I’m not anti-English – but the coalition has hijacked Scotland’s referendum

Are we really going to have to endure over 2 years of the SNP attempting to paint anyone disagreeing with them on this issue as a Tory and/or “anti-Scottish”? The whole tone of this ‘debate’ has so far been very depressing. In some ways it’s reminding me of the AV debate, where support for AV was seen as the ‘progressive’ option and anyone opposing it on the left was quickly portrayed as an out-of-touch dinosaur who was aiding the Tories. Far too many on the left appear to be afraid to be forthright for their support of the Union for fear of ‘offending’ the Scots. Sod that.

Joan McAlpine quotes herself as saying:

“The Liberals, the Labour party and the Tories are anti-Scottish in coming together to defy the will of the Scottish people and the democratic mandate that they gave us to hold a referendum at a time of our choosing.”

Perhaps someone should point out to Joan that, between them, these parties gained 53% of the vote (and even more in the regions list) and that by ‘coming together’ they could be presented as representing more of the ‘Scottish people’ than her party? This hysterical shrieking whenever any of the parties in favour of the Union express an opinion on the matter and, in particular, on the matter of the referendum, is juvenile. Furthermore, as much as I despise David Cameron, it’s disingenuous to say the least to attempt to argue that the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom has no right to be involved in this. Between them, the parties in the coalition has 20 MSPs and 12 MPs in Scotland, a reality which doesn’t quite suit the hysterical ‘the Tories are interfering!’ narrative which continually draws attention to the single Tory MP. I’m not in favour of independence – however, I’d rather Scotland voted for that than for ‘devo-max’. Independence and the Union both have a coherency to them which d-m simply does not. It strips away many of the benefits of the Union without proferring enough benefits to be worthwhile. Fundamentally, it doesn’t bestow the major benefit of independence that I can see – namely that Scotland would be unable to blame nasty Westminster for much of its ills. Perhaps the EU would take over that mantle, given the SNP’s antipathy towards the UK government but support for the far less democratic (and unabashedly neoliberal) institutions of the EU.

I like much of what the SNP have done in Scotland. There is a good likelihood that I, like many in Scotland, would vote for them in the Scottish Parliament without supporting independence. However since moving to England Salmond’s ‘blame the English’ rhetoric has become even clearer and even more embarrassing. I’ll live with the result of a referendum, whatever it may be, but the prospect of an infantile shouting match (and of course there are plenty of equivalent voices on the other ‘side’) until then is grim.

I’m not anti-English – but the coalition has hijacked Scotland’s referendum

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