The Victory Paradox 304

Just as the SNP sweeps to utter domination of the Scottish presence at Westminster, the future of Scottish nationalism must move to a rejection of Westminster rule as illegitimate. That is the victory paradox.

There is no doubt that this is the best possible election result for achieving Scottish independence in the near term. The one thing that I believe might have postponed independence for decades, was a Labour Party government of the UK with SNP support, governing as Tory Lite but making the dreadful repressive UK state that little bit less openly vicious, the abuse a little bit more disguised, the wealthy corporate elite less openly triumphalist.

I know that Tory rule is going to be dreadful for many decent people who are struggling to make ends meet, that the heartlessness of benefits sanctions will cause despair and suicide, that asylum seekers will be detained and abused. But Scotland has absolutely rejected the entire Tory system, and the scene is now set for the kind of extra-parliamentary resistance that we saw to Thatcher’s poll tax. We have to refuse to let Westminster do this to people. In this circumstance, those SNP MPs are relevant insofar as they use their platform to help build the popular resistance, not in terms of anything they do in that appalling haw-haw club.

Labour would have lost and we would have a Tory government even if Labour had won every seat in Scotland. Labour’s abject failure was in no sense caused by the SNP, whatever the appalling journalists of BBC Scotland may say or imply. And Labour is now going to underline, still more than the Tories, the urgent need for Scotland to be independent. The airwaves are already buzzing with London comment that Labour’s problem was that it was not right wing enough for English opinion. The next Labour leader must be more Blairite, they say. Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper or Chuka Umunna are touted to fit the bill, they suggest. This is completely a false analysis. If England were given a chance to vote for an SNP style, more left wing, offering then very many of the English would vote for it. But it will not happen. Labour will lurch ever further to the right and it will become undeniable that the Scottish people can only express their political aspirations through independence.

Even the best people are still human, and I have to confess that I am absolutely delighted that the SNP leadership have been neatly removed by this election result from any temptation. Exercising power within the United Kingdom state can be heady and addictive. An insidious agenda was quite blatantly propagated by Alex Bell in Bella Caledonia, a man who has been very close to the party leadership, and who actually celebrated the idea that:

The fascinating story of this election is how the SNP is ‘Britishing’ itself, gently playing down the big constitutional stuff in favour of real power over the austerity agenda.

Mr Bell goes on to make the ludicrous proposition that to support the creation of a small state is in itself a conservative agenda. He is profoundly wrong. To dismantle an aggressive imperialist state is not a remotely conservative agenda. I have frequently expressed the fear that there is a careerist core in the SNP who are more concerned with troughing in the political class and being big-wigs in the UK than with achieving independence. Bell’s insidious unionism – very lightly disguised as support for “utilitarian nationalism” – had the potential to be much more corrosive to the cause of independence than anything which the Tories can do. Fortunately Bell’s thesis is totally stuffed by the election result, and his pseudo-intellectual rationalisations of the status quo can now be safely confined to the dustbin of irrelevance. The SNP has no “real power over the austerity agenda” and has zero chance of gaining any within the United Kingdom.

There is now no course to take but root and branch opposition to the consequences of a Tory rule which Scotland has just declared anathema. The only way forward is now independence and the only route is through a mounting extra-parliamentary opposition over the next few years. I am absolutely delighted for all those SNP MPs, of whom a large number are personal friends. But if you want to remain relevant, you have to forget about Angus Robertson telling you what suits to wear or how to put an approved knot in your tie (yes, that really happened), and you have to inspire the street in the way so many of you did during the referendum campaign.

304 thoughts on “The Victory Paradox

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  • Jon

    Let me add a quick note on the left/right divide, particularly this:

    Also re “selfish individualism”, it is a tactic of the left to try and smear their opponents with the most base of motives.

    Well, I didn’t say “all Tories are selfish” – see my clarifications about ‘voting responsibility’ to Richard. But my thoughts are not a repetition of whatever bloc I am seen to be part of (I do a lot of my own thinking, believe it or not, and commend the practice to anyone who will listen).

    Part of my thought process here is not very political, and is probably more of a psychological analysis of why people choose their politicians. There is a popular appeal to “toughness”, which the right-wing press will often render as “tough choices” (despite the journalistic class rarely having to experience those tough choices). I would sometimes characterise this dynamic as people (to varying degrees of awareness) sometimes actively wanting other people to suffer, and it results in the dreadfully skewed expressions of (in)human expression we see in the tabloids.

    The reverse is also true about the left. Progressives are often painted as too honest, naive, generous – and, shock horror – decent – and in our highly stratified, competitive political atmosphere, voters can be put off even by good qualities. (That is not to say that these things are never true either, and sometimes something can be said that is unaffected by persistent bias. But that bias to unpleasantness and sharp-elbowed behaviour is there all the same, and is worthy of consideration from all parts of the voting spectrum).

  • Republicofscotland

    Gloating isn’t one of the seven virutes,thankfully,but it’s difficult not to feel smug to see the Red Tory Jimmy Hood lose his Larnark and Hamilton East seat.

    Hood,had been a MP for 28 years until the General Election,openly stated in a mini speech in the House of Commons,that even if independence made Scotland fantastically wealthy he’d be dead set against it.

    But hey listen to the man himself.

  • Tim

    But Craig, reading your last sentence, surely the SNP did better in this election than the “yes” campaign last year? Why should they need to repeat tactics that failed last year rather than stick with what worked this year?

  • Republicofscotland

    Another Red Tory posing as a Labour MP was Michael Connarty, Linlithgow and East Falkirk said,in defeat,”Scotland has been duped,by a personality cult,supported by the forces of darkness.”

    If London Labour in Scotland had spent as much time on their campaign as they did, throwing smears at the SNP they may have held more seats.

    The SNP candidates were democratically elected.

  • Mark Golding

    My coop door automatically closes at dusk; this is called progress. The confounded ‘trumpeting’ of revenge for the Scottish referendum is in clearer terms frustration for the ‘bitter pill’ of postal voting fraud.

    While Nicola Sturgeon calls for an end to ‘austerity’ agent Cameron will meet security advisers to discuss a way to negate the SNP’s anti-Trident stance as a matter of national security, this in a dual pronged attack.

    It would appear the action may be an Trident renewal issue dripping into Barrow politics with labour MP John Woodcock narrowly beating C. Simon Fell.

    Fell is now tasked with nurturing the message that the Barrow construction of a full complement of four Successor submarines, to carry the Trident nuclear deterrent, would be put at risk by the Scottish Nationalist Party. This while the English establishment will enhance the risk of a Russian/North Korea nuclear attack principally from submarines. North Korea have top secret access to US blueprints that guide the NK scientists to reduce the weight and size of a nuclear pay-load so it fits a ballistic missile. However the NK bomb implosion tamper and neutron emissions are rudimentary resulting in no secondary explosive, this known as a ‘fizzle’ – but who cares the threat is positive and compliant with the politics of fear we will witness soon.

  • Mary

    What have Dave and Nicola had to say to each other?

    Election aftermath
    David Cameron has had phone call with Nicola Sturgeon

  • Republicofscotland

    The 56 SNP MP’s may not be enough to sway,the opposition,into their way of thinking,in the House of Commons,but 56 agitators,in the form of Charles Stewart Parnell,might be able to filibuster,boycott and ambush,in parliamentary terms.

    Here’s hoping.

  • Mary

    @ 1.50pm

    Is ‘otherwise engaged’ shorthand for ‘working for the partei’?

  • John Spencer-Davis

    @EstherMcVeyMP Get a fucking job
    19 hours ago

    Courtesy of Johnny Void.


  • Mary

    Dead Ringers ugly, racist mockery of Galloway and Muslims in Bradford

    From 17:47. Feeding directly into hatred of Muslims and those who dare to stand up for them. Surprised they didn’t crank out the usual smear about supporting Saddam Hussein…


    ‘Interviewer’ – Pray silence and make the sign of the Big Brother ‘eye’ as we have a visitation from our glorious leader.

    ‘George Galloway’ – Salaam alaykum, peace be upon me. To my loyal subjects, it is with great sadness that I announce: I am to leave you all now. Do not weep excessively, though the sadness you feel is immense. The people of Bradford have sinned greatly, flirting with the accursed democracy, casting me aside for false idols.

    I: They are not fit to lick the boots of Galloway. All praise unto him, for his fedora is rakishly fashionable.

    GG: Your praise is wise, but I must sacrifice myself and leave you all.

    I: But Galloway, you cannot go. You are clear of eye, stout of heart and rampant of libido. It’s not too late, we will repent and throw ourselves at your expensive shoes.

    GG: It is far too late. I warned you about voting, my disciples. I suggested a caliphate ruling in my name for a thousand years, but the council disdained it in favour of discussing a park and ride scheme from the ringroad to the railway station.

    I: You cannot do this to us. We are too unworthy for your greatness. For your eyebags are large and abundant. Your fedora is as black as the heavens and your opponents are irrational women.

    GG: Look upon me one last time, Bradford, for tomorrow there will be a new dawn, and a sofa palace-orum half-price crazy mad house sale continues right through the bank holiday weekend. But hurry, it must end soon!

    Does this count as incitement, considering GG has already suffered physical attacks over his support for Palestinians and denouncement of Zionists (not to mention the hate crimes endured by Muslims on a daily basis)? The liberal establishment really hates him, and is transparently glad he’s out of parliament. That’s why this attempt at ‘satire’ is laced with bitter steel barbs and isn’t funny at all.

  • fwl

    “Mr Bell goes on to make the ludicrous proposition that to support the creation of a small state is in itself a conservative agenda. He is profoundly wrong. To dismantle an aggressive imperialist state is not a remotely conservative agenda. ”

    Its not entirely ludicrous – isn’t it what the Russians did. Downsize, cut the public sector expense pain and re-focus.

  • Jon

    Mary – incitement? Probably not.

    It’s only satire anyway – GG is pretty bullet-proof and I imagine we’ve not seen the last of him yet.

  • Republicofscotland

    One must ponder why Labour performed very poorly south of the border,in the GE.

    Was it as they say a “Perfect Storm” in the manner that Labour didn’t campaign strongly enough,or was it down to the perception that Ed Miliband was seen as weak and indecisive,by the electorate.

    We need to take into the account that David Cameron played a blinder by frightening the English electorate using the SNP as a blunt instrument to beat Labour with.

    The above factors and the combined assault on Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon by the right wing press,who constantly smeared and accused both parties of a sinister collusion,was more than enough to frighten the electorate south of the border into voting for the Conservatives.

  • Mary

    Not the point at all Jon. That is the state broadcaster using our licence fees to feed Islamophobia. I do not see it as satire.

  • fedup

    That is the state broadcaster using our licence fees to feed Islamophobia

    That don’t count, it is freedom of expression, freedom of speech, freedom of all sorts, so long as the Muslims are subject to derision, racist attacks, discrimination, and mass slaughter. It is all in good taste and funny!!!!

    Disgusting state of affairs that evidently is the accepted standard discourse.

    Mention another minority and you are slapped down and called a nazi a bigot a racist, antise…..

  • John Spencer-Davis

    I’ve only just realized that Robert Blay, the UKIP candidate who was sacked for threatening to put a bullet through his Conservative rival, was standing in my workplace constituency! Ranil Jayawardena, the potential shooting victim, replaces James Arbuthnot of the big expenses budget. I was planning to go and see him, but maybe I’ll wait a few months to see if Mr Blay turns up with his .44 magnum and husks: “Make my day, punk…”

    Kind regards,


  • Mary

    I saw Blay twice attempt to shake hands with MrJayawardena who wisely and understandably refused. Blay must be a bit thick as well as having psychopathic tendencies.

  • Johnstone


    Harry Fear on RT reporting the outrage and anti election result riots out side Westminster this evening..

  • S Paterson

    Anon “Charles Kennedy lost his seat to former investment banker, Ian Blackford, of the SNP.” A breakdown of previous occupations of all the new SNP MPs might be interesting.

    Anon there is a breakdown of occupations in the National today and in the Sun for example Joanna Cherry (legal eagle appointed Queens Counsel in 2009), George Kerevan (former journalist for the Scotsman), Roger Mullen (Honorary Professor at Stirling University), John Nicolson (former BBC presenter), Drew Hendry (former leader of Highland Council), Neil Gray (former BBC journalist), Paul Monaghan (Director of the Highland Homeless Trust), Richard Arkless (Solicitor), Philippa Whitford (Cancer Surgeon), Philip Boswell (Quantity Surveyor and Contracts Engineer in the oil Industry), Marion Fellowes (Graduate in Accountacy and Finance), Hannah Bardell (Former STV abnd GMTV journalist), Ronnie Cowan (IT boss), Michelle Thomson (ex- Managing Direcor for Business for Scotland group), Stuart McDonald (Law Graduate / anti-racism charity worker), Chris Law (Financial Advisor), Douglas Chapman (Banker), Lisa Cameron (NHS Consultant), Tommy Sheppard (former Deputy General Secretary of the Labour Party), Stewart Hosie, Alex Salmond, Councillors etc etc etc………………………. a group that seems to have had a ‘normal’ job unlike most Tories and some Labour politicians for example Jim Murphy.

  • Mark Golding

    All SNP internet communications can be intercepted using a roving internet buffer or the Tempora program exposed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and recast here during ‘Progress 2015’ in Australia.

    GCHQ had placed data interceptors on fibre-optic cables that carry internet data in and out of the UK. These UK-based fibre cables carry UK to UK traffic between the UK&US and US&Europe, meaning that GCHQ is able to directly access large amounts of UK and global internet data.

    National Security rings the Trident Program and if my information is correct, foreign secretary Philip Hammond has issued a certificate to GCHQ for broad interception of CND communications and SNP decisions/discussions relating to the Trident Renewal Program adopting Paragraph 4 of section eight of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa).

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