Unionist Collective. Radical Unionist Conference. Women For The Union. March & Rally for Scotland in the Union. Scottish Unionist Convention. That’s a list of things you probably won’t see appearing between now and 2014, and with good reason. In fact, the thought of such groups starting up seems inherently preposterous. But why?
While conducting an imaginary debate with myself in the mirror (not a euphemism), I struck upon an idea that I think is worth trying out on people who claim to be undecided about the referendum. You know the type – they ask you a question about how such and such would continue or otherwise if we become independent, and upon receiving a perfectly good answer, they then come up with another burning issue, and another, and another, etc, ad nauseum, ad infinitum.
While some of these people no doubt have genuine issues of concern and just want some reassurance, I suspect a sizeable portion aren’t really interested in having these questions answered at all – they’re just asking them for the sake of it. The purpose of the question is not to find the answer, but to try to put independence supporters on the back foot and catch them out. They’re not looking to banish all the fears which are stopping them from voting Yes – they’re simply looking for an excuse to vote No.
Today, Johann Lamont – someone elected by nobody except the people of Pollok in Glasgow – took it upon herself to apologise on behalf of the people of Scotland for the early release of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, a man who may or may not be responsible for 270 deaths in and over Lockerbie, but who most definitely spent the past three years in absolute agony and being kept alive by totally artificial means by a Libyan government determined to use him for propaganda purposes.
That a country could see fit to release a dying man on compassionate grounds is something to be proud of, especially in comparison to the sort of blood-lust demanded by those across the Atlantic. As such, I was utterly disgusted by Lamont’s comments – they were arrogant, they displayed contempt, and ultimately they serve only to undermine the whole principle of human compassion. So, to stop myself bursting a blood vessel, I decided to send her an email.