The Unelected are Our New Saviours

Scotland had previously been understood as a ‘Liminal Land’ – stuck halfway, mid-process – between the states of devolution and independence – between something and sovereignty. Democracy as a ‘form of becoming’ was understood by Donald Dewar who was this week referenced by Michael Russell as he spoke in the debate which rejected the EU Withdrawal Bill at Holyrood. Re-opening the Scottish Parliament on 1 July 1999 Dewar described the moment as: “a new stage on a journey began long ago and which has no end”.

But if 1999 seemed a ‘watershed’ full of uncontested liberal hopes, 2018 feels like a desperate defence of modest democratic gains. In a way we are back where we came from: where the SNP, Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish Greens are in consensus in defence of Holyrood representing the mass of the Scottish people, and the Conservatives are in snarling opposition and contempt. After MSPs voted by 93 to 30 against consent to the Withdrawal Bill, Scottish Brexit Minister Mike Russell demanded: “The UK Government must respect the will of the Parliament.” Everyone kept a straight face. Scotland has twice rejected the Brexit proposition, overwhelmingly in the referendum and overwhelmingly again this week by its representatives who had a chance to look at the unholy shambles in more detail.

But if Scotland remains in a state of undefined flux, England-Britain has now joined the party. Previously held as a sort of rock of solid certainty , England-Britain now seems deep in the throes of a bizarre shape-shifting and decline.

As the famously plaintive “Who Shall Speak for England?” is replaced with the equally urgent “Who will walk Meghan up the aisle?” England-Britain is suffering a series of confused political changes and seizures. Change is everywhere:

The Lords – once (recently) understood as a persistent relic “soon” to be consigned to history by some reforming British government somehow somewhere despite 100 years of evidence that This Was Not Going to Happen – has been reinvented as the new the bastion of democracy. In 2018 the Unelected are Our New Saviours, whether its Meghan and Harry, or the Lords who are somehow somewhere going to ‘Stop Brexit’, or the new King Across the Water (Miliband, D), or the newly resuscitated Blair, these figures are rolled-out for media adoration with some vague notion that they have a popular agenda, agency or vision.

On not-so-close examination this appears not to be the case.

Nor is this just all a big meaningless pantomime. As the Daily Mail foams at “traitors in ermine” there is a real threat that the reform that comes down the line is not the Ever Promised democratic reforms pedalled out by Labour and Liberal voices for decades (whether its botched PR, evergreen federalism, mythical northern assemblies, or House of Lords reforms) but enhanced centralisation of the state in knee-jerk response to the attempts to take the edge off the Brexit crisis.

If the House of Lords isn’t reformed in line with the Daily Mail’s war-cry it will be stuffed with Tories. Heads you lose, Tails you lose.

If England-Britain is in full blown crisis it knows what to do in such circumstances: get the bunting out.

This weekend sees a new outing of the Diana Cult with its new offshoot, Meghan and Harry replacing the vanilla Kate and William model which flourished briefly but then collapsed in disappointment. The sort of change people can expect from the Unelected Saviours are things like homeless people being replaced with royalists sleeping rough wrapped in red white and blue and clutching Meghan merchandise like saintly relics.  In this new order fantasy you can be a Feminist Princess and the Invictus Games is a progressive idea. The Unelected Saviours have better teeth than UKIP/Black Plague but their agenda isn’t as shiny as Nichola Witchell might have you hope.

If change is everywhere it is also nowhere to be seen.

England-Britain suffers not just from Celebrity Feudalism but GoldFish Capitalism, as this weeks re-nationalisation of the east coast railways showed. The line, last taken into public ownership in 2009  – will be pimped out again as soon as possible in an endless loop of dysfunctional politics, endlessly pursuing a failed economic doctrine as the ideological obsession of privatisation goes on and on despite a mountain of evidence against it.

This is a painfully slow learning curve.

So as racism becomes normalised and economic failure consolidated, democratic institutions are ignored while feudal ones are venerated. We are told to ignore the real racism of the day because the tokenism of the royals is on show, and they’ve had an upgrade. As Anthony Barnett writes: “Brexit is a hard right project, framed by xenophobia and certain to generate adverse international conditions that will frustrate any egalitarian expansion of the UK’s economy.” That’s to put it mildly, now shut up and eat your Coronation Chicken.

Comments (15)

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  1. Jack Meoffalot says:

    “…endlessly pursuing a failed economic doctrine as the ideological obsession of privatisation goes on and on despite a mountain of evidence against it.” – I quite agree. The UK should nationalise all industries, especially agriculture, food service, and all grocery stores and restaurants. Countries such as Venezuela and North Korea have achieved spectacular results by doing so.

    1. So Jack would you say the railways privatisation has worked out a treat?

      What bank you with?

  2. Big Jock says:

    Or perhaps just a thought.

    Is this the last hoorah of the elite and upper classes. Brexit England will not be able to afford a Royal Family.

  3. Big Jock says:

    Jack I am assuming your comment was sarcastic, but you can correct me, if I have misinterpreted your flippancy.

    Why do people always select the extremist version of state control when talking about nationalisation. Germany has a national railway, Scotland has a national health service. National means owned by the public not the government, at least in western democracies it does.

    You can destroy any conversation by quoting extreme examples of anything. The extreme version of capitalism is the US where people can’t afford treatment at hospitals. The capitalist ideal is destroying peoples lives. We need to make life for all citizens easier, not only those that can afford it.

    Quoting North Korea and Venezuela is ignorant , thoughtless and immature.

  4. Crubag says:

    “the ideological obsession of privatisation goes on and on despite a mountain of evidence against it”

    The liberalisation of markets, including healthcare (which has been defined as an economic activity), is European Union orthodoxy, though more or less advanced in Member States.

    Healthcare predates state provision, so it’s perhaps not surprising that there is a continuing private element in every country. GP services in the UK, for instance, have mostly been provided by private contractors.

  5. disillusioned says:

    But what’s the solution?

    The polls haven’t shifted and the majority in Scotland still favour subservience. All week I’ve encountered people that soak up the wedding propaganda and act like 17th Century peasants.

    Is it the media indoctrination, the education system or lack of intelligence/low IQ that causes them to behave in this way?

    On your knees serfs…

  6. Big Jock says:

    Dissilusioned.

    I don’t think these sycophantic people’s brains operate the way ours do. They have an involuntary reflex to smile when the Royals appear. Have you ever found yourself smiling involuntarily.

    These people do it to order. The BBC shows them a picture and they respond. They don’t think , hey wait a minute , these people are strangers, they’re millionaires, they’re unelected, they’re corrupt.

    Years of brainwashing to be subservient.

  7. William Ross says:

    The “Unelected are our New Saviours”! What an exquisite irony from ultra-Remainer Mike Small.
    He wants to deliver Scotland and the UK into the clutches of Juncker, Barnier and Selmayr, who are elected by no-one and accountable to no-one. They are the people who beat the living daylights of out of Greece, who bluntly state that there is “no democracy against the EU Treaties” and who ignore basic human rights in Catalonia.

    Brexit is inevitably a hard right project is it Mike? George Galloway, Dennis Skinner, David Jamieson, Steve Arnott and Tony Benn ( were he alive) would be surprised to hear that. Is there something congenital about the British people ( or do you actually mean “English” people) that means they they cannot be persuaded by your hard left policies? The EU is going to save you is it?
    I would doubt it. The EU is run by the European People’s Party, —- yes, the one that no-one in Falkirk has even heard of. It likes austerity Mike. It likes austerity very much.

  8. Emmylgant says:

    I doubt the EU is the answer at least not as it functions now.
    But Independance from England-Britain ASAP would pre-empt perhaps, the chaos and hardships that the Tories will unleash to get back to feudal Britania.
    The Scots can evaluate, debate, and negotiate how they want to live, once they have a free press that concentrates on information and not drivel, propaganda or outright lies.
    Enough already!

  9. Thomas William Dunlop says:

    “So as racism becomes normalised and economic failure consolidated, democratic institutions are ignored while feudal ones are venerated. ”

    Did it ever changed? I did not notice

  10. Josef Ó Luain says:

    The notion of a “free press” is a rhetorical conjuring trick which reduces to: if you own a printing-press your freedom to print whatever you believe must lie beyond question. What you choose to think and transform into print on your own press is surely your own business. A reasonable enough argument – at the time of the European Enlightenment, I suppose.

  11. Willie says:

    It is nearly beyond belief the extent to which the MSM go into overdrive reporting on things like this royal wedding.

    Wall to wall incessant coverage all in the most adoring terms. They’d even have you believe that the entire world was cebrating with mass street parties around the globe.

    Let them eat cake and this was another show to reinforce that dictum.

  12. Abulhaq says:

    The English establishment thanks to the celebrityfest on Saturday has simply shape shifted into another version of the English establishment. In the meantime the National Movement and its political ‘leadership’ in our country seems in the grip of stasis or inertia or a death of ideas. The dog appears to have lost sight of the rabbit.
    It took the Easter Rising to kickstart the Irish nationalist cause we too may need something of the sort. A constitutional crisis of some kind is rumoured.
    Don’t get those hopes up that sharp Scottish teeth and claws might draw Establishment blood.

    1. David Allan says:

      “It took the Easter Rising to kickstart the Irish nationalist cause we too may need something of the sort”.

      So many Scots drowning in a National Apathy who aspire to continue to choose to remain in the mire for whom mediocrity and malaise are the accepted norm.

      Aye a Momentous Kick-start is definitely needed. A wake-up call that shakes an Inert Scotland off it’s knees.

      It frustrates me that I can’t see an event that may achieve this coming any time soon.

  13. Derek Bryce says:

    I’d very much like to know about the comparative speed with which Mrs Windsor nee Markle, an obscure American actor whose net contribution to our society and economy will be to be some hyper-privileged royal redhead’s wife, has or will receive UK citizenship in comparison with other immigrants. Will she be hounded, harassed and denied healthcare and housing before being locked up in a Home Office detention centre prior to deportation a la the Windrush generation? Will she endure the same wilfully cruel mistreatment as her fellow American immigrants, the Felbers, who have actually invested c.£400K in a much needed business venture in Inverness? Or the Australian Brain family who underwent similar harassment after settling in Scotland under a graduate visa, since revoked post-facto? Or even Canadian schoolteacher, Sine Halfpenny, the only qualified applicant for a Gaelic language post in Argyll, offered the job but unable to accept because the UK govt refuses to grant her a visa? Small wonder that the state-sanctioned hyperventilation for this medieval freakshow didn’t extend much further north than Carlisle.

    … but never mind all that. Look! Tiaras! Celebs! Flowers! Frocks! For “frock” sake, gimme strength …

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