Scottish Daily Mail

Just spare everyone the major lecture, John


Oh goody gumdrops. Sir John Major has emerged from the cryogenic deep freeze to tell Scotland that he doesn’t like it very much. In a pompous epistle in which he describes himself as ‘an Englishman with a profound admiration and respect for Scotland’ (a sure sign he is about to stick the knife in) Major argued that Labour must rule out an SNP coalition.

he droned on about how he warned in 1992 that devolution would lead to ‘separation’ and how Labour had ignored ‘all the risks’ and other ancient arguments that felt about as up-to- date as the Coptic calendar. The fact that he refers to the Scottish parliament as the Scottish assembly throughout all this only advances his position as a blustering, whey-faced buffoon.

Like many Scots, I am more than used to our friends in the South passing judgment on our political views. It has never made me waver as a unionist and I’m more than happy to return the favour. But really. A former Tory prime minister telling the current Labour leader what to do about the SNP, based on the political landscape of 20 years ago? LOL, as the kids might say.

Isn’t it marvellous, though, when former Tory prime ministers wheel themselves out of obscurity to dispense unsolicite­d advice to the new young whippersna­ppers? Margaret Thatcher was forever popping up outside 10 Downing Street with David Cameron in the early days of his leadership, no doubt under the pretext of saying she’d just come to show him how to fix that niggly window blind in the third-floor bedroom, only to start handing out policy advice.

What I find most disconcert­ing about Major’s words however, is the gloves-off approach. Many people in Scotland, myself included, are still recovering from the genuine trauma wreaked by last year’s referendum.

It was emotional, and exhausting, and while many positive things came out of an open debate about the future of our country, it also led many Scots down some dark, dark alleys. I don’t know about you, but there’s a part of my brain still lying down in a quiet room with the curtains closed and a towel over my forehead, trying to make sense of it all.

England might be ready for a general Election but there are more than a few of us in Scotland who’d quite like a break from the whole rambunctio­us nature of the debate over independen­ce, of politics dominating every single news agenda, and endless hectoring over what to think.

I honestly, perhaps naively, thought that we as a nation had spoken on the subject of independen­ce. I’m sure I remember putting a ballot paper in a box. I’m pretty sure several million other Scots did as well.

Please god, at least for now, let’s put this argument back in the deep freeze – alongside John Major and the bags of frozen peas.

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