Buried at the end of the Scotland Office announcement of Brian Wilson’s appointment as a “trade ambassador” is, perhaps, the real rationale behind this new post.
A significant part of his role will be “underlining the mutual business benefits… that Scotland and the rest of the UK enjoy together as UK plc, and the importance of that united approach”.
In other words, this is about building support for a No vote in the referendum.
Alongside the newly created, taxpayer-funded HM Treasury post in Scotland (remit: to seek out supposed benefits to Scotland of staying in the Union), it is clear that the UK government has no qualms about spending large sums of our own money to tell us what political views we ought to hold.
The detail of Mr Wilson’s remit is also hard to reconcile with his own statement in accepting the job, that “trade is politically neutral”.
This was, perhaps, intended to explain why he, as a former Labour minister, feels able to work for the Tory-led coalition government. But is taxpayer-funded Nat-bashing really “politically neutral”, Brian?
I AM bemused by the argument of those such as Hugh MacKay (Letters, 1 September) that those in favour of Scottish independence are somehow denying individuals their British heritage.
No one is preventing those in Scotland who want to call themselves British post-independence from doing so, in the same way that those in Norway and Sweden call themselves Scandinavian.
While the political union will end, the social union between Scotland and England will remain as strong as ever, and both will geographically remain part of the British Isles.
The irony is that it is those who favour the retention of the Union who do not believe that they can be both Scottish and British post-independence, while those in favour of Scottish independence have no issue with this.
By continually promoting this matter, it is the unionists who sadly demonstrate a brand of narrow nationalism that should play no part in this debate.
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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