I have an opinion column in The National newspaper in Scotland this morning. My subject is George Osborne’s recent column in The Evening Standard, on which I had previously commented here. Callum Baird asked me to elaborate on my opinion, so I did.
I am not going to reproduce the column here, but Callum did, I note choose to pull out one comment for his headline. I said this:
[Osborne’s] suggestion is to simply ignore the will of the people of Scotland. The message could not be clearer: they are but a thing to be possessed without a right to an opinion of their own. That is not just colonial; that is the attitude of the slaver.
That, I think to be true. Have already culturally appropriated all that is Scottish and Scotland’s for the benefit of the English within his article, the willingness of Osborne to simply ignore the human rights of the people of Scotland to determine their own future is nothing less than a suggestion that the deliberate enslavement of a country for the benefit of another should take place, facilitated by the denial of the expression of free will to the people of Scotland.
In that context to describe the attitude as colonial was not enough. That would imply economic exploitation might continue, but Osborne has, I think, gone further. In his article he made clear that he knows a referendum would almost certainly be lost now. So his argument was that Westminster should simply refuse one, ensuring as a consequence that the people of Scotland will be held against their will, and with their rights ignored. What else is that but the attitude of a slaver?