Dear Orkney News,
“Scotland gets what England wants”. I guess that it’s been ever thus for over 300 years, but the last six have brought this phrase into stark relief.
In 2014 we were told, please vote to stay in the Union, we’ve never needed your leadership more. Then on the morning of the 19th September 2014 David Cameron stepped out onto Downing Street and unveiled EVEL, a crass reminder of “Scotland gets what England wants”. That short address relegated the Scottish electorate and their elected representatives at Westminster to the 2nd class carriage.
In desperation at the polling on independence, Broonzilla got “The Vow” on the front of the Record. If this had been a marriage vow, the Smith Commission would be one of the swiftest annulments in history.
We were warned that leaving the Union meant we would be out of the EU for ever, and only a vote for the Union would secure our EU citizenship and all that went with it. But then came 2016, and “Scotland gets what England wants”. In the few days since the turn of the year, the consequences of Scotland being dragged out of the EU against our clear democratic decision in 2016 are already being felt. Marine produce at risk of spoiling, no seed tatties to be sold into the EU and Ewe Lambs bought and paid for by Ulster farmers stuck in Scotland. Just a sampler menu for the economic pain to come. Added to this is the loss of freedom of movement, emergency health care and Erasmus+, to name but a few.
As the insults, undelivered vows, promises, impediments to private and commercial life pile up, the English parties in Scotland, Conservative, Labour and Lib Dem are unequivocal in stating that Scotland cannot again ask itself the question, “Independent, yes or no?”. I should point out that I was born in England and lived there for the majority of my life, so the refence to “English parties” is not xenophobia, just a statement of fact.
Liam McArthur is an excellent Constituency MSP, and I have personally benefited from his diligence in carrying out his elected role, but sadly to my mind, he is on the wrong side of history when it comes to the future of Scotland. As a consequence at the Holyrood election in May of this year, I will vote for Robert Leslie for the constituency MSP in Orkney and for the Scottish Green Party on the regional list.
“Scotland gets what England wants” Is that really good enough for you?
Yours, Jon Southerington, Orkney