Archive: September, 2014

Independence: Greater Personal Freedom?

Once more into the breach.  I fervently hope it’s for the last time; and I fervently hope I have not been born to write the obituary of my country.

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Life in an Independent Scotland

The question on everyone’s lips is, What would life be like in an independent Scotland?  At least, that’s what the political and chattering classes think is on everyone’s lips.

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Door-stepped by the Referendum

First, a word about the national religion, football.  Former Cardiff City manager, Malky Mackay, found himself in hot water last week when it was alleged that he had sent racist and homophobic texts to a pal.  He’ll shortly be sentenced to be boiled alive; or at least, banned from all football-related activity.

As a Gaidheal I have a vested interest in opposing racism, and I cannot see that a man’s gender orientation has any bearing whatever on his prowess as a footballer.  But have we really reached the point where malice can put private correspondence in the public domain and ruin a man in a day?

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Hiding Under a Myth: Independence and the Declaration of Arbroath

But then on Monday I was ambushed (sorry for being so abrupt).  It’s hard to explain how it happened.  The Referendum campaign is driving me nuts, forcing me to adopt a life-style which minimises the risk of bumping into it.  It’s turned me into a fugitive, compelled to walk in the shadows and send out advance-parties to make sure it’s not there.  These are days when a man’s got to watch what he sees and hears.

And if there’s one place where you’re bound to meet Referendum it’s Reporting Scotland; and on Monday night my guard slipped or, more precisely, I got the timing wrong.  I usually manage to switch on just in time for the weather-forecast (it’s important to know whether there’s going to be sunshine and showers in my study tomorrow), but this time, to my horror, Remote put on Referendum; and, paralytic with shock, I froze, unable to switch off.

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Independence, Scottishness and Armed Cops

Few issues of principle have taken the foreground in the Referendum debate.  Instead it has remained obsessed with one question, ‘Will we or won’t we be better-off?’ and this in turn dissolves into statistics which are no sooner heard than forgotten.  Few of us want to clutter our heads with figures about Scotland’s contribution to the UK economy, the funding our universities receive from the UK Research Council or the number of barrels of oil that still remain under the North Sea.  Apparently the nett result of such calculations is that Scotland is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, and this, claim the partitionists, is clear proof that we can go it alone; to which the clear-headed might surely reply that, on the contrary, it is clear proof that Scotland has done very well under the Union.  We ain’t broke, so please don’t fix us.

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Is Independence Really a "Vision"?

Even the slightest hint of a possible increase in the Yes! vote in the forthcoming referendum gives me a severe attack of the heebie-jeebies.  Why break one nation in two, why partition one small island, and why turn our back on institutions which for generations have served as models for other democracies, and delivered levels of prosperity matched by few other nations on earth?

Yet, there have been hints recently that the Yes! campaign is gathering momentum, and there seem to be two main reasons for this.

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