Home > Politics > An Open Letter to Joan McAlpine MSP

An Open Letter to Joan McAlpine MSP

Dear Joan McAlpine

As a constituent of the South of Scotland region, your constituency in the Scottish Parliament, I was disheartened to see your blog on the Daily Record’s website comparing the union to domestic abuse.

For the record, I hate the marriage metaphor when describing the union. What’s next for the “unionists” in that argument? “Stay together for the kids!” i.e. Wales & NI.

If anything the relationship is more like 4 kids in a playground. England being the biggest therefore thinking it has more rights than the other 3 kids or maybe England just thinks its being protective of the 3 littler kids in the big bad playground when it isn’t.

That being said there are some things I agree with in the article. I don’t think Scotland or any community within the UK should be dependent on Westminster.

I believe whether your an individual or community (however big or small) you should have the power to shape your own destiny.

Yet, I don’t believe in Scottish independence. Why?

Two reasons.

First, as I’ve blogged before, independence will lead to parliamentary ping pong like we haven’t seen in over 300 years. My only question to you and Alex Salmond is whose up to bat first?

My bet is on Salmond, his ego is far too big.

Having that parliamentary ping pong will not be good for Scotland or the rest of the UK but then again the last time that happened, it resulted in the Act of Union, so maybe that is your secret plan. To go independent just to renegotiate back in on better terms.

The second reason and this is far more philosophical than the first and one the SNP still fail to answer.

What is a “nation”?

Define for me, what definition of a “nation” are you using?

Is it because once, long ago, Scotland used to be a Kingdom and therefore a nation? If that’s true, then is Strathclyde a “nation”? After all, Strathclyde used to be a Kingdom before Scotland. Or what about the Kingdom of Fife?

For me, my “nation” isn’t Scotland. My “nation” is and I hope always will be the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. (N.B. no mention of Scotland in that title)

I hate the fact, that after 305 years of the Kingdom of Great Britain and 211 years of the United Kingdom, we still use in our every day talk, language that says we are not united, that we are not one nation. We still refer to the midlands which are in the south of Britain, not middle.

Maybe I should be proud that even after all these years, there are still distinct identities. Yes, but the same is true of Strathclyde and the Highlands, they are culturally distinct but we still don’t use divisive language in Scotland that clearly states that the people north of antonine’s wall whether it’s to the north west of antonine’s wall in the Highlands or north east as if they are something other.

The answer to dependency in the UK is not independence, its a federal UK, where everyone in the UK has the freedom to control their own destinies.

The problem with the Act of Union and its subsequent amendments and the devolution since, is that it exists. The problem with it, is that it is simply bad.

We need a new agreement from everyone in the UK. It needs to state why the UK exists, what its for and it needs to outline a new type of democracy, a style of democracy that is fit for the 21st century and one that is capable of adapting.


Nic Prigg

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  1. April 5, 2012 at 16:19

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