Perfidious Albion #2

Article 50 of the treaty holding together the European Union was created by British exceptionalism.

It was triggered out of a sense of British exceptionalism and it will peter out into nothing because of British exceptionalism, dragging those of us still chained to it into uncharted political and economic territory.

The House of Commons is not fit for purpose. The complexities of real life politics, of pragmatic decision making, turn the combative architecture of the very room into an anachronism. The system of constituencies ensures that representation is never in proportion to actual voting figures and makes sensible alliances between Parties impossible. The insistence that all legitimate political activity be held within Political Parties, each with a legal status and responsibilities, in a system where two Parties are already dominant, makes it impossible for third Parties, or any other voice ever to gain sensible representation.

All decision making in this country is framed within a structurally ancient dialectic; issues are discussed in terms of one thing or the other, for or against, any difference from this is immediately understood as standing on a sliding scale between two extremes. There is no space for any sensible, grown up, nuanced understanding of difference as such, little room in these discourses for distinctions and nuances of the sort that are common in the Parliaments of the member states of the European Union – including the one sitting in Edinburgh – where Political Parties rise and fall as the world moves on, and alliances form within many systems of proportional representation, in order to make sensible decisions for the public good.

Perfidious Albion does things differently, because it is different from everybody else, because it must never be chained to another power, think itself in thrall to decisions made in faraway places. It must be given the freedom, which is also its right, to act absolutely at all times in its own interests, to be able to keep its borders strictly under its own control, without regard to what the neighbours on the other side of the line might believe, to be able autonomously to do business with whomsoever it demands, under its own conditions, whenever is required.

All because it is exceptional, so different from everybody else.


Whether this moment in our history must be seen as a train crash in slow motion or a very complex game of thrones, or anything else, it would seem absolutely imperative that the Scottish Government or some other power, step up to the plate, and to make strategic decisions in the interests of the country.

It is time to send diplomatic representatives to Brussels, to call back all representatives from European, British and Scottish Parliaments, to bring them together in one sitting, to behave like grown ups and make decisions for the public good.

It does not matter whether or not any initiative made autonomously by the Scottish Government may or may not be legal under the terms of the Acts of Union, the point is now that taking the initiative has now become necessary. It is not about referendums any more.

The so called United Kingdom of whatever is a complete failure, demonstrably and irrevocably broken, a laughing stock – even under the sleazy gaze of the President of the so called United States of whatever.

The fate of Perfidious Albion and those of us still chained to it, lies apparently in the hands of the decision makers of the European Union, as oligarchs, gangsters and disaster capitalists stand in the queue to screw us over. 

Surely the Scottish Government has already made contingency plans.

While Scotland continues with full, friendly and unexceptional membership of the European Union, there must now be some initiative from within Hollyrood or in alliance with extra-parliamentary powers, to allow and encourage Perfidious Albion to sail off back into the Seventeenth Century.

There’s not a lot I can do though, lying in my sick bed. Which is likely grist to the mill of Perfidious Albion.


Author: Duncan Spence

Mountaineer, retired bicycle messenger, philosopher, wordsmith, proofreader, Dutch translator.

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