by John Souter
They say you should never write when you’re angry. And even after I’ve chased out the dog who was startled into my study by the sound of a vacuum being thumped around and dust and cigar ash being redistributed to who knows where, I’m still angry. So here goes, and to hell whether reason is drowned by polemic or if anger can drive reason to the heights of enlightenment.
First, in the cause of reason, I have to declare where I stand. As a Scot who has lived most of my life in very acceptable parts of England I still regard myself as a staunch supporter of Scotland’s fight for independence. I brook no argument as to my right to have these views and to advance and argue for them. That said, I neither have truck for the xenophobic tripe of the ‘Wha’s Like Us’ brigade, or its offshoots of sectarianism. Neither do I have time for the malaise of apathy adopted by the ‘leave it to our betters; what can we dae aboot it?’ battalions. The fact underlining this plea is that England, as with every other part of this dystopian and dysfunctional Union, is as badly served by Westminster’s version of democracy on the common people as any other.
To illustrate my point I’ll use a quote from Robert Noonan’s book (written under the nom-de-plume Robert Tressall) ‘The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists’.
Every man who is not helping to bring about a better state of affairs for the future is helping to perpetuate the present misery, and is therefore the enemy of his own children.
The “enemy of his own children”, that’s a damning indictment against a generation. Especially one where the contest to bring about that better state does not call for the loss of blood or limb, or the carnage of chaos through revolution, but merely the impetus to cast off the slough of apathy and demand the rules of democracy be adhered to in line with the rights we’re told we already have.
This damnation is doubled, when a door that’s been locked tight for generations has been cracked open and only needs shoulders, backbones and legs to thrust it open to exchange suppression for freedom. But of course it takes a mind to initiate action.
So what’s caused this frenzied bee to buzz under my bonnet?
Earlier this week we had the results of a poll conducted in Scotland with reference to the coming Scottish General Election. Amidst cries of jubilation we were told the SNP had forged ahead (which they hadn’t); while the other camps, if they commented at all on the (quite serious for some) fall on the grading of their chances, mumbled about one offs.
It struck me while reading and trying to sort out the wheat from the diatribes of chaff and the ubiquitous gripes of media bias towards parties or Union by the MSM, I’d seen nor heard nothing on a Scottish version of the leaders’ debates being scheduled for the coming election.
This seemed to me to be a major gap in the campaign armoury for all the parties, and a huge flaw in the development, construction and distribution of the democratic process. It’s also the political equivalent of raising two fingers to Scotland and its people.
So I posted a few comments covering this and contacted a handful of editors of blogs querying why this fault had never been raised. In truth, on one blog a comment on the issue had been raised hours before mine. I asked, if not – why not? And if it’s down to ifs, shouldn’t we be raising the roof about it?
Even if we fail to get the TV gurus to rise to the challenge, wouldn’t it add the final nail to the coffin of their supposedly unbiased and professional journalistic attitude to the prattle of deceit spewed out of the mouths of our political masters under the guise of democratic process?
Response: zilch. Moderated off, or ignored.
Which leaves the question, if it’s good enough for Westminster, is it too good for Scotland and the other devolved nations?
After all it couldn’t be down to scheduling. Brown went to the Palace on the 6th April 2010 for an election scheduled for the 6th of May. There’s more than double that time to get the schedule sorted in Scotland.
Even the SNP challenged their exclusion from the Westminster debates, and asked for donations to pay for it. I sent enough to probably pay for 30 seconds of their leading QC’s time. The legal challenge failed, but why are they not clamouring for one now on a purely Scottish election, on Scottish issues, in Scottish airtime, on Scottish democracy and through channels supported by money from the Scottish people?
At a time when politics have reduced principles to excrement, have they not got the backbone to stand by theirs? Or has the slime of ‘real politik’ reduced them to the same level of sentient mollusc?
I declare my purpose. I’m convinced the SNP will come out of the debate(s) head and shoulders – if not upper torso – above the Unionists. They, when all’s said and done, have to defend a heritage of failure created by decree of the Union. Even under the frustrations and restriction of governing as a minority, the SNP will advance the cause of independence and democracy in Scotland. But why should this progression be allowed to be thwarted, even influenced, by the dubious attitudes and services provided by a handful of media executives?
Why should these sycophantic jobsworths of the establishment be the rampart that indicts us as the enemy of our own children?
We all know, or should know, the arithmetical arguments: 45.6 million electorate UK wide, 41.3 of which is England’s, leaving 4.3m for the rest, of which roughly 2m is Scotland’s. Does size matter when the issues involved are solely relevant to a nation and its democratic process?
Well it does, even when only half a million of that nation consider themselves to be oppressed and can be counted and identified through a process systematically denied to the 41.3 million. Consider the percentages, 25% (12million people) denied the choice of what might best suit them, add in the 15 million who chose not to vote in the Westminster elections, then factor down the 12m to 6m to cover for those who did vote on the basis of the least worse option and that’s democracy buggered before the cheek of a parliamentary arse hits a Westminster seat.
But to me it’s the ratio of people to potential and space that is Scotland’s glory and viability as a nation. Its opportunity to raise quality without the drags of quantity stifling its demographics, and paradoxically, the quantity of its natural and commercial assets raising the quality of life it can afford its balanced quantity of people.
In short, Scotland is I believe reaching for that cracked open door. If the media , BBC, STV, Sky et al, either by inference, denial or barefaced lie say its better back on the latch, and Scotland chooses to believe them, then you are your children’s enemy and I hope they damn you to hell for your timidity but have the compassion to grant you solace for your blindness.
There you have it. Tell me to bugger off if you will. But in the name and the universality of the wee man and his children; get your finger out and bloody do something about it.