A Senior Moment: A great nation is divided

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Call the newsdesk on 01780 758951 or e-mail smeditor@stamfordmercury.co.uk

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As I write, the future of Scotland remains unclear, with the referendum too close to call. By the time you read this it’ll all be done and dusted. Yes or no. In or out. No ifs, buts, or maybes. No shades of grey, just black or white.

Or will it? Can we really believe - with only a couple of percentage points in it, the losing side will be happy to walk away with a smile and a song. Can we really see both sides pulling together in peace and harmony as if nothing had happened - as assured by the contenders? I doubt it.

So congratulations Mr Salmond. Win or lose you’ve succeeded in dividing the great nation you claim so passionately to care about. You’ve made enemies across the border, damaged trust around the world, not to mention de-valuing sterling, shares and putting jobs and investment at risk. All in all I’d say you’ve played a blinder - even bringing Mr Brown out of the woodwork! And I do admire the new-style SNP press conference – it has brought a whole new dimension to political shenanigans. Simply pepper the audience with barracking/heckling ‘yes’ supporters and hope no-one will notice, while they applaud casual dismissal of perfectly valid questions - as BBC bias and brass plates! But never mind all that, North Koreans think you’re great and love your whisky - so that’ll keep the spirits up!

As for keeping the Queen, I seem to recall you wanted rid of Her Majesty years ago. Funny isn’t it, how politicians seem to have such fickle memories.

And I don’t know why there’s such a fuss about what currency to adopt. Monopoly money sounds about right to me!

In my book, in or out, it’s a sad day for Scotland. But maybe – just maybe, it’s an ill wind destined to trigger seeds of change. There can be little doubt public faith and trust in politics in general and politicians in particular is probably at its lowest ebb ever.

From the ‘riches to even more riches’ politics of Tony Blair’s governance, to the Toffs at the top of today’s suits in charge, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain one’s political beliefs - whatever side of the divide you favour. This must surely be one of the reasons behind the rise of the SNP after decades of Labour domination in Scotland and similarly the growth of Ukip - with all the nonsense pouring out of Brussels serving only to confuse rather than clarify.

So you might think - with all the disturbing portents at home let alone worldwide, at least someone in the corridors of power should be getting just an itsy-bit worried. Instead, what are they doing? More snouts in the expenses trough apparently, with increased use of family and friends as paid staff - some as much as £50K and claims amounting to £103.06 million, 5% up on last year.

Politicians ? Priceless. Change? I should cocoa!