Monday, 26 May 2014

UKIP 'win' in Scotland can stimulate Yes response

Some political clouds can have a silver, even radical, lining.

If Twitter and other social media is any useful measure, progressive minds in Scotland and elsewhere woke this morning to the sinking realisation of a very first UKIP Scottish seat. For many, it was more gutting news following the weekend's Glasgow School of Art fire.

But it's also been a timely reminder of how more alert and preventative action through a Yes vote can keep the proto-independence 'building' safely protected.

UKIP's 'entry' into Scotland has seen considerable gloating from sundry Unionists, some, sadly, on the left: look, they say, Scotland's really 'no different from the rest'.

Well, some perspective: UKIP won the election in England, on a tiny 34 per cent turnout. It came fourth in Scotland, just squeezing out the Greens to take the last seat under a PR system designed to include smaller parties.

And there's the more prosaic truth that, despite nominal anti-immigration feeling, this and related media/political-fed issues are not nearly as toxic in Scotland.   

Not that UKIP's 10 per cent showing has prevented a No-serving media from pitching this as a 'serious blow to Salmond'.

Still, beyond such distortion, the failure to stop UKIP in Scotland should prompt greater awareness not only of establishment fearmongering but the reality of a reactionary section of 'home Unionism' in thrall to UKIP's message. Between now and September, still-swaying voters will hopefully realise that only a Yes choice can check both this and the wider politics of anti-immigrant hatred.     

Even though UKIP registered its surge on that small UK turnout, which may not translate into similar levels of support in a 2015 general election, we can be safely sure that ConDemLab policy will dutifully follow the UKIP 'mood moment'.

We can also safely assume a continuation of the BBC Farage-fest and tabloid hate that's made voting for a proto-fascist party 'respectable'. No need to support the BNP now that the same essential message has been rendered 'media clean' on Question Time and in Daily Mail headlines.
Of course, this is the very state and proprietor media which routinely approves and excuses 'non-controversial' politicians, those who direct mass murder in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. UKIP have just been safely inducted into that cosy Westminster club.  

All of which facilitates the mainstream political courting of Farage. Cameron, Clegg and Miliband are now in a race, indeed a panicked sprint, to the right. New Labour, be assured, are not about to take some dramatic left turn in 2015. There will be no deliverance.

Alas, a cabal of neoliberal parties and a loaded parliamentary system doesn't leave leftists in England and Wales with many viable options, other than to boycott the entire Westminster sham.   

Scotland now, at least, has that emergency left exit; another possible direction, an option that can encourage and assist others.  Never before have we been able to seize such a vital opportunity, not only to vacate Westminster but to undermine the entire edifice of the British State.

That may not be a foremost thought for most would-be Yes voters. But, as Chris Bambery asserts, such ideological bonding is keeping key power institutions like Westminster and the City of London intact, with people locked into an obedient political mindset. 

If UKIP's 'arrival' in Scotland is being lamented, it may also provide a more useful jolt to the Independence cause, a rejection of the latest right-wing lurch and a greater dedication to the breaking of the British State.

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