For further intrusion into your private life – vote No

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  Alan Bissett takes a look at anti-Scottish independence dirty tricks campaigns

WHEN I was growing up, during the latter stages of the Cold War, we were told very simple stories about communists.  They ‘hated the West’.

They were ‘not allowed to have their own thoughts’.  The Russians were characterised in popular culture as brainwashed automatons.  Dissent was forbidden.

  Alan Bissett takes a look at anti-Scottish independence dirty tricks campaigns

WHEN I was growing up, during the latter stages of the Cold War, we were told very simple stories about communists.  They ‘hated the West’.

They were ‘not allowed to have their own thoughts’.  The Russians were characterised in popular culture as brainwashed automatons.  Dissent was forbidden.

Governments spied on their citizens.  It was never explained to us that ‘communism’ was also the political system of public ownership of all utilities and resources.  This alone exposes the hypocrisy of Western posturing about Soviet  propaganda.

Far be it for me to defend the monstrosity which Soviet communism became, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that when we were told that the West had to defeat it in order to defend ‘freedom’ we were being sold a lie.

Nothing to fear?

Now we have discovered that the UK government is able to circumvent the law by using the US security services to read our private emails and Facebook messages.

Foreign Secretary William Hague defended this practice with the usual rhetoric: “You have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide.”

While the majority of people are not breaking the law in their private lives, nonetheless it might be highly embarrassing for them to have their personal emails read, or perhaps even used against them by an even less scrupulous future regime.  Rather, it seems to be the government which has ‘something to hide’, such as the very existence of this programme, which only came to light through a whistle-blower.

Further abuses of power by the British state are simply too numerous to fit into this article, but I’d refer you to two excellent books: Web of Deceit by Mark Curtis, about the methods used by Britain to undermine democracy abroad, and Cruel Britannia by Ian Cobain, about the state’s use of torture.

Margaret Thatcher’s government in the 1980s conducted various ‘dirty tricks’ against the National Union of Miners (or the “enemy within” as Maggie liked to call them), including the bugging of phones, media manipulation and the infiltration of the miners by spies.  Make no mistake, this was part of an onslaught by the ruling class, whom Thatcher was defending, against the entire British working class, of which the NUM was the most organised form.

This is all done in the name of ‘security’, a catch-all, Orwellian euphemism which means British capitalism doing whatever the hell it likes in order to protect itself against us.  The idea that ordinary Brits are ‘free’ is one of the more elementary cons we are asked to believe.

Given how the UK state conducts ‘security’, we should not be surprised at the extent of the dirty tricks campaign against the greatest threat to it since World War II: Scottish independence.

Knowing that, if Scotland votes in favour of autonomy, the international prestige of the UK will be weakened, the Trident nuclear submarine will have to be dismantled and lucrative oil revenues will be diminished, the British establishment is pulling out all the stops to prevent it.  You must have noticed the steady stream of scare stories being fed to the media on a daily basis, about how the sky will fall in if Scotland becomes independent.

The truth is that it is the UK state which is dangerous to Scotland, not independence.  Incredibly, few Scots know of the existence of the McCrone Report, commissioned by the Tories in 1974, which said that if an independent Scotland were to nationalise its oil industry it would be one of the richest countries in the world.

The Tories and Labour colluded to bury the report, until it was unearthed by one determined SNP activist 30 years later.  Denis Healey, Chancellor of the Exchequer for this period, admitted only last month that the Labour government freely lied to the Scottish people about the extent of the oil reserves. 

By 1979, Labour would be trying to derail Scottish devolution by insisting that 40 per cent of the total electorate had to vote for it, although this is not how Westminster referendums work.  This meant that, even al-though 51 per cent of Scots who voted in 1979 wanted devolution, it was not allowed to pass.

We were even promised more power should we vote against devolution, but what did we get?  Margaret Thatcher using Scotland’s vast oil wealth against us, to bankroll her programme of de-industrialisation.

Fast forward to 1999 and you’ll find Tony Blair and Donald Dewar, Scotland’s inaugural First Minster and so-called ‘Father of the Nation’, using the powers of the new parliament to rezone 6000 square miles of Scottish sea-water into English territory.  They didn’t even inform the Scottish people about this, let alone consult us.  Two guesses what’s in those waters?  That’s right. Oil.

Better together? Aye right.

War criminals

Theirs is a campaign which was given half a million pounds by a man with links to both Saddam Hussein and Serbian war criminals.  They’re not even embarrassed about that.  Tells you all you need to know about their moral compass.

As momentum gathers towards the referendum in 2014, expect more outright lies and behind-the-scenes manipulation, to prevent Scots from realising the potential of this historic opportunity.

Dirty tricks are what the UK establishment specialises in.  Only this week, the highly-respected Margo McDonald said that she suspects British intelligence has already infiltrated the Yes campaign, a peaceful and democratic movement.

The message is clear: for further intrusion into your private life, vote No.

This article appears courtesy of the Scottish Socialist Voice