Scotland – Ascherson still not decided on independence…

Always liked the bloke – but at 79 years old I thought he might have made his mind up…..
From the New York Times.

Even larger questions would loom. Would there still be a place called “Britain”? Would Scottish independence finally force the English to rediscover their own national voice, instead of hiding their problems under the cloak of “Britishness”? Would a reduced “England” still rate a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council?
It may not happen. The referendum is more than two years off. Mr. Salmond is prone to fits of wild over-optimism; one major blunder and the S.N.P. bubble could deflate. And his nightmare must be the “Quebec syndrome”: that, as in Canada’s “French” province, people would go on voting for the Nationalists as their best government but narrowly decline to vote for independence at a referendum. The Scots are a canny, wary people.
But if Scotland votes “yes,” the responsibility will fall less on Mr. Salmond than on the incompetence of the Unionist campaign. Its tactless bluster has been hardening the Scottish impression of near-colonialist arrogance and deafness to their wishes. Paradoxically, Scottish independence could turn out to be the best guarantee of a friendlier relationship between England and the ancient, obstinate little nation on its northern border.

Come on Neal – what are you voting?

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  • Pete Baker


    Try to show some interest in having a discussion of the actual topic…

  • Drumlins Rock

    Y A U S I T

    work it out.

  • Devil Eire

    Ascherson’s NYT op. ed. was a rewrite of his January 15 Guardian CiF piece which was, interestingly, less tepid:

    “Independence means not being dependent. “Max-devolved” or sovereign, a new Scotland responsible for its own resources – and blunders – would be a far better partner for England. And the English would at last have to face their own problems: a decent nation grotesquely dominated by the interests of the rich south-east and the City of London. Giving the Scots what most of them want can also mean “England Arise!” This referendum is a historic chance for change – and not just for Scotland”.

    Try to show some interest in having a discussion of the actual topic…

    Yes Dewi, you should be offering the kind of insightful analysis we have come to expect from some quarters, like:


    or even:

    “No shit Sherlock”.

  • Mick Fealty

    The Quebec point is a good one. As is the point about unionist blundering.

    To be more specific it’s really Tory blundering. The attacks on the Scots in the last parliament put them in line with an English interest rather than a British one.

    It’s easy to see why, but it leaves a demoralised and impoverished Labour party to carry the British flag north of the border.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Mick, the Quebec point also raises some other interesting issues, for example support for independence has now considerably dropped and the pro independance party was virually wiped out in the General election, reducing any power it had outside its own region. Quebec is Salmonds nighmare.

  • Framer

    Scottish Labour and the SNP have obligingly united to turn the Tories into demons with the result that there can be no unionist unity and anything, yes anything, the government does or says is automatically turned to Salmond’s advantage.

    Saying little and doing less is probably best but with nothing to lose the Tories could try turning nasty or at least pointing out the immediate financial and migrational consequences for an independent Scotland. There WILL be a border.

  • Dewi

    “Try to show some interest in having a discussion of the actual topic”
    I invite discussion, What’s your problem?

  • HeinzGuderian

    Only One party to blame for their dismal failure in Scotland Mick,and that’s New Labour.
    The treated the electorate like FUDS,(as my dear friend from Edinburgh would say).
    The electorate gave them a bloody nose in consequence.
    Some,(despite every opinion poll published),mistake this as a clear sign the Scots favour independence.

    They skipped off the ‘Marty for President’ bandwagon,only to clamber onto this one.
    One wonders which 3 wheeled wagon they will board next ? 😉