IN response to a query about Tuesday’s Orkney council debate, Downing Street says: “Fundamentally we are stronger as one United Kingdom. We have no plans to change that.”

What does this insipid and meaningless soundbite mean? Stronger in what way? Certainly not in our declining living standards (set to drop behind Poland and Romania by 2030)! In the ongoing con that our banks and supermarkets continue to get away with, squeezing us til the pips squeak? In our total irrelevance to the EU or indeed our great “ally” the US? They say “jump” and our governments just say “how high?” Or our privatised industries, working so productively for shareholders, not for us?

READ MORE: FACT CHECK: Does Orkney want independence from the UK and Scotland?

Really, journalists must follow up these questions rather than wringing their hands later when yet more sleaze is uncovered.

Still – the Windsors are coming up to be presented with the Honours of Scotland! I am afraid that’s not enough of a distraction from the frankly miserable state this disUnited Kingdom is in. All power to Orkney Council! And, eventually, the people of Scotland.

Marjorie Ellis Thompson