Several news items, surveys, articles and letters published this week have gladdened my heart.
First we had the excellent article by Alasdair Reid (4 June) suggesting that a 2012 study for Scottish Enterprise by his company found no evidence that Scotland gets an innovation dividend from being part of the UK.
This was followed by the news that an increasing number of foreign companies were investing in Scotland and were not put off by, or possibly even encouraged by, the likelihood of independence (5 June).
Then we had the excellent letter from Mary McCabe (6 June) giving the various stages of independence undergone by Canada, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand before they were free from the UK.
And finally David Cameron intends to tell his Tory colleagues of the scientific breakthroughs we made together from the television to penicillin. And where did these pioneers come from?
We even heard from Andrew HN Gray (Letters, 7 June), who has a go at Labour and the SNP. I have often wondered where his political loyalties lie.
It has been encouraging to see all these items talking our country up instead of the scaremongering we regularly get from Messrs Gray, McKay, Wilson and Kelly etc.
IT seems only recently that Alex Salmond was urging his followers to take this “chance in a lifetime” and vote for breaking up the UK in the referendum.
Maybe it was the recent very large poll of young people and their views and intentions; maybe it was the string of polls indicating that a stubborn and very large majority indicate they are not going to vote as the SNP would wish, but for whatever reason, it seems there has been a redefinition of “lifetime” and already the furious back-pedalling has started.
A crushing defeat next year is not, it seems, going to be the end for “a generation”.
Mary McCabe’s letter appears to suggest that dismissal next year is not the end but the beginning.
When stalwart Nationalists start writing in this manner we can be certain of two things: defeat has been accepted by the SNP and it is now only damage limitation and that, as predicted, “the morning after the first referendum defeat, preparations will begin for the next”.
The parallels with the decades of uncertainty over Canada and Quebec and the subsequent economic meltdown again seem ominous.
Finally, in Ms McCabe’s analysis of other countries’ relationships with the UK, she excludes one vital factor: Australia and Canada and others do not share a small island with England and Wales.
As one of the youngsters questioned in the recent poll said: “It is stupid to draw a line across an island and say the people on either side are different and foreign.”
She is correct; it is stupid.
New Cut Rigg