Save the Union!
After the change in the polls the Unionist response has been all that it could be: predictably frenzied
Will Hutton, writing in the Observer, says there are now 10 days left to find a settlement to save the Union. He doesn’t realise the Union is already dead, we now have to decide whether to stay in it or go about building our own, functioning country. In a delicious bit of stock-image irony his plea for total federalism, a rejuvenation of Britain’s “liberal enlightenment” values, was at least for a time fronted by a picture of the Capitol building in Washington, DC. Apparently there wasn’t an image of a physical structure in the UK or Scotland which represented what he wanted it to. It’s now been replaced by a Union flag and a Saltire together.
After polling announced last night said there was, for the first time, a majority of voters intending to back Yes, the Unionist campaign went into overdrive in predictably self destructive fashion. The Observer announced that there would be an offer “within days” of a meeting with Scotland’s governing party “invited to take part.” How inclusive of them. Meanwhile Ed Miliband riffed on the possibility of border guards in the Mail on Sunday and Gordon Brown wrote in the Mirror that it’s all the Tories’ fault.
Politically we’ve seen Scotland’s opposition parties sent to their ideological deaths by their Westminster betters in an attempt to sell the UK’s austerity programmes, abandonment of social values and UKIP pandering to an electorate it thinks will adopt the same positions if it hears it from people with the same accents. Fortunately that’s now being debunked, with more than a third of what Labour vote remains now backing Yes, and wholesale revulsion at the cynicism of Westminster politics. Whether it’s a Yes or a No it’s clear now that Scotland’s political apparatus is completely unfit for purpose. There’s now the realistic prospect that Labour, Conservative and Lib Dem MSPs would be in a position of legislating on things they’ve gleefully fought against and claimed the country shouldn’t be deciding on. Even if they had an ideological backbone their co-operation for the good of the Westminster’s colonialist mentality damns them to irrelevance after the vote.
The media hasn’t escaped, either. With the BBC facing academic studies detailing, exhaustively, its bias and inconsistencies the state broadcaster clearly isn’t the broadcaster for the right state. The question of whether Scotland should even have an organisation with that remit must be in the minds of everyone going to the ballot box on the 18th. How can we take its journalism seriously after the 18th? Print media hardly fares better, with the lead story on the Scotsman’s front page this morning about the price of Billy Connolly tickets. The collective backing of the Union, its business interests and its point of view hasn’t been reached through rigorous analysis or in-depth reporting, it’s been orders from on-high. Whether or not Scotland takes Independence its mainstream media isn’t capable of being the voice it needs to be to hold the political system to account.
It’s tempting to write, rinsed with objective cliché, that there are two options here but realistically, in the mind of any voter with a determination to change the two critical problems in our country; politics and the media, there can only be one: vote Yes. Demand more of your media outlets, your politicians and yourself and give yourself the possibility of taking charge. Otherwise you’ll wake up on the 19th with only a husk of a country to live in.