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Scottish independence is a hot political question. The answer to this question – be that the continuation of London rule or the future self-determination of our country – is a matter of massive importance to a great many people. As a political question our attention is drawn to its importance not so much by the efforts of those campaigning for independence, but by the vast amount of energy being put into stopping the question being asked at all. There are forces at work in the United Kingdom that want nothing more than for the entire Scottish question to go away.
How power operates is a fascinating field of enquiry. Analogous to the interrogation of a criminal or the interview of a personality on the television, what is often of most interest to the police or the interviewer – or the public – is what the person with the information is trying to conceal. Such concealment happens when the subject employs any number of rhetorical devises – evasion, equivocation, manipulation, misdirection, intimidation, and often downright lies – designed to keep the truth from coming into the light.
“The UK government has gone to the length of deploying the British Army to cyberspace in its ideological war against Scottish independence.”
In modern Britain the question of Scottish statehood has put the Westminster government and all the obfuscated powers behind it in the hot seat. There is a question to be answered; an answer that will have a profound effect on the nature of power in the United Kingdom. Without exception, wherever there are people with power and power structures, those with power will go to extraordinary lengths to safeguard their power and the structures that imbue them with it. Power, like a demonic invader, has an intelligence almost all of its own – and power in Britain is no exception.
Before this question bubbled to the surface of Scottish history and social awareness again we were led to believe we lived in a free and democratic society. Our journalists and the media apparatus behind them were sold to us the vanguard of the “Free World.” The freedom of the press shone the light of truth into every sphere of human experience, ensuring justice and transparency. Okay, we knew it was never this perfect. But we were in the main satisfied with the idea at least that, at its best, it protected our way of life. We could turn a blind eye and sleep soundly at night. All was well.
It is, however, in asking the questions we are not allowed to ask that we discover the true limitation of our freedom. By asking again if Scotland could be an independent country we crossed the invisible line and have discovered the lengths to which the state and its minions are willing to go to force us to un-ask this dangerous question.
When we read that the UK government has gone to the length of deploying the British Army to cyberspace in its ideological war against Scottish independence – a war with soldiers against its own citizens – we begin to see how much the question of our independence matters to the British government. Cyber dark-ops or psych-ops tactics developed in Iraq and Afghanistan by the multi-billion pound British military-industrial complex for use in a propaganda war against civilians living under hostile military occupation are being used daily – on and off line – in an effort to stop us asking this question. So when people ask us if Scottish independence matters, we can answer: It certainly matters to London.
How much the UK spends on this war cannot be known. As this is an actual and ongoing military operation, the money involved – like the details – are a matter of national security. What the British government is doing in Scotland and to Scottish people is a state secret. What we can safely assume is that whatever the cost – it’s not cheap, and we’re paying for it.
If nothing else, this fantastical and fanatical interest in the question of Scottish independence on the part of the British state should make Scottish independence a matter of interest to us too. The specifics to the answer to this question are always changing. In 2014 the people of Scotland voted against independence – or so we are led to believe – because we wanted things to remain the same. Independence meant a certain amount of uncertainty about the future. That has now fundamentally flipped. Leaving the United Kingdom is now the only way for us to keep things the same – and this Brexit consequential is so much more than a “political” issue.
It is, however, in asking the questions we are not allowed to ask that we discover the true limitation of our freedom.
Where London is taking us as a result of the acting out of its isolationist and neo-imperialist fantasies is to a place of certainty; we can be certain Brexit will seriously damage Scotland and our way of life. It will close us off from the outside world to an extent we have never been cut off since we were last invaded by an English Army in 1296 – and, yes, it has been that long. Brexit will strip us of our human rights, allowing the London government to deepen and darken its active assault against human dignity and people’s fundamental rights.
Scottish independence matters as a political question, but far more importantly than this it matters because it is a social question. Remaining part of the British Empire – that is how it still imagines itself – will radically transform the nature of Scottish society, forcing us to become the sort of inward looking and anti-social nation we have never been. All around the world – except in Britain of course – the news is that the UK is fast becoming a pariah state, and it is. How we think of and treat the poor, the vulnerable, the foreigner, and the refugee is being forced to conform to the way England has come to imagine these people. This was never Scotland.
Scottish independence matters because the soul of Scotland is on the line. Very soon we will be faced with the prospect of the door to Europe – the door to our neighbours and friends – being slammed shut. However we think of the European Union, Europe and the rest of the outside world is important to Scotland – it matters. It is our lifeblood. When that door is closed we will, like no other time in the long history of our nation, be subject to the will of a foreign and highly aggressive country. The war on the question we have had the audacity to ask will be intensified… and the doors will be shut. Scottish independence matters!
The Butterfly Rebellion