Envisioning a new Scotland, all throughout the two years of the Scottish independence campaign, the positive message of the Yes movement was one of peace and hope for a better Scotland and for our future generations. In stark contrast to this vision were the violent ‘celebrations’ of racist unionists on the night that the referendum was lost to Britain. Our reward now, for electing to remain under the yoke of Westminster, is yet more violence. Britain’s Westminster parliament yesterday debated on going to war for a third time in Iraq and leaving the way open for extending this war to Syria. No less than five hundred and twenty-four members of the House of Commons voted in favour of more bloodletting in Britain’s former possession and imperial client, against a mere forty-two; including five Scots members of the Scottish National Party and two Welsh MPs of Plaid Cymru. With only fifty-nine Scottish seats in Westminster it is worth noting that even had all Scots in the House voted not to go to war the motion would still have carried, and Scottish lives would still be gambled in the furtherance of Britain’s ambitions abroad. Whether the people of Scotland like this or nor, whether they support it or not, they have no say in Westminster’s will to war. What is now crystal clear to Scotland is that this is the future so long as it is shackled to Westminster rule – a future that is not one of peace and hope. It is more of the same; a changeless abyss of violence and greed.
Over two hours into a futile seven hour debate the tone was set by God’s own representative to England, Justin Welby, the established Church of England’s Archbishop of Canterbury. Not a week ago the Butterfly Rebellion was roundly lambasted for employing the ‘1300s’ language of the Declaration of Arbroath, the foundational document of Scottish liberty which guarantees the peace and future hope of Scotland, yet even the language of the Butterfly Rebellion pales in comparison to the draconian ‘Christian’ crusader rhetoric of the Lord Archbishop. Singularly ignoring the rich cultural and religious meaning of Jihad (the duty of inner spiritual struggle) in the tradition of Islam, he used his words to further isolate innocent Muslims in Scotland and around the world between extremism in their own faith and racism in Scotland and England. Despicably he invoked the name of Jesus of Nazareth, a man who taught unconditional love and peace with the radical denunciation of violence in his words, “Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.” Then, betraying his utter failure to grasp the nuances of the wider conflict in the Middle East and inter-faith dialogue he appealed to Jewish and Christian culture and civilisation as though they were somehow superior to Islamic means of building a peaceful world. Avoiding the real issue of Britain’s interest in resources in Scotland and the Middle East, the Archbishop, who himself spent a long career as an executive in a number of international oil companies before finding religion, provided the British war mongers with heaven’s blessing for murder.
Few would argue, least of all here, that the so-called Caliphate or Islamic State is a force for good in the world, but then neither is Britain. When we speak of extremist expressions of Islam in Iraq and elsewhere we are speaking of a reaction to a long history of brutal colonialism and dehumanisation by Western imperial states and modern super-powers. The result of the previous illegal invasion and oppressive US and British military occupation of Iraq, along with the West’s continuing arming of Israel, has been the complete destabilisation and polarisation the region. Britain and its Western ‘allies’ created violent Islamic extremism, not the leaders and foot soldiers of the Islamic State. Without the despoiling of the land and cultures of the oil rich Islamic World by Britain and its friends we would certainly not now be facing this present crisis. Peace is not something that can ever be brought about by further violence. Peace is always an option, no matter what the noble lords and primates of the upper house and the commoners of the lower house in Westminster say. The simple answer to this problem is that Britain does not want peace. Peace and development offer little prospect of future supplies of oil.
So now as we face another war that will take its toll on more children, more women and men, more innocents, we have to praise those MPs who spoke out and voted for the value of human life and dignity. In a Scotland still subjected to British political rule we, however heartbroken for the suffering that lies ahead ‘in our name,’ can be proud of the moral strength and courage of our Scottish representatives who refused to put their names behind this disgusting war. Praise is extending also to the Welsh, Irish and English women and men who refused to consent to Britain’s vile desire to prolong and increase this global culture of death and destruction in which Westminster has trapped us. Quite predictably Scottish Labour, true to its tory agenda and Britishness, voted for a war on the working people of Iraq. Labour, as a party of the working class, is now as dead as Britain. It is clear, in light of the recent Westminster lies to the Scottish people, the budgetary cut punishment, and this decision to take us into another war, that if Scotland is ever to realise the peace and create the future of hope it wishes then it must continue to work towards its complete disentanglement from the British state. We live in hope.
– For a peaceful Scottish future