If you’re going to defend the Union Gordon, you’re going to have to do a much better job than this.
a)“In these islands we have, over centuries, created the world's most successful multinational state because we celebrate and respect the multiple identities that enrich us all.”
"These islands", with that "s", presumably means more than one island (ie Britain), so why leave out the Northern Irish in your next line?
“I am Scottish and proud of it, but I am no less proud to be British - just as there are millions who are proud to be Welsh and British and English and British too.”
I’ll tell you why. For historical and sometimes sectarian (e.g. in places like the West of Scotland and Liverpool) reasons your party has relied and still does count on the 1st and 2nd generation Irish vote. Your fear of losing that vote, narrows your vision of the multi-cultural and multi-"national" British identity that you laud elsewhere in such poetic terms.
b)“Devolution simply acknowledges the dual identities: Welsh and British, Scottish and British too.”
Ermm..he does know that we’ve got devolution too in Northern Ireland? I wonder then do we also qualify for one of those sexy "dual identities", or do they only apply for those parts of the UK where the Labour Party deign to organize?
...and I really hope you haven’t forgot about the English; simply because an English parliament wasn’t also in the Labour Party’s interest, it doesn’t mean that they’re also not allowed to be English and British too...or maybe it does?
c)“Yet if, as I believe, the Union is a multiplier for good that too often and for too long has been taken for granted, then it is time now to explain how the Union can benefit all of us, and not at the expense of each other.
There is no Scotland-only, Wales-only, England-only solution to transnational challenges that range from terrorism to foot and mouth disease, and from avian flu to security and climate change. So for these islands an environmental Union, a security Union and a Union for defence is to the benefit of all.”
There should also be no N.Ireland-only, Scotland-only, Wales-only, England-only solution towards health and education "challenges"- there should be free and equal health provision and further- education opportunites for all UK citizens, irrespective where they live in the UK; but your party’s reckless experimentation with devolution has destroyed that concept.
d)"But what matters even more are the common values we share across the United Kingdom: values we have developed together over the years that are rooted in liberty, in fairness and tolerance, in enterprise, in civic initiative and internationalism.
These values live in the popularity of our common institutions from the NHS, the BBC, to the Queen - and even more recently in UK-wide support for the Olympics, Children in Need, Comic Relief, Make Poverty History and action on climate change"
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a prouder Brit than me, but even I’ll admit “liberty”, “fairness”, “tolerance”, “civic initiative” (which means?) etc etc are not exclusive to the UK. And if they’re not, then it follows that those unspecified "common values" are also not exclusive and more likely than not, would survive in a post Balkanised-UK...so...so, it’s not a very strong point then really in favour of the Union. And other countries suffer things like “Children in Need” and “action on climate change”- they are not uniquely British.
e).”We know also that we are stronger together because again and again each part of our country has benefited from innovations with origins in only one: the NHS founded by a Welshman; universal education with many of its earliest roots in Scotland; and universal suffrage championed by radicals in England.”
An NHS destroyed by Labour’s Devolution Project.
Universal free education destroyed by labour’s Devolution Project
And the principle behind “universal suffrage” (ie every citizen in the UK is equal and has an equal role to play in the selecting those who govern them)...destroyed by Labour’s Devolution Project.
f).“The fact is, the Union is more like a covenant founded on shared values that have created bonds of belonging that make us all feel part of a wider Britain. Out of these bonds of belonging we have created not just the rights and responsibilities of a political citizenship but also of a social and economic citizenship too.”
Translation: “I’m running out of things to say, let’s throw in those “shared values” again.”
g). “It is precisely because these shared values are so important and continue to flourish that it is possible to reconcile English, Scottish and Welsh pride with the progress of the Union - because the Union succeeds in combining recognition of separate national identities with the ideals and common values that reflect our wider Britishness.”
Translation: “I’m running out of things to say, let’s throw in “shared values” again.”
h)."Today Jack Straw, Secretary for Justice, is consulting throughout the country on a statement of values that define British citizenship and on the case for a full British bill of rights and duties setting out rights and obligations for all citizens."
That's all we need. No, please, please stay at home Jack and just let us get on with just being British. We don’t need a statement of values ("A good citizen keeps his lawns tidy"), a definition of British citizenship (you’re born here you’re British, otherwise there are plenty of laws existing to help you sort out your nationality)or a “bill of rights’- the only people I seriously fear may take away my democratic rights are the present government and I very much doubt any such Bill will, for example, guarantee my rights to privacy in the event of an ID card being imposed.
I).”So it makes sense also to look at the relationship between the nations and regions and whether it strikes the right balance as we strive to meet and master new global challenges.”
It would have made a lot more sense if you and the rest of your co-conspirators hadn’t started mucking about with that relationship in the first place.
J)”The discussion about the future of Britain will succeed best if it is based on our shared values, and rooted in the hopes and aspirations for the future of people in every part of our country.”
If I hear “shared values” one more time, the computer’s out the window.
K).”There is a modern case for the Union, and it must be heard: it is not about partnership at the expense of pride, or about pride that can be satisfied only by sacrificing partnership.”
And you still haven’t made the case for a Union. Give me 15 minutes during my coffee-break and I’ll do a better job with a 250 word post than you and all of your highly-paid lackees have managed in over a year- and that’s not arrogance, more are reflection of what a terrible, piss-poor job you’re doing.
Sort yourself out Brown, everytime you deliver some poorly-thought-out tripe like this, you're only giving the separatists (or "secessionists" if you like) even more ammunition.