Tuesday, 28 April 2015
Disunited Kingdom - Ian MacWhirter
The story of "how Westminster won a referendum but lost Scotland" from a distinguished Scottish journalist tells us everything we weren't allowed to know south of the Border. We all knew, for instance, that Cameron's instant backtrack on devo-max the morning after the vote was so callous that it almost certainly lost him next week's General Election and equally surely guaranteed that Scotland's disassociation will lead to a federal Britain in the coming decade. My view of that possibility? Good. Can't happen soon enough, provided England is divided into regions too.
What MacWhirter tells me which I didn't know is how many community groups sprang up spontaneously in Scotland to take the campaign out of the hands of the professional politicians and, more importantly, bypass the lies and smears of Britain's poisonous rightwing Press. MacWhirter became drawn into this alternative movement and found himself moving from an instinctive unionist to a sceptical nationalist. His personal story mirrors the national narrative.
This is how a political campaign should be run. There are lessons for us all here. I cannot recommend this beautifully written and deeply insightful book strongly enough. It should be on the school curriculum both sides of the Border.