Thursday, 16 February 2012
The Cameron's Are Coming, Oh Cripes, Oh Cripes!
David Cameron’s jaunt to the North may have reminded some more of Boswell and Johnson’s trip, one way or another, but it brought to mind the encounter between Archibald Cameron and Bonnie Prince Charlie at Loch Nan Uamh in 1745.
This Cameron was sent to persuade the Prince, landing with few troops and less money about the futility of it all and please would he go back to France to enjoy a more reliable supply of brandy. Instead the Prince persuaded him.
David almost did an Archibald in that he did not so much persuade Alex Salmond of the error of his ways but he made an offer of more devolution in the hope that Salmond could not refuse, or if he did, the Scottish electorate.
In short instead of a Scotland detached from Westminster politics but not a lot else he was offering the continuance of the Westminster and its close links with the City of London at a price of more “empowerment” whatever that is.
The line was that Cameron was all in favour in any case of giving back power to the people all over the United Kingdom in many matters. But it is not clear that power to the people is in the agenda of the Scottish National Party if only because it might let Scottish Labour be even more loose than it is now.
Another more serious consideration about such downward devolution in a separated Scotland is what might happen in the Highlands increasingly populated by English benefits asylum seekers and second home owners. Beyond there are the Orkneys and at higher risk are The Shetlands.
Which of them, I ask, wishes to restore both the County of Clackmannan and the Third Lanark football club? Perhaps the latter could ground share with Rangers FC now under the rule of financial vultures?
What Cameron has to offer isn’t much beyond this, only more of less or less of more, it is not clear which. My worry is that he will chuck in the HST link to Heathrow and the West End of London thinking this might do the trick.
Bonnie Prince Charlie unluckily was a fervent Unionist and a man with a religious mission. One of the great “ifs” is had he stopped at the Border, consolidated and kept his religion to himself whether he might have recreated a Scottish Kingdom and ended the Union.
A canny marriage to the right sort of Scottish girl of one of the major families with a decent sized brood of children and who knows what might then have happened?
A few tactical marriages of daughters might well have put Scotland at the heart of Europe. Say King Louis XVI of France instead of him marrying Marie Antoinette?
There might never have been a Napoleon, Monarchy may have ruled OK and David Cameron might have inherited a croft to work.