On the 10th September 2014, David Cameron made a personal plea to the people of Scotland, begging them not to break up our “family of nations.” Even in families, though, things can turn very ugly.
Since the referendum, the Westminster parties have done everything they can to make Scotland feel like second-class citizens, and you have every right to be angry.
You also have to question whether we live in a democracy, or some despotic system; whereby anybody who is taken to be a “threat” to the establishment is deemed as a monster, and will stop at nothing to demonise those challengers.
Take the Murdoch media empire. Just this week, Rupert Murdoch has told his pro-Tory newspapers to step up their game against the Scottish Nationalist Party, and to put a greater emphasis on the success on the Conservatives. And how they have put their necks out.
“Their plan for this coup is not only to get their members elected, but then to send those elected members to the parliament they’ve been elected to, to speak and vote on the issues they were elected to speak and vote about?!
Today, The Sun features an article titled “THE EARLY YEARS OF THE WOMAN WHO WOULD BREAK UP BRITAIN”, with the subtitle “THE SCOTWEILER”. The pictures show a teenage Nicola Sturgeon next to the First Minister’s current appearance, with phrases such as: “Strong willed as a child and liked a row” (always knew she was trouble); “She cut hair off her sister’s Sindy doll” (clearly a sign of insanity); “Now he biggest danger to the unity of the UK” (as if the Tories are doing a better job).
The article itself is an absolutely sordid attack on the First Minister of Scotland, saying that “The Sun reveals the lengths to which the 44 year-old has gone in her quest for power – which prove she will stop at nothing to achieve her ultimate goal of Scottish independence.”
How can we stand this? No matter which side of the fence we are on, any personal attack as venomous as this, written by people who support the Government, is deplorable, and is seriously undemocratic.
Look at Nick Clegg’s statement today, saying he will not enter any coalition which would rely on the SNP for “life support.” Who would he go into coalition with? If the Tories win – who are unlikely to have a majority even with the LibDems pathetic number of seats – will he join with the DUP? UKIP?
Owen Jones wrote yesterday that we should “never mind the SNP: the real danger is if the DUP are in government.” Homophobic, creationist, and anti-women – what basis would the LibDems have for entering such a partnership?
“Ah yes! But the DUP – as the name suggests – do not want to break up the union!” Mr Clegg would say. So this election becomes independence referendum 2.0? Based purely on who is in, and who is out? Indeed, it already has.
The more the media and the politicians blast the SNP, the more likely they are to have an exact replica of the referendum impact we are seeing today. During the indyref campaign, people became more solidly in favour of independence the more Westminster threatened people with the ramifications of it.
But now it has gone further. Last year the media did not sink so low as to personally attack Sturgeon and Salmond in such a way, using the most revolting and sexist language you could imagine. Yes there were personal attacks, but this?
The rhetoric coming from the main political parties appears to make the SNP out to be second-class citizens. Mark Steel wrote in the i this week – quite brilliantly: “Their [the SNP’s] plan for this coup is not only to get their members elected, but then to send those elected members to the parliament they’ve been elected to, to speak and vote on the issues they were elected to speak and vote about?!
“And you though Isis was bad.”
If the Westminster parties wanted an incentive to hold a second independence referendum, then they are going goth right way about it. English Votes for English Laws (a good idea, but to announce on the day after a referendum?); devolution for English cities; sexist personal attacks on an elected official in the United Kingdom; demonisation of any other elected officials who take office in their parliament.
A fine example of good old British democracy – is it not marvellous?