Letters: SNP MP’s Jacobite analogy on Scottish independence is ‘nonsense’

An SNP MP urged independence supporters not to 'dither like the Jacobites at Derby." Picture: TSPL
An SNP MP urged independence supporters not to 'dither like the Jacobites at Derby." Picture: TSPL
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It was a minority of Scots that supported the Jacobites and it is a minority of Scots that support independence now, argues a Scotsman letter writer.

What a great analogy Angus MacNeil MP uses comparing the current push for ­independence to the Jacobite march on England to win the British crown in 1745, urging that independence supporters today do not “dither like the Jacobites at Derby” (Scotsman 8 October).

Angus MacNeil MP. Picture: PA Wire

Angus MacNeil MP. Picture: PA Wire

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Alas, the comparison is an unfortunate one, which Mr MacNeil might have realised had he thought about it for a moment longer. The Jacobites had to withdraw from Derby and head home again because the French help they were promised had not ­materialised.

If they had pushed on, they would have all been captured or killed or, at the very least, completely humiliated. On returning to Scotland they found the country was against them, and when the final ­battle took place at Culloden, the Bonnie Prince had more Scots fighting against him than for him.

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The Highlanders should never have followed that man, and have spent the past 250 years regretting it.

It was a minority of Scots that supported the Jacobites, and it is a minority who ­support independence now. The European help they expected then let them down.

History repeats itself today with the SNP trying to use Europe to further their cause, failing to realise that Scottish independence is not a priority for any other EU country.

Getting their relationship right with the UK as a whole is much more important. One may also go further back to 1513 at Flodden field when the Scots needlessly attacked the English to help the French and were utterly destroyed, setting the country into a 200-year spiral of decline, eventually requiring the Union with England to stabilise its economy.

Rather than setting out on such a journey only to find ­later that it was a mistake, surely it would be better to engage our brains a little first.

Now is neither the time nor the hour for such misguided nonsense. Europe is the wrong issue on which to frame any push for independence.

Victor Clements, Aberfeldy, Perthshire