As Ithers See Us

All blogs of this type are vanity projects.  Mine is no exception.  I’m not sponsored by any organisation, nor funded by anybody else.  The only explicit agenda here is mine.

I’ve been known to drink coffee (though more often tea) and am quite partial to a bit of cake.  There are two cats which inhabit my home – and there’s a stray which squats in my garden and thinks it’s my job to feed him.  You won’t find mention of any of that, however, in this blog (let alone illustrative photographs).  Not my thing.

Posts will appear when I think I’ve something to say.  If that means lengthy gaps then so be it …

As I’ve explained in posts here and elsewhere, I’m a member of the Labour Party (still, though no longer active in any way).  I voted Yes in 2014 to independence for Scotland, but not – I confess – with any great conviction or enthusiasm.  My instincts are more “Devo Max” than outright separatism for its own sake.

Nationalist hordes rampage through Glasgow (Sept 2014)

From the perspective of the 1980s onwards, I had been expecting (hoping) that the governance of the European Union would evolve such that the subsidiary nations and regions would achieve new prominence, even to the extent that multi-nation states such as the UK (and Belgium, Spain and others) would dissolve because the additional layer they represented simply wasn’t required any more.  Yes, I was in favour of a European federal super state.

It wasn’t Brexit that destroyed that dream but the earlier massive enlargement of the EU, particularly in admitting the former Eastern Bloc countries.  That was the right move I accept, but the unintended/unforeseen consequence was that it reinforced the positions of the pre-existing member states and weakened the notion of unity across the organisation as a whole.  (Thatcher won after all: a wider but shallower EU.)  In the UK it has led ultimately to the moat and drawbridge being put back in place.

George Square, Glasgow, Sept 2014

As regards Scotland, I think we’re a long way from being ready for independence in terms of policy development and organisational infrastructure. It really isn’t critical as to what the specific currency choice should be, for example, but you do need to have a firm plan for doing something.

(Without the benefit of a crystal ball, it is impossible to say which route would turn out to have been the best to have taken.  There are pros and cons to all of the available options.  Yes, even the much maligned Euro has some attraction, if blind prejudice can be set aside for once.)

I commented at the time of the 2014 referendum on the danger of the widespread downplaying of the impact of the transitional process and period that would be necessary; what we know about Brexit so far just reinforces that point.

What Brexit has shown, however, is that the lack of a plan isn’t an impediment to winning a vote.  Scotland may not be ready for independence in one sense, but emotionally speaking it gets closer every day.

It’s coming; that’s for sure.  What I’m not able to predict is the timescale involved.




Updated: March 2018

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