Nordic pull

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I AGREE almost entirely with the content and sentiment of Joyce McMillan’s piece on Alex Salmond (Perspective, 30 December). One point baffles me, however. She says “those shady powers…in London have fatally weakened the centre-left UK parties who should now be making the arguments against Scottish independence”.

The joint founder of the Scottish Labour Party (Britain’s first Socialist MP), Robert Cunningham Graham, believed that Scotland should be an independent country. Marxist revolutionary John Maclean stated: “Scotland must again have independence – a united people working in co-operation and co-operatively, using the wealth that is created.” Former Labour MP Peter Shore, predicted that John Smith, the late Labour leader, wouldn’t survive at Westminster because “he is too Nordic to understand the greed of the South East”.

Has the south-east of England changed, since I last looked? That part of this island still steers the ship of state, right?

Where is the problem for the “centre-left”, in Scotland? Would Scotland becoming independent erode the internationalist or more communitarian leanings of the vast majority of Scottish voters? The “shady powers” Ms McMillan mentions are actually the vested interests that formed the Union in the first place. They now have another name, oft used by politicians: “British interests”. There’s is a different kind of internationalism.

How long is the Scottish centre-left going to wait for ship to change course? We’ve had Thatcher, the Blair/ Brown disaster and now we have the Millionaire Cabinet. May I suggest that the “centre-left” take a cold hard look at its priorities. The future of Scotland and our ability to influence it is far more important than preserving some 18th century corpse on life-support and a few Labour Party careers at Westminster. Isn’t it high time we became far more “Nordic”?

Roddie Maclennan

Dochfour Drive