FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Project Fear and the Scottish Vote

by

Unionists of every stripe from the Orange Lodges to Tories and Labourist all sorts will be delighted with Scottish results. The United Kingdom has been saved. They won by 400,000 votes. Not a great triumph but a victory nonetheless and a defeat for the independence movement.

I’ll wait for the detailed breakdown of age, gender, class before commenting on these aspects, but the story isn’t over. Their victory was made possible by Project Fear that required a media campaign of ferocious intensity that even Goebbels might have admired. It was reminiscent of the recent offensives in South America, but there our side won despite 99 percent media opposition. Here, too,  the media was backed by a violent corporate campaign–with bankers in the lead— and all the mainstream parties. Despite this the independence vote was almost 45 percent and Glasgow and Dundee had majorities for independence.

How short memories are in these times was demonstrated by the elevation of Gordon Brown as the saviour of the Union. He performed well, shedding crocodile tears for the NHS that he and Blair had already begun to privatise and weaken by  dubious private finance initiatives. New Labour’s Health Secretary Alan Milburn now works for private medicine, for a company that he helped as a government minister!

What will happen now? Cameron will use the victory to portray himself as the man who saved the union and with some justification. Project Fear was launched in Downing Street, after all with Nick Clegg and  Ed Moribund pressed into service as page boys. Simultaneously Cameron will push through (with the devo max measures) a bill disallowing Scottish MPs from voting on English questions. This will keep the Tories united, UKIP happy and Labour shafted. No more Scottish cannon fodder for Westminster votes on the budget!

In Scotland itself there will be a lot of soul-searching within the Scottish Nationalist Party. How could they lose in some of their strongholds? Did they work hard enough? Should Alex Salmond go and be replaced by Nicola Sturgeon? And who knows what else….

On the left the spirited and non-sectarian Radical Independence Campaign fought well. It would be important to preserve and enhance this current in Scottish politics to argue the case for a very different Scotland and this means keeping the movement together.

Radical Scotland will not disappear and the model here should not be any reversion to the tried and tested failures of the socialist left but something more like Podemos in Spain. There will be sadness and demoralisation and this is perfectly understandable, but it won’t last too long. British politics is getting worse not better.

Fear leads to passivity and even though in this case the Unionists managed to get the fearful out to vote, they might never be able to do that again. Hope leads to activity and that is what the independence campaign represented. We will win the next time.

Tariq Ali is the author of  The Obama Syndrome (Verso).

 

 

Tariq Ali is the author of The Obama Syndrome (Verso).

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

March 23, 2017
Chip Gibbons
Crusader-in-Chief: the Strange Rehabilitation of George W. Bush
Michael J. Sainato
Cybersecurity Firm That Attributed DNC Hacks to Russia May Have Fabricated Russia Hacking in Ukraine
Chuck Collins
Underwater Nation: As the Rich Thrive, the Rest of Us Sink
CJ Hopkins
The United States of Cognitive Dissonance
Howard Lisnoff
BDS, Women’s Rights, Human Rights and the Failings of Security States
Mike Whitney
Will Washington Risk WW3 to Block an Emerging EU-Russia Superstate
John Wight
Martin McGuinnes: Man of War who Fought for Peace in Ireland
Linn Washington Jr.
Ryancare Wreckage
Eileen Appelbaum
What We Learned From Just Two Pages of Trump’s Tax Returns
Mark Weisbrot
Ecuador’s Elections: Why National Sovereignty Matters
Thomas Knapp
It’s Time to End America’s Longest War
Chris Zinda
Aggregate Journalism at Salon
David Welsh
Bay Area Rallies Against Trump’s Muslim Ban II
March 22, 2017
Paul Street
Russiagate and the Democratic Party are for Chumps
Russell Mokhiber
Single-Payer, the Progressive Caucus and the Cuban Revolution
Gavin Lewis
McCarthyite Anti-Semitism Smears and Racism at the Guardian/Observer
Kathy Kelly
Reality and the U.S.-Made Famine in Yemen
Kim C. Domenico
Ending Our Secret Alliance with Victimhood: Toward an Adult Politics
L. Ali Khan
Profiling Islamophobes
Calvin Priest
May Day: Seattle Educators Moving Closer to Strike
David Swanson
Jimmy Breslin on How to Impeach Trump
Dave Lindorff
There Won’t Be Another Jimmy Breslin
Jonathan Latham
The Meaning of Life
Robert Fisk
Martin McGuinness: From “Super-Terrorist” to Super Statesman
Steve Horn
Architect of Federal Fracking Loophole May Head Trump Environmental Council
Binoy Kampmark
Grief, Loss and Losing a Father
Jim Tull
Will the Poor Always Be With Us?
Jesse Jackson
Trump’s “March Massacre” Budget
Joe Emersberger
Rafael Correa and the Future of Ecuador: a Response to James McEnteer
March 21, 2017
Reshmi Dutt-Ballerstadt
On Being the “Right Kind of Brown”
Kenneth Surin
God, Guns, Gays, Gummint: the Career of Rep. Bad Bob Goodlatte
David Rosen
Popular Insurgencies: Reshaping the Political Landscape
Ryan LaMothe
The Totalitarian Strain in American Democracy
Eric Sommer
The House Intelligence Committee: Evidence Not Required
Mike Hastie
My Lai Massacre, 49 Years Later
James McEnteer
An Era Ends in Ecuador: Forward or Back?
Evan Jones
Beyond the Pale
Stansfield Smith
First Two Months in Power: Hitler vs. Trump
Dulce Morales
A Movement for ‘Sanctuary Campuses’ Takes Shape
Pepe Escobar
Could Great Wall of Iron become New Silk Roadblock?
Olivia Alperstein
Trump Could Start a Nuclear War, Right Now
David Macaray
Norwegians Are the Happiest People on Earth
March 20, 2017
Michael Schwalbe
Tears of Solidarity
Patrick Cockburn
Brexit, Nationalism and the Damage Done
Peter Stone Brown
Chuck Berry: the First Poet of Rock and Roll
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail