Clearly Mr David Cameron is a man of passion, a man who loves his country very much. In addition to loving his country, he also loves Scotland. Or at least the union. Or he has had a sudden sphincter-gripping image of himself going down in history as the prime minister that lost Scotland.
I know this because of the email he sent me this week asking for my personal help in saving that union. (See previous post.)
It was a very impassioned email. ‘I desperately want our family of nations to stay together – and if you do too, please do everything you can to help save our great country,’ he writes.
(His plan: lots of English people would call random Scottish people and plead with them to stay in the union — he had the phone numbers to share with us. That’s not satire, that was the plan.)
He clearly believes that a yes vote on Thursday will spell the deaths of us all. He says ‘Millions of people in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland could not bear to see our country, the greatest country on earth, ending forever on Friday.’ Apparently the British Isles will fracture down the middle and sink beneath the waves like the Titanic if the vote on Thursday goes ‘yes’.
Mr Cameron explains what makes the UK so great at gushing length, presumably with a view to convincing us why the Scottish people should cling to the union.
This, he tells us, is ‘country that launched the Enlightenment, abolished slavery, drove the industrial revolution and defeated fascism.’
The email goes on to tell us that this is ‘a country with the British values of fairness, freedom and justice. Values that say wherever you are, whoever you are, your life has dignity and worth,’ and that it’s ‘The greatest example of democracy the world has ever known, of openness, of people of different nationalities and faiths coming together as one.’
This really is an impressive list of achievements for one country — or two countries, or one union.
You wonder how the planet would have got on without us. If it were not for Britain, it seems that the entire world would now be wallowing in its own filth with everyone trying to eat one another or capture each other as slaves, presumably reading Mein Kampf in breaks from unremitting murder. That would be eat one another raw and unwashed because there would have been no Enlightenment to teach us about morality or cooking and no plumbing for washing or knowledge of cookers because there would have been no industrial revolution.
Wait! Cameron missed one. He failed to claim the invention of fire.
Yet, you do worry that one of Michael Gove’s history lessons got lodged in Mr Cameron’s brain. He might need an operation to get that removed — and quick before the National Health Service disappears. If the Scots go their own way and Cameron gets his own way on health in England, he may need to go to Scotland for that operation because one suspects the Scottish will nurture their NHS while Cameron is breaking ours up for scrap.
Invoking the Enlightenment is very poignant. There is no historical reason for thinking that Britain launched it. It was very much a collective effort (and notice how often France and French thinkers come up in that history — just saying!) and it’s clear that the reason unleashed by the Enlightenment has left the Conservatives largely untouched.
Yes, there are a couple of small problems with Cameron’s appeal to national greatness in persuading people to vote no tomorrow.
The first is, that it’s complete and utter bollocks. Not one of his claims is true. Not even a little bit.
The second problem is that none of this stuff, even if true, would amount to an argument for preserving the union. What does the second world war have to do with a decision now, about the future, by Scottish voters?
Britain did not abolish slavery anywhere but in Britain. This country may have eventually abolished it for itself but slaving went on around the world and certainly has not disappeared today. I can only think that by dragging abolition into the argument Cameron is trying to reassure Scottish people that they will not be clapped in leg irons and forced to work in cotton fields if they vote no.
Invoking, as Cameron does, racial and economic inclusiveness, when in the last 30 years his kind have practically made being poor or foreign criminal offences, is not just irrelevant, it’s downright offensive.
Cameron’s appeal for unity is not just bollocks, it’s jingoistic, insincere, lying, slimy bollocks.
‘I desperately want our family of nations to stay together.’ This is not the English that normal people speak. Does Mr Cameron really think that men and women up and down England are stopping each other on the street and saying ‘I desperately want our family of nations to stay together’. Are they supping pints in the pub and saying tearfully — perhaps while fondling a ferret — ‘I simply cannot bear to see our country, the greatest country on earth, ending forever on Friday’?
‘Yes, I really feel that in Britain and only in Britain, my life has dignity and worth.’
‘Well, this is the greatest democracy the world has ever known, you know. ’Nother pint, Nobby?’
‘Surely, those Scottish people will feel our pain and vote no, then, innit.’
Not for the first time in my life, I am struck by how easily, how glibly people like David Cameron and the political class, can come out with such obvious, patronising, insulting, illogical, blatantly untrue bullshit.
Possibly, they think we are stupid. That makes sense. But it doesn’t feel like the whole story.
Clearly their language is full of empty words, corrupted reason, and vain postures because they themselves are. A person who can say ‘I desperately want our family of nations to stay together’ can only do so because they’ve never had a normal emotion, a normal thought, in their life. ‘[The people of Britain] could not bear to see our country, the greatest country on earth, ending forever on Friday,’ can only be uttered with a straight face by a skilled deadpan satirist or by a member of a privileged, cocooned clique from cuckooland.
Cameron himself has never in his life had a real job outside politics. Bit of a giveaway, that is. His entire adult existence has been the slime and mirrors of populist politics, the only place where such intellectual diarrhoea can even pretend to have real meaning.
It follows then that the policies of his government are to be made of the same acid vapours as his language. No wonder this country is falling apart.