Excellent (IMO) article by Simon Jenkins

After an interesting potted history of the Celtic past he casually floats the excellent (IMO) idea that remain voting Scotland should join the NIP :joy: a sort of independence lite. Some commentators there have already said they’d welcome the economic advantages of one foot in the UK and one in the EU.

If Sturgeon even floated the idea it would take the wind out of the Johnson/Frost sails and drive the DUP mad. The Scotland/England land border is far shorter than Ireland’s with NI and the presence of border infrastructure is of no consequence to the GFA. What’s not to like?


An interesting idea. A green shoot of hope.

Sorry John, strongly disagree with many aspects of Jenkin’s article.

Firstly, it’s a fairly rightwing english journalist advising the Scots what, in his opinion they should do! And that’s before we get to the NS’s ‘Celtic virus’. Westminster bawl bags!

Secondly, Scots nationalism is a progressive movement whose values and aspirations have very little in common with those of the DUP.

Thirdly this article is like too many in today’s Guardian it’s too hastily written and superficially constructed, yet will probably attract plenty of click bait, which of course is its primary function.

I’ll think about that Mark and revert :slightly_smiling_face:

Mark, I’m wondering where your benchmark is for journalists?

I thought Jenkins is generally thought of as being a moderate conservative liberal (e.g. Guardian articles, books and the fact he writes for the NewStateman).

In that context, and also in the context of the rest of his article where he concludes that ‘the celts’ may be ultimately successful, I read his ‘celtic virus’ opening comment as being tongue-in-cheek as that is how Boris et al are seeing the fracturing of the UK as much a current challenge as our new covid friend.

Fair points, but as I recall, he’s been historically opposed to Scots’ nationalism (as has the Guardian) and whilst he’s certainly not a right-wing ultra, I’ll happily go with your small ‘c’ conservative.

And regardless of the above, I think it’s another too hastily written piece , for example, ‘It could demand of England that the Northern Ireland protocol’s Irish Sea border be extended along Hadrian’s Wall, bringing Scotland within the single market.’

Hadrian’s Wall is entirely in England and appropriately is managed by English Heritage…

Yes, it could be careless writing, or perhaps it was deliberate; 2,000+ years of struggle may have exactly been his point. In addition to it being titled ‘The Return of the Celts’ and his conclusion that England may be finally realising that the Empire still has some shrinking to do before it realises that it can’t compete alone and will eventually need to rejoin Europe (refer Celtic octopus comment). I wouldn’t put that on the Right at all.

Hard to argue against that - it’s a common schoolboy error, that suggests this grown-up Westminster journo has never travelled between Carlisle and Newcastle. What he proposes would inadvertently cede 90% of Northumberland and half of Tyne & Wear to Scotland. ‘Wee Nicola’ would achieve greater territorial gains than those of any Scottish king (unless you count James VI accession to the English throne - mind you, that didn’t pan out quite as intended)

Mark, I think you may be reading him too narrowly.
Sir Simon Jenkins is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, so perhaps allow him a little literary licence.

Literary licence isn’t usually employed in international geo-political treaties, though the Brexiteer’s interpretation of the NI Protocol might lead one to conclude otherwise!

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Why did the UK allow Parliaments to be set up anywhere other than Westminster, if the plan was not eventually (in the English meaning not its French meaning) to allow those countries to split off? It always seemed obvious that given a Parliament they would want to

I think it is precisely the opposite, Karen, it was thought that throwing the scrap of separate parliaments would diminish the desire to split away. NI has had its own administration for donkey’s years, long before the Scots and Welsh, and there is no doubt that the majority there (for the time being anyway) are keen to retain the Union. Indeed it was for that very reason that it got it in the first place.

Tut tut, imagine giving the English colonies any say in their own countries :face_with_raised_eyebrow:, you’ll be saying next that we should still be dothing our caps, tugging our forelock and bowing whenever Boris speaks.

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Who are you taking to Colin ? :slightly_smiling_face: