I’m stepping out on a limb here, not having the full facts at my disposal, but that’s a nice media metaphor for Scotland’s supposed claims to the island of Rockall, ‘only’ 187 miles west of uninhabited St Kilda and 263 miles from Tory (!) Island in Ireland. The UK claimed it as recently as 1955 and made it part of Scotland in 1972. The fishing waters around the island are disputed and were yesterday at the centre of a media feeding frenzy:
The headlines are misleading in that the threats of fighting come from Bertie Armstrong of the SFF and not from the Scottish Government. Strangely, the arch-Unionist does not invoke the power of the Royal Navy but calls on the Scottish Government ‘to put its money where its mouth is’ and enforce control of its waters. Scotland does not have an armed fishery protection vessel. I can find no quote from any Scottish Government minister and I gather the FM didn’t raise the issue in Dublin last week. The Scottish Conservatives have not barged in waving the Royal Ensign so far.
So, I might well be misreading this and maybe even being a bit paranoid but there is something not quite right here.
Why is the UK establishment in the form of a Tory minister, a Royal Navy senior officer, Ruth Davidson or Andrew Neil, not barging in here to stand between too-wee powerless Scotland and Ireland to illustrate just how much we need the broad shoulders and warships of the Union? Are they waiting and hoping that any SG response can be portrayed as weak?
Why does Bertie Armstrong want Scotland to deal with this? Same reason?
Why are the Scottish opposition parties so quiet? Same reason?
Where is Colonel Davidson?
Why is the Scottish Government, if it really is, getting drawn into the kind of post-imperial posturing it surely cannot identify with? Why has it not issued the kind of statement suggesting negotiation you’d expect of a progressive regime?
Why do I think there’s something fishy going on?