It seems that the European Union, like Scotland and the UK, is at a crossroads. Whether British nationalists lead a surge of right wing nationalism across other EU Member States or whether Scotland leads an inclusive, progressive and pragmatic path for EU. How Scotland acts will be pivotal.
Watching scenes of dusty wee innocents being dug from the rubble in Aleppo, one questions whether the human rights we take for granted in the EU are inalienable. You realise there are just basic rights innate to being humans – as your heart screams to see such suffering. I believe there exists an undeniable set of values, principles and ethics that are stitched into our DNA.
Thomas Hobbes proposed our lives to be “nasty, brutish and short.” It was Scottish Enlightenment philosophers who then systematically and empirically proved that we are all tied together on this planet by something bigger, a common consciousness or understanding. As we watch the three Brexiteers try to divide the indivisible four freedoms, we realise the European founders were also right in seeing human rights as a prerequisite of a single market economy.
Common decency (or human rights) is the at the heart of the migration debate. We either accept that man is selfish; driven only by his basic desires, unable to act benevolently for the good of all. Or we believe that poverty and war can be consigned to history like slavery and Apartheid. Seeing babes crying through tears in Syria is heartbreaking. Given that the UK is part of the invading forces, it is the very least we can do to afford those fleeing the war-zone refuge and asylum. I reject war criminal Blair and his false idea that we can go to war with a religion, a philosophy. Not in Scotland’s name.
It gives me hope to believe that human rights are universal. That we know deep down, in the “breast within,” when we listen to our conscience, the right thing to do. To consider the alternative world proposed by Theresa May is madness. Her mayhem of xenophobic blood and soil nationalism is not a vision of the future I want any part of. In fact, that kind of dystopian nightmare will just make me fight twice as hard for Scotland to have her international voice heard. Take away my human rights? Not bloody likely Theresa. Those are worth fighting for, everywhere and whenever they are contravened.
You see, migration is normal. Humans weren’t designed to stay in one place. Neither were any of the other animals on this planet. Birds (even some people) will casually winter in warmer climes each year. Compassion too can be seen in animals. Even horses cry, you know.
So let’s reject this disgusting venom about making secret lists of foreign workers. Let’s wholly condemn asking parents to submit their kids’ passports to the local primary. Scotland is an open and inclusive country. The Athens of the North was what they called Scotland during the Renaissance and Enlightenment. Those comparisons with Greece were a complement, back in the late 1700s
It’s time to stand our ground and say Scotland’s oil has been funding arrogant adventures in the Middle East for far too long. Independence is coming. It’s just around the corner. Take the road marked #Yexit and we could be looking forward to a new Scottish Enlightenment.
The Butterfly Rebellion