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.

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304 thoughts on “The Victory Paradox

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  • Clark

    Regarding Trafalgar Square protest, can anyone confirm this?, the first live webcam I tried doesn’t seem to show it. I tried, but it’s just a relay of The shadows look about right for the time of day. Maybe the protest has moved on.

  • 5th Column

    Mark Golding, thanks for the useful news at 3:13. The SNP ought to be attacking the quaint notion of national security, which has long been supplanted by human security. Cameron’s pathetic rubber ducky is meant to justify the P-5 status of a once-great power gone to seed. Sturgeon could counter British nuclear pretensions by urging instead that the UK forswear the veto on any matter not involving use of force (UN Charter Article 42). That would unilaterally promote UN reform while undercutting Britain’s NATO flunkies with peace.

  • Juteman

    Are you gay? Your posts suggest you are struggling with self esteem issues.

  • Phil

    There’s been a confrontation between riot cops and many hundreds of people at downing street today.

  • RobG

    The anti-austerity protest outside the Tory HQ in London today is being staged by these people:

    The police say that 100 people are protesting. The organisers say that 4000 or so are protesting.

    I know feelings are running high at the moment, but for the usual reasons, keep it peaceful, people.

    There are some massive demonstrations planned for the months ahead. I can’t give any links at the moment because we’re just 48 hours into this new government and demos are still in the planning stage.

  • Phil

    Sorry didn’t notice page 2. I now see it’s already here and on the news.

  • Phil

    “I know feelings are running high at the moment, but for the usual reasons, keep it peaceful, people.”

    Lame. Don’t know why you’re appealing to “the people” mate. Have you ever been on a demo? The violence is 99% the coppers.

  • RobG

    Phil, granted. My point being that once protestors start getting violent it gives the authorities the excuse they’re looking for.

    Have you read JimmyGiro’s Daily Mail link? It’s a wonder to behold, particularly the comments section.

  • lysias

    If Cameron goes ahead with his proposal to deny Scottish MP’s (and, by the same logic, presumably also Welsh and Northern Irish MP’s) of any vote in matters that exclusively concern England, how will Scotland react to this serious diminution of the powers of Scottish MP’s (and creation of a much larger Tory majority on such matters)?

  • craig Post author

    “Night of the Long Knives”. Don’t be stupid. The phrase has been long in use metaphorically and did not start with the Nazis. In politics it is most associated with Harold Macmillan, scarcely a Nazi. I have no doubt that Charlie meant no Nazi imputation at all.

  • Anon1

    Re the London protests, looks like the usual middle class student union types. They’ll be voting Tory in a decade or less.

  • John Goss

    “Night of the Long Knives”.

    Yes I always associated it with Harold Macmillan’s dismissal of most of the cabinet. And I’m sure that is who Charles Kennedy had in mind.

    However the earlier Nazi history is interesting because it is not metaphorical and more like what is happening in Ukraine today with all the murders and silencings of opponents, including last month the murder (the next day) of the organiser of a rally outside the US Embassy in Kiev. Oleg Tsarov, who blames the US for Kalashnikov’s death was the politician who revealed in parliament in 2013 that US ambassador Pyatt had planned to provoke a war with Russia using Ukraine as a flashpoint.

    Together with the suppression of Communists, laws making it illegal to mention any Russian article since 2011, and any anti-Ukrainian article before that date, I think we can see a clear parallel.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita e' bella)


    Thank you for confirming what I wrote about the Night of the Long Knives being about Nazis killing other Nazis.

    As you wrote:

    “a purge that took place in Nazi Germany from June 30 to July 2, 1934, when the Nazi regime carried out a series of political murders. Leading figures of the left-wing Strasserist faction of the Nazi Party, along with its figurehead, Gregor Strasser, were murdered… many of those killed were leaders of the Sturmabteilung (SA), the paramilitary Brownshirts.”

    You will recall that the Brownshirts (SA) were Nazis.

    Now run along and co;e back when you have learnt to accept correction gratefully and graciously. 🙂

  • Habbabkuk (la vita e' bella)


    “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.2

    You mean filibustering like the Republicans have done in the US legislature?

    I wasn’t expecting you to support US Republican tactics, my dear fellow.

    If I were La Sturgeon, I should get the SNP to declare independence from jokers like you.

  • Tim

    And Hitler’s “night of the long knives” was of course described by Stalin as ” a deed of some skill”. It certainly worked better than Macmillan’s

  • Jon

    “middle class student union types” – it is always pleasing to hear that some people who are comfortable and well off see past their privilege, and wish to help the disadvantaged.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Godawful George…I do not see it as satire.

    I did. And laughed out loud. I doubt any Muslims were too troubled by it, either.

    As to using license payers’ money to produce this, the programme took a pop at everyone else it could reach. And what about the everlasting and increasingly insane ‘Archers’, anyway? Time to cut that smug rightwing turkey’s throat, surely.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita e' bella)

    Mary, through clenched teeth, re. George Galloway:

    “The liberal establishment really hates him, and is transparently glad he’s out of parliament.2


    Look on the bright side of life, Mary.

    Now that Mr Galloway is no longer in the House he will have more time to devote to ensuring that his film on Tony Blair appears in good time.

    This will surely please all those who crowd-funded this venture.

  • Mary

    Gove for Justice Secretary. Can it get any worse?


    The protest outside Downing Street was very large. Shown on Sky.

    Reported on BBC only 20 mins ago.

  • Mary

    Check my post re GG Mr Troll. It was copied from Medialens and that was made clear.

  • Anon1

    Jimmy, actual lol at your link.

    The three students with placards saying “Wash the Tory Filth Away” and “Tory, Tory, Tory, Scum, Scum, Scum” are just SO fee-paying independent girls school I really am cracking up. And most of the protesters appear to be more concerned with recording the whole charade on their iPads than engaging in any meaningful violence. And what’s with the lame face coverings? It’s a pretend revolutionary fashion parade isn’t it!

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