The Sad and Ugly End of British Socialism
Don’t they know that they are burying themselves with this? That even if they win, they are being contemptible in how they go about it? That the means they use will overcome the end they seek? The Yes campaign is not breaking the Union. A union whose party of welfare and progress has been reduced to this is bankrupt of ideas as well as morality. It is already broken. The Yes campaign, it is becoming clearer by the day, is recognising something that is already reality. The resurgence in our already existing independent political culture evident everywhere in the humour and energy and invention of the Yes campaign embodies the independence that it argues for. We are not the cause of the death of empire or of British welfare-ism and solidarity. The death-hauntedness of the No campaign radiates from every word they speak. They exhale the breath of the grave.
We are getting away from the corpse of the good things Britain used to stand for, which were once embodied in the Labour movement…because the corpse is beginning to smell. And this wee squib from Margaret Curran, this wee nugget of hatred and fear is what death smells like. This second-rate provocation of anxiety in those very people who Labour’s policy in recent years has been to ignore…while flattering and facilitating the rich in the hope of some handouts…this denigration and disenfranchising of their own supporters has rendered those voters confused, vulnerable and unrepresented. Not content with betraying its own supporters and every principle they were supposed to stand for, these exhausted, venal creatures now argue that hope is for fools and social change is a pipe dream and a lie told by a demon called “Salmond” who had the effrontery to steal “their baw” in 2007.
They want their baw back and they want Salmond destroyed. And that is the beginning and the end of their vision. Their myopia will not let them see anything beyond the narrowest and most banal Party interest. I suspect they barely know Scotland exists except as a property to be recovered. I don’t think they give a damn what happens to any of us as long as they can use our fear and our insecurity to “get” Salmond.
And when I look at them twitching with hatred and resentment at their twisted attempts not to face their own moral and political failure, all I see is slow, ugly death. The sad, slow, ugly death of the British Road to Socialism. It’s not just in the upper echelons that Labour have been corrupted by their embrace of the money changers. Even the footsoldiers are bereft of hope.
At best they are projecting their own venal, desperate helplessness on to the rest of us. At best they genuinely are pessimists who regard the “socialism” they still croak out at Party conferences in wee Scotland…as a joke. But I think their decay goes deeper.
These people voted with the Tories to make a law that caps spending on social welfare in case it interferes with the low tax, no tax plans of the rich, who are the only constituency they take seriously any more. They are using the fear and helplessness they helped to cause in our society to snuff out even the hope for change in the hearts of the people they so sloppily claim to love, as they cry their gin soaked self-pitying crocodile tears at their abandonment of the poor to the privatised market forces to which they are the fawning acolytes. Every bit as much as the Tories, they are the Temple Whores of Capitalism.
If they could articulate anything other than resentment of the life of others, I could respect their arguments. I have been waiting since the campaign began to hear a case for the Union that didn’t rely on accepting and celebrating and using the worst things about people, and never appealing to the best. I have been stunned at how second-rate and vapid and bitter they have been.
Is this Britain? Is this the best that Britain can offer. The campaign for this sceptred isle has swung between carping negativity and overblown sentimental love bombs dreamed up after ten minutes worth of bored inattention in some advertising agency. It’s stunning how little energy they can drag out of themselves. It’s hard to believe, sometimes, that they know or care a damn. Which isn’t great politics, let alone “a family of nations.”
The irony is that there is better thought out, more sincerely felt and far better expressed affection for our neighbours on the Yes side than the No. They have never got beyond the elementary cretinism of thinking this is all about them
When it’s all about us. Becoming grown ups. Who will be much better members of exactly the same family of exactly the same nations once we are grown ups.
Anyway, I’m tired of listening to them. I’m tired of giving head room to the same many times repeated many times refuted terror tactics they are using on their own people. I would find it impossible to live in any society if I thought as little of people as every utterance of the No campaign, over all these months, so clearly proves they do.
Damn them they are wrong. Human beings on both sides of the border are better than they pretend. England and Scotland and Wales and Ireland are not fated to be second-rate, just as we are not fated to be supplicants at the rich man’s gate.. We all of us have the chance to declare that we at least aspire to be so much better than that, and better than anything they have offered or threatened , better than any qualities they have demonstrated by their words and deeds in this debate. Better Together, in fact.
A) we already have a Scottish Currency. It’s called the pound.