Some people, I’m given to understand, get up in the morning and go for a run. I don’t, because I’m lazy and unfit and, frankly, people near where I live see cleaning up after your dog as one of those metropolitan elite lifestyle choices.
Instead I follow Godfrey Bloom, formerly of UKIP. I do this for two reasons.
- He almost always tweets first thing in the morning, so there’s always something to read while I eat my cornflakes.
- He’s wrong about everything. Literally everything. Politics, economics, climate change, taxation, the works.
Hence, without me having to run anywhere at all, I end up red-faced and with my soul stained.
There must be a polar-opposite to genius; a genius can look at a problem and see it in a way that’s eluded everybody else. An anti-genius must be able to come up with a new view on an issue that’s simply so terrible nobody has thought it before. Which brings us to Godfrey’s view of Scotland…it’s his opinion that Scotland should be an independent country, but only if the SNP are deposed first, because their socialism is ruining Scotland.
It’s a tribute to Godfrey’s anti-genius that probably nobody else alive could come up with a position on Scottish independence that both sides of the Scotland question would hate equally (albeit for different reasons).
If there’s a third reason I follow ‘Godders’ it’s because of a secret, shameful delight in his ability to continually fool his readers. He leads us to believe that he is about to summit Mount Ignorance, only to reveal it was a false peak, and that there are new, unimagined, heights of wrongheadedness to be scaled.
So it is with his view on Scottish independence.
He tweeted this on February 11th and, ever since, it’s been playing on my mind.
Primarily because I can’t stop myself thinking what the ‘Yes’ campaign would be like. Mainly it would be unique political marriage of the Scots who hate the English with the English who hate the Scots.
It would be possibly the only political campaign in history where half of its literature was directly contradicted by the other half of it. In fact, it’s hard not to imagine it as a hapless character in a farce, who is trying to maintain the illusion of being two different people. “Wastemonster’s stealing the wealth of our country!” would bellow ‘Yes’, but a vault over Hadrian’s wall would hear their allies describing how the Scots were living large at the expense of the English tax-payer.
GERS would be held up as fictional, and also used as proof-positive that Scotland was a burden on the English state. Scotland’s economy would be big enough to go it alone, yet small enough that its departure wouldn’t be noticed by the rest of the UK.
Maybe even the Loch Ness monster of Scottish politics, the whisky export duty, could make an appearance to demonstrate both how the English rip-off the Scots, and how the Scots happily buy any lie about the English.
The only option would be to have two campaigns,.Yes (S) and Yes (E), with firm instructions that the two should never meet, lest, like matter meeting anti-matter, they completely cancelled each other out in an orgy of destruction.
Scottish polling adds complications to an already fraught situation. It’s tempting to say that support for Scottish independence hasn’t changed since the EU referendum, but it’s actually changed a great deal. A good many people have decided that they’d rather be in the EU than the UK and have moved over to the ‘Yes’ side, during which journey they must have studiously avoided eye-contact with virtually an identical number of people who’ve decided they want no part of independence if it means sticking with the hated EU, and have correspondingly moved to the ‘No’ side. The end result is that the Yes/No vote has stayed where it was in September 2014, at around 45/55.
This suggests that to win independence the Scottish Nationalists would be dependent on the English flocking to their cause, and forced to defend rUK’s right to determine the future of Scotland. Meanwhile, in the ‘No’ camp, a win for ‘Yes’, against the will of the Scottish people, would give the Unionists a legitimate grievance against the English, which should help them fit right in to the newly-independent Scotland.
England, of course, is crying out for another decisive referendum. I don’t have any polling on this, but I suspect that, other than in Bath, hardly anybody in England thinks about Scottish independence on a regular basis. Scotland doesn’t really bother anybody. It’s a bit like the Lake District; a nice place to visit, with plenty of souvenirs to buy, but vague suspicions that all the inhabitants belong to a strange cult and that if you’re there on a Sunday there won’t be any petrol stations open.
A nationwide referendum would change all that. If last year showed us anything it’s that once you’ve picked a side, often fairly arbitrarily, those on the other side become your life-long enemies. We can pit brother against brother over the EU – which, until 2 years ago, nobody in the UK had the faintest idea about – so we’re all bound to suddenly have a lifelong opinion on Scotland and whether or not it should fuck off.
In what future historians will surely look back on as the defining moment for anti-genius, Godfrey Bloom as proposed the single most political divisive and damaging political campaign possible.
And that’s why I don’t run. Although if his plan is adopted I might well start.