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A Hung Parliament! How can we use it to save our skins?
It is now imperative that the Scottish National Party and Labour reach an agreement to bury the Tories. So how many lessons do we need to learn about cooperation?
Truro and Falmouth have returned Conservative Sarah Newton to the House of Commons and why? It’s plain to see that a combination of the Labour and Lib Dem vote would have ousted her. The cause was not important enough for Labour and the Lib Dems to agree on standing either a Labour or a Lib Dem candidate, so once more we get a Tory. Why was it so hard to cooperate? Don’t blame Mebyon Kernow. They played their part by holding back all their own candidates. Do you think that was an easy pill to swallow?

So here we are at last. The Celtic people of this island could be holding the balance of power, in the shape of our allies, the SNP and Plaid Cymru. Between them Plaid Cymru and Labour will be returning 35 MPs against only 8 Conservatives from Wales. What will Nicola Sturgeon and her party do with this unexpected opportunity if Labour seeks a coalition?

Scotland voted Remain in the referendum. Perhaps Nicola was hoping a high Conservative vote in England would bring the Scots closer to their dream of independence within the EU, on the back of the Remain vote. If however Scotland is concerned about supporting the EU, how would losing England from the EU, as the means of securing independence, help in forwarding the high aspirations of the European Project? Wouldn’t it be far better for both nations to help build up the EU together as partners, whether independent, or united? A short cut is not always the best route to choose.

If we are now inching our way towards a second referendum on Brexit and the possibility of not leaving the EU, the SNP could possibly lose their justification for a second referendum on independence, so it makes sense to consider the advantages of this situation with regard to making common cause with the Labour Party.

The SNP could demand that Labour agree on delivering carefully selected objectives for Scotland. I would suggest that remaining part of the EU ought to be at the top of the list. The SNP could argue that Scotland’s response during the referendum meant that Scotland’s enforced divorce from the EU against the express wishes of the majority of its citizens, would be an act of tyranny.
Supposing Labour agreed that the Scottish Parliament would be guaranteed the authority to act unilaterally and without UK interference, in the execution of their decision regarding Scotland’s own future relationship with the EU. If it then happened that in a confirming second referendum, a majority of Scots once more voted pro-Remain against the UK trend, it would be likely to create de-facto independence for Scotland, without the need for any special independence referendum. In that event Scotland would simply be maintaining the status-quo, whereas England would have effectively voted to leave both the unions.

This would heighten the risk for England that leaving the EU would also mean the end of the UK and what an historic irony that would be. In that case England and not Scotland would have broken both unions and none could then accuse Scotland of wrecking the UK. In fact Scotland would be clearly seen by the international community to be the more astute, positive and progressive of the two nations.

Further steps towards greater autonomy could be gained for Scotland beyond this. These could begin to be implemented even before a second referendum on Brexit was called. I hardly think the SNP needs any suggestions from me regarding the most important and negotiable items on their wish list.

At the end of the day Brexit would be a disaster for everyone. So, to avoid the decades of marginalisation and economic hardship it will inevitably bring, we have to work together in order to prevent it. We must learn to cooperate or we are all certain to loose.

Members of the SNP and others may remember that our Prince once ordered his Highland levies, unsupported, to meet their enemy head to head on Culloden Field, with little more than their feared, yet mediaeval arms to aid them and we all know how that ended. The chiefs had counselled a better and more subtle strategy but they were not heeded. What is needed now is that more balanced, subtle, native Scottish judgement, rather than a hopeful dream of instantaneous heroic victory.

Think about it. In those days, which are gone now, the loyal clans had the half-hearted support of France and Ireland whereas the British Government could draw on their colonies, and all their wealth and advanced technology. Today it is the Scottish Remainers who have the allies, in the shape of all Europe and half the world besides. Doesn’t Scotland’s measured voice deserve to be heard south of the border too?

You may ask how I dare to comment on such matters, regarding Scotland’s own history and best interests. I have my own reasons. Here’s a hint. The dispossessed have long memories “Fraoch Eilean”.

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By Edward Curry. Published on 10th June 2017.

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