The gun-toting Sarah Palin expresses regret over the shooting of a Democratic politician, despite having her on a list of targets in her inflammatory media propaganda.
The NRA – if they haven’t already spoken – will predictably say that people kill people, not guns - and the usual nuts will argue that had Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords been wearing a gun strapped to her hip, she would have deterred the assassin. (At least Charlton Heston isn’t around anymore brandishing his rifle and boasting that it would have to be wrested from his cold dead hands.)
The American gun mania, while not quite a preserve of the Republican Right, is certainly manifested mainly by its supporters and elected representatives.
Watching the re-runs on Five USA of the superb American TV series Law and Order, I am reminded of the episode where a neo-nazi is successfully prosecuted for having incited young and naive supporters to homicide. Will Palin and her ilk be indicted? Not a chance …
But Law and Order, fearless in its portrayal of American society warts and all, regularly reminded me that there are two Americas - one committed to true liberal, democratic human values and the other committed to ruthless imperialism, the military/industrial complex and war as the operating principle of the state.
Unfortunately for America and the world, the latter are in charge. And they are supported in everything they do, in every global enormity, by that raddled old relic of a long-lost empire - the United Kingdom, and by the three dominant UK parties, Labour, Tories and Liberal democrats.
But not by the Scottish National Party, not by anyone with a vestige a human concern for their fellow human beings - and not by me.
The May elections for the Scottish Parliament won’t be a tea party, but the equivalent of the Tea Party is alive and active in Britain today - and in Scotland: it is warlike, paranoid unionism. Not all unionists are like that, I know - I was, after all, one myself for most of my life - but this breed are trying to set the agenda for the Scottish May election.
I believe that most readers of my blog are already Scottish National Party supporters, the majority of whom - but not all - also support Scotland’s independence. I am grateful to them, but they are not my target readership, since I seek to change political loyalties not just reinforce them. And I know for certain that I have readers who are not yet committed to the nationalist cause, and who entertain entirely honourable and understandable reservations, both emotional and intellectual, about voting for the SNP. What follows is directed to them …
Please think long and hard about how you vote in May, Scottish voters. And Labour voters - please think even harder, and question your deep-rooted, instinctive loyalty to a party that no longer represents anything the old Labour Party once stood for, now as venal, self-serving, power obsessed and nuclear obsessed as the rest. (I refer to the dominant party ideology and controlling elite, not to Labour Party supporters).
To disillusioned Liberal Democrats, I say - for God’s sake don’t transfer your allegiance to Labour, in the light of thirteen years of recent history - they haven’t changed one iota under Miliband Minor!
The difficult and painful leap you must make is to recognise that those values now reside only in the Scottish National Party. In an independent Scotland, many things will change, not least the Scottish political parties. Who knows what political reorientation and rediscovery of values will occur after that fateful day?
For now, the only party that will commit to deliver those values and that independence is the Scottish National Party.
Let me nail my colours to the mast yet again …
First, I am a member of the human race: secondly, I am a Scot: thirdly, I am a member of the European community: fourthly, I am a member of the world community of nations. Lastly, and I hope temporarily, I am a most reluctant citizen of the United Kingdom. That represents my scale of loyalties and priorities.
I ask you to think hard about your scale of loyalties before you vote in May - your future, your family’s future, and Scotland’s future hang on your choice.
Make the right one …