Saturday 28 March 2015

Always do what your opponent least wants

At some point in early September last year I realised that my country was more threatened than at any point in its more than 300 year existence. I am sometimes accused of hyperbole, but this statement in point of fact is self-evidently true. If the Yes camp had won the vote with the most trivial of majorities, we would now be in the process of breaking up the United Kingdom. That country in its present form would cease to exist. We are very fortunate that the people who wish to break up our county are peaceful and wish to accomplish their goal by means of the ballot box. But the method they use does not diminish the threat. In fact, it increases it. When faced with previous military threats to our existence, this country has come together and fought as one. But when faced with an attack from within, we are left divided and floundering for a way to counter the threat.

We must start from the fact, which is also self-evidently true that the United Kingdom is a single country. It has parts that are called countries or nations, but they are so in a different sense. We are not a collection of a nation states like the EU, because the EU is made up of separate, independent, sovereign nation states. If the UK were like that, there would have been no need for its parts to seek independence for they would already be independent. I have explained the logic of this on numerous occasions but the nationalists cannot concede the point as if they did, they would have no argument left. Almost no other democratic country in the world would allow itself to be voted out of existence. What is clear today is that it was a mistake made by David Cameron to grant a referendum on independence. He did so on the assumption that he was dealing with honourable opponents. Moreover, he thought having the referendum would settle the question. The mistake was not to realise that our opponents while willing to use democracy are not democrats. This has been clear since September.  If No had lost by a tiny majority and No voters had campaigned for the UK parliament to ignore the result, we would have been accused correctly of not being democrats. But the reverse does not apply. The nationalists will keep asking the question until they win once. Once will be enough.  The problem is that the pro-UK side is weak and unwilling to follow through on the logic of our position. Too many of us are unwilling to fight for our country. Too many of us are happy to cooperate with those who wish to destroy our country.

The point can be illustrated with the following example. Some time ago a writer I admire wrote this:  

The Nationalists have a plan for what comes next and it is quite evidently the case that Unionists do not. Which is one more reason why, far from settling the Scottish Question, the referendum looks like becoming the Neverendum. Until, that is, the Nationalists win. That result will be permanent. Because the rules for one side are not the same as the rules applying to the other. This may be unfair but it’s just the way it is.

The reason that Unionists don’t have a plan is that people like Mr Massie are unwilling to change the way we play the game. We must always follow the rules that the nationalists want and we must passively accept that they have the right even after losing the referendum to campaign without interruption to break up the UK. We are faced with a Neverendum which the nationalists only have to win once, only because opinion formers like Mr Massie are unwilling to challenge the assumption that allows this state of affairs to continue. No doubt, if there were no threat to our county's existence he would have to find something else to write about as would I. But I would welcome this. When there is unfairness, we have no duty to maintain it. There is no obligation to cooperate with those who would try to break up our country, rather there is a duty to oppose them by all peaceful and legal means.

I keep coming across examples of defeatism from writers who are apparently pro-UK, but in fact would cooperate in the destruction of the UK. Corporal Massie keeps writing articles about how Scotland’s position in the UK is doomedOther journalists in English papers are either hostile to Scotland’s position in the UK or reflect that nothing can be done, and we must watch passively as the UK falls apart.

In almost no other country in the world would leading opinion formers behave in this fashion. Which other nation state would treat the prospect of losing a third of its territory with such equanimity? The Japanese and the Chinese squabble over which of them owns some uninhabited islands. Spain and Argentina fight for pieces of territory belonging to the UK tenaciously and for decades if not centuries. France under no circumstances whatsoever would allow any French territory, be it Corsica or Brittany, to leave France.  The same goes for the United States and virtually every other democracy in the world. There is no legal right for a part of a country to secede. It makes no difference if that part once was independent. Virtually, all nation states are made up of places that used to be independent. There is nothing exceptional about Scotland. These other democracies must shake their heads and wonder at the folly of the UK cooperating in our own destruction. They must think us gutless and decadent. We are.

In fact, it is very easy to come up with a Unionist strategy to defend our country. The first step is for the UK parliament to make it clear that there will never be another referendum on independence. This would be perfectly legal, of course, and would require a simple majority of UK MPs. There has for many years been a parliamentary convention allowing the parts of the UK a referendum on independence if they wished it. But there is no obligation that this question should be asked more than once. If one referendum does not decide the matter, there is clearly no point having another. For what is the purpose of referendums if it is not to decide such questions. The fact that we were granted a referendum (rightly) on independence means that the question in fact has been settled.  No country should have to face a continual threat to its existence. Of course, the SNP might try to break up the UK illegally. Let them try. They would soon find that this route didn’t get them very far.

The Spanish have shown us the way with regard to how to deal with separatists. They made it clear that there would be no legal referendum in Catalonia and when the Catalans organised a pseudo-referendum they simply ignored the result. Catalonia is an integral part of a single unitary state called Spain. It doesn’t matter how many separatists are elected in Catalonia, it won’t help them achieve independence. Even the attempt to do so will immediately be declared illegal. If the Catalonian parliament tries insurrection, it will be suspended or abolished. This is perfectly legal, of course, as the majority of MPs in Madrid have power and sovereignty over the whole of Spain.  Of course, the Catalonian separatists can try insurrection and illegal forms of declaring themselves independent, but one only needs to think of this for a few minutes to realise that no sane person would take such a course. It just leads to jail. 

The second part of the Unionist plan is the following. Don’t cooperate with those who wish to destroy your country. We must simply refuse to cooperate with Mr Salmond’s band of separatists, no matter how many are elected to be in Westminster. There are 650 seats. Let’s imagine that the SNP wins 60 of them. Well, 650 minus 60 = 590.  UK supporting MPs should simply ignore the existence of those who wish to destroy our country. Far from these SNP MPs being allowed to hold the balance of power, we should simply treat parliament as if it had only 590 members. This means that a majority of 296 would be enough to rule the UK. It might take a degree of cooperation from UK supporting MPs, but, and this is the crucial point, when our country is threatened, it is the norm for patriotic members of parliament from all parties to work together. We are threatened. This is why I use the metaphor of war. It is not hyperbole. It is a simple fact. If we allow Mr Salmond and friends to in affect rule Britain, they will use this power to break us.

There is no obligation to cooperate with those who seek your destruction. Quite the reverse, there is a duty to oppose them. We must use all legal, democratic and constitutional means to rule illegitimate any attempts to break up our country. This is how nearly every other democratic country would react to such a threat. Why should Britain alone be faced with this constant threat to its existence? If Scotland had become independent, we can be quite sure that the Scottish government would not allow parts of Scotland to secede even if a majority wished to do so. So there must be no more referendums and no more concessions made to the nationalists.

I will always be very grateful to Gordon Brown for doing so much to defend Scotland’s position as an integral part of the UK, but he is mistaken in thinking that making concessions to the nationalists will help us in the long run. They view these concessions as appeasement and it simply encourages them to want more and more until one day they succeed in breaking up Britain. So don’t appease those who want to destroy our country, rather fight them.

Last September when I realised that our country was in such great danger, I thought of all the other times when we had together fought those who wanted to destroy us. I took inspiration from that history as did hundreds of  thousands of others who turned out in droves to defend our country in its greatest hour of need for centuries.  The nationalists want us to quietly, passively cooperate in our destruction. It is for this reason they do not like people like me to use the language of a fight. It is for this reason that I do use it. Always do what your opponent least wants. This is the first rule of warfare. We have a battle on our hands for the future of our country. It is only when we absolutely understand that this is so, that we act accordingly. Our weapons are not physical. We must be polite and friendly to our opponents, but we must oppose them with everything we have. In the coming election we need every pro-UK supporter in Scotland to turn out to vote in such a way that we limit as far as possible the number of SNP MPs. We must vote tactically against the SNP as that is what our opponent least wants.

So long as the UK government rules out future independence referendums and refuses to cooperate with MPs who want to break up our country, the UK is safe and impregnable. My only fear is that people in the rest of the UK do not really care about keeping our country intact. The SNP want people in the rest of the UK to become hostile to Scotland. Always do what your opponent least wants.  Would either Ed Miliband or David Cameron do a deal with separatists for the sake of short term political gain? I hope and pray not. There are always those like Lord Halifax who are defeatist and who want to make a deal with those who would destroy our country, but history tends not to judge them favourably. Pro-UK MPs are always going to outnumber anti-UK MPs. Let us use our majority to make the nationalists impotent and powerless. Far from holding any balance of power, let us make the SNP irrelevant.

If you like my writing, you can find my books Scarlet on the Horizon (book, Kindle), An Indyref Romance (book, Kindle) and Complete Works (book, Kindle) on Amazon. I appreciate your support.