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IndyRef2: Electric Boogaloo

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It’s a curious phenomenon that we should hate our neighbors more than we hate a visitor. But it’s the way things are. Familiarity breeds contempt, after all. We can fight with a sibling in a way we can’t with a visitor, and yet, we can also make up with a sibling in a way we can’t with a visitor. Indeed, the friendly face and tidy house we put on show for a visitor is false, and the bickering we reserve for family is realer. We know inherently that our relationship with a non-familial visitor is more fragile, and overcompensate for that by being politer than is necessary. In the same way, while we bicker with relatives, we truly love them and accept them for who they are, never mind their deficiencies. A slight deficiency in a colleague leads to sitting at a different table for lunch the next day. How often do you need to have “shared interests” with your siblings or your parents? But it takes shared interests to keep a non-familial relationship alive.

This familial concept applies to nations, too. It’s a mantra of the Left that “you have more in common with a blue-collar worker from China than you do with the one percent in the United States,” but it isn’t really true. You have more in common – genetically, physically, historically, linguistically, ethically, psychologically – with Warren Buffet than you do with the guy who made your iPhone. To deny that is to succumb to Leftist materialism. Nation is essentially an extended family. You’d only have to go back a few generations to find a link between yourself and many people who now rank in the modern white aristocracy: many people who are wealthy now are the nouveau riche, and weren’t born into it.

Scotland and England are neighbors and brother nations. The people in these islands have shared DNA and, even when we were separate kingdoms, a shared history, and no matter the outcome of any future referenda, a shared destiny. We have spoken more or less the same language for over a thousand years (Scottish Gaelic was never spoken all over Scotland, and is more linked to the Irish language than anything spoken in England or Wales), and ethnically, there’s not a great deal marking us apart. Red hair is a Scottish and Irish thing, but it’s common in England, too. There’s really not a great deal of difference between the two places. But modern-day Scottish nationalists would have you think otherwise.

The modern attitude is one of post-colonialism. There’s a belief that Scotland was subjugated and discriminated against by England, that our people were nerfed and stymied of any social advances by the presence of conservative-leaning England, and that generally, England’s been bad for us and that it’s time to rewrite history and take revenge.

The attitude used to be quite different. Often you will hear about how older generations of Pakistanis, Ghanaians, Kenyans, and the like actually admire the British, even in some cases becoming “more British than the British,” speak the Queen’s English, have a portrait of her in the house, fly the Union Jack, and all the rest of it. They respected and admired the English and their advanced way of life. Even today in post-colonial Africa, a reverence for white people and for Western civilization generally exists among the lower classes. The older generations remembered the state that their own people had ruled over, and accepted that the Brits had beaten them in battle and had introduced a better standard of living.

The English imposed a “top-down” colonization, where they replaced the local elite, either with themselves or with a tribe or group allied to us. Unfortunately, we often chose Muslims, seeing them as fellow monotheists and Abrahamists. Of course, that’s proven to be a giant mistake. The Third World now imposes a kind of “bottom-up” reverse colonization, or invasion, on us whereby they will replace not our elite – they remain untouched, guarded by security fences – but our own huddled masses, our working class, which is the heart of our countries. It is a totally different proposition, and while the British Empire was brutal and at times employed heavy-handed tactics, it was not a global, genocidal crusade. In the long run, the countries touched by the British Empire have generally benefitted from our input. Does anybody seriously believe Indians and Africans would have plumbing, trains, democracy, literacy, familiarity with the English language, and Christianity if it weren’t for the Empire? A cursory glance at how they’ve run their countries since we cut them loose should tell all. Corruption, crime, and infrastructural decay abound, and that’s even with millions in Western aid.

The thing people often don’t consider when talking about Scotland today is that those same attitudes apply here, too. True, we weren’t quite colonized in the same way: for example, the Scots kept their legal system and their aristocracy. Indeed, in 1603 the Scots “imposed” their King on the English – one whose commitment to Protestantism was constantly under question. The language wasn’t imposed on us, either, and neither was the religion. The Scots were even more zealous Protestants than the English were (despite the Royal House of Stewart’s Catholicism). However, it’s undeniable that Scotland and her idiosyncrasies have been more or less subsumed into Greater England; the Highlands of Scotland are now quite densely populated with either English retirees or young English couples who “work from home” and do other non-jobs like “NHS Scotland Chief Liaison and PR Consultant.” Ask for directions in Wester Ross, Inverness-shire,[1] or Shetland, and you’re likely to encounter a cut-glass English accent giving the reply.

The idea of Scotland as “North Britain” has been circulating since the eighteenth century. David Hume, for example, tried to shake off his Scottishness, and insisted his children be educated by English teachers and to speak in the English way.[2] Alistair Gray, one of Scotland’s leading artists and novelists and a firm Scottish National Party (SNP) supporter, has expressed concern at this “English invasion” of Scotland, particularly in Scotland’s public sector jobs, and while I definitely sympathize with that argument (and it ties in with the greater depopulation of the Highlands with which the English have been complicit since at least the nineteenth century), I find it incredibly churlish for a Left-winger to want to complain about immigration only to have the gall to point the finger at white English people who have jobs.

This is also my main worry about Brexit. I’m in favor of leaving the European Union, but I find it incredible that we’re only allowed a discussion about immigration where the white Polish are concerned – and they work and then they tend to go back home after a while. Indeed, anti-emigration parties are winning elections in Lithuania and Latvia! They’re facing a serious brain drain of their young workers. Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom we’ve had sixty-plus years of totally unwanted, unnecessary mass immigration from Africa and India, and the only guy to ever speak up against it, Enoch Powell, was hounded for the rest of his life. I’m worried that Brexit will mean no more European immigrants, and a ramping up of more Africans and Indians. “They’re Commonwealth citizens, after all! They speak English! They love the Queen!” Even Nigel Farage has been guilty of this rhetoric.

It’s incredible to see Labour politicians – David Miliband among them – say, po-faced, “Yes, well, after the Eastern Bloc joined the EU in 2004, we didn’t quite predict how much immigration would go up . . .” Well, after the Windrush landed, we, the British people, didn’t quite predict how much immigration would go up!

But back to the point. Scotland has more or less become an extension of England. Scottish Gaelic speakers number about sixty thousand in the country, and nobody speaks it as a first language. As a tourist coming to Scotland, you’ll see the bagpipes being played and the tartan being worn, but the truth is most modern young Scots find that stuff really quite cringey. These kids will be patriotic, but in a very superficial, consumerist way. It’s all about Irn-Bru over Coca-Cola, or saying “aye” instead of yes.

The stereotype of the Scot is as a kind of “berserker”: the mad guy in the kilt (with nothing under it) who charges headlong into battle. This image of the Scot does ring true, and Scottish regiments are always the “pointy end” of the British military stick, even in modern conflicts, and the elite regiments of the British Army and the SAS all recruit disproportionately from Scotland. There’s also a great deal of “shame” from those who favor independence with regards to Scotland’s role in the Empire. There’s a strain of thought among a minority of them that goes, “Well, England is bad; Scotland was also pretty bad, but if we can get away from big, bad England, we can repent for our sins, at least!” Read: We can fill this country with as many Third Worlders as possible, and ideally, they will breed us out of existence – either one is fine by us! We hope that this atones for . . . er, something.

Scots are a bit like Russians in that sense: hard drinkers, and tough bastards who are well up for a scrap. The English are more placid and cerebral in comparison. The attitude of older Scots was, we have learned a lot from the English – just like among Indians. But even our most pro-English, Protestant Scots still have a hard edge to them; in Presbyterian churches, uncompromising gazes stare down at you from the dour stone busts of John Knox. To overcome their Scottish tendency for aggression, they have to layer it with more aggression, but directed towards law and order. I doubt there’s a country more obsessed with law than Scotland. We have a separate legal system from England’s; we have, for example, as well as a guilty or not guilty verdict, a not proven verdict.

The modern Scottish nationalist hams up his drinking and his belligerence, and thinks that he has more in common with a Pakistani with a Glasgow accent than he does with an Englishman. Likewise, the SNP is quite open about its commitment to a multi-racial Scotland, a concept it seems to treat as an inevitability, or even a desired outcome, rather than for what it is: a forced, unwanted, and unnecessary detriment to our nation.

Both Greg Johnson and Jared Taylor wrote good pieces about the Scottish independence referendum in 2014. At the time, I felt our interests were best served by staying in the UK – a decision I like to think has been justified by subsequent developments. For example, the 2014 Scottish Referendum preceded the migrant crisis of the following year by a good nine months. We also didn’t know then that the Syrian war was going to turn into the absolute human trafficking free-for-all that it did.

What would have been the newly-independent Scotland’s response to the migrant crisis? They’d almost certainly want to prove their “humane credentials” and exert some “soft power” by showing how welcoming and diverse we are compared to the nasty, xenophobic, boring English. “One Scotland, Many Cultures,” as per the Scottish government’s initiative. Perhaps their views could best be explained by a front cover of the independence-supporting The National newspaper from January 2017, at around the time of Trump’s “Muslim ban”: “LET THEM IN,” shrieked the headline. A pair of hands were shown grasping at a fence. (The hands were white.)[3]

However, the long-term, “big picture” points that Greg Johnson made still very much stand, and on a more basic level: Scotland is a very old country and has a damn sight better right to self-rule than some of the two-bit banana republics out there these days. It was entirely fair that we asked ourselves the question, although I have to be entirely honest and say that it was an unpleasant experience. It went on for over two years, it was divisive, and even for the “Yes” side, it was a bitter experience, because ultimately, they lost. More to the point, their whole campaign and way of thinking is based on anger and resentment. They don’t want equality with England; they want revenge for perceived injustices. It’s the same mindset that feminists and SJWs have: they don’t want women and men to be equal, they want revenge and to put women on top. These people are dangerous and must be challenged, because if they get what they want, we will not get what we want. That in itself is a good argument for resisting Scottish nationalism (at least in its current, post-colonial form) – and it just so happens that Scottish nationalism goes hand-in-hand with Left-wing causes: wind farms and solar power, which we know to be a poor source of energy; feminism, which we know to be the death knell for any society; and tax increases, which we know leave the poorer worse off, and which gives the government more power. The whole package is off-putting.

Not only that, but English patriotism is so much more appealing from a Right-wing point of view. The biggest party in England has always been the Conservatives, and the cliché “working class Tory” was the white “Cockney” Londoner. The white East End Londoner was an entrepreneur, even a chancer; think of Del Boy from Only Fools and Horses, Arthur Daley from Minder, or Alan Sugar. The white Glaswegian, on the other hand, was anything but a Tory; he attended trade union rallies and was yelled at by John MacLean, Jimmy Reid, or Tommy Sheridan, and voted for quasi-Communist Labour Party MPs. Scotland shirked away from her chance of independence; England seized hers with both hands. The Brexit vote was, in a large way, a declaration of English patriotism. The English have more pride and are more established in who they are than the Scots. The English have no chip on their shoulder. They’ve never been defeated or invaded (or at least not for long enough to be able to build a mythos around it), and in fact, they’ve been the ones doing the defeating.

I take the old Protestant stance of looking up to England. This is also to take the “victor’s” side – as a hierarchical, elitist Right-winger should. I am, however, also a Scottish Exceptionalist. Alex Salmond, the ex-SNP leader,[4] balanced these two views quite well, but sadly the Salmond strain of Scottish nationalism is giving way to the younger, bitter, resentful, far-Left, post-colonial strain. There’s this unhinged element of the Scottish character which we had the better of for a while, and which is being unleashed by the growth of Scottish nationalism. There is little doubt in my mind that Scotland would sink to a Sweden-tier level of degeneracy were she to go independent, and it’s not only the SNP who would instigate it. Remember that the biggest fight in Scotland is between the SNP and Labour – it’s about who’s the most Left-wing. Scotland is also pretty small, with a population of four to five million (depending on who you count as actually being Scottish), and a landmass that is roughly the size of South Carolina. In a smaller community such as this, it’s more difficult to rock the boat with a controversial idea. This is because there’s a prevailing consensus all across the West that whites are bad and must be punished, and what we need to do is destroy that consensus with a broadside attack. Thus, in Scotland it’s difficult to discuss these things without getting shut down before you’ve even began.

Combine that with a generally Left-wing atmosphere and a post-colonial inferiority and resentment complex, and you’ve got a pretty heady mix of political correctness gone bonkers. Not only that, but social media is at work here, too – apparently, teenage Scottish girls are the biggest users of social media in all of Europe. I think that the fact that politics is now so front-and-center in Scotland with the referendum is the reason that Scottish girls are a few percentage points ahead of the rest for smartphone mindrot – but it’s still concerning. All the issues you have with American youth, we have here, too. They even watch the same TV shows (I recently overheard some Scottish Zoomers complaining about Friends being on Netflix because the show was too homophobic and transphobic). At least in America you have an England-like history of being conservative and victorious; Scotland is between a rock and a hard place in this regard. We’re Left-wing and losers.

I would support Scottish independence under certain circumstances, because I do not oppose it in and of itself, and in fact I would welcome nativist secessionism; admitting that the Scots and the English, the Catalans and the Spanish, and the Israelis and the Palestinians[5] are different and entitled to separate homelands is the same logic as American White Nationalists use. If we win that argument – and lots of Leftists do buy these arguments in principle[6] – then it isn’t a million miles from getting people to massively oppose mass immigration.

In fact, Leftists also apply this logic to indigenous peoples. Whether they are North Americans, Africans, Australian Aborigines, Indians, you name it – the liberal of today feels all of them were better left to their own devices, where they were. In fact, I’d argue that a main factor in Leftists being in favor of immigration is simply in terms of revenge against the European man who disturbed the peaceful foreigners. Do they favor homelands for all creeds? Do liberals, deep down, support a homeland for whites? After all, who is doing all the “white flight”? Urban, liberal, Left-wing, globalist, pro-immigration, bleeding-heart types advocate for foreigners coming in. Then, when foreigners do arrive, the liberal vacates that area and moves to the overwhelmingly white suburb or countryside. Is this cognitive dissonance or what? Also, how long is this revenge-immigration to take? We colonized the Third World for roughly three hundred years, give or take. So in two hundred fifty years, do all the foreigners here have to go home? Are we to then take it in turns – are we to go get revenge on them for all the crimes and rapes they’ve committed here? It’s a truly bizarre mindset to have.

Leftists also believe in conservation, but only of Mother Earth. It’s bizarre to see a protest in the UK called “Extinction Rebellion” which doesn’t mention birthrates or immigration. Again, I feel they are being a bit disingenuous here, because Leftists love travel, which involves burning fossil fuels. But they only love traveling to other places because they hate themselves, anyway – and The Other is always better. Scottish nationalists are Left-wing and environmental, but they are very keen on the drilling and burning of fossil fuels in the North Sea. “It’s Scotland’s oil!” goes the cry. Yes, I can see the logic there, and I’m not disputing that it is our oil (and our fish as well, but they seem quite keen to surrender them to the EU), but surely there’s some kind of hypocrisy in simultaneously wanting a solar roof on every house and a wind farm in every garden while also wanting to turn the North Sea into something like Qatar. That’s before I even get into the insanity of the Greens’ U-turn on population controls and immigration. It seems they only want white countries to have lower birthrates, and every Tom, Dick, and Harry can just waltz right in here, job or no job. The “mental gymnastics” required are really quite baffling – but the underlying point of shame and guilt permeates everything they do. That’s why Left-wingers are such wimps, and why they are going to lose in the long term.

The circumstances under which I would support Scottish independence are:

  1. Making the country in the image of England, and not out of spite or for perceived grievances.
  2. Maintaining Protestantism as the state religion, and maintaining a Protestant, Anglophilic elite.
  3. Viktor Orbán-like opposition to mass immigration, the repatriation of as many immigrants as possible, and either leaving the EU or at least leaving Schengen, as well as keeping the Pound.
  4. Compulsory education in Scottish Gaelic, similar to what the Irish and the Welsh have in their schools, and eliminating any non-European languages from our schools.
  5. A mixed economy based on low taxes, personal freedoms, and public ownership of the largest services – but as free a market as possible otherwise, as well as a rejection of the (much lauded by independentists) “Scandinavian model” of sky-high taxes and Big Brother-style governmental control.
  6. A Scotland for the Scots, and an open invite to any Scottish expats abroad to return home, as well as incentives for Scots to get married and have children.

I think that Alex Salmond was of the old school. He was the son of a Protestant church minister, and his background was in banking. Salmond wanted to keep the Queen as head of state, and keep the Pound Sterling; these were very canny moves, as he recognizes English hegemony, but he also believes in Scottish exceptionalism – as do I. (We are a remarkably wee country who have contributed massively to the world despite our small size.) Salmond was a very astute operator who built the SNP from a fringe outfit to being the dominant force in Scottish politics, winning election after election, and calling a referendum that many experts feel that, had it been held on Monday or Tuesday (it was held on a Thursday), he would have won.[7]

Salmond brought his movement to the cusp of victory: 55 per cent against to 45 for. The new leader, Nicola Sturgeon, is going all-in on Brexit being the big bugbear for Scots. Ever since the Brexit vote in 2016, Sturgeon has hinted at the possibility of a second referendum on Scottish independence, or, as it is now known, “IndyRef2.” Because Scotland voted a majority Remain and England voted Leave, Scotland was “dragged out of the EU against its will,” according to this logic.

Sturgeon is in the Left-wing, anti-English mold. Her political awakening in the mid-1980s coincided with the rise of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), opposition to Margaret Thatcher, and the 1988 Govan by-election, when the Left-wing SNP and ex-Labour MP Jim Sillars beat Labour in their own post-industrial Glasgow heartlands (Running against Primal Scream singer Bobby Gillespie’s dad Bobby Gillespie Sr., no less). That was a warning shot, and indeed, it was Scottish Labour themselves (Sillars, and others like Gordon Brown and Donald Dewar) who maintained the “Scotland is an [English] Tory-free zone!” rhetoric for so many years, despite being opposed to independence. (In the 1980s and ‘90s, Scotland returned a diminishing number of Conservative MPs in response to Thatcher’s dismantling of industry. In Tony Blair’s 1997 Labour landslide, Scotland voted in no Tory MPs at all.) These are the very guys, too, who pushed for a devolved Parliament in Scotland (and later also Wales), which has led inexorably to electoral domination by the SNP and potential independence. Salmond, again, was canny to support a Yes/Yes vote in 1997 for the devolved Parliament – despite some opposition from the hard core of his party, who saw it as a counterfeit version of independence.

However, Sturgeon’s gamble may backfire, as the Euro currency is not a popular idea here, and while Remain won by a clear margin in Scotland, the EU Referendum in 2016 was a bit of a damp squib up here, and turnout was lower than in England and Wales. It was basically seen as “England’s independence” – let them have it. The campaign never really got going up here, and leading Leave campaigners didn’t really bother coming to Scotland. By the time of the EU referendum in June 2016, we had had three other big elections in the previous eighteen months,[8] and people were getting a bit democracied out. Besides, most polls show a significant minority (about a third) of SNP and Yes voters also voted Brexit, so it’s a bit of a gamble from the First Minister. I personally believe she is overestimating how popular the EU is in Scotland, but that said, there’s definitely an appetite for another Scottish referendum, and it came very close to winning last time. Now, in 2019, in a post-Brexit post-Trump world of national populism, they’ve got even more built-up resentment against England than they did then. Remember, these are people who genuinely believe that Nigel Farage is a fascist. They’re fired up.

And the ironic thing is that national populism seems to have passed Scotland by. We don’t seem to have gotten the memo. France has Le Pen; Spain has Vox; Germany has the AfD; Holland has Geert Wilders’ PVV; Hungary has Viktor Orbán; America has Donald Trump; Italy has Matteo Salvini; Austria has Sebastian Kurz; andDenmark, Australia, Finland, Czechia, Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Poland all appear to be defying the polls and leaning Right-wing. Scotland, Canada, Sweden, New Zealand, Portugal, and Greece are really letting the team down here. In Scotland, it’s a sort of post-colonial malaise – or stupor – that we are in that prevents us from properly assessing what is going on. We must be the only Western country where the nationalists are Left-wing. The sooner we get the chip off our shoulder, the better. Then, if we decide to go independent, I’ll be all for it. If we decide to stay in the UK (which I fear in the long run may become more pozzed than Scotland, anyway), then fair enough. But I cannot support Scottish independence under the current terms, and neither should the Dissident Right. Scotland as a small outlier of the EU, using the Euro currency and Schengen rules? It’d be a great message to send to ethnonationalists worldwide if Scotland did secede, but if it happens the way the SNP are currently proposing to do it, the last person to leave Scotland should turn out the lights. Not all nationalisms are equal. There are some forms of nationalism in Latin America that are deeply intertwined with socialism and Communism, and there are some nationalisms in Africa and Asia that espouse dangerous anti-Western rhetoric, leading to corrupt military dictatorships that leave their countries worse off.

Twenty-first century Scottish nationalism needs to shed the post-colonial grudge and start to be proud of herself for who she is, not for some nebulous set of “values” that we keep hearing about (that usually amount to some wishy-washy, touchy-feely, egalitarian semi-Marxist babble about muh human rights and the UN). The message of secession would be a powerful one for us – abut then, arguably, so would Californian independence. How would an independent California look? No takers for that idea? Strange, they’d be an economic powerhouse, and there’s some cultural points of difference there from the rest of the Union (and increasingly, large ethnic points of differenc eas well). To paraphrase Kant, should we support nationalism as a means to an end or as an end in and of itself?

At present, I would not advocate for Scottish independenceuntil it is prudent to do so, although I have no qualms with the idea in itself. The same goes for the European Union – I have no problem with a Europe-wide free trade area and with (some of) its integrationist ideas. Cheap travel to France and Spain has been great for Brits. I do not oppose the EU in and of itself, and I have to admit its initial aim of preventing another fratricidal war is a noble and worthy one. But look at what the thing has become. It has become distanced from the ordinary European citizen. Then there’s their handling of the migrant crisis. What will the EU response be when the population of Africa booms to two and a half billion by the end of this century? As much as I don’t oppose the EU in principle, I must oppose it in practice, because I simply cannot allow this to happen to the European people. And the Scottish Question is similar: a nice idea, but maybe this should be tomorrow’s fight.

Notes

[1] The shire-ification of Scotland. The Counties of England have names mostly ending in –shire, Yorkshire, Lancashire, Wiltshire, Berkshire, Hampshire, and so on. But in Scotland, the –shire suffix was added to the region names in the early Victorian era – ironic, given the Victorians also idolized and fetishized Scotland, after the advent of rail travel made tourism possible. It was evident in Queen Victoria’s dalliance with John Brown, and the various fashion magazines from London which showed off tartan skirts – even the very “bagpipes and shortbread” conception of Scottishness dates from that time. It was a sort of creeping colonization, not quite the complete imposition of a “New York” or a “Kingstown.” In Scotland, we now speak of “Lanarkshire,” “Banffshire,” “Morayshire” (pronounced “Murray-shire”), “Aberdeenshire,” and the incongruous-sounding “Inverness-shire,” which, if unhyphenated, leaves me wondering if it’s possible for a word in English to have 3 s’ in a row.

[2] There is a Finnish academic article regarding David Hume and his Scottishness, Mikko Tolonen’s “Hume in and out of Scottish context.”

[3] It should also be mentioned that there is a schism in the SNP over how to go about independence. There is the Left-wing, high-tax and high-spending group, and then there is the Salmond strand of thought, which is that of the “Celtic Tiger”: a low tax-free market in the vein of Ireland. It still remains unclear which will win out, and the currency issue, which was also unclear for a while but had Salmond saying we’d use the Pound, now appears as if they’re going to try and use the Euro. It’s difficult to support independence when these bread-and-butter issues of finance aren’t certain, and when the only certain thing is that it’ll be bad news for us culturally and demographically. Financial arguments don’t sway me either way; my identity cannot be bought and sold (“for English gold”) – but we have to be realistic. How would Scotland fare in the Eurozone? Scotland is a small country, and one that is expensive to run: there are lots of rural communities, and in the urban areas, a massive welfare bill. If the SNP got their way and introduced even more free stuff – free public transport gets mooted a lot – it would become even more expensive to run. How much debt would we rack up? Is our economy as strong as the SNP says it is? We don’t really produce very much; we are just another service-sector Western economy. We have oil, but it’s mostly plastics-grade oil and not the more lucrative fuel oil the Arabs have. Also, the price can fluctuate wildly. It just so happens that in late 2014/early 2015, right after the Independence referendum, the global oil price crashed, and at one point the oil was worth less than the barrel it was in. I get the impression that if we had voted Yes, after the oil price crash there would’ve been huge pressure to reverse that decision straight away. As I said, though, I’m not basing my decision on finances; I am all for Brexit and I fully understand that it will mean a (short-term at least) hit to the British economy. We’ve already seen some price rises and job cuts because of Brexit. My support for Brexit is a result of cultural and demographic arguments, not money. We have to be clear about the costs and benefits of independence, though, and bear in mind that while we aren’t massively concerned with economics, the public are. I’m not completely opposed to independence, even now: I welcome counter arguments. I think the secession-nationalism argument is powerful. I’m just giving an overview of the various factors involved.

[4] Alex Salmond was the leader of the SNP between 1990 and the defeat of the referendum in 2014, and masterminded their growth from being protest vote, one-issue rural nobodies to a governmental behemoth. In the 2017 snap UK General Election, he got booted out of out of office ignominiously on a bad night for the SNP, losing to the Tories in his rural Northeast heartlands. Of course, it was a bad night in context – they still won a clear majority of Scottish seats, and still control the Scottish devolved Parliament in Edinburgh. In the past year, the big story surrounding Salmond is that he is facing allegations of sexual harassment – allegations which I personally find quite hard to believe, but then we live in a society, I guess.

[5] Though I fear that Leftists may actually support a one-state solution, and just “hope that they can get along happily ever after”, as if it’s a kids’ TV show about to wrap up. Besides, Leftists are dead against anything anti-Semitic; their main interest in Palestine is in that the Palestinians are brown, and in the Leftist’s mindset of intersectionality, being brown evidently outweighs being Jewish, in addition to the Leftists’ general “revenge for the underdog” thing. When it comes to the Middle East, Leftists are incredibly naïve and contradictory.

[6] Again, I fear Leftists only support Catalan and Scottish independence because of post-colonial revenge fantasies. The “Refugees Welcome, Tourists Go Home” graffiti in Barcelona is a case in point. If a secessionist state – which I don’t oppose, ideologically – is set up based on Left-wing historical grievances, what kind of a state is it going to be? Would such a place be receptive to ethnonationalism? I wouldn’t think so.

[7]  On Wednesday during the week of the referendum, the pro-UK camp had produced a paper that claimed the SNP were planning to cut NHS funding post-independence. There’s a debate to be had about how true that was, and how much of an effect it had on the polls – people revert to the status quo as referenda approach, anyway – but still, the NHS is the sacred cow in Scottish and British politics, and speaking against it would be a bit like an American President saying he is an atheist who believes the American army to be a bunch of imperialist fascists.

[8] Recently, there were several elections in a short space of time in Scotland:

  1. the September 2014 Scottish Referendum (the campaign for which had gone on daily since early 2012);
  2. the May 2015 UK General Election;
  3. the May 2016 Scottish Parliament Elections (admittedly, this one was less important, but the SNP kept their supermajority); and
  4. the June 2016 EU Referendum.

We then had a snap UK General Election in May 2017 as well, and now we’re gearing up for the May 2019 EU elections and a possible rerun of the EU Referendum, a so-called “People’s Vote,” which could take place within the next year. That means there is a potential for seven elections in the space of five years, and all of them quite important. We’re not voting for different flavors of neoliberal centrists anymore; these are big, identity-defining questions. Even the Labour party is now genuinely what it is meant to be: far Left-wing (and totally insane). By the time of Brexit, people in Scotland were palpably tired of elections, and since a majority of people here probably tacitly support the EU anyway, it wasn’t really seen as our fight. Even at that, in Scotland, Leave polled 1 million votes to Remain’s 1.6 million; not too far away from the Scottish Referendum result of 2 million for No, 1.6 million for Yes. The turnout in 2014 was eighty-five percent, but in 2016 it was sixty-seven percent. That means that there’s roughly a million voters in Scotland who weren’t even bothered enough about the EU to give it a vote either way. I’m going to give the SNP the benefit of the doubt here and say that there is probably a majority in Scotland that would back the EU, but it could easily go the other way, too. I’m a potential Yes voter for the SNP, and their putting the EU front-and-center is basically what is putting me off supporting independence. My Right-wing viewpoints are atypical for Scots, though. Anecdotally I would add that the older generations in Scotland (born 1975 and before) are more likely to be Euroskeptic. These people also happen to be likelier to vote – so it simply remains to be seen. If the SNP loses two referenda in the space of five-odd years, the question really is dead and buried for a long, long time. If Scottish independence turns out to be a potential boon for national populists for some reason, then we’d have seriously missed a trick by opposing independence. Has anyone got a crystal ball?

7 Comments

  1. Jez
    Posted May 27, 2019 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Why is Scottish independence a good idea in principle? I’ve never understood the argument, really. The Union is 100 years older than the formation of the modern state of Germany, yet you don’t get strong independence movements looking to split Germany up into Bavaria, Pomerania, Cologne, Holstein, etc. Why? Germany functions well as a single state being people with a common language, culture, and racial heritage – points you make about the British people in this article. Why, then, is Scottish independence a good idea? Why not East Anglian independence? Cornish independence? There is of course a movement for this too, albeit weaker than the Scottish one, but it makes about as much sense. You’ve had a good country working well for hundreds of years, and now you want to mess with success. I think it’s tragic. Even in principle.

    • nineofclubs
      Posted May 27, 2019 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

      For nationalists, it comes down to whether you see England and Scotland as two separate nations, or whether ‘Britain’ is a sufficiently relevant national identity for most people on both sides.

      The people in the German areas you describe feel German. By contrast, the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in the former Yugoslavia did not feel ‘Yugoslav’.

      Purely administrative states that don’t identify with a specific ethnic nation (eg Yugoslavia, the EU, the Roman Empire, the British Empire) are – in my opinion – always doomed to internal dissent and ultimately to division. This doesn’t mean that individual ethno-states can’t cooperate together as a bloc for their mutual benefit, but if one nation looks to be dominant over others, the relationship looks more like colonialism than cooperation.

      If a majority of Scots want their own state to manage Scotland, I say they should have it.

      .

      • Jez
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 1:23 am | Permalink

        Don’t you think Britain would be weaker split up/Balkanized, though? Part of Britain’s strength, its ability to try and leave the EU, is that it’s big enough and economically powerful enough not to be pushed around. I think if we started doing Scottish/Welsh/Cornish independence and Irish reunification, the island of Britain would be divided and much easier to conquer. This is not a good thing. Combine that with over 300 years of successful union and it all seems so unnecessary and undesirable to me.

        • nineofclubs
          Posted May 28, 2019 at 4:10 am | Permalink

          Not so much. I don’t think the risk of military invasion for any of the British nations is very high nowadays. The far greater risk is demographic replacement through immigration – and smaller states are no more or less prone to this than larger ones.

  2. Q. Quatermass
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    A few quick points.

    1 – We are in the UK right now. The UK has voted to leave the EU. Boris Johnson / A. Brexiteer looks set to become the Prime Minister. National-Populism is *happening* in the UK. It is not happening in Scotland, and doesn’t really look likely to. Brexit has been a huge boost, psychologically if nothing else, for our movement, and a massive blow for our opponents. And it was the UK (England, really) that voted for Brexit. Scotland was against it! So while the point that Scotland and England are different, and should have different countires, still stands, it’s through allying with England we’ve been a part of something that scored a direct hit against globalism and Internationalism. Alone, we couldn’t have done that, wouldn’t be a part of it, and would be trying in some way to put a spanner in the works.

    2 – We are in the UK right now and the UK has voted to leave the EU. That means, ostensibly, that immigration to the UK is going to go down. If Scotland can be part of the UK that is leaving the EU, and can then get less immigration as a result, that looks like a desirable path for Scotland to follow. Doesn’t it?

    It’s a biiiit of a stretch to say that going independent, and then getting more immigration (which looks very, very likely – though again, not guaranteed – basically nothing is guaranteed at the moment) is going to be conducive to an ethno-nationalism. As opposed to staying in the UK, which is looking to reduce its immigration.

    2.5 – Of course, leaving the EU could mean more non-EU immigration. I’ve mentioned that in the article. But also, lots of EU immigration IS non-European in the first place. Non-Europeans first arrive in Italy, Greece (or actually quite often, Ireland) and then, via Schengen, come to the UK. If we are out of Schengen, non-European immigration (which some people say is up to HALF of all annual EU immigration to the UK – so half of 400,000 would be 200,000 – “EU Immigration” doesn’t just mean “Poles”) *should* , and I say should because it might not, but it *should* go down.

    3 – Is it necessarily true that if Scotland and England separated, that England would remain perpetually right-wing? By the same token, is it necessarily true that Scotland would remain left-wing? Irish nationalists were always more Left-wing than the Brits, and look how Eire has turned out. A globalist tax haven with Apple, Amazon and the rest all paying zero tax. So, nothing is guaranteed. Some foresight and vision is required here, the problem is that the weather is a bit foggy at the moment.

    4 – Here’s what I think could happen. 1 – England delivers Brexit. 2 – Scotland benefits from the gentle after-effects of England’s national populist revolt. (I.e., gets less immigration.) 3 – Scotland and England then at some point down the line go their separate ways, in a world where ethnonationalism has become the consensus all across the Western world, and both live happily ever after.

    There is a lot to be said about this.

  3. Sandy
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Very good.

    For the sake of quibbling I have to question we often chose Muslims, seeing them as fellow monotheists and Abrahamists. as any concept of British Israelism (C.I. over here) is long forgotten and they couldn’t read the ancient runes if they could find them.

    To stay focused on our main issue I see no sense of Scottish history, identity or achievement coming from the SNP. All they seem to want is more EU subsidies and a bigger share of Shetland’s oil who would separate from the mainland if Scotland broke away.

    Just between you and I (and anyone suffering from insomnia) at the time the SNP was touting Braveheart as a fine anti English warrior I had the same thought that Wallace was fighting the English as the English until I was yet again subject to a viewing of the video at a friends apartment who thought I would like the movie (can’t imagine why?). It was during the introduction in which the audience was told that Wallace was fighting the cruel pagan Edward. It was only then when I finally heard those words in the voiceover at the beginning that I noticed all the Christian references used by the Scots and that the English side was totally devoid of them. Well, there was one, but that was only because Edward wanted his homosexual son to marry the Christian princess so he could have her to himself – the dirty old man. Anyway, watch it yourself and let me know what you think. Cheers

    • Quatermass
      Posted May 24, 2019 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      I’m a fellow insomniac. Though this is prime time for Americans, isn’t it? I’ve read a lot of things but I can rarely remember where, but I have read about Churchill’s time in Africa and there was discussion of alliances with Muslim tribes, some of which went awry. By the 20th century Westerners didn’t really know very much about Islam. There’s people like Neitzsche and Hitler who expressed admiration for Islam, then there’s the Churchills who saw Islam as basically Arab-Christianity. Or at least that was Churchill’s opinion of them up to a point. If anyone’s an expert on this, I’ll defer to them. Then 9/11 happened and we all suddenly realized what Islam was about. Who was talking about Muslims in the 1990s? Weren’t they our buddies in Serbia back then?

      You make a good point about Shetland. They feel more culturally Norwegian than Scottish or British anyway. Though I think I’m right in saying there are some oil fields east of Aberdeen, which is within Scotland’s jurisdiction. As for the SNP and independence, I should point out that Salmond was always a civic nationalist. The current party is very civ-nat. In principle I feel we should support secession, but it’s just so difficult to support it when you’re actually here in Scotland, in the thick of it, with the wind and the rain in your face. Secession is a good argument for nativism, but it’s a metaphysical argument that doesn’t really wash with Leftists. It’s more of a kind of thought-experiment argument. Is it better to be technically correct, but not get exactly what it is that you want, or to be technically wrong, but get roughly what you want? Is staying in the UK cucking? Does it send the message that ethnic plurality is desirable? I dunno anymore, all I think at this point is that whatever is the most disingenuous, maddening option available, the Left will take it. I have a more to say about this but I’ll leave it at that for now.

      On the subject of Braveheart, I’ve never seen it and I never will.

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