This article was originally published by Newsnet Scotland on 29 April 2013.
The independence campaign is really only the second important campaign I’ve been involved in so far in my life. The first was for the removal of the ludicrous ban on gay people serving openly in the UK Armed Forces. As time moves on, I’m noticing a striking similarity between the opposition to the two campaigns.
By the 1990s, it was blindingly obvious that the internal opposition to gay people serving openly in the Armed Forces came not from straight colleagues, who really couldn’t care less. By far the most vocal opposition came from high ranking, self-loathing, closet homosexuals.
There is no prison so strong as the one an inmate constructs for himself; the thought of young, self-confident gay people serving openly among these self-imposed prisoners was absolute anathema to them, and not just because of the risk of their own exposure. Far from reasoned arguments, the ridiculous notions offered in opposition bore far more relation to the lurid fantasies of sex-starved old queens.
As the fear and (?self-) loathing emanating from Better Together gets all the more shrill and phantasmagorical, is it just possible that they are closet Scottish Nationalists? I purposely say Scottish Nationalists rather than just Nationalists because we have a long history of nations shaking off rule from Westminster. However, they seem to have a special opprobrium reserved purely for Scottish people.
For example despite Scots being shareholders in Sterling, a position not held by countries which have previously shaken off the yoke of Westminster, Scots apparently are uniquely to be debarred from using the hallowed currency. In Ireland, Sterling and Irish Pounds were freely exchangeable on a one-for-one basis from 1922 to 1978. Despite being independent since 1853, New Zealand used Sterling until 1933, Australia between independence in 1901 and 1931 and South Africa until 1961. Not to mention that the independent Guernsey, Jersey and Man all use Sterling. What makes the Scots so singularly unworthy?
Other than the checkpoints set up to combat the troubles between 1972 and 2005, the UK has maintained an open border with Ireland since 1922. Are the Scots so singularly dangerous, deranged and diseased that we are to have minefields, customs posts and machine guns at Carter Bar?
Cardiac patients in Northern Ireland are to be sent to Dublin for specialist care as a cost-saving measure as there isn’t the population to warrant a specialist unit in Belfast. It seems Health Service Administrators will be perfectly able to cope with this despite the cost of care in Dublin being charged in Euros. However, the prospect of Scottish patients travelling to an English specialist centre, or Geordie cancer sufferers coming to the Beetson post-independence will apparently cause so much red tape that in both England and Scotland, every Health Service Managers’ head will explode.
Scottish Servicemen and Women exercise regularly with our Norwegian, Danish and Dutch allies for our joint defence, but somehow this will become impossible post-independence. The details as to why are immaterial, because of course we will be nuked by North Korea as soon as we step out from underneath the fantastically expensive UK Nuclear Umbrella. Irrational though he may be, quite why Kim Jong Un should suddenly acquire such a loathing for Scots on the other side of the world as to nuke them, I’ll leave to the imaginations of Better Together.
It seems that in all areas where we as Scots enjoy civilised relations with the rest of the world, we only do so as part of the UK. If we become independent, we will become international pariahs: Penniless (literally), defenceless, imprisoned in our own dear little Scotland, derided and shunned by the world.
I have only known such lurid fantasies of the horrors that will befall us should we decide to take our open, mature and honest place in the world once before. After all, like most gay people of my age I was (for a thankfully short time) a closet queen once.
Are Better Together closet Scottish Nationalists? I think we should be told.
Addendum: The article attracted some favourable comments on Newsnet Scotland. My favourite was: