Sunday, 16 February 2014

The cucumber of history is repeating on itself.

In 1705-6 the debate and decision was determined by which two sides of the triangle which was the 'Thrie Estaites' would agree. In 1706 the Landowners ( Scottish 'Tory' Party) persuaded the Church of Scotland to vote for the Union as a way of preventing the Catholic Stuarts ever returning to the Scottish Crown. Given the wounds and damage inflicted on the Church of Scotland a little over 40 years before by James the 7th and his Grandfather Charles the 1st, this was not a hard sell. The Burghs (the people of Scotland) opposed the Union because they could see the economic damage the Union would do to them as it was clear their markets across the Baltic and in the Low Countries would be closed to them by Russia and France, economic damage the supposed benefits of Union would do little to close as trade with the English colonies would still be heavily restricted.

The Burghs  were correct and Scotland saw such a disastrous economic collapse that by 1714 the Earl of Selkirk (one of the Union Treaty's original promoters) sought to have the Union ended. The Scottish economy saw no growth between 1708 and 1784, an economy which had been growing at 2.8% per anum in the decade prior to the Union (Micheal Lynch - A New History of Scotland - EUP).

What is the relationship between 1706 and 2014?

In 2014 we still have a Scottish 'Tory' Party in the shape of Better Together, representing the same shallow, vested interest group they did in 1706 in terms of a modern 'ruling class' (the Scottish MPs and Lords), we still have a Burgh party (the people of Scotland at Holyrood) but the Church is no longer the Third Estate, the voice of the Church of Scotland has lost its power and control and been reduced to another SVO, along with Combat Stress, Maggies and any other Scottish based charity you care to mention. This time round the third estate which was going to help the Scottish Tories crush the Burghs was the modern press and media.

This strategy is based on the myth that the press and media 'won' the case against an autonomous Scottish Parliament in 1979. The truth is far more sanguine. The vote for an autonomous Scottish Parliament was actually won, it was only an undemocratic fudge perpetrated by the then Scottish Secretaryof State, allowing the counting of the dead and non voters as 'No' which saved the UK Parliament's skin. The other problem for this strategy is the press and media no longer has anywhere near the regard Scots had for it in 1979. The obverse is now true, Scots are more likely to disbelieve political comment or attempts at misdirection as just more cynical spin from politicians seeking to save their own skin and a media used to getting their own way.

The biggest weakness is the centralisation of the UK press and media in London, trapped in its own self serving Westminster and London bubble, hardly representing the views of England, let alone Scotland or Wales. Even Scottish press and media titles take direction on their editorial line from their HQ's in London, HQ's who now decide on the content of their 'Scotch' editions and just how much 'Scotch' stuff is to be allowed. HQ's far divorced from what is happening on the ground in Scotland and Scottish opinion rather than what they think should be happening on the ground in Scotland and exactly what Scottish public opinion should be.

The modern Scottish Tories are in a mess, their message is not bending Scottish opinion to their will and the London focused, modern third estate is becoming an increasingly sick and offensive joke to the Scottish people. The have their own media, open, informative and responsive - social media. The Burghs are not being bought, cowed or isolated and the people are getting increasingly behind the Burghs. The Burghs have the same message as they did in 1706 - the Union will economically wreck Scotland on its current path of austerity. Scotland will be better off taking the small risk and walking its own path in the modern world, better economically, better socially, better for their health and personal wealth. In this nothing much has changed since 1706 - the Burghs were right then, their best interests were and are also Scotland's.

The difference is in 2015 we are unlikely to see the same months of rioting on both sides of the border against the Union. The people of England and Wales will start rioting when the impact of no currency union, Sterling devaluation, capital flight and even more public service cuts are delivered by which ever of the three English Tory Parties are elected, in May 2015, to the sovereign parliament of England and Wales (with NI).

A historically repeating 'burp', if ever there was one.

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