SNP landslide in Scotland: ‘Scots rejected British colonial nationalism’

Dan Glazebrook
Dan Glazebrook is a freelance political writer who has written for RT, Counterpunch, Z magazine, the Morning Star, the Guardian, the New Statesman, the Independent and Middle East Eye, amongst others. His first book “Divide and Ruin: The West’s Imperial Strategy in an Age of Crisis” was published by Liberation Media in October 2013. It featured a collection of articles written from 2009 onwards examining the links between economic collapse, the rise of the BRICS, war on Libya and Syria and 'austerity'. He is currently researching a book on US-British use of sectarian death squads against independent states and movements from Northern Ireland and Central America in the 1970s and 80s to the Middle East and Africa today.
Reuters/Peter Nicholls
The election result shows the Scottish people have rejected a virulent British colonial nationalism responsible for millions of deaths in Iraq, Libya, and in the Mediterranean every week, Dan Glazebrook, political writer and journalist told RT.

RT:Scotland formerly a Labour bastion has gone almost completely to the SNP.How did that happen?

Dan Glazebrook: It was largely expected. A lot of this to do with the absolute kind of arrogance and this disdainful attitude towards what was dismissed as this kind of nationalism that has been displayed by all the English establishment parties. In fact what the result has done – [it] has shown that the Scottish people have rejected a virulent British colonial nationalism that has been responsible for millions of deaths in Iraq, and now in Libya, and in the Mediterranean every week.

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This is an existing, horrifying nationalism, the British nationalism, and that lies behind these colonial wars, that lies behind the ideology that Britain is always right and always has the right of meddling in other people’s business. This created an absolute disaster across the Middle East and North Africa. This is a big part of what has been rejected in Scotland. The SNP has been saying: “We don’t want to be a part of this militarism, we don’t want nuclear weapons, we don’t want to be part of this colonial entity that throws its weight around the world and tries to still act as an empire. We want no part of it!” This is virulent and vicious British nationalism that has been rejected. I think that is often forgotten when English politicians talk with distain about this nationalism that is so terrifying.

RT:The referendum last year was a close call, now when they’ve got almost all the Scottish seats in Westminster that referendum was supposed to vote out a question for a generation. How likely is that, is it going to resurface?

DG: Of course it will resurface, it is inevitable, it is even more inevitable now that we have a Tory majority government because the Scots are not Tories, they are not like the majority of English voters who consistently vote Tory.

Even before the SNP the Tories never had mass support in Scotland. The trajectory of Scottish nationalism is quite well-known; they are particularly alienated by the fact that during the 1980’s when obviously closing down of the steel works and the coal mines particularly affected and hit the hardest on Scotland and Wales....

The promises made have not been fulfilled. It was really revealing - the day after the referendum in Scotland Cameron’s immediate response was not: “Ok, we would better implement ‘devo max’ like we promised”, no, it was: “...How dare these Scots raise the issue of independence. We are going to shut them out of Westminster decision making all together!” This is the kind of attitude that Scots are faced with and rejecting decisively.

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RT:Cameron says he'll let the nation decide whether to stay part of the EU. Unshackled from coalition, do you think London's relationship with Brussels will change?

DG: It is not a good relationship already; it is not going to improve. I think they will hold the referendum; the referendum will vote to stay in the EU. Obviously Cameron is going to use the prospect of Britain leaving to try and basically blackmail the EU to get as many concessions from them as possible, especially on the issue of being able to have more basically racist immigration controls. Relations are not going to improve. Britain is going to stay in the EU, but it is going to be increasingly a difficult relationship, I think.

RT:The Conservatives upped their anti-immigration rhetoric recently. Did this make the difference, do you think? Did it help them convert UKIP voters?

DG: Possibly. Certainly, the elections increasingly and unfortunately in the UK or at least in England tend to resemble kind of racist options in which all parties try to outbid each other in who can have the harshest policy on immigration. We saw this ridiculous kind of policies of Labour saying: “Oh, we’ll stop immigrants claiming benefits for two years.” And Tories saying: “I will stop them claiming benefits for years.” But the whole thing is nonsense because generally 99 percent of immigrants don’t claim benefits, they come over here to work, and that is the whole point. So they are not on benefits generally. But the point is the rhetoric... Labour [and] Tories are certainly trying to win back support from UKIP on these grounds. But the Tories are more trusted, I suppose, when it comes to having more kind of harsh policies towards immigrants. Historically there is no reason why they should be more trusted; Labour has been such as harsh towards immigrants historically as the Tories.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.