Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Lesley Riddock on Sturgeon's surprising allies

Lesley Riddoch has a piece on the Speccie website arguing that if Nicola Sturgeon really wants to call an Independence referendum in the next Scottish parliament, she may have some surprising allies.

There are some unionists who are thinking that if we must have such a referendum best to get it done and out of the way, hoping that their side would win but if not that then at least we would all know where we stand.

There are a lot of people in the London-based media who as Riddoch accurately poitns out seem to be talking the prospects of Scottish Independence up - some of them may be adrenaline junkies desperate for another really big story, others may be people who are unhappy with the present UK political situation and want to shake it up. You can read her article here.

All of them should be careful what they wish for.

If there is one thing more disruptive than breaking up nations and unions of nations, it is doing it in a hurry without a carefully thought through plan - something it is obvious from the nonsense spouted by the SNP in the last few days on borders and currencies that they do not have.

The partition of Ireland and the independence of most of the island a hundred years ago this week was followed by a rather nasty civil war which claimed more lives than the fight for independence itself and created a legacy of bitterness and division some of which exists to this day.

The rushed independence and partition of India and Pakistan to meet an arbitrary deadline set by Mountbatten caused a bloodbath and did great long-term harm to both countries.

I voted Remain and would still do so today if I could have my vote again knowing what I know today, but Brexit would have worked much better than it did if the Leave side had won on the basis of a properly thought through plan.

I still hope that the Union can be saved. If the SNP separatists do win, I hope they learn from the mistakes of those responsible for the independence of Ireland, India and Pakistan and for Brexit.

Even better, let the Unionists learn from the mistakes of the Remain campaign and put forward a positive case for the union which has given us one of the most successful collaborations in the history of the world, and win the argument.

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