I read with interest the article by Ryan Gordon on the Scottish Referendum (We should rule our own destiny, September 18). I know that the result is now declared and that those like him favouring the ‘yes’ option are understandably disappointed but a couple of points need to be drawn out from the debate.
Had the result been the other way, I feel I should draw attention to something missed by those who set great store in Scottish independence yet would leave them even more disappointed to the point of disillusionment: it is the veritable ‘elephant in the room’.
Alex Salmond stated he wanted independence (from Westminster – too remote) and for Scotland to run its own affairs. In another speech he said he intended that Scotland would join the EU.
In other words, having gained what he saw as independence he was giving it away to being governed from Brussels (even more remote than Westminster).
In Westminster, Scottish MPs have some influence but in Brussels that would be a different story. Scotland would be subject to Brussels’ diktats eg: the limiting of the power of vacuum cleaners, hair dryers and who knows what other crackpot schemes are in the pipeline, let alone political policies on eg: immigrations, border control, freedom of movement of EU members.
These decisions would be taken by representatives even more remote in attitude and even less familiarity with Scotland. Why should people in Brussels make decisions affecting Scotland?
If Westminster is too far for Mr Gordon, isn’t Brussels even more remote geographically and politically? How would Mr Gordon feel in this situation? Would that be independence? I think not.
Had the vote been for independence, would not the Shetlands, Orkneys and Western Isles feel too far from Edinburgh and demand their own independence, especially if their local election result had been different from the colour of the Edinburgh administration?
Would Mr Gordon feel he could and would support them in allowing their push for independence? Why should people in Edinburgh make decisions affecting Shetland, Orkney, the Western Isles?
The point I am trying to make here is that in a country or group of countries like the UK which is based upon democratic principles the minority (losers in a vote) should accept the decision and get on with life. Anything else is a denial of democracy.
To pursue a policy of breaking up any country into small administrative units to reflect the vote in that area is a nonsense. This is why we have county and city councils to reflect and deal with local issues but a national government to set broader policies for all.