Along the Pentland Road, 25 May 2017

Friday, 9 March 2012

Independence

The Scottish National Party, which is in government in Scotland at the moment, has proposed to hold a referendum on Scottish independence in the autumn of 2014. I have previously made my views on independence - I'm against.

Scotland was an independent nation until 1703, when it amalgamated with England, Wales and Ireland into the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (latterly Northern Ireland). Uprisings in 1715 and 1746 were organised to resurrect the monarchy in Scotland, led by the house of Stewart. Both failed abysmally, and the Battle of Culloden in April 1746 was the last to be fought on British soil. There is ill feeling in certain quarters between the English and the Scottish, and there is no denying the historical facts that underpin that. During the latter half of the 18th century, atrocities were committed in the Highlands to suppress any further uprisings. The clearances of the 19th century were, however, not solely committed by English landowners - a lot of them were carried out at the behest of Scottish landowners, living it up down in London.

Independence for Scotland is a serious matter. Independence is a serious matter for any nation, seeking to break away. If the referendum returns a definite 'yes' in favour, mechanisms should be in place to smooth over the transition. And that is where I start to get seriously criticial.

The SNP have been in power at Holyrood since May 2007. In those 5 years, they do not appear to have given much thought to the practicalities of running a country. To what needs to be done in order to effect the separation from England. The same accusation must be leveled at the Westminster government, which has failed to plan for the contingency of independence for Scotland. Each and every day, the papers here in Scotland are full of examples of things that have not been thought about. The nuclear submarine base at Faslane. The oil revenues. Taxation. Border controls. Security. Neither side have given it any thought.

I am not having a jibe specifically against any party. Labour was in power in Westminster in 2007; the Conservative / Liberal Democrat coalition has been in since 2010. So everybody has had their eye off the ball. The SNP is more concerned with England bashing than seriously preparing the country for a possible separation from England. Worse than that, England will most likely be their main trading partner following independence, so being confrontational is about the worst thing they could do.
Labour can be accused of complacency, and in disenfranchising 110,000 Scottish voters in the 2007 Scottish Parliament elections. The Conservatives can be bothered even less, as they have the grand total of one MP in Scotland.

Anyway, we're stuck with the present mess, and I dread for the future.

1 comment:

  1. It's like watching a train wreck in slow motion.

    ReplyDelete