A revolutionary act

The SNP+SGP/Scottish Government won’t do it, so others must point out that the corruption referred to in The National is not a Tory phenomenon but an inherent characteristic of the British political system. It is not peculiar nor even particular to one political party. The corruption manifests regardless of which British party is in power, because it emanates not from the parties but from the structures of power, privilege and patronage which define the British state.

So long as Scotland is part of that British state Scotland will be tainted with its corruption. Merely swapping out the British Conservative Party for the British Labour Party changes nothing because the important term there is not ‘Conservative’ or ‘Labour’ but ‘British’.

With great power comes great corruption. The British political system confers great power on a relatively tiny self-perpetuating clique – the British ruling elite. Throughout history, attempts have been made to curb this power, only for the ruling elite to reassert it dominance by some other route. If power was not to be had by manipulating the monarchy then it would be had by manipulating the nominally democratic political system.

Radical action is required if this cycle is to be broken – or at least disrupted. In the context of British politics, nothing is more radical than dissolving the Union. Restoring Scotland’s independence opens up a universe of possibilities for both nations and the other parts of the UK.

Merely tinkering with a fundamentally flawed constitutional arrangement does not stop it being fundamentally flawed. It just makes it a fundamentally flawed constitutional arrangement which has been tinkered with. The present constitutional arrangement is flawed not only due to the asymmetry of power enshrined in the Union but because of the imbalance of power entrenched in the British political system. For change to happen; for there to be even the possibility of a more satisfactory distribution of political power, the existing system must first be broken and the fragments vigorously shaken. UK elections neither break nor shake. They leave the structures of power, privilege and patronage intact with no more than a trivial shifting around of the pieces.

Ending the Union is a revolutionary act. Restoring Scotland’s independence is a revolutionary act. The SNP+SGP/Scottish Government cannot serve Scotland unless and until it is ready to lead this democratic, bloodless revolution. If they are at all reluctant then we, the people, must combine to offer them whatever form of encouragement might be effective in stiffening spines and fortifying stomachs.