Martin Hannan: Chickens come home to roost

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It is now over a month since the referendum, and many times since September 18 I have been asked why Edinburgh voted so overwhelmingly for No.

Let’s face it, as an SNP member I should be devastated that it was a 61-39 No victory locally in terms of percentage points, but I wasn’t really surprised.

Being honest, I never thought the Yes vote would triumph in Edinburgh. There is a large English population in the city, and while I accept that a goodly number of them may have voted Yes, it was always more likely that they would vote No.

There are also so many people here working for financial institutions which basically told their workers they would lose their jobs – they wouldn’t have, but hey, if you’re going to tell a lie, tell a big one.

The fact is that too many of 
Edinburgh’s citizens were not prepared to thole the undoubted risks that independence would bring. They also failed to see the fantastic opportunities, but that was their perfect right.

What really galls me a month on is that, not content with their biased reporting in the months leading up to September 18, several newspapers and media outlets seem to be rewriting history already and spouting nonsense about a “neverendum”.

They paint the 55-45 result as a glorious victory for the Union, completely forgetting that until Gordon Brown and the Devo Max intervention, the result was going to be even closer.

The momentum was all with Yes until the “Vow” appeared, and many pundits and experts more clever and better informed than me are absolutely sure the Vow made the crucial difference in the closing days.

The Yes campaign lost, and all SNP members must fully accept the result. That’s why I want the Vow to be kept. To put it in rugby terms, if you can’t win the Grand Slam, take the Triple Crown that has been offered.

Let’s get that second-best option, but by no means is the cause of independence finished, and people like me across the country will continue to work and campaign for it.

Oh sure, the No side would have us go and hide in a cupboard, and I have to admit there have been times in the past month when I felt like doing so. But then I would read another column by the running dogs of the Tory-Labour Unionists, the lickspittle lackeys with laptops, and my determination to see Scotland independent would revive and flame again.

Chickens are also coming home to roost. Outgoing EC President Juan Manuel Barroso was just SO correct when he said that Scotland would not get automatic entry into the EU, wasn’t he? So it follows he is also right on the illegal Tory proposal to cap EU immigration. Be careful what friends you pick . . .

I also wonder how Scottish Labour’s people felt when they saw those devastating polls at the weekend. Reap what you 
sow . . . ?

It begins to look as though the only way Labour will ever get into power at Westminster will be to form a coalition with the Tories against UKIP.

Come to think of it, that’s maybe what Better Together was all along – a softening-up rehearsal for next May’s general election outcome.

Shoddy roads not limited to Capital

It is a sad fact backed up by a report from the council itself that Edinburgh’s roads are in a truly appalling state, and if even they had the money, if the council started on the necessary roadworks now, it would be many years before the Capital’s streets could be classed as decent.

No matter how bad Edinburgh’s roads are, there are parts of the rest of the Lothians, and particularly Midlothian, which mile-for-mile are just as bad if not worse.

Potholes, damaged anti-skid surfaces and the sheer incompetence of utility repairs – all of these can be found in abundance outside the Capital as well as here. But who would win the Lothian roads ghastliness contest? My money’s on Midlothian.

All eyes on Easter Road

Hearts score five again and Hibs put four past Livingston. No wonder all eyes will be on Easter Road on Sunday

for what really is the biggest Scottish football derby this season.

Hardie is right man for the job

I state again my total confidence in Lord Hardie of Blackford to deliver a thorough and exhaustive inquiry into the trams fiasco. The stories that it may take up to two years for his report to be delivered are based on the Accounts Commission’s initial look at the procedures.

I suspect he will do it in less time, and I guarantee it will be devastatingly precise.

Church’s views are out of date

IT was very brave of Pope Francis to even put the Roman Catholic Church’s attitude to homosexuality on the agenda for discussion at the synod last week.

It was also very sad that not enough cardinals and bishops accepted his plan for the church to be more “welcoming” to homosexual people.

The fact is that until the Church actually changes its whole theology on sexuality, which is the root cause of its outdated and outmoded teaching on homosexuality, nothing will really change for gay Catholics.

Still, a start has been made and at least the subject is up for discussion.