It is exactly the kind of discussion you have in a pub after several pints of best. Picture the scene: I am sat opposite a querulous––my adjective––Scottish woman, who is obdurately––my adverb––setting out all the reasons why Scotland should be permitted to have a second Independence Referendum. The arguments sound familiar to me. Mentally, I bullet-point them:
- Scotland voted to Remain in the 2016 EU Referendum
- Scotland voted overwhelmingly SNP in the 2019 General Election in opposition to the elected Conservative Government
- This provides a mandate for an Independent Scotland
I don’t want Scotland to leave the UK. However, given my uneasy relationship with the querulous Scottish woman, I find it quite difficult to justify this position. Perhaps it is simply that I find it hard to simply stand by and do nothing when someone else is about to make a massive mistake. Perhaps it is more that I can’t stick the self-righteous indignation of the querulous Scottish woman. I attempt to prick her pomposity with a few bullet-points of my own:
- London voted to Remain in the 2016 EU Referendum and by a greater percentage than Scotland
- London voted overwhelmingly Labour in the 2019 General Election in opposition to the elected Conservative Government
- This provides a mandate for an Independent London
I pursue my incontestable logic with the additional argument that whereas an Independent Scotland would not qualify to join the EU on financial grounds, an Independent London would be welcomed with open arms, its GDP of £500 billion already larger than all other member states except for Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden and Poland. And yet London relinquishes these selfish ambitions and instead does what Unions are supposed to do and stands by the rest of the UK in its hour of need.
The querulous Scottish woman attempts to protest at my analogy, but I am in full four-pint flow, and I silence her with a withering look.
The SNP has been the largest political party in Scotland since 2015. If Scottish people are sufficiently discontented with their lot that they look to blame Westminster, I would suggest that they should start looking closer to home for the source of their dissatisfaction. The SNP should not be exclusively focusing on a single policy that it is not in their power to deliver, but should instead be attempting to improve Scottish lives using the powers that they do control.
I take another deep draught of my pint of beer. The querulous Scottish woman disappears. Like Antigonish, she had never been there. I am left alone in the pub with my bitter and my opinions.
© Beery Sue
Beery Sue does some of her best thinking when she is alone.