The last few weeks have seen the strength of the union crumbled by rhetoric. A year ago I would have said let Scotland go, but with the reality dawning, my feelings have changed.
Scotland brings more to the UK than just North Sea oil and Karen Gillan. It brings tourism, industry, natural resources, educational excellence and most of all, unity. What would Scotland be without England, and what would England and Wales be without Scotland? Britain mustn’t allow itself to be divided into one island and two nations in the way that Ireland was.
We have ties that span thousands of years. We are an inter-related group of islands, whether we choose to admit it or not. How many ‘English’ people are McDonalds, Morgans or Murphys? The reality is nationalists hark back to a bygone age that is no longer relevant. Why would we throw all this history away for the sake of jumped up Alex Salmond and his bitter pride?
Which other nations can boast to have even a slither of what we have with England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland?
What benefits are there for Scotland to be independent? They would be a small country with none of the status and power of the UK, without any presence on the international stage. They would have two options – be a non-aligned nonentity like Norway and Iceland or a minor member of the EU. As the EU looks set for a two-tiered, two-speed system, Scotland would definitely be in the slow lane with Greece and Portugal.
It is astonishing that it is not just a small handful of SNP activists who would support a move from the UK – a third of Scots would happily close off their border. They fail to realise that they would be throwing the country to the dogs.
Maybe the SNP, and Salmond especially, are simply lusting for more power. They have had a taste with devolution, and now they want more – and independence is the only way they can get it.
But our bond shouldn’t be broken so easily. A referendum is not just for Christmas, as Sir Ming rightfully said earlier this week. The SNP have seized upon the fears of people in Scotland, insisting that they could escape debts. The reality is that they would be throwing their lot in with the basket cases of the eurozone, and the government would hardly allow them to leave the rest of us with the whole UK debt tab.
It is saddening that this chat has come up right as Jamaica and Australia openly call to end their connection with the UK. It seems to be fashionable at the moment. Hopefully 2012 will bring a strengthening of the union, not only the Olympics but the Queen’s celebration of 60 years on the throne can remind Scots of our shared ties as an island. It’s not too late to bring back the UK spirit.