by Rab Bruce’s Spider

The UK does not have a tropical climate and so cannot really be described as a Banana Republic unless you count the bananas on supermarket shelves, and also ignore the existence of the Royal family. Despite these impediments, however, the Westminster Government has been behaving in classic Banana Republic style, with greed and corruption being the norm. Anyone who has studied a little bit of history of the past few centuries will know that self-interest, dodgy dealings and skulduggery have always been fundamental to the way the UK operates, but until Boris Johnson became Prime Minister, such traits were partly concealed by a veneer of probity. All such pretence has been abandoned by Johnson and his cronies, and perhaps those of us who wish to see Scotland escape the control of Westminster should be grateful for this since it may make more people think twice about committing to remain part of the UK.

It is worth bearing in mind that Boris Johnson’s corrupt Government are merely a symptom of the constitutional farce that is the UK. The problem has always been there, but it is now far more prominent. And now Johnson himself has adopted the role of Tinpot Dictator in Chief by sticking to the position that he will not allow another IndyRef even if the SNP do achieve the supposedly impossible and win a majority of seats in the Scottish parliament elections in May.

Putting aside the typical conflation of support for the SNP with support for independence, this position, perhaps intended to mollify those of his hard-line supporters who still regard Scotland as part of the Empire, surely gives Nicola Sturgeon all the ammunition she needs to proclaim to the international community that Scotland is being held against its will, and that democracy is being denied. Yes, we still need to win IndyRef2, but every obstacle Johnson puts in our way helps win that argument in the eyes of the world. What we need is for Nicola Sturgeon to come out and state categorically that this election really will provide the push for IndyRef2 we have been waiting for. It shouldn’t really need saying since the Tories have, as usual, already begun insisting that the election is about independence, but the SNP must also make that perfectly clear.

But, apart from appeasing his imperialist followers, what does Johnson hope to gain by holding this position? Is he trying to impersonate a strong statesman? If so, denying democracy in direct contravention of the UN Charter is a strange way to go about it. Could there perhaps be another bit of weird reasoning behind this move?

We already know that the Tories dislike democracy. It’s why the UK will never move away from First Past The Post voting. They need to remain in power, and are taking steps to ensure they do not lose their grip. Altering constituency boundaries in their favour, and introducing things like Voter ID to effectively disenfranchise the poorer sections of society are measures intended to ensure that their grip on power remains permanent. Labour seem to be doing their best to help them in this, and the media are certainly on their side. Even if Labour ever look like stepping out of line by electing a leader like Jeremy Corbyn, the knives quickly come out to undermine any attempts to disrupt the Establishment.

If you are wondering what this has to do with Boris Johnson’s insistence that, as one member of a voluntary union of equals, England will not allow Scotland to leave, then it may be that all he is trying to do is limit the impact of a democratic vote. It occurs to me that he may simply be trying to reduce voter turnout in the Scottish Parliament elections. If voters know in advance that there is no point in voting because their vote will not have the effect they want, some of them may just decide to stay at home. And if there is any drop in support for the SNP, that will be loudly proclaimed by Johnson and the media as proving that there is lessening support for independence. Votes for the Greens, AFI, ISP and any other pro-Indy candidates will be conveniently ignored because, in the eyes of the media, only the SNP presents a threat.

Yes, I know this theory may sound absurd, but the Tories do not understand Scotland at all, and they may feel that persuading voters there is no point in supporting the SNP may well be an idea they have discussed. It wouldn’t be the weirdest policy suggestion they have considered.

Whether it is true or not, we need two things to happen. First, Nicola Sturgeon must make it crystal clear that IndyRef2 will follow on from a pro-Indy majority in the Parliament. Second, voters need to put aside all doubts and concerns (of which I know there are many) and turn out in large numbers. The SNP need to win as many constituency seats as possible. As for the List, I’m still not entirely sure where my vote will go, but it will certainly be for a pro-Indy Party.

After that, we need to go ahead and let Johnson either present himself to the world as a fascist dictator, or act the statesman for once and give in to democracy. Either way, we have a chance at becoming a normal, self-governing country, although the first of those possible routes will be a difficult one.

And to those in the SNP who seem to be doing their best to alienate a large section of their supporters, I can only say that they must put independence back at the top of their agenda. This could be the last chance at becoming a normal, self-governing country that we will have for a very long time. We cannot afford to let this opportunity pass.