An independent Scotland's government will be whatever voters choose (and not necessarily what I or Bobby Gillespie want)
I was delighted that Bobby Gillespie from the band Primal Scream tweeted his support for independence.
His father was a trade union stalwart and indeed was the Labour candidate defeated by Jim Sillars in the Govan by-election back in the 1980s. Suffice to say that his support for independence wasn’t an endorsement of the SNP.
But support for independence transcends one single party, as there are differing visions of what an independent Scotland might be. Bobby Gillespie has one view and it’s to the Left, mine might be slightly different but it’s still akin to his in many ways.
Equally though, there are other options. Journalist Lesley Riddoch recently produced a programme on Estonia. The small Baltic State only regained its independence in the early 1990s with the collapse of the Soviet Union.
It’s chosen a very open economy and far from a socialist stance. But it has done remarkably well. An independent Scotland will be what the people of Scotland want it to be. That will be their democratic choice.
Doing a talk at an English university a few months ago, I was challenged by a radical Northern Irish émigré, asserting that whilst sympathetic to Scottish independence he was still unsure, his concern being that he didn’t wish to see a replication of Fianna Fail’s Ireland. Now that surprised me for two reasons.
Firstly, is he really suggesting that Ireland would have been better remaining under the British Crown? Even if he doesn’t like Fianna Fail, it’s certainly been better for Ireland than British governments of whatever hue.
Secondly, that was the Irish people’s democratic choice. There’s many things Fianna Fail have done that I disagree with.
But I still think that it’s more often performed well and the basis of the modern Irish success story can arguably be traced back to Sean Lemass and the opening up of the economy and investment in education.
The government in an independent Scotland might not be what Bobby Gillespie or I want. As with Ireland and Estonia though, it’ll be what Scots vote for. Left or right, it’ll be our choice.