With the hundredth anniversary of the grant of votes for some women by the British parliament (those over the age of 30 who owned property), I was fascinated to read about the Anti-Suffrage League that was founded in 1908 – by a woman. Talk about turkeys voting for Christmas!

These women, backed by the establishment, saw the Suffragette campaign as an undesirable “prelude to social revolution” because, they argued, women were intellectually inferior and emotional so they didn't have the capacity to make political judgements. In a nutshell, it simply went against natural law and so the Suffragettes were being "irresponsible" in forcing the vote on wives and mothers and were to be repelled at all costs.

They deployed their own version of Project Fear, warning that families could be split apart if the wife thought for herself and voted differently to the husband, that Parliament would become a shambles with women elected (God forbid) sitting on the plush Westminster seats applying make-up or feeding babies instead of debating serious issues, that the inferior brains of women and their physical weakness and volatile temperament would leave Britain at the mercy of "properly run" countries etc.

I would be surprised if any women in these British Isles today would take this position, Mrs Rees-Mogg perhaps excepted. It is patently a position that not only would deprive women of a voice in raising questions about matters that affect them but also would "stack the cards" in a "male-only" parliament whenever issues peculiar to women’s rights were debated (like equal pay for equal work, currently exciting the corridors of the BBC). And that is only the beginning. We haven’t even begun to address the potential for fresh ideas and additional skills being brought to bear by 50 pre cent of the population that would affect everyone, not just women.

I have had conversations with Scots, often good people nonetheless, who display a similar perverse attitude towards Scottish independence. They voted against independence because of fear about their husband losing a pension (it’s being paid by the British Army!), because Scotland cannot afford to pay for itself and needs England’s subsidies, because that’s the way it’s always been.

Anyone who has seriously looked at the economics and potential for an independent Scotland has concluded that Scotland would do very well on its own. Even David Cameron and Tony Blair reached that conclusion while desperately trying to keep Scotland in thrall. Scotland is in the top 20 richest nations per head on earth today, It would no longer have to pay for a multitude of things it doesn’t want or need (Trident, an English high-speed train and doing up the palace of Westminster, for example), it has a wealth of natural resources (oil and wind and tidal energy are still vast untapped opportunities), it has a highly skilled workforce and world-class industries (food and drinks, games and other software, tourism, space technology, etc etc).

And all this without allowing for the ability to deploy decision-making and policies to accelerate Scotland’s advantages if it were independent instead of neutered by the dead hand of a Brexit-obsessed government 500 miles away that relies on votes from the south-east of England (and today a group of bigoted and bribed Irish politicians) to survive.

It is patently obvious that with less than 10 per cent of the seats in the Commons and an unelected and unrepresentative second chamber, Scotland will always be at best ill-served and at worst ignored or positively discriminated against as a bargaining chip (fisheries?) to trade off for gains in London (financial services?) and the south-east. Like the anti-suffragettes, those who believe Scotland should not regain its independence are apparently unwittingly harming themselves and those to come.

The lesson of history is that, in time, common sense will prevail provided, like the Suffragettes, there are enough people willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen.

David Cairns of Finavon