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The Dinwoodie Interview

Amid the uncertainties of Brexit and a potential end to freedom of movement, Scotland’s absolute requirement for inward migration is set to become a vital issue

BEN MACPHERSON was an 18-year-old Labour Party member attending his first Scotish conference in Glasgow in 2003 when, after six years in office, the shine was wearing of Tony Blair’s gilded New Labour project. Already becoming disenchanted by sluggish progress on tackling inequality, the young party member was despondent that Blair had just decided to join George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq without UN approval, and the Prime Minister’s speech in Glasgow that day did not overcome his doubts. As Macpherson stepped out of the SECC a huge anti-war march was culminating in a rally in the car park, he saw the SNP banners lying, and a seed was planted. He was never to renew his Labour membership.

After that he found that distance from Scotland accentuated his feelings for his country, making him think more deeply about politics, and it was a peace march from Edinburgh to London that finally made him realise that Scotland and England, however subtly, had different attitudes and were on diverging paths.

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