The New World

The inhuman fiasco at American airports and the failure of a British Prime Minister to condemn it outright is another sign of how the governance of the UK is spiralling in unpredictable directions. Like it or not, Britain is now tied in the eyes of the world to the fantasy politics of Donald Trump having sent our national leader scurrying to Washington to curry favour while the more sanguine heads of European governments kept their distance.

While the world looks on aghast at the turmoil caused by banning designated muslims entry and instigated apparently on a whim to appease an anti-foreigner support base, Theresa May finds herself on the predicted horns of a dilemma – desperate to hold Trump’s hand in friendship yet pulled by public opinion to damn him.

Her cloying attachment to the manic president and the excruciating White House news conference they orchestrated, are ratcheted up to red by Brexit and the glaring gap that is emerging in the UK’s future trade. We would certainly have seen a British PM gasping for presidential attention but the imminent negotiating table clash with the EU has rushed her into undignified alliance.

That Scots, as UK citizens, are caught up in this cack-handed affair, is the latest side effect of the decision by Scots to throw in our lot with London for better or worse. The reality of remaining Better Together is being tied to a weakened British state casting around for new allies, forging friendships with a man who should best be watched carefully before being embraced followed by a defence sales deal with Europe’s most dictatorial and anti-democratic leader in Turkey.

We are disengaging from the world’s most influential grouping of civilised democratic nations – and its largest trading bloc – to enter a shark tank of hardline nationalists prepared to single out groups they deem unacceptable, disrupting families and business across the world. The leaders of American tech firms have condemned Trump’s entry ban as un-American saying it impacts directly on the talent they employ.

Those of us who followed the independence referendum will recall how insipient racism was brought to bear by the Unionist campaign by inferring the Scots’ relatives in England would become foreigners. It was never explained how a family member could be instructed to treat a loved one thus or how it was possible for a son in Australia with a different passport not still to be thought of as family. Indeed Margaret Curran told me in a BBC studio that her own people in Ireland would be foreigners to her – despite the British legislation which released Ireland from British control specifically saying no Irish citizen would be treated as a foreigner in the UK.

Here we see how the threads of belonging which bind society begin slowly to unravel when we fail to secure them. In a few short years Labour went from losing control of all immigration numbers because they didn’t take it seriously, to talking of Scots as foreigners, to British Jobs for British Workers, to the notorious Control Immigration mugs and now competing with UKIP for their racist votes. No wonder the Tory party feels relaxed about dealing with Trump when the opposition itself is halfway along the road with them.

I fear Labour’s failure to use leverage over the Brexit vote is another step towards the racist state. Not because that is Labour’s position – I believe Jeremy sees Brussels as a big business club – but once you start issuing visas and telling European academics and students they’re not wanted, you give a dog whistle to the extremists.

Whatever travails would have beset a newly-independent Scotland, being stuck with a budget-slashing right wing government ripping up our agreements with Brussels and discriminating against incomers wouldn’t be among them. I long for the rest of the world to know that Scotland is different.

Of course it’s pretty obvious from my bag of poisonous online mail that there are many Scots who prefer Theresa May crawling to Donald Trump than they do Nicola Sturgeon taking our place at the UN and the EU. They have so contorted themselves into a rictus of hatred over the rise and rise of the SNP that reason has deserted them. Which is why I have been cheekily asking about some people’s mental competence.

There is today global outrage and deep concern at the behaviour of Trump. Yet in my bag, I’m not sure one raging Unionist has raised his eyes to see it. There is no analysis of an almost opposition-free government. No assessment of the economic impact of Brexit on Scotland, despite a wealth of data. Whether I rant or write constructively the message is mostly the same – a football chant of hate slogans and the tired tope of Braveheart.

I have no idea what these people think of immigration or if they approve of the EU, if they’re ready for the Scottish Health Service to be plundered by American corporations, or are prepared to eat artificially grown beef, both of which are likely to stem from a May-Trump trade deal – if he hasn’t been impeached by then.

The worry has to be that there is a lost bloc of voters who will sign up to anything so long as it is against the SNP. And, in a way, that fits the approach of the British government whose mantra is always to concede as little as possible to stave off rebellion. Which is why many on the Yes side have always argued that it will be Unionism that brings about independence rather than Scottish nationalism. The obdurance and mendacity of London combined with the anti-Scottish subservient bile of a Unionist rump is driving change among thinking Scots. Linkage to a possibly deranged American president and the havoc of leaving the EU could be the final elements in the equation that produces the correct result.

I was cross and had a rant last week. But I also detected in the output of Macwhirter, McKenna and Tickell (check the Newsnet podcast) if not an anger, then a profound frustration pointing to a tipping point. That is, we are heading in one direction, as the late Tam Dalyell said, the slip roads are closing off. You an hear it in the words of former nationalist critics like Labour left-wing lawyer Mike Dailly who has joined the SNP and from Tom Morton, the broadcaster, who was virulently No in the indyref but has now converted to Yes.

The bitterness and bile from the Unionist fringes is I think, a symptom of fear. It is so angry because it has little left to fight with. Hardly ever do I hear justification of the Union, its merits, its contribution to Scottish life, peoples’ attraction to it or how it will cope with the confusion and uncertainties of the coming years. All that’s left is the acid aftertaste.

We can sit back and accept the humiliation of being Trump’s best friends and surrendering to his trade deal. We can trust in Theresa to extricate us from the EU. Or we can become the state we want to be.

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55 thoughts on “The New World

  1. Brilliant as usual Derek. The comments left on the Herald article about the Scottish based Vet were chilling in their antagonism as if it was all her fault.

    I see that women’s for independence have raised money to assist her return.

    • Alasdair Macdonald

      I am sure that the BBC Scotland phone-in will provide those who have been trolling Mr Bateman and those monstering the Scottish Vet with a platform to express their bile; “Was Donald Trump, Leader of the Free World, right to close borders to people from some countries?”

  2. The Herald comments were all one person who reckoned he knows what he would have done in her shoes cos he knows how airports work (he said)
    More sexist than racist

  3. More to the point, Theresa is rapidly proving herself a toom tabard (that’s not a suggestion for yet another fashion statement, PM) but there’s none so blind as those who will not see, both down south and in Scotland. The Yes/Remain people are our problem now.

    • I’m not sure that I can see how you arrive at your concluding sentence.

      • Yes indeed Archie; a strange concluding statement. Perchance the Baroness meant the Yes/Leave people? Although it would still be rather perplexing to guess what that might mean..

    • ronald alexander mcdonald

      The Prime Minister of La La Land, Mrs Mayday, is proving that she is completely out of her depth.

    • Alasdair Macdonald

      Mrs May has been getting a pretty positive response from several of the New Statesman’s writers, which says lots about the proclaimed social democratic ‘values’ of the magazine.

  4. As you say, Derek, the increasing bitterness and bile emanating from britnats is a clear sign of desperation on their part. Project Fear is all they have, and they know it.

    • The utterances of moothie Ruthie at FMQ’s, so easily swatted away give credence to the running out of ammo theory. Witness the ’empty operating theatre’ nonsense quickly ridiculed by hospital staff.
      BTW, wasn’t ‘I love me’ wee Wullie a star during the Brewer interview, near fell off my perch.

  5. Wow! Tom Morton is now a Yesser. Who would have thunk it? Can someday get to Lord Forsyth of Drumlean I wonder? Also what about Alex Massie?

    • Alex Massie may be wavering. Chris Deering maybe also. I’m completely gobsmacked that Mike Dailly has joined the SNP though. I was on his List!

    • Henry McLiesh, you still out there??? You know you want too!!!!!!!

    • I might be mistaken, but hasn’t Annie Lennox switched too?

      • Hearing about Tom Morton has lifted my spirits. I was always gutted to see he was a no voter. But if there are other high-profile switchers, why aren’t we hearing about them? No doubt an MSM blackout on these wayward individuals! Annie Lennox?? I’ll believe that one when I see it. Time for Muriel Grey to take a tumble too 🙂

  6. The unionist bitterness and bile is certainly rising. It seems to have taken 2 years but my Yes sticker on my van is becoming more of a ‘yoon’ magnete every day. Strangers approach to vigorously remind me ‘you lost’,or ‘you stole our flag’,etc etc. Remaining calm and polite only seems to make them more unstable. It’s tends to only fuel their insecuritiy You can almost smell the fear

  7. ….driving change amongst thinking Scots. The problem is the ones who can’t/wont think for themselves.

  8. Wow Derek! I do think we are entering the end game. Trump and Brexit present us with a binary choice (binary! How topical).Choose civilised, and yes bureaucratic cooperation with our European neighbours, or ‘devil take the hindmost’ capitalism with the USA – whether Trump or any other Poteus.

  9. I do sincerely hope that when/if Trump next visits Scotland that Nicola will greet him on the steps of Bute House without a smile and a barely perceptible nod of her head rather than a handshake. The grovelling of Mrs May to Trump was humiliating to witness. The kindest thing you can say of her is that she is totally and utterly out of her depth.

    • Nicola should not meet him and leave it to the SNP’s Westminster Foreign Affairs Spokesperson instead. That would be fun.

    • I hope she refuses to meet him. What has he to offer us?

      • Looking at it the other way, maybe he could be got together with the MacLeods of Lewis, for them to knock some sense into him. Cutting people off is Trump’s game, why play it?

        I so admire Angela Merkel right now for standing up to him in public, even as he pals up with Putin.

        • Trump doesn’t seem to know any of his Scottish and U.K. cousins. Can’t see how that would have any influence on him. His mother was from a large family, most of whom left Lewis. Some must have ended up in England. His mother and her sister (his aunt) went to the US. I met a guy recently who tells me he knows Trump’s cousin, an English guy who plays in the same band. And the English cousin says he doesn’t know Trump and has never even met him, and has no truck with his politics.

          So it seems Trump’s mother who left Lewis at 17, never bothered to keep in touch with wider family, though apparently she and Trump’s sister did visit Lewis a few times since 1929, most recently Trump’s mother visited in the 1990s.

          From the pics, Trump’s mother looks like she was a sweet girl as a teenager and in her 20s. But thereafter she seems to have taken to the glitz and the glam of New York like a duck to water. She apparently retained the Gaelic but that’s about it. She never actually knew that much about Scotland before she left and went all-American.

          • 97 seconds!

            “‘I feel Scottish,’ says Donald Trump on flying visit to mother’s cottage”

            https : //www.theguardian.com/world/2008/jun/09/donaldtrump.scotland

  10. Chickens coming home to roost springs to mind Derek.

    The inevitable end product of successive parties of government and the runaway narrative they created. Alienating demographics to suit the agenda of the day, disenfranchising and dividing by class, culture, religion, politics, you name it. Society in the UK so divided that the accepted norm has become othering and demonisation.

    The real monsters, the real blood and soil nationalists have been empowered by the politics of exclusion. The UK is a steadily darkening and alien landscape. Its international relations are entering the realms of a grand tragi-comedy and the actions of the current party of government over recent days and weeks mark a steady path to a UK I believe Scotland’s population should have no part of. What Ms May has done this week is only the beginning of Brexit UK.

    When you exclude on the basis of point of origination, race, culture, religion, sexual preference or gender?

    You become the problem. Difference instead of being a cause for celebration, becomes an excuse to exclude, alienate and other. It becomes a breeding ground for hatred, fear and exploitation by the ruthless. Y’know, politicians, media, corporate interests.

    Something the YES movement is only too familiar with. Inclusion, sharing, communication is the enemy of fear. It turns fear back upon itself I reckon.

    You want an independent Scotland to stand for something good in the world? Then hold out your hand to that world and be a friend.

    • I’m one of these daft OAP’s who still tear around on a motorbike. I often stop at the same viewpoints where tourists gather. I start up wee chats with them and 100% comment on how friendly they have found the locals to be. Fair makes my day.

    • And that is why Indyref2 will be fought, as far as the No campaign is concerned, on the “fear” of foreigners. In fact, Blair MacDougall alluded to this tactic recently, and I have no doubt it will happen. Despicable it may be, but then it’s what we have come to expect from people who nowadays have no coherent policies to present to the people of Scotland. Well, in reality they never had any, only unstinting support from the M.S.M, promoting the lies told by their fellow travellers.
      Our Foreign Secretary seems to think that gaining an exemption for U.K citizens travelling to the U.S is a plus-point, when in fact, all he has done is ally us to what may become one of the most odious presidencies in the history of that great nation.

  11. “by inferring the Scots’ relatives in England would become foreigners.”

    Sorry, but that should be ‘implying’.

  12. Those on the fringes of unionism are doing our work for us. To them, their lives revolve around two things they are Rangers and the walk and that’s the only point of their existence. Take them outside of these comfort zones and they get very nasty very quickly.

    I cite this example of a recent conversation which I had with one of them After hearing him gushing about what a wonderful job Theresa May was doing as Prime Minister I said that as far as I was concerned it was embarrassing being British, what with Brexit and May’s support for Trump.On stating what I thought was a perfectly valid opinion, I was told to go back to Ireland where I came from and that Brexit would make Britain great again. I was also informed that Trump would be a brilliant president and would restore America to it’s former glory. This guy who was to quote one of Del Boy’s lines from only fools and horses ‘ as bright as an eclipse said that everyone hated the SNP and that Ruth Davidson should be First Minister

    On questioning these facts by asking why if the SNP were so unpopular they had just won a third successive Scottish Election victory and why despite Ruth Davidson beating a shambolic Labour Party in to second place using literature in which the word Conservative was never mentioned they still had lower ratings than Thatcher in 1979 and 1983. On hearing this mastermind started to get shouty but I remained calm smiling at him in that patronising way I only reserve for thickest of unionists.

    Knowing he couldn’t beat me by force of reason he walked away mumbling something under his breath. God knows it is people like him we have to thank for Tom Morton and Mike Daily coming over to yes. As I said at the start of this comment those on the fringes of unionism are doing our work for us. Long may they continue to do so.

  13. Derek, have you acquired a wee dug,a wee ginger dug? because you are beginning to sound a lot like our good friend Paul.

    When are you going to start exploding your ire towards the BBC. Not when it is too late, I hope.

  14. Let’s hope the tipping point is close at hand befor May and Trump takes us apart.

  15. Excellent article. But please, call Trump what he is. Fascist

  16. I have never understood why anyone would choose to let someone else run their affairs. It is just baffling, and to be writing bile laden comments to those seeking normality is very strange. Thank you Derek for continuing to clearly articulate our struggle despite receiving poisonous mail. Your efforts are much appreciated.

    • Nice one Marion. I’m English, and I’ve been asked a number of times why I support Scottish independence. Lots of reasons but the short answer: Why would anyone vote for their country to be ruled by another country? Similarly, I’ve learned Gaelic and I’ve been asked loads of times why? Again, lots of reasons but the short answer: You’re speaking my language, why shouldn’t I speak yours?

      • Good to have you on side carthannas. We will keep doing our best to convert others. Already some high profile converts since Brexit, so maybe we are on the way this time. Hope so!

    • HEAR HEAR

  17. Anothef brilliant post, Derek, thanks. I do wonder, though, how your posts and the like – Paul Kavanagh, Stuart Campbell, Craig Murray, Peter A Bell, MoFloMojo et al – can reach a wider audience than just us converted? Not a criticism, a real question to which I don’t know the answer. If all this stuff was out there, on msm and the BBC, independence would be a given. Thanks again.

  18. Point of order.

    Artificially grown beef is not the same as beef from cattle stuffed full of antibiotics and other unpleasant chemicals.

    It is protein grown in vats by tissue culture and perfectly safe to eat and even suitable for vegans. If they are sensible.

  19. Over and again yoons from north or from south argue and plead for Scotland to remain within the UK.

    Why?

    Very few authors ask that. None, of course, can hope to answer.

    What does this community, who works for independence, think is the reason ‘they’, the yoons, so badly want Scotland to stay?

  20. Fantastic analysis as always Derek.

    There are sadly thousands of North British Scots. Who think this whole Trump thing is a jolly jape. They hate our first minister, they parody her as Jimmy Krankie. They do this because they are not educated but ill informed. The hatred of their own nation spews from their veins.

    We must liberated our country from these bigots as much as the Murdo Frasers and Ruth Davidson. You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.

    Ruth is articulate and speaks as if she makes sense. But underneath the gloss. There is a nasty right wing moron.

    I think the tide has turned. There is an uneasy silence in the pro EU anti Theresa May populous in Scotland. They are waiting to be led to something better than this sess pit grovelling unionist colony. I know just the woman to lead them….. and then the Yoons will know what defeat feels like.

  21. That’s great news about Morton and Dailly. Maybe the worm has finally turned.

  22. Apparently Merkel is going to make a statement about Scotland and EU soon. It should be a game changer if it’s true.

  23. The UK is a steadily darkening and alien landscape – well expressed Macart. And Big Jock too.

  24. smiling vulture

    panelbase poll 27% + 23% when all brexit powers to scotland are known

    2018 is up the creek(Alex Salmonds preference)

    1. another prob ( early election) do SNP put indyref2 election manifesto?

  25. Aye derek, how do we get these great posts and you into msm? You are very (mostly) calm and considered and articulate arguments that waverers need to hear to get them shifted to yes.
    Unfortunately most of these types aren’t likely to read blogs or even the national.
    We need to see more of the likes of yourself and lesley riddoch debating on telly box – normal punters not politicians that we can trust to debate properly and calmly and get these sort of points across.
    Maybes even a column in herald or daily record too.??
    More power to yer elbow.

  26. Thank you Derek, a great start to my week.

  27. Sweaties, Jocks, Subsidy Junkies, Froggies, Thick Micks, Paddies, Dagoes, Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys, Skivers, Scroungers, Towel Heads , Gooks, Yids, Krauts, Chinkies, Taffs, Nig Nogs, Jungle Bunnies, Hottentots, Polacs, Commies, Packies, Cybernats, Proddies, Papes, Talis, Tattie Munchers, Remoaners, insurgents, terrorists, Johnny Foreigner, Gypsies, SNP Bad.
    The language of hate and elitism. The evil bile that permeates their green and pleasant land.
    It churned my stomach typing this shameful list of names which white Imperialists use on a regular basis when they think that no one outside their circle is listening.
    I apologise profusely for posting this; but it has to be said.
    In my not inconsiderable travel for work and pleasure throughout the UK over the past four decades, I have heard every combination of the above, uttered freely in pubs, and sadly in places of business by ‘ordinary people’ from Kent to Cornwall, Newcastle to Northampton.
    I am lost for words to describe my horror at the accelerated pace of Imperialism in the UK and the US over the past few days.
    In another post I used the phrase ‘astonish and terrify the world’, to describe the Madness of King Trump.
    I am truly terrified now.
    As expected, May will rubber our FM today, and that will be the ‘listening’ bit done with.
    May I suggest that our Scottish Government write to every EU Head of State announcing that we intend to hold a second Independence Referendum before Exit Day March 2019, with a view to remaining in the EU as an Independent State, and seeking their support for this option?
    Well, Dugdale, Rennie, and Davidson, I expect your public condemnation of Trump’s fascism, and May’s tacit endorsement. I demand it.
    Not in Scotland’s name.
    I cannot imagine living in post Brexit Great England as the 51st State, the US’ Front Line.
    I will not tolerate it.
    As usual, Derek, you hit a nerve. Tremendous prose.

  28. They can try Alex, but on their track record of abstention, enablement and sometimes even agreement with the worst of Tory policies since 2014, I wouldn’t advise it were I them.

  29. Excellent Derek….trumps alignment with Maggie mayhem will prove another vote loser for the fire and brimstone unionists, many of which I cross swords with on umpteen occasions…of late there has been more bile, shouting, condemnation of my pro yes leanings, and an irrational fear their world is folding in on them…I don’t think many realise that merry old England is now facing its own identity crisis, wishing they had an escape hatch like Scotland if and when it votes to go independent…merkels validation of scotias place within the eu would truly be a shot in the arm for our cause…whether they would voice it is another matter, still being part of the titanic uk…icebergs or lifeboat..Scotland’s choice….

  30. Many old friends are not yet won over to your excellent analysis of ‘the story so far’. When I converse to them the words ‘hate and fear’ often come to the fore. They seem to have bought the idea that any ‘bodge for Britain’ will end up for the best. I blame MSM war movies and Top Gear!
    In others there seems to be a hatred of the fact the old UK is now dead. The irritable T May shows that in her recent grudging day of Celtic Fringe meetings. Scotland will have to just get on with things – although in effect that’s what we’ve been doing anyway. Meanwhile the idea of improved Scottish news coverage remains unlikely.
    Let’s hope Eorpa survives!

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