I’d like to share a post-Hallowe’en Horror story with you. It’s a scrying, a divination, of one possible future. I don’t want it to happen. It needn’t. We can stop it. But for the purposes of a thought experiment, let’s gaze into Galadriel’s mirror at what a future happens when we let it. I’ve embellished it with some science fiction, horror, and fantastical elements.
Dare you ponder that which is story, and that which is real?
Little did folk know that the early years of the 21st Century would make so many of its predecessor’s mistakes. With the sum of human knowledge only a keystroke away, there should be no excuses. Yet here we are.
Newton’s Third Law states, essentially, that “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Newton speaks of two major forces of the universe: energy and gravity. The Taoists of China had a similar dichotomy: the Yin (the passive aspect of the Tao, unknowable something that permeates and powers the universe), and the Yang (the active aspect). Yang=Energy, Yin=Gravity, perhaps? If nothing else, it’s entertaining to align ancient tradition with science. I would posit that there is a similar dichotomy at play in humanity: the Energy of Revolution (changes and shifts in values, morals, ethics, law, culture, politics) and the Gravity of Tradition (both attempts to resist change, and reassert old ways). Neither are good or evil: Revolution and Tradition are amoral. Change can be for the better and worse, and some traditions are worth keeping while others are not. It is the application of these forces which defines their morality.
Both forces were at play in the early years of the 20th Century. Revolution and radicalism against old regimes went hand-in-hand with Tradition about bygone empires and ancient glories. The result was evil on a scale unlike anything in human history. Following the horrors of the Second World War, Europe made unprecedented attempts to right the wrongs which led the continent to such pain and misery – it was an equal and opposite reaction to the evil. Europe rebuilt, Europe grew, Europe flourished. And so we thought we witnessed the End of History. Europe was foolish if it thought it could stop the pendulum without constant, tireless vigilance.
The forces of revolution became complacent, settled, stagnant – they became the establishment their forebears battled against. So came Reagan, and Thatcher, and Bush, and Blair, to fix the corruption and malaise which strangled the former Revolutionaries. The gravity of their Tradition seemed almost like Revolution in comparison to the Democrats and Socialists: if Revolution is a car driving up a road, then Tradition is that car plummeting down a cliff. The speed is change. People cried out for change – no matter the destination. “Get in the car, no time to explain.” When you’re stuck freezing, starving, and dying on a deserted road at night, you’ll take any hand offered in friendship.
So we come to the EU Referendum. It was never about what the people wanted – if it was, then the Government wouldn’t have gerrymandered the franchise to exclude the voices of millions of those people. It was never about what was best for Britain, otherwise they would release the impact reports on 58 industries they commissioned for public scrutiny in the interests of ensuring an informed electorate. It isn’t even about respecting their decades-long manufactured “Will of the People,” otherwise they would treat them like reasonable human beings rather than mollycoddled, wilfully ignorant infants.
There’s a lot more going on here, and we’re only now starting to wake up: this background is crucial in understanding what’ coming. Here is the sequence of events.
The 2017 General Election was never about EU negotiations, but about stopping Indyref2
We want to ensure that we build a more secure and united nation. That means taking action against the extremists who would divide us and standing up against the separatists who want to break up our country.
– Theresa May
“Oh come on, not everything is about independence/Scotland, for goodness sake.” Well, how else can you make any sort of sense of the 2017 General Election otherwise? The UK Government not only failed to wipe out their opposition, they haemorraged seats to the point of losing their majority; despite facing the most incompetent UK Government in history, the Opposition Party failed to win; despite being the “only EU party” (apparently), the Coalition party utterly failed to make any significant gains in constituencies with strong Remain votes. The 2017 Election was a complete and utter disaster for the three biggest parties of the Union… except in Scotland, and even then, it was no victory.
Every major scalp May’s party claimed was SNP, not a single Coalition or Opposition Party big beast. In fact, they only won 4 seats from the Opposition Party – none of the four were particularly high-profile – and their sole trophy from the Coalition Party was from Zach Goldsmith’s old seat. The only Coalition figures of any consequence who did lose their seat (their Spokesperson for Wales, their Campaign & Communications Chair, and their former leader & Deputy Prime Minister) lost to Plaid Cymru & the Opposition Party. In fact, the UK Government gained more seats in Scotland than they did in England and Wales combined, more than twice over. Combine this with vastly increased campaign spending & presence in Scotland, and one could argue the UK Government were willing to jeopardise their seats in England and Wales in order to overturn the SNP’s remarkable 2015 result.
UK Government seats won from SNP: 12
Opposition seats won from SNP: 6
Coalition seats won from SNP: 3
UK Government seats won from all non-SNP seats: 5
Same goes for the other parties. While the Opposition Party won more seats in England & Wales overall (28 from UK Government, 2 from the Coalition, & 1 from a rogue independent from their own party) in terms of actual seats, they only made a net gain of 24 of 573 (4.19%) English & Welsh seats, improving their previous election in those countries by 9.9%: in contrast, they improved the number of Scottish MPs with a net gain of 6 of 59 (10.17%), improving their previous election by 600% (admittedly easy to do when they just had the one, & a bit less impressive when they boasted 40 seats less than three years ago). The fact they did this with virtually no change in their voter base save a truly heroic rallying for Ian Murray is particularly pointed. It’s a similar story for the Coalition Party: a net gain of 2 of 573 (0.34%) English & Welsh seats, making them up 28.57% from their cataclysmic 2015 result – but in Scotland a net gain of 3 of 59 (5.08%), up 300%. (again, not so impressive when it’s still barely a third of the 11 seats they had in 2015).
We know the three parties colluded to stop the SNP, even in seats where it didn’t seem to make any sense. But why? To remove as many SNP MPs as they possibly could – to undermine the SNP’s mandate, & the First Minister’s authority. Thankfully for everyone wanting at least the option of getting out of the UK nightmare, it didn’t work, & the First Minister did not take the bait – not that the UK Government or the compliant media would have you believe it. The narrative of the SNP taking a drubbing was already laid: all three parties were united in what these results meant, & this will be their line until they win. Which is why we aren’t at the end of our election woes.
The UK will try to engineer ANOTHER Snap General Election
And I’m going to cry.
Does it not seem curious, this sea-change going through UK politics? No longer is the Prime Minister blessed with glowing paeans from newspapers all across the political spectrum, describing her as “good at the job,” “formidable,” a “steely negotiator,” bold,” “sturdy, severe, authoritative,” “uncompromising,” even “centre-left,” with even papers like The Guardian publishing articles claiming her to be “the best candidate for PM” and an easy victory in the 2017 elections this year. And now? Constant speculation as to what will bring down the UK Government first: the complete mishandling of EU negotiations, rebellious backbenchers, temperamental allies, the Bombardier dispute, or the harassment scandals. It’s almost as if the UK Government Party want an excuse for yet another election: evidently the attempt to present a “Strong and Stable” “Government of Certainty” failed utterly, and is beyond salvation. The only thing for it would be a fresh start: new Prime Minister, new cabinet, new government, see if they can make the pretense of a competent, working parliament last a bit longer.
So they will. Theresa May will announce a new General Election, perhaps with her stepping down due to one scandal or another: the Saviours of Britain will rush in, claiming to fix the mess everyone except themselves are responsible for. Once again, the UK Government will pretend it’s about Brexit, but with the largest opposition party sheepishly abstaining as per bloody blasted usual, or even voting along with them on every vote that matters for fear of being seen as Betraying The Will Of The People, what’s the point? Same with nuclear weapons, austerity cuts, respecting the will of the Scottish People: for all the laudable things Corbyn has brought to the table, on those three issues, they share all too much on common with the UK Government. And so, all three major UK parties will seek to attack the SNP again, & try to wipe them out, or at least reduce their numbers to a minority. They will actively invoke voting fatigue, even though they are the ones who called for 3 elections in as many years – making a mockery of the frequent argument that indyref2 is the vote people are tired of, as opposed to multiple elections to keep track of.
The First Minister has already acknowledged the result with remarkable humility for someone who has led her party to its second best General Election result since its foundation 80 years ago, but no concessions will satiate the UK parties. They don’t want compromise, they want compliance: no agreement, only acquiescence. The pro-independence movement is to shut up, and never darken the doors of Scottish political discourse ever again – even when the party of independence has won every single election in Scotland since 2011.
However, even reducing SNP MPs to a minority of total Scottish seats isn’t the end goal. As stated, the end goal is to stop indyref2. The Scottish Parliament already has the mandate. So how does the UK Government remove that mandate?
The UK Government want a Snap Holyrood Election to neutralise the SNP – and the Scottish Parliament itself
The hope is the diminishing returns at continuous UK General Elections will undermine confidence in the SNP, and in particular, the First Minister’s leadership. Why else would such prominence be given to the likes of Jim Sillars, a leading light of the independence movement in 2014, actively and explicitly advocating that Nicola Sturgeon should go? Why else would the UK media, which up until now have pushed the notion that Nicola Sturgeon & the SNP were nothing less than obsessed with indyref2, now start to proclaim that the First Minister has shelved plans for a new referendum – when she did not? If Indyref2 is off the table, then why are unspeakably crass calls for reprisal for her “treason” – usually reserved only for the likes of Gina Miller and UK Supreme Court judges – still being printed?
They’re hoping if they repeat it enough, it will happen. They’re hoping that the First Minister will lose her nerve and her gumption; they’re aiming to twist and manipulate people within the SNP & independence movement that Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t really believe in indyref2, that she isn’t actually as brave and bold and determined a she makes out, and that maybe someone else should take up the reins instead; they’re plotting to get a party united by one singular purpose to bicker and splinter among themselves over issues like the EU, NATO, mandates, fracking, indyref2, and anything else that most other parties seem to prefer to decree from above rather than debate.
So, they hope, the First Minister will go. Perhaps the SNP lose too many seats at the second Snap General Election they’re clearly gearing up for. Perhaps the First Minister changes her mind, and figures to call a snap Holyrood election on an explicit mandate for indyref2 to shut up the three UK parties, only to lose the pro-independence majority – possibly even government – when the Equal and Opposite Reaction bombard Scotland with everything they have. Without a pro-independence majority, there will be no indyref2 until at least the next elections – by which time, it will be far too late. Or perhaps she just gets sick and tired of it all and steps own, and encourages some bright young star to bring a fresh approach, even though the UK will demonise and smear the SNP leader no matter who they are.
The alternative, of course, is taking Hollyrood out of the equation altogether, as some extreme British Nationalists like Michael Kelly & Brian Wilson seem to want. But that’s a worst-case scenario: a Scottish Parliament run by UK parties is neutralised practically by default, as we saw in 1999-2007, unless you expect a Scottish Government run by the Opposition Party to be any bolder under the UK Government than the Welsh Assembly is. Take out the SNP, take out the Scottish Parliament.
That is their hope. I have more confidence in the First Minister, the SNP, and the independence movement as a whole, than to think they would let this happen. But we have to be vigilant, because our enemies are desperate and insidious.
We all know why the UK don’t want to lose Scotland. But why are they so utterly desperate? Why have they taken actions which seem counterproductive & counterintuitive, which have gone so badly for them?
More to come. A lot more to come.