The Prime Minister rebukes Nicola Sturgeon after she claimed it was a matter of “when, not if” Scotland becomes independent.
Whether through a malicious purpose to deceive or mere stupidity David Cameron conflates two quite separate issues. Nobody is seriously contesting the referendum result. The Scottish Government certainly isn’t disputing the outcome and neither is the SNP. It is characteristically dishonest of David Cameron to suggest that they are.
But, as was foretold by observers of the political scene in Scotland more aware of the realities than any London-based politician ever could be, Cameron attempts to equate the unionist victory in the referendum campaign as a defeat for the entire independence movement in Scotland. It is not. It never could be.
It will come as no surprise to most people in Scotland to find that British politicians are totally baffled by the concept of a political principle. Having observed the behaviour of the species over a number of years, we would expect the likes of Cameron to be bewildered by the idea of politicians adhering to fundamental principles rather than readily sacrificing them on the altar of political expediency.
The restoration of Scotland’s rightful constitutional status is a matter of fundamental principle. It is not something that can be abandoned in the face of a setback such as a referendum defeat.
The other error that Cameron and his fellow British nationalists make is to suppose that the Scottish National Party and the independence movement are one and the same thing. This is partly due to plain ignorance and partly due to their folly in believing their own propaganda. In reality, the SNP is only one part of a much larger political movement which encompasses other political parties - such as the Scottish Greens and the Scottish Socialists - as well as numerous non-party political groups and countless individuals who are politically active to varying degrees.
Were Cameron and the rest of the Westminster elite even vaguely aware of the realities of Scotland’s politics they would realise that Nicola Sturgeon can no more deny the demand for another referendum than she can suspend the campaign for independence.
Cameron and his ilk are confused and uncomprehending because they are being confronted by true democratic power. They are accustomed to a form of politics that operates entirely within the context of a rigidly controlled party political system whose sole purpose is the preservation of the existing structures of power and privilege. They are used to popular participation in politics being no more than the occasional ineffectual scrawling of a cross on a ballot paper next to any of a number of options not one of which poses a meaningful threat to the ruling elites of the British state or the dominant economic imperative. They simply do not understand the kind of mass grass-roots activism that now characterises the independence movement in Scotland.
It is not Nicola Sturgeon who will decide that there is to be another referendum. Nor is it the SNP or even the Scottish Government. And it certainly isn’t David Cameron. The people of Scotland will decide. The politicians will just do as they are told.
See on telegraph.co.uk
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