The reaction of some Scottish politicians over the loss of 850 jobs on the Clyde was quite sickening. The new Lib Dem Scottish secretary, Alistair Carmichael, and the Glasgow Labour MP Ian Davidson, both of whom will lose their highly paid Westminster jobs if Scotland votes Yes, are obviously feeling the heat. Carmichael, one of the most obscure figures in the world's most obscure political party, stated that an independent Scotland would not be awarded any future UK defence contracts. The Glasgow Labour MP John Robertson said baldly: "No yard, no ships" in an independent Scotland.
All of them seemed to be inviting the UK government to kill shipbuilding on the Clyde as a punishment for Scotland exercising its democratic right to say Yes. Davidson actually stated that the loss of "only" 850 jobs on the Clyde – 20% of its workforce – was a cause for celebration.
These three wretched, wretched men have put their own soiled political careers above the needs of those whom they are supposed to represent. It is all about hanging on to their fat Westminster salaries after September 2014. Instead of putting their careers before the future of Scottish shipbuilding, they ought instead to be concerned that, two weeks after Grangemouth, another rich and powerful magnate can force governments to play dice with one of Scotland's great industries.I would contend that it is possible to disagree with one's political opponents without imputing baser motives. It seems not unlikely that Messrs Carmichael, Davidson and Robertson genuinely believe that Scotland's best course is to remain part of the United Kingdom. That does not make them right. By all means, attack their views and opinions, but do so on the basis of reasoned argument rather than personal vilification.