Sunday, 23 September 2012

rallying call?

The unionist press today are all jubilant that the rally was so small. They are bound to be, but they are probably right. The audience fitted into the close vicinity of the Ross Bandstand under Edinburgh castle, slightly overspilling the actual seating. I was there, not in the audience of supporters, but in the outer watching fringes suitable for agnostic voters.

Much as the rally was filled with typical SNP history-patriotism, it was very clearly a fearful occasion. In over 2 hours of speeches and music, never was one word said about the zionist return entitlement for all the Scottish diaspora. Instead of the historical reawakening claimed, it was a historical betrayal to watch that omission happen. It meant the rally was not addressed to the Scottish people in our full number 25 million. It had the same most serious omission as the Yes campaign as a whole has. This is even though there was a "New Scots" speaker speaking up for the racial pluralism of our new state and the adopted Scottish identity of folks who have come to us from elsewhere. That is good in itself and one way our political culture is less nasty than England's at present - but see the contradiction between this and the total omission of talking about all the Scots in exile and their opportunity to come back.

A song about that silly lump of monarchism the Stone of Destiny said "How can anyone wipe away the tears of 700 stolen years?" - as if the centuries of statehood we still had during the stone's captivity don't count! Far more practical to real lives is the personal question for the disapora, about growing up in exile: How can anyone wipe away the tears of 26 stolen years?

The best point was made by the Green leader Patrick Harvie, who said the Yes campaign can't expect to sell just a Scottish version of the status quo as worth voting for, as the SNP has so clearly been trying to do, it has to float more radical possibilities for why independence would make a beneficial practical difference. There won't be agreement on what these should be, so different conflicting possibilities must be floated and will be issues in future Scottish elections. Entitlement for all the diaspora to return, is one such possibility that Harvie did not mention, but is the key radical difference determining whether independence really is even nationally just at all or not.

It was an entirely left wing occasion. What is strongly part of Harvie's radical agenda, and was in all the speakers' agenda, was the Yes side's wearyingly constant assumption that its new Scotland will be against the Bomb. No contrary voice to that was heard, though a contrary view to the SNP's on NATO was heard. With Isobel Lindsay speaking too, the rally was totally dominated by CND and it gave a dismal picture of the Yes campaign itself being controlled by them.

At the back of the garden, on the Princes Street railings, there was a disturbing banner about Padania, an alleged nation in north Italy that was only invented in 1992 by the Northern League there - which has a terribly anti-immigration reputation and of being the bad type of nationalism. Was there anything official about their presence? Actually maybe not, because there was a rally speaker from the Venetian nationalists, whose territorial claim directly contradicts Padania because would just be arrogantly included in it. It shows how you have to sort out the historical authenticity of nation claims before leaping to embrace all secessionist movements as your allies.

No comments:

Post a Comment