Can we trust anything labelled ‘British’?

I rather think we’re all behind this effort by the four MPs who are rapidly becoming the ‘alternative’ face of the SNP. It is extremely doubtful that they will have any success. But some things are worth doing even if they fail. When powers over broadcasting are restored to the Scottish Parliament where they rightfully belong, we will look back on this initiative as part of the process which brought that about.

But it is an effort that is doomed to fail, I’m afraid. The reasons powers over broadcasting are being withheld by the British state are simply too compelling. It’s not just that the British establishment needs to maintain control of its principal means of conveying propaganda to the people of Scotland. Important as that is, the more pressing reason for withholding powers over broadcasting is to disallow Scotland having a voice of its own.

Oversight of broadcasting is a signifier of the nationhood that the British are determined to deny to Scotland. The media are arguably the most important means of creating and maintaining a distinctive national identity. British Nationalist are determined to eradicate that distinctiveness in order to suppress and diminish Scotland’s national identity.

They have the power to do this. The Union gives the British state the ‘legal’ authority to withhold powers over broadcasting from the only Parliament with democratic legitimacy in Scotland. The Union gives the British state the ‘legal’ authority to reduce the Scottish Parliament to a dessicated husk, all its powers sucked from it by the hulking menace to Scotland’s democracy that is the ominously named ‘UK Government in Scotland’.

How simple will it be to change that to ‘British Government of Scotland’? Can’t you just hear those words spoken by British Nationalism’s insidious voice in Scotland – the British Broadcasting Corporation?


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