Hot on the heels of the usual drivel from Michael Moore and the ridiculous statement from Douglas McWilliams, the chief Executive of the Centre for Economics and Business Research that Scotland would be come a third world country within years of independence, comes the prediction that a vote to leave the Union could lead to a rise in sectarianism and anti-Catholic discrimination.
Paul McBride QC, one of the country’s leading lawyers, has warned of possible “very serious consequences” and damage to “social cohesion and related matters” from a rise in sectarianism that could “blossom” if voters backed independence in the referendum.
He tells us that “People are anxious that if they vote for independence and sectarianism isn’t tackled there will be very serious consequences”.
McBride believes that “sectarianism is the most serious social issue in the country today” and that as a society we ignore it.
I doubt very much if this is foremost in the minds of people when it comes serious social issues. But then again, I can only speak for the parts of the country that not blighted by this particular manifestation of this particular superstition.
McBride is backed in this view by Professor Patrick Reilly of the University of Glasgow, who tells us that he knows “some people who feel safer being part of the Union”.
He goes on to say that he can see why “some people might be concerned that the discrimination that used to exist against Catholics over jobs and housing could return.”
Seriously though, in a country that gave legal force to the European Convention on Human Rights through the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Scotland Act 1998, is somehow going to dump that and all the other legislation pertaining to discrimination and equality?
Reilly really should assure these ‘people he knows’, that in reality, this is not going to happen.
What McBride and Reilly are implying here is that whoever governs Scotland after independence, may choose to ignore sectarianism and allow anti-Catholic discrimination to flourish. This will happen for no other reason than the people of Scotland choosing to leave the Union. Furthermore the only reason it is not happening at present is the fact that Scotland is part of the Union.
Both are astute enough to suggest that this is merely a possible scenario. They provide no evidence for their claims which are peppered with “if”, “could” and anecdotes. Therefore, when their scaremongering fails they can plead not guilty to inciting fear in a substantial part of the population.
Yet again it is disgraceful attack on the people of Scotland. And in this case, on the vast majority of people Scotland, whether they support independence or not.
It is playing the sectarian card for cheap political ends. It is an attempt to fabricate a climate of fear amongst Scotland’s Catholics and persuade them not to vote for separation.
These remarks should be seen for what they are.
Another cheap, absurd and offensive attack on the Scottish people by those who wish to deny them the right to self-determination.