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The Union and the Problem of the London Metropolitan Elite

One of AFFG's Banners at Campbeltown, 27-7-19

Here is something we've come to recognise and understand, after 7 and a half years of campaigning for the United Kingdom and its unity, in Scotland.

Unfortunately for us, there are far too many people – we call them the "London Metropolitan Elite" – who enjoy very influential roles in politics, journalism and think tanks, but who have absolutely no clue about:

a) What Britain is (clue: It is not a Greater Version of the English Home Counties)

b) How Britain holds together (clue: It is a Unitary State)

c) Scottish politics (clue: A central fact is that the ruling party, the SNP, aims to acquire all political power unto itself, in order to destroy Britain)

d) What must be done if you want to hold Britain together (clue: Listen to A Force For Good).

We see it as our job to help them understand what Britain is, and how it is held together.

Please note, we're not talking here about the nasty Metropolitan Elite sorts who hate Britain and who say nothing whatsoever which is helpful.

Rather, we're speaking here about those Metropolitan Elite sorts who would consider themselves to be "for Britain", and whose hearts may be in the right place, but who simply don't grasp how their ideas are in danger of destroying the unity of our Islands.

Too often their ideas smack of idealism and are not politically astute.

It is possibly because they see Britain from a London bubble...looking out. They don't see it from our point of view...outside the bubble.

Their wacky ideas and uncomprehending ways risk undermining our good work!

We were struck by this phenomenon again when we read an article in The Daily Telegraph ("If the PM wants to save the Union, there is a plan ready and waiting", 31-7-19) by its long-serving journalist Philip Johnston.

He was advocating federalism (!) as a way of "saving the Union". What was upsetting to us is that Philip Johnson is often very sensible and level-headed. He often says excellent, thoughtful, correct stuff; yet here he was – without due political awareness – advocating the fragmentation of our country.

That's a major fail!

Have we learned nothing from 12 years of SNP rule in Scotland?

Have we learned nothing from the consequences of the massive new powers (Scotland Act 2016) which were given to the SNP after the 2014 referendum; and which the SNP took without thanks, banked, and then pretended like they were never received?

What was even more disturbing was that his article was titled as a way to "save the Union". The newspaper even illustrated it with a colourful little "Can-Do UK" graphic, which it appends to all its articles which it thinks represent a jolly good idea.

We also notice that another of the Telegraph's very prominent journalists, Allister Heath, has written that Britain needs "a new constitutional settlement" ("Johnson's brilliant Brexit dream team shows that he's deadly serious", 25-7-19).

In London Metropolitan Elite speak, we recognise "a new constitutional settlement" as code for "messing up the UK beyond all recognition".

Allister Heath also wrote that "The UK will need to become a full federation" in the Telegraph on 5-7-18.

So, we're understandably concerned that the Daily Telegraph is going to come out for federalism for the UK.

That would be a very serious blow to the United Kingdom and would lead to Scottish separation in short order.

For a variety of reasons: Scotland is the very worst possible place in which to deploy the concept of federalism. For federalism to work, we need to be dealing with people who want to make it work. We must not be dealing with people – the Scottish Nationalists – who are aiming to acquire as much power as possible for the purpose of destroying the British State itself! (We've written extensively about this before on our Legacy Site.)

In response, we sent this letter to the Daily Telegraph on the day Johnson's article appeared, but it was not published. We were not surprised. The Telegraph doesn't seem to publish letters which contradict its journalists on matters of policy.

(Letter begins>

SIR, Federalism is not a way to keep the UK together (Comment, July 31). It is a radical attack on the nature of Britain as a unitary state and one nation, and is an inevitable stepping stone to separation. For example, at present Scotland must agree to go along with the overall UK Leave vote, even though a majority of people in Scotland voted to Remain. This is because we are a unitary state. We could not make this point if the constitutional arrangement was a loose federation of 4 largely autonomous parts. Thankfully though, the UK is primarily one nation of unions (not just a "union of nations"). This is why we still hold together after two divisive referendums. Practically, having a federal UK parliament responsible only for the big controversial issues such as defence, immigration and foreign intervention, is a recipe for constant internal conflict. It is hard to see how the UK would hold together in such fractious circumstances; and that's before we even consider the massive, destabilising power which an English Parliament would bring to bear. In any case, more powers to Scotland will make no difference to the nationalist demand for independence, because their demand is not primarily based around an argument about which powers are best utilised at which levels. Rather, their demand is based upon a belief in a fundamental difference between the Scottish and English, which in their minds can only be satisfied with complete separation. The way forward is ever closer union in our Islands, not the fragmentation of federalism. We need solidarity, not more division; industry and jobs, not constitutional obsession. Yours faithfully Alistair McConnachie Secretary and Director A Force For Good

<letter ends)

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