Friday, 26 August 2016

Scotland, UK

I found an old suitcase in the cellar yesterday, a battered, well-travelled old thing, covered in customs labels and dust. The luggage label, in my grandfather's hand, gives his address as 'Kilmacolm, Scotland, UK.'

The case was last used, I'd guess, in the 1960s.

Back then, independence for Scotland was the pipe-dream of a few, a very few, brave souls.

But the luggage label is a reminder that Scotland has always been seen as a nation, as something distinct in the United Kingdom. Even for my grandfather, who would have dismissed independence as "stuff and nonsense," Kilmacolm was clearly in Scotland, not just in the UK.

In the 'uncharted' territory after the Brexit vote, could Scotland remain in Europe, but also in the UK?

It's the topic of the moment over at Common Space. Kirsty Hughes had an article out on the options just a few days after the vote, and Nicola Sturgeon has spoken about independence as 'only one option' in keeping Scotland in the EU.

The idea - known as the 'reverse-Greenland model' - is attractive in part because it fits with what the voters have said; 55% voted for Scotland to stay in the UK in the 2014 indyref, and then two years later gave a firm Remain response to the Brexit referendum, with 62% voting to stay in the EU. If we could keep the kingdom united but also stay in Europe, mebbe we would not need an indyref2.

But it's going to be difficult to sell on the doorsteps.

Let's ask Mrs Marietta Cosmopilite*, of 14a Dunked Road, Bridgeton, Glasgow. 

Dave from the SNP is about to chap her door.

Dave: Hello Mrs Cosmopilite. I'm Dave from the SNP. I've come to talk to you about constitutional arrangements.

Mrs C: My constitution is quite the thing, young man, now awa and bile yer heid.

Conclusion: It's going to be tricky to sell the reverse-Greenland in Glasgow. 

Let's try another doorstep;

Nicola: Hello Theresa, I'm Nicola from the SNP.

Mrs May**: Get on with it girl, I haven't got all day.

Nicola: We'd like to be like Greenland, only reversed.

Mrs M: Ah, you mean cold at the bottom and all melty at the top?

An aide; Ehem, Ma'am, I think she is referring to our constitutional arrangements. This is the Scottish First Minister.

Mrs M: Ah yes, Nicola Davidson. No. We don't have a constitution to arrange. And thanks to BoJo we're all going down the Brexit Swannee together. Now b*gger awf.

Conclusion: Reverse-Greenland might look good on paper, but it's only independence that will allow Scotland to escape from the pit of egocentric snakes that is Tory Westminster.

* A fictional character, with apologies to the late, great Terry Pratchett
** Not a fictional character

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