There’s a new stick to hit the independence movement in Scotland over the head with, a form of words we’re starting to hear now almost as often as 2014’s oft repeated gems “Alex Salmond’s independence plan“ or “Scotland needs the benefit of the strength and security of the UK’s broad shoulders”.
The new favorite is “Scotland’s most important trading relationship is with the rest of the United Kingdom, which is four times more important to Scotland than its trading relationship with the rest of the European Union.” Obviously that’ll not include the whisky industry, which counts as their trade with Europe and the rest of the world, not ours. This phrase is straight out of the Unionist updated-for-Brexit playbook, and is trotted out with monotonous regularity by the professional UK political classes, and protectors of self-wealth.
Project Fearty strikes again in the guise of a veiled threat. Leave us at your peril. Never mind the fact that the EU is the destination for 42% of Scotland’s exports, the ones we are allowed to identify as being Scottish, is a market nine times bigger than the UK alone, contains eight of Scotland’s top twelve export destinations and contributed 11.6 billion pounds to the economy in 2014. Chicken feed. Stick with Britannia and we’ll be back ruling the waves shortly, and on the very ship Britannia at that. Bonkers.
Oh woe is us too. Cue unionist inspired wailing and gnashing of teeth, and mantras of too wee, too poor, too gullible. A poll this week tells us that apparently the number of Scots who want another referendum on independence has dropped. One of the red, white and blue fleg wavers, maybe the Hootsmon, described the results of the YouGov Poll as support for Indy “plummets.” I accept that some polls were reflecting figures previously of over 50% in support of Indy 2 but describing a drop of 1% in a poll from the 45% who voted Yes in 2014 as support plummeting? Aye right.
Bear in mind too, as I think Margo MacDonald may have said, I might be wrong, “Polls (sic) are for putting up tents”. Look at Brexit. Look at Trump’s success? Did the polls get them right? Even if it is accurate, a starting base of a referendum campaign of 44% is a helluva lot better as a starting point than where we were prior to the start of the 2014 campaign.
The Scottish Government are bending over backwards, and probably wisely, if more of our country-folk are to be persuaded that every possible avenue has been explored to protect Scotland’s interests with regards to the European Union whilst remaining a part of the UK, prior to the inevitable outcome that many of us in the grassroots are champing at the bit to get started on.
That explains their comments when, despite the UK Chancellor briefing journo hacks beforehand that Scotland stands as much chance of a separate deal on the single market as Nigel Farage being appointed as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the First Minister’s spokesperson was insistent that, following yesterday’s meeting with Phillip Hammond, that the UK Government has promised it will look at any proposals Scotland puts forward to facilitate the protection of Scotland’s trading interests with Europe, a draft of which is coming soon, the contents of which will inevitably be rubbished in the mainstream media.
Talking of Mr Hammond, the sheer arrogance of how the Westminster elite view Scotland(David Cameron’s love-in of pre 18th September 2014 now long forgotten) and demonstrated in Parliament via audible booing at the mention of St Andrew’s Day, was once again on show during the Chancellor’s comments prior to meeting Scotland’s First Minister, when he said, speaking of Brexit“ I look forward to us moving on from this slightly backward looking, clutching at straws, trying to resist the will of the people to embracing it, recognising it’s going to happen and committing to work together to make sure it’s done in a way that is most supportive of the UK economy and the Scottish economy.”
I would suggest that the only people who are ‘ slightly backward looking” are the UK Government, to somewhere around 1950 in their policies and attitudes to the world outside their borders. He may think the Scottish Government is “ clutching at straws” but he might also want to consider that if this clutching at straws as he describes it doesn’t bear respectful scrutiny or success it won’t be straws we’ll be clutching, it’ll be banners with Yes splashed over them.
As for “ trying to resist the will of the people” that is indeed a belter! The will of the people, he says. Which people? Maybe he should be reminded that in June’s Brexit vote the margin of the leave win was only 4%. If he’s maybe getting mixed up and confusing the UK with England, as tends to happen (now and then) the margin of victory in England only was 6.8 %, getting higher, but hardly up there with the ”decisive once in a generation” result of 2014.
The will of the people, and the people who matter, from a Scottish perspective, in the context of the statement he was making yesterday, are the people of Scotland. They are democratically entitled to have their views respected and protected. They voted for their country to remain a member of the European Union by 62% to 38% (a 24% margin).
The politicking game of Snakes and Ladders continues, the gas is steadily being turned up on the ever simmering Project Fear, and the comfy walking canvassing shoes sit ready in many a Scottish cupboard.