Pardon the Franglais, but this post is about Europe and Scottish Independence. Today a Conservative MP defected to UKIP, citing the unwillingness of the upper echelons of Government to change things in Europe. In Move to the Right, parts 1 & 2, I wrote about the apparent drift to the right in Europe and, consequently, in Britain. Now jump to the Scottish Independence campaign: if the rightward drift, the anti-European drift, continues and David Cameron’s tories get re-elected, they are committed to a referendum on continuing UK membership of the EU. If the Scots want to stay in the EU they could nevertheless very easily be dragged out by the English anti-euroists. The ‘No’ campaign claims there is too much risk and uncertainty in a vote for independence; what about the uncertaintly for Scotland’s largely europhile people?
What the tory part of the ‘No’ campaign haven’t grasped, in fact are congenitally unable to grasp, is that the more they threaten, cajaole and especially patronise, the Scots the more likely the undecided are to say “You know what pal, youse can get tae f**k. It cannae be worse than having tae listen to your shite”.
What they could be saying is things like “Scotland is a nation already, a proud and distinct people we love and respect, but a nation is not the same as a country. And what the Nationalists could remeber is that country is just a political contrivance, the geographic boundaries of which rarely, if ever (if ever) coincide with ethnic, cultural or national boundaries .