Friday, 31 January 2020

False flags and SNP betrayal on Brexit 'independence' day

And so, here we are, last day of January, with sundry Brexiteers waving Union flags and celebrating their 'Independence Day'. Well, obnoxious and crass as it all seems, good luck to them.

The more substantive question one may ask on this day is: independence from what? From one form of hegemonic control and elite rule to another? And, indeed: transition to what? Same capitalist system, just a different set of neoliberal economic arrangements?

Still, let people have their moment. When all the dust has settled over the 'Brexit Issue', many will hopefully come to realise that this was really an establishment-rooted crisis all along, and that when the varying elements of the self-serving capitalist order at the core of it are finished 'sorting it out', there will be no appreciable benefit for all those so cynically dragged into and embroiled in their 'Great Debate.'     

For others here in Scotland, this could have been another red letter day, one, indeed, that could have transcended Brexit Day itself, by marking the decisive moment that Nicola Sturgeon set out the date and plans for a new Independence referendum. 

Instead, Sturgeon and the SNP leadership have evaded that key opportunity by wrapping themselves in another nationalist flag and set of jingoistic bunting. And, no, it's not the Saltire. 

As it has done for the past three-and-a-half years, the SNP has been waving EU flags and emblems as it prioritised the issue of Brexit over Scottish Independence.

All the key political resources and energies it has expended on defending the UK from Brexit could have been concentrated on building, planning and agitating for independence.

Not only has it won successive popular mandates and parliamentary votes for Indyref2, it has now, on this official Brexit Day, exhausted every last possible 'wait and see' excuse for not proceeding with those approvals.

Sturgeon's speech today was a classic in political window-dressing, stressing the 'importance' of 'realistic holding' rather than 'false routes', and 'ongoing political persuasion' over 'obsession with process'. It has to be 'legal' and 'legitimate', she insists.

Yet, none of this provides the remotest explanation of how she or her party are going to counter Johnson's, or any other agent of the establishment's, perpetual blocking of that process. The reality of the SNP's 'problem' here may be obvious. The absence of any serious Plan B after all this time is completely inexcusable.

What, moreover, is this insistence on the 'proper way of doing things'? As one timely comment has it: "If people in the past relied on politicians ‘doing things properly’ we would still be waiting for the vote!"

And, indeed, one can only but suspect a more base purpose behind Sturgeon's 'realism' and 'hope' speech: the reality of protecting SNP party interests, careers and salaries, and keeping their MPs in cosy Westminster seats; and her hope that the Yes street can be tempered, managed and encouraged to keep building and delivering those very convenient mandates.

It's understandable, of course, that Indy supporters and other Remainers in Scotland will be lamenting the Brexit hour tonight. Scotland, after all, voted strongly to stay in the EU.

Yet, while many are wrapping themselves in that blue and starry flag, they should remember that the UK decision to leave represents the very material change that gives them this vital new opportunity to realise Indy.

That Sturgeon has still managed not to utilise and advance that golden opportunity even by this Brexit Day is politically unconscionable.

And judging from the wave of disappointed, disillusioned and dejected Yes people responding to her "excellent...proper cut above" speech, she and her inner cabal must surely see the dangerous new political waters they now find themselves in. 

On this day of Brexit and lost chance for Scotland, many will now come to see not only the Union establishment as a major impediment to Scottish independence, but the leader and supposed party of independence itself.

And it's worth noting at this juncture that before we ever get to that Independence Day for Scotland, we better also start thinking about just how independent it can ever be from those prevailing neoliberal rules and the kind of establishment-abiding values and priorities that this party continues to uphold.       

No comments: