Andy Myles: Claiming my right to reply to Shock and Awe

I have listened to the “shock-and awe” interventions of the last week from the Westminster, Whitehall, ‘Fleet Street’ and the ‘City of London’ elite into the great Referendum debate. I don’t question their right to their say – but I do claim my right to reply.  As far as I can tell, what they are saying falls into roughly three carguments, and this is, in short, is what the message and tone seems to me to be.

(1) We really love you and want you to stay in the UK as it currently is. Yes, we’ve had second thoughts at the last, desperate moment, about exactly what the “status quo” is going to be, and at one minute to midnight, we have decided you can have more control over your pocket money and, perhaps, you can have complete decision making power over the train set and a few other toys. We have also decided we will rabbit on inconsequentially about “this family of nations” and “federalism” – but none of us are prepared to say the blindingly obvious and admit that the only way we could have a federation and a fair solution to the British question is to set up an English Parliament as an equivalent of the Scottish Parliament and the Assemblies in Wales and Northern Ireland. That’s because we believe that British democracy is already the best in the world – even if we will admit that the elections are permanently rigged and that we retain the power to stuff half of Parliament full of our lifelong cronies, But forget all of that negative stuff. Nothing more than a spot of tinkering is required.

(2) We really think that you are threatening to upset the way that power is distributed at the moment – and that is a bad thing, because we are so good at wielding that power on your behalf. Look! We’ve given you nuclear weapons. We’re building the biggest warships ever – even if we don’t have the cash to put the aircraft on them yet. We’ve held on to the remains of the Empire and turned it into tax havens. We’ve bullied that Junker chappy into giving us a corporatist agenda in Europe so we might not have to leave the EU after all. Why on earth do you Scots want to upset the apple cart that has allowed us to make the dominant ideology of our day one where economic and political power is concentrated in the hands of a tiny corporate, largely public school, not-quite-hereditary elite for the 364 days of the year when we are not having an election or a referendum?

(3) We really think it would be stupid of you Scots to take all the risks of Home rule and make the prices in Tesco’s and at the petrol pumps go up. And what about your pensions? And your currency? You do realise that we are not going to be at all reasonable when it comes to negotiations, despite the fact that we will still want to hoover up your share of the common wealth? No. If you have been naughty, you will have to be punished! And you will be poorer! Don’t you realise that greed is the only real motivation we humans have? But then, of course, we KNOW that you are not that stupid.

Well, do you know what? These arguments, and your methods of disseminating them, disgust me. My decision will be about how to assure the best form of government we can have as a community. And if nothing else persuaded me that our British elite, and their international corporatist cronies are unfit to govern, and should have their power and wealth dramatically redistributed, it has been the pantomime of panic we have witnessed over the last few days. I hope your “media grid” manipulation of what, I accept, you see as the truth, is seen for what it really is – the desperate desire to hold onto and increase all the power you already have.

And I am still waiting, patiently, for you to tell me one, single way in which you intend to make the UK better than the tawdry polity you have created whilst paying lip-service to the principles of democracy, liberty and self-determination.

Andy Myles is former Chief Executive of the Scottish Liberal Democrats – and is voting Yes.

4 thoughts on “Andy Myles: Claiming my right to reply to Shock and Awe


  2. And I don’t know why we need elections. We should just ask the CExs of the banks, insurance companies and supermarkets who they want as a Government and anoint them. Wonder what Labour will do in May next year when the same group of business people say that a Labour government is too much of a risk. After all if they are right about Scotland they must be right about the rUK.

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  4. That is just about it.

    Like the original shock and awe, its all smoke and mirrors.

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