Almost immediately after the news that Donald Trump had won the US presidency, I had a depressing thought – admittedly, one of many depressing thoughts. How long would it be before the scribes of Scotland’s unionist media and the orators of its unionist political parties started using Trump’s victory as a weapon against the Scottish National Party, and against SNP leader and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, and against everyone who voted for Scottish independence when there was a referendum about it in 2014?
Answer: not long. Writing recently in the Scottish Daily Mail, journalist Paul Sinclair – once an advisor to former Scottish Labour Party leader Johann Lamont, now a contributor to one of the most right-wing newspapers in Britain – compared Nicola Sturgeon to Hillary Clinton. “The public don’t seem to like husband and wife – or indeed wife and husband – teams any more… Miss Sturgeon may turn out to be Scotland’s Hillary-plus – utterly defeated without the consolation of even Hillary’s plus points.” Sinclair’s reasoning seems to be that Sturgeon is a woman, which is what Hillary Clinton is; and she’s married, which is also true of Hillary Clinton; and her husband is involved in politics like Hillary Clinton’s husband is (although Nicola’s hubby, the SNP chief executive Peter Murrell, is possibly a wee bit less in the public eye than Hillary’s one); so all that makes her a Scottish equivalent of Hillary Clinton, who has just lost an election and is a loser.
Therefore, Nicola = Loser. Though the equation that the article suggests to me is Paul Sinclair = Tosser. I’m not providing a link to the article, by the way, because it’s published by the Daily Mail and for me Daily Mail = Wankers.
A more popular narrative that’s surfaced among Scottish unionists over the past week, though, is one equating the independence movement not with Hillary Clinton, but with Donald Trump – and for that matter, with that previous example of extreme electoral nuttiness back in June, Britain voting for Brexit from the European Union.
The reliably and wilfully ignorant Scottish Labour commentator Ian Smart tweeted two days after the Trump victory that “it’s increasingly clear we resisted a worrying rising tide in September 2014.” This was echoed in a tweet by Conservative Member of the Scottish Parliament Murdo Fraser: “If it was mostly poorly-educated working-class males who voted Trump, wasn’t it the same demographic that largely voted yes in 2014?”
Actually, I will digress for a moment about Murdo Fraser, who only last month declared on Twitter, “I’m British and I’m staying that way.” I remember him as a fellow student during my college days at Aberdeen in the 1980s, where he was a member of the FCS, the Federation of Conservative Students. The FCS were an organisation so obnoxiously right-wing that they embarrassed even Norman Tebbit, who was then Conservative Party Chairman and not much left of Vlad the Impaler in his own political beliefs; and he had them disbanded in 1986. When Murdo and his FCS mates weren’t strutting around the campus waving the Union Jack, they were behaving like pillocks towards gay students, singing “Hang Nelson Mandela!” at discos whenever the DJ played the Special AKA anthem Free Nelson Mandela, and making nuisances of themselves in pubs yelling “F*** the Pope!” But I guess that for Murdo, white, Protestant British nationalism is all good; whereas Scottish nationalism is unspeakably bad.
© The National
The same theme was reiterated in a slightly subtler form by Scottish Daily Mail journalist Chris Deerin, who wrote on November 12th: “Trump’s triumphed, Britain’s Brexiting, Le Pen’s close enough to being La Presidente… The three most powerful words in politics are Take Back Control. The world is engaged in one of its cyclical bouts of disaggregation, having bumped up against the reality, yet again, that our species is intractably tribal, pre-dominantly self-interested and, when it comes down to it, pretty psychologically basic… why, in 2014, did Scotland buck the trend? Put another way, what’s wrong (or right) with us…? How the SNP’s leaders must curse their luck that they were forced to go first.”
Again, I’m not providing a link to Deerin’s article because it’s in the Daily Mail. And again, Daily Mail = Wankers.
Well, this may be news to the likes of Ian Smart, Murdo Fraser and Chris Deerin, but in 2014 Donald Trump was on their side. He wanted Scots to vote against independence, not for it, and after the result was announced in favour of ‘no’ he hailed it as “a great decision”. The ‘no’ side also enjoyed the backing of UKIP’s Nigel Farage, who since Trump’s victory seems to have become the orange-skinned ogre’s new British best pal and appointed himself as unofficial go-between for Trump Tower and Downing Street. Also backing a Scottish ‘no’ was British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who’s recently claimed that there’s “a lot to be positive about” Trump’s presidency and berated Europeans for whingeing about him. All the right-wing newspapers who backed Brexit and are now warming to the prospect of a Trump presidency, such as the Daily Telegraph and that odious scum-sheet the Daily Express, were vociferous ‘no’ supporters as well. As were the UK’s equivalents of the Trump-endorsing Ku Klux Klan, like the National Front, British National Party and English and Scottish Defence Leagues.
Thanks to the rejection of independence in 2014, Scotland is now locked inside a Brexiting and increasing xenophobic Britain that looks set to carve out a new international role for itself as a loathsome wee sidekick to the big-mouthed, ignorant, bigoted, misogynistic Trump. Incidentally, those who wanted Scotland to become independent in 2014 were also keen to remove the nuclear submarines and their cargoes of Trident missiles from their home at Clyde Naval Base, 25 miles from the city of Glasgow, and expel them from the country. But because of the ‘no’ vote, these weapons of mass destruction will be based in Scotland for the foreseeable future and from next year their usage will depend on the whims of a belligerent ignoramus in Washington. (Only a British nationalist as deluded as Murdo Fraser would believe that Britain’s supposed nuclear deterrent is actually controlled from London.)
Voting ‘no’ in September 2014 was the equivalent of voting ‘leave’ in June 2016 and voting for Trump in November 2016. And if you can’t see that, you need your head examined.