The Last 5 Days of Britain
Farage has been to Edinburgh preaching his Golf Club xenophobia.The Orange Order have been here on a charm offensive, pointing to the future. Jim and Douglas have been ‘pooling and sharing’ and Gorgeous George has been here selflessly promoting his London Mayoral candidacy. Cameron has been stretching his sinews in private. Trusted Nick Clegg has been making solemn promises and Gordon Brown has been explaining his Big Secret Plan (Codename: The Jobby in a Box).
Actually that last bit’s not true. It’s not called the ‘The Jobby in a Box’ proposal. It’s called an ‘Iron Timetable’, which is a very serious name.
They are a formidable team.
Now where were we?
Big Food, Big Banking and Big Business are threatening us and it’s being broadcast unfiltered by the state broadcaster, on the hour. Relentless.
The business threats ask us to think: how deferential actually are we?
If you notice yesterday (anywhere really, but check Buchanan St, above) you might think: not very.
But still they line them up: Asda, RBS, B&Q.
Here is the crew that wrecked the economy, that sold your children horsemeat, that still lounges about in a obscene bonus culture behind closed doors, and the broadcasters lap it up. ‘More powers’ they say.
The good news is that people don’t believe them any more. They don’t trust the media, and they don’t trust the political elite.
What’s become clear is that the British Establishment has lost Scotland. It’s over. They might even still ‘win’, but they will have lost.
Three fundamental ties have been broken: the BBC is now completely untrusted. The Labour Party is finished. The idea of a progressive British politics has gone. A lot of the arguments have been about Scottish politics, but what has happened here is people have looked south and seen a barren political landscape. Ed Miliband? Who? There is nothing there.
And when you begin to bring serious analysis from players about gender, class, ecology, powerlessness and potential, as a whole movement hs begun to do in the last year, the whole rotten edifice of Britain looks utterly bankrupt.
They can ‘shock and awe’ us all they like with threats from big business. It won’t change the fact that after the crash neither Westminster politicians nor any of these figures have the credibility they think they do.
It’s like they are calling on ghosts of authority that have left us long ago.
These could be the last few days of Britain.
Gordon and his cohorts thought that just saying ‘more powers’ a lot, even with the faithful Reithian friend repeating it, would actually be enough. They are like stage-hypnotists. It seems unclear whether they believe the lies they peddle and this is maybe the reason they are failing. There is something deeply inauthentic at root about the Better Together case,
It doesn’t work any more.
The No campaign remains doggedly other-worldly.
With one leg planted firmly in the past, the other dangles still less probably in an imagined future. The slogan ‘Better Yesterday’ sits comfortably with the mantra ‘Maybe Tomorrow?’ Anything but the here and now, anything but the present.
Yesterday, definitely. Tomorrow: maybe (you never know your luck). Today? Sorry, no can do.