Steve Cardownie: Brexit will prove to be beginning of the end for Union
The recent survey by Deltapoll on behalf of the campaign group Our Future, Our Choice has provided a cause for optimism in some quarters and despair in others as, in the light of its findings, the cause for Scottish independence has received a significant boost.
When asked how they would vote if the UK pulled out of the European Union a majority of Scottish voters said that they would now go for independence. Given that Scotland voted 62 per cent to 38 per cent in favour of the UK remaining in the European Union in the referendum of 2016 it comes as no surprise that Scots are viewing the ensuing turmoil and uncertainty with ever increasing disdain.
Even allowing for the fact that Scotland voted to Remain, the unedifying sight of the Tories at Westminster fighting like ferrets in a sack over the terms of Brexit can only further fuel the concern and anxiety the majority of Scots feel over their future wellbeing.
Only last weekend we witnessed both Remain and Leave wings of the Tory Party taking to the media to “rubbish” the proposed deal promoted by our hapless Prime Minister Theresa May, with the pro-European former cabinet minister Justine Greening going so far as to call for the PM to ditch the plans rather than losing vital time pushing a proposal that was now dead. On the other side we have PM in waiting (he thinks) Boris Johnson repeating his well-worn attack on the proposed deal.
It is little wonder that outsiders looking in have reached the end of their tether, with one opinion poll showing that 69 per cent of Britons believed that Brexit was going badly and another concluded that more than 2.6 million people have abandoned their support for it. Amidst all the chaos a “no deal” exit looks increasingly likely.
Against this backdrop the leader of the SNP and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has reiterated her call that Scotland must be prepared for a second referendum on Scottish independence.
The predicted damage inflicted by a hard, or even worse, a “no deal” Brexit, must now surely trigger the timetable for such a vote, although it is entirely appropriate that a methodical analysis must be undertaken before deciding on the most suitable date.
It isn’t as though the SNP is not better equipped than ever to lend its weight to an independence campaign.
Data from the House of Commons library shows that the SNP membership now stands at 125,000 people, making it the second largest political party in the UK – and that’s official!
You may not be around but you can still shape city for 2050
I can only echo the call in Monday’s paper for maximum participation in the most recently launched consultation exercise by the City of Edinburgh Council.
The 2050 Edinburgh City Vision runs the risk of being somewhat myopic if it lacks significant public participation by the public. It attempts to map out a long-term strategy for the city and how it may look in the year 2050. Most people have a view about the future, not just their place in it but that of succeeding generations.
Children now growing up in the city will reach adulthood by then and will be considering the future of the city for the generations that will follow them. Although I am hardly likely to be around to see it, Edinburgh in 2050 is still an issue that I have a personal interest in as hopefully my family will still be living here, and if this exercise provides me with a possibility of shaping the future of the city them I would be shirking my responsibility if I did not grasp it. Obviously not everyone’s views can be taken on board but at least participation is better than doing nothing at all.
It could not be easier to get involved: visit the website at www.edinburgh2050.com or take part in the many activities that are planned including coffee shop partnerships in five locations throughout the city, if in doubt contact your local council office for details.
Your voice is important, it is up to you to make it heard.
Gordon Ramsay couldn’t cope with my snack attack
Given my preference for periodically being found of an evening in one of Edinburgh’s fine drinking emporiums, discussing the issues of the day with my fellow imbibers and thoroughly exhausting the subject of politics, football and global weather among others, I sometimes find myself arriving home outwith takeaway delivery times.
So being deprived of the opportunity to savour my favourite Asian cuisine I am forced to resort to the fridge to see what I can conceivably quickly “rustle up”, taking into account my condition and lack of culinary skills.
Having failed miserably to apply the tips recommended in a book I recently found in a charity shop, aptly titled Cooking Basics for Dummies (third edition, no less), I have decided to rely on my own trusted method for providing sustenance at such an hour – boiling water and a Bombay Bad Boy pot noodle. Eat your heart out Gordon Ramsay!