I WATCHED part of the historic debate in Holyrood regarding indyref2, and two points struck me. The first was Ruth Davidson’s disgraceful and patronising “sit down!” comment to Nicola Sturgeon (who is incidentally the First Minister of Scotland in case you’ve forgotten Ruthie, and as such deserves full respect).
Her demeanour throughout was truculent, aggressive and totally Thatcher-like. Davidson and her fellow Tories stood out in the chamber not for their meaningful contribution to the debate, but for their lack of common courtesy and decency towards their fellow MSPs and therefore the Scottish people.
What is plain to see is that they are just copying their Westminster masters’ style in shouting loudly at anything removed from their very narrow viewpoint. Even the Labour benches were much more subdued and respectful, and much as I have no time for Kezia Dugdale, I felt she managed to control her usual angst and outrage and debated reasonably well.
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It was sad that the next-best combatant they could throw in the ring was one Johann Lamont (remember her anyone?), who was a shadow her former rambunctious and fiery self. The LibDems were, well, the LibDems, ineffectual and as much use as a chocolate fireplace.
That left it to the SNP and the Greens to raise the level of debate and they did not disappoint. Nicola Sturgeon, John Swinney and Andy Wightman were excellent, as were the young, new members of both parties, showing what a strong driving force is in place for the pro-independence side.
The second point of interest was that all the anti-referendum speeches continually referred, like a broken record, to the 2014 result and how the nation had spoken. Not one of them had the decency to concede that what people voted on in 2014 was far removed from the wreckage we are facing in the near future when May’s buffoons get mauled by the EU negotiators.
They also banged on about how “the people are sick and tired of” indyref talk, and how it is divisive, etc. This may well be the case, but I strongly believe that when the brown stuff hits the fan and the full horror of the failed Brexit fiasco becomes apparent, the aforementioned people will be kicking the doors off the voting booths to get in to put and X in the Yes box.
The idea that the people of Scotland will be taken in by the pathetically sad and worn arguments from the No camp beggars belief, because all their previous points have been rendered null and void in the context of a second referendum.
If I could wish for just one thing it would be that the scales fall from the eyes of the sceptics and the undecided, and that they take that leap of faith and vote Yes.
SO there we have it. The perfect metaphor for our relationship with the UK, captured perfectly by Channel 4 news on Tuesday’s opening slot. Nicola Sturgeon said: “So let us start today as we mean to go on – positively, passionately, respectfully.” This was followed by a later clip of Ruth Davidson’s rejection of a second intervention from the FM – a snarling order to “sit down!!”. After all the fine words, she momentarily betrayed the true basis of Unionism’s relationship with Scotland – sit down, shut up, do not presume to get above yourselves.
IT was to be expected that certain Unionists would play to the gallery during the debate before the referendum vote in the Scottish Parliament, but there were two particular reactions that deserve comment.
Ruth Davidson’s dismissive command to the First Minister to “sit down” was more than worthy of a decisive, but absent, response by the Presiding Officer. Also, Jackie Bird’s manner when interviewing John Swinney afterwards was aggressive and ended with a flurried interruption worthy of a participant in a school debating society.
Keep it up, Ruth and Jackie, such behaviour is perfect fodder for boosting support for independence.
ONLY a few weeks ago, Clark Cross was complaining about “falling” standards in the Scottish NHS, education and transport without any awareness of the disastrous state of those aspects of public life elsewhere in the UK.
Now that there have been massive oil finds off the west coast, which before the UK Government manipulated our territorial waters, would be in Scottish waters, he imaginatively, but clearly lacking in self-awareness, accuses us of future stridency (Letters March 29). Mr Cross should read the Tories’ own McCrone Report for further information on the duplicity and colonial treatment some of us endure in this so-called “Union of equals” and imagine that if a fair share of this potential oil bonanza was allotted to Scotland, surely even he could acknowledge that, given our progressive, efficient Scottish Government’s record, further improvement in public services would be forthcoming.
If we do not remove ourselves from this redundant, inefficient, parochial Union, the oil revenue, as before, will be wasted on needless wars and other forms of jingoistic showing off so beloved of the Westminster elite. I note with some enjoyment, that Mr Cross’s attempt at humorous transference, only exposes Unionist hypocrisy once again!
NOW that Northern Ireland’s politicians have shown they have no further use for the graceful Stormont House, I wonder if it would be possible to have the building dismantled and re-erected in Edinburgh to replace the dismal concrete shed that currently houses the Scottish Parliament.
If Theresa May were to facilitate this, I feel sure that MSPs would demonstrate Scotland’s gratitude by abandoning any call for a second independence referendum.
John Eoin Douglas
ANENT your story about Better Together being rebranded (The National, March 29), may I suggest it calls itself “Scotland doesn’t matter” – it is clear, snappy and (from a Unionist point of view) very positive. The downside might be that it actually mentions Scotland.
WHILE I have no wish to comment on the rights or wrongs of the Alexander Blackman case, I found the behaviour of the men in green berets on the steps of the High Court extremely distasteful.
For me, it encapsulated a Britain I no longer want to be a part of.
Beith, North Ayrshire