Monday, 17 November 2014

Back in your box

On the internet comment threads since the referendum there has been a distinct flavour anti-Scottishness.  The comments tend to come in a couple of flavours.

'The referendum result was No, you should just accept it'.  
This tends to come up any time having another referendum is mentioned, as if the last referendum was a one-off which could never be repeated.  The key phrase that comes in here is usually 'the settled will of the Scottish people'.  It's akin to saying 'the Tories won the last General Election so we should just accept the settled will of the British people.'  I can just see Labour supporters agreeing to that one.  There does seem to be a fear of another referendum, possibly because the result of the last one was not a resounding endorsement for the status quo, and so another would not be guaranteed to produce the result that Westminster wants, ie for Scotland to remain in the union.
'We can't allow the Scottish tail to wag the Westminster dog'
This one comes up in any discussion of greater powers for the Scottish parliament or of the SNP possibly holding the balance of power if there is no clear winner of the next General Election, which seems quite likely.  There is also a related strain of comments along the lines of 'we can't allow Scots politicians to hold any positions of power at Westminster'.  The thinking behind this one seems to be that Westminster knows best and it's not for Scots to question their decisions.

I asked on one of the comment threads just what was so terrifying about Scottish independence and got this answer:

The fact that it could become a reality on just some pathetic 51% (45% of the electorate) vote? And that it could then oblige EWANI to pay heavily to take back the failed state on its northern land border about 20 years down the line?
I also see nothing wrong with abolishing the Scottish Parliament, should the UK Gov determine that it is being misused etc.
 Hmmm, apparently a 51% result for independence would be pathetic, but a 55% result for staying in the union is a ringing endorsement?  I also love the assumption that rUK would inevitably prosper while Scotland would inevitably fail.  As for that last sentence, I think it encapsulates the typical view of the unionists that Westminster is in charge and no challenge to that is to be tolerated.  And that, I think, gets to the nub of the matter.

I haven't named the particular poster who made that response, as it wouldn't be fair to pick on that person.  However, their response is quite typical of what you can see on comment threads relating to Scottish independence, and is actually quite mild.  Some responses are considerably more vitriolic.

Scottish independence seems to create deep fear amongst the political classes, as they will never willingly give up any part of their power.  We have unsettled them with the last referendum.  Let's keep them on the back foot.

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