In the past, members of far-left parties, like Andrew C. Sanders were prone to the fallacy of believing that there is an overall pattern to history which makes things happen inevitably. For instance, communists believed that capitalism would be replaced by ideal workers’ societies as sure as night follows day. We all know how that ended.
Now the same magical thinking is being transferred to the equally unjustifiable claims being made for Scottish independence. According to Mr Sanders and his fellow nationalists, a Yes vote is a guarantee that Fascist dictators and violent religious fanatics will cease to be a threat to their own populations and world peace, and that in Scotland food banks will cease to be necessary, bankers will forgo their bonuses, and Trident will vanish beneath the waves never to resurface.
To respond to the example used by Mr Sanders, unilateralism has never removed a single warhead from Britain, and the magical thinking of the Aldermaston marchers achieved nothing other than a nice feeling of superiority. The same applies to their successors at Greenham Common a generation later: that base was closed in 1993 due to the hard, realistic and ultimately successful process of multi-lateral disarmament.
The claims made for an independent Scotland are equally bogus: Scotland would remain under obligations to NATO, with less clout than is currrently the case, with the same applying to the EU. Crucially for poverty and employment, its monetary policy would be dictated by a rUK Traeasury, whether outwith or within a (highly unlikely) asymmetrical currency union.
The magical thinkers were fooled once by far-left ideologies, and risk repeating the same mistake if they believe in independence as a credible way forward to their ideal society. And even George W. Bush knew the saying: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”
Peter A. Russell
This was a response to:
PETER A Russell (Letters, April 24) feels that Scotland would give up its influence at home and abroad by becoming independent. Would this be the influence which has connected us with foreign wars; created a society which has led to the growth of food banks while bankers and others pocket obscene sums, as well as encouraging an ever-growing unelected chamber at Westminster, stuffed with Tories, Liberal Democrat and Labour peers? Mr Russell goes on to claim that only multi-disarmament can rid us of nuclear weapons. Considering that the Coalition Government, with Labour support, is poised to spend billions upgrading these weapons of mass destruction, this is a ludicrous claim to make – and I speak as one who marched to Aldermaston more than 50 years ago . I think I’ve waited long enough and look forward to the day we in Scotland join those ” less important countries” , as he puts it, when we can feel pride in place of shame.
Andrew C Sanders,