As British democracy descends into increasing farce, sleaze, and scandal how many people in the Union wish they had a lifeline of independence that could spirit them away from the shambles of Westminster politics? Is there a country in the Union that wouldn’t want to devolve itself of the self-serving detritus that embodies Britain’s parliament? It is clear that when English citizens canvassed their Caledonian cousins with pleas that it was Better Together it was actually a cry of help to not abandon them.
When Yes voters in Scotland spoke of being held hostage by English politics and English choices for government they were, of course, talking about Tory governments. If Scotland knows anything it is the harm that a Tory government ensconced in a far away and ethically remote Westminster can inflict. After sneaking a narrow victory against Scottish self-determination, the Tories sneaked a majority in the general election and have thrust Britain into the greatest constitutional upheaval since the Reformation. If anything could have underlined the precise reason why Scotland should have grasped its opportunity to wave goodbye to the corruption of British democracy, then this current Tory leadership is it.
On the opposite side of the House, the remnants of Labour’s failed Third Way hold Labour hostage to their failed ideology and, in doing so, deny Britain an effective opposition. In their attempts to corrupt Labour’s democracy it is easy to see why Labour has been so resolutely rejected north of Hadrian’s wall. Who would put their faith in the hands of an opposition that is predisposed to opposing itself? Even if the current leadership retain their mandate, those opposing it from within have committed themselves to a continued campaign to focus their opposition within and not without. Labour could be faced with decades of civil war. If the current leadership lose their mandate then why would anyone put their faith in the hands of those who, when the Tories were at their most vulnerable, turned their ambitions inward? The Tories made ground on Labour in the 2015 election because of English anti-Scottish fears and fears that Labour would seek to fairly represent Scottish interests. Those opposing Jeremy Corbyn have made it clear that they wish to offer a Labour not far removed from the Tories and, historically, Labour’s Third Way abandoned Scottish voters decades ago. Only a Labour that has devolved itself of the remnants of the Third Way will present anyone an effective opposition and a government that anyone could have any faith in, let alone Scotland.
The message from IndyRef, from the 2010 and 2015 general elections, and from the EU Referendum is that people are sick to the back teeth of Westminster politics. Scotland are also clearly sick to the back teeth of the Tories and the Tory press, with England slow to catch on but, for anyone taking the time to observe the anti Corbyn activities, many more are beginning to see the detrimental role being played by a collusion between a self-interested neocon press and neocon politicians of the Right and Left.
Naomi Klein wrote in The Shock Doctrine of the neoliberal capability to exploit political and socio-economic chaos and its history of fostering that chaos so that it can exploit it; like the fracking which appears to have caused earthquakes in the United States, neoliberal gerrymandering of chaos has spun out of control and its shockwaves stretch far beyond anything which the neocons can intellectually contain. Like a vampiric bull rider in a rodeo, neocons sink their teeth into a bucking beast of an economy and hope to have sucked it dry before they have been thrown off. The dominant culture of the Westminster politico-media class is of that vampiric tradition but with clearly less intellectual capability than previous generations. Scotland should lead the way for Great Britain and be the first to shrug off the ghosts of Westminster.
The countries of Great Britain need to form a fresh Union of the Kingdom from positions of respected sovereignty; the politics of Westminster are as decayed and arcane as the walls which cast shadows over them.