Settling down to a rare TV treat on Tuesday made me think about the nature of nationalist politics in Scotland. The Border ITV franchise includes both parts of both Scotland and England, so you get to see England football internationals which have grumpily been banned by STV. But you also get BBC Scotland, which shows the odd Scotland game. If it hadn’t been for a torrential downpour in Poland I’d have been able to flick happily between the two matches. But if the SNP gets its way this option could be removed.
Nationalists dislike the idea of a media outlet that offers news and sport in a cross border context. They are forever agitating for Scottish-only news on the BBC and are campaigning to scrap Border TV because it introduces English influences into a part of Scotland and so hinders the cultural ‘Scotification’ process that they hope will lead to independence.
In this respect the SNP behaves like a revolutionary group. It is prepared to suborn any independent institution that hinders its progress. So we hear about increased politicisation of the civil service, the media, local councils, the police, even the electoral system. For revolutionaries, the ends justify the means. But as Trotsky said, “the end may justify the means as long as there is something that justifies the end”. For more on this check out my article for ThinkScotland.