I am a wee bit out of the loop having just come back from spending a week and a half in the South Pacific in the vicinity of New Caledonia and Vanuatu, (disappointingly I didn’t come across David Mundell making a speech to one of the several indigenous tribes of those islands about how the Scottish separatists have a one track mind, nobody wants another referendum of any kind about anything ever again, and how, he, as a man of honour and principle, intends to continue to betray his countryfolk whilst reneging on threats to resign, all for the sake of his personal quest for a cosseted secure elitist future nestling in the arms of an impotent,in world terms, post-imperial Nationalist, with a capital ‘N’, British (English) establishment). Shame really.
Anyway I did overhear my wife’s conversation with a female security guard who explained, following the recent independence referendum to determine whether New Caledonia should extricate itself from colonial control from Paris, a referendum that went the same way as Scotland’s in 2014, that the separatists are encouraging their child bearing aged people to have more children so that they can get government houses and by dastardly means increase the voting numbers for self determination. Sounds familiar that opinion. There clearly must be a French equivalent of the Daily Depress doing its work in those parts.
Apparently though, according to a young lady I spoke to, a law student supplementing her income by acting as a tour guide, the people of New Caledonia have been promised another referendum within the next two years and they are confident the result will be different this time. When I mentioned that I was from Scotland she nodded and smiled, saying ‘Ah yes, I saw this, the English government don’t want to let you and your resources leave them’ demonstrating an understanding of Scottish politics beyond the level of many of the folk that live there.
It is however the season of goodwill, unless you are a disgruntled traveller trying to get a wink or two of sleep on a cold concourse floor at Gatwick because some eejit with a drone has been able to outsmart the glorious might of the powers that brought us Brexit the disaster movie, or you are one of the many struggling just to survive on the streets of our towns and cities, like the poor soul who perished the other day within a paper aeroplane folded out of an MP,s expenses claim throw of the Houses of Parliament.
The look on Nicola Sturgeon”s face as she stepped towards the awaiting media the other day, following yet another encounter with the bewildering crazy dancer of Downing Street, said it all. Get that 2019 diary out First Minister, and circle a date in bold blue ink. Let’s get on with it.