Contrary to what might be taken from the words of [usually] Labour unionists, Scotland is not a nanny state.
I’m not talking about the concept of the ‘nanny state’ in the same way as the Tories often do. I for one am not offended when the government tells us when things are bad for us. The role of government is partly, as I see it, to protect and nurture those who it represents. I see nothing wrong with that at all.
Unfortunately, most Tories seem to see the role of government as being a means to dismantle the state for personal profit. But I digress…
The ‘nanny state’ I’m referring to is, specifically, Scotland. Or rather, the image that Labour unionists would have us believe is our role – that of the conscience of the UK.
I doubt very much that Labour politicians go to Yorkshire or Cardiff and tell the people there that Scotland is the moral saviour of the UK. I’m quite sure they give them just as many meaningless platitudes as they do us.
But that’s what they’ve been doing here, during this referendum campaign.
“Don’t go, lest the remaining UK be lost to the Tory hounds for eternity!”
“They know not know what they do! Please, don’t dessert them!”
Forgive me, but I hadn’t realised we’d even applied for the position of ‘National Jiminy Cricket’ to rUK’s Pinocchio. I didn’t even know that such a position was either required or advertised.
But the rhetoric from many unionist Labourites has been that it is somehow our (Scotland’s) DUTY to make sure that rUK don’t vote themselves into decades of selfish, right-wing government, be that through the Tories, UKIP, a coalition of the two, or some as yet unknown party.
Apart from being grossly insulting to people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland – who, believe it or not, are quite capable of making their own decisions – it’s as big a pile of equine excretion as we’ve heard in this whole debate.
We, as a nation, do not exist to keep tabs on our nearest neighbours. Such a notion is preposterous, and to suggest that it’s a reason at all, never mind a good one, to stay in the union is nothing short of absurd.
Don’t get me wrong – I would really rather not see rUK vote for more years of right-wing governments, whose primary motivation is ‘ME, ME, ME!’, the dismantling of the [supportive bits of the] state, the acquisition of personal wealth and the scapegoating of minorities.
But if the people of rUK want to do that, that is their choice – just as we are trying to win the right to have our choices matter.
The unionists will often point to the number of Labour MPs in Scotland too, citing that as evidence that those in rUK will never vote-in a Labour government again. Thankfully, most of us know that this is also to be filed somewhere in between ‘br’ and ‘bt’:
If rUK does vote for increasingly right-wing governments for a while, they’ll soon enough see them for what they are, and the left will regroup. Perhaps Labour will even rejoin them, once they’re over ditching their principles to chase the votes of the gutter press readers.
But that will be up to them. And it will be down to them to change it.
Scotland is not a set of stabilisers for the UK’s first bike. We have a right to choose how best to run our country and care for our society, and the rest of the UK is perfectly capable of cycling along on the road without us to stop them falling off. And so are we. Let’s join them and ride alongside, on our own terms.