Saturday, October 14, 2006
Such a scenario is currently being painted by former SNP MSP Mike Russell who, along with businessman Dennis MacLeod, has written 'Grasping the Thistle', a 250-page prospectus charting a new way forward for the independence movement. The pair contend that the gradualist approach is the only possible route. "What we may need," they argue, "is devolution stage two, a necessary staging post on the way to the future. Some might call such a staging post a New Union - a constitutional watering station which allows Scots to continue to move forward, works as a means of persuading those who are still reluctant and opens up new opportunities by removing the economic disadvantages of the old Union."I put up a comment
All matters reserved to Westminster would be devolved to Holyrood, apart from foreign affairs and military command, they suggest. By doing so, the Scots - and the English - would have a chance to test the waters before deciding whether to make the break.
The status quo is not an option if only because the English correctly feel that Scots voters have more power than English ones.Which is pretty much my position. I do not exclude independence from England if it is clearly to our advantage or we are forced into it by English Tory intransigence (many southern Tories are licking their lips at the thought of a UK without Scots Labour voters), but believe we have so very much more in common with England & Wales than the EU states that a Federation of Great Britain is the preferable solution. I do not see the point of a Scotland as a "separate" part of the EU.
A fully federal system whereby England had its own Parliament, or better yet several regional ones would be best. Federation allows each unit to try different solutions to similar problems & find which works best (this is known as the scientific method). In that case unsuccessful solutions can be as useful a learning experience as successful ones. Despite the complacent Labour view that our economy is somehow doing well, we have been very successful at providing 'orrible warnings.
The SNP also believe in federalism it is just that their federation would be led from Brussels & Scotland would be an even smaller & more powerless part of it.
Yesterday I got an email from Scotland on Sunday saying they were producing a follow up article tomorrow using some email comment & that mine were "among those that stood out". I'll look forward to it.
My letter is reprinted on the letters page. It is quite prominent under a photo of a sltire & a headline calling for independence?http://news.scotsman.com/opinion.cfm?id=1526382006