Michael Fry: Scotland Alone
Although he is no longer a Tory, Fry remains"a conservative in a social, economic and moral sense." He is the author of several books, including The Dundas Despotism (1992/2004), The Scottish Empire (2001), How the Scots Made America (2005), and The Union: England, Scotland and the Treaty of 1707 (Edinburgh: Birlinn, 2006). You can read Ruaridh Nicholl's favorable review of The Union here.
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Michael R. Davidson - 12/2/2006
As Scotland was my adoptive nation for most of the 1990s, this is an endlessly fascinated subject for me. Beyond pointing out that the Labour Party drank the Kool-Aid on the idea that devolution would 'Kill Nationalism Stone-Dead', I would note that there has been an excellent series of Op-Eds and Leaders in the Guardian on this subject recently, and the comment threads are quite instructive as well:
"Labour's problem is that the more it supports the union, the more England may ask why. Mr Blair reminded Scottish voters in his speech of the "£10bn union dividend from the Barnett formula" - cash the SNP cannot offer. But England might see that as a reason to hope the SNP wins. Poor parts of England do not get such support. Yesterday's poll suggested such talk is having an effect: more English voters, 59%, want Scottish independence than Scots ones."
"The debate may petrify the political classes, but it barely makes it through the door of the saloon bar. Quite simply, we have ceased to care as much as we did. A free Scotland? Sure, if they vote for it. A united Ireland? Why not, on the same terms?"
"Unionism may have disappeared from Britain's industry, but it is the ruling ethos of its politics. Big is beautiful if British. The prevailing wisdom holds that anyone, be they Scots, Welsh, Northern Irish or, for that matter, Iraqi or Afghan, must be better off under the benign custodianship of London. Imperialism is still Westminster's default mode. Surely nobody could be richer, safer or freer than with a British soldier on every corner and a British subsidy under every belt."
But, should independence happen, whither Berwick? 8-)