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Back on the High Road, dreaming

In the flurry of excitement over potential Scottish Independence becoming a reality and amid the desperate panic about cash reinforced by all the corporate and banking cronies that Westminster can muster, one thing seems to get forgotten.

This movement may be less about nationalism – anyhow a bit of an outdated concept in a global age – than about self-determination. And it is a specific kind of self-determination, one that is only just managing to be articulated by in any forthright way.

What seems to unite the YES campaign is not the much vaunted saltire, a word many of us had never encountered until recently, but the unified desire to end the rule of the elite Westminster bully boys once and for all and to begin to create a proper social democracy on our island. The New Statesman ‘s Sophie McBain was kind enough to interview me today and gave me the chance to say this word a bit, and in the context of a society dominated by men who have been institutionalized in childhood.

It is not a word that you hear much of in Britain – social democracy. It is why our country feels – evident national customs aside –  so different to Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Germany or any of our European neighbours, because we haven’t built one yet. A social democracy is a structure built on and for its people; it is different to a top-down society like ours which is a parliamentary evolution of an autocracy. Our system has its top-down bias built in to its education system where our elite get special privileges in exchange for which they have to renounce their childhood. Which is of course why in Wounded Leaders I suggest that we have the children inside these men running the show.

You could say that this is what people in Scotland have had enough of. This really is news and explains why the efforts to discredit the YES have become so virulent. It explains why it is Labour voters who have pulled out of the metling pot-politics that Labour has been forced to adopt. They have really had enough of governments who have no social conscious and no understanding of the vulnerable, let alone a sense of a country that extends beyond the ‘home counties.’ Labour has lost this support because their traditional supporters are at least trying to dream for something better.

It may be that the markets would decimate the new country; it may be that globalsiation won’t allow anyone to do anything differently, but at least someone is daring to dream.

And whatever the outcome, it is unlikely to bring the British Establishment down, unfortunately, but it may bring down Cameron, says the New Statesman, and if might just stimulate politics south of the border a bit, suggests George Monbiot, also daring to dream a bit.


  1. great stuff nick. it is very exciting that in spite of media bias , institutional bias and all the money which has been thrown at the no campaign independence still looks within reach. a real sign that politics is being done differently, and that the desire for justice and social conscience is strong. the father and mother in you and your readers will I am sure enjoy this from Stanley Odd, Son I voted yes

    Comment by sally fraser on 12/09/2014 at 4:15 pm
  2. Hello Nick,
    It doesn’t seem like anyone else is writing much on this blog but I will write some more here because you’re touching on some important issues. Regarding Nationalism,I don’t think it is outdated these days, despite globalism–remember- we are attached to our “soil” and it is there that we find real security.This is also connected to the femininity which has been missing in English culture now for around 400 years–soil equals food equals nurture and care–for ourselves and for nature.

    The imperial narrative from about 1660 onwards told us to go out and conquer other nations and that is what we did for a long time. But there was a price—we lost touch with the feminine and became fixated with glittering riches. But all that glitters is not gold.
    It is striking how the majority of the electorate in England are centrist–we have the largest centrist party in Europe.Problem is they let us down in 2010–2011.They have talked constantly about breaking down the two-party system. But this can only be done with a mass movement. The Social democrats in Germany have hundreds of thousands of supporters
    –but people here are wary of leaders who don’t deliver on their promises—here we need someone who can hold together a Party AND discipline those who don’t toe the line. Labour promised a referendum on proportional voting for London Parliament in 1997 and 2001 and failed to deliver. Why? because Jack Straw skewered the issue in Cabinet. Blair failed to discipline him.

    Wider than this–we need re-integration of the feminine–which IS starting to happen–boarding has declined by 42 per cent since 1993.the Establishment has been scared by what has happened in the past 2 weeks. One part of the country almost seceded. What we need to do is define ourselves as UK Europeans in our own way and politicians who are more realistic about what they can deliver.Probably one of the most important things is to
    break down the tribal nature of politics and establish a more pluralist system.This can be done by establishing proportional voting.Change only happens slowly in England but if it is to happen it has to happen on the basis of equality of citizenship. The natural development of this is a federal system with an English parliament and a proper codified constitution.

    Undoubtedly this will be fought by quite a lot of people in the Conservative party–but remember that the reason they have been so successful historically is that they see which way the wind is blowing and then change to adapt to the new reality. They are FLEXIBLE.The same goes for the monarchy–experts at re-inventing themselves over the course of the 20th century. Echoes of boarding school survivors? You bet.

    Comment by Henry Lawson on 21/09/2014 at 6:53 pm

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