SCOTLAND must be free of the Treaty of Union with England now. When that was made, Scotland had a quarter of the population of England. Now it has 8.4%. Whether you count the people of a country as its wealth or the basis of its democratic power, this means that England has accrued the difference between these two figures from Scotland to its own substance in the three centuries since the Treaty was made. That is to say it is richer and more powerful pro rata by that proportion.

It was recently reported in The National that “Scotland has recorded its fewest annual births since records began and the highest level of excess deaths since 1940.” If this was said of any other country you would conclude that the government had failed in its duty of care.

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The article by Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh later in the same paper stated of Scotland’s death rate from Covid, “New Zealand a country of a similar size has seen 26 deaths – Scotland had more than 10,000.” It becomes clear the present regime is antipathetic to this country. If you have any knowledge of Scottish history, for example of the poverty-related ill-health, the excess war casualties and emigration, this will not be new.

But it also makes doubly clear that the present two-parliament system is unworkable. If Scotland had tried to emulate New Zealand it would have been dragged down by the dead weight of Westminster. If one were to suggest that the Scottish Government should have had the courage to call an advisory referendum as soon as Brexit became a fait accompli, and would have cleared itself of any of the responsibility for the sad statistics, it would be said this is hindsight.

To anyone with some life experience it is no use saying this is being wise after the event. Life is a constant stream of events. As Supermac said, “It’s events. dear boy, events.” Since 1940 we have had a world war, independence for the old European empires, Far East wars, Middle East wars, depressions. bank crashes, inflation, Aids, terrorism and now Covid. None of them changed my mind that Scotland should be free, now.

Iain WD Forde