Thursday, March 14, 2019


On Tuesday night last, having just done a show on The Last Jacobite/Rebel Radio show I checked on FB to see what comments were coming in. And I found this:

G.H: We don't even control or have a country of our own... But fuckwits like you, are determined to make sure that never happens... People like you are total TRAITORS... If you dont want to be Scottish get to fuck out of my Country!!!

This was on my own Timeline where I had posted a meme which read:

I will never vote for the SNP again while the Murrells are controlling it

 for this  G.H. called me a traitor, of being un-Scottish and advised me to 'get the fuck' out of 'his' country!

Now, while I know nothing about G.H. he will know very little about me. I can hear the desperation behind his impatience and anger. But the judgmentalism and condemnation smacks of unreformed Calvinism.

G.H. won't know that I have lived in Scotland for 33 years, he won't know that for some of those years I served as a regional councillor in the Highlands, during which time I did everything I could to serve and honour my promises to the electorate of Nairn Alltan.

He won't know that I used to keep a list of those promises in front of my office desk and ticked them off, one by one,  as the promises were kept. He won't know that in November 1991 I led the blockade of a nuclear waste convoy heading to cross the Kessock Bridge in Inverness on its way from Germany to be stored at Dounreay.

And he won't know about the pensioner who promised to vote for me if I banged the drum for him if elected. Something that I promised him I would certainly do. And on being elected that the Daily Record carried a picture of me on the swings near the Nairn Swimming Pool describing me as The Green Jacobite!

And he certainly wouldn't know that on my return to council business after the nuclear blockade I found a vile racist note in my councillor's pigeon-hole whose sentiments were not very different to his described above. And of the constant use of racist language aimed at me, behind my back, by certain councillors. So bad that I had to report the Highlands only declared Tory, a Mr Graham, to the council Convener who gave that 'highland gentleman' a warning about his obnoxious behaviour.

The interesting thing was this: until the time of that blockade most of the other 50 or so councillors treated me as a clown or, being a Eurasian, as a bit of an olive-skinned curiousity. And being a Highland Green they never failed to make parochial comments to me about the Green Welly-Boot brigade 'incomersh' amongst whom I clearly was not one!

In the 'nineties the Greens were responsible for conducting a mini-uprising of the people of Nairn. Local folk were concerned about things like the pollution of the River Nairn, the filthy state of a sewage-covered Nairn beach, the illegal burning of highly toxic chemicals by Nontox and the secret dumping of poison by the same company into the local burns not far from that factory. People were getting ill with headaches.

These and the wider problem at Inverness' dumping raw sewage into the Meikle Firth and the iniquitous Poll Tax were some of the issues I promised to address and did.
Nine Greens stood for election, all through the Great Glen. But only I managed to break the Highland establishment and get elected. Much of that success I attribute to the kids at Nairn Academy who, on discovering that a Green was standing for the council, pestered their parents to vote for me. We adults should never underestimate our children. For it is the same planetary awareness that is now driving the Extinction Rebellion movement, also started by young people. Many young folk are tuned into the needs of the Planet and its biosystem. And they are aware of the world around them in a way that, sadly, only a few adults are. And I see that dearth of awareness on the nationalist Yes pages where Greens are, only too often, mocked and treated with derision.

Nationalism seems to be almost a religious thing among many, whereas green and 'environmental' issues are almost the politics of fancifulness and even of English 'incomers' dancing to the tune set them by an English headquarters somewhere in the home counties! Well, I can only put that down to the sheer, pig ignorance of some who, while turning their nationalism into a quasi-religious thing headed by an imagined Saviour who will take us all into the Promised Land, but where the land and seas and all the life that lives in and around us is a thing of little or no concern to them.

I believe it is that same insensitive, unaware attitude that leads our 90-minute patriots to a frenzy of anger and hate against their fellow Scots, calling them 'traitors' and telling them to get out of the country. Their inability to understand anything more than a cult of follow-my-leader boils down to a basic political illiteracy fuelled by an ill-concealed attitude of racism between their 'purity' and the barely-tolerated 'incomers' who they see are here on sufferance!

That is where fanaticism leads you to: an intolerance of others who you see as less-deserving of being Scots. And every time I receive abuse on the Yes pages on social media it is that fanaticism I see lurking behind the words. Fanaticism of the kind that leads to fascism.

Many of us see ourselves as socialists. I see myself as a Green Socialist. And there are many in the SNP who consider themselves to be socialist or socialistic in outlook. Very few, surely, who would go anywhere near the fanatics. Not consciously or deliberately anyway. Fanaticism and fascism is a thing we all find repugnant and not to be made welcome in our New Scotland.

And yet, and yet.

Look at the intolerance and abuse on the social media. And the anger and self-righteousness in some of us as being either 'true' Scots or traitors who need to go back to where they came from? I'm not talking here of something that goes on between nationalists and unionists; it's about what's passing between people on the same side: people who all want independence in order to make our country into a far better place than it could possibly be while being in its present neo-colonial state.

But there is this thing: political illiteracy, which requires us all to have a monolithic view, of toeing party lines and dishing out abuse at those who deviate from our imagined norms of acceptability. And that's where you find the poison of exceptionalism and race hatred; all the things that most normal humans will hold their nose and turn away from. Not among Jock Tamson's bairns are such to be found.

And yet, and yet.

Here they come in their almost goose-stepping arrogance, anger and intolerance.

Here they come, following their Saviour and boasting nationalistic purity, ready for another kind of cleansing; if yer no wi' us, yer agin us and I judge yer ter be agin us for not following our Leader! Oh boy! What are the rest of us letting ourselves in for??

Is this the New Scotland we wish to see come about? Where there is one view and only one, where those of a different view (however slight it may be) are simply not to be tolerated, to be made into non-persons? And how do we deal with this home-grown fascism that thrives all around us among the fanatics?

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