Nat is a Feminist Issue

That Scottish women are less likely to support independence (at the moment) was displayed once again by polls this week. Reading the Scotsman kicks up an anomaly, that the country’s leading columnists voices of sanity amongst a sea of unionist angst and bleakly negative reporting (McTernan, Kelly, et als) are all women: Joan McAlpine, Lesley Riddoch and Joyce McMillan. It’s like the nations newspaper (sic) is split, by gender on constitutional issues. The male writers are routinely closed negative and tribally attached to the political establishment (be it Labour  or Tory-Liberal). McAlpine, Riddoch and McMillan seem open to a pragmatic politics of reality – whether this means overt support for independence or not.

Earlier in the week Riddoch absolutely nailed Agreeko’s preposterous Rupert Soames scaremongering about renewables. A letter writer had it succinctly: “Electricity from renewable sources is key to Europe’s energy future. The powerful argument for promoting renewable energy rests not just on security of supply but also on jobs and growth.”

Earlier Joan McAlpine brought a breath of republicanism to the madness and Royal fawning that has swept the British media.

But Joyce McMillan writes clear as a belle on the SVR nonsense:

“The whole crisis, though, has revealed two key truths about current Scottish politics, both as disturbing as they are depressing.

The first is the extent to which Scottish governments, bamboozled by the subtle bullying of Whitehall, have simply failed to fight our corner, even on an issue as vital as this one.  It is frankly preposterous that the Scottish Government should be presented with a bill for the possible exercise of a right enshrined in UK law, on pain of losing that right if we don’t pay up.  And although it was perhaps more predictable that the Labour-Liberal governments of 1999-2007 would acquiesce in these doubtful arrangements, the SNP’s decision to continue the pattern of meek co-operation is much more surprising; and highly revealing of their anxiety to be seen as a competent and non-combative party of government, even when their political duty and opportunity clearly lay elsewhere.

Secondly, though, and even more significantly, the long conspiracy of silence over the tax power, and the reluctance  even now to confront the real political debate about whether it should be used, reveals the extent to which our politicians – for all their fine talk of a different political culture in Scotland – have succumbed to the creeping influence of those negative assumptions about public attitudes which form part of the right-wing consensus among Britain’s ruling elites.”

Read her full report here.

If you throw in Joanna Blythman at the Sunday Herald  you get a formidable phalanx of independent-minded writers. Maybe the continued rise of strong women writing about bold answers to the failed political elite will help embolden Scots women to back independence? We need to take the sort of control over our lives at a national level that feminists fought for for the last 30 years. Self-determination is a feminist issue. Or, ‘Nat is feminist issue’, to coin a phrase.

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  1. barontorc says:

    Well – will the wimmen sort out our identity problem. Will they show us that we are all first and foremost residents in Scotland and thereby Scots and only thereafter tagged by association, as Brits.

    Will the wimmen of Scotland show their burning wrath and rail against this iniquitous imposition of Union?

    Who wanted to be the unwilling party to the forced marriage this union was designed to be, abusive, as it was unilateral, draining the resources of one partner to bolster the other, cynically using mental subjugation to belittle and demean.

    Can it be shown – the benefits of this Union – there may be a case in mitigation of these charges?

    Leave no acclamation unspoken – tell it as it is, in all its glory – surprise with tales of common good and of deserved rewards winging to Scotland – do all this and then knock me down with the proverbial feather.

    Your Country needs YOU!

  2. Ray Bell says:

    When it comes to the media, I would tend to agree, but then again, as we know the media is rarely, if ever representative of the larger population.

    I can think of plenty of Scottish women who are decidedly in the other camp though, e.g. Kay Adams/Mathieson (who has made some bigoted anti-Gaelic comments in the past), Kirsty Wark (who described the devolution debate as “staring into the abyss” and was a little too friendly with Jack McConnell), Michelle Mone (major Labour donor, and overexposed in the media – probably because most of her news stories involve pictures of scantily clad women), J.K. Rowling (who may be a good writer, but gave a massive donation to Labour because of its good record on child poverty. You what?!) and so on and so on.

    I suggest that for some reason, women are better able to get this material past the editors.

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