Tele column – 8th June 2018

It’s been one week since the Growth Commission was published. Predictably within minutes of its publication some folk on both sides of the debate rushed to express their delight or despair at its content. Having now read the 354 pages and taken time to digest it, I am happy that it fulfils its role as a discussion document! It is not the last word and it was never intended to be. Nor is it a kaleidoscope of ideas or a myriad of opportunities viewed through the prism of self-determination and ultimately independence. Some have described it as a reality check. Most have welcomed it and it has certainly engaged an audience that have previously been anti-independence. That in itself is a major achievement. Over time it will generate more column inches than it contains itself and already we have seen the common weal publish a critique. And this is all for the good. It is exactly what the Brexiteers should have been doing before the European Referendum and it’s what the unionists should be doing to explain why they believe Scotland is best served by remaining in the United Kingdom. I would have thought given the joint resources of the Conservative and Labour parties they could have worked together to produce a substantial document that explains to the people of Scotland why remaining in the United Kingdom will benefit Scotland and its people. Rather than painting a gloomy picture of self-determination, where is the bright bold vision of Scotland in the Union? I promise the day that report is published I shall not rush to the media to rubbish it. I shall take time to read it and absorb it. But until that day comes I won’t be holding my breath.