Always good to see the Scottish press lead off debate on things that matter to us all. Today, The Record features the deliberations of Westminster’s Scottish Affairs Committee who have put their heads together and come up with an inquiry that is based on a list of…well, let’s see…it seems to be a list of questions most of which The Record seems to have forwarded from its readership.
The Scottish Affairs Committee, representing such hot-beds of debate on matters Scottish as Congleton, Dewsbury, Finchley and Warrington, has decided to seize the initiative and clarify all this confusion over what independence means. By posing the questions raised the committee apparently feels it is driving the agenda and racing to a conclusion by “asking and answering these questions about how it will affect every aspect of every life”. No modest ambition here.
Committee chairman Ian Davidson said: “We are extremely grateful for all the responses from Daily Record readers, who told us the sort of things they needed to know.” Then, demonstrating his unique take on impartiality, Mr Davidson went on to say: “The big question is the terms of the ‘divorce settlement’—how resources, rights and responsibilities would be broken up.”
Anyone truly committed to calming fears and spreading the truth would do well to consider less loaded and inflammatory language. But his woeful contributions mirror any in his party. From Shadow Scottish Secretary Curran, on through Lords Foulkes and Robertson, right down to Lab leader La Lamont, all sing off the same dismal hymn sheet. The rather obvious collusion among SAC, Labour and The Record means that giving any of them the benefit of the doubt may seem foolish. Or fruitless. Or both.
But Scotland deserves better—this debate is too important. However much a sham the ‘objective’ cover of a Westminster select committee may be, it must be faced and dealt with or we’ll start off with a free Scotland tainted by the same self-serving bigotries. Just about any Scot who has been paying attention—to the better media and not just the SNP—could answer SAC’s daft questions in their sleep. But to anyone having trouble, there are thousands out here happy to help.
It’s an ill wind that blows no good and I for one will be interested to see Westminster’s views on dividing the debt, borders, oil, UN membership and the EU, Fortunately the days are past when people in Scotland could be fed one set of lies and people in England be misled with another sort of untruths, so some of these could pose rather challenging problems. And it’s always best to have a rough idea of the answer you’re expecting before you start ask a question in public. I very much doubt whether Mr Davidson does in all of these cases. Could be fun!