A failure to learn

Some would say it hardly matters now, but I still get annoyed by the intellectually vapid assertion that the Scottish Government’s position on currency during the first independence referendum campaign was “a flaw in the Yes argument“. It wasn’t. The problem was not with the Scottish Government’s proposal to maintain the sterling currency union, but with the Yes campaign’s insistence on undermining that position. Or, to be more precise, the failure to adequately scrutinise the British state’s position.

It’s a matter of simple political logic. The Scottish Government’s position could only have been ‘wrong’ if there was another position that was ‘right’. Or, at least, more right than the chosen position. There was no such position. There were positions that others preferred. But that didn’t make them right. Or more right.

Circumstances have changed. It would be difficult to argue in favour of maintaining the sterling currency union in the face of Brexit; however unarguable the case was for adopting that position back then. So, some would maintain that it’s pointless to keep going over what they see as an old and irrelevant issue. But the fact that pro-independence people are still saying it was a flaw in the Yes argument suggests that crucial lessons about weaknesses in the Yes campaign have not been learned.

With #indyref2 looming, that is a serious concern.


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About Peter A Bell

Thinker. Listener. Talker. Reader. Writer. None of my attitudes are immutable. None of my conclusions are final. None of my opinions are humble.
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