The Union flag is at half-mast on my flagpole and I am in the depths of depression and despair. No, I am not grieving the loss of a near and dear relative, I am mourning the result of the Holyrood elections and the ever-growing possibility of Scotland’s secession from the Union.
I am deeply disappointed that the Scottish electorate, in a knee-jerk rejection of the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties, have given the SNP such a strong platform upon which to seal the fate of our country. Alex Salmond now has the political clout to further manipulate the governance of Scotland to his own ends and at his own convenience, leading us eventually to some form of national Dignitas.
It is nonsense to even contemplate that Scotland can prosper on its own, considering most of his economic projections are built on misguided assumptions. We Scots have a disproportionate number of the population out of work and on state benefits; we have a majority of the working population employed in the public sector, all of which has to be financed by an ever-decreasing private sector workforce.
The SNP has charmed the electorate with wild promises and flagship policies on student academic fees, the National Health Service, policing, capital projects like the second Forth road bridge and so on – but what is going to pay for all these unaffordable aspirations without the support of the Union?
Giving Holyrood full powers to borrow indiscriminately will undoubtedly lead us into the sort of economic cesspool currently being experienced by Ireland, Greece and Portugal. The SNP would take us into the Eurozone at a time when a number of founder nations are trying to get out. Where would the safety net of the Union be then?
I could fill a book with observations of the difficulties of how an independent Scotland would manage issues like defence, immigration, foreign policy, financial stability, etc. – not to mention the vexing issue of abandoning BBC Scotland in favour of some sort of Teuchter TV, or the cost of converting tens of thousands of signs into Gaelic for the benefit of less than one per cent of the population.
Scotland is a proud nation and a prominent and vital part of the United Kingdom. We are in great danger of allowing it to become one little boy’s train set, to do with as he will.
Those who last week voted SNP in protest at the other parties may rue the day they ignored the cleverly-hidden agenda of independence – if it is ever achieved there will be no going back.
One ray of hope could be that the Borders could elect to secede from the land of President Salmond and choose to remain with the Union. Perhaps we could have a referendum on that.
A. Graeme Morrison