Mhairi Black observes that, when the ‘lead not leave’ platitude was being peddled, some people “maybe even believed that the UK Government would make a considered effort to take the Scottish view into account”. It should also be noted that some didn’t believe it, but didn’t care. They have important things to think about; like TV soaps, football matches and royal weddings. They can’t be expected to concern themselves with trivial matters such as the destruction of Scotland’s democracy.
Others were fully aware of the deception, but fully approved of it. Applauded it. Celebrated it. Scotland’s great tragedy is that it is home to a significant minority who rejoice in Scotland being demeaned and denigrated and diminished. It is a fundamental tenet of British Nationalist ideology that Scotland must be less if that is what is required in order that the British state may be more.
British Nationalists were never taken in by the ‘lead not leave’ plea because they regard the very idea of Scotland having any kind of lead role as unthinkable and faintly ridiculous. Belief in the primacy of the British ruling elites precludes Scotland being anything other than subordinate. Their can be no parity of status where one party is presumed to be ‘naturally’ preeminent.
For British Nationalists, who make up between 10 and 20 percent of the electorate, Scotland’s prosperity and dignity are things to be thoughtlessly sacrificed for the greater glory of the British state. They see nothing wrong in a requirement for consent that presumes consent to have been granted because they cannot conceive of circumstances in which it would be right to withhold consent from the British political elite.
They see nothing wrong in misleading, deceiving and lying to the people of Scotland in order to preserve their precious Union. On the contrary, they take great pride in doing so effectively. Liars and frauds are elevated to the status of heroes if their chicanery has been practised in the name of the British state.
No doubt people did believe that the British government would “make a considered effort to take the Scottish view into account”. But why would that be acceptable to anyone other than the British Nationalist fanatics just described? Why should the people of Scotland have to rely on a government they decisively rejected making an effort to consider their views?
Why would anyone with a modicum of respect for democracy and themselves accept anything less than that they be governed by people who take their views into account as a matter of course? Isn’t that a minimum requirement of any government? Isn’t it the very least that we’re entitled to expect?
Isn’t it about time we demanded that minimum?
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