The difference between a Unionist and a British Nationalist is that the former has never questioned the Union while the latter insists that the Union must never be questioned. I was reminded of the above apophthegm when I saw the headline on a piece in The National today - Do Unionists still think we are … Continue reading The target
I tend to react very negatively to commentators speculating or pontificating about Scotland being independent while disregarding all but totally the not so very small matter of Scotland becoming independent. The headline over Gerry Hassan's column - "UK establishment’s contemplating life after indy, Scotland must do the same" - was always going to irk me. … Continue reading The big league
Whoever wrote the headline on George Kerevan's column in The National today (Cost of living horrors should be launchpad for fresh Yes push) did the man no favours. A headline suggesting a "fresh Yes push" as a reaction to the "cost of living horrors" sits uncomfortably with an article in which George is highly critical … Continue reading We and we alone!
Nicola Sturgeon insists that the process - which she has yet to identify - by which Scotland's independence is restored must be "legal and constitutional". Her view appears to be that the international community is eager to avoid recognising Scotland's status as an independent nation and that they will therefore seize on any excuse to … Continue reading The binding
I am inclined to be a bit wary of appeals to history in the service of the cause of restoring Scotland's independence. Events in the distant past must be of questionable relevance to a modern constitutional campaign. I'm ever mindful of the words with which L.P. Hartley opened his 1953 novel The Go-Between, "The past … Continue reading Ageless principles
When reading an article to which I intend to respond I will often go through it two or three times highlighting points that I might address. I use red to mark the bits that prompt a broadly negative response, and green to indicate the bits that deserve a positive response. Generally, I will try to … Continue reading Red bits and green bits (and a wee bit of yellow)
History, as I am perhaps a little over-fond of pointing out, is not a series of events but a process. This presents a problem when discussing past events inasmuch as it is necessary to identify a start point. And to stop somewhere that can never be the end. 'Identify' is probably the wrong word to … Continue reading The gulf between us
Is there anybody who still doesn't understand why it was essential to have a new referendum no later than September 2018? Apologists for the SNP will respond to this by asserting that we could not possibly have won a referendum in September 2018. This is certainly true if you don't actually hold the referendum. If … Continue reading Party like it’s 2018!
Whatever John Curtice may say, there is no such thing as "the economics of independence". Firstly, economies are not static. They are dynamic. One might even say organic. Secondly, they are not discrete. All economies are connected to one another. Fluctuations in the subsistence farming economy of a village in Africa may not have any … Continue reading How to make an informed choice
That the Union has always been a bad deal for Scotland is not in doubt. Even in those periods of history in which a case can be made for saying Scotland has benefited from being in this purposefully grossly asymmetric political union - such as the age of the British Empire - any claimed benefits … Continue reading Our own worst enemy?