Friday, September 09, 2011

Murdo Fraser is right - but only because appeasement has been followed for so long

For most of my political life I've been a ardent Unionist. I was appalled by Labour's devolution plans and remember telling a church of Scotland minister ( who ran a church in London ) that this would eventually lead to the break up of the UK.

But the move and the subsequent referendum result did not surprise me.

That's as I have lived over 3 years in Edinburgh and Aberdeen just before hand. I had seen the continual appeasement of Scottish Nationalism and its fuelling by Labour as a cheap way to get at "The Tories". The Anglophobia was very evident - though Scotland is a very civilised country and the vast majority of its inhabitants know how to behave and are genuinely warm and welcoming to individuals.

Anglo ignorance was even more rife. I was on my way down to a port facility with a fellow worker when half asked me "why to they all hate us in the south of England ?". I had to explain to him that few people, at that time, in England gave much thought to Scotland, and when they did they thought of positive things. But the Scottish media and all those who hadn't been good enough to make it down south had a vested interest in bringing the rewards up North to Edinburgh.

The appeasement started - British Rail became Scot Rail, British Gas - Scottish Gas. Everything had the work Scot as a precursor.

I can remeber walking past a newspaper stand where the headline from Scotland on Sunday was "What's wrong with the English" - it sold papers.

The response from the Conservatives was initially right ( oppose devolution ) but then the appeasement and triangulation set in. But none of it was any good as the terms of the debate in Scotland had been changed for a generation.

David Cameron showed his ignorance of this with his restatement of appeasement to save the Union trip to Scotland early in his leadership.

No one will ever respect someone or a political party that doesn't respect itself.

British politicians have been trying to buy Scottish loyalty with English money and appeasement of English interests for far too long. Yes they pocket each insane concession and smile, but really they despise the lack of self respect involved.

I have a knighted Scottish relative (by marriage) who has been the head of a very austere UK institution who has started voting SNP. When men like that are willing to vote for separation all seems almost lost, it certainly shows a change of strategy is required.

This is why I support Murdo Fraser's idea of reforming the Scottish Conservatives as a separate party. Devolution has happened, and no one seems to want to make the case to reverse it, so we had better follow its logic.

The UK needs to adopt a federal identity - with an English Parliament and government also, or else it will lose all meaning.

Murdo seems to know this. I fear David Cameron is too lazy to think this all through.

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