Has EVERYONE gone Tonto?
By Peter Arnott
I’m coming to the end of the biggest and most difficult piece of writing I have ever done. You’ve no idea how little I want to be writing this now. But I’ve no choice, I went out for a walk this morning and came home via the newsagent. Name of jumping Jesus!Has everyone gone mad?
This is a question you hear a lot from bewildered Labour canvassers when people who have voted for them all their adult lives won’t even take their leaflets for fear of radioactivity. When Jim Murphy addresses “rallies” across the country …at 7 in the morning to the pigeons…flanked by the same group of volunteers who apparently live everywhere in Scotland.
While Nicola Sturgeon walks up Buchanan Street like Cleopatra arriving for a word with Mark Antony. Only as a Queen Of the Catwalk who does convincing selfies. Without security men, without the need of message minders, why man, she bestrides this world like a five foot colossus.
It maybe can’t last, but I’ve never seen anything like it. And those who fear what’s happening are right to see in this phenomenon something we’re not used to in this country. Mass feeling. A sense of the collective, of people valuing themselves because they feel part of something bigger. This isn’t politics as a sales pitch, democracy as a choice from the usual catalogue of managed or unmanaged decline. This is a movement. This is exhilarating to be part of, and scary as hell to feel left out of it, estranged from it. Threatened by it. People have been fed a totalitarian consumerist, individualist ideology that places all value solely in the satisfaction of personal desire, for wealth, power, stuff. And it may be that what is happening right now in Scotland is the same as what has happened in lots of other places and lots of other times for good and ill. The assertion that WE matter. Damn you and your offshore tax dodging. This time is ours.
But the sheer investment in Nicola Sturgeon right now of the people’s need for the sense of hope and collective worth and purpose that has so long been denied and ridiculed is only part of the “insanity.” The occasional excesses of random and unorganised cybernats pale into insignificance besides the desperate front pages of the nation’s print media doing FRONT PAGE screaming headline stories on unwanted haircuts for Dollies, for God’s sake.
It may seem like an annoying wee distraction right now, but the response in the dusty halls of power to the unprecedented popular political energy in Scotland may well be equally unprecedented. Both Nick Clegg and Teresa May have now explicitly said that a government formed by Labour with the support, in any shape or form of parliamentary jiggery pokery…by the SNP…will be illegitimate.
Let me put that another way. They are saying that the result of a democratic election in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the choice of the citizens of this precious Union of theirs, can be disregarded if we get it wrong.
The rumour is that they’ve already been to see the Queen to get the nod for an attempt to cling on to power after they lose the election,
Excuse the fuck out of me, but does that not sound like a coup?
Her Maj (God Bless Her), is said to have sent them packing, and the whole thing may well be posturing bullshit designed to get the sad and angry twats of UKIP back in the Tory fold…but Hell’s Teeth! Whatever happened to the family of nations? Whatever happened to the Greatest Democracy the World Has Ever Known?
Pausing only to note that the pious fiction that all the nations of the UK are equal, and that all MPs are equally the representatives of equal British constituencies that don’t recognise (in UK elections) nationality at all, has been blown from the window, I can only read the Sunday papers now and wonder what the Hell will be there NEXT week when they begin to get the serious heeby-jeebies.
Will it say in the Sunday Times that Nicola Sturgeon is an Alien Baby Eater from Space?
Who can say?
All I know now is that on May 8th, the UK Labour Party may well find that it has to defend the legitimacy of an SNP victory in Scotland – that wipes them out – in order to defend it’s own legitimacy to govern the UK.
Who’d have thought we’d get here as soon as this?
Breaking Up Britain was always too big a job for Scotland. When you want a thing done properly, send for the Tories.