Against the background of the Conservatives dominant in England with the working classes there duped and recruited by jingoism and racism, Scotland struggles to get out of a deadly embrace.
One man, again, a former UK prime minister, steps in to save the Union with the offer of another special offer to entice Scotland to stay within the Union’s sphere of influence.
As in 2011, electoral success by the SNP least week has pressed the panic button in London. Complete domination of the Scottish Parliament by pro-independence parties and support for independence solid around 50%, in sharp contrast with only 30% before the 2014 referendum, has the Tory party grandees, the lords, the Civil Service mandarins, the top spooks, the generals, the admirals and the wing commanders frantic:
This happened, in 1918, in Ireland, where Sinn Fein’s ‘failure’ to win all the seats, triggered the offer of a deal:
Speaking in Ayr in October, 1920, the then Liberal MP for Paisley said:
The first is that the Irish people should be made to believe that, so far as Great Britain is concerned, what is offered comes from an honest, and also from a responsible source. The second is that, after making all necessary allowance for the provisional abstention, not of an artificial, but of a genuine local minority, it should meet and satisfy Irish aspirations.
Nothing, I am certain, can now fulfil the second of these conditions but the bestowal upon Ireland of the status of an autonomous Dominion in the fullest and widest sense.
What does that mean?
None of our Dominions claims the right to a separate Foreign Policy of its own. On the other hand, they all show an increasing and perfectly legitimate desire for fuller confidence and freer consultation in the whole domain of our external relations, and, in particular, for a voice in the making and revision of treaties. The Dominion of Ireland should in these matters be on a level footing with the rest.
In regard to naval and military forces, I do not share the apprehensions of those who think it necessary to impose on an Irish Dominion limitations and fetters which are not to be found elsewhere in our self-governing Empire. No Irish Government would be so insane as to mortgage its scanty margin of resources for such a fruitless and costly enterprise as the creation of an Irish Navy. Nor is it readily conceivable that it would seek to deny – what it could never effectively prevent – the free access to Irish ports and harbours of the vessels of the Imperial Navy. Further, no grant of autonomy could be regarded as complete which did not include the right to raise and maintain, for the purpose of local defence, an adequate military force.
I wouldn’t normally recommend that you read what Gordon Brown comes up with but a quick comparison with the above might be interesting.
Expect Prof Pennington to be on BBC Scotland to tell us we’d need the Royal Navy and the RAF to ‘ship in’ the vaccines and the British Army to jag us all.