Is McWhirter’s Federalism really a respectable position for the Scotland we want when we must then embrace this?

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Here’s what Iain McWhirter wrote in 2014:


Iain McWhirter of the Herald has between getting some unwarranted abuse on Twitter recently. A twitterer whose opinion I usually agree with has defended him and suggested that his federalism is a respectable position to take. I’m not so sure. Simply, by definition, federalism means that you accept the foreign policy and the military strategies of the supra-state, Britain. This means you must accept some responsibility for the bloodletting, the creation of dysfunctional states and the consequent blowback of mass migration and terror in Europe. Thus, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Libya are yours. You must accept the meaningless deaths of Scottish soldiers and the bombing of civilians by our pilots. You must accept the nuclear weapons on the Clyde and dumping of nuclear waste around Scotland with the health risks that produces. You must pay for the aircraft carriers which cannot defend us but only project power into the lives of others less powerful. You must accept the gross inequality and the power of an aristocracy which both disgusts and demoralises. I could go on but isn’t federalism, with all this, just as bad as imperialism itself? Maybe it’s worse, because because you’re choosing in full knowledge, to stay with an abusive partner only because you fear a reduction in your living standards.



2 thoughts on “Is McWhirter’s Federalism really a respectable position for the Scotland we want when we must then embrace this?

  1. Alasdair Macdonald May 4, 2019 / 7:17 am


    I think this is version of the ‘divide-and-rule’ tactic, in the same way that ‘devo max’ was. Unlike sectarianism which entails stoking and inflaming mutual dislikes and suspicion into violence, this variant seeks to present itself as ‘reasonable’, as a ‘sensible half way house’. It is aimed at the former Labour voters who have embraced independence, such as myself, and it is aimed at the ‘swithering no voters’. It would probably be attractive to the fixed no voters (other than the rabid British nationalists, who would want any concept of Scotland banished, as happed after the Jacobite rising in 1745.

    It is not something the Scottish Tories have ever given much time to. For Scottish Labour, it is an empty shell which they have brought out since oil was discovered in the 1970s, but, when given an opportunity in the Smith Commission, opposed almost completely. Labour in England has not given it any consideration. Indeed, o the English parties, on the LibDems (and mainly the old Liberal Party wing) has had it as a serious policy. Norther Ireland has gone far beyond that. The Unionists are mainly die-hard (literally) Britons, and the remainder are, increasingly tending to a united Ireland.

    So, if voters in Scotland bought the federalism argument, it would crumble quickly into a more centralised Britain.

    Mr McWhirter is selling a pig in a poke. However, expect him to be on the BBC Scotland airwaves touting it. Jackie Bird (“let’s call it ‘Devo Max’) might even come out of purdah to interview him.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Jon May 5, 2019 / 5:06 pm

    MacWhirter’s position on Federalism is not one to be respected. From Iain it’s naked politics.
    Theres a repeated pattern to his journalism. Over the years after election success for the SNP, Iain would suddenly see the positives of Independence. Then as time passes and the next election beckons he would drift back towards the Unionist view, offering serious advice to help Labour win in Scotland.
    Plus articles intended to damage the independence cause.

    Federalism, its just a trick that gets regurgetated (Scotland only) every time Labour have run out of ideas to beat the SNP with.
    A complete non starter, England doesn’t want it. Prescott tried it and failed miserably. Yet one of Scotland’s most experienced political commentator’s has ignored Scotland’s democratic defeceit. What a lad eh!


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