FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Project Fear and the Scottish Vote

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).

 

 

More articles by:

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

August 06, 2020
H. Bruce Franklin
How the Fascists Won World War II
Robert Jacobs – Ran Zwigenberg
The American Narrative of Hiroshima is a Statue that Must be Toppled
Howie Hawkins - Madelyn Hoffman
Reverse the New Nuclear Arms Race
Brian Kelly
Ireland and Slavery: Debating the ‘Irish Slaves Myth’
Talli Nauman
Native Americans Win Historic Victories in U.S. High Court Rulings
David Mattson
“Man Attacks Grizzly” and Other Leading Bleeding Stories
Jack Rasmus
US GDP Collapses and Economic Rebound Fades
John Kendall Hawkins
Suffrage: The Myth of Sisterphus
George Ochenski
An Unbelievably Disastrous State of Affairs
George Wuerthner
Trouble in Paradise Valley
Binoy Kampmark
State of Pandemic Disaster: Melbourne Moves to Stage Four
Howard Lisnoff
The ACLU Has Never Done a Damn Thing for Me
Priyanka Singh – Sujeet Singh
Time to Empower the Invisibles: India Awaits a Mental Health Revolution
CounterPunch News Service
Conservationists to Federal Agencies: Restore Protections for Imperiled Wildlife in the Flathead National Forest
August 05, 2020
Roy Eidelson
Black Lives Matter: Resisting the Propaganda of Status Quo Defenders
Melvin Goodman
The Department of Homeland Security: the Ideal Authoritarian Tool
Paul Street
Misleaders at a Funeral: Bill Clinton and Barack Obama Eulogizing Racial Justice in the Name of John Lewis
Seiji Yamada
Hiroshima, Technique, and Bioweapons
Vijay Prashad
How Trump Managed to Lead the World with the Worst Response to the COVID Pandemic
Richard C. Gross
Trump’s Alternative
Jonas Ecke
The Worst Hunger Season Yet to Come: Global Moral Failure in the Time of Covid-19
Rafiq Kathwari
The Battle for Kashmir
Kenneth Surin
Malaysia’s Arch-Kleptocrat is Found Guilty
Medea Benjamin - Nicolas J. S. Davies
U.S. Cold War China Policy Will Isolate the U.S, Not China
Lee Camp
Why Housing Is a Human Right
Sam Pizzigati
For Egalitarians, a Sudden Sense of Possibility
Jonathan Cook
Can Israelis Broaden Their Protests Beyond Netanyahu?
Thomas Knapp
Ten Years After Lieberman’s “Internet Kill Switch,” the War on Freedom Rages On
Binoy Kampmark
Staying on Message: Australia, the US and the AUSMIN Talks
Elliot Sperber
The View From Saturn 
August 04, 2020
John Pilger
Another Hiroshima is Coming…Unless We Stop It Now
Dave Lindorff
Unsung Heroes of Los Alamos: Rethinking Manhattan Project Spies and the Cold War
Kenneth Good
Escalating State Repression and Covid-19: Their Impact on the Poor in Kenya
Dean Baker
We Need an Economic Survival Package Not Another Stimulus
David Rosen
Globalization and the End of the American Dream
John Feffer
The Pandemic Reveals a Europe More United Than the United States
Patrick Cockburn
The Government’s Failed Track-and-Trace System is a Disaster for England
Ramzy Baroud
‘Optimism of the Will’: Palestinian Freedom is Possible Now
CounterPunch News Service
Statement From Yale Faculty on Hydroxychloroquine and Its Use in COVID-19
Manuel García, Jr.
Ocean Heat: From the Tropics to the Poles
Sonali Kolhatkar
Why the Idea of Jobless Benefits Scares the Conservative Mind
Greta Anderson
Framing Wolves in New Mexico?
Binoy Kampmark
Pulling Out of Germany: Trump Adjusts the Military Furniture
Shawn Fremstad – Nicole Rodgers
COVID Stimulus Checks Shouldn’t Penalize One-Parent Households
Adam Shah
The 1 Percent’s Attack on Unemployment Benefits is a Sign of Our Broken Democracy
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail