Boris, Galloway and Farage adopt language of YesScotland
It’s good the SNP are staying away from the Britain Stronger in Europe campaign. It would be a disaster to align with a campaign that is going to be completely negative after complaining about Better Together’s use of scare tactics. That said, even when going it alone there is a chance they could fall into the trap of sounding like Project Fear 2. However, from everything I have seen so far in this EU Referendum build-up they are running a positive campaign about the benefits of EU membership.
It has been interesting that many people who are leading the Leave Campaign are also people who were keen on Scotland remaining in the Union. What is fascinating is that the language they are now using sounds exactly like the language used by those they were opposed to during the Scottish Independence Referendum.
To illustrate this I have pasted some quotes below but changed the subject of those quotes from the EU/UK relationship to the UK/Scotland. It’s funny that the arguments were not as persuasive to them when it came to Scottish self determination.
Any bits I have changed are in red:
We want our people to choose our government and thus our direction. I’d rather take my chance with changing things in Scotland than waiting for change in England or in Wales or in Northern Island.
The people of Scotland were crushed underfoot by this neo-liberal consensus on which the UK and its main institutions are built.
But our membership of the UK prevents us being able to change huge swathes of law and stops us being able to choose who makes critical decisions which affect all our lives. Laws which govern citizens in this country are decided by politicians from other nations who we never elected and can’t throw out.
The ability to choose who governs us, and the freedom to change laws we do not like, were secured for us in the past by radicals and liberals who took power from unaccountable elites and placed it in the hands of the people.
But by leaving the UK we can take control. Indeed we can show the rest of Great Britain the way to flourish. Instead of grumbling and complaining about the things we can’t change and growing resentful and bitter, we can shape an optimistic, forward-looking and genuinely internationalist alternative.
Sometimes the public can see all too plainly the impotence of their own elected politicians – as with immigration. That enrages them; not so much the numbers as the lack of control. That is what we mean by loss of sovereignty – the inability of people to kick out, at elections, the men and women who control their lives. We are seeing an alienation of the people from the power they should hold, and I am sure this is contributing to the sense of disengagement, the apathy, the view that politicians are “all the same” and can change nothing, and to the rise of extremist parties.
The problem is reform in Scotland means something completely different to reform in Westminster.
We asked for something really tiddly and yet it’s difficult to get that. Imagine if we’d asked for fundamental change?
We are not going to change this Union, it is hell-bent on full integration and if we stay members of it we will be dragged in its wake
Hostility to the UK is seen as the preserve of the hard right, and not the sort of thing progressives should entertain. And that is why – if indeed much of the left decides to leave – it must run its own separate campaign and try and win ownership of the issue.
Such a campaign would focus on building a new Scotland, one of workers’ rights, a genuine living wage, public ownership, industrial activism and tax justice. Such a populist campaign could help the left reconnect with working-class communities it lost touch with long ago.
Please comment below and enter an email address to receive notifications of new articles. Also, if you enjoy our content you can support the site for less than one pound per month by clicking here.
Well said. Good article.