‘More unites us…’

News coming in that a new pro-Union think tank is being formed to work towards decisively and finally dispelling the notion that Scots making any sort of decisions for themselves is a good thing.

The new group currently known by their working name ‘These Islands’ (I can hear the strains of Benjamin Britten already, and picture some white cliffs) comes to you from the same people who brought you a letter signed by 200 very well off public figures in 2014 telling you that voting Yes would be disastrous, putting some of their investments in danger of returning a lower dividend.

Obviously in 2014 (no doubt they’ll try it again soon) you were supposed to be so shallow and pliable that you were impressed enough by public figures and celebrities to do what they told you to do, because the likes of Sir Mick Jagger, Gordon Sumner CBE, Sir Cliff Richard and Simon Cowell obviously know far more about the cost of a week’s messages, how much an average leccy bill is, and how long you’d need to wait on a list for knee and hip replacements on the NHS than you do.

The chaps behind ‘These Islands’ are also the group who instigated the demonstration with the huge picture of the First Minister of Scotland beside the caption ”Referendumb’ (a clever play on the word referendum there, kudos to the PR company whose fee would have justified that poster) outside the recent SNP Conference. They are a hoot.

The key focus of the group will be the belief that ‘more unites us than divides us’. Yes, much unites us, but do you think it will ever dawn on them that Scotland achieving independence is not about dividing anybody? That it’s not about separation, or putting up barriers to our closest neighbours, or putting up barriers to anyone at all for that matter?

Has the concept that Scotland returning to its original state as a sovereign self-governing country (as it was for several hundred years before, and for longer than, it’s 300 year association-by-absorption as a junior partner in a union with its larger neighbour) is in fact just the natural order of how democracy in a mature grown-up country works?

No. Let’s make it all about emotional blackmail, love-bombing or conflict, division and Project Fearty. Let’s never ever reduce the question of Scottish independence to factual, quiet, considered, and informed discussion and debate, without sensationalism or snake oil salesmanship.

Let’s never consider the people of Scotland first, and what is best for them. Let’s always consider Scotland in the context of what is best for the Union, first and entirely foremost.

Let’s never lay the real facts out before the Scottish people in a wide forum, without spin.

If that ever happened there would be no contest. Scotland would be independent tomorrow.

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