Brexit, Trident and the Death of Britain

Michael Fallon’s Department of Disinformation is doing a great job and the Supreme Court’s ruling has at the very least clarified the relationships of the nations that make up the ‘United Kingdom’. We are subordinate and we can dispense with the need for such childish phraseology as ‘partnership of equals’ or ‘family of nations’.

We are, if there were ever any doubt, subordinate.

The Supreme Court ruling – that Westminster has to ratify the triggering of Article 50, but that the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly have no role to play, no voice to hear is a denouement of sorts. Westminster will vote it through. The shambles that is the Labour Party has already keeled over on half of the substance, ‘principled positions’ rolling away in the face of electoral fear, political cowardice and confusion. No doubt the SNP bloc will raise objections and amendments but their own numerical weakness will result in this being washed aside, and no doubt, treated with contempt.

The two big stories of the week are actually one.

The Trident crisis is one that only a lumbering secretive failing power could conjure, riddled with all its inconsistencies, cover-up and comical inability to tell the truth. The Supreme Court ruling tell us the same story, of a state incapable of reforming itself and facing its new shape, its new politics its new identity. Brexit and Trident are two sides of the same story, of Britain clinging desperately to the past.

As the “UK” seeks independence from the EU it simultaneously denies sovereignty to its constituent parts. It has to. As Iain Macwhirter writes: “Forget federalism; Scotland is now a region again.” The entity can’t be England it must be Britain. To define and acknowledge England means to define and acknowledge Scotland and Ireland and Wales. That’s intolerable. This must not be allowed to happen. England is unthinkable even for English nationalists.

Britain is too big to fail.

So here we are hurtling backwards.

All the Pink Bits are Back

d9819I remember being taught what they called “Geography” in the 1970s when you learnt that Argentina produced beef, Canada wheat and New Zealand butter. Then something about how rain clouds formed and hills were mapped. It’s all a bit blurry. The world map on the wall still had all the pink bits which they called the ‘Commonwealth’. To avoid confusion History and Geography were strictly segregated. India, Australia, Canada and large parts of Africa stood out.

As we hear Theresa May’s explanation of our post-Brexit future to include “a bold trade deal with New Zealand” the sense of despair and Britain/England re-creating itself in a sort of reverse evolution as a nation of the 1950s, or possibly the 1850s is palpable.

This extreme sense of dislocation is causing  a crisis that is simultaneously cultural and economic and may lead to the end of Britain as a survivable, defendable entity.

The political ideology which propels this action is not backwards compatible with a practical economic state. They know they are creating this shambles but they don’t know what to do. They are propelled by forces they have created but can’t control. It’s sad – and for unionists and federalists its tragic – but at least has a dynamism.

Michael Kenny and Nick Pearce argue that Theresa May’s “excavation” of Chamberlain’s legacy is “a symptom of two larger historical dynamics that have been exposed by the vote for Brexit” (“The empire strikes back. How the Brexit vote has reopened deep wounds of empire and belonging, and challenged the future of the United Kingdom.”)

The first is the reopening on “the British body politic of deep wounds of race, citizenship and belonging” which affect all of us but specifically  Ireland and Scotland constitutionally and goes to the heart of the concept of Britain and Britishness. This may not be defensible again by a second Better Together campaign lashed together by fear-mongering, celebrity schmaltz and a prevalence of a cultural self-hatred nurtured by “proud Scots”.

The second dynamic is, Kenny and Pearce argue “the renewal of patterns of disagreement over free trade and social reform that shaped profound divisions roughly a century ago”:

“Chamberlain is the junction between these two critical dynamics, where race and political economy interweave, because of his advocacy of “Greater Britain” – the late-Victorian idea that the white settler colonies of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa should be joined with the mother country, in ties of “kith-and-kin” solidarity, or more ambitiously in a new imperial federation. Greater Britain owed much to the Anglo-Saxonism of Victorian historians and politicians, and was as much a Liberal as a Conservative idea. Greater Britain was a new way of imagining the English race – a ten-million-strong, worldwide realm dispersed across the “white” colonies. It was a global commonwealth, but emphatically not one composed of rootless cosmopolitans. Deep ties, fostered by trade and migration, held what the historian James Belich calls “the Anglo-world” together. It helped equip the English with an account of their place in the world that would survive at least until the 1956 Suez crisis, and it was plundered again by latter-day Eurosceptics as they developed a vision of the UK as an integral part, not of the EU, but of an “Anglosphere”, the liberal, free-market, parliamentary democracies of the English-speaking world.”




Empire State of Mind

This crisis of Britishness, this crisis in English identity or “collective mental breakdown”, whatever you want to call it, however you want to describe it, is more profound than is being acknowledged or understood. If the predictions for economic malfunction are even remotely accurate – then this is a dangerous space to be in, where are an un-articulated Nationalism is being fostered alongside a complete absence of political strategy in the midst of a cultural void. We are being propelled into constitutional chaos in a state of cultural alienation.

As Citizens of Nowhere we are merely Consumers and Subjects.

Colin Kidd explores this post-Brexit moment in the latest issue of the London Review of Books:

“Scottish nationalism, for all its faults, has matured politically, and the SNP barely resembles the clownish, Jocks-in-the-heather party of its early days. The leaders of Scotland’s civic nationalism have learned to curb ethnic excess; instead they embrace interdependence, sovereignty-pooling and the EU. England’s reborn nationalism, by contrast, has barely emerged from its swaddling clothes. Ukippers and hard Brexit fantasists have still to learn the basic ABC of a post-sovereignty world. However, the crassness of their response to its complexities makes it all the more difficult for nationalists north of the border to present a plausible vision of their own independent future.”

He continues:

Last June’s xenophobic campaign and the Brexit vote that followed have left Scots – even the most unionist – estranged from the idea of Britain. In the months before the independence referendum of 2014, a large body of undecided Scots, while alienated from the Englishness of Toryism, the Home Counties and the City, still felt torn between a sense of solidarity with ordinary working people in the North of England and a desire to create an independent Scandinavian-style state. Some of those voters stuck with the Union; others – though still nostalgically attached to British ideals of social democracy – took a chance on independence. But Brexit, ironically, has expunged the notion that a British nation with a common set of values exists north and south of the border. England now seems foreign, a country that espouses the anti-EU and anti-immigrant values once associated with Enoch Powell. The Anglo-Scottish Union survives, for the moment, because, with oil prices low, an independent Scotland divorced from the English economy would be unable to sustain much in the way of a welfare state. Nevertheless, Britishness is shrivelling. Enoch-land repels.”

That’s a brutal take with some truth.

It’s essential, but extremely difficult in these circumstances to foster solidarity both within the movement for Scottish self-determination and beyond to people in England, Wales and Ireland, across Europe and across the globe.

The task is to become Citizens of Somewhere and that somewhere is here.


Support Bella to continue publishing with a monthly donation by Direct debit.
Go Cardless for £5 £10 or £20 a month. Donate with GoCardless HERE.

Thank You


Comments (51)

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published.

  1. Gaga Glasgow says:

    If not now, I wonder if it’s ever going to be possible to convince Scottish Unionists that Scotland’s interests are completely scuppered within the UK.

    The nukes that backfire sum the situation up perfectly. Now we are being dragged out of Europe against our will and this will hammer our already hamstrung economy.

    Why can’t we run our own affairs? This is embarrassing.

    What exactly do Unionists get out of the UK that I don’t see? Everything seems to hinge on worshipping the Union Jack, a stupid logo — what the eff is wrong with these people?

    Scotland is too poor to go it alone? No bloody wonder with those animals in Westminster mismanaging and plundering us for decades.

    Thatcher and the Tories decimate our industry then thickos up here use the condition we are left in as an argument for staying in the Union? That’s the equivalent of breaking every bone in your wife’s body and arguing that she should rule out leaving because she can’t walk.

    I’m so sick of this.

    1. c rober says:

      Too much is made of the black gold – there is a future beyond it , and if brave enough one to take to the ECHR before we leave the EU about McCrone. Showing up in the NEWS daily would imo move many from Unionist to fervent nationalist – knowing just how their precious Union is not a union at all.

      The union of equals is busted.

      The pension myth is busted – admitted by WM in that those that have been paying in , or are currently getting one will still get it.

      The Gers myth is creative accounting , so when used for data doesnt reflect the power of a soverign nation , just that of current mechanisms controlled in WM favour.

      The pound myth , in that we cannot use Sterling doesnt wash , the creation of a new temporary one pegged to exactly the same , via a state bank not a private BOE or EU central can be funded with long term bonds on the open market. Bonus being that credit today is cheaper than it has been for a very long time.

      Then we can talk AGR – something Holyrood wishes to keep under wraps , were those that own the most pay the most.

      As an independent nation Scotland would need a Navy – Jobs on the clyde , or cut price from Korea or Sweden/Norway via their investment for the contracts.

      You may even see the likes of Japanese car makers moving North – with any hard tarrifs for manufacturing in England on EU exports. But that would mean a steely resolve from Germany and France – where France at the state level is an investor into Nissan , and Germany into its own car makers via pension funds. But for that we need cheap energy also on top – supplied perhaps by the EU grid that Germany and Norway are promoting anyway.

      The same investment via the Black gold into carbon less energy creation would bear long term fruits , as mentioned above , but also in combination with housing costs downward just like energy – meaning competitiveness in a low waged economy.

      Then you also have the ability to vary taxes , to create such investment havens , currently a reserved power , well unless your Wales which does have at least some of the powers denied of Scotland.

      The Future for Scotland has never been brighter , more so in removing the oil goggles – the future for it in being a slave to Westminster maisters looks duller and duller each passing day , the last thing I would want to see is it repeated and the fiscal levers ceeded to Europe unless investment comes with it…. after all we could just SCOXIT soon after.

      If we were to take the same route as other members that have joined the EU and accepted the EURO , then we may well see a conversion rate on a new Scottish pound of plus 40 percent – creating the kind of investment wealth needed by the people themselves as stake holders… but that takes negotiation today pre indy.

      But in the meantime it means sovereign currency , and state bank financed by long term loans in order to get there – and one never knows we may not even need to adopt the beer token in the end as a result.

    2. Colin McBain says:

      ‘Thatcher and the Tories decimate our industry then thickos up here use the condition we are left in as an argument for staying in the Union?’

      100% true.

      The most obvious thing to me and Scots in general is that westminster truely could not care less about Scotland, all they want is possession of us, our territory / land, natural resources and our taxes.

      This is how a colony works and your point about the ‘thickos’ (labour in Scotland and their tory pals) is well made. But, they are also duplicitous and and seek money and privilege for their dishonourable services.

      Reid, McConnell, Darling, Watson, Foulkes, Liddel, Browne and Robertson, et al are all examples of placement men and women elavated to the lords for selling their services to another country that seeks to shackle Scotland.

      Time to for Scotland throw off the shackles of british imperialism!

      1. Gaga Glasgow says:

        Colin, I see what you’re saying. But in a sense I can see why Scottish Labour politicians and others want to keep us down and dumb if they are profiting by it. It’s scandalous and treasonous to play that part in relation to your fellow countrymen and women, but it’s also understandable from a dark rational choice model perspective.

        The same can be said of the English wishing to keep us in our box. Of course, we deplore what they do to us, not just because it doesn’t suit us to be subjugated — I reject subjugation everywhere, even where it has no direct bearing on my life. But it’s explicable and very easy to comprehend.

        The people that puzzle and trouble me are the quiet masses who are too scared or too short-sighted to see what is going on. I’m not talking about people who are well off, I’m talking about non-descript fools who just struggle through life — they are sleep walking and nothing seems to wake them.

        Maybe when life up here gets apocalyptically bad, and it might soon, they will rub their eyes, yawn, and agree: screw this for a game of sojurs…

  2. Doubting Thomas says:

    Yet despite all of this calamity and chaos the opinion polls in Scotland remain stubbornly against a further referendum on indy and indeed against indy itself.
    The people of Scotland clearly don’t trust wee Nicola with their future.
    Democracy is a wonderful thing.

      1. Richard MacKinnon says:

        Yes we will. Strange feeling. We agree on something.
        It looks as if Theresa May is going to call Nicola Sturgeon’s bluff.
        Here is my proposal for the question on the indref2 ballot paper; Which parliament should Scotland get rid of Holyrood or Westminster.

    1. Gaga Glasgow says:

      The polls I looked at suggest otherwise.

      When the inflationary holocaust kick in — caused by 1) Brexit related tariffs, 2) rising oil prices, 3) tarrifs vis a vis the US, 4) the fall in the value of sterling and concimiittant price increases, 5) a general rise in the costs of production — I’m sure the polls will look more favourable.

      The thing about public opinion is that it’s manipulated though. The Scottish media, especially the BBC, works flat-out to keep people in the dark. If our media was impartial and honest for 5 minutes we wouldn’t even need a referendum.

      We will see how the Scottish media with its boney fingers gets on when more leaks appear in the UK dam. The fall of communism, Coaucescu, Suharto, and so many others, suggest that lies and propaganda can only do so much.

    2. douglas clark says:

      We really could do with some opinion polls, especially after the Supreme Court ruling. My gut tells me that it may have swung some folk our way, but wiser voices suggest that it may not have.

      Why the lack of polls since the start of this year? I am only aware of one, conducted on behalf of the SNP, which didn’t ask ( or release ) the independence question.

  3. allan thomson says:

    Excellent article

  4. w.b.robertson says:

    strange how being anti-EU makes you anti-immigration according to this article and the current political party line…but it does not necessarily follow or make it true.

    1. c rober says:

      Well some of the rest of us are anti EU membership if it means adopting the Euro – but prefer the option of open borders and trade seen by the UK until brexit , Norway and so on.

      Scotland knows without it means lack of population increase , lack of SKILLED jobs being filled unless its from England shifting the bias further , or it needs to open doors via Westminster for Immigration – which it has said is off the table , end of.

      The reason WHY the UK , or should that be the wan wi the ba “England” and a third of Scotland , wants to leave is for that it is the suppeosed reason for long term austerity , of job losses , of lack of investment , of NHS underspending – due uncontrolled immigration taking what little Westminster is willing to supply and reducing it further.

      To put it short its blaming the EU for successive failures from those it has elected at home – and of course this was , is , achieved through the billionaires control of uk politics , of private banks , and the state propaganda media machine.

      For Scotland therefore it has no option but the rat and sinking ship – where it is the ship leaving the rats.

  5. johnny come lately says:

    Much as I detest admitting it, I have to agree with DT. Scotland appears to have no stomach for indyref2 which unfortunetly has left the SNP with a very weak hand to play. sometimes I find it difficult to believe that so many of our countrymen and women are so weak willed or just plain thick.

    1. c rober says:

      If Scotland has no stomach for Indy II , then just how does that explain the assendency of the SNP in Holyrood , Wesminster – and of course time will tell with the CE in May.

      As we sit here knowing the kind of merde the MSM gets up to , we are seemingly accepting the narrative that there is NO call for INDY ref II – does no one see the irony?

      Its not like we can trust the purveyors of filth is it?

      Simple thing STAND ALL SNP COUNCILLORS on one mandate in MAY – vote for the SNP as a popular vote , FPTP , is a vote for INDY and not just a referendum.

      But that takes balls.

      1. Patrick says:

        Take it easy man ,Theresa May has not head to wearing crown, be ready to celbrate the Independence festival.
        Get up you are kneeling, that’s why they do not realize that they are defeated, and it is our victory.

    2. Gerry says:

      It’s not over yet, and don’t forget the resident Easter European/EU Nationals will be behind us this time !

  6. Lindsay says:

    Having worked in designing opinion polls, I know you can formulate them in any way, tailor th until you get the responses you want. So, they do nothing for me. Remember in January 2014, support for independence was static around 25%, yet by early September the polls had it at 51% (rigged to scare people) and it settled at 45% come the referendum. I believe there is much greater support now. To quote a former prominent politician, “Bring it on!”

    1. Do you mean all polls are rigged and artificial?

      1. c rober says:

        Ive been reading up on the fringe indy crowd about the conspiracy of the INDY ref – one of their biggest arguments is that there was no exit polls? Of course the other being the postal fraud , which as I recently posted can be easier than you would think , but not essentially in the manner they believed happened.

        Polls are crap , and they can be done to suit the end result. IE stand outside a British Legion and ask if they are for indy , or stand outside Labour Hq in Scotland and ask the former politicians selling the big issue.

  7. tartanfever says:

    Enjoyed the article, but get the sense that Brexit and all that chaos and nationalism that is described is maybe not as chaotic as one might think.

    Everything that we witness today has happened as a result of the banking crash of 2008. The economic uncertainty, the collapse of trust in financial regulators, the austerity project have all been deliberately blamed on other elements. We’re told daily that:

    The public spends too much, we have too many immigrants, our population is getting older and costing too much in healthcare. The real threat is Russia, ISIS and Al Qaeda and so on.

    How many times do we hear, ‘jail the corrupt bankers and their greedy corporations’ anymore ? Rarely, if ever.

    Our attention has been deliberately diverted to other issues, and it’s been a very successful ploy. Even to the extent that nobody talks about the AV referendum of 2011 ( a pretty hopeless form of PR it has to be said) but if we had voted for it, the chances are the Brexit referendum wouldn’t have even taken place because the 2015 GE would have resulted in a coalition government which wouldn’t even have promised an EU referendum.

    The diversionary tactics of the UK govt and press have been a deliberate ploy make no mistake and so far it’s working.

    1. c rober says:

      So what then as counter tactics , the likes of the Ak47 threatened by our pundits as a warning?

      Radical thinking is though needed “the metaphorical AK47” , and means action by Holyrood , in crunching the numbers for INDY II , proving the maths , and in punishing the media through creating the proper complaints body not just a self regulated one. It may even mean using the ECHR on the McCrone report , showing the world , and Scottish Unionists , exactly what being British means – thus costs.

  8. Willie says:

    Ah well the High Court has just ruled that Scotland and Northern Ireland government’s have no part to play in the decision to leave the EU.

    Kind of makes you feel democracy is a boot in the baws and that we should all just feck off and take our kicking like the poor scum bags we obviously are.

    And the Good Friday Agreement has just been wiped off the Establishments shoes.

    Hard to see it any other way.

    1. c rober says:

      Willie EIRE has no problem on no border , NI will get what it wanted anyway – so a special deal. But remember Stormont is in flux just now , and EIRE has offered a federal Ireland regardless where NI can be part of an EU federal Ireland. Do we honestly think that the EU will allow an open border between NI , as part of the UK with EIRE being part of the EU? Did they not say no cherry picking – a border between the EU and UK means exactly that.

      Wales , again special deal , no problem and predominately Labour so will toe the party line in accepting the UK and Wales mandate for leaving.

      Scotland though , no deals , and a party that is ever increasingly lying down to its London maisters – not being a thorn in their side. IE ECHR on spying , on BBC , or McCrone report.

      However you are right though , the Supreme court has shown that the devolved parliaments are nothing but jumped up governors , in super councils , operating WM mandates through the sham of UK wide democracy in action.

      But IMO , the action of the Supreme court in circumventing the ACT of Union protection on Scots LAW is reason enough to dissolve it… and has been since the first Scottish Court case tried there a few years ago – but Holyrood accepted it , perhaps rightly so in that only a referendum of the people and not its politicians would prevent such a union ever again.

      The ball is now in Sturgeons court , May elections , mandate for indy and not a referendum – and if the result is in the positive for FPTP for the SNP and Greens then onward to the EU , before those tanks in up once again in George Sq.

  9. Crubag says:

    Good article, but:

    “No doubt the SNP bloc will raise objections and amendments but their own numerical weakness will result in this being washed aside, and no doubt, treated with contempt.”

    Is a general weakness of representative democracy. I don’t know how our trace Labour and Conservative MP reps will vote, but if the SNP vote as a bloc, where does that leave the 40% of Scots who voted leave?

    “This extreme sense of dislocation is causing a crisis that is simultaneously cultural and economic and may lead to the end of Britain as a survivable, defendable entity.”

    Maybe, but we’re going to have to wait to see where things land first. When we were all in the EU, borders, passports, citizenships were being dissolved in a warm bath of Europeaness, and old questions about how Scotland would relate to England were being ruled irrelevant (except for that treacherous reef of currency/debt).

    Now, we’re going to have to see what relationship the UK has with the rEU, before formulating a new appeal placed somewhere on the political spectrum from Iceland to Switzerland to Ireland.

  10. Jack Collatin says:

    I was going along nicely reading this piece, Mike until:
    “The Anglo-Scottish Union survives, for the moment, because, with oil prices low, an independent Scotland divorced from the English economy would be unable to sustain much in the way of a welfare state. ”
    I have commented elsewhere that Scotland is too big, too rich, too clever for England to let go.
    Who pays for our welfare now, when oil prices are low-ish?
    An independent Scotland would flourish, despite the low oil prices red herring.
    Under the UK, and the Red Yellow Blue Tory Budget for Fiscal Responsibility Austerity Cuts, real incomes have decresed by 10% since 2010, and all indications and opinion points to Brexit plunging the English economy into terminal banana republic decline.
    They need to hold onto Scotland and its wealth and talent.
    From now on I shall call a spade a spade. No more referring to England and Wales as ‘Britain’; and certainly not the United Kingdom, a term that is now the sickest of jokes.
    We are talking about an English Brexit, after all.
    In the 2 years and change since the Scottish Referendum, the world has been turned on its head. Those who voted No genuinely in the belief that we would be better together cannot possibly have known what lay ahead. I suspect that many have had a change of heart since.
    I firmly believe that as Brexit unfolds and the harsh realities of Scotland the colony being sucked into the new isolationist English Empire becomes apparent, then many who voted No the last time will change their minds.
    Madness stalks the Corridors of Power Down There.
    You are correct; they have no idea how to tame the tiger which they so rashly unleashed.
    Today’s ruling tells all Scots citizens where they stand. On the sidelines watching helplessly as May and the Three Brexiteers close an Iron Curtain around our country for ever. Europe will be closed to us. We shall have the freedom of movement that Soviets enjoyed under Stalin. None.
    Thanks for a thought provoking piece, Mike.

    1. Patrick says:

      What happen Scot, we are not along! And they are less richer than Scottish.

      He said: “I’ve seen it said just this week in the Spanish press they consider their offer of joint sovereignty to Gibraltar is a ‘generous’ offer that would allow us to remain in the EU through Spain.

      “The people of Gibraltar left the referendum and [the question of] leaving and remaining in the EU behind them on June 24, we are not looking to remain in the EU being partly Spanish.

      “And the only way that somebody could describe that offer as generous would be to be entirely disingenuous. “This is the generosity of the predator that thinks that its prey is finally prone and it’s going to take the price it’s been seeking to extract for the past 300 years.

      “Neither the people of the UK nor the people of Gibraltar are a prey that is on its knees seeking any generous offer from the people of Spain.”

    2. Patrick says:

      Peoples, like doctors, should prefer to foresee the disease, or cure it in its roots, to let it flourish in all its strength to fight the evil devised by its own guilt, with bloody and desperate means.
      This republic, because of the excessive worship of wealth, has fallen, without any of the obstacles of tradition, in the inequality, injustice and violence of the monarchist countries.

      The rancor of the country’s workers, as they were victims of the greed and inequality of the feudal peoples, burst out with more faith in the freedom they hope to see succeed in the social as it triumphs in the political.

      The hatred of injustice was exchanged in hatred for its representatives.

      Once the evil is recognized, the generous spirit comes to seek remedy: once the peaceful resource is exhausted, the generous spirit, where it pains the pain of others like the worm in the live wound, goes to the violent remedy.

      Did not Desmoulins say so? “In order to embrace freedom, what does it matter if it is on piles of corpses?”

  11. PDS says:

    Thanks for writing this. On days like today some of us need to know we are not alone in our rage, despair and terrible sense of powerlessness. Yes, we need energy and direction to continue the fight for self determination, but sometimes we need to face up to just how thorough and unequivocal our subordination is. There’s no avoiding it this week but the accompanying rage and despair can be difficult to bear.

    1. Alf Baird says:

      Take solace in the fact that all Scotland ever needs to secure our independence is for a majority of Scottish MP’s to find the courage to up and leave the English Parliament for good and to use the sovereignty the Scottish people gave them to do so. If they do this before end March 2017 then they will also ensure Scotland remains in the EU anaw.

  12. bringiton says:

    As Westminster has already found out,doing business with the Trump administration cannot be done in secret,just ask CNN.
    Their evident desire to become the defacto 51st state will
    come at a price which the Tories may find unacceptible.
    Secrecy,deception and lies are how they like to conduct themselves but will find that far more difficult once in the orbit of America’s media.

    1. c rober says:

      Actually it would be ironic being the 51st state , the very one America rejected in its war for its own independence becomes its bitch.

      1. Crubag says:

        “The distance of America from the seat of government, besides, the natives of that country might flatter themselves, with some appearance of reason too, would not be of very long continuance. Such has hitherto been the rapid progress of that country in wealth, population, and improvement, that in the course of little more than a century, perhaps, the produce of American might exceed that of British taxation. The seat of the empire would then naturally remove itself to that part of the empire which contributed most to the general defence and support of the whole.” – Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations

        1. Patrick says:

          Do not worry that Churchil’s tobacco is turned off, and the Lady of Tin no one wants it, We have the same language, but the same principle separate us from UK, American love Scottish and the Unicorn. She comes to America to form a new world police, and american don’t want to be the police of the world.

  13. SleepingDog says:

    It appears that constitutionally the British Empire still exists.

    However, its subjects appear largely unaware of its true history. I’ve been reading David Olusoga’s Black and British (also a BBC documentary series), and he says that Enoch Powell’s expressed a view that Empire had somehow not changed a British (really English) core over four centuries.

    The scale of the historical silences is amazing, in the sense Michel-Rolph Trouillot uses in Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History, “one ‘silences’ a fact or individual as a silencer silences a gun”. He talks about how difficult it was for nations to accept the nation produced by the successful slave revolt of San Domingue/Haiti, and (perhaps more optimistically) how the Columbus-as-celebrated-discoverer myth is being challenged. The British imperial myth is being clung onto more than most European countries, perhaps because the organs of secrecy and historical editing have been malignantly growing all the while.

    I believe that the two issues of Trident and British Imperialism are indeed connected, as the article says. As Elaine Scarry in Thermonuclear Monarchy: Choosing Between Democracy and Doom says, the nature of nuclear weapons (or similar) requires a monarchical command and control system that bypasses and destroys democracy in the host nation, in areas of policy unrelated to military or foreign affairs too. The suspicion is that elites embrace nuclear weapons because it elevates them above democratic control. In the UK, this means retaining the full royal prerogative powers which can be exercised by the Prime Minister as if they had the executive powers of an unchecked President.

    The habitual use and abuse of such powers, regardless of whether nuclear weapons are used, threatened or even work at all is what drains democracy out of government (I paraphrase her more eloquent argument).

    On this reading, nuclear weapons are indeed defending the British Empire and its establishment, but not from foreign foes, but from its own people.

  14. Cosmo says:

    ‘Greater Britain was a new way of imagining the English race – a ten-million-strong, worldwide realm dispersed across the “white” colonies. It was a global commonwealth, but emphatically not one composed of rootless cosmopolitans. Deep ties, fostered by trade and migration, held what the historian James Belich calls “the Anglo-world” together. It helped equip the English with an account of their place in the world that would survive at least until the 1956 Suez crisis, and it was plundered again by latter-day Eurosceptics as they developed a vision of the UK as an integral part, not of the EU, but of an “Anglosphere”, the liberal, free-market, parliamentary democracies of the English-speaking world.”’

    Nice to see the facade of ‘civic’ nationalism finally being laid to rest.

    1. Graeme Purves says:

      That is a critique of “kith-and-kin” Anglo-British nationalism.

  15. Alf Baird says:

    Lack of respect calls for a different strategy. The Scottish Government should insert a clause in the referendum bill going through Holyrood to the effect that only those born in and living in Scotland are entitled to vote in Ref2, just as David Cameron did with Brexit, and as most other states do as standard when constitutional questions are being decided. This would remove around one third of No voters, thereby guaranteeing a Yes vote.

    1. Crubag says:

      From recollection of the opinion polls, I don’t think that was enough to change the 2014 result.

      The EU referendum had: “British, Irish and Commonwealth citizens aged 18 or over who are resident in the UK or Gibraltar will be eligible to vote. UK citizens resident overseas will also be eligible to vote, provided they have been registered to vote at a UK address in the last 15 years”

      From the census, there’s an estimated 750,000 Scots now living elsewhere in the UK. I doubt they’d all meet the 15-year test, but I imagine a few hundred thousand would.

    2. douglas clark says:

      I assume that that is intended to remove English born folk from voting? It would also disenfranchise other EU citizens. Frankly, if you live here, then your right to vote in all elections, including the BREXIT one should be beyond debate. We should also enshrine the rights of 16/17 year olds to vote too.

      1. Alf Baird says:

        The ‘Rest-UK’ population share of the Scottish population may now be 15% (possibly more) and with a very high probability of a No vote from this group (80%+ according to voting intention survey) and high likelihood to vote, suggests this group alone may account for around one third of all No voters.

        1. c rober says:

          Google Luxembourg voting rights- be prepared to be shocked.

          If the maths crunchers for the SNP havent run the slide rule already about vote prevention then its hardly surprising , they still get elected on failure. One just needs to look at the American PE to see how that removal of minorities operates via the voters register.

          Our nation was handed over to repay the debts of the few on the backs of the many – its still the same today , except we are since colonised and indoctrinated through fear to accept it being the least painful option. When we are not they send tanks into George Sq , or poisoned chalices to our elected officials to implement on us as their governors destroying them , some reckon mi5 to fiddle the postal ballots , and on top of state sponsored propaganda.

          Whats next for fiddling the result – removing pensioners?

          As for census pre low oil price the number was higher than 15 percent in Edinburgh , Shetland , Aberdeen , one only needs to correlate with the voting percentages for NO and see the data matches , ie the higher the no vote in a particular area the higher the income and number of English born. So it is a mathematically accurate argument. However it then risks removing EU citizens and other immigrants in the same manner.

          There was plenty of forensics done after indy – whether it is useful is the question.

          And we are forgetting the double lock too , which may even be a triple one for granting any new ref.

          1. Alf Baird says:

            Luxembourg, Brexit etc appear to reflect the global norm; it is Scotland that is out of sync.

  16. c rober says:

    Unsurprisingly the Beeb has started ramping the rhetoric – along with the usual culprits.

    Two links I have included – one with the recent “your fools” if you throw away UK trade for Independence , totally omitting the UK “import” to Scotland trade figures , and the other showing on the same website from 2014 which does show the trade imbalance from RUK being just over 20 percent more than exports.

    Perhaps Mike theres a piece in this for you?

    Its the same with EIRE – UK imports being higher than exports , thus biased trade.

    This is the true reason why brexit – the playing field is just a little more fairer than England likes.

    Yep they need us more than they are saying we need them! Yet still the State sponsored progaganda machine rolls on , like tanks into George Sq.

    1. douglas clark says:

      Just to say that on your first BBC link, there is this humdinger:

      “Conservatives emphasise the importance of sales from Scotland to the rest of the UK – four times greater than the value of sales to the rest of the UK in 2015.”

      Absolutely outstanding increase in exports there!

      1. c rober says:

        Seen that one Douglas , one would be forgiven for thinking it was me that wrote that sentence given how often I make a mistake.

    2. c rober says:

      The very idea that a state controlled media is unbiased is laughable , at no point in SBBC delivering the “news” does it deliver pundits to offer opinion other than its own – the opinions are that of the reporter , or their masters , and as such not open for discussion or invalidation. Thus the very definition of propaganda.

      In this instance it is using the SNP information as their own weapon to prove that the EU , or Indy , is unviable via that data. But they offer no information on uk imports into Scotland which they should if supposedly unbiased , or is one to consider then that the SNP never had it on the same paper?

      Nowhere in this weeks news does it mention the trade bias IN RETURN FOR those Scottish exports to the rest of the UK. Nor does it mention the relative balance between ROTW , EU and individual members trade with Scotland.

      A biased trade is therefore tarrifs regardless , and a reason to reject it until it is balanced.

      Of course what is also missing is that Scottish exports are weighted towards using English ports – thus subsidizing English jobs?

      We are tenants and serfs.

  17. douglas clark says:

    Perhaps the English will come to love tonic. For a ridiculously high percentage of the UK’s gin production is in Scotland. The idea that trade would cease is fascinating. Presumably the UK will be unable to export, either visible or invisible trade to the EU? That it would not merely be a question of tariffs but one of boycott?

    Personally, I will miss Stilton.

    1. c rober says:

      Douglas , I take it your old enough to remember the port blockades in France?

      I am surprised that the likes of Scottish businesses have been so quiet about brexit that export to the EU – but then again just how many were on the yes bandwagon in 14?

      They should think again then about which is the winning horse , if not the jockey , and get their arse weight into a special deal for Scotland – just like the banks have done for London , NI or even the car makers of the North East of England.

  18. douglas clark says:

    c rober,

    To be frank the only folk that the Tories appear to listen to, or understand, are bankers. And the only thing they appear to worry about is UKIP. The thirs leg, NI, is possibly explained as it’s current status being the result of a treaty.

    Scotland has many diverse exporters. They certainly ought to deal with their EU position on a business by business basis, but seem to allow some, ahem – zoomers – to speak on their behalf.

    OTOH Business for Scotland is pretty good.

  19. c rober says:

    Busting the fake news of MSM.

    The last couple of weeks the media have been outing a poll suggesting that there is no interest in Scottish Indy II. I decided to check up on this , looking for patient zero in order to prove “fake news”.

    The poll that BBC Scotland decided to run with was based on one by the Sunday Times. And as we know thats the billionaire Murdochs empire , and links directly to the Tories , and as many already say that BBCS is also Tory controlled – repeated via lazy hacks and governors , in the normal media sphere as fact.

    That poll was widely reported in headlines as 51 percent of Scotland says no , in the form of “the majority of Scotland”.

    However that poll was based on 1020 people – and unless I have lost 99.999 percent of the population of Scotland doon the back of the sofa , then in no way does it represent the majority of Scotland…. actually it represents the will of those that control our country to spread the lies , not the poll at all , and just like a virus , where chemical warfare to disperse it is via fake news.

Help keep our journalism independent

We don’t take any advertising, we don’t hide behind a pay wall and we don’t keep harassing you for crowd-funding. We’re entirely dependent on our readers to support us.

Subscribe to regular bella in your inbox

Don’t miss a single article. Enter your email address on our subscribe page by clicking the button below. It is completely free and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.