View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Tuesday 24 January

An overcast day, which led on to rain and later wind. Tomorrow should see another gale, with gusts to 60 mph. Our freight ferry is once again not doing its overnight run on account of the poor forecast.

Tonight, Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond, has delivered a speech on his plans for Scottish independence. I have previously made clear my opposition to Scottish independence, for political as well as economic reasons. I should add that I take particular exception to Mr Salmond's policy of creating divisions between the Scots and the English, playing on past (perceived) injustices, inflicted on the Scots by the English.

His continual references to the battles of Culloden (1746) and Bannockburn (1314) remind me of comparable references being made in Ireland to the battle of the Boyne (1689), and in the former Yugoslavia with regards the battle of Kosovo (1389). We all know what happened as a result of such references in the aforementioned regions. Rather than harping on about the past, Mr Salmond should look to the future.

As far as that is concerned, he reminds me of your average American foreign intervention. The US went into Iraq in 2003 without giving prior consideration to what was to be done once Saddam Hussein was ousted. That was the easy bit, it took less than a month. Establishing a stable successor state took about 8 years, well, the Americans withdrew last year, but Iraq is by no means stable. Alex Salmond has not given proper thought to what it takes to run a country either - other than referring to Scotland's oil. Does he want to join the Euro? Bad idea at the current state of affairs. Does he want to retain the pound sterling? What is the point of becoming independent then, I'd wonder.

For pragmatic reasons, I maintain that Scotland becoming independent is a bad idea. The way the idea is being pursued by Mr Salmond makes it an even worse proposition. My opinion.

Oh, on a final note, before I close this rambling diatribe. Someone suggested that Orkney and Shetland might want to stay in the UK. Well, I think they'd rather join with Norway in that case. And perhaps the Western Isles might want to follow suit.