On Friday morning after the vote, the sense of despair driven by the triumph of fear over hope didn't so much sink in as depth charged us. It was impossible to try to make sense of what had happened. And it's taken days for commentators to try to understand where we stand at the moment. And it's taking longer than that to let things settle in our own minds, leaving an all-encompassing sense of frustration, which I am afraid will come through in this post.
It was clear from the start that Westminster was not going to allow Scottish independence. It's worth placing a wager on the likelihood of two things; one is that an announcement will soon be made about extensive new oil finds off Shetland, and the other is increased military involvement in more pointless unwinnable wars, along with increased military spending.
Leave aside for a moment that the rules of the referendum as spelt out in the Edinburgh Agreement were broken by Westminster by making up "policy" and coming out with outrageously impossible "vows" during the period of "purdah" when political promises were not supposed to be made. Electioneering should have been completed by this time and the two sides should have concentrated on getting their message across. But during that time, a surge in support for Yes meant Westminster running around like headless chickens; it was not supposed to happen like this.
So along came the three stooges, identical establishment figures in their identical suits, spouting their identical ideology. The factions of the Westminster one-party system came together to ensure their possession was not lost. Only the Tory faction played a blinder, getting the Labour faction to deliver the bad messages, in the knowledge that the post-referendum environment would be the most important for them. I leave out the Liberal Democrat faction, because it's now quite simply impossible to give them any credence whatsoever. Their proven tagline is "This is our belief; or not. Or maybe. Or if it's expedient." They are now bereft of standards and bereft of a place in political society.
So now we have Cameron changing the discourse to play to his real opponents, the right wings of both his party and of England. He talks of forbidding Scots MPs from voting on English matters, and note that the Welsh and Northern Irish are also non-entities in that issue. But he must be careful, because if Westminster becomes largely an English parliament, with Scottish MPs not having a say in the majority of things that go on there, it degrades the status of the UK parliament. Effectively, England will have full time MPs and Scotland part time MPs. Scotland will either be sidelined and degraded to a contributory colony, especially if one of the UK factions, most likely Labour, even get to be the Scottish Government, or, if the Scottish Government governs well, Westminster will become even more irrelevant to Scottish civil society than it is at present.
Either way, the Establishment has better control over the things that matter to them; their ability to shovel public money to themselves by controlling the economy and the Bank of England, and defence, mostly in the form of maintaining a nuclear aggression capability. What's more, Cameron will have neutralised Scotland as a disruptive democratic force to this agenda for at least 10 to 15 years, possibly longer. That 45% of Scots, even in a rigged election, have a different idea of being governed, will not matter.
But what about here in Scotland? The ideal of the Establishment would be that we scrap among ourselves as we conduct our post mortems on the Referendum. The chances of that have been reduced with Alex Salmond's honoured resignation. In the meantime, Westminster will ensure that they only give sops of powers, enough to stifle full scale dissent, but little enough to keep control, in fact all the tricks the last 100 years of a declining empire needed to eke out ownership a little longer. Scotland will have to get used to being an owned colony, a source of raw material like oil and electricity, of tax revenues like food and drink and engineering, and a compliant contributor of manpower to continued foolish militarism. The old empire, defined by war, can only think in militarist terms. "The War Office", a concept clearly meaning that war had become normalised, only morphed into the MOD in the mid 60s, after 300 years. We can only conclude that Westminster and all it represents is no friend to Scotland.
But within Scotland, our own culture is far harder for them to control. We can still have our own standards by which we live our lives. We can do what we can with the sops Westminster gives us. We can peacefully oppose those things that are steps too far even if it costs us in the short term, as was done during the poll tax imposition and the Skye bridge tolls iniquity. And we can remove the sham that Westminster uses to claim a mandate by giving careful consideration to the next UK election. I will certainly not find it in my heart to vote for any of the parties represented by the three suited clones who came here and lied to us. If I cannot vote for someone who will represent Scotland's interests in Westminster, I will spoil my paper as the only way I have of displaying my views.
But I will not forget the sense of frustration that we've been finessed out of our place in history and I do not think Scotland will go gently into its box again.
The independence aspiration is unfinished business. But now it's no longer a mere ideal. Westminster's arrogance and condescension has turned this from an aspiration of government to a struggle for freedom. And history does not side with Westminster on that one.