Saturday, 24 March 2012
Why Did John Redwood Anger Alex Salmond?
John Redwood has upset Alex Salmond. The First Minister described his recent remarks - on a blog post - as "spectacularly ill-informed and ill-judged".
The only ill-judged sentence in Mr Redwood's post is 'It is an anti English movement more than it is an independence movement'. A snide, ill-judged remark from Mr Redwood and a remark which understandably annoyed not only the First Minister but most Scots who read it.
John Redwood is a born and bred Englishman with little or no understanding, or even interest, in the Scots. If he had he would be aware that independence supporters are certainly not anti English but anti London rule. A great difference. He prefers to perpetrate the myth that Scots are anti English because it suits his own agenda - he wants independence for England and he sees Scotland as an irritant in his great scheme.
John Redwood is a Eurosceptic and possibly the most anti EU Tory in Westminster. He is convinced England would survive without the EU, whereas many Scots feel membership of the EU is essential to ensure the future of our vital industries, such as fishing.
There is no doubt the EU is in charge of the UK. Some say 85% of legislation is driven by EU directives.
I am also a Eurosceptic and think an independent Scotland could prosper without being a full member of the EU, but I do accept that many in Scotland find having a seat at the table of the EU more agreeable than working via proxy from Westminster.
If Mr Redwood thinks such a stance is anti English then so be it. He insists English nationalism is now the 'new force in UK politics'.
Mr Salmond shouldn't be angry. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and as long as Mr Redwood's English nationalism is as outward looking and positive as Scotland's, then English nationalism will flourish. However, I doubt if England, with representatives like Mr Redwood, is mature enough to want a relationship of equals yet.