Bruce Supposedly Vacillated, Not Wallace

The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.

(Orwell’s definition of “Doublethink”)

No, not that Wallace.

I couldn’t help being struck by the video that National Collective posted yesterday. It was a video from the run-up to the 1997 devolution referendum. It featured a firebrand who was arguing for more powers for Scotland and hope defeats despair and so on.

Here it is…

Do we or do we not want to bring power and decision-making closer to the people of Scotland? We believe that when you make decisions in Scotland that address Scotland’s needs and reflect Scotland’s circumstances, as well as taking account of the needs and concerns of the diverse communities that make up Scotland, there will be better decisions.

Trust. Trust ourselves to take decisions affecting our schools, our hospitals, our jobs, our housing and how we use the power to tax.

It sounds like a remarkably good speech in favour of independence. “Nothing much has changed” he said, except of course the fact that his party has (at least temporarily) a foot in the door at Westminster. Oh and of course he is Lord Wallace now, safely ensconced in the House of Lords, which of course would in no way affect his policy outlook.

Now I understand that an Independence debate is different from a devolution debate. Nevertheless, if the above is the principle on which he supported devolution, then it is rather difficult not to support independence on that exact same principle.

Wallace (not that one) however, has been less than forthcoming in his support for Scottish Independence. So much so in fact, that he was exceedingly quick to deny that the very Scottish Parliament for which he fought, had the power to hold a referendum at all…

The Scottish government risks flouting a “fundamental principle of democracy” if it stages an “unlawful” vote on independence, the Advocate General for Scotland said today.

Lord Wallace of Tankerness QC restated the UK government’s view that the “Scottish parliament has no power to deliver a referendum on independence”.

In other statements he has hardly welcomed the idea of more power moving to Scotland.

To repeat, I understand that we are talking about two different debates. However, if what he said above is the principle on which he supported devolution, then either he no longer holds that principle dear or he doesn’t understand his own reasoning.





  1. An excellent example of how quickly politicians and political parties abandon the principles they were elected on once they get themselves ensconced in the British establishment.

  2. At the end of the day they’re only human and people tend to start conforming to the beliefs and behaviours of those around them once they’re “part of the gang”

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