This article can be read here.
Note that at time of posting this there were 23 pages of comments.
But to put this in context here is one of
the replies to it by Dr James Wilkie...
I agree wholeheartedly with the Cuthberts -
as anyone who has followed my contributions to these columns over the
years will know. The SNP has to be supported as the only feasible
vehicle for obtaining constitutional independence, but God forbid that
in its present state it should be permitted to run Scotland afterwards.
It hasn't a clue how an independent state of Scotland's size is actually
run nowadays, because it has nobody with the requisite know-how and
experience. Its pantomime performance over EU membership demonstrates
its lack of knowledge of international affairs. That is the primary
difference between running a devolved administration (which the SNP has
in fact done very well) and governing an independent state.
Independent Scotland will have to live and work within the new global
framework of inter-dependence that has developed over the past two
decades under the general umbrella of the United Nations. There is no
sign that the SNP even understands what that means.
Inter alia, it means that the importance of the European regional
institutions has declined relative to the new system of global
governance. Within that framework, the 27-member European Union (the
other major European organisations have up to 57 members each) is just a
sub-regional association of certain states within Europe. It in no way
justifies the importance the SNP attaches to it, but the relevant SNP
policy is in reality dictated by that front for vested interests calling
itself the European Movement (or Euromove, its recent euphemism), no
doubt for the purpose of keeping Scotland under foreign control after
It also means coping with Scotland's place within a global economy where
the levers of power do not lie in London, or even with the US-oriented
Bretton Woods institutions, but in newer hands like those of the Bank
for International Settlements (BIS), which effectively governs the world
economy. Constitutional independence is essential for this reason alone,
but we must have an adequate pool of indigenous Scottish talent capable
of coping with the new global framework within which Scotland will have
to work and protect its interests.
The major problem post independence will be the quality of governance,
due to the dearth of relevant talent, know-how and experience in the
country. The SNP may succeed in its aim, but it has a long way to go
before it will be capable of governing an independent Scotland.
This throws up the problem of exactly who will govern Scotland during
the crucial period after independence. It cannot be left to the SNP, and
there will be no alternative to mustering the best talent, know-how and
experience available in Scotland and elsewhere.
With a worldwide diaspora Scotland should be able to fill the inevitable
gap until an indigenous body of ability and experience can be built up
over the years, with a correspondingly beneficial spin-off onto national
intellectual and cultural life.