The ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ poster, so ubiquitous across the country as a symbol of modern kitsch British patriotism, is in fact one of the finest works of unintentional satire produced in modern Britain. The glaring truth behind its desperate facade is that we’re not keeping calm; we’re not carrying on; and there’s nothing the Queen – represented, of course, by the crown – can do about it.
Since the early 20th century, the United Kingdom has been in a state of profound confusion. The decline of Empire and the collapse of global dominance led us down a route of managed decline, punctuated with wild, grasping attempts at redemption. The postwar dream, from which we awoke in the chaos of the 70s; Howard Wilson’s ‘white heat’ of technological evolution; The debt-fuelled ‘booms’ of recent finance-led capitalism; all of this has led us to today’s crisis. A crisis of not just the British economy or British democracy, but the very nature of the British state itself. It simply isn’t working. It’s not fit for the modern world. It’s time to make a real change.
With Scottish Independence, we can re-energise not only Scotland, but all the constituent nations of the United Kingdom, and those smaller, nimbler states can respond in a far more intelligent, progressive way to modern challenges than the anachronistic, crumbling UK will ever be able to.
The only alternative is to keep calm and manage decline.
Visual Artist and Blogger