An open letter to the FM of Scotland

By Alec Ross

envelopeDear Nicola,

As a lifelong supporter of our cause, I read your comments piece in today’s paper with interest.

Although we have never properly met, I offer the following not as criticism but in the manner friends do – honestly, and with a wish that you succeed in making Scotland the place it ought to be. The following might be minor gripes but I mention them anyway and I am happy to be challenged.

1. The headline. “Scotland must be able to choose independence”. It is already able to. We have a triple locked mandate to choose. The EU results arguable add a fourth. We should be bolder and say: “Here is why Scotland must be independent at its earliest opportunity”. I understand and applaud the collegiate tone of your piece (and while you may not have written the headline I have heard you utter the phrase), but there comes a point when we have to stop asking permission, to stop begging for a piece of what’s already ours. The first responsibility of any leader of any country is the continuing wellbeing of that country. Therefore your job is extricate Scotland from this permabouroch at the earliest opportunity and by whatever means and deliver us independence.

2. Please stop referring to Scotland as “small”. Most countries are roughly our size. It’s the “big” countries who are the statistical outliers. We are a median sized place. Calling us small immediately puts us on the back foot. Just call us what we are – a country.

That aside, you’re doing a great job. Please finish it by righting a three centuries old wrong and restoring Scotland to its rightful place as an independent country.

Thanks and Saor Alba.

Alec RossAlec

PS tell Michael Gove the Farmers could do with the £190m of Convergence Uplift monies that are still “resting” in his account.


10 replies »

  1. I agree wholeheartedly with those sentiments . A move must be made soon because if we wait long enough the whole thing will die – due to lots of different factors .

    • Yep. History shows that things like the Black Civil Rights Movement and the Arab Spring happened because the movements acted at key moments. It would be a tragedy to blow our chances because we were waiting to see what happens with Brexit – and there may not be clarity in this for a decade or more. Independence is either a good idea or it isn’t. It’s up to us. Brexit isn’t.

  2. Not just a country, but a nation. A country is the place – a nation is the people.

    Not nit-picking, Alec – supporting!

  3. Spot on Bernie. Important distinction. People – even independence supporters – often call the UK a country – when of course, it’s four (well, two actually – and a province and a principality). When Theresa and others do it it shows that actually they don’t consider Scotland a country. Cameron used to talk about the SNP trying to break up the country, which is both nonsense and impossible as you can’t break up a country when it isn’t one.

  4. It’s not so simple. Wishful thinking won’t make it so. If only.
    Read Paul Kavanagh in “The Cleverness of the Referendum Bill” by weegingerdug.scot today. Gives some clarification.

  5. I, too, wish we were independent NOW. I’ve been an SNP member since 1990, and was devastated at the result we got in 2014.

    What Nicola is doing at the moment isn’t being timid or ‘asking for permission.’ What she’s doing right now is setting the legal framework so NEXT time we take that vote we will achieve the goal. We can’t just declare independence because some of us want it. We must have a vote to achieve a good majority, and we must have it in a legally-framed way, so the rest of the world sees that we’ve done it above board. The bill the SNP is introducing in Holyrood just now should set that framework in place.

    I trust the SNP. Without them, we wouldn’t have had the original referendum. Without them, we’d be stuck in the grip of the UK’s parliament forever. Without them, we would have no hope right now. Flag-waving at demonstrations is great, but it doesn’t deliver results. A government, elected by the people of Scotland, that stands firm in its committment to Scotland’s independence while taking care of business in a way that’s the envy of the rest of the UK, WILL achieve independence.

    I like the Yes movement, and am glad they exist, but to some extent they are latecomers to the game. Where were they back in 1990? Supporting the Labour Party? Or other parties? Some of them now seem intent on re-inventing the wheel. The SNP is way ahead of that, and have the talented team already setting the stage for the next vote. It’s the SNP government that has acquired international respect for Scotland. It’s the SNP government that Westminster is worried about.

    It would make sense to get behind the SNP, stop giving doubters a reason to doubt them, and show public solidarity with the First Minister. Writing a private letter to Nicola regarding specific concerns is one thing. Writing an ‘open’ letter and giving it to the media? That’s just asking for more divisiveness. At this stage, that’s the last thing we need. Make no mistake. We have more enemies than friends in the UK media. Let’s not give them ammunition.

    I do agree about the ‘small country’ thing, though. We are a country. Our size doesn’t matter.

  6. Is there not a way that Scotland, with its own laws and parliament, can stop itself being forced out of the EU? Have the top flight lawyers exhausted every possibility? In last week’s election, more people over the whole of the UK voted for staunch Remain parties than for the brexnits. There must be some way of protecting Scotland from this travesty

  7. Greta Thunberg’s speeches have been published in a book which is called……’ No one is too small to make a difference.’
    Just saying…………….

  8. I have always thought that Scotland being a small country referred to the size of the population, not the land mass.

  9. Alex Ross…what a nice way with words you have.
    I immediately recognise and feel the support you offer the FM.
    I empathise with your frustration and I’m sure Nicola Sturgeon being the smart woman she is, may well be influenced by what you suggest.
    I hope so.

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