So here we go again.
Another two, three or more years of any stability blighted by the nationalist obsession with separating Scotland from the rest of Britain, the charge led as always not by any intellectual crėme de la crėme of the independence movement but by the blundering schemers and bullies of the SNP.
In classic nationalist fashion they already seem to have some fundraiser underway – a million pounds has been mentioned. Why not? It’s a nice round number and after all the late Yes movement sought to get a million signatures for indy in 2014. Anyone hear how that went? More recently, of course, they’ve had their famous ‘National Survey’ that supposedly received two million responses. Anyone hear how that went? They seem to like round numbers, although the round numbers they’ll have to explain away if it gets anywhere near a vote are the billions in fiscal transfer the Scottish government gets every year from the UK Treasury. That’s posh for subsidy by the way.
Still, what do facts matter in the SNP’s shadowy world of brushes with the truth? Check, as if you needed a reminder, ‘Once in a lifetime,’ the glib promise perpetrated by Nicola Sturgeon in 2014.
Of course, Nicola wasn’t the only politician to use the once in a lifetime/generation lie, although to hark back to my first paragraph above I see her more as a schemer than a bully. For that mantle, step forward Salmond, A.
Yesterday’s man, the old dinosaur who couldn’t retire gracefully, was all over the media like a rash in the hours after Sturgeon’s press conference (Sky News had a story that along with other un-named senior SNP members, he’d pushed the first minister into another referendum). I don’t know if he had a slot on Russia Today but I’m sure they covered the news … sympathetically. Someone pointed out that in the commons, doing his Mr Angry act, he was already wearing a Yes badge.
Which brings me to the words he was heard also using yesterday, that Scotland has been ‘a proud European nation for a thousand years.’
It’s the sort of language he used in 2014 with his talk of ‘the sovereign will of the Scottish people’ and when he quoted Nehru’s ‘soul of a nation, long suppressed’ approvingly, as if Scotland were a single living entity. It’s not exactly looking to the future and always comes with the hectoring tone of his delivery.
Ironically, for a man supposedly so aware of history, a proud European nation for a thousand years is also historically inaccurate. The concept of a nation in a modern sense was unknown in 1017 (to be precise). And I can’t believe that many inhabitants of Scotland at the time had a notion of it as European. It’s almost as if the former first minister sees some sort of proto-EU of the time in which Scotland played a full part.
Still, that’s the way he speaks. No doubt we’ll be getting a lot more of it over the next few years and no doubt it’ll appeal to a minority of backward-looking Scots.
Of course, as well as the blustering faux patriotism, Alex is also a bit of a gambler, hence the ‘Game on’ in the title of this post. It’s a phrase he used a few weeks ago when he detected a ‘surge’ for separation in the opinion polls. Gamblers, as bookies well know, are long-term losers.
Meantime, my thanks to the online friend who used ‘Quebec2’ yesterday to give me some comfort in the wake of Nicola’s press conference. It was an odd echo for me because, for reasons I explained in the very first post on this blog, its URL is mercinon, an oblique reference to that province of Canada.
Quebec also had two referendums on its separation from Canada, hence ‘Quebec2.’ It should be an unsettling thought for the great gambler but doubtless it won’t show, at least if and until his second ‘day after.’ I shall return to the dreadful warning, for the separatists, of Quebec and its two failed referendums in a future post.
The morning after the night before – Round One