Up until now, I couldn't quite decide what to make of Sadiq Khan. If I'm honest, I wasn't particularly interested, although it had crossed my mind that I wouldn't be at all surprised if he were to become Labour leader at some point in the future. You might say I was indifferent towards him. Well, based on excerpts of the speech he will make to the so-called Scottish Labour conference, which he tweeted in advance, I now don't think very much of him at all.
We are living in worrying times. Right-wing populism appears to be on the rise. Brexit, blaming everything on immigrants, and the election of an especially fragile, particularly paranoid, narcissistic, tangerine china doll as US President are symptomatic of this.
For the Mayor of London to then compare those of us who long for an independent Scotland to the likes of Farage, Marine Le Pen, Geert Wilders, and Donald Trump, is beneath contempt. That is what he did:
"There is no difference between those who try to divide us on the basis of whether we are English or Scottish and those who try to divide us on the basis of our background, race or religion "
Scottish nationalism is not about dividing people, those of us in favour of independence are not talking about banning Muslims, building walls, pulling up the drawbridge, or anything of the sort. On the contrary, we want an independent Scotland to be inclusive, governed by the people of Scotland for the people of Scotland, regardless of where you were born, ethnicity, or race. And Sadiq Khan, Kezia Dugdale and the rest of the Labour Party damn well know it.
If anything, Khan's comments cheapen the plight of those who are suffering at the hands of right-wing populism, and that is bloody disgraceful.
Again, a Labour politician asks us to stay put in solidarity with our English brethren saying:
"The antidote to Brexit and the rise of right-wing populist parties is not to run away, break away, or push our neighbours away."
Mr Khan gets this wrong too. An independent Scotland wouldn't be running away, it would be walking its own path. No one in favour of independence, as far as I know, is suggesting we push our neighbours away, indeed we are keen to work closely with them. England is our closest neighbour, independence can't change that. England, or rather, the rest of the UK, would also be an independent Scotland's biggest trading partner, independence needn't change that, certainly not in the short to medium term.
It is Tory England/Britain has chosen to break away from the EU, and, in apparently refusing to go any way towards accommodating Scotland's overwhelming vote to remain. It is they who are pushing neighbours away. The Scottish Government has given, indeed, is giving the Westminster Government ample opportunity to avoid a second independence referendum, but all the signs are that the Tories remain intransigent.
I do despair at those who believe Scotland should remain with the UK out of some sort of misplaced solidarity. I could only laugh when I read that Sadiq Khan thinks:
"Now is the time to build unity, create a more United Kingdom and ensure everyone has the opportunities to succeed"
Sorry Sadiq, but the time for all that was 1997 and the thirteen years that Labour was in power after that. It might make sense for Scotland to stay in the UK if we were in fact "Better Together", but I just don't see that we are. As I keep saying, it isn't getting any better, it's getting worse.
Believing in independence for Scotland does not make me and others who agree with me racists, and I deeply resent that the Mayor of London has suggested we are. As far as I am concerned we are one race, and that is the human race. I suspect that Sadiq Khan's ill-advised intervention is counterproductive. Is it any wonder Labour are in the state they are in when they think that to insult and patronise is the way to win back voters in Scotland who deserted them in their droves.