Scottish nationalism


Sir, – As a Scot, now happily resident in Ireland, I am intrigued by Bill Redmond’s (Letters, January 20th) comment that the independence vote was lost “much to his regret”.

Alex Salmond’s case for independence was built largely on an expectation of burgeoning North Sea oil revenues, which is no longer going to happen. Shipbuilding, whisky, tourism, etc, will not provide sufficient revenues to support creaking health and educational systems, let alone fund the establishment of a defence force or civil service.

Waving the Saltire may stir the blood, but it won’t pay the bills. – Yours, etc,




Co Dublin.

Sir, – The former British chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne has a point about the current position of Northern Ireland (“North ‘slowly becoming part of united Ireland’, says former British chancellor”, News, January 20th).

However, he goes on to compare the loss of Scotland to that of the American colonies, and to the failure on the part of the British government to learn from the long experience of the Irish campaign for independence.

But Scotland, crucially, is not an English colony. Scotland and England were independent sovereign nations in a shared monarchy before the Scottish parliament voted to amalgamate 314 years ago. This is a marriage, and what is now in prospect is a divorce.

Mr Osborne says that, “the Tories thought the defeat of the 2014 referendum would put Scottish nationalism back in the box”. How very naive, and how very patronising. Brexit has merely added impetus to the drive for an independent Scotland.

With or without Brexit, the SNP would now have a majority in Edinburgh.

But Boris Johnson is undeniably the best asset the Scottish nationalists have had since Margaret Thatcher. – Yours, etc,




Co Cork.

Sir,– Recent coverage and correspondence regarding the current movement for independence in Scotland reminds me of a piece of political verse that came my way many years ago while serving as “folk” columnist for this newspaper. Verses that reflect back to the situation in Britain prior to the amalgamation of the two thrones.

“Oh Scotland hasnae got a king nor has she got a queen./How can there be a Liz the twa when the first one’s never been./Oh Liz the twa and Lillibet awa, nae Liz will ever dae./ We’ll mak oor lan Republican when the Scottish break away.”

I refrain from further quotation as the text might prove editorially challenging.

Perhaps ironically, the bard suggested that these words be sung to the air of The Sash My Father Wore. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.