I BELIEVE you are making a trip up to Scotland looking for support for your Conservative Party leadership bid.

I’m not a member of the party and after growing up in Liverpool and witnessing the devastation caused by Thatcher I never will be. On a personal level I have been very impressed with your life and travels so far.

I remember the times sat in my bedroom in Liverpool staring at a rather sumptuous Atlas that my grandfather gave us and drinking in the names of far-flung cities and towns, desperately wanting to taste their exotic, enticing allures. My economic situation wasn’t as favourable as your own but I still managed a good few years travelling about Europe. I would dearly love to have had the opportunity to travel further but financial reality laid its constraints across my road to adventure.

I can only wish you well in your bid to be leader of what remains of the Conservative Party. You are by far the outstanding candidate in a race that has far too many individuals who have nothing to offer but the same stale old rhetoric of politicians knowing they will not be held to account for their empty promises and who seem to have no understanding of world trade.

But the main reason I am writing to you is to include you in the independence conversation that is growing in Scotland. This would mean breaking out of the increasingly small circle of Ruth Davidson’s party (that’s how the Conservatives address themselves here). A word of warning. You need to watch that one. Davidson’s opinions are as shifting as the desert sands you crossed and even more treacherous. She is throwing her substantial political weight behind Boris Johnson despite refusing to allow him into conference in Scotland. At the time, she was dead set against him … but then she was also dead set against Brexit.

That’s the thing with that one, you can only rely on her following her own sense of glorious destiny. The BBC and media here do nothing to contest her. After all, it’s all they have now. An illusory, ever-changing figurehead with which to cling to in a rising sea of independence support. It is a figurehead lashed to a ship of fools. You will no doubt meet some of these flailing survivors of recent independence storms, such as the infamous Murdo Fraser. A man who has never won an election but who has been feeding off tax-payer handouts for decades now.

And there’s the catch, Rory. Independence is a way forward for Scotland. A chance to fully take its place on the European and the world stage. However, the supporters of the United Kingdom are still fighting ancient battles or hankering for a Victorian age where they will of course be one of a small number of people benefitting from slavery and poverty. Either that or they are deceiving themselves that they are still fighting the Second World War and believe we will just need to see Johnny Foreigner off with a bit of flag waving and a jolly old singsong. (Not the one in the Eurovision Song Contest, of course).

So please, come and talk to us while you are visiting. I’ve written here before, as an Englishman, that a decent English government would allow Scotland its freedom. It would help Scotland to stand on its own two feet and remain friendly and chipper about the whole thing. We would still watch each other’s backs and head to the pub for a pint, but get on with managing our own households and compete with each other in a fair-minded and advantageous manner.

We will never forget those that helped us achieve what we have now, but a new revolution is changing the way we must approach the world. The technological revolution is even more world-shattering than the industrial revolution that ultimately led to mass slaughter and social upheaval across the whole of the world. If any lessons should be learned from there, it is that the old political and diplomatic systems must change to keep pace with the times. If not, those very same systems will drag us into disastrous times.

I know Scotland and the independence movement are discussing some of the decisive changes needed to advance society for the benefit of all. Perhaps you will find the time listening to them as beneficial and as liberating as I did.

All the best,
Ian Greenhalgh

PS: Don’t apologise for trying out opium on your travels on our behalf. That really only appeals to the small-minded shed-dwellers of middle England. Your travels are (quite literally) the stuff of dreams, don’t let them drag you down.