Brexit Climate Change Conspiracy Theory Equalities Fascism Human Rights Immigration Media Politics of hate Populism Scottish Independence Val Waldron

Bad Hair and Bad Faith by Val Waldron

Populism is all pervasive. It’s amusing…has bad hair and tin-foil hats. It has the Flat Earth Society, Covid Deniers and Chemtrails. It also radicalises people to think that transphobia is about women’s rights, that the pandemic is over, that vicious deportation policies are about targeting people smugglers, that the French and other foreigners are responsible for massive holiday and trading disruptions, that anti-abortion means pro life.

The media have capitalised on the Tory leadership contest to crowd out opposition voices. As the Tories compete to put the Scots back in their box, and their message becomes amplified with every rallying statement, you won’t hear a throng of pro Yes voices in response. As the lie that the FM would hate a Labour govt and that she is using Johnson and far-right candidates as ‘recruiting sergeant for independence’ is perpetuated you don’t hear a challenge to this.

As parts of England burned and the nightmare predictions of global climate disaster are manifest, lip service is given to Net Zero promises but voices like that of George Monbiot are rapidly shut down as he spells out the inevitable. The Tories and influential world leaders won’t take responsibility or use their substantial wealth, power and contacts to influence policy and beyond…the destruction of the Amazon rainforest. They prefer dispute and war. They’re stuck in a channel of interchangeable alliances with different ‘enemies’. While Russian business suits the agenda in The City, hero of the hour Johnson struts like a zombie Churchill on whistle stop trips to Ukraine.

This is all part and parcel of Populism in action and it has mass appeal. Despite a possibly short diversion with Biden, and despite the realities of Trump’s involvement being forced upon the US public by the Capitol Hill enquiries, Trump is waiting in the wings. Johnson has not quite left the stage. Bolsonaro continues to rule over devastation of the Amazon and so forth ad infinitum. Another populist leader in Truss is waiting in line and it may ultimately increase unrest in Scotland but we don’t all think the same way about the democratic deficit. Check Labour/Tory council alliances.

Populism is all pervasive. It’s amusing…has bad hair and tin-foil hats. It has the Flat Earth Society, Covid Deniers and Chemtrails. It also radicalises people to think that transphobia is about women’s rights, that the pandemic is over, that vicious deportation policies are about targeting people smugglers, that the French and other foreigners are responsible for massive holiday and trading disruptions, that anti-abortion means pro life.

Populism rots the brain and there are massive rabbit holes waiting for you and yours around the corner. All you have to do is nothing. Sit there and wait for unionists to topple over to *your* views on independence and democracy, for the ‘culture wars’ to pass, for the weather patterns to settle down again.

This is not necessarily about you. It’s about your children and grandchildren and all the children and the exploited peoples of the world. It’s overwhelming but we need to grasp a tiny thread and keep pulling at it, then we need to join the threads and make a massive tapestry of progressive futures. We have no choice. Scottish independence is not a diversion or an irrelevance on the world stage, or just another dinghy being tossed about on a rough sea. It’s a catalyst for change, an example to our neighbours that we can do things better.

Independence for its own sake is has shot its bolt along with the paraphernalia that goes with it. It’s not enough to wave a Saltire or quote 2014 as an example of massive swings as the campaign progresses. It needs to start close to home, whether that’s kicking US-style hate preachers out of here, rallying around neighbourhood attempted Home Office deportations, talking to your one friend/neighbour or colleague who may be amenable to Yes. Preserve your energy, it’s going to be a long haul. The media, the establishment, the patriarchy are not our friends. Choose your thread and pull. Now.

Val Waldron

 

 

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