If dissenters can be abused now, imagine the abuse were Scotland to secede – Think Scotland

Scotnitive dissonance: Scotland’s other pandemic – Think Scotland

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IN To A Louse, Robert Burns laments “O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us, To see oursels as ithers see us!”, which, roughly translated, means that it is a shame that we can’t see ourselves as other people do, faults and all.

Given that, thankfully, in the last 334 years both farming technology and poetry have come a long way, this presents the opportunity for Scotland to update this charming little maxim because it’s needed now more than ever before.

In fact, rather than seeing ourselves as other people do, we should settle for the slightly less lofty goal of seeing ourselves as we actually are because there is a huge gap in our arrogant perception of ourselves versus the uncomfortable, destructive, and harmful reality of modern Scotland.

Scotland is in the grip of a condition I’ve come to call, Scotnitive Dissonance… and it’s hurting us.

You will have heard the claim before, surely? It first came to my attention during the debates, speaking engagements, and other such events I took part in during the 2014 independence referendum. Representing, it will come as no surprise, the NO side, I often heard about how much more “progressive” Scotland is compared with the rest of the United Kingdom and that, my interlocutors would insist, was grounds for Scotland to go it alone.

Those claims have, from what I can tell, gotten louder since 2014. Their 2021 updated versions usually comes accompanied by pointing to the electoral success of the SNP, an essay on whose ‘talk’ versus ‘act’ difference could also be another 1000 words or so, and their new ‘not a coalition’ partners in the Scottish Greens. Proponents of the ‘Scotland’s just more progressive’ line also regularly point out that Scotland overwhelmingly voted to stay in the European Union which, I hasten to point out, is a crass over-simplification given the strength of the left-wing, Tony Benn school, of Euroscepticism. It’s a simple failure of reasoning that takes no notice of things in practice.

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Scotland outside the UK would succeed: ‘Just like that!’ – ThinkScotland

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ONE OF THE much-loved comedians of the second half of the twentieth century was Tommy Cooper, the wizard whose magic tricks almost always ended in failure and much hilarity. He would explain what he was going to achieve, exclaiming it would happen “just like that!”. It rarely did. I was reminded of this recently when I saw Scottish separatists proclaiming Scotland’s strengths and assets – usually to an exaggerated extent. With our talent and resources, goes SNP propaganda, how can we fail? Freed from the oppressive (and exploitative) occupation of our country by the UK (we are told), we would be bound to succeed outside the UK because of what we already are, ‘just like that’!

This is somewhat reminiscent of the stance of the SNP in 2014, under their then leader, Alex Salmond. It’s well known Salmond enjoys a flutter, and his gambling instincts extend to the political arena. Such was his capacity for brushing aside difficult questions that his motto in 2014 seemed to be ‘it’ll be all right on the night’. One example of this was when Philip Hammond, as Defence Secretary, was visiting Clyde shipbuilders in 2014 and was asked by a member of the workforce whether the Royal Navy would continue to build warships in Clyde yards if Scotland left the UK. His unequivocal answer was ‘No, they would not’. Salmond immediately rushed to the TV studios to give an undertaking that was not in his gift: ‘I guarantee that the Royal Navy will build warships in an independent Scotland’. It was a characteristic piece of Salmond chutzpah – not to say dishonesty.

Like steam before it, Fusion provides huge opportunities for Scotland and the Union – Think Scotland

Is the SNP’s cash flow management a cover for false accounting? – Think Scotland

‘Saddle the dogs’ – how Scotland Matters changed unionist campaigning – Think Scotland