1. when Scots act in an unfathomably timid and subservient manner
2. when Scots lack any confidence, are overly cynical about success, and believe that they are inferior, too poor, to wee and too stupid to stand up and support an independent Scotland, mostly fearty of failure.
Something’s in the air, can you smell it? The red and blue Tories are using the ‘F’word again. Federalism, that last gasp British establishment honeytrap tactic to catch soft no voters or the undecided and wow them into a picture of a different Scotland in union with its larger abusive partner. It’s another ‘Don’t leave us, lead us’ type scenario. Me, I just smell their fear, panic, Anglo-Brit National contempt and anger. It’s a little bit fabulous.
Time to up our game. Following three years of belittling and ignoring the Scottish Government and SNP elected members at all levels, the Westminster kabal of wannabe elitists cannot believe those pesky Scots are still out their box, causing havoc and confusion with their good governance, excellent policies, abilities to listen and learn, and a common sense approach.
The British establishment has moved into the next phase. They are using the same old approach that has served them well for several hundred years. They will take control and try to lead an anti-Indy narrative. In addition to their standing order of ‘SNP-bad / Indy bad / Scotland bad’, they will use their mainstream dominance to promote fear and uncertainty through a barrage of negative and subjective soundbites around currency, inability of Scotland to secure its Borders, and a play around the UK being our biggest trading partner, why would you cut that off! Threatening to stop trade and cut-off supplies is a tactic they have used often, usually to devastating effect. Their narrative is constructed to cause uncertainty and division, no positive case will be provided for the union, anything that sounds encouraging in any shape or form will be an out-and-out lie. No attempts will be made to negotiate or communicate in any meaningful way. The intention is very clear: destroy the independence campaign, use extraordinary measures to do so, and ensure it never re-surfaces.
To be fair, this has always been the script. While, arguably the delivery methods have grown more subtle or sophisticated during the past three hundred years. Less subtly, in 1746, following the last Jacobite rising, over 400 British military outposts were operated across Scotland to help quell, subdue, and extinguish public unrest and disquiet with the precious union. With legislation in place to constrain how Scots dressed, spoke and learned, the Scottish cringe was constructed and deployed to infect the population. It was a deliberate attack on Scottish culture and most people did not resist, choosing instead assimilation into a one-state, Anglicized identity, where being distinctly Scottish was deemed socially uncouth and inferior. The Scotch, folks limited quite superficially to Hogmanay, Burns night and the odd sporting events. Repeatedly submissive, their pride quickly became outdated, romanticised and arguably misguided. By the time the industrial revolution occurred, the people of Scotland were too tired, ill or numb to notice they had been hoodwinked. A few Scots prospered, like never before, and Westminster let them in to feast and thrive, without guilt or consequence. The Scotch tend to drag Scotland down on a daily basis and are embarrassed by any sense of Scottishness. They think the independence movement is the SNP and openly despise everything the Scottish Government does. They possess a Scotch cringe.
1. when a person from Scotland identifies predominantly as British and is embarrassed about being Scottish or defining Scotland as a country
2. when a person from Scotland who identifies as British and routinely rejects or criticizes Scotland, the Scots, Scottish Government, Scottish Parliament, Irn Bru, and the Saltire flag.
The dilution of Scottish history and culture is extant. In recent times, improvements emerged with the reconvention of a Scottish Parliament and the dominance of the Scottish National Party, whereby teaching Scottish history was made compulsory in schools for the first time (2011). Also, attempts have been made to provide a more objective narrative in relation to Scottish culture, languages and achievements. That being said, mainstream media remains almost exclusively the delivery medium of the British establishment. An objective overview of the lives, development, and interests of Scots is still neglected or distorted, in favour of a London-centric / drag-Scotland-down narrative.
Fellow Scots, old, young and new, who are we, and who can we be? Scotland, a country, not a nation, constrained within the UK of Great Britain and Northern Ireland a country, four countries and a single nation? London is your capital city then! What kind of Scotland can you envision? As Scots this concept is new, historically, we have not had much say or consideration because from the minute a handful of greedy Scots’ landowners agreed to the first Treaty of Union, England took control, reduced the total number of Scottish MPs immediately, and lead the narrative. Outvoted ten to one, with England’s population growing, while Scotland’s stagnated (was 34% of England’s, now approx 8%) for over a hundred years around the 5 million mark (now just 5.3 million), the discourse of a single-nation endured. However, there’s an element of our independence that I feel has not been fully considered: can we actually exist on equal terms with England, in peace? Think about it, it hasn’t really happened before, and there has been a recent shift-change in England, with a distinct slide nearer right-wing extremism, an apparent narrowing of the gap in ideology between Tories and Labour, and the overarching rise of populism across Europe, these are worrying and uncertain times for Scotland, which remains predominantly socially democratic and potentially progressive. I have much respect and faith in the general population of England as great neighbours, but no trust or confidence whatsoever in their perpetual Westminster Tory Governments.
Can England cope without having Scotland to neglect and fleece? Or is it the case, in reality, that because Scotland absolutely punches above its weight, the adverse impact on England will be greater than a proportional loss of 8%. The costs relating to trading goods produced in Scotland, is still not clear. Much is still hidden under UK rule, as clear and detailed accounts have not been published since the 1920s. GERS raw data is unavailable, so a true picture might not emerge until we are independent.
The Scottish cringe is a thing, a construct. The symptoms are feelings of being to small, too poor and stupid to get up off our submissive kneeling pose. An unfounded belief that the UK is benevolent, stable, cares for Scot, and provides a better existence than the normality of self-determination. I am angry, I am bitter, and I feel I have been lied to my whole life. I cannot shake this off, I find it increasingly difficult to understand how and why so many of my fellow Scots can continue to believe Westminster (specifically the Tories, but aided by the weakest Labour opposition in history) has our interests at heart. The evidence against them is compelling, increasing and now proven beyond any reasonable doubt. In Scotland that is enough proof for a conviction of crime.
I am in no doubt that many Scots are changing their views. For the first time in our lives, I reckon a majority of voters will vote for the return of all reserved and the recent devolved EU powers to the Scottish Parliament and that Scotland will be reformed as a nation state. Getting to that point, and it is near, will not be easy. If you still have your cringe, please ditch it, right now. Enough. Take a good look around you and start to picture the Scotland you want for your children, grand children or other descendants. Believe in a better Scotland, trust in a better Scotland, hope for a better Scotland. Our last chance is facing us. Fail again to grasp it and it is gone, probably for several decades. I don’t want my generation’s legacy to be the only country in history to vote against its own independence twice in a single decade, that would be a cringe-fatale!
Later today, our First Minister will provide a most welcome update on the impact of Brexit on Scotland, as well as outlining her plans for progressing Scottish Independence. More on that soon!
I’m not convinced I have cured my cringe, although benign, it still lingers. I have learned to live with it, to keep it subdued in the dark place inside my lower soul. I wish you better success with your own cringe demons. Today, at this very point, we have reached a fork in our journey’s route. An illusion of choice, vote Yes ye brilliant Cringe-Buster or forever deem yersel an Anglo-Scotch collaborator. Your decision, either way just vote. Our independence day, will eradicate our inherent propensity to cringe… finally, perhaps.
Slange, peace, love and an independent Scotland, hopefully very soon.