Love My Country

Today the people of Scotland will vote on whether they become independent of the United Kingdom. There are lots of possible outcomes that have been flying around my head the last few days. Will Scotland become the socialist utopia all the liberals desire it to be? Will it bow more to the pressure of big business? Will the EU ravage its democratic sensibilities more than the UK ever did? Perhaps a smidgen of all of these.

All traitors?

All traitors?

I’m not known for my confidence in democratic elections affecting real change. I believe calling democracy at a national level is an affront to the definition of democracy. Decision making, to be truly democratic, needs to be taken down to a human scale level of around a hundred. Too small to make decisions over big “important” things like national infrastructure? Most certainly, but then when have you heard me advocate the implementation of a industrial scale apparatus in recent years?

No doubt Scotland will exchange one tyrant for another. No doubt all who hope the people of Scotland will get more decision making powers over the things that matter in their lives, will be disappointed to some degree. I remember being swept up in the heady swell of Obama being elected into office. Naively I, along with many others, thought a black president would change things for the better. But whatever way you look at it, the paltry Obamacare has to be held in context with the exponential growth of drone strikes.

Like Obama, Scottish independence is deeply symbolic. The British Empire was (and still is) a brutal and racist regime, of which the leaders of the Scots were active partners. Those at the helm at any given time had the smug belief that they knew best for their populations and the foreign populations they enslaved. Not to mention the need to quench the thirst for spoils they’d become accustomed to. There is nothing about an empire that is to be commended. And so, a symbolic two fingers up at the United Kingdom looks irresistible, if not the whole story. Not only that, but the two fingers are being raised through the state approved channels, which is enough to put a smile on my glum face at least.

I’m bringing this back to my music now, not because I’m being ruthlessly opportunistic, for a change, but because what I’ve written in recent years is about all this.

Love My Country Hate My State was a phrase coined by Jay Griffiths, an activist involved in the early 1990s road building protests. I remember her at a festival a few years back recalling a protester at the time climbing a tree wrapped in a Union Jack being pulled at from below by police. In any other circumstance such a move would be dismissed as nasty nationalism, but in this way, it was a symbol of true solidarity with the country into which that protester was born. THIS is what I love about my country, not your damn rules and your phoney traditions, your political scheming and your fetish for money making, your genocidal belief in western civilisation, your anthropocentric self righteousness, your sense of entitlement to everything that can be claimed by force. Call it progress if you want, but a spade is a spade, as is a boot a boot…stamping on a face forever.

Tonight in a dusty upstairs bar in London, just a mile from where the boots of Westminster will be quaking, I will sing the song I wrote after hearing Jay’s recounting of the road protests. I will sing it not for Scottish independence, but for all who long for tangible and meaningful control over their own existences. To the people of Scotland on this day, stick those two fingers up to Westminster, but don’t forget that this is not the end of your internment.

Love My Country Hate My State…lyrics and song below

M

‘Love My Country Hate My State’ by Marmaduke Dando

This could be Slough, this could be anywhere.

Though anywhere is where we long to be.

Out of the endless grey miasma,

Away from the fields of plasma.

Who wants to sit there and disintegrate,

Into the shell of a former great ape?

Love my country, hate my state.

 

Tacitus told us how it really was,

Aspiration received like a God.

Oh England was seduced,

In as much as it couldn’t refuse.

Through heady flowing wines,

And unshakeable hereditary lines.

Now the vice may change shape,

But a rape is a rape is a rape,

Love my country, hate my state.

 

What fuckery, this State backed buggery.

What currency, gives strength to thee?

So let’s hit them where it hurts,

On the balance sheets through their works,

Keep your eyes on the prize,

Watch those premiums rise,

Seize the moment, celebrate.

Love my country, hate my state.

 

We can stride out to the fields,

But what then is the plan?

An unspeakable number die,

In the blink of a white man’s eye.

And we’re right back on the trading floor,

Selling off foreskins to the poor,

While someone’s smug pension appreciates,

Tell me what in this is there to appreciate?

Love my country, hate my state.

Love my country, hate my state.

Love my country, hate my state.

Love my country, hate my state.