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Why the SNP must use its mandate to call an indyref

This man does not strike me as the most obvious poster-boy for political caution

The Perth MP Pete Wishart made an intriguing suggestion recently that a scene in Braveheart, in which Mel Gibson repeatedly orders the Scottish army to “hold” as the English cavalry charge at terrifying speed to within a few feet of them, is somehow the perfect metaphor for why the SNP should allow its current mandate for an independence referendum to expire and instead wait patiently for another opportunity in the distant future that may or may not arise. It seems to me, though, that this metaphor actually has some rather severe limitations. Having tracked down the relevant clip on YouTube, I’ve been able to calculate that Gibson changes instruction from “hold” to “NOOOOOW!!!!” after approximately thirty seconds (as opposed to, say, a decade or two), at which point he ruthlessly unleashes utter carnage upon both man and beast. The historical William Wallace was of course also noted for murderous revenge attacks on towns and cities in northern England, which in modern parlance can at best be regarded as state terrorism. Whatever else can be said for him, this man does not strike me as the most obvious poster-boy for political caution. I do wonder if, just possibly, Pete Wishart is getting Wallace mixed up with Sir Alec Douglas-Home or somebody like that.

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March 2018 Issue number 39 The only independent Pro Scottish magazine on sale today