrendered to them.
The current indy parties are so vested in trendy causes that it’s going to need a new indy party to bring conventional supporters over to the independence side. We need a new indy party, one that doesn’t want to throw away our oil and our nuclear deterrent, one that isn’t calling for the destruction of the Jewish homeland, one that doesn’t want to enshrine Queer Theory in law and hand over the education of our children to it’s most fervent adherents.
We’re not trying to build Shangri-La – we’ll be managing capitalism just like everybody else. We don’t want to join in with the whinging and exceptionalism that mars the indy campaign today. There is nothing uniquely evil about British history, everybody has history, and there is much in UK history for Scots to be proud about. We are not uniquely oppressed or disadvantaged, we live in a normal political situation, it’s just one we want to change. The Conservatives are merely political opponents – treating them as evil, Tory, pantomime villains just makes us look stupid. Labour are mainly friends who have lost their way. And we don’t need to justify our desire for independence, that’s just playing our opponents’ game.
In short, we need independence for voters, not activists. I expand on this here https://thirdwayindy.wordpress.com/2023/01/08/what-we-stand-for/.
I agree with much of what you say. I do despise the Tories though and have since my teens and what I saw Thatcher do to my own family and community. I don’t think we live in a democracy like other nations do as ours is a parliamentary one with no constitution and an unelected head of state but many Scots willingly embrace that and it’s history. I don’t have an issue with capitalism but it needs to be controlled to a degree with fairness and balance if at all possible so that many not the few benefit. Personally don’t want nukes anywhere near Scotland but that was my first political awakening and seeing the Day After in 82 starring Jason Roparts lol. We do I think need to shift the narrative to the unionists and the limitations of the union, it wouldn’t hurt to at least try.
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Not talking about what independence means is what has got you into this almighty mess. You are all fighting like rats in a sack. You have put off explaining for long enough. Yoons are living the union. They want to see what Indy is and so far its a blank screen. Waken up.
I am not so sure that is true in every case. When I chat to no voters, even those not engaged to the level many of us are, they know the arguments from yes. Many have read the wee blue book, they know the arguments but what they struggle to do is give any detail for defending the union other than the soundbites. When you dig down they have few arguments so try to shift the debate to detail about indy, we should try to shift the narrative I think, show them up for what they are, force them to answer the questions. It wouldn’t hurt to try. Sandy the yes community is not as divided as you think, yeah the bloggers are debating various issues, esp between the ANP/Alba but that is far from the yes community. Like the unionist press, it only reaches the fringes, most of the yes community are pretty uinited.
Thanks for sharing your opinion and reading the blog.