#indyref: Catalonia v Caledonia

In the Battle for Scotland, Prof Adam Tomkins of Glasgow University is one of the finest writers and campaigners. His latest post contains 5 reasons for not voting Yes and 5 reasons for voting No. I can see plenty of reasons for voting No, but I remain baffled as to why anyone would vote Yes, I mean, where is the great injustice driving the independence movement?

The renowned journalist Bryan Appleyard, on Twitter (@BryanAppleyard) today asks the old question , given the tightening of the polls:

If Scotland goes, can Catalunya be far behind?

Well The Knife has just been in Catalunya (or Catalonia), and not for the first time. Its history and culture are nicely summarised in Robert Hughes book on Barcelona, which I had with me. The Catalan independence movement is undoubtedly interested in the Scottish referendum, and there is the very big stumbling block of a Spanish veto on Scotland entering the EU, should Yes be the outcome. One of the many things that Eck and his mates routinely ignore.

Here is my comparison of the two:


I honestly don’t get it. There is no intellectual justification for Scottish independence. Oppression has never happened. The emotional hype is the thing that’s driving all this, and that’s based on an unpromising mixture of myth and chippy resentfulness. The idea that Scotland is a victim of injustice is laughable, particularly when you review the still working Barnett Formula  (yet another thing for which Eck has no answer). As someone with an intimate knowledge of the not-at-risk NHS, I can tell you that the Scottish government continues to spend money hand over fist on clinically unnecessary schemes, mainly because of the Barnett uplift, and completely contrary to what Eck is claiming. In all this, my main argument is about the principle, not the associated staggeringly important question of whether the SNP could govern competently without their safety net.

All their lives the current SNP lot have known only relative prosperity in Scotland, though it won’t be portrayed as that. A Catalan of today might have had an uncle or grandfather or brother killed by Franco, a Scot will only have known civil peace, or had a comrade in arms from elsewhere in the UK in the various conflicts of the last 80 years.

So, Catalonia I get, and I well remember the outbreak of freedom after the death of the Soviet Union. Independence movements do often have a noble history.

This one doesn’t.

My homage to Catalonia ~ Montserrat (click to enlarge)
My homage to Catalonia ~ Montserrat (click to enlarge)

3 thoughts on “#indyref: Catalonia v Caledonia

  1. The trouble with the Better Together people is that they are talking to people who agree with them, they need to speak to the people with the “Yes” posters in their windows and point out what a lot they are risking because they don’t like the English. Jack Dee was funny last night on bbc1 he has written a song called “sorry we got on your tits”.

      1. Of course it should but they are voting with their hearts, not their heads. Better together have to stop going on about the currency. What about embassies, passports, the queen as head of state, investment, the banks, the army..?

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