Tuesday , October 17 2017
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Tag Archives: Scottish independence

A senseless struggle about nothing

There are two forces going on in human nature, the desire to unify and the desire to separate. The reason that we have nation states at all is because people have felt the need to unify with others who are similar to them.  In antiquity each small village had its …

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Encouraging nationalism involves a heavy responsibility

As many of us have noticed this week, Spain is trying to prevent one of its parts from holding a referendum on independence. I normally don’t pay much attention to the internal politics of European countries. I can’t even routinely name the leaders of more than a few EU countries. …

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Indyref; or, ’tis three years since

It’s a pity Walter Scott is so little read nowadays. Waverley (or ’tis sixty years since) is not merely a station in Edinburgh it is the key to understanding everything in Scottish history and if you understand the past you understand the present, for history is not about what was, …

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Ireland shows why Scotland will never leave

Apparently the Irish Taoiseach wants the UK to remain in the EU. He is trying to keep the door open to the European Union and if that door fails, then he wants Britain to at least remain in the European Single Market and Customs Union. The Republic of Ireland is …

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The SNP goal is receding into the distance

Did anything happen this week of consequence? Nicola Sturgeon turned up in the Scottish Parliament and said something about delaying indyref2. If this meant that we would have this referendum in a couple of years’ time, then what she said would have been of small consequence. What does it fundamentally …

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Bursting the SNP bubble

A few months ago there were two main strategic challenges facing Britain. How to leave the EU successfully and how to keep our country intact? There are in addition, of course, the usual challenges facing any government. How to keep the economy growing? How to earn more than we spend? …

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A vote for which party helps the Pro UK cause?

There is only one thing in politics I really care about. I have lived under Labour Government’s, Conservative Governments and Coalition Governments. These things matter in the short term. But in the long term they don’t really matter. What matters is our country. Compared to the threat of our country …

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Changing the conventions of Scottish politics

British politics is about conventions. One of the most important of these is the one about a political manifesto. Few of us read manifestos. But this is not really their point. A party does write a manifesto to persuade people to vote for it. How many voters read manifestos? Rather …

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Indyref2 is in the long grass, we kicked it there

A short time ago it looked as if there would indyref2 within a year or so. I could feel the tension building within myself, I could sense it coming from others. If there were going to be another vote on independence next year, the campaign would begin more or less …

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Scotland is not a colony, the UK is not an empire

Alex Salmond wishes to inform us that “the days of the British Empire are over, and the days of British prime ministers denying self-determination to the Scottish people are over as well.” There are all sorts of odd things about this sort of statement. Most of us who have any …

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What’s so great about Britain?

Sometime in prehistory a group of people arrived on our island from Europe. They were Celts. We know next to nothing about them or the people who lived here before they arrived. All that is left of them are the monuments they left behind, places like Stonehenge and Scara Brae. …

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A defence of the UK

Introduction The main feature of living in a modern democracy is that nearly everybody gets to vote. As John Donne once said in a rather different context an election “comes equally to us all, and makes us all equal when it comes”. At one point only people with a certain …

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A new Act of Union

Every now and again someone in Scottish politics pops up and mentions the word federalism. This has become even more frequent since the EU referendum. Apparently the fact that Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to Remain in the EU, while England and Wales voted to Leave has caused a problem …

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The Turning Point

Certain people I know and certain people I read have been describing the past year as something horrible. You only have to go back one hundred years to see how foolish this assessment is. Imagine you had just celebrated Christmas in 1916. There is every chance you would have lost …

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Game over for the SNP

To give Scotland a different EU status to any other part of the UK would in effect be to give it independence.  It might be the case that the UK would continue to exist in some odd way still technically united, but for how long could such an arrangement last? …

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We have the chance to kill off Scottish nationalism

Just after the Brexit vote I came back from holiday and found a string of messages from Pro UK people. They were worried. Nicola Sturgeon was continually on the television complaining about something or other. Far from encountering systematic bias from the BBC, she was getting encouragement. At least she …

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To see ourselves as others see us

There is a stuffy consensus in Scotland. There always has been. Perhaps it has to do with the Presbyterian idea of the elect. We are exceptional. We are different. Wha’s like us. It makes our newspapers exceptionally dull, because almost no-one questions the assumptions which are shared even by political …

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Chapter 3 Continued- So what?

1. The flag Many argued that the result of the independence referendum was irrelevant to the continuation of the name and flag for the current United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. If Scotland became independent, it had promised to retain a “Social Union” with the rest of the …

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My offer is this, nothing

Many Scottish nationalists are impatient and permanently angry.  The hundreds of thousands who joined the SNP after losing the referendum in 2014 are both a blessing and a curse. Of course, they are better than the alternative. Remember when there was the idea that the SNP would somehow fade away …

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