As I watched David Cameron announce his resignation on the morning of the
24th of June, the words of an old childhood game came to mind. Do you
remember playing Hide and Seek? When you were about to be caught, you
quickly crossed your fingers and said “keys no het”. That is exactly what
Cameron was doing after the EU Referendum result. To put it another way, in
words I often heard as the social worker at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court – it
wisnae me, I wisnae there, a big boy did it and run away” That “big boy”
was of course Boris, and run away he surely did. It soon became clear that
none of the boys involved in the “merry jape” that was the Leave campaign,
were going to take responsibility for the (Eton) mess they had got us into!
Thank heavens for Nicola, she hit the ground running. Scotland had voted to
remain in the EU and she acted immediately to protect Scotland’ interests.
Nicola called for reassurance for the other EU nationals living and working
in Scotland. To their shame, the Westminster Government have refused to
recognise the position in which these people now find themselves. It would
appear that they are but mere bargaining chips in future negotiations.
Nicola tabled a successful motion in the Scottish Parliament to explore all
options for Scotland amid the chaos created by the Brexit vote. She secured
the support of 4 of the 5 parties at Holyrood (The shell-shocked Tories sat
on their hands!) She took Scotland’s case to the centre of Europe and in so
doing, achieved not only good will, but raised our nation’s profile across
If you think this is an exaggeration, let me give you this wee personal
cameo. You all know the story – a 16 year old girl from our village chapped
on my door during the 1987 General Election campaign. I told the story ad
nauseam to the UK media during Nicola’s election as First Minister. But once
more I am basking in her reflected glory, only this time, it is the
International Media who are chapping on my door. I have given interviews
with Reuters and Bloomberg and have been contacted by many more. Boy has
Nicola put Scotland on the map!
Meanwhile, back at Westminster, we have now been allocated Theresa May as
Prime Minister. To paraphrase Rhett Butler,” frankly my dear, I don’t give a
damn” (younger readers can Google it!) Seriously, my gut tells me that
Scotland is now, at best, semi-detached from the goings-on at Westminster.
Even the hand to hand combat in Labour’s fight to the death is of but
passing interest. Poor Angela gave a Press Conference and nobody came! The
speed at which HMS Britannia is sinking takes my breath away. While London
re-arranges the deck chairs, Scotland is more united than I have ever seen –
and I have been around a long time!
The game plan has changed, all bets are off. Scotland’s politicians of all
shades know that and are moving their positions towards the inevitable. The
Tories in Scotland are, of course, between a rock and a hard place. Having
run around Scotland 2 months ago claiming to be the party of the union,
gathering the remaining pro-union votes from deepest blue to brightest
orange, they managed to scrape into a poor second place at Holyrood.
Remember another Referendum where we were told by Ruth Davidson – vote No to
keep Scotland in the EU? Run that over us again Ruth! However even Ruth
has conceded that she would not block another Independence Referendum. That
is a step in the right direction and probably about as far as the entrenched
Tories can go. My guess is they will go down with that sinking ship.
However, in the last couple of weeks we have seen so many No voters coming
towards Independence. We must welcome them with open arms. I know that
this is a big ask, fellow nationalists. We all bear the scars of campaigns
fought bitterly over the years – some of my scars are over 50 years old!
But the future of Scotland is at stake. The more we can unite as a nation
and achieve the support of those who, in the past, opposed Independence, the
more certain we can be that Scotland will remain among the Nations of Europe
– a proud and Independent country again.
I will end with the words of Winnie Ewing (Europe’s beloved Madame Ecosse)
on winning the Hamilton by-election in 1967 – “Stop the world, Scotland
wants to get on!”