To quote the words of an old country and western song,
“You gotta know when to hold them,
Know when to fold them,
Know when to walk away
And know when to run”
I have had my doubts about the timing of a second Independence Referendum, but events in these last few weeks suggest to me that the time to “run” is nigh.
We are just emerging from what has, in effect, been a 3 week news blackout of all but the nerve gas attack on the double agent and his daughter in Salisbury. This was a dreadful act and, of course, very newsworthy indeed. But hasn’t it been milked by Tessie and her chums? It was like manna from heaven to cover the complete bourach being created by the Bold Brexiteers. Now I do not know whether it was the Russians “wot did it” or any other country which manufactures this nerve gas. But what I do know is, that in my years as a Sheriff Court social worker, I never once heard a case brought by the Procurator Fiscal on the grounds that it was “highly likely” that the accused committed the offence.
The problem is that it has allowed the Tories to do what they do best. Raise the flag, make bold threats and imagine we are an Empire again. 71 years after the sun set on the glorious British Empire with the loss of India (the jewel in the crown!) and these “old Colonials” just cannot get over it. Other countries have lost empires and been able to find their place in the new world – but not these Dinosaurs. They have never learned a single lesson. Sure we have the Commonwealth, but what does that amount to in fact?
The whole idea of a Commonwealth was dreamt up to soften the blow of an empire lost, to bolster Britain’s sense of importance and to allow the Monarch to remain a ceremonial Head of State in more than just of one country. Actually this did not quite work out as planned. Of the 53 commonwealth countries only 16 recognize Lizzie as Head of State – 32 are republics and 5 have monarchs of their own!
They have never given up after all these years. We have spasmodic attempts to “Rule the Waves” mainly ending in humiliation . We cling to the coat-tails of the U.S.A. and follow them like wee puppy dogs into whichever war or conflict the US decides is good for America. And, of course, we provide, and pay for the privilege of having U.S. nuclear weapons stationed in Scottish waters – with the added bonus that this allows the U.K. to hang on by its fingertips on the U.N. Security Council.
Meanwhile, in the real world, benefits to disabled and impoverished members of our society are about to be slashed still more. Free school meals in England abolished (many thanks to the 13 Scottish Tories who thought this a good wheeze!) and a complete sell-out of the Scottish Fishing Industry by the Brexiteers.
Now, as someone who was raised in Ayr with strong fishing connections I well remember the harbour packed with trawlers and fishing boats of all kinds. Those days are, unfortunately, long gone. Fishing is one of the most dangerous occupations that can be done, and I was brought up to respect the bravery and determination of those who went to sea for fish. I watched as the owners of the boats got richer and more ostentatious in their lifestyles. Little did I realize that this was due to over-fishing and a complete disregard for the sustainability of the fish stock. This was wrong, but things have changed, fish stock is being sustained, and fishing is still hugely important to Scotland. The fishermen have been, for the second time, an industry Westminster is quite happy to trade away as a bargaining chip with Europe. Both the fishermen and, indeed, the farmers of Scotland must surely see that they have been lied to and shafted by the Tories, for whom sadly, they voted in large numbers. Unfortunately the farmers will be next to experience the chill wind from Westminster. It would be so easy to say as a Nationalist well “hell mend you!” But at the end of the day, these are our people and our industries and the only way to protect and preserve them is with Independence.
The sheer indifference shown to Scotland is coming thick and fast. Even the most committed Unionist must be seeing the light – we have very little time left to extricate Scotland from this mess – all things being equal, how about a short sharp campaign in the late Autumn?
Forget “holding and folding” – it’s time to RUN.