For the love of [BLEEP], the SNP & the modern-day Pro-Indy Movement are NOT Nationalists!

Guest article from Jonathan Rainey

The other day while scrolling through Twitter, I noticed the usual set of tweets from pro-UK Unionist accounts lambasting the SNP again which to be fair is not surprising as there’s always something to be critical of the party for, given their latest terrible antics still continuing even after Humza Yousaf became the newly elected leader of the SNP and now First Minister of Scotland, but having seen the word ‘nationalist’ used so often by them in derogatory terms despite the very definition of it not quite so useful in it’s punch towards revealing the truth about the party, maybe it’s about time we have a frank talk as to what the real word to describe not just the SNP, but also the Green Party, ALBA Party, Independence for Scotland Party (ISP) as well the entire mainstream pro-independence movement we see in Scotland today. At this moment upon seeing the last sentence, you as someone who believes in Scotland’s destiny to become independent again will rightly be raging at your computer or smartphone screen but please bear in mind that I do not think that literally everyone who believes in Independence fits into that category; just only the modern-day elements of it that also believe in other issues that fit into the categories of left-wing ideology and/or far-left progressivism without giving due thought as to what nationalism, along with the cultures the country gave birth to, genuinely is either out of blissful ignorance or simply not caring about it out of the pursuit for their end goals but loudly use the word ‘Independence’ (or Indy for short), along with other connotations to refer to ‘caring about our people’, while calling out anyone that outright disagrees or simply asks questions about their world view, in order to justify shutting down conversations on what Scottish Independence should actually mean.

To start, we go to the Meriam Webster dictionary where it describes Nationalism as a noun defined as:

Loyalty and devotion to a nation; especially: a sense of national consciousness exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of it’s culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations or supranational groups.

a nationalist movement or government

From looking at the many posts and blogs made by many who not just declare their support for the SNP but those who lean in a progressive direction as well, they seem to focus only on the 2nd definition, especially when it comes to only defending the existence of the devolved Scottish Government which in and of itself has gotten more bigger into our lives over the decades along with Westminster.

The word Supranational, as an adjective, is defined in the Cambridge Dictionary as, “involving more than one country, or having power or authority that is greater than that of single country.” This can describe various organisations like The World Health Organisation (if it gets it’s way on implementing more mandatory pandemic treaties on member countries), the United Nations, NAFTA, NATO, the Commonwealth of Nations, the International Community, the IMF, World Trade Organisation, etc, as fitting that description. Also amongst the SMART Vocabulary of related words and phrases include internationalism and internationalise.

On pages 21-26 of his 2004 book published in the Centre for European Policy Studies (or CEPS – Europe’s largest think-tank) titled The European Constitution in the Making, author & former member of the Finnish Parliament Kiljunen Kimmo described the European Union as being a pragmatic case for being a supranational organisation, as it has deep political, economic and social integration, which includes a common market, joint border controls, a Supreme Court, regular popular elections and, since Brexit happened, a Common Defence.

The main type of nationalism pursued not just in Scotland within the modern times but acknowledged as being influential far back as the 1770s American Revolution, as highlighted in it’s Declaration of Independence in 1776, and the beginning of the 1789 French Revolution in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen is Civic Nationalism, which tends to adhere to traditional liberal values of freedom, tolerance, equality & individual rights and doesn’t get based around ethnocentrism. Civic nationalists often defend the value of national identity by saying that individuals need it as an upper identity in order to lead meaningful, autonomous lives and that democratic polities (political parties) need national identity in order to function properly. This explains why representative democracy was allowed to develop in the newly formed USA and in France during their revolutions. In order for the nationalism of one country to function, it always tends to focus around defending it’s local culture via the means of ethnocentrism which, though it is sometimes related to racism, discrimination or xenophobia, does not necessarily involve a negative view of the others’ race or indicate a negative connotation. Indeed, understanding other cultures via cultural relativism (the direct opposite of ethnocentrism) by looking through their perspective rather than judging them from the subjective viewpoints shaped by one’s own cultural standards can be done but ultimately individuals always like to form their own likes & dislikes of anything they see in the world, without ultimately having to resort to outright blatant public discrimination and/or violence to express those preferences.

Scotland has given birth to, & produced, cultures of it’s own over the course of many centuries, most of them good (e.g. the enlightenment of the 1700s, partaking in the industrial revolution,, the invention of many technologies such as the steam engine, the colour television, the telephone, penicillin, the MRI Scanner, the refrigerator, disposable contact lens, the ATM, the colour photograph in 1855, the kaleidoscope, the vacuum flask, the pneumatic tyre that would be used for bicycles, tidal turbines and so much more, many unique foods & drinks that have sprung up over the years including whisky, porridge oats, haggis, rolls, lorne sausage, tablets, black pudding, Cullen Skink and IRN-BRU, even new foods like the Chasni & Tikka Masala curries in the case of Glasgow, the emergence of poets, writers, comedians & musicians who weren’t afraid to push legal & moral boundaries that proved popular amongst the people, etc) but some others that turned out bad (e.g. the witch hunts of the 1590s, deep-fried Mars Bars, hypodermic syringe needles, mammal cloning, etc) which rightly get looked down upon, though the needle is mostly used in the medical profession for better reasons. It has also hosted it’s fair share of religions including Buddhism and Christianity, the latter of which happens to be the majority religion of the country, while also welcoming those who practise atheism, agnosticism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam, spirituality, and many more on currently a minority level. The SNP of Scotland & Plaid Cymru of Wales advocate independence of their respective nations from the United Kingdom, thus proclaiming themselves to be civic nationalist parties in which they advocate the independence and popular sovereignty of the people living in their nation’s society, not individual ethnic groups. The German philosopher Jürgen Habermas argued that immigrants who move to a liberal-democratic state need not assimilate into the host culture but only accept the principles of the country’s constitution (constitutional patriotism). In short, a civic nation or state does not seek in it’s aim to promote one culture over another but it’s constitution, in theory at the same time, based on the principles applied would not allow one other imported culture to completely impose itself over another.

However, this narrative from the SNP has broken down in recent years, mainly because of their reaction to the result of the 2016 Brexit Referendum where they joined in the chorus of many within the political establishment, including the Scottish Green Party, to denounce the Leave result as being destructive for the entire nation (in the case of Wales, Leanne Wood the former leader of Plaid Cymru once publicly appeared to call Leave voters Nazis following the rise of The Brexit Party at the 2019 European Parliamentary Elections). During the summer of 2020 following the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, USA, a lot of the party’s MSPs made clear during a debate on BLM that their thoughts & feelings had to be placed to one side to think about one or slightly more particular members of the human race, those whose skin colour isn’t white (the latter or which is what currently makes up the vast majority of Demographics in Scotland) for the sake of showing how oppressed they are even in the most pettiest of situations (for the record, I make clear that I am against genuine blatant public discrimination and racism as well as foreign interventionism, it’s just that I like to look at both sides of the reported problems in today’s time and come to my own conclusions about it. I don’t buy into the claim from Critical Race Theory Advocates that choosing to judge people on their character, not their race, is somehow a denial of racism actually existing).

Humza Yousaf MSP, who is currently the new First Minister of Scotland, made especially clear his thoughts on the matter where he denounced the fact that so many people who make up the political & justice systems as well as even Trade Unions were white-skinned, thereby reflecting the majority demographics but in his own world view, along with leader of the Scottish Labour Anas Sarwar’s, a population of a place consisting of a white majority is a problem to those who aren’t white-skinned, which if white or Hispanic people themselves made clear about countries with majority black or Asian populations this would immediately result in them being called racist & told to immediately leave the country if they don’t like it but the ire gets focused in one direction because of the perception that only white people can be colonisers over countries that contain people of other races & ethnicities. Even though the reality of history shows that many countries around the world have participated in their fair share of slavery, the modern day perception of history, mainly from a far-left Marxian perspective, has to only focus on the participation from the white populace. In more recent times, some other groups have been exploited for use by the SNP including women, asylum seekers, refugees, gays, lesbians, bisexuals, the disabled and, most recently, the transgender community, more often than not with good intentions. However, when the laws meant to protect those minority groups combined with the modern day culture that surrounds them are examined at a much more bigger perspective, they ultimately end up not only being placed at the expense of other individuals (mainly white heterosexual Christian/Atheistic men) but culminate in the destruction of a civil society via the means of forced association, by way of implementing forced equality (including equity), forced tolerance and divisive identity politics, rather than the due respect of individual & group-based voluntary association, hence the rise in cancel culture since the mid-2010s, these changes will likely lead to bad outcomes in the future. The informal definitions of tolerance, equality and even Individual Rights were hijacked to change to a different meaning in order to bring about chaos while cunningly showing how good these changes were.

Amongst the changes in the definition to Individual Rights since after June 2016 includes recognising any immigrant who comes on over to Scotland from their home country not necessarily as someone being a citizen who hails from their individual home country in Europe but from a different kind of country; in the case of Europe, if their country is a member state, the European Union. In the lead-up to the triggering of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty on 31st January 2020 when the UK formally left the EU under those terms (though not quite but that’s up for a different long discussion!), and has been mentioned at protests that took place after the lifting of Covid Restrictions in 2022 by the Scottish Government, these citizens are referred to as EU Citizens (or European Citizens in full). Not as say, French, German, Dutch, Belgian, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Scandinavian, Polish, Czech, Greek, Maltese or Eastern European, but as a citizen of Europe. In their own quest to show how friendly they, and therefore they believe Scotland, are to other Europeans living on the rest of the continent known as Europe, given how the majority of Scots voted to remain in the EU at 62% in the 2016 Brexit Referendum, the SNP & the Scottish Green Party have made campaigns even for eventual Independence to show how much they care for European Citizens, as was acknowledged by the campaign slogan of ‘Leave A Light On’ both on 31st January 2020 when all 6 of their MEPs would no longer serve in the European Parliament but in other campaigns on homeland, especially featuring the term ‘Independence In Europe’. What the likes of the SNP & even the modern-day mainstream pro-Independence movement don’t realise about the European Union is that by campaigning to be ‘Independent in Europe’, mainly to initiate free trade & free movement of people, is that these things ultimately come at a cost; the unelected bureaucrats in the European Commission as well as the Council of Europe get to decide the conditions as well as the boundaries of where you can move and where mutually beneficial free trade can extend to. For instance, if the EU decides to place sanctions on another country outside of it or place tariffs on certain goods, member states have to go along with implementing these rules or else there would be punishments including sanctions against them or it would involve being kicked out of the bloc altogether. Even making sure that vital laws you impose do not get superseded by the higher-up courts in the EU can come at a cost, as is the case with Poland, and if things go further with enforcing borders like Hungary is doing, just as much, if not further, a cost would be encountered. This therefore begs the question: is nationalism truly being pursued by the SNP? As answered, if the conditions involve super-ceding any bit of sovereignty you have to another union which has been defined by scholars as being Supranational, then it is fair to say that what is actually being pursued is Supranationalism, which would therefore make them SUPRANATIONALISTS (a currently fictional word but you never know, new words always get added to the dictionary every year!). Nationalist, as a noun, is defined in the Cambridge Dictionary as follows: “a person who wants their country to be politically independent” or “a person who strongly believes their country is better than others”. Supranationalism is already defined as a noun in the Merian Webster Dictionary as:

The state or condition of transcending national boundaries, authority, or interests.

Advocacy of the formation of supranational organizations or governments

In all fairness, the 2nd definition should have said, “Advocacy of the formation of, or loyalty & devotion to, supranational organisations or governments”. As it is already featured in the Merian Webster Dictionary but has yet to receive a full definition, would it be fair to ask many dictionaries including the Cambridge & Oxford Dictionaries to define Supranationalist, as a noun, as: “a person who wants their large entity/government/organisation/union that is made up of more than one independent country to be a political union as one functioning state” or “a person who strongly believes their large entity/government/organisation/union is better than others”? It would definitely make a lot more sense in today’s climate!

It may be tempting to claim that UK and United States of America are supranational unions but given that elections are held in both countries, combined with the fact they have common cultures, a common language & a common religion, they therefore likely wouldn’t fit into the definition of it.

Joseph H. H. Weiler, in his work The Dual Character of Supranationalism, states that there are two main facets to European supranationalism, although these seem to be true of many supranational systems. These are:

Normative supranationalism: The Relationships and hierarchy which exist between Community policies and legal measures on one hand and the competing policies and legal measures of the member states on the other (the executive dimension)

Decisional supranationalism: The institutional framework and decision making by which such measures are initiated, debated, formulated, promulgated and, finally, executed (the legislative-judicial dimension)

In many ways, the split sees the separation of powers confined to merely two branches.

In a supranational union, the problem of how to reconcile the principle of equality among nation states, which applies to international (intergovernmental) organisations, and the principle of equality among citizens, which applies within nation states is resolved by taking a sectoral approach. This allows an innovatory, democratic broadening the number of actors to be included. These are present not only in the classical Parliament which has slightly different functions but also in the Consultative Committees such as the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions which the treaties give powers equivalent to parliaments in their own areas but which are at present still developing their potential. In the European Union, the Lisbon Treaty mixes two principles (classical parliamentary government with a politically elected government) and a supranational community with a totally independent European Commission. Governments also treat the Lisbon Treaty as a simple classical treaty, or even an amendment to one, which does not require citizens’ support or democratic approval. The Lisbon Treaty and the earlier Constitutional draft still retain in the European Union elements of a supranational union, as distinct from a federal state on the lines of the United States of America. But this is at the expense of the democratic potentialities of a full supranational union as conceived in the first Community.

There are a number of other regional organisations that, while not supranational unions, have adopted or intend to adopt policies that may lead to a similar sort of integration in some respects.

African Union (AU)

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

Caribbean Community (CARICOM)

Central American Integration System (SICA)

Community for Democracy and Rights of Nations

Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (Gulf Cooperation council) (GCC)

Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU)

South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)

Union of South American Nations (USAN)

Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)

Union State

Organization of Turkic States

Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO)

Organization of Ibero-American States (OEI)

Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC)

Pacific Alliance

Group of 77 (G77) is a coalition of 134 developing countries, designed to promote its members’ collective economic interests and create an enhanced joint negotiating capacity in the United Nations.

Other organisations that have also discussed greater integration include:

Arab League into an “Arab Union”

Pacific Islands Forum into the “Pacific Union”

Eurasian Customs Union into the “Eurasian Economic Union”

Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) into the “Latin American Union”

East African Community into the “East African Federation”

So next time you ever think about referring to the likes of the SNP of Scotland, Plaid Cymru of Wales, Sinn Fein of Ireland and the PNC of Corsica as ‘Nationalists’, please call them by their correct name: Supranationalists (or SupraNats if you have to go the way of The Sun newspaper).

Sources used for this article :-


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