Stephen Kerr’s permapoplexy

Holyrood’s resident gammonista gum-bumper has been at it again. Scottish Tory list MSP Stephen Kerr, a B-movie version of a James Bond baddie, is one of those middle class right wing British nationalist heterosexual white men who are convinced that the world is eager for their hot takes on all and every topic on account of the fact that they are middle class right wing British nationalist heterosexual white men, who as everyone who reads the Daily Mail knows, are the most marginalised and oppressed people on the face of the planet.

Kerr, who is currently suffering from a fit of apoplexy because Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives addressed Nicola Sturgeon as madame First Minister, has been taking twitter lessons from Donald Trump, although to be honest apoplexy is Kerr’s base state, he suffers from permapoplexy, and makes the rest of us suffer for it by vomiting his ill-informed bile all over Twitter.

Yesterday Kerr took to Twitter to opined that the SNP want to “Join the EU, but not the EURO. Join NATO, but reject Nuclear Weaponry,” adding, “The SNP really don’t get it, do they? These aren’t just clubs for all-comers where you can pick and choose what you get.”

Talk about weapons, and there he is, the Scottish Conservative Holyrood whip. Before we get into the substance of how Kerr is wrong yet again, it is worthwhile to note that Kerr’s comments are a bit rich and ever so slightly lacking in self awareness, coming as they do from a member of a party which on the very same day announced that it intends to pick and choose which parts of an international treaty it wants to abide by.

Obviously Kerr doesn’t understand how international institutions and the EU in particular actually work, but then that’s scarcely surprising because neither does anyone else in the Conservative party and certainly not in the Conservative government in Westminster, which operates on the assumption that the EU is a vile plot to do Britain down. The British Government is currently expressing its shock and surprise that the EU is implementing the provisions of the Northern Ireland Protocol which guarantee the integrity of the European Single Market. The British Government appears to have operated on the principle that the EU would just ignore those parts of the protocol that the Conservatives and their partners in slime the DUP didn’t like.

You might think that someone who imagines himself to be a serious politician ought to have familiarised himself with the basic facts before taking to social media and unwittingly revealing himself to be god’s gift to the cause of Scottish independence, but a mere trifle like fact checking cannot be allowed to get between Kerr and a potential approving mention in the Daily Express.

Kerr’s claims have already been debunked by independence campaigners, yet opponents of Scottish independence keep repeating them because they have a religious belief that Scotland is utterly dependent on the Westminster Parliament, completely incapable of achieving anything on its own merits, and that without the UK Scotland would be alone and friendless in a hostile world. It’s the sadly familiar “you’d have nothing without me cry” of the spurned lover. It’s a belief system which is impervious to mere facts or reality. It’s like trying to explain evolution to a creationist who can’t understand how human beings can be descended from “the monkeys” when monkeys still exist.

However given the state of the media in a Scotland where the overwhelmingly anti-independence press and the BBC are all to happy to amplify the faith-based misinformation of British nationalists like Kerr, it is imperative that those of us who seek Scottish independence do not cease to publicise accurate information, no matter how frustrating or dispiriting it may be to have to keep on repeating the same thing time after time.

So once more with feeling. Joining the EU does not automatically mean joining the Eurozone, or the Schengen area for that matter. Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Sweden are all EU members but do not use the Euro. Denmark, like the UK when it was a member of the EU, has an opt out. All the others must in theory enter the Eurozone after meeting certain criteria. The key term here is “in theory.” All EU countries have the right to put off making any effort to meet the Eurozone criteria for any reason and for as long as they like, and thereby indefinitely postpone their adoption of the euro. Crucially, the EU has no means of forcing any member state to meet the criteria and has no mechanisms for sanctioning any member state which declines to make any effort to meet the relevant criteria.

The Czech Republic has stated that it has no plans to adopt the Euro despite not having a formal opt out from the common currency. Referring to the fact that it is entirely up to a member state to decide if and when it moves towards meeting the necessary criteria for adopting the Euro, in 2014 the Czech Prime Minister noted that there was no need for a formal opt out, saying : “No one can force us into joining the euro… We have a de facto opt-out.”

As far as an independent Scotland is concerned, before it could even consider adopting the Euro it would first have to have its own Scottish currency, and for this to be in place for some years before any moves to adopting the euro could be made, and even then the timing and implementation of those moves would be entirely up to the Scottish Government to decide. But of course what Kerr really has a conceptual problem with is the notion that it could possibly be up to Scotland to decide anything. The idea that Scotland could have agency is alien to the Conservative British nationalist mindset.

Although I am not personally in favour of NATO membership for an independent Scotland, this blog has already explained on a number of occasions why insisting on the removal of Trident from the Clyde is not the automatic barrier to NATO membership for an independent Scotland that Kerr and his fellow British nationalists would have us believe it is, most recently in March this year. In order to save me from rehashing those arguments all over again, here is a link to that piece here :

An SNP spokesperson said: “Stephen Kerr is either deliberately spreading false information or simply displaying his own ignorance of the facts. The euro isn’t used by every EU country and the vast majority of Nato members don’t possess or host nuclear weapons.”

But the reason that Kerr keeps doing it is because for the most part the media in Scotland lets him and his fellow British nationalist scare mongers get away with it. We can be certain that as Scotland moves towards another independence referendum,independence supporters will still keep having to debunk the British nationalist scare stories that refuse to die.

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