The Daily Politics, Wednesday the 15th of December.
THERESA VILLIERS, TORY MP
"Our legal rights to the sovereignty of the Falklands is clear, and we've always said we will never give the Falklands back, unless the people in the Falkland Islands wish to make a change to the current arrangement ... The Falkland Islands stay British unless the Falkland islanders want to change that."
ED BALLS, LABOUR MP
"These are British people, who have a right to self-determination ---"
So say the two largest parties in the UK.
But what of Scotland, a country that voluntarily entered into a union with England as the UK - a country with its own ancient, proud, independent history, traditions and culture, its own church, its own legal system, its own Parliament.
What if a substantial proportion of the population of Scotland - a majority in the last opinion poll - want a referendum to determine their wishes?
The answer is a flat, unequivocal NO from all three of the largest UK parties. They are afraid even to ask the question. So billions can be squandered on maintaining a remote, tiny relic of the faded British Empire, but Scotland cannot even seek the opinion of its citizens.
The question must be asked again and again - why does the UK want to hold Scotland? The answers are clear - defence, i.e. nuclear, policy, revenue from oil and Scotch whisky, and finally the fact that if Scotland goes, the pretence of Empire can no longer be sustained.
And of course there is the secret terror that Scotland might well prove to be more economically successful than England, and might continue to display a concern for its poor, its vulnerable, its aged, and for the education of its young people that is increasingly absent in England.
Let Scotland go! You must be nuts - the Union Jack would rot on the flagpole! There would be riots in the streets of London! Members of the Royal Family would be assaulted in public! (aside from Sir Humphrey – Ahem, that has already happened, Minister ...”)
And what would happen to the post of colonial governor, the current Vidkun – the Scottish Secretary?
Why that would pass, unmourned, into the sordid pages of the history of that benighted position.