David Cameron’s appeal to a “buccaneering” Britain echoes the admiration for the activity made previously by Boris Johnson. However, the “buccaneers”, privateers and pirates of the City have destroyed our financial system, left the UK (the Union) with £1.4 trillion of debt, and ensured that it is the whole of Britain – the British taxpayer and those least able to protect their interests (the poor or disabled more than the merely mendacious) – to pay the bill.
The City effectively nationalised the losses from buccaneering and kept the “profits”, their unearned bonuses, or the fruits from £20bn plus (in penalties alone) “mis-selling”.
Meanwhile, the City triumphs in London’s continued success as a “World City”, leaving the rest of the country to stand as the real lender of last resort for a broken, scam-ridden economy, and for an anaemic recovery ironically funded by “mis-selling” compensation and printing money; following the tired, doomed reliance on consumer spend and property inflation, but without any sign of structural rebalancing.
Unionists like Cameron (or Nick Clegg or Alistair Darling) could have guaranteed the Union by the simple device of offering a second question in the referendum, which would have ensured a landslide victory for the Union; but that would have required genuine change to the status quo and the end of London’s unchallenged hegemony in the UK.
The cynical purpose of the unionist parties and Better Together is revealed in the devious offer to the Scottish electorate of more devolution; but only after the Scottish electorate has first constitutionally and politically disarmed itself by voting No. Further devolution would thus become the gift under the sole patronage of the Unionist parties.
They have form. In 1979, Alec Douglas-Home promised that a No vote would still produce genuine change to government in Scotland. Scotland’s reward turned out to be Margaret Thatcher’s government and 20 years of blight.
Scotland’s answer to Cameron’s mawkish Unionism is “too late”, for this was never about identity, but politics. The white paper offers Scotland a looser British confederation – a new form of Union rather than independence (whatever that means in a globalised world), but a Union much more on Scotland’s terms.
This is the price that must be extracted for the failure of London to rise above its own greed, vanity and public relations.
John S Warren
Alex Salmond must be dancing a jig. Just as the SNP reels from one blunder to another with their fairytale economics, David Cameron, like some doltish El Cid, comes charging to the rescue with his “Olympian” effort to pressure everyone in Scotland on the vote.
For a Prime Minister, Mr Cameron has a tin ear for politics. Doesn’t he realise that the best way to drive undecideds into the SNP is to subject them to unrelenting, hamfisted pressure by the people who Scots probably like the least? They may be unsure about the SNP, but they are really sure that they don’t like high social circle Tories down in Londontown.
The Scottish people are intelligent enough to decide for themselves on this issue. If Mr Cameron really wants to see his hopes realised, and minimise bitterness should the Yes vote fail, he should do nothing – and especially abstain from the increasingly inept and inane interferences of he and his London cohorts.
Braeheads East Linton, East Lothian
Last year, David Cameron exhorted us to “celebrate” the existence of Great Britain by commemorating the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.
His recent pronouncements seeking the support from the populations of England, Wales and Northern Ireland to ask Scots to reject independence suggest that he has been studying that conflict in further detail, whereby the troops are sent forth while the generals stay well behind the front line to avoid the opposition’s fire.
COLIN R MOWAT