John Drummond: The UK is a dead state and the reason is clear
THE British state is banjaxed. It is a dead state. It is heading to the elephants' graveyard of expired empires.
Its death rattle is clearly heard across the land. There will never again be a jubilee. The last one was the last one.
Britain's birth was lengthy and -protracted. And its death may be likewise. Empires commonly pass away in stages.
The British Empire has shrunk dramatically over the years, such that only a fag end remains. As its light dims, its fan base harks back to days of yore, when the flame burned brightly. Its last embers are being furiously blown upon by those hoping they can delay its final extinction.
They know when that last light dies so do their careers. In the meantime, the rest of us will need to buckle up for a last fateful ride. Let's look at the signs.
The BBC was heavily criticised last week for its lack of impartiality. (39% of those polled see it as not impartial.) Also, the BBC, alone among major UK broadcasters, handles its own complaints. Of course, this lack of impartiality will come as no surprise to "consumers" of BBC Scotland News (BSN). The latter has a record for consistently ignoring real news while concentrating on trivia.
At BBC Scotland, numpties rule. To be fair not all are inept, there are several who put news gathering ahead of advancement, but to -paraphrase the incomparable Iain Banks, they are like sweetcorn in a turd. Technically they've kept their integrity, but they are still deep in sewage.
But I still have a soft spot for what used to be the BBC. It is sad to see its precipitous decline. Its troubles display all the hallmarks of the -classic move towards privatisation.
This process begins by installing people to (mis)manage the operation of an institution, cut its resources, make it fail, then declare a new model must be found. We can see south of the Border what -happens when institutions are sold off to "make improvements". These vaunted improvements are generally restricted to pay hikes for the -executive team, while services flounder.
We learn that polio has been found in -samples at Beckton sewage works in east -London. -Polio is a virus that spreads when food or water -contaminated by human faeces is consumed. Of course, there may be absolutely no -connection between this news and the fact that water -companies have been pumping -enormous amounts of sewage into English rivers, despite being consistently fined for doing so. Last year, in the south west of England, sewage was dumped into rivers and beaches 42,484 times, or around 116 times per day.
In the absence of an effective constitution that protects their integrity, all British public institutions, in particular the civil service, are set to fail. They work in an environment where they cannot win. Faced with lying and crooked politicians they are powerless.
The -unwritten, uncodified UK constitution requires them to obey orders from Johnson and his band of -mediocre, mendacious accomplices. Now we get to the root cause of the British problem. Parliamentary sovereignty.
This means whatever Parliament says, goes. It has total power. If all power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, then this is where Britain is right now.
An absolutely corrupt state. This is not a problem that can be easily solved, even if there were the slightest appetite for -constitutional change. On the TNT show over the last year, I have interviewed a number of England-based intellectuals on the left.
All are sympathetic to Scottish independence, -saying that an independent Scotland might provide a catalyst for constitutional change in England. And all of them argued for a "progressive -alliance" of parties to bring about change. In particular they looked to the Labour -party to be in the forefront of this grouping.
In their view -Labour has much to gain by -constitutional change, for example, in the -voting system. -Abandoning first past the post for a -proportional system is likely to make huge (or any) -conservative majorities a thing of the past. What do we witness instead? We have -David Lammy, an otherwise bright member of the shadow cabinet, effectively urinating over this approach.
He declares that Labour is a "Unionist" party, and they will have no truck with any referendum or any deals with the SNP. In short, he has set Labour's face against any chance of electoral reform and has thus guaranteed Tory governments instead. Nuts.
I fear it is too late for Britain to change. -Unfettered Parliamentary sovereignty will bring its end closer. The lesson for Scotland is clear. As part of the referendum papers an interim constitution needs to be front and centre to show that the British disease of parliamentary sovereignty will not infect the new state.
Join us at 7pm on Wednesday for the TNT show on IndyLive