The way forward?

I’m not up to a post about the results yesterday, other than to say, well done to Alison Johnstone and Patrick Harvie on your elections, well done to the Scottish Greens activists who fought a good campaign. And well done to the SNP – they won what the designers of devolution tried to make impossible: a majority at Holyrood.

And now we’ll have a referendum on independence. Like most Greens and the party as a whole, I support Scottish independence, though it’s got to be sustainable and supported by our renewable resources. And yes, I was born and brought up in England. I am, in some of the senses that matter, English. That’s a big part of why I support independence.

I got into a wee chat with @WilliamCB on Twitter when I asked “What does England want Scotland for?” He said, “What do you want the rest of your family for?”

Well, I know and love my family – all my extended family live in England, by the way – and they know and love me. Growing up near Cambridge, I neither knew nor loved Scotland. I sort of knew it was there, and vaguely thought it was probably pretty much the same as where I was. Then I moved here, and, to my surprise, I discovered that the unknown cousin was a wild, fun, beautiful and distinctive place, confident and vibrant, and obsessed, for some reason I still can’t quite get, with Irn Bru. And Tunnock’s Tea Cakes. Seriously, nothing said “I don’t know you” during this campaign than Ed Milliband mocking Annabel Goldie for launching the Scottish Tory manifesto from the Tunnock’s factory.

And, to stretch the metaphor, if a family member has an addiction, and just can’t stop, well, voting Tory, and destroying themselves in the process? And they bring the destructiveness of their Tory-voting lifestyle into your home and fuck it up? And at some point you have to say: it doesn’t matter how I feel about you, I have to say you can’t bring the Tory-ness in here any more? Well, that’s all I can say right now. Scotland demonstrates over and over again that we don’t want the neo-liberal shock-and-awe Tories (or the old patrician kind either). We can’t do any more for England than we already have. And England doesn’t even notice, just keeps voting for the idiots.

Time to cut them loose.


One Response to The way forward?

  1. While I agree with localism when it comes to things like schools and bus routes and elder care, I think voting intentions may be a little too time contingent to make the case you want it too. Advocates for independence need an argument that will be true not only for the next 5 years, or even the next 50, but also for the next 300. England’s tendency to go Tory is at least partly due to a flawed electoral system, but even if we accepted it as a given, it may not be true forever, and it may not be true forever the Scotland will be left-ish. One day these trends will reverse — would that be case for undoing independence? For that matter, is it a case for changing where the England-Scotland boundary is, since the North of England tends to go left-ish too, and has a lot of soco-political history in common with Scotland (as do Wales and Cornwall)? Maybe what we really need is to make London and its commuter belt independent.


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