>> 28 Jun 2004

Russell in a Tussle

Scottish Unionists must surely be quaking in their boots at the news of Mike Russell joining the battle to lead the Scottish National Party following John Swinney's ignominious departure. Despite overblown promises to lead the Scottish people to the Valhalla of Braveheart-type nationhood, the SNP continues to flounder in both local and national political arenas. Whatever 'radical changes' take place in the party, the underlying principles will always be the same - the fragmentation and destruction of the Union.

Fortunately, for those of us who passionately believe in the integrity of the Union, Scottish independence is as remote now as it was when the party was founded in 1934. Scottish separatism has had its moments of glory (not least at the end of the 1970's), but the stability and quality of life guaranteed by membership of the broader United Kingdom holds a resonance with a substantial majority of Scotland's voters which the clarion calls for independence have not been able to suppress. It is a lesson that must not be lost on the Unionists of Northern Ireland who, notwithstanding the harbingers of demographic doom and their fallacious predictions, still hold a large majority in the province.


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