Whatever the political and financial arguments about Scottish independence, there is no doubt that the words and actions of politicians and the media do much to fuel the increasing alienation felt by the smaller nations of the UK.
As long as, for example, politicians and journalists refer to England when they mean Britain and as long as we have a central bank called the Bank of England rather than the Bank of Britain then many UK citizens will continue to feel that their separate national identities are not being properly respected.
Perception is important and it is equally frustrating that we have nationwide BBC TV 6pm and 10pm news programmes whose content is increasingly irrelevant to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and frequently ignores the fact that trends and policies with respect to the NHS, education, law and order and even the economy in England often do not apply to the rest of the UK.
The feeling that Scotland is being sidelined is certainly not helped by the BBC continuing to persevere with a weather map, which distorts the shape of Britain to make Scotland appear much smaller than it really is.
Even Radio 4 had to correct itself last Sunday when it spoke of Britain’s qualification for the World Cup.
The sad fact is that these failures are often a question of education and those causing offence are probably unaware of the anger which they provoke.
Only when the whole of the UK instinctively recognises and values the separate national identifies of those resident in the UK, and such anomalies as those listed above are eliminated, will the smaller nations of the UK ever begin to feel that they are being treated fairly as equal partners within the UK.
May I draw the attention of your readers to the fact that Scotland is independent in every way in the Union, and that independence is exercised fully within the British parliament.
What the SNP is asking for is not independence in the proper meaning of the word but separation.
Its use of the term Westminster is a deceit to give the image that it is England’s parliament when in reality it is Britain’s parliament.
England does not have a separate parliament, unlike Scotland which has the pleasure of two parliaments. Remember the adage: divided we fall. And fall Scotland will if Salmond has his way.
The term “independence”, in simplicity, is a false manna provided by the good Lord Alex to feed the ego of the deluded.
It is separation that should be on the table for discussion, not independence. In all truth, all the SNP is doing is giving Scotland a sair belly.
It was gratifying to learn from the SNP conference just how many goodies are in store for us. Decreases rather than increases in our energy charges, early retirement without tears, decreasing taxes, to name but a few.
But a few practical details would have been welcome. For example, how frequently will the manna be delivered and where will we collect the milk and honey?