Wednesday, June 12, 2013
"Radical Independence" and the Anti-English Anti-UKIP Riot - English Rioters Behind the Curtain
The tactical mistake becomes clear when we look into who organised the event. Radical Independence is the name - an official part of the Yes campaign, but who are they? Watching videos of the event broadcast I saw not only that some of those involved were clearly older than the average "student", that the BBC insisted the crowd was composed of, but that one of them was selling the Socialist Worker Party newspaper. Perhaps he was simply an innocent SWP newspaper seller going his normal business, trapped by the mob but I doubt it. It looks very much like Radical Independence is what used to be called a front for the SWP.
A member of the audience on BBC Scotland's "Big Debate" next day http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01sdtyt not only confirmed this suspicion but said that some members of the crowd had been bussed in from Liverpool and elsewhere in England. In turn a later, rather embarrassing, interview with the student whose group had co-sponsored the riot said that the shouted anti-English threats and insults could not be be anti-English racism because some of those doing it were English. Embarrassing because he was obviously out of his depth, literally unable to give an answer when asked how such behaviour was compatible with a free and liberal society.
Clearly this was indeed not a spontaneous racist anti-English riot. Whatever one thinks of the Socialist Workers they are not inherently racist (or anti-racist). What they are is willing to use any road to their socialist utopia - the end, in Marxist rhetoric, traditionally justifying the means. Thus they support Scottish independence, despite a hatred of nationalism, in the hope that a separate Scotland will be more amenable to their "Trotskyite" lunacies (I use apostrophes because Trotsky, like Keynes, was a far more complicated thinker than his disciples understand).
This is not uncommon – the Greens, the main SNP ally in the Yes campaign, make no bones of not approving of nationalism but believe, Holyrood having unanimously passed the most expensive Climate Change Act in the world, that a separate Scotland will be amenable to their own desperately anti-Trotskyite lunacies (Trotsky's view on the environment make even a technophile like me look like a medievalist tree hugger, but that was back when socialists still had a claim to being progressive).
So it was an orchestrated faux-racist anti-English riot, by members, including English members, of the the faux-Nationalist Socialist Workers Party (sic). Intended to play to Scottish anti-English racism they thought would enhance their position in the Yes campaign. And it worked.
Alex Salmond could have gained stature by dissociating himself from these thugs and said they had no place in the movement, as Neil Kinnock did when he drove the Militant Tendency (an earlier entryist movement run by much the same group) from Labour.
Instead he lived down to their expectations and sided with them, enhancing the position of these pseudo racists and ensured the campaign for separation is at least open to totalitarianism, fascism and racism in a way likely to drive out decent people (and looking at the extreme left's policies, sensible people too). If the SWP here are so small they have to bus people in from England, to make Scots look unattractive to the rest of the world they would be no great loss.
Compare this with the way the anti-sectarian campaign has, possibly unjustifiably, enhanced Salmond's image. Does anybody doubt that if Rangers fans had made an organised attack on a Celtic pub (or vice versa), anywhere in Scotland let alone in the main tourist centre of the capital city, there would have been immediate arrests by the vanload?
Another organisation which has shed no honour on itself is the BBC. OK it was not astute of Mr Farage to end the interview with them the next day. The best tactic would have been to just talk UKIP policies and ignore the "interviewer".
I think this is one of these cases where people react as human beings not political machines. In adult life few of us ever to have to face unreasoning, implacable hatred and the threat of physical violence from a group that greatly outnumbers. It is not a pleasant experience. I know. A few weeks ago I was part of a UKIP group handing out leaflets promoting our energy policy (shale gas and nuclear power before electricty becomes completely unaffordable or indeed missing since you ask). A passing demonstration by the Glasgow Women's Collective, visibly being steered by known, male, "socialist" activists didn't pass and instead spent time screaming, from inches away, that we were racists and had no right to be there (they had no interest in either feminist or energy policies). Though this was a woman's group, rather than broadshouldered men, at least at the front of the crowd, on a busy Saturday afternoon in Buchanan Street it was not pleasant being screamed at. Mr Farage must have been shaken and I can see why, next morning, he did not want to continue a harangue, on very much the same lines, by the British Broadcasting Corporation.
The only possible justification for a virtual state monopoly on broadcast news is that they have a legal duty of balance. International studies have shown that there is a strong correlation between state ownership of broadcasting (papers to a much lesser extent) and authoritariansim, corruption and general state incompetence and "no benefits". Without that duty of balance we are simply another banana, or oil, dictatorship with government censorship
The BBC Charter does indeed mandate that legal duty of "balance" and impartiality but the law is obviously not being observed. Polls have, for over a year now, shown UKIP support in Scotland at 8-9% nearly twice that of the LibDems and 8 times the Greens (UKIP is considerably stronger across the UK). Askt the question: even in pure airtime do UKIP spokepersons get 8 times as much of a voice from the state broadcaster as the Greens? No we get more than 10 times less.
ger form. Place comments there:
I tend to think that the Scots will vote for "independence" (how any nation is independent in the EU is not explained). I say "the Scots" but the vote will only be by a minority.
This will be bad for Scotland, and bad for England too. So bad that I think we will both be separately driven into the euro. I wish I had your optimism and energy.