When I say that I feel soiled just responding to a newspaper article in which Nigel Farage is quoted I’d ask you to believe that this is not mere rhetoric. Imagine, then, how I feel about being obliged to agree with him. The political discourse around Scotland’s constitutional issue very possibly ranks among the most dishonest in the world. In fact, I can’t think of a single honest thing any British Nationalist has ever said on the matter. Those who regard the preservation of the Union at any cost as their divinely-ordained mission will lie unabashedly in the service of their vile, anti-democratic ideology. The independence debate is dishonest entirely because the British state’s propaganda machine has made it so.
Nigel Farage is the lowest form of political life. (Some may protest the qualifier.) But that is not to say he is ineffective. He may not be smart, but he possesses low cunning in abundance. He may lack charisma, but he is adept at insinuating himself into the affections of the politically illiterate and the intellectually inadequate. He may be totally unprincipled, but this hardly matters when you have no conscience.
You have to be clever to build. You have to be clever to demolish without harm. You don’t have to be clever to destroy without concern for the consequences.
Blend the worst qualities of the oleaginous, lip-licking lounge lizard with the sleekit, scavenging opportunism of the urban fox and the cold, mechanical callousness of the crocodile and the resultant creature would shun the company of Nigel Farage for fear of being tainted. Would that more voters had the standards of that monstrous chimera.
But, for all his obnoxiousness, Farage cannot be dismissed. Especially when his message of mindless hate is being echoed within Scotland’s Yes movement. You don’t have to be all that astute to realise who Farage is appealing to. His language precisely matches that of the more fanatical voices among Yes/Leave voters. The Europhobes. The isolationists. You can probably put names to the description. They certainly know who they are.
The worst of these openly boast that they will vote No in any independence referendum which does not overturn the Scottish electorate’s democratically declared preference that Scotland should remain in the European Union. Others may be less forthright but nonetheless seize on any opportunity to attack the SNP and undermine the Yes movement.
I confess to having great difficulty getting my head around the mind-bending inanity of this. These are people who say that they want the people of Scotland to decide the direction their nation takes. Except, it seems, when they choose the ‘wrong’ direction. Then these nominal independence supporters insist that Scotland must be overruled by voters in England.
They will join the chorus of protests against the British establishment’s refusal to respect Scotland’s democratic choices while themselves refusing to accept the result of the EU referendum.
Most confusing of all is their position on the matter of Scotland making a choice about EU membership. It is an inescapable fact that the EU referendum represented the best test of Scottish voters’ views on the issue that is possible this side of independence. Especially when combined with the repeated votes for the SNP in elections where the party stands on an explicit ‘Independence in Europe’ platform, there can be absolutely no doubt that this is the favoured policy.
It is equally obvious that there cannot be a specific test of Scottish voters’ views on the issue until after independence. That’s the independence that these people propose to vote against.
It’s absolute madness!
Furthermore, the Europhobes will commonly accuse those of us who point out this madness of wanting to deny the people of Scotland a say on the issue of EU membership. This despite the fact that, as far as I am aware, nobody has ever suggested that the Europhobes would be prevented from campaigning for such a referendum post-independence. Indeed, it isn’t really possible to see how they might be prevented from doing so.
In fact, it is they who don’t want such a referendum. Because they know how difficult it would be to gather the necessary support. So, instead, they want to allow the imposition of the Brexit we voted against.
The Europhobes and isolationists in the Yes movement are every bit as dishonest as the Mad Brexiteers and just as contemptuous of Scotland’s democracy as British Nationalists. That is why Nigel Farage sees them as natural allies.
And now I must away and steep myself in bleach.
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