Watching the Caviar Queen squirm and squeal is a sight that warms the cockles – from a distance. Millions were spent on a much-vaunted visit to Trumponia. Nothing came of it. Whatever her delusions of grandeur – much less adequacy – not a single person of influence was willing to endure an audience with Her Majesty, the Dear Leader of the Eternal Jockche Revolution. After 80 meetings the SNP were only able to get 50 euro-non-entities to sign a letter promising their support for Scotland’s prompt absorption into the EU should it choose to part ways with the union that supports 80pc of its exports. Never mind that not a single one of these signatories has the capacity to lobby for a Scottish kipper stand, much less enter into binding legal agreements concerning Scotland’s future international relations. The recent emergence of previously confidential plans to establish a Scottish Monetary Institute to co-operate with the Bank of England or, as in Hong Kong, manage an independent currency which would likely be pegged to another currency – do little to assuage investor concerns. The cost of establishing such an institution would run in the scores of millions and would cost a high amount to keep.
Worst of all, for the long-suffering Scottish majority, Scotland is poised to slip into recession as the rest of the United Kingdom’s economy chugs along happily. This is, of course, the dreaded Québec Redux. An economy cannot function without capital, and capital despises political volatility. Following the 1995 vote in la Belle Province and the continued, relative, success of the Parti Québécois companies shifted operations from Montréal to Toronto and invested more heavily in Ontario and even British Columbia than Québec. This trend is unlikely to change until Scotland’s political situations stabilises. Much like Québec, the question of “when” this is remains highly uncertain. Scots Labour are a train wreck. In ten years they have not learnt a lesson. Should they, as predicted, come in a distant third in May’s council elections they might well lose any chance of meaningful recovery in the short-to-mid-term, if there even is a chance that they can recover. As in Trumponia, after a party’s pool of talent is degraded for too long recovery becomes difficult. I’ve heard rumours that a centre-left unionist party might be established in the mid-term if Labour implode north of the border. If this actually happens it would hardly be without precedent. After all, Ulster returns MPs that tend to support governments without entering a formal coalition. For example, UUP and DUP MPs supporting the Conservatives, SDLP MPs supporting Labour, etc.