Our Political Shambles from Across the Pond

Bonnie Prince Bob – @nonideefixe is disillusioned in New York.

I’m in Brooklyn right now, in a place called Bed-Stuy, it’s holding out to gentrification (just) but will ultimately, just like the surrounding areas, succumb completely to Hipster twattery. Biggie Smalls, Ol’ Dirty Bastard and Jay-Z all came from here and Spike Lee’s ‘Do The Right Thing’ was filmed here, but in spite of my desire to focus on this fascinating and exciting environment, I am unfortunately thinking more about Scotland and so, I shall write about Scotland and perhaps for the first time in quite some time, attempt to articulate my apathy and general dissatisfaction towards the current socio-political climate in the country of my birth.

I didn’t really think much about my Scottish identity prior to the Independence referendum of 2014, but ultimately as the campaign grew in size and exposure and marched towards the September vote, I, like most people, inevitably became engaged.

I won’t condescend, the truth is, the last six months of the campaign were genuinely positive, as the summer months unfolded, the challenge towards Tory Britain, (at that time presided over by the insufferably smug Cameron and his throng of public school bastards) was irresistible.

Much has been written about the opposing campaigns so I shan’t bother enthusing about this, but quite simply the No campaign was dictatorial, oppressive, patronising, dull and dismal and The Scottish Independence campaign was a jamboree of colour in comparison. Watching ermine honoured careerists squawking in panic at the thought of actual people altering the status quo via democracy was delicious and whilst it was true that the claims of milk and honey made by those seeking to rip the British constitution to shreds were unlikely to have solid footing, they were presented against a torrent of fiction and fear peddled by a miserable pro Union campaign, orchestrated by unimaginative paid shills who for the right price would have done the bidding of any paymaster.

In 2014, the vote for independence was a vote for democracy, for new ideas, for society, a new society, yes, in 2014 there were saltires and bagpipes, but there was thorough political debate and explosive civic communication, there was a sense of participation, there was political hyperbole but there was also substance, in 2014 the vote for independence was a vote for culture, a fresh culture, an exciting and advancing culture and in 2014 the campaign for Scottish Independence was lost, and it’s time that the people who lost, realise what that defeat actually means.

The broken record of pro independence rhetoric becomes staler by the day. Scottish Independence in its current form, is a rotting corpse. There would be no dignity in jostling the body of a deceased loved one around, draping them in colours and tying them to your unicorn bicycle to lead the next march but that’s exactly what is happening. And far from encouraging potential converts, they are simply coalescing existing support and alienating more moderate supporters.

The sanctimony and dissonant irony of the Pro Independence faithful, insisting that their flags and their marches are of greater moral virtue than the bams with flutes and sashes is at best embarrassing, at worst disturbing. What is the political ideology of a flag and a guy dressed as Wallace and bagpipes blaring? The political ideology of this is zero. It is myopic nationalism. I have witnessed many intelligent and informed thinkers defend it as a wonderful, peaceful display of pro independence voices but I disagree. The swelling ranks of the saltire brigade is Nationalism 101, a base-level, meaningless hubristic display of national identity and in time it will manifest everything that is historically manky about nationalist movements.

I can hear the incandescent outrage already, but my point is this, where is the culture? Where, amongst the cosplay and the saltire’s and the slogans is the culture?

Is a wistful singalong of Caledonia, endless speeches about the evil British state or dewey-eyed accounts of a post Indy Narnia, all the cultural nourishment we require to spur us into lancing the chains of empire and sailing our vessel onto Loch Freedom?

The National, proudly announced itself as the only dedicated daily newspaper to fully endorse independence, initially positioning as a pseudo metropolitan Scottish liberal Guardian/Indy affair, it has descended into a gaudy quotidian Buzz Feed.

Is this a beacon of new Scottish Culture?

Throughout the 70’s and 80’s, the class tensions and seismic societal shifts in culture were at least portrayed on television. Screenwriters and dramatists such as Trevor Griffiths, Alan Bleasdale, Peter McDougall and Alan Clark amongst many others, crafted authentic stories that reflected the times. Comedy and satire, lampooning all sides was regular.

Is a three-part nostalgia doc really all that is required to capture the division and lasting impact of the most significant event in 300 years of Scottish history?

Will the Weegie cringe factory on Pacific Quay attempt to address the Post-Indy schism, through sardonic, innovative and ambitious programming? (No).

The SNP are out of ideas. I can still hear Nicola’s bombastic, tub-thumping speech after the Scottish electorate slaughtered the Labour Party for their mendacious, crawling smeagle act during the independence campaign, declaring that: “the SNP will hold Westminster’s feet to the fire”.

How did the SNP roasting go down at Westminster? Was there a dramatic increase in foot scalding admissions in the hospices of Londinium?

Sinn Fein’s impressive and consistent display of political integrity of refusing to acknowledge that farce of an institution, becomes stratospheric when compared to the crappy stunt by the SNP group, who in a belligerent display of ‘Scots solidarity’ pissed off out the chamber for a lunch break before returning again for afternoon tea. In truth, the whole lot of them looked quite cheery and comfortable in their new home, and as the electoral guillotine fell on a few members during Theresa May’s bungling act of self abuse in 2017, you could sense the relief that many had kept their cushy little spaces on the green benches. After all, London’s a great City and an MP’s pay is not to shabby, not too shabby at all.

But then that’s the drill isn’t it? Despite the deification by the acolytes, the SNP are a political party, and being a political party are subject to all the standard and universal machinations of all political parties.

The glue of INDEPENDENCE might be enough of a front to distract the hardcore membership and impervious INDY ABOVE FOOD AND WATER brigade but the masquerade is wearing extremely thin and it’s pretty obvious that there are power struggles and conflicts ripping through the Yellow and black gang, the inevitable circus that will unfold with Alex Salmond’s trial over the 12 charges of OH LOOK A SQUIRREL!

Who do these charlatans take us for?

Are those of us who who favoured Indy in 2014 really so committed that we will immediately Spring from our bunks ‘get our coats’ and descend the station pole to ride the Indy Engine into battle, just because the Nicola claims that #itstime ?

Why exactly is ‘it time’?

Brexit?

The new Indyref is predicated on potential as yet unknown outcomes of Brexit and there is no actual date or guarantee of this new Indyref, so #itstime suddenly begins to look more like #itssortoftime, which one must concur holds little if any appeal in regards to building a comprehensive campaign.

But, I digress, you see, it’s easily done, to confuse one aspect of Scottish Independence (the well meaning thousands who flood the streets and march wi bunnet’s oan thur heids n thistle’s in thur herts,) and the self appointed administrators of Scotland’s destiny ‘THE SNP’.

Where then, are we to find the inspirational culture that precedes any significant political or societal revolution?

Where can we witness the dazzling defiant acts of anti-establishment Scottish expression?

Where, within the new sub DFS sofa #ItsTime YES campaign, are we to find the necessary venom, to usurp an ethically and morally bankrupt cabal of establishment gentry, who, wealthy beyond comprehension, are fully in control of the dominant media?

An establishment, incidentally, that will annihilate, any attempt to politely request Sovereignty.

But We spit in the face of Westminster!

AYE! Right enough! We gob in the puss of an institution where the ‘Stronger for Scotland’ gang perch on the benches and want a wee shot at being the speaker….

Seriously?

What vision of the future proposed by the Stronger for Scotland crew could spur an artist like myself to engage my anger, invoke my inner Vladislav Surkov and deploy my skills to create some problematic dissident art in pursuit of a new Scotia?

Is Andrew Wilson’s Edinburgh Park Standard Life Murrie & Currie Growth Commission in actual fact a cunningly disguised anarchists cook book?

Perhaps the truth is closer to this, in the post truth, post politics, post intelligence epoch of absurdity that we currently find ourselves, the SNP don’t know what to do, but then again neither do the Tories, Labour, or anyone else for that matter. INDYREF2 is a red bus with different writing, in an age of no ideas and big talk, is it any wonder that THE SNP have abandoned logic and, in an effort to distract and divert attention from their internal affairs and in a preemptive strike against forthcoming scandal, have opted to roll the dice.

Will their gamble pay of? My own opinion is quite simply no, it will not.

Not without the artists.

 

Comments (45)

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  1. Michael says:

    Brilliant. Project distraction has been working very well these past few years. Where is the indy substance! 🙁 Bonnie Prince Bob: What do you think of the work done by Commonweal?

  2. Millsy says:

    Well , what are you doing ?
    Gathering an army of ‘artists’ to strike fear into the enemy ? Perhaps talk your way to independence ?
    Not sure if the ‘enemy’ in your eyes is the SNP , the AUOB marchers or the London establishment .

  3. Alan Bissett says:

    “Hi! I’m here in Brooklyn, to tell the tens of thousands of folks harmlessly marching for Scottish independence in the streets back home that you’re no better than the Orange Order. You’re not artists so you just don’t get it. Bye!”

    1. Bob says:

      you should start an abbreviation service Alan! Delighted I got my message across.
      BPB

      1. Wullie says:

        On first reading I thought this was egotistical tripe so read it again, I was right the first time!

        1. Alan Bissett says:

          Not sure how Bonnie Prince Billy gets away with deriding Saltires and Wallace ‘cosplay’ when he’s named himself after Scotland’s most famous Jacobite, but there we are.

          1. DialMforMurdo says:

            Bonnie Prince Billy?

            Ach well, I used to think you were part of some dynastic liquorice empire…

            Mayhaps you have some exciting tricks up your jumper that will excite the troops and distract them from the semi-competent, middle management arrivistes that have become polished face of the Independence movement.

            Why not put some of Andrew Wilson’s inspirational quotes on a banner and march with it? How about this snappy little number on currency:

            “The inability to forecast what would happen with any certainty, and the risks to everyday matters of such import, would have led to a sense of potential uncertainty, risk and chaos. There would be winners and losers, but people would not be able to assess where they stood.”

            Fucking sexy or what?

          2. Angus says:

            Jacobites were actually Tories who wanted to restore absolutism in line with French Bourbons and their imperial claims on Europe during the Austrian wars of Succession. Scotland was a sideshow compared to elsewhere like Silesia and Pomerania and Prussia (whom the British sided with against France). And those Highlanders then made up the bulk of British loyalists in the US war of independence. Hence highland Scots, unlike the Ulster Scots (Scots-Irish – Hill-Billies), they were seen as fifth columnists by the Revolutionaries.

  4. Lindsey Spowage says:

    You make some valid points. But there’s more to the drive for independence than either the SNP or the marchers. These are the trickiest times. There are intelligent radicals in most fields of endeavor (especially the environment and of course including the arts) striving to shape a new Scotland but there is of course little sight of this in the media. There will be an independent Scotland and each wave of campaigning will be as informative and analytical as you saw the 2014 campaign to be. I have particular faith in our young voters and our new Scots.

  5. craig devine says:

    The writer to me comes across as one of those globetrotting hipster twats with their ‘international’ accents he so derides, hence his belligerence towards the Pro-Indy Marchers in Glasgow- but are the Wallace, ‘See You Jimmy’ wigs, Tartan Spec memes not self-reflexive irony, like Celtic fans calling themselves ‘Fenian Army’, or other groups who use derogatory othering slurs as a cultural weapon, as in creatively assimilating the Kailyard tropes as an ironic prop ( hence at once neutralizing their othering power & widening the pool of mimetic expression) as a kind of reversal of the cringe- or am I reading to much into it? But all that is beside the point- to compare ‘a wonderful, peaceful display of pro independence voices’ of the Yes Marchers in the same context as the Orange Order is at worst embarrassingly deranged and at best provocatively disturbingly offensive, no doubt deliberately so ( because that of course is what provocative ‘artists do). What’s wrong with bagpipes? I’m no fan of flags myself but I find nothing toxic or offensive or overtly ideological about the Saltire either- I think it would take a particularly paranoid mindset to perceive any toxic nationalist exceptionalism in a St Andrews flag. I fail to see how this sort of diverse, colourful, good-natured weekend march populated by such a wide spectrum of different democratic groups and independence supporters would ‘alienate more moderate supporters’- if these moderates ( possibly international jet-setting Scots Brooklynite hipsters) are so jittery around old folk, children, small dogs and vicious studenty types, and sees them as obnoxious as Orange Lodge fascists then maybe they need to all go for a long lie down in a dark quiet room for a while- maybe with time the paranoia will subside? Who know. But then maybe I’m wrong, maybe the marchers, the ‘swelling ranks of the Saltire Brigade’ really are fascists bootboys in disguise and will rapidly devolve to the sort of ‘Nationalism 101’ we see among ethnic far-right groups in the Balkans- maybe secretly they are all neo-Nazi’s, violent homophobes and radical right-wingers and are just cleverly pretending to be tolerate liberal progressive Europeans who believe in a pro-immigration Social Democrat Scotland? Rip Sturgeon’s mask off and really we’ll see another Le Pen or Salvini, because that’s where all nationalisms lie- where have I heard that before? Oh shut up Craig, you know nothing you’re not an artiste. And even if artists do have something important to say about the the movement for self-determination- does anyone believe the BBC or STV or any other channel are going to greenlight anything remotely controversial or truly subversive? Even UK wide we will never see another Alan Clark or Peter McDougall, never mind in Scotland, because we live in the most culturally conservative times ( almost in some ways akin to the reactionary 1950s) for more than half a century- instead BBC Scotland Channel gives us Farmers Country, Football, News, some more rural pish, Fisher men in Danger, Football, Landward, old Scottish Comedy repeats…just another form of Kailyard cringe carefully controlled by our Imperial masters at the Beeb. They will never sanction anything that remotely speaks Truth to Power. But that is not the fault of those who joyously participated in a beautifully civic march in support of Independence.

  6. scrandoonyeah says:

    What is an artist?

  7. Alan Crerar says:

    As an artist myself, can I point out to the writer of this overlong (at least, it looks it, I stopped reading after the first few paras), that in a hypothetical post-apocalyptic world when the call goes out to survivors to help rebuild the world, artists will be just below estate agents and traffic wardens in the list of usefullness. Was there really any need to demonstrate this fact so ably with this completely useless piece. (It even has at least one totally redundant apostrophy!) Oh well, at least artists won’t be first to be eaten, since we are all so obviously full of shit.

    1. Jo says:

      That made me chuckle Alan. Thanks.

  8. Allan says:

    I actually quite like this.

    It’s about time the SNP were jolted out of complacency and I am really uncomfortable with the fannish (fannyish?) attitude of a bunch of dweebs creating cringe-worthy hero worshipping memes of Nicola Sturgeon or John Swinney (ffs!).

    I guarantee there will be a few SNP MPs sitting there desperately hoping Indy never occurs and takes away their £77 grand-a-year salary.

  9. Angus says:

    Good article taking on the SNP establishment and established sclerotic Nat Yes arts scene . Ideally, I’d prefer no ‘culture’ in nationalism as it isn’t therefore ‘civic’. But if there must be, I much prefer a more cosmopolitan radical outward (non- nationalist but ‘national’) culture to challenge for Indy. Culture in indy is fine if it distances itself from ‘the Party’ and those behind it… remember RBS George Mathewson (Fred the Shred’s boss and mentor who turned RBS into an investment bank) and Jim Macoll and Souter and so on I doubt are inclined to build the Indy that most activists want as it’s no different from UK PLC.

    Well said that man.

  10. Alan says:

    Where were you before 2014 ? Knockin on doors ?

  11. florian albert says:

    Predictably, ‘Bonnie Prince Bob’s comparison of the recent Independence march with Orange marches has not gone down well here.

    A more serious question is whether marches – even those involving tens of thousands – indicate political strength or political weakness.
    I tend to view them as more a sign of weakness. You hold your march, usually on a Saturday, it gets some publicity and that is that. Winning votes, whether in elections or a referendum has a bigger impact.
    Next week’s Euro elections are likely to give a real boost to those parties and leaders who do well; most likely Nicola Sturgeon in Scotland and Nigel Farage in England. (The LibDems might be serious winners too.) The votes will have altered the political weather; marches rarely do this.
    At a time when there are no elections, marches can serve to keep morale up but – ultimately – only votes won count in our politics. The anti-war demonstration of 2003 mobilized well over a million people. Parliament still voted massively in favour of the war and – even as Iraq collapsed in anarchy – Tony Blair won re-election comfortably in 2005.

  12. Jo says:

    Jings, “Bonnie Prince Bob”, ye don’t hauf fancy yer ain barra!

  13. MBC says:

    I get your frustration (I feel it too) but what’s YOUR plan?

    As an aside: I wish Salmond had not compared himself to Parnell. That was just giving them ideas. But in the case of Ireland the parliamentary route came to a dead end with Parnell escorted off the scene. It was the revolutionary route of the failed Easter Rising and the British reprisals of the Black and Tans that eventually ignited the fuse.

    So is that your plan? Force the British to bring in troops to quell UDI?

  14. Daniel Raphael says:

    After reading this, the question: “What does Bob want?”

  15. Graeme Purves says:

    But they hate the artists. The artists and activists really spooked them last time by running a witty, imaginative campaign instead of relying on their dull-as-ditchwater 700-page estate agent’s prospectus. Nicola’s mass selfie-rallies in the winter of 2014/15 were designed to corral that creative energy and make sure that no such thing ever happens again.

  16. MBC says:

    You know what Bob, you’re sounding a bit like like a fair weather friend. You really need to think this over. You were into indy when it was populated by the cool hipster crowd (who seem to have disappeared off the scene) but now that it has come down to the smelly hoi poloi with their kilts, bagpipes, middle age spread, love handles, dugs, wheelchairs and Jimmy hats (I agree this is naff and not a good look) to defend the cause and keep us from going insane, you are off the boil.

    Yep, the visual ‘culture’ of the marches could be more imaginative. Maybe as an artist you could contribute some interesting visual ideas? Like the Trump Baby?

    1. Angus says:

      Although I agree with the general cadence. I just read this again and read the other replies and something sprung to mind…

      One of the main criticisms from the No side was about the ‘artists’? TBF most of the graphic imagery looked like it had been dredged up from a bargain basement Cultural Revolution and put just as many people off as enticed them.

      What memorable ‘art’ was produced during the Indyref?

      1. MBC says:

        There were some lovely posters.

      2. Alan Bissett says:

        “The News Where You Are” by James Robertson
        “Marriage Counselling” by Stanley Odd
        “The Great Yes No Show” by the National Theatre of Scotland
        “The Imperial Death March” by Empire Biscuits
        “The Pitiless Storm” by Chris Dolan / David Hayman
        “The Yes No Plays” by David Greig
        “Jim Murphy: Saviour of the Union” by Bonnie Prince Bob
        “Dateline Scotland” by James Devoy, Jack Foster and Jonathan Cairney
        “Ire and Salt” by Jenny Lindsay

        1. Thanks Alan, good list, I’d broaden it and add some of the writing, here’s a small sample …

          “Unstated” (Ed) Scott Hames (Word Power)
          “Yes: The Radical Case for Scottish Independence” by James Foley and Pete Ramand
          “Blossom” Lesley Riddoch
          “McSmorgasbord” Paddy Bort
          “Arguing for Independence” Stephen Maxwell (Luath)
          “John Maclean” Henry Bell (Pluto)
          “Born Under a Union Flag” Alan Bisset and Alasdair McKillop
          “Roch Winds” Rory Scothorne, Amy Westwell, Cailean Gallagher
          “Caledonia Dreaming” Gerry Hassan
          “Scottish Independence: A Feminist Response” By Jenny Morrison and Cat Boyd
          “Literature for an Independent England” Michael Gardiner and Claire Westall (Palgrave)
          “Disunited Kingdom” Iain Macwhirter (Cargo)
          “Tsunami” Iain Macwhirter (Freight)
          “Tackling Timorous Economics” Katherine Trebeck/George Kerevan

          1. Alan Bissett says:

            Nice one, Mike. While those technically aren’t works of art, some of them were written by artists, and it is often forgotten that the indyref produced a blooming in non-fiction writing and polemic, to which your list (and, indeed, your site) testifies.

          2. Yeah I know they’re not works of art, but they are part of our broader culture. Writing is a cultural output. The exchange of ideas happens on many different levels and in different forms from tv to poetry from plays to essays. I see this as a continuum rather than distinct parts. As Macdiarmid said: “Watertight compartments are useful only for sinking ships”.

          3. Jo says:

            Let’s be clear, Lesley Riddoch is a journalist and writer, broadcaster and much more. She’s an established and widely respected figure and a very hardworking person. To just put her down as an “artist” just doesn’t work.

          4. No she’s not an artist but writing is part of our cultural output, including our non-fiction writing.

          5. Lindsey Spowage says:

            Please add the writing and drawing/painting of Alastair Gray! Artist supreme!

          6. Angus says:

            Half of those listed are political books by journos, not art (Blossom was god awful with its couthy othering – the English are all posh snobs who are obsessed with property and all Scots live in central belt tenements and listen to on the ball and are oh so more earthy and superior than Mancunians or Scouser or Bristolians etc.

            I said memorable – to others than the wee clique. (this is where the Indy arts went wrong. It wasn’t universal and most folk found it pretentious.)

            And if you stopped a single punter on the street and asked them about any of what you have listed, they would look at you with a blank expression.

            Hardly ‘the Times they are a changin’ or ‘Ohio’ or ‘Ghost Town’ or ‘London’s Calling’ or ‘La Heine’ or ‘Town called Malice’ or any of the multiple films + novels set around May 68 in Paris or Prague or Japan… Maybe there will be in the future?

          7. Writing is part of our cultural output, including our non-fiction writing.

            Your not comparing like with like, with films and popular music versus writing.

          8. Alan Bissett says:

            I reject that analysis, Angus. Yes voters are ‘people on the street’ too. If 45% of the country is a clique, then that’s a pretty big clique. A great many Yes voters, probably even the majority of them, would’ve encountered Yes-related culture in on form or another from 2012-2014, in some cases, okay, reinforcing their existing view but in others bringing them closer to Yes than they might’ve previously been. I’ve spoken to countless people who had that very experience. Some of the works of art I mentioned, and the books Mike listed, reached very big audiences indeed, when you think about the reach of the internet, which is where they were primarily viewed, shared and discussed. If you think about the internet as that ‘street’ in which you were stopping the average joe then you might get a different response.

            I think the assumption behind what you are saying is: well, they didn’t reach No voters. It’s quite possible some of them did, but were rejected because of the underlying political biases already present in that constituency. Also, statistical analysis shows No voters skewed older and tended to receive their cultural and news diet through more ‘official’ means, ie. newspapers and television, rather than the internet. These media are heavily gatekeepered and were No-friendly, meaning they were hardly likely to go promoting art with a heavy Yes flavour, were they?

            The most obvious example of this is when the astroturf campaign Vote No Borders released a musical track promoting the Union, a ‘news’ story which was given heavy rotation on the BBC. The numerous artistic initiatives on the Yes side were given nothing like that degree of attention by the mainstream media, a coverage which would be necessary in order to for an artwork to become culturally ‘memorable’ in the sense that I think you mean it.

            If you take, for example, the three most famous Scottish plays over the last fifty years – The Steamie, Black Watch and The Cheviot, The Stag and the Black, Black Oil – all three of them were filmed for television broadcast, which is where most Scots encountered them. The fact of them being ‘memorable’ becomes inevitable when mass media gatekeepers sanction their release beyond the niche of theatre. To do so with Yes-friendly art in the context of 2014 would have been far more dangerous for any broadcaster, however, so in the main such art was ignored or demeaned, thus automatically rendering it ‘unmemorable’.

            If you mean that these artworks weren’t ‘memorable’ in the sense that they weren’t good, then that’s your subjective opinion, and a different issue.

  17. Fiona MacInnes says:

    We are all artists (unless you are one if the art elite).

    1. Graeme Purves says:

      Touché!

  18. Lindsey Spowage says:

    There are wee chinks in your passionate prose where the glint of the gaps in your knowledge peek through. Live here for a while and explore more deeply. Get artistically radical about trident, fracking, drugs policy … three of the many indy areas where Scotland’s hands are currently tied – and yes take a long look on line at the work of Common Weal, the Scottish Independence Convention and the Constitutional Convention … have you listened to Loki?

    1. Tickle McNicholl says:

      We need more wish trees next time.

  19. ED. says:

    must be the most imiginative “Hot air” I’v read for some time.

  20. Roland Stiven says:

    Gosh, we can forget the article which is so much dribble, but the literature is not art comments! Wow, where did these come from?
    I’d add one more to the list
    Scotia Nova: Poems for the Early Days of a Better Nation

    1. Thanks Roland, good shout – and the Early Days of A Better Nation by Stewart Bremner

      1. Alan Bissett says:

        No-one said ‘literature is not art’, Roland, I was saying journalism and essays are not art. They are very valuable in their own right, of course, and you could argue that they come under a broad remit of ‘culture’, but a political essay, however brilliant, is not a piece of art. It just isn’t.

  21. R says:

    Top class opinion piece, keep ’em coming

  22. markuszen says:

    As an outside observer (from ireland) Bonnie Prince Bob i think Brexit is the unleashing of a hybrid anglo-british nationalism that the SNP are not sure how too handle yes brexit is dangerous to Scotland ultimately not only in time fragment the UK but how can the SNP progress from this i think that the SNP should withdraw from Westminister is a start especially if there no second referendum on brexit like what sinn fein did years ago. Regardless of the result of a second referendum english is growing a political identity that is at odds the british consensus of the past the SNP need to frame the argument not Scotland can do better but its economic survival is at stake its kinship too fellow europeans is in danger, the threat to its democratic culture since the establishment of holyrood is in danger of being neutralised by a westminister culture of first past the post that is semi democratic at the very, best still hanging on to the memory of long gone empire. But yourself as an artist should not wait on the SNP or any independence party to trigger the debate it put to you and others to shine light on what you see, I see since Blair that the UK is effectively ignoring the will of the people it governs the debate in scotland and northern ireland regards sovereignity will be won on being truthful.

  23. SleepingDog says:

    I think “where is the culture” is a really important question. I do not know how to measure it, but it seems that children and young people are more familiar with USAmerican Marvel and DC Comics characters and Japanese Manga/Anime than anything homegrown in Scotland (that was left after Christian Church purges). Too often the response is to highlight some older-person’s niche interests. Frankly, I think there can be more healthy youth interest in international movements like environmentalism and anti-capitalism than native cultural separatism. Perhaps we should cultivate interest in authentic alien stories if only to recapture something our culture has long-ago lost.

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