Internationalist Labour? My Bright Red Arse.
Where I’m coming from here is a place that could be either antipodal or right next door. The Arrivals exit is behind and I’m walking oot to the fresh air, with a jaunty gait, for a quick fag in the tiny ten square feet of Smoking Zone. I’m walking forward with purpose, but I could never leave what’s behind me behind me, as it were. Like a jet-setting hipcat with cosmopolitan breadth-of-mind, the self-titled Internationalist is bang-on right: he or she is outward thinking, she’s humane, she’s considerate, she’s a unifier, she’s diplomatic, she’s a solution finder, she’s a conversationalist, she’s an emollient, and she’s a joiner. But the opposite is also true: he’s no unnameable-namer, nor is he a castigator, he isn’t divisive, and he is no bricklayer.
I was brought up on the Left side of the road. Using only the words my father genetically donated to me in the family’s word-pool, in my mind there are two nourishing character building breakfasts the Labour movement has prepared for the whole world, and each is tastier than any other: firstly, the cultivated concordance garnished with Halal humanity and Kosher conduct is served up to see everyone fed. The bulging corn is there for everyone, extravagantly rooted in the foundations of the great institutions the Labour movement has canopied above the scorched human earth of the Industrial Revolution. Not far behind this perpetual feast is the camaraderie of the natural Internationalism of the Rift Valley exodus, lost for thousands of years in the barbarity of the City State, the Nation State, and the great Empires of the Eastern and Western worlds.
The further the wee journey that circumstance has engineered for me towards Scottish Nationalism takes me (currently stuck in the Smoking Zone at the airport you may remember) the more I am interested in those big knockers, the sallow heavy-lidded belittlers, who preach that Internationalism and Nationalism are opposites with polar repulsion to each other. Invariably these Internationalist Holy Willies are working class from an aspirational class background who haven’t done anything but a middle class job in all their days, with middle class salaries and a middle class family in a middle class school, living comfortably in a middle class hoose in a middle class scheme in Milngavie or Bearsden. The longer the gravy train steams away from the shipyard the more Internationalist the Labour ideal and the less coin-oriented their class-struggle becomes; the more intellectual the semi-socialist the harder it is to tell them apart from anyone else in open-necked shirt and Management creased troosers.
Internationalism! The boundary crusher! The perfect attitude developed for mankind on the square and on the level, and in every Columban club; an attitude personified in wir ain wee Ayrshire bard whae didst proclaim that a brother bee is a’ gnat, proving that even in the insect world we are all the same. We’re a’ twins in all but outward appearance. So the Internationalist stands tall and comfortable, and looks loftily doon their beak at the wee ridiculous Nationalist farting about in the mud and getting dirtier, expending all effort and energy in creating pointless division, separating working brother from working brother with weasel words and token gestures in an insane uncivilised cause.
However, I have noticed one minor fault in the Scottish Labour-oriented clever clogs Internationalist argument, as they scoff at how pathetic a national border just before Carlisle would be: “An anti-Internationalist concept!” they deride. They wail against setting brother on brother from behind their pruned high hedge “Division in the class war!” and all that jizz-jazz. And yet, for all of their buoyant Internationalism, and their contempt of deadweight Nationalism, the Labour Internationalist is as fierce a Nationalist and as xenophobic a bigot as the most rampant of any obsessed Nat I’ve come across. They have simply chosen to help our upper-class UK toffs to build a monstrous Scarfe-like wall at Dover instead, a hundred times bigger and nastier and fouler than poor aul’ Hadrian’s. The Labour Wall is designed to keep Johnny Foreigner – not the Brythonic hoards – at bay. For now a choice remains, but it’s a choice that will have to be made gey soon: a sterile Blighty, staunch, clean and pure; or an outward, just, socially-inclusive teeny weeny petty piece of tartan dirt.