It occurred to me, quite some time ago, that there a good number of well meaning, but deluded souls, in Scotland, who are holding out for the British left to come riding to their rescue. If I’m honest, I didn’t give it any great thought, that is, until now. The march of the hard right, exemplified by Brexit, fuelled by xenophobia, and the election of a grotesque, racist, homophobic misogynist as President of the United States, has brought the state of the British left, to the front of my mind.
A friend, just last night, commented on social media, that he thought “we are due a strong swing back to the left soon”. Back to the left?, The United Kingdom, hasn’t put a party of the left into government, since the 1970’s. Or was my friend, perhaps kidding himself, that New Labour were of the left? Does anyone still pretend that was the case? And just when, exactly, is soon? It’s been forty years, for goodness sake.
My friend’s comment, was in reply to me speculating, that if, as he had previously suggested, Theresa May saw sense, and abandoned Brexit, there was every likelihood, that we would see Nigel Farage in Ten Downing Street. As I mused, on what he had said, I came to realise, that a good deal more of my friends, and acquaintances, hold the view, that all will be well with the UK, if only the left will return to power. They say as much, on social media, and often.
This is, in my view, a perfectly honorable aspiration. But I find myself asking, what left? Long-standing lefties, like Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and Diane Abbott, may be calling the shots in the Labour Party, for now, but they are a minority in the Parliamentary Labour Party. And if they fail, come the next general election, they will very quickly go the way of British Coal and of British Steel.
There are dozens, dozens of Labour MP’s, who would have been just at home in Cameron’s Conservative Party. I shan’t do them a disservice, and suggest that they have a great deal in common, with the UKIPish element, that currently holds sway there. What it means, however, is that there is no realistic prospect, of the left gaining power, at a UK level, any time soon.
If the left, is indeed, to finally get itself together, and to rise, phoenix-like, from the ashes, I fear things will have to get a whole lot worse first. It is deeply depressing, that rather than put a little belief in their own country, so many in Scotland, are willing to endure whatever hardships the UK imposes upon them, in the hope that salvation, lies just around the corner.
The Tory Party’s long dormant, hard right, who have more in common with Farage, than Cameron, are now very much awake, buoyed by Brexit. Austerity was just the beginning. Just how far, is Scotland willing to allow the Tories, to abuse, and abase her, before she wakens up to herself?
Who will say, that we are still better together? How is demonising the poor and disabled, better? How is hate crime, better? The hard right, have taken Brexit, and Trumpism, as permission to peddle their hateful, fascist ideology with impunity. Views, that were once beyond the pale, will now get you to the highest offices in the land. What is better about that?
The British left, isn’t coming to rescue you, people. You are going to have to, rescue yourselves. That means embracing independence. The United Kingdom, is on a dark path, a path Scotland doesn’t want to be taken down. We don’t have to follow their path. Things can be different. If, when things get really bad (and they will), we still haven’t done what is necessary, we will have only ourselves to blame.