The imbroglios over the which national colours of smoke should be precisely spewed from the tailpipes of British warplanes flying over the commonwealth games, the removal of a spectator who flew a ‘yes’ saltire at a swimming event, the banning of ‘yes’ campaign buttons from events, and the distribution of double Scotland/UK flags are indicative of a larger more durable aspect of the British State: its prolonged propaganda campaign to airbrush Scotland from one side of the Treaty of Union and maintain that Scots are not worthy of sovereignty as a people.
The ‘partnership of equals’ between Scotland and England turned out to be farce. Scotland gave up its parliament in 1707 to join with England, which currently constitutes 84% of the UK population, whereas Scotland is 8.4%. Thus England has 10 times the population, and 10 times more representation in the House of Commons, and hell only knows how much that increases in the unelected House of ‘Lords’. Scotland is not a sovereign nation under the Westminster system, and will never elect its own head of state if it remains within he UK.
The current Westminster propaganda campaign to keep Scotland subservient and sans état souverain, currently known as ‘No Thanks’, has been honed over centuries of imperial rule over a quarter of the planet. The strategy is classic: belittle a people through words and deeds, spreading propaganda to convince certain masses that they are too feeble to govern themselves, and they need mighty Westminster to survive.
This strategy was ultimately ineffective in keeping the Australians, the South Africans, the Canadians, and the rest of the former empire under Westminster control, but it is still being ruthlessly propagated through the compliant corporate unionist media upon Scotland. It’s notable that none of the former British colonies now independent countries at the commonwealth games are clamouring to get back under UK rule.
However, the edicts from on high that the Commonwealth Games contain no mention of politics applies only to Scottish nationalism, whereas the cult of Great Britain is promulgated even though it is not a participating nation. Alex Salmond was harangued by Alistair Carmichael into promising not to mention independence during the games. However, displays of British military might are exalted and the ejection of spectators waving pro-independence Saltires from the commonwealth games is somehow perceived as valid.
It is unsurprising that Unionists don’t want these questions to arise during the commonwealth games, composed of former crown colonies which have achieved independence, often in much bloodier circumstances. If you asked South Africans what life was like under British rule, they might evoke the use of concentration camps during the Boer War and the mistreatment of the native African population. I’m sure most enjoy self-governance and being in control of their own destiny, and perhaps wonder what took Scotland so long.
While such sentiments are unlikely to be aired on the BBC, they will undoubtedly come up in conversations around Glasgow between Scots and those visiting from commonwealth countries in pubs and on the streets. So many of these conversations might revolve around how New Zealand for example achieved its independence, loves being a self governing nation, and has a great affinity for the Scots in part because they helped found New Zealand. If Scots can help build New Zealand, they can certainly build their own prosperous country.
While it is difficult to call anything during this independence campaign a true ‘game changer’, these Commonwealth Games may well turn out to be one. After the games are finished, Scotland will have won many medals, commonwealth spectators will have totally enjoyed their time in Scotland and people will be reminded that they live in a vibrant, brilliant culture.
These conversations will have nothing to do with Alex Salmond or Braveheart. No matter what is said at the official or corporate media level, these games will remind Scots that contrary to the propaganda, they are perfectly capable of running a world-class sporting event, having great success, and therefore capable of self-governance. Let’s hope that message gets propagated.
Maybe that will help the remaining undecided voters realize that Scotland is a nation, and deserves independence to achieve peaceful democratic self-governance.
First published on Newsnet.scot on 2 August 2014 as part of a series of articles on constitutional issues published between July 2012 and Sept 2014.