Friday, 29 January 2021

Day trips to Scotland


The PM took himself off to Scotland yesterday, for a series of carefully staged photo opportunities visits to see what’s happening on the ground in England’s northern possession. Part of his objective was to highlight all the wonderful things that ‘the union’ does for Scotland. As most expected, what shone through was that special sense of English exceptionalism and superiority which comes so naturally to people like him that they don’t even realise that they’re doing it. The words might have said ‘look what we’re doing together’, but it came across as ‘look what we are doing for you’.

One of the reasons for this dissonance is that he and his ilk start from an assumption that anything and everything done by the UK government is automatically a ‘benefit of the union’, because it is done by the government in London rather than by the government in Scotland. The fact that some things can only be done by Westminster as a result of a constitutional settlement which reserves the relevant powers to London seems to escape them. Looked at objectively, something is a ‘benefit of the union’ if, and only if, it is something which an independent Scotland could not do itself. That presents a real problem to unionists because there is, literally, nothing that an independent Scotland might wish to do that fits in that category.

Apparently, “[Tory] Insiders talk about a focus on showing the tangible benefits of the Union”, but all the ‘tangible benefits’ that they come up with are things which the Westminster parliament has simply reserved to itself in the first place. They refer to the way in which UK armed forces have been used in Scotland to help with the vaccination rollout, as though those armed forces are nothing to do with Scotland and as though an independent Scotland wouldn’t be able to call on its own armed forces. They talk about the money ‘given’ to the Scottish government to help in the Covid response, as though an independent Scotland would, uniquely amongst independent states, have no money of its own, and as if Scotland owns no part of the UK’s money. The one tangible benefit which a union could deliver is a pooling and sharing of resources between its constituent parts (whether nations such as Wales and Scotland or regions of England) on the basis of need, but that’s the one thing that unionists (whether Tory or Labour) have consistently failed to do. ‘Levelling up’ is just a slogan; it’s not a policy, let alone a plan.

Yesterday, former First Minister, Carwyn Jones, referring to Boris Johnson’s Scottish day trip, said, “…I’m sure this visit will be a success. Just not for him”.  The good news for independentistas in general is that the inability of the Tory English nationalists and Labour Anglo-British nationalists to understand how their own Westminster-centric mindset works against them, let alone change it, means that their efforts to win over the Scots will indeed bring about a great success. Just not for them.


Spirit of BME said...

I think you are too harsh on calling the EU action on Article 16 ‘crass and incompetent’ Brussels was in a middle of a crisis that would affect all 27 states and in ‘the fog of war’ they took the textbook action of defending the centre for the ‘greater good’, -sure your flanks will take a hit, but all governments do this kind of thing, for more details see the history of Wales under the current occupation.
Those that supported Brexit are milking this for all they can get, but this is not headline news in Serbia, Greece, Spain, and Italy, they would support any action that gets them more jabs through the EU system.
The EU is being portrayed as incompetent and slow, but the game is not over, as they clearly were more cautious on what they thought they were buying. On the other hand, The Boy Johnson took a punt and spent billions on an untested treatment which is still in its experimental stage and there is still debate on its effectiveness and what it will deliver.
So, Mrs Dr Von Der-Der Leyen 0 The Boy 1. but it is not half time in this game yet.

John Dixon said...


I think you may have posted this comment on the wrong post? I have copied it to where I think you intended it to go.