Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Thursday 4 February 2010

Why Should We Care About Scottish Independence?

The title above was the topic of this evening's programme 'Dinner with Portillo' on BBC4 - watch it on the BBC iPlayer here for the next week. Interesting in some ways, but mostly tedious. Maybe it's just the guests [who agreed to be] present tonight. Or something. The independence supporter (the 'chippy' plump one - Michael Fry) was especially weak.

Does anyone in England, or indeed Scotland, care very much about this issue? I tend to think not. Barring, of course, the relatively few wacky individuals who support in toto the aims of the Scottish National Party and the in many ways even wackier individuals who support the CEP.

Now, who have I [not] upset this evening? Quite a few no doubt, but probably not a huge number in any part of the UK, because frankly there simply aren't too many of the wacky individuals I referred to above. Now if the SNP actually do win 30+ seats in Westminster at the next General Election then one would have to take the whole issue of the break-up of the UK in the near future very seriously indeed, but almost nobody thinks this is even a remote possibility. As for the English, well the vast majority of them simply don't care either and are perfectly happy, as am I, to continue within the framework of the UK. Yawn ... I'm British, end of story. I'm sure both Scotland and England could each work quite well as completely separate political entities, but broadly-speaking we've rubbed along pretty well together for a very long time, too. Unless one has some deeper issue with the whole concept of 'unity' then I find it difficult to fathom exactly what is the problem.


  1. Sigh...

    Are you serious when you say "what is the problem?"
    You only expose your complete lack of understanding.


    "McCrone Report"

  2. Do I? So tell me, do please, "what is the problem?" - I'm all eyes, eager to read what you have to write.

    I think there is a greater lack of understanding, as you so eloquently phrase it, in most of the 'wacky' notions promulgated by the SNP which, far too often, we who support the continuance of the UK, are far too generous and polite to denounce for the arrant nonsense they represent.

    Cordially ...

  3. The wacky and chippy plump one used to be one of yours, Bill. An erstwhile die-hard unionist tory and former parliamentary candidate, who sat down to write a history of the union a few years ago, and ended up as a (non-SNP voting) supporter of independence 400 pages later.

    Just saying... :-)

  4. Hi Richard

    And I'm just sayin ...

    ... he's wacky!

    What's with the 'one of yours' nonsense, btw? ;) I resigned from the Conservative Party in September 2001 for entirely different reasons and currently belong to no political party, but I'm certainly not 'wacky' enough to become 'one of yours' - lol. I am eccentric, I grant you, but there are limits.

    Now if you have a SERIOUS defence of the case for independence to offer, without too much blatant 'chip on shoulder' SNP propaganda thrown in to try and confuse the issue, I shall be glad to read it. In YEARS of reading the nonsense spouted by SNP supporters I've yet to read anything credible, but I'd be interested to have you or anyone else confound me - lol :)


    'A staunch supporter of the United Kingdom'

  5. I think the feeling of most in the SNP when Michael Fry endorsed independence was that reinforcements had arrived and weakened our position!

    Seriously, he's a clever man, but I was surprised at the, erm, vehemence with which he accused other guests of 'English arrogance'. That said, he hit the nail on the head with his argument about how bigger nations viewed the 'end of history' (ha!), and their befuddlement when small, insignificant other places obstinately failed to conform to these expectations.

    As far as your disection of English attitudes towards Scotland is concerned, I think you have it just about right. Most are perfectly relaxed about present arrangements, and probably think that Scotland is more or less independent already. Amicable and benign indifference would sum it up. IMO that's neither good nor bad - it's just the way it is.

    Anyway, I'm loath to get into a great big debate with you about independence. I support independence because I believe it gives Scotland the best possible constitutional settlement and will bring greater accountability, but I know that plenty of others, maybe even a majority depending on how you count it, find it perfectly possible to reach a different view.

  6. Bill,

    You might like to read my own small contribution to the debate about Scottish independence. You'll find it as a post Understanding Scottish Independence on my blog The 'Sanitization' of Scottish History at

  7. Hasn't upset me. It just seems divide and rule time at the moment in these isles.

  8. Whats "wacky " to have control of how your country decides how it progresses into the future, sounds like insecurity syndrone or Scottish cringe mentality to me.

  9. ... sounds like insecurity syndrone or Scottish cringe mentality to me.

    LOL - I think this is rather the case of the pot calling the kettle black. There certainly ain't no cringing here - you need to go the SNP and its supporters for that, I fear.

    Finally, my country does run its own affairs, as much as any country can in the modern world - it is called the United Kingdom. I see no contradiction in being both British and Scottish (or the other way round, if you prefer, lol), just as most normal people in England and Wales tend to be pretty tranquil about this whole matter, too. Northern Ireland is undoubtedly rather different - thank goodness Scotland doesn't have the kind of divisions they do there.

  10. "Finally, my country does run its own affairs, as much as any country can in the modern world - it is called the United Kingdom."

    The UK isn't a country its a 'State' made up of different countries, you wish to belong to a state I'd rather belong to a self governing country which has different aspirations than a dictatorial state ie UK.

    Some of the English also wish to regain their country from this imbalanced alliance are they also 'Wacky'.

  11. Hello again

    I could say 'nonsense', but that would be impolite, so I'll instead say simply that we have differing viewpoint ;)

    As for you "are they also 'Wacky'. ", referring to certain English people, the answer is that I wrote what I thought of such people in my article when I referred to the CEP a few of whom have been in my blogroll for many years and with whom I have enjoyed many 'debates' over the years since early 2002 when I began this blog.

    Now I am about to start thinking about getting off to bed, once 'This Week' finishes, but before that I must devote myself to finishing off the [Italian] cheese and [French] cognac I have before me. Have a great night :)


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