No one with an actual vote cares very much what I think but…

I guess I owe a clear statement of why, from the position of a London-resident cynical Celt, my final hope is for No.

Not because I would be sad if Scotland left – though I would be, and would wave tearfully.

But because I genuinely think that the SNP gambled on having a very short window to be able to rely on anger over austerity – which they could delay the full weight of in Scotland for a while and so dodge being hated themselves. They neither had, nor took, the time to work out a lot of the fine print on how to make Independence workable – currency, Trident, security services, driving license agency – and relied on anger and hope to get them through, and on the utter uselessness of Cameron, Clegg and Milliband.

I think that, as things stand, if it’s Yes, it will be a train wreck of crashing currencies both sides of the border, rising tides of mutual hatred, the rise of the Right ditto – with an anti-gay and anti-women aspect to it as Souter and the Churches demand their price for supporting Yes in iScotland, and Farage kingmakes among the post-Cameron Tories in rUK, It’s going to be pretty fucking terrible if it’s No because of all the disappointment, stab in the back stuff.

When I am pessimistic and paranoid, I think it’s not a fuckup, but a plan.

And I believe that Salmond has his own plan B which involves parachuting into an international job like Blair, and saying ‘the people have decided’ or ‘the English sabotaged it’. He’ll be all right – snakeoil salesmen usually are.

We have to exploit all that hope and passion somehow, and throw out all the rascals, and maybe find a way of using promises about devolution to build something better and fairer all over this island and those of its neighbours that want to.


About rozkaveney

Middleaged, trans, novelist, poet, activist
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6 Responses to No one with an actual vote cares very much what I think but…

  1. gonzo21 says:

    As a small side-note to our discussion yesterday, I was wryly amused today to note that the Scottish Communist party are one of the parties in Scotland who have thrown their weight behind the SNP ‘Yes’ campaign.

    And yeah, the SNP having deferred the austerity cuts for 4 years now, means when the cuts come they will be swift and savage. So in a post-No world, the SNP will gleefully slash funding to everything, and all the while say ‘It’s Westminsters fault, we could have been independent and avoided all this’.

    Just as that NHS funding document that was leaked yesterday suggests.

    • gonzo21 says:

      Ah, okay. BBCs Reporting Scotland misreported this, the Scottish Communisty Party are not supporting Yes.

      I should probably have figured Reporting Scotland would get everything wrong.

  2. eub says:

    If anyone’s interested in educating an onlooker who’s just read newspapers and the Wikipedia article —

    I’ve seen several people make the point that the SNP has retrogressive attitudes and should not be given situations where they can exercise power. I’ll go with that. But what is it that a Yes vote would give them? Is the issue that they currently hold the majority in the Scottish Parliament, so would have power to control the negotiations and the pace, and would write their attitudes into the institutions of Scotland while rushing the job to fend off discussion? (Would they retain a majority after losing the support of people who dislike their making a hack job of it? Should they be expected to gain popularity in the event of a Yes vote, or would it undercut their reason to exist?)

  3. hairyears says:

    The issue is misgovernment and majoritarianism.

    The latter is a failure mode of a democracy: if you can maintain a coherent voter bloc of fifty-percent-plus-one, you’re in power forever and you can run the country for the benefit of your core supporters.

    In a multi-party system that doesn’t support coalitions, that 50+1 can be forty percent of the vote, or lower.

    …And any minority interest in the rest of the electorate gets overruled, over and over and over again. Even in a benign and well-governed democracy, this becomes a little grating; eventually, even the concessions made to the minority become an irritant, a constant reminder that all you get from voting is bones and scraps thrown from the table.

    In a productive economy, especially a growing economy, there are opportunities for all and *some* of the minority will benefit: this defuses the inevitable tensions.

    In an economy dominated by rent-seeking, the zero-sum nature of the game brings the minority disadvantage into focus – sharply so, in times of economic contraction. Tensions can be lessened by ‘clientism’ – leaders from the minority co-opted into government who maintain support by pork-barrel politics (or outright bribery) paid for as the price of cabinet support.

    When these tensions are not eased by such mechanisms, the failure modes are destructive.

    The most benign route is secession: but that only works where a distinct minority is geographically-concentrated.

    That’s what’s happening in Scotland.

    Other pressure-valves against majoritarianism exist: ageist misgovernment directed against the young results in mass emigration.

    Directed against women, the result is a collapse in the birth rate and, again, emigration – Japan is the poster child for this and there is a distinct gender skew in emigration.

    Against racial minorities, the result is rioting – the follow-on is usually a mixture of repression and co-option of community leaders into clientism.

    The safety-valve against class-based majoritarian misrule has always been divide-and-rule: it’s easy to get a minority to split into factions and fight among themselves, and skilfully-selective policing can make this an extremely effective tool of oppression.

    The problem with that approach is the emergence organised social-support structures which can transition into parallel governments; and the street gangs which provide protection against the violence (or act as proxies for state terror) can easily turn into organised militias. And that’s a failed state, right there.

  4. finopalomino says:

    I think, if it’s Yes, that there is going to be a long phony war, but a real war after that. The Tories are going to rip themselves apart; Miliband doesn’t have the bottle to call them unpatriotic for destroying the country but UKIP does. Finance and business are going to be very alarmed at the scapegoating of finance and europe. Labour will be pushed into a temporary victory next year but like 74-79 we are going to be up to our fucking necks in nazis.

  5. lokifan says:

    Yep. Salmond is a slimeball and he’s definitely taking advantage of the timing. Which I suppose is what politicians do.

    Fingers crossed for no. I’ll be very sad if they leave and not just because of the political reverberations and decimation of the left in the UK.

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