.Wabbit? Scunnered? There are no ‘real’ words (or worlds) any more.
Once again the pundits and pollsters called it wrong. But we, the people, we knew. We knew that things would get worse. Real people I have only ever met on the internet had taken to finishing our correspondences with ‘see you on the other side.’ We knew something big was about to happen. We feared that we were about to be cast back into 1983 – but a new, uglier version – ‘improved’ capitalism on the rise.
The detail may have eluded us, but we knew. We felt the force on the move. We have lived the past month looking over our shoulders, battening down our hatches, waiting for the big heavy bat to hit us. All we didn’t know was exactly where it was coming from or what shape it would form. And in the end, we should have known. We are Scots. We are a nation comfortable with self-betrayal. We do this to ourselves. We do not learn the lessons of the past. We are too easily swayed and gulled. We have to face up to the fact that our country is one in which there are too many people for whom Scotland is North Britain. Fear, ignorance and self-interest are the order of the day for the 'many not the few'.
The back-handed irony of the ‘outcome’ of the General Election (if I can call it that because who knows what will happen next – apart from another variation of the same dressed in a different coloured tutu) is that it kind of proves that Scotland and England are quite different countries. And so, I suggest, proves the case for Independence in and of itself.
I went through Election night solely focussing on Scottish results. And we got one result. Tory landslide. Even though the SNP got the most seats, and even though one has to take with a pinch of salt the broadcasters ‘spin’, in what I call the ‘real’ world, we have been given a guid skelpin’ by the Tories. Especially in the North East and the South. So we are all licking our wounds and our sunset song is crying into our fictional whisky galore that we’re under the yoke of Tory oppression.
When I finally caught the English version of events, it seems the story is quite different. (Though strangely familiar) There the ‘narrative’ is that the Tory’s have had their asses whipped by a new, improved, English version of the Yes Campaign. The scenes they showed of the ‘for the many not the few’ are entirely reminiscent of what we saw in Scotland in 2014. And Jeremy reckons they won because he is selling ‘hope’ to the many not the few. Anyone remember ‘hope over fear?’
Corbyn managed to harness a ‘movement’ of young people and marginalise his own party. They are now all (at least for the moment) rallying behind him – hoping no one will notice what they all said before. Even admitting they were wrong and what a great guy he is. I’d like to say I’m happy for all those who have found ‘hope’ in England, even though, like the Yes voters, they came close but no cigar to ‘winning.’ They are now to experience all the worst of the new culture of ‘bad winners.’ The Labour Party is 'rebranding' itself wholesale as the Labour Movement until another 'new' hero comes along. They want to keep their jobs.
The Tories are in disarray? Are they? In England? Not in Scotland. Here they are like rampant lions – three of them – on a shirt. And even in Englandshire they have ‘done the math’ and realised that if they complain too far and another election is called they might well lose more seats. Hit them where it hurts. Doubtless Theresa spelled it out. She said sorry but I’m sure she also mentioned that if anyone wants to go back for round two right now they’ll most likely just be heading for the job centre.
Do not get me wrong. Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn are both very smart people, despite what the memes and pathetic internet jokes would have you believe. The ‘narrative’ is to get you all thinking that somehow they are either a) subjects for ridicule or b)in any way like you and me. Their lives are not like our lives.
I am no apologist for either of them but every time I see someone making a stupid joke out of Theresa May’s comments re wheat fields I realise how completely gulled we all are. We are all contributing to a narrative that will crush us completely. Do you think they care for our pathetic jokes? It's all so much big data. Do you think playing along with it does credit to our humanity or intelligence? I beg to differ. It’s just another way of being a slug sucking on salt. Buying into the ‘I am hurting so I must hurt others’ is NOT free speech. It’s just stupid petulance. Every time you attack Theresa, or Trump, you hurt yourself. It’s not even Jesus speak. Don’t you remember your Obi Wan Kenobi?
At present, the master ‘speaking freely’ and boy is he singing like a cuckoo, is that George Osborne fellow. I’ll admit, I spent the last decade trying to work out if he’s a Labour or a Tory man – I’m still never really sure. Fundamentally of course he’s a G.O man and he seems to be delighting in trying to exact revenge on the not so Iron Lady. Problem is, it does look an awful lot like sour grapes. Do you want to look like that?
So if you want my honest appraisal of where we are right now it’s this: we’re in the middle of a feeding frenzy in a piranha tank. And it’s our ‘real’ lives that are being gnawed off, ripped apart and spat out.
I can accept ‘political reality’ and I am becoming inured to the fact that most people genuinely don’t ‘get’ what all this is about. But what sickens me most is way beyond the nonsense of whether Brexit still means Brexit. I am sick of the fact that ‘narrative’ has been adopted by the capitalist cause as the ultimate way to spin. What’s coming out on all sides sickens me.
In the ‘post-truth’ world it seems we have no need for honesty because the currency is ‘authenticity’ and everything is branded one way or another. I still live in a simpler world. I’ll call it the ‘real’ world – though looking at the world we now live in it seems that my reality is fast becoming branded ‘unreal’ and so doubtless soon I will have to give up existing in the face of the many manufactured ‘authentic’ voices that populate all corners of our social spaces.
I expect it from Unionists. And especially from the Conservative and Democratic Unionist Party (you thought the Tory/Lib Dem Alliance was bad? You thought Tory/UKIP was the worst that could happen?) They, after all, have an Empire to rebuild and we should know our place as cannon fodder. Hell, we’re the slugs that voted for salt. No, it’s closer to home where I’m really feeling the salt pinching. I have said before that I do not have a ‘dream’ for Independence. I want Independence as a reality. I am not to be bought off (by any side) with promises of jam tomorrow in any guise.
The reality of 2017 is: This is Britain. People went out and voted for this. Enough of them chose it to make it a reality. There is nothing to dream for. This is British politics. There are no words to describe it accurately. Literally. They are taking the meaning from all our words, Scots and English, and ‘rebranding’ them as ‘authentic’ and re-creating the meaning in front of our very eyes. George Orwell is dead. Instead, we have George Osborne!
Let me make it clear. I have no ‘hope’ to give up. My advice to my friends this week has not been ‘don’t give up hope’ but ‘don’t give up.’ We are way beyond hope. All we have is our fundamental belief that this is not a world we will ‘buy’ into. I have no idea how or if Scotland will ever achieve self-determination. I certainly can’t see how it will ever happen within the British political system. I need time to contemplate the meaningful alternatives. And in trying to make sense of the future, I urge you all to look at the past for some clues of where we have gone wrong. The time to be a nation of dreamers is gone. It’s time to wake up to reality.
What can we do? Nothing. Protect and Survive? In a world where your voice cannot ever be heard all I can do is bring back voices from the past and suggest that if you don’t listen to me, you might want to listen to them. Listen and learn. This is not the comedy channel, a soap opera, a reality show or Question time. This is your life.
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