The SNP has formally published a White Paper setting out its' plans which they hope will see Scotland become independent.
Alec Salmond argues this "charts the route to progress for Scotland" and will culminate a decade of devolution.
Symbolically they chose to do so on St Andrew's Day.
More reports here.
Accusations of nationalist flag-waving are, I think, highly justified.
Westminster has already conceded the principle of tax-varying powers so more localised tax-raising cannot be long in coming. But the SNP won't make that argument because it is more about their party's exercise of power than the purpose to which any of that power can be put.
It strikes me as highly perverse that they are sincere in making an argument for 'independence' and dissolution of the United Kingdom whilst hoping to negotiate membership of the European Union.
The basic point is that independence simply doesn't exist in an interdependent world.
The ancient emnity between the English and the Scots derives from a persistent habit of renaging on agreements for temporary advantage, but no secure political future can be based on weakening trust between different sides.
So we either develop the processes by which agreements can be reached and stuck with, or we prepare for a fight.
The debate over British unity has global implications because it is the relationship which underpins the development of a richer and more peaceful world.
Without a united British Isles there would never have been a United States or a European Union - the constituents parts of Britain would have remained introspective in our divisions and we would never have been able to use our skills to trade with the world; we would never have spread the ideas of adaptation and innovation which brought about the industrial and technological revolutions; the world wouldn't have done so much to reduce disease, poverty or ignorance around the world.
It is an issue which everyone has a stake in - from Afghanis, to environmentalists.
The principle at stake is unity. Everything else flows from unity.
But most maddening of all in Mr Salmond's desire to become king of all he surveys is how he perverts the symbols of scottishness - does he even know who St Andrew was?
Integrate Or Die!
Thursday, 3 December 2009
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