Recently, well, over the past few years, politics has become increasingly harsh, rather more so than even the most learned analyst would be willing to concede, this is something that only those who view the world from a impartial standpoint will see, like myself, we note that the politics in this day and age has become rather bitter at times, with the party lines becoming more like battle lines, this would seem to indicate to an outsider that being say Nationalist, Liberal or Unionist is now akin to being in a faction bound for war.
Take for example the link I placed in my last blog, showing our Prime Minister giggling and enjoying the pantomime-esque behaviour of her audience when the words ‘Nicola Sturgeon’ and ‘Scottish Nationalists’ were mentioned, the hissing and jeering that you can hear is another nail in the coffin of open, frank and fair discourse, politics was simply a topic whereby viewpoints differ slightly, like the difference between white and grey, a slight alteration here, change there, difference over there and so on, though now, the differences between two parties, like between the Labour and Conservative parties, is more akin to the difference between white and black.
This is especially true when you look at Scotland, for here the Scottish Nationalists are the major party, this leaves them, in a rare showing of unity between the other Unionist Majority parties, open to attack from the Lib Dems, Labour and Conservative MSPs, leadership and party members, why, because the motives of the Nationalists have always been set towards bringing Independence to Scotland, an opportunity that was a once in a generation/lifetime/blue moon outing in 2014 but may yet happen again.
Anyway, if you see the vitriole with which the unionists attack the nationalists, you would think that the two parties were about to recite Braveheart and charge across Stirling Bridge, Falkirk or Bannockburn, reliving the days of the Wars of Scottish Independence, it feels like, in place of the sword, words have become the main weapon in these clashes, from a national point of view, the Conservatives front themselves as being a party that will bring Strong, Stable Leadership, mainly in the negotiations for Brexit, though this is amazingly short sighted of them, they seem to be forgetting of course that it was their party, their leader at the time and preceding Prime Minister to May, David Cameron that called the brexit Referendum, he gambled with the notion that the electorate might reject the idea of leaving the EU, I can’t remember what happened though….
Oh wait, we haven’t heard anything other than that word, that made up word, Brexit, for those who don’t know, it is a car crash between the words ‘British and Exit’, this was the second time that Cameron had played the odds, he did so in 2014, again hoping that the electorate, this time in Scotland would reject the idea of independence, securing such thoughts with the Vow, the last minute agreement between the three main party leaders in Westminster, though if Gordon Brown is to be believed, he was the reason Scotland rejected Independence, who cares, it is yet again another example of us not being able to have an open and frank debate, discussion or conversation without it descending, especially in the glare of the TV cameras, into a chaotic, noisy and pointless farce, the debates were three Unionist representatives versus one Nationalist and one Green, who would side with the Nationalists anyway.
The notion that we could discuss the issues without having arguments, accusations, claim and counter-claim is sadly a regular occurrence and error now, back then words were used to point out issues, like the advantages and disadvantages of Independence, though not to any great extent, the sum total of the discussions were limited to currency and Oil, everything else seemed to take a back seat to this, though words won’t just used to indicate such Pro and Con situations but also to insult intelligence, for some reason the word Patriot became a no-no, the word Unionist similarly so, even though that is in the full title of the Conservative Party’s name.
Words split people into two groups, patriots and unionists, those who wanted Independence and those who were unwilling to leave the UK, this proved to be the way of it for the campaign and sadly beyond, it is very difficult to see the electorate returning to the way things were, the same can be said of the Brexit vote, In and Out, Brexiteers versus Remainers, we seem to like to divide things into manageable groups, unfortunately these divisions cause issues, for the case of another Scottish Independence Referendum has been set up and promoted by the fact that Scotland voted to Remain, so divisions from 2014 may yet be revisited again.
It seems so easy now, to divide us, whether it be Independence, Brexit or simply politics as a whole, as proven by Mrs May’s silence when the audience around her jeered and hissed the nationalists in Scotland, if she had said something, calmed the jeering, stopped the hissing or even at least tried to act statesmanlike, then this wouldn’t have been as big a point as it was, there is another point, the Media, our printed and rolling news, the wording used in the printed press can sometimes catch the eye for the wrong reason, however, it is also true that they can suggest things that aren’t true, reporting fact seems to be a vague issue, like whether or not there is a Santa Claus.
To end, i simply wish to state that divisions in our populace cannot be a good thing, look at America, the surge of support for Trump, the protests, the fights inside and outside the rallies during the campaign, it is rather easy for us to slip into that sort of style of divided politics, all we have to do is keep going the way we are, if a person has an opinion, supports a political party or believes something then, within reason, they should be allowed to do so, though the moment they try and belittle or insult another person for believing otherwise, that is when we lose the right to be able to express ourselves, free and honest debate is all very well but as far as I can see, we probably haven’t had such debates since the 1950s, we seem to be too easily offended, too quick to retaliate, too sensitive, though if our personal viewpoint is brought into question, I’m not saying we shouldn’t have the right to defend our perspective, we should, of course we should but the issue is, where to draw the actual line, not for a battle between two differing viewpoints, but rather the point when the discussion stops being a discussion and starts becoming insulting.
That is the question of our time!