Really interesting assessment of the referendum which unusually changed my mind, making the case for independence seem much more reasonable by explaining the background of Scotland’s drift from the centre of the union to the cultural disengagement from the England. Remember that sixty years ago, the Scottish Unionists, a merger of Tories and Liberals, won the majority of Scottish votes so Ted Heath with his usual political genius compelled the party to merge into the Conservative Party machine thus revving the Liberal;s as a political force.
Labour’s record has been downhill from the wartime achievements of Tom Johnstone, the only Red Clydesider to actually held significant political office, who ran Scotland as a semi-detached state and created the Hydro-Electric Board on the way to the dismal infighting between Gordon brown and every Labour Scottish leader this century who has been effectively undermined if they have ever dared to act independently from Westminster. Labour’s arrogance that Scots have nowhere else to go has seriously back-fired.
Before any LibDems still in existence get too smug, the Clegg betrayal of their supporters was preceded by Ming campbell instructing the Scottish Lib Dems not to enter into coalition to abolish coalition fees and introduce local income tax unless the SNP renounced independence. The outcome was a minority SNP government that laid the foundations of the referendum> sensibly the Scots have abandoned the LibDems in such numbers that they are likely to lose all their seats in mainland Scotland next year. Maybe Ming the miniscule simply disliked the left-wing manifesto his party got elected on as apart from independence it was almost identical to the SNP or do the Lib DEms just wish to side with the local establishment.
Exceptional, well researched this is the best political book I have read this year.
Macwhirter”s analysis steers a careful middle path between the dreams of the nationalist s band the dismal pessimism of the Unionists. A well written and jargon- free assessment of how the three Westminster parties have seen Scotland as an unimportant part of North British,there are lessons for all of us not just the Scots on what distance we want and need between Westminster and the communities in which we live