Today, more than four years after that campaign, while the SNP remains the party in government in Scotland and holds the majority of Scotland’s Westminster seats, and as the constitutional crisis engendered by Brexit approaches crisis point, the Scottish government and the SNP continue to engage with the state broadcaster as though it is a neutral agent and an honest broker. It is neither. Outcry over the treatment of Fiona Hyslop MSP, the Scottish government’s Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, on BBC Question Time (Thursday 7 February 2019) is nothing new.
Now that the leader of the British unionists in Scotland, Ruth Davidson, has indicated the British government will refuse to permit another democratic referendum on independence until at least 2027, we must take this as a sign that no permission will be granted – period. This means we must now articulate this to the wider movement; that is that the ordinary democratic road has been blocked, forcing us to think of an alternative. That alternative is the more militant, revolutionary road – as described briefly hereinabove. The time has come for the independence movement to start thinking in terms of revolutionary action.
Demonstrations of the popular will of the movement are important, but we must bare in mind that marches and rallies serve an internal rather than an external function in the broader strategy of resistance. The unionist media has rightly pointed out - something we already know - that marches do not win people over to our cause. This was never the purpose of the popular demonstration. Convincing others of our need for independence is of the greatest importance, and - within the movement - is proper to the role of the revolutionary praxis of education, organisation, and agitation.
During the Yes Scotland campaign of 2012-14 local “Yes groups” sprouted up all over Scotland and quickly became the backbone and the bedrock of the independence movement. This was limited, however, in that it was largely the product of a centralised political campaign and its national outreach agenda. Yes groups therefore tended to be reproductions of the same model and struggled to be anything more than top-down hierarchical structures.
“Cyber troop teams” have been found to be charged with producing substantive content for the purposes of spreading political messages. This is more than simple Twitter or Facebook updates and responses, but includes blog articles, YouTube vlogs and videos, “fake news,” and memes that promote the government’s agenda. In Britain the government has been shown to have been creating “persuasive messages” under a whole host of false personas and aliases in psy-ops framed as “anti-radicalisation” campaigns.
Civil society is a naturally cautious and conservative set of relations and institutions, and when it is governed – if we can even describe such as governance – by the unambitious and women and men who are essentially followers of whimsical public demand it loses any forward momentum that theretofore existed. It gives way to socio-political inertia and begins to atrophy. There exists no better example of this than Brexit Britain.
Immense effort has been put into the unionist project of framing Scottish nationalism as the product of small-minded and petty Anglophobia. Both the Westminster establishment and the Scottish unionists have attempted, thankfully without much success, to paint the independence movement as a collection of under-educated and impoverished malcontents driven by a common hatred of the English. This could not be further from the truth.
How primitive of us to think that Gàidhlig is part of our heritage, our history, and our culture. We should know by now that only the master really knows our country. Perhaps we should write an apology: Tha sinn duilich gu dearbh, ach tha e àm a ghabh sinn ar dùthcha air ais.
The British state has no domestic resource more important than Scottish oil. To imagine that the apparatus of state security is not interested in maintaining its hold over North Sea oil – and therefore over Scotland – is an absolute fantasy.