Monday, June 16, 2014

The Ruling Class in Scotland or What Are Project Fear Really Afraid Of? pt one

The deep and historic paradox of the "Independence Question"  is that the ruling class in Scotland  have always actually been in favour of independence from UK control- from 1707 to the present day. They think they've already got it.  This, it may seem strange to say, is why they're so overwhelmingly against our voting for it now.
Let me unpick the history of this very Scottish paradox.
The terms of the Treaty of Union that Our Ruling Class negotiated in 1707 meant that from the outset, the law, the kirk, the schools and Universities retained their functional distinctiveness and indeed, "independence" from the amalgamation of merely political power that happened when the Parliament voted itself out of existence.  So, throughout the18th Century, while the Kirk provided universal schooling against the wiles of the Papacy, the land owners, crucially,  kept right on owning the land, indeed kept a very tight hold of it indeed with the help of the rather more stringently feudal character of distinctive Scottish law. 
Between them, these institutions fostered the growth of an argumentative, egalitarian, enlightened and yet sheepishly unambitious bourgeoisie, overwhelmingly loyal to the Empire and the broader culture offered by British trade and the English language. In the 19th century, this middle class was added to by the bureaucratic, mercantile and military employment prospects of the Empire and its civil service, so eagerly sought and filled by comparatively well educated Scottish " lads o pairts" – Scots at less than a tenth of the population of the UK provided fully a third of the colonial bureaucracy.
In the twentieth century, the secretariat of the welfare state, local government, nationalized industry and industrial scale education was a similar pool of opportunity for the advancement of a new clean-collared echelon of Scottish Labour Aristocracy.

Thus evolved a succession of unelected and anti-nationalist national hegemonies within an unsupervised outpost of a British state that granted functional independence to this succession of Scottish elites, who remained aloof from democratic oversight both from Westminster, which didn't care that much, and, more importantly, from an electorate in Scotland which didn't count for anything.
As a matter of the exercise of practical power, then, the Scottish Ruling Class are already "independent."  They are independent of an indifferent London, but also, crucially, they are independent of us.  This is why, for them, political Independence is unnecessary.  They already have "independence."

That's  how they know so well it is far too good for the rest of us.

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