be part of NATO?
Two things are happening right now in relation to the question of whether an independent Scotland should be part of NATO.
It is obvious that within the Scottish National Party the defence spokesperson Angus Robertson is being allowed or encouraged by the leadership to promote a switch to a pro-NATO policy. He has been publicly floating the idea for some weeks now and has not been slapped down by others in the leadership. So the party which is best placed to form an administration in an independent Scotland is moving to the utterly contradictory position of wanting Trident out of Scotland but wishing to take a deliberate step to join a nuclear alliance.
The mix of No to Trident with Yes to NATO suggests that your No to Trident is founded on something less than principle, something akin to Nimbyism. If you want that mix it makes me wonder just how committed you will be to removing Trident when the owners of the system on both sides of the Atlantic decide to play hardball. A NATO future is like a submissive alignment with the Mafia bosses in one's neighbourhood whose protection racket is ultimate ruination. To be inside that historically is one thing. To actually choose to enter it is complete lunacy.
Meanwhile those who want an independent Scotland to mesh neatly into the power configurations of the status quo are out there making their case in the conventional media and at security conferences. This means that the people of Scotland, who are, at least anecdotally, largely opposed to NATO's wars and hegemonic tactics, are letting the establishment fill in their atavistic image of the future unhindered.
So a third thing is required – a real stushie. So far ordinary SNP members who oppose Trident and NATO have been strangely coy about making a fuss about this, perhaps because they see that opening the controversy will pose a risk to the road to independence. In fact, the real risk is that they will sleepwalk into a scenario in which much of their vision for a new Scotland is betrayed.
But this is not just about negatives, about abolishing the horrific apex of our policies of hate. It is painful to see how the position of an independent Scotland in the world is largely defined in terms of 'defence' and 'security'. The critical fragility of our present condition as a human race and a planet demands that we ask a different question. What sort of contribution, however modest, can we make towards the peaceful global collaboration that is the only thing than offers any kind of future at all?
Coercion? Compulsion? Nick Johnson (15 May) seems to be allowing dogma to get in the way of an idea. The 'rich' I referred to were those on 'Scotland's rich list' as published in the Herald. There was no compulsion for any of them to lend a penny. It's a system that seems to work for the Grameen Bank Project. It would be entirely voluntary and loans would be returned with interest. Far from embodying 'all the meanness and envy which typifies the opprobium towards those in Scotland who have prospered and measure their success in monetary terms', I was simply suggesting that they could put some of the money they can't possibly spend in 100 lifetimes towards helping others, stimulating the economy, and spreading a little happiness, and all without incurring any loss. A bit like banks used to do.
Further to Kenneth Roy's recent communications from the first minister's private office: emails marked 'Urgent', 'URGENT', 'URGENT', or '>>>>>>>>>> URGENT <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<' are usually sent by people who have no sense of their own unimportance.
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