I see an interesting piece on the BCC News website by Sarah Smith, the Scotland Editor,* in which she says that Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister (premier) of Scotland and leader of the separatist Scottish National Party, says that while “she won’t pretend that every single person who voted SNP necessarily supports independence … she will insist this result is a thumping endorsement of her demand for a second referendum … [and although the election] … result cannot be interpreted as an outright demand for Scottish independence … the SNP will vigorously argue that it does mean Scotland must be allowed to make a choice about its future – inside or outside the UK.“
In the United Kingdom, that second referendum is called “indyref2” and “The Scottish Conservatives campaigned on a slogan of “Tell her again, say no to indyref2”.” But, the other day the results were not what the Conservatives wanted; the Tories lost seven of their 13 Scottish seats, Labour lost six and the SNP won 48 of Scotland’s 59 seats in Westminster. This is what Ms Sturgeon had to say: “The stunning election win last night for the SNP renews, reinforces and strengthens the mandate we have from previous election to offer the people of Scotland a choice over their future.” I think that is hard to deny.
While I wish Prime Minister Johnson every possible success in being a “one country” leader and restoring a sense of national unity which has been seriously weakened by the Brexit debates, the voice of Scotland seems pretty clear for now.
I also think the “voice of Scotland” is misguided. I believe that Scotland is far more naturally British than it is European. Scotland is far more like Britain and Ireland (including a united Ireland) than it is like Hungary or Greece. It is far more like (non-EU members) Iceland and Norway than it is like Cyprus or Romania. But that is, ultimately, up to the people to decide. Ms Sturgeon, like Lucien Bouchard in Canada, is a strong and popular voice for independence … and just as M Bouchard was, I am sure she is wrong.
* Wouldn’t it be nice if our major network had, just for example, an Alberta editor?