This morning (February 7), in a speech both ridiculous and patronising, David Cameron stood at a podium in London and told Scots to know their place.
According to Tory millionaire Mr Cameron, being a normal independent country is not for the likes of the Scots. For us, the best we can hope for, according to the Tory leader, is to remain as a region of the United Kingdom, allowing his Tory-led Government to impose its right-wing agenda on us, while continuing to fleece us of revenue from North Sea oil and the Scotch whisky industry.
Bizarrely, the British Prime Minister cited Nelson Mandela as someone who loved and respected Britishness and the British parliamentary system. Apparently Mr Cameron has not actually read ‘Long Walk to Freedom’, Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, where the man who became the first President of a multi-racial South Africa stated he was proud to be an “African nationalist” and to have “fought against British imperialism”.
Cameron also appeared to argue that Scots musicians and singers – he specifically referred to Emeli Sande – would some how be diminished in standing if the rest of the world no longer looked on them as being British. Really?
Another assertion was that, if Scotland becomes an independent country, we will not be able to export goods to China’s growing middle class. Even if this were true, which it isn’t, is the spending-power of middle class Chinese really so important that it should be a major factor in whether or not the people of Scotland re-take the powers of a normal independent nation?
David Cameron’s speech was desperate stuff, culminating in a plea for people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to ‘phone a friend’ in Scotland and tell us to know our place, not to get ideas above our station and think that we should actually have the right to run our own country.
At the end, with journalists and broadcasters ready to question the UK Prime Minister, Cameron took just two questions, one of which was about flooding in the south-west of England.
Pathetic though Cameron’s speech was, it was also significant in that, having once again directly entered the debate on Scottish independence, he has no grounds whatsoever for continuing to refuse a televised debate with Alex Salmond.
Cameron is the democratically elected Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and is actively campaigning against Scottish independence. Alex Salmond is the democratically elected First Minister of Scotland, and is actively campaigning for Scottish independence. It is therefore right that the two should face each other in a debate on the subject. Let’s hear the arguments from the leaders of the two governments, and then let the people decide.
If Cameron continues to duck-out of a debate with Salmond, then the already weak case for the Union is diminished further.
Both Alex Salmond and David Cameron will be in Aberdeen on the same day in two weeks time. Salmond has already said he is happy for the televised debate to take place that day. How about it Mr Cameron? Are you prepared to defend your Union, or are you just going to continue lecturing us from London?