Just wrong, again

There are peculiar phenomena and peculiar phenomena.

Some have told me to get over this. Nobody is reading his stuff.

Well, OK, just this last time.

First, Smith writes:

There were unionists who hoped the virus would “bring the UK together” and historical precedents (most notably, the Second World War) appear to support them. Instead, exactly the opposite is happening. Wales is telling people from Liverpool to keep out. Scotland is telling people not to go to Blackpool. And now 58% of Scots say they want to get out of the UK altogether. The virus is proving to be anything but unifying.

Yes, because a war is not the same kind of precedent:

Evidence suggests that epidemics and pandemics can have significant social and political consequences, creating clashes between states and citizens, eroding state capacity, driving population displacement, and heightening social tension and discrimination. (Price-Smith, 2009)

Even where the demand for independence is less strong than in Scotland, the pandemic is causing stress within that most powerful of united nations, the USA:

California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued something very close to a declaration of independence for the largest U.S. state while speaking on MSNBC earlier this month. Noting that California has been forced in a position of “competing against other states, other nations, against our own government” for badly needed personal protective equipment to fight the coronavirus, Newsom vowed to “use the purchasing power of the state of California as a nation-state” to acquire the needed supplies.

California is often compared to other countries—it would have the world’s fifth largest GDP if it were independent—but Newsom’s statement took on new meaning in the context of the escalating tensions between state governments and the Trump administration over the response to COVID-19. States have been forced to work around the federal government to access supplies and coordinate plans. Some states are reopening their economies ahead of schedule, also in defiance of the White House, while others are banding together into regional alliances to coordinate their eventual reopening. President Donald Trump may claim that he has “absolute authority” when it comes to U.S. pandemic response, but right now the country looks more like a patchwork of occasionally overlapping regional responses.


Smith goes on to say:

The polls in Scotland also seem to defy logic in other significant ways. Nicola Sturgeon is in the depths of a crisis that centres on the Salmond inquiry and normally she’d be in serious trouble. And yet, right in the middle of the school exams debacle, a YouGov poll registered SNP support at 57% in the constituency vote.

Support remained high for the obvious reason. The public did not believe in the media-constructed ‘exams debacle‘. They understood that these were exceptional times, saw the news from England and believed the SNP leadership had done its best. Not everyone lives inside the media bubble, Mark. You need to get out more. Speak to more parents and weans.

Finally, Smith writes:

Some people would say the support for Sturgeon, and independence, is because of the way the First Minister has handled coronavirus and she’s certainly presented her case better than the PM – but then Sooty and Sweep could handle a press conference better than Boris Johnson. In every other respect however, the First Minister has made broadly the same decisions, and cock-ups, as the UK Government. And yet Sturgeon’s satisfaction rating is in the 70s.

The First Minister has not made ‘broadly the same decisions, and cock-ups, as the UK Government.’ The far lower infection and death rates are real. Stricter lock-downs, better test and tracing (hard evidence for all available) and better messaging have worked and, watch this space, are about to work again in the next few days and weeks.

Price-Smith A T. 2009. Contagion and Chaos: Disease, Ecology, and National Security in the Era of Globalization. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 

9 thoughts on “Just wrong, again”

  1. This a cobbled together piece based on visceral British Nationalism. What Mr Smith is doing is linking disparate attack lines by means of unchallenged assertions into a tirade.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The knot in Smith’s own twisting is the UK never went to war against it’s own people before…
    Make no mistake it is not purely a Scottish problem, we just have a lifeboat…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The polls actually started to move in favour of independence in January when it became obvious that Brexit was happening. Until then some people had obviously held on to the faint hope that there would be a change of heart and it would not happen.

      That and the efforts of the SG to try to get the UK gov to at least stay in the single market and customs union to try to protect Scotland from the armageddon of a no-deal Brexit and seeing those efforts constantly rebuffed and the SG ignored by Westminster finally opened a lot of people’s eyes to the true nature of the Union and Scotland’s position in it.

      Covid-19 and the SG’s handling certainly made a contribution to the change in people’s attitude but the material change Brexit represents was the trigger and driving force.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Smith has now outed himself as a Labourite—probably thinks he will look cute in Ian of Moaningsides Union Jock suit.

    I had him pegged as a Lib Dem–actually a modern National Liberal—but he heard the call of Scir Keir, the man with no opinions, other than deny Scots the right to decide their own future.
    The vacant meets the vacuous !

    Liked by 2 people

  4. “There were unionists who hoped the virus would “bring the UK together” and historical precedents (most notably, the Second World War) appear to support them.”

    Here we go again – Unionists harking back to the past. And specifically on the Second World War when, when will British Nationalists fully acknowledge that the rise of Nazism brought together many countries and peoples from across the world to resist an evil and to sacrifice their young men and women too in a just cause?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ah that same old idea of all in it together, live together in poverty, starve together, die together, just stick with us Scotland and you’ll be…oh wait, that’s really not a good idea at all is it. Scotland is not England’s cannon fodder anymore, and certainly not willing to be pushed under the Brexit bus for old times sake, I don’t bloody think so!

    Sickening thing is of course he and his BritNat pals would absolutely love to be reporting absolute Covid disaster in Scotland to fit his agenda, he and his ilk would gloat if Covid deaths in Scotland were off the scale as is the case in England (I’d put money on it not being recorded properly). Desperate to control the narrative with their lies the BritNat media is at a loss as to why Nicola ‘Sturgeon’ is so high in peoples’ estimation. They should ‘get used to it’ because people in Scotland are not ‘too stupid’. They can see for themselves which government is working in their interests and which is working in the interests of their dodgy pals by giving them £billions worth of contracts, destroying England’s NHS, spending public money, wasting it, and blaming the public for the total SHAMBLES happening now in England.

    ‘Get used to it’ Mark, Scotland is on a life affirming, positive path, and about to throw off the chains of BritNat rule for self preservation.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. No record of the Tories spectacular fall. Biased reporting not considering the facts. The Scottish Gov has better policies, than Tory austerity and lies. Liars always get found out. Scotland could do better like California, without Westminster colossal interference and mismanagement. The point entirely missed.

    The McCrone Report, the Poll tax, Thatcher, illegal wars, financial fraud and tax evasion. Now the Tories are back to try and destroy the Scottish economy and Devolution. Brexit chaos. People will not let them. Vote them out. .


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