Tweet Follow @Butterfly_Reb
We learned a few important lessons from last week’s local council elections. What we were supposed to have learned was that the independence movement has peaked, that the Conservative and Unionist Party is on the rise, and that soon Scotland will be brought to heel. Of course, being thrawn as ever, these weren’t the lessons we took from the experience.
Our first lesson – something we seem to have to be taught over and over – was that the British Conservative ruling élite and the British media establishment are acting as one, as two flanks of the same assault. Secondly, we have realised that we are now completely mired in the post-truth media landscape the BBC and its allied establishment-aligned affiliates have rapidly constructed.
“A balanced representation of the facts, impartiality and fairness, and truth are already things of the past. We have entered a whole new phase of our constitutional conflict with London.”
Scotland, no longer a pacified British territory, is now subject to an entirely different set of rules regarding how it is approached by the Westminster government and the unionist media. A balanced representation of the facts, impartiality and fairness, and truth are already things of the past. We have entered a whole new phase of our constitutional conflict with London. The veneer of national collaboration has been removed, revealing a more open and overt domination.
Regardless of the Scottish National Party winning 155 seats more than its nearest rival and increasing its share of the vote, the relentless narrative of the London government being piped through the unionist media monopoly is that the Conservatives – the party of the Westminster government – won. Tory councillors elected on 13 per cent of the vote and less, and on the ninth or tenth count, are being heralded as a sign that Thatcherism is making a come-back in Scotland. The truth – a fair and balanced presentation of the facts – has been shelved.
All of this sets a dangerous precedent. It is a massively significant attack on the integrity of our democracy, an aggressive and hostile violation of our human and national rights. It would be foolish of us to weigh up the facts for ourselves, and – assured of our leading position – presume that we are secure. This would be to grossly underestimate the power of this latest Westminster ploy, because it fails to take into account the purpose of the polls and media narrative in this new context.
On the post-truth political landscape polls no longer function as an instrument by which voting intentions are gauged, but as a tool for directing desired electoral outcomes. Media, reduced to massaged and distorted bits of information and facts conforming to an overarching narrative, has become the means by which governments manufacture consent. Those in control of the mechanisms for disseminating this ‘news’ have at their disposal a weapon we cannot afford to ignore.
Outwith Scotland we can see that this government and media dishonesty is catalysing a landslide shift in English opinion that, if left unchecked or otherwise unaddressed in Scotland, will pull us with an irresistible force into a chaotic, isolationist, and frighteningly ethno-nationalistic Brexit vortex. Over extensive swathes of northern England’s deindustrialised rust belt enclaves of hundreds of thousands of people have been battered into a hellish and suicidal despondency by decades of Labour neglect, abuse, and criminalisation. The Tories and their far-right minions have heaped on them one misery after another. This culture of hopelessness has evolved to become the pressure cooker and crucible of a chthonic rage now firing, thanks to the work of their political handlers, in every direction but that of the cause of their pain.
Against this body of the defeated English working class the British state has levelled social welfare sanctions and hunger, unemployment and punitive benefits systems, healthcare cuts, and now a social engineering two-child policy and its attendant rape clause – all measures in one way or another directed to the ends of class, social, and ethnic cleansing. Yet the more frustrated and tired these people – our sisters and brothers – become, the more they are either withdrawing altogether from politics or drifting further to the right.
“People who have gone without an income for weeks and months at a time; who are standing in line at foodbanks, who have traded their humanity for tins of soup, are voting for UKIP and the Tories – as they are now doing in places like Shettleston here in Scotland.”
There is now no doubt that this is the grand strategy. This is how Britain’s bureaucratic state – both under Labour and the Conservatives – intends to deal with the problem that is the now economically useless ballast of the former working class. This too was the decided fate of Scotland, and this will be the fate of a defeated Scotland.
As long as England continues on the path that it is headed we are powerless to save or protect these people. I can’t begin to express how heartbroken I am when I think of this. People who have gone without an income for weeks and months at a time; who are standing in line at foodbanks, who have traded their humanity for tins of soup, are voting for UKIP and the Tories – as they are now doing in places like Shettleston here in Scotland. Remaining at their side – out of a now unwelcome sense of neighbourliness or class solidarity – will only result in us being taken down with them.
Some five million of us here in Scotland have only one option – taking the state. A country where children are fed and educated, where the sick and the vulnerable are cherished, and where people are put before profits is still achievable. But it is a flight of pure fantasy to imagine that this revolution can ever be affected at Westminster. That tomb is already sealed. That state is broken. We are forced to take our own state – Scotland – and in so doing rescue ourselves and our families from the queue to the slaughterhouse in which we are all standing. Our political will and independent spirit has bought for us a temporary stay of execution, but unless we can carry this through – and in short order – that will and spirit will soon become exhausted, shrivel up and die.
Our remedy and cure can be purchased only with power. We do not have that power. All we have is a powerful hunger for that power. Only the state has that power, and at this moment in time that state is not our state. It is a state occupied by the despoilers of the world, and we – us dangerous subversives – are well and truly in their sights. Our window of opportunity is fast closing, and we had better stop dithering. It is time to take the state, to drive an immovable wedge between Scotland and the disease that is Westminster. Our lives depend on it. Our future depends on our independence.
The Butterfly Rebellion