According to yesterday's BBC report of the "highly-successful" (according to them) launch of the BT Glasgow campaign (thanks to Arbroath for alerting me to it), chairman Alistair Darling has said an independent Scotland would struggle to have the same diplomatic clout in dealing with international crises like Syria. Well, that's it guys. Time to pack up and go home!
|Have a nice year|
in Glasgow, Ruth
He was joined onstage by the leaders of the opposition parties, Ruth Davidson, the best quote from whom the pro-union BBC managed to find was ": "Between now and next September, I will be joining with people right across the city from all political backgrounds to talk up the benefits of our place within the United Kingdom", which was exciting news for all of us I'm sure you'd agree. Bring it on, to borrow a phrase.
The BBC managed to find this similarly mind blowing piece from Wee Willie Rennie: "Some things", he said, "are easier when you have your friends and family standing beside you. We are stronger when we work together." Of course, Wee Willie, it is also true that there comes a stage in people's lives (to continue with your analogy) when you have to grow up, and make your own way in life instead of clinging to your mummy's apron strings, whilst handing over your not inconsiderable pay packet on a Friday night, and getting back pocket money.
The most astounding comment of all, though, came from the Labour person (I'd say leader but, I really think that that is a misnomer given the way she was sidelined all through summer by Mr Miliband). Ms Lamont said: "Scotland deserves better than what we have at the moment. We deserve better living standards, better schools and hospitals, secure jobs and a vision of what Scotland can be." Yes, so we do, Johann. So we do, although we deserve more than a VISION of what it can be. We deserve WHAT it can be. And in an oil rich, resource rich nation, we could have all that. You only have to look across the sea to Norway to catch a glimpse of what we are missing, or perhaps read the Pro Independence manifestos. Guaranteed homes, written constitution... but, enough carping. It seems you want what we want so welcome, Johann, to the Yes Campaign.
I sometimes wish I could get hold of them face to face and ask them a few questions.
|We have clout... look, there we are at |
I think the first would be to Alistair: Why are you people so obsessed with being important? What is it that makes you feel that "having clout" in the UN, EU, G8, or wherever, is imperative?
Do British people from whatever nation we are in actually believe that a) having clout is important, and b) that Britain actually does have that clout?
Don't people, in all honesty, worry more about jobs, housing costs, inflation, roads, hospitals, schools, trains, etc? I mean, if you asked 1000 people on the streets what are your top ten concerns about your way of life, would this incredibly expensive "international clout" rate highly?
Mr Darling went on to say that there was a G8 meeting in Russia next week |(should be interesting and the UK would have more clout there than an independent Scotland. He said: "I've been to lots of these meetings throughout the time I was a minister and large countries, particularly one with a reputation like ours, have clout."
|On the other hand, this is how |
so many of our people live
I'd love to ask him about "our" reputation. What is it? Because in my travels and with my friends from over the world, most seem to think our reputation is a little less glowing than Darling's version. And, as for the clout? Would it till be as "clouty" if we disagreed profoundly with President Obama? Thought not.
I like to ask Ruth, why is it that Mr Cameron says that he can't debate, as UK head of government, determined to keep Scotland in the UK, with the Scottish head of government, who is equally determined to free scotland from the UK, because this is a debate for Scots, while allowing Mr Osborne, pretty much an Englishman, to come to Scotland and lecture us on why we are Better Together.
I'd like to ask Ms Lamont how she reckons the UK is going to give Scotland what it deserves. Is she aware that in the 1970s when we voted no (or
didn't, depending on how you look at it) to an assembly of sorts for Scotland, hundreds of millions of pounds were cut from the Scottish budget in the following settlements? Does she think that this would not happen again?
|How are you, Willie?|
As for Wee Willie...erm, I suppose I'd have to find something to ask him, but off the top of my head I can't think of anything in which I'd be interested enough in his answer. How about "Nice flower Willie, Where did you get it?
So it's over to you. Anyone got questions for the party leaders, or even Wee Willie, and what do you think about having clout; is it important to you, or would you rather the billions that we spend on buying clout would be spent on decent 21st century services? Finally, what is your impression of the way we are seen? Are you of the opinion, like Darling and Cameron, that Britain is respected and feared in equal measure, or are we just America's lickspittle?