AC Grayling: Philosopher explains why he will campaign for independence


As many of you may know, I have another life as host of the TNT show on indyLive. Every Wednesday at 7 p.m. we chat with a special guest for a full hour. Over 75 shows, we interviewed the brightest and best, including those overlooked by mainstream broadcasters.

All of our guests stood out, but the show on October 6 was exceptional. I had the rare pleasure of interviewing the eminent philosopher AC Grayling for 60 minutes. Our post bag swelled with positive feedback and praise after the show.

In many ways, Anthony Grayling represents the best of left-wing thinking in British politics. He hates the current UK government and wants it replaced as soon as possible.

Yet he despairs that the left cannot come to a compromise with other progressive parties to achieve it. For him, it is inconceivable that the leadership of the Labor Party will not do everything possible to make this happen. As he points out, this is a government with minority electoral support compared to the other parties combined, but it commands Westminster due to the asymmetric one-round majority system.

READ MORE: Independent Scotland could be a ‘bridge builder’ to EU, says Angus Robertson

This Conservative government has driven a coach and horses through the minimum protections offered by the British constitution. So they can order at will.

Where are Labor’s plans to correct a constitution driven mad by abuse? They have been promising to abolish the House of Lords for almost a century and are nowhere near doing so. Indeed, by making new appointments to it, they are endorsing its place as arguably the largest unelected legislative body in the world. Labor lack the motivation and ideas to gain public support, and therefore languish behind the most disastrous UK administration in living memory.

Labor is lenient on the exploitation of Brexit and sees the move as a ‘deal done’. In effect, they are giving the Conservative government a free pass to interpret Brexit as they see fit. In turn, this means that Labor is locked into the wishes of the far right.

Among these Brexit abuses, we now find that the UK never intended to honor the Northern Ireland Protocol it negotiated and signed.

Think about the broader implications of this movement. Countries around the world will now wonder if a deal they currently have with the UK is worth the paper it’s printed on. Those who make sense will look for other, more ethical business partners. And who would blame them?

It comes at a time when the UK government is dragging its sorry ass around the world trying to strike trade deals under the title of ‘World Britain’. Why on earth would a sane state agree to trade with a country that has said it feels free to break any deal with it? Unless of course it is questionable or desperate regimes. Even then, they are likely to demand and get huge penalties for any breach of contract. Suddenly, “Global Britain” became “Global Pariah”.

Grayling told me he viewed Brexit as a total disaster. He sees it as a colossal failure of the British state. And he changed his mind about Scottish independence. In 2014, he was opposed to a separate Scottish state. His reasons then were largely emotional. Born in Africa, he considered Britain in its entirety as the motherland.

Brexit has changed its mind. He told me that not only is he now in favor of an independent Scotland, but also that he will campaign for it. The Yes movement should grab this offer with both hands. Articulate, connected thinkers and heavyweights from outside Scotland who support independence are as rare as rocking horse poop. The Yes movement needs him.

READ MORE: Here’s my pitch to indyref2 indecisive voters as a psychologist

To continue, here is a question for you. Who is Steve Carson? I’ll give you a hint. He says BBC Scotland is doing “fantastically well”, despite declining audience figures. He might be wrong, but Irishman Steve runs BBC Scotland. Thus, his opinions – even capricious ones – affect your viewing.

Presumably Gary Smith reports to him as the so-called chief of news and current affairs. Unsurprisingly, Gary thinks his show The Nine is “very good”: again, despite low audience figures. To put this claim in context, there is some data to suggest that the TNT show, on occasion, has more viewers.

Don’t forget ‘a rotten fish upside down’ the next time you see poor quality BBC Scotland release. Don’t blame the journalists.

In case you feel like I’m tough on the Beeb; know that they refused the invitations to give their opinion on the TNT program. This invitation remains on the table.

Journalist Jackie Kemp is Wednesday’s guest on TNT. Join us October 20 at 7 p.m. on IndyLive

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