The capacity of the current government to shock is astonishing. Yesterday there came this:
Under Labour, our constitution was vandalised and the whole of the United Kingdom suffered. We must undo their foolish tinkering. pic.twitter.com/06jOYP5tYS
— Jacob Rees-Mogg (@Jacob_Rees_Mogg) November 27, 2020
The message could not have been clearer. A day before the SNP has a conference that should be discussing a second independence referendum (but let’s not go there) Rees-Mogg is pouring oil on the flames by threatening devolution.
Why would he do that?
Because he is an English nationalist, of course.
And because he has, I have no doubt, the English colonialist’s exploitative mindset.
He us also playing to his natural audience, who believes everyone should recognise English supremacy.
But also to deliberately provoke. He knows the SNP is divided on whether to have a referendum with or without Westminster consent. What he is doing is not just provoking that debate. He is trying to say that any debate in Scotland only takes place with the consent of the likes of him.
What are the right words to describe this? Contemptuous? Aggressive? Bullying? Incompetent? Arrogant? It is certain that nothing positive comes to mind.
And it will backfire. I have no doubt that Rees-Mogg can ably increase the pro-independence majority (for that is what it now is) in Scotland.
And that majority will have its way. I do not agree with the SNP leadership on the issue of IndyRef2. I have no doubt at all that Westminster consent is not required. Kosovo legally proves that the consent of the power from whom independence is sought is not a pre-condition of that independence. That is hardly surprising, and the relevant legal opinion came from the UK government, to add a warm and welcome twist.
The era of England’s colonial power has to end.
It’s almost a century since it did in Ireland.
Around the world large numbers of countries have secured their independence since then. None want to go back.
Now it is Scotland’s turn.
Rees-Mogg was not actually as clever as he thought yesterday. All he was offering bravado to cover his fear.
He knows what is happening.
He knows what is inevitable.
Scotland is leaving.
As it should.
As it will.
And all he provides is evidence as to why that is absolutely essential for its wellbeing.