The Scottish problem that won’t go away

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Was the Blair Government’s decision to give devolution to Scotland, including their own Parliament in Edinburgh, one of the most ill-considered domestic political judgements of recent years?

Tony Blair was a fierce opponent of the break-up of the United Kingdom and the creation of Scotland as a separate state. How he could have allowed the Nationalists (who were not then in power) to get halfway to their goal simply beggars belief.

Since then – and especially with the Scottish National Party (SNP) in control north of the border – it has been a nightmare at Westminster. And although last year’s referendum went the “right” way for the No voters, the SNP has astonishingly come back with a bang.

They’ve virtually wiped Labour off Scotland’s political map and have helped reduce the Liberal Democrats to just eight MPs.

All of a sudden, the SNP has become the third-largest party at Westminster.

Blair has since admitted that he was wrong not to include powerful safeguards for the integrity of the United Kingdom when the legislation was drawn up.

Too late now.

And before too long (if this promise is kept), the in-out European referendum will be upon us. If Britain does split from the EU, then the “Scottish problem” becomes even more acute.

Scotland’s current political leaders want to stay in, and it becomes even more difficult to deny the demands of a party which controls pretty much everywhere north of the River Tweed.

A battle royal looms...

Some European countries are being made to look callous over their determination to prevent large numbers of migrants from entering their territories.

But it is not they who should be feeling guilty. It is the people smugglers who are coining huge fortunes out of unsuspecting people, many of whom are also responsible for the drowning of those sent out in fragile, overloaded vessels.

This crisis will end only when tougher action is taken to secure borders.

It would also end a lot of misery for those at the mercy of these people smugglers.