8 March 2009

Ah ! ça ira, ça ira, ça ira?

Ah ! ça ira, ça ira, ça ira, Ah! It'll be fine, It'll be fine, It'll be fine
Et leur infernale clique And their infernal clique
Au diable s’envolera. Shall go to hell
Ah! ça ira, ça ira, ça ira Ah! It'll be fine, It'll be fine, It'll be fine
les aristocrates à la lanterne! aristocrats to the lamp-post
Ah! ça ira, ça ira, ça ira Ah! It'll be fine, It'll be fine, It'll be fine
les aristocrates on les pendra! the aristocrats, we'll hang them!
Et quand on les aura tous pendus And when we'll have hung them all
On leur fichera la pelle au cul We'll stuff a spade up their arse

Continued droplets of coverage concerning Mike Rumbles' amendment of earlier this week, sticking a marlin spike into the soft, glistening underbelly of the argument for a referendum on Scotland's constitutional life by:
“{calling} on the Scottish Government to concentrate its efforts on economic recovery and abandon its divisive plans for a Referendum Bill for the remainder of its term of office.”
I choose my words carefully - just as Mr Rumbles judiciously selected his. What is the issue here? Ought the debate centrally to focus on the legitimacy or otherwise of national self determination - or ought the gorgon-attentions of public strife to squint instead at an alternative point - what role the public ought to have in setting that agenda and resolving the questions? One doesn't have to be determinedly subtle to see that the two threads weave in and out of one another, and that antipathy to the notion of Scotland as a new state need not entail hostility to the latter.

My question, centrally, is this: how frantic and vexed are the public apt to be about what Kenny Farquaharson describes as a "cosy political stitch-up – which is little more than a happy coincidence of self-interest"? If one asks the public, it seems apparent that most are happy to don the mantle of judgement, and would be quite happy to swing their gavels with great force, if given the opportunity. Rather more difficult to resolve, however, is how insulting not being asked will prove in the 2011 analysis. We can be certain that the Maximum Eck will crease his folds with raging denunciation - channelling John Knox's old villain spirit - dreaming that he is an Old Testament prophet with a droplet of acid on his tongue. Those who feel particularly ardently about this will undoubtedly hark to the bark and scratch out the voting 'x' where indicated. But more timid souls, who like a small Unionist parp on and off? I remain unsure how that demographic will respond to Salmond's argument - if they will respond at all.

Certainly, it hardly casts the Unionist scallcrows in a particularly attractive light - and smells of a sort of self satisfied tyranny that knows best what the public ought to swallow - and teacherly - chastises and corrects in the face of childish flirtation with constitutional revolution.

But à la lanterne for the tribunes of the plebs? Should we be sharpening our spades by consequence? Chortling with sans culotte glee?

I remain unconvinced.

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