Religion of SNP

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Keith Gilmour is right about nationalist movements and the SNP, which he compares to religions (Letters, 25 November).

They promise prosperity, 
fairness, to free us from a corrupt “establishment”.

Where London politicians are black knights, Scottish ones are white. This reminds me of Richard Dawkins’ notion of cultural memes – ideas that take hold and spread. They do not have to be true or practicable, just appealing. Scottish nationalism is full of ­appealing memes.

We are to captain the ship, be wealthier, have our way in ­negotiations with the rUK and the EU. This is the Promised Land. Who could say no?

But when pressed with “How?” and “How much?” the Nationalists’ case falls apart.

The best they can do is invite us to have faith, misrepresent those who don’t, and point to dodgy parallels.

“Look at Ireland” used to be a favourite, till Ireland went ­bankrupt. Faith in a dream, lack of evidence, dismissal of bothersome facts… nationalism is ­indeed very like a religious movement.

George Byron

Comely Bank Avenue

Edinburgh

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