True friendship depends on having an equal partnership

In light of the launch of the “Yes Scotland” and “Better Together” campaigns for and against Scottish independence, it’s worth reflecting on the nature of friendship and togetherness in human society.

Think of someone you regard as a good friend. You get on well with them and enjoy spending time together. You do this because you like each other – yours is a very strong friendship and has lasted for years.

Now imagine that instead of earning your income directly, it is sent to them and they decide how much of it you can have.

Imagine that they have left some metal hardware in your back garden and they refuse to shift it, even though it’s been shown to be toxic. You check with the local council and find that you have no right to shift it yourself.

Imagine that you are being charged money by your friend for this hardware, when you would rather be spending your scarce resources looking after your grandparents.

Would this situation strengthen your relationship, or would it actually become very difficult to remain friends under these circumstances?

This seems to me to get to the nub of the current issue between Westminster and Scotland.

We are not in a relationship of true friendship because we are not equal partners in our relationship. How much better together would we be if we were, and our togetherness was based on the proper mutual respect and liking that exists between real friends?

Eric Falconer

High Road

Galashiels