What a day I’m having…I had my belly laugh at Johann presenting herself as stateswoman of the year (she’s been watching Borgen) and then Alistair Carmichael entered my territory by reminding us that the real choice is not between independence and devolution but between Scotland and Britain – which is your country?
And then one of my contributors, Grahamski, the Impaler of Nationalists, does the same thing by stating: “I put Scotland first and believe it is in our best interests to maintain political union with the rest of the UK.”
Exactly. And what does that union mean in practice? That Britain not Scotland runs our affairs from deciding our budget through the votes of an overwhelming majority of English MPs, telling us when we can go to war, representing us on the world stage and taking command of our natural resources. They can still remove our parliament whenever they choose and they’re now dictating to us which currency we can/can’t use. They’re threatening to take away our defence contracts if we don’t do as they say and make (more) shipworkers unemployed. We now have 4 per cent representation in the Palace of Westminster. We’ve even had to fight for control over airguns.
Britain retains all the power over us and is the nation state while Scotland is an administrative region within that state. If you vote for that continuing then, whether you care to spell it out or not, Britain is your country, Scotland your second choice. Only a country standing shoulder to shoulder as an equal with every other country on earth can truly be called a nation. That is the definition applied by every other country in the UN. Voting to keep your homeland a region of another in a straight choice is never putting your country first, it is acknowledging that you are second best and either unworthy or ill-equipped for full statehood. You can of course engage in self-justifying comfort statements about being better together but there is no escaping the reality – and that which will be seen by every other country after a No vote – that the Scots didn’t think their country was worth its own independence. They didn’t put Scotland first. They put their membership of the UK ahead of their own independence.
(This is quite a different question from Would Scotland be better off or Is it in our best interests.) But we’re not being asked those questions – important as they are. We are being asked for the first time in 300 years if we want to be independent and run our own affairs or do we prefer to play a subsidiary role in Britain. Yes is for Scotland. No is for Britain. No amount of sophistry and bluster can hide the hard truth confronting every Scot in the voting booth.
(I got a great deal on my wine at Tesco Maryhill and now the sun’s come out…Happy New Year to you all)