Unionists – An Apology 428


I have been much criticised for referring to Unionists – and No voters are precisely Unionists – as evil or stupid. I have given this much thought, as a number of very well-intentioned people have urged me to apologise. After a great deal of angst, I have decided to offer a heartfelt apology. Not all Unionists are Evil or Stupid. Some are just Cowards. There, I think that covers it.

My analysis runs thus:

Evil

The United Kingdom has become a force for ill in the World. In invading Iraq against the express wishes of the UN Security Council, Blair and Bush did to the United Nations what Hitler and Mussolini did to the League of Nations. The UK was up to its neck in complicity with extraordinary rendition and torture. Its foreign policy is based on resource grabs for the benefit of a few wealthy corporations. Even this year it is in Court still defending the atrocious deportation of the entire population of Diego Garcia to make way for a US airbase, and still preventing their return. It is actively preparing to do the same to the Ascension Islanders. It supports the hideous dictatorship of Bahrain and was implicated in the overthrow of Egypt’s only elected government by the CIA’s General Sisi. It constantly works against the interests of the Palestinians at the UN.

This week the UK has been passing still more laws attacking fundamental liberties in the name of “counter-terrorism” and increasing surveillance. It has an economy dedicated entirely to the interests of very wealthy people in the City of London. Its wealth gap between rich and poor is massive and still growing. The UK has 100 billionaires, and malnourished children, living on a small island. It is dominated by corporations run on a low wage model and has systematically destroyed workers’ rights.

On balance, the government of the UK has become a force for evil in the world. not a force for good. To support it in full knowledge of the above is evil.

Stupid

Given the existence of the tremendous communications possibilities of the internet, and given the wide range of information available above all in Scotland where a new political consciousness has developed, there are few excuses for having been ill-informed in the referendum. The failure to inform oneself, given the resources available, was itself evidence of a lack of gumption.

Some people are Unionists not because they support the policies outlined under Evil, but because they fail to perceive them. This group overlaps heavily with those who do not believe the Labour Party is now a fully paid up neoconservative party subscribing to everything above, and with only a sham concern for social justice. Despite the Red Tories’ open pledges to be tougher on welfare reform and immigration than the Blue Tories, these stupid people believe social progress is possible within the UK under Labour. They also actually believed that The Vow on Devo-Max would be delivered. This group of Unionists are incapable of perceiving evil when they see it, even when it comes certified with membership of the Henry Jackson Society. These people are stupid.

Cowardly

I have added this last group. These are people who did perceive the evil of the UK, and thus weren’t entirely stupid, but were too scared of social change to abandon unionism. A substantial section of the cowards should in fact be grouped under evil, because the cause of their fear was entirely self-centred. They could see the evil the UK does, but cared rather more about their own pension, job, mortgage etc. than they cared about anything else in the world. This combination of selfishness and fear of social change is of course classically Tory. But not all cowards fell into the Tory category. Some were genuinely fearful that things might somehow get even worse for everybody. They would not have boarded the first trains in case their heads were blown off by the 30mph winds.

Conclusion

After four months of constant thought, I cannot think of any hypothetical unionist position which does not fall into one of those categories. I am grateful for the criticism which led me to realise that I had left out the cowards. Some of that criticism came from nationalists who do not like politics to be described in moral terms, and for whom national independence should rouse no more passion than a change in local council boundaries, being a simple question of the best technocratic management of broadly similar political systems. That is a position I wholeheartedly denounce. For me national independence for Scotland is a great ethical choice for good – and against evil.

Fortunately a great many of the stupid are realising their mistake – being slower on the uptake does not stop you getting there eventually. So now there is a definite majority, for Yes. I am pleased about this, and view Independence as absolutely inevitable in the near term. I shall certainly live to see it. I don’t see converting No voters as part of my personal mission in life. The Wizard of Oz could give the Coward a medal and the Stupid a diploma. I shall content myself with being the one who throws water over the Evil.

Finally, for those who cannot get their heads round the purpose, style and conventions of political polemic, plainly you don’t have to be a No voter to be stupid. I have No voters in my family and among very close friends, including some without whose assistance I couldn’t keep this blog going. An attempt to introduce intellectual rigour into political discussion and test positions as part of political debate in no sense equates to personal animosity. As I have repeatedly stated in the context of the hundreds of political issues this blog has debated over ten years, I do not choose my friends by their politics. Otherwise I guess I wouldn’t have any 🙂 !


428 thoughts on “Unionists – An Apology

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  • Fool

    Naive and unfair.

    You could say the same about the foundation of the USA, the Russian revolution, the Chinese revolution and so on, but look at what then happened and always happens…..people are greedy, exploitative, corrupt, evil and tend to try and get away with whatever they can…. they can also be capable of generosity, love and put others before themselves. This is true in Scotland, Wales and England. This is one island and for better or worse you should try to sort out problems without splitting the island up. If your focus is actually on the isle as a whole and you just want to give the centre an almighty kick so be it I understand that, but ultimately its one island.

    I respect many of your opinions Craig, and particular you willingness to be a thorn, but unfortunately on this issue I believe that peeps have to stay in the same bucket and argue it out with Habba and his like.

  • @homeneara*

    Mmm, yes, well, I always thought the initial analyses crude and oversimplified. This is much better. Don’t ever let them say you can’t take criticism and reform.

    Good boy.

  • Anon

    I think the point people were making was that calling No voters “either evil, or quite extraordinarily thick” was in effect a declaration of your unsuitability for the role of SNP candidate, given that those you insulted are the very people you would have been tasked with winning over. It remains a grave error of judgment, regardless of whether you think it true or not.

  • craig Post author

    Anon,

    You fail to understand the mechanics of FPTP. If the SNP can consolidate the Yes vote, they don’t need a single No voter to sweep the board in the Westminster elections. You also over-estimate the impact of individual constituency candidates in a general election. And you also presume everyone else will be as ill-motivated as you in taking an obvious polemic literally.

  • Resident Dissident

    So there we have it anyone who does not share Craig’s analysis is by his definition either evil, stupid or cowardly. The arrogance is stunning I’m afraid.

    Let’s just look at one point – You say “On balance, the government of the UK has become a force for evil in the world.” Perhaps you could explain what is on the other side of the balance – and why it should be deemed to have less weight than your arguments and then why everyone should share your interpretation.

    I’m afraid that one characteristic of extreme ideologues of all perspectives is an absolute certainty regarding the truth of their own views and a disrespect for those who do not share their interpretation of the world. I’m afraid you have now joined this not so august club.

    Protect us all from the 100% certain they know not what they are doing.

  • @homeneara*

    “It remains a grave error of judgment, regardless of whether you think it true or not.”

    One could say a lot about that statement. I’ll leave for others to pick apart if thay want to think about it.

  • Kempe

    ” They could see the evil the UK does, but cared rather more about their own pension, job, mortgage etc. ”

    Well, they would wouldn’t they?

    You know when you’re in a hole the best policy is to stop digging.

  • craig Post author

    Kempe

    The presumption that everybody else is motivated purely by selfishness is a classic Tory trait. The denial of the existence of altruism is a vital part of the philosophical underpinning of the corporatist doctrine we are all supposed to swallow. You have been a long term right wing shill of this blog for many years. I suggest you give it a rest as we all know your positions anyway.

  • Republicofscotland

    Well put Craig.

    You however missed the UK’s Royals and politicians have been seen cavorting with the Royals of Saudi Arabia, a country with a terrible human rights record.

    Those NO voters surely must be complicit, by association, to any atrocities committed or otherwise condoned, by the UK Government post 18th of Sept 2014.

  • @homeneara*

    Can some please tell my why Craig should have any real bother to appealing to no voters in a role for SNP, that’s meant to be about independence?

    In fact don’t, I don’t want to hear whatever twisted reasoning will be used to justify this again.

  • Robert Crawford

    Aye Craig.

    You would make a good politician!

    I have heard a lot like that over the years, apologies that is.

    Well done..

    Business as usual then?

  • DaveyM

    Fool, you cite three countries which already exist on an island, and have done so for centuries. For a lesser number of centuries, those same countries have been involved in political union. In the case of Wales, that was due to conquest by her larger eastern neighbour; in the case of Scotland, her royal family had succeeded the English throne and then her parliament voted to enter a political union (against the wishes of the public) a hundred years later.

    Should one or all of these countries opt to leave the political union (which is the right of all of these countries), why would that be a bad thing if the people of that country wanted to do so? It’s clear that the UK isn’t interested in solving any problems other than keeping costs down for the rich while kicking the poor as hard and as often as possible. If that’s what you would rather see, then that’s up to you.

    How on earth would the ending of a political union amount to “splitting the island up”? The answer: it wouldn’t.

  • Republicofscotland

    “You know when you’re in a hole the best policy is to stop digging.”
    ______________

    Hmmm! Quite, but who created the £1.4 Trillion hole.

  • @homeneara*

    I’d say friendship or good relations is marked by honesty more than agreement.

    Looking at it from a possible no voters perspective, I don’t know that i’d be any more inclined toward a dishonest position, especially if they spoke nicely to me.

  • Resident Dissident

    “You have been a long term right wing shill of this blog”

    So any one who disagrees with you is a “shill” – perhaps Kempe just genuinely holds his views?

  • Dave

    Great stuff, made me laugh. I was beating that drum right up to the referendum thanks to a youtube clip of you making the argument. Had to go ahead and post it on Greg Philo’s facebook page, just couldnt resist 🙂

  • @homeneara*

    This is an establishment with ABSOLUTELY NO PRINCIAPALS, none what so ever, and we can see exactly why and how it works with recent events.

    No morality, no responsibility, no personal reflection involved what so ever.

    As I once said about the police, it’s the abdication of self reflection in the service or power. Where the ONLY thing is following orders. The other bits are just fluff to make it seem good. State theater.

    Dangerous and psychotic. No wonder things are the way they are.

  • nevermind

    Sir Thomas Cochrane would call this a full broadside, Craig, and he is a good example to go by when it comes to doing the right thing. Well said about the cowards, those who standing shoulder to shoulder to gauge out devo max from their very flesh, well, maybe not just now….. but never.

    Anon, to represent people in a fair and honest manner does not mean that you have to make love to them or pep up their pillows saying ‘there there’, your first and foremost concern is with your constituency, not with your [party or some faction within harbouring some fictitious coalition plans that might or might not come to pass.

    Please elucidate us on your experience in selecting candidates.
    what do you know of the not so social SNP and their selection moods? does one fare better entering the room with a one eyed dog, the right sort of sash? brown envelopes?
    you seem to have a pretty good idea, don’t hold back on us now.

  • jermynstreetjim

    Craig, This piece from you, is, I would contend, far and away, your most insightful, incisive, concise, and impassioned interlocutor, to date, in what has been (as we have come to expect from you), a very brave and at times, brilliant jewel and erudite ‘e’-exposition, of political polemic, in an all too, otherwise familiar blogosphere of less constructive and cerebral critique, from more mischievous and malign, machiavellian mindsets. I would also endorse, Craig Evans’ sage observation, in stating that you are indeed, a (rare)jewel of luminosity, in (sadly), a less than pearlescent, perpetual line of least resistance poltroons, and parsimonious of pragmatism and purpose, pipsqueaks.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    “Craig, This piece from you, is, I would contend, far and away, your most insightful, incisive, concise, and impassioned interlocutor {SIC}, to date..”
    _________________

    No, it isn’t. But it’s a fine polemic.

  • Herbie

    The problem with many people’s attitude to politics today is that they don’t see themselves as active political agents in and of themselves, they see themselves as passive political clients of others.

    You really can’t have much in the way of democratic politics when such an infantile situation persists.

    I’d add a paragraph on infantilism above. It’s not quite polemic enough yet.

    And you forgot the lazy arseholes, who just stayed at home.

  • Bob Costello

    Can some please tell my why Craig should have any real bother to appealing to no voters in a role for SNP, that’s meant to be about independence?

    In fact don’t, I don’t want to hear whatever twisted reasoning will be used to justify this again.

    @homeneara. You seem to have found an appropriate subject to comment on because asking a question then answering it would probably put you into one of the category’s in question

    Very good piece Craig still chuckling 🙂

  • giyane

    Today I called the police on a neighbour who was threatening to smash my face in. The police were excellent and smoothed out the high emotions about our mutually destructed party wall chimney breasts and ready to topple chimney stack.

    In my heart, I expect to live in peace and harmony with my neighbour for a good many years. A political polemic puts forward what would happen in the worst possible scenario, a ton of bricks falling and killing innocent people from the negligence of others.

    I take it that is Craig’s point in a nutshell, that arguing the matter from the perspective of what might happen if things went horribly wrong based on experiences from the past, you do have to push people well beyond their comfort zones in order to make them understand what could go wrong.

    That is not being either offensive or cruel. Nor is it insulting for a person with experience and understanding to try to agitate others against a repetition of previous errors or to the prevention of possibly worse things happening further down the line.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Republicofscotland

    “Another one for Habb to look at, and explain, alas I’m still waiting on an answer, for the last one, Oh well.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xw5dwe6pCEg
    _____________________

    There are hundreds of those little videos on YouTube, RoS. You going to have your work cut out if you intend to link to all of them.

    But anyway, tell us which explanation has your favour : Mossad or actors/ holograms? Share your thoughts with your expectant fans! 🙂

    And then get back on topic.

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