It’s a tricky time for British nationalist drivelbots such as David Torrance (Why small differences are crucial when politicians are fighting for supremacy). Their natural inclination to deride and derogate the largest and most popular political party in Scotland has to be curbed in favour of the hysterical propaganda line that the SNP are a huge threat to democracy owing to fact that lots of people are inclined to vote for them.
But still Torrance tilts in characteristically inaccurate, ill-informed and ineffectual fashion at the caricatures concocted by a British establishment fearful for the future of its power and privilege rather than addressing the reality that is apparent to those less fatally disconnected from Scotland’s politics by ideology and intimate association with a media clique bound in service and servility to the ruling elites of the British state.
Thus, Torrance drones on about entirely imagined claims of the moral and attitudinal superiority of people in Scotland from those who advocate independence for Scotland. His assertion that demands for the restoration of Scotland’s rightful constitutional status are “premised on irreconcilable differences” in the attitudes and priorities of people is entirely informed by a bitterly prejudiced unionist perspective and owes absolutely nothing to any rational, objective analysis of Scotland’s independence movement.
It is undoubtedly significant that Torrance has chosen to write at length about recent polling carried out on behalf of the widely respected alternative media organ, Wings Over Scotland without taking the minimal trouble to contact its editor, Stu Campbell. Not only is Torrance totally uninterested in Campbell’s actual reasons for commissioning the survey, or his actual views on the findings, he is arrogantly convinced that he is better qualified to enunciate those reasons and views than Campbell himself.
Similarly, Torrance is not only unconcerned about the reality of Scotland’s independence movement, he is arrogantly convinced that the reality is whatever he says it is. He is not being dishonest when he so ludicrously misrepresents the motivations of those who challenge old order and the old ways. He genuinely believes that he knows the content of their minds better than they do. Which probably means that he is more to be pitied and condemned.
Torrance is almost certainly too convinced of his own superiority to read any critical comment on his writings. So it is for the benefit of more open minds that I offer the following explanation from an actual Scottish nationalist.
I would contend that the most important factor in the rise of Scotland’s progressive independence movement has been the fact that a distinctive political culture has evolved in Scotland because the democratic processes and institutions native to Scotland have been more effective in translating the attitudes of the electorate into public policy.
This is NOT to say that people in Scotland have different attitudes to people elsewhere in these islands – as per the simplistic pseudo-analysis offered by the likes of David Torrance. It most certainly is NOT to claim that these attitudes are in some sense “superior”. It is only to say that the way in which politics works in Scotland – the electoral system, political parties, parliament etc – is better at giving effect to these attitudes. Marginally so, perhaps, but still enough to allow a distinctive political culture to develop over time.
The fact that many of the differences in attitudes and priorities between Scotland and the rest of the UK (rUK) are small is completely irrelevant. Even the tiniest difference can be massively significant if the political culture is such as to allow this difference to be reflected in policy.
Without independence, this distinctive political culture must always be subordinated to the dominant political culture of the British state. A culture which is increasingly divergent from and aggressively opposed to the political culture in Scotland. The subordinate culture must be denied and, at some point systematically, suppressed.
Which is, of course, the objective which David Torrance and his ilk seek and serve.