Yesterday I read this article on Newsnet Scotland. Entitled “Dear Westminster: a divorce letter”, it is a call for independence. It contains the words that the writer, Paul Kavanagh, imagines Scotland telling England when it finally decides to take the plunge. Of course, Scotland is not at that point yet, so reading this you get a glimpse of what might be round the corner, what might be said, and the reasons why the Scotland who writes the letter calls for the divorce.
The words are compelling, and hopefully to many they are persuasive too. It’s a brilliant piece – creative, emotional, human. Yet packed full of the truth of where Scotland is right now and the potential it is yet to fulfil.
Importantly, though, it powerfully portrays independence as something that is good for England too. Some years back, the Conservatives had the anti-independence slogan “divorce is a costly business”, which I remember one commentator saying was an insensitive insult to those in failing or dangerous marriages. Sometimes, of course, divorce is the only safe option, and that’s the case for both Scotland and England today. Here are some powerful words from the end of the article on that very note:
There’s not much love anymore, I think you know that as well as I do, and it’s time we learned to live our own lives before what’s left of our feelings for one another turn into hate. Being in this marriage has made both of us lose sight of who we are, and we need to find ourselves again. I’ll still stand beside you to defend what we have in common, but I won’t be under your thumb.
In terms of redefining the relationship between the two countries, it’s the best expression of why independence is necessary for both Scotland and England since I heard Alex Salmond some years ago describing independence as about moving Scotland from being a surly lodger to a good neighbour.
With the Scottish Parliament elections just a few weeks away, I can see this article being of seminal importance and going viral: it has a huge number of comments, I’ve seen it posted on Facebook numerous times, and I hope it gets people talking.
Whether you’re Scottish or English, have a read. It could change both countries, very much for the better. As the article says, “we both need to find ourselves again”.