George Osborne dropped an absolute clanger in The Evening Standard yesterday, when he wrote on Scottish independence.
Having lamented that Northern Ireland's departure from the UK is now inevitable he went on to say this:
Scotland is an altogether different matter. Its history is our history. Its contribution to the world through its literature and philosophy, exploration and art, is our contribution. Its departure – with no disrespect to the Welsh – would represent the end of the United Kingdom. The rest of the world would instantly see that we were no longer a front-rank power, or even in the second row. We would instead be one of the great majority of countries who are on the receiving end of the decisions made by a few, subject to the values of others. We would become another historically interesting case study in how successful nations can perform unexpected acts of national suicide.
Where to start with that? That it's the colonialist's lament? That it's cultural appropriation? That it's deeply patronising? Or that it reveals that Scotland's opinion does not matter, and only London's does? The list could go on, and on, and on.
And if the fact that Scottish opinion does not matter was ever in doubt (as opposed to the physical possession of Scotland), note what Osborne advises Johnson should do in response to the demand for independence:
Simple. Refuse to hold a referendum. It’s the only sure way you won’t lose one. Yes, the SNP will be in full cry – but so what? Domestic opposition has already evaporated, with the Labour leader there resigning last week.
In other words, hold the people of Scotland in contempt whilst claiming them to quite literally be 'ours'.
Such staggering attitudes can only drive the demand for independence. I am certain that this Union is dead, and deservedly so in the face of such attitudes. The so-called Unionists are killing the very thing they supposedly cherish.