Hi folks. Please, if you are someone who strongly believes that Scotland can only ever exist and thrive as a lesser member of a political union with its immediate neighbouring country to the south, read no further. The following is not for you. I respect your view. It is yours, and you are perfectly entitled to it. You trust that what the powerful elite of the British state decide to do at any time is in your interests, and in your country’s interests, that country being the construct which is Great Britain.
Otherwise, ladies and gentlemen of Scotland who may have voted No in the referendum of September 2014, please, I beg your indulgence for just a few minutes, and if you do take the time to read on all I would wish that you do is have a think about finding out more about the facts surrounding the constitutional question for Scotland, in a balanced way, and make your own mind up about how you see the future of the country you live in.
First up, a wee bit of context, an example or two, of which there are many, of the conduct of those who have control over all of the major decisions made for, and about, your country, decisions which impact you and your family’s future. Decisions made by the elected government of a system where your country has only 59 representatives in a chamber of 650 representatives. This in a political union where Scotland, which prior to agreeing to union had its own parliament for more than 400 years, is supposed to be a partner, an accommodation which more often than not results in the people of Scotland being governed by a political party, like now, which they democratically did not vote for.
40 odd years ago vast reserves of a precious natural resource were discovered in the waters around your country. Similarly reserves of this natural resource were found in the waters around one of your neighbouring northern countries, Norway.
Norway, taking the sensible and pragmatic approach to such good fortune falling into their lap, decided to benefit their citizens, to enrich their communities, by creating an ‘oil fund” from the tax receipts generated by the extraction of this resource, a pool of revenue which they used to create an extensive welfare and health system, creating a standard of living envied by other countries. Essentially Norway uses that money to improve the lives of its people and kept some of it aside for a rainy day, so that when things are tight, when the world has an economic slump, they have a bit put by to protect themselves from the ravages of the common blights on society like unemployment, poverty and homelessness. A buffer.
So what happened in Scotland’s case? Well, initially when surveys and testing had established how much oil potentially was actually in Scotland’s waters the government at Westminster rubbed their hands. Britain, a former imperial power in decline was going to have a financial windfall. Happy days. But then after much behind-closed-doors discussion those in power in London began to panic that the discovery of such vast wealth off the shores of Scotland would unsettle the people of Scotland, who if they were to find out that they were sitting on a lottery win may wish to return the governance of their own country to themselves as a consequence.
The cabinet of the British government then made a conscious decision in what they considered the ‘national interest’ to hide the extent of the oil reserves in Scotland’s water from the people of Scotland, a deception which continued for 30 odd years.
If you at all think the statement I have just made is fabricated please google the words ‘The McCrone Report” and read a few articles that appear on your screen. Professor Gavin McCrone was a highly respected UK government economist who wrote a paper about the consequences of Scotland’s extensive reserves of oil at the time. He deduced in his paper that if the people of Scotland had access to the financial benefits of their own natural resource Scotland would become one of the richest countries in the world. His paper was buried in official secrecy as confidential for many years.
Look it up. Please do. Also, if you have a few minutes, look up the comments on the discovery of oil in Scotland’s waters by former Westminster Chancellor of the Exchequer Denis Healey, who came clean on the subject of the deception of the people of Scotland, in his later years before his passing in 2015.
So what did the government of the UK do with all of the money from the tax receipts from the oil found in Scotland’s waters? The vast amount of revenue gained from tax receipts from oil found in Scotland’s waters was spent financing Margaret Thatcher, and her successors, golden age of Britain. It built the M25, Canary Wharf, the Channel Tunnel, it financed weapons of mass destruction, it provided the financing that bailed out high risk failures in the City, the banking industry, it financed the huge additional burdens on the welfare state, the mass unemployment that Britain’s governments increasingly over the last forty years would rather just went away, resulting from de-industrialisation, the rapid decline in manufacturing, and the subsequent devastation of Britain’s workforce.
In terms of deception the British State union backed media, (I’d ask you to keep an open mind here) is demonstrably not impartial, and does not provide you with a fair reflection of events where those events threaten the stability of the current constitutional arrangement.
The BBC is telling you what you need to hear from the perspective of protecting its patron. If you don’t believe that that are many factual examples which support that statement. For example go and look up how the BBC World Service is funded. It was originally funded directly by the Foreign Office up until four or five years ago, now it is still funded by the government although the funding is spun as some sort of grant aid to muddy the waters a bit.
The BBC will tell you that according to reports, like the annually produced GERS Report of public spending, Scotland is poor and couldn’t possibly survive financially on its own. They cite, as evidence of Scotland’s inability to manage its own affairs, the spending and financial management of the Scottish devolved limited powers government, who have control of less than 20% of the financial levers needed to have some semblance of control of Scotland’s economy, limited powers with which they do a pretty good job by anybody’s standards within those tight constraints, balancing budgets.
However what rarely gets a mention, if at all, is the spending allocated on Scotland’s behalf, outwith Scotland’s control, included in the calculations in these reports, by the Westminster government who apportion their spending and their accrued debts accrued to Scotland’s finances, for example money spent on nuclear weapons stored in Scotland, safely away from English population centres, which they then divide up and allocate as Scotland’s debt. Money spent in your name, for their benefit, not yours.
Effectively a government in Scotland doesn’t make the financial decisions, or have input or influence on the financial decisions which result in an allocated millstone around your neck. In reality the language used in the GERS Report should more accurately describe this annually calculated sum as the UK Government’s debt in Scotland.
Then we have the unionist media’s treatment of that natural resource that I covered earlier, which generally takes two particular forms.
When the world price of oil price drops, completely out-with the control of Scotland, out comes the ghost of John Laurie of Dad’s Army fame “We’re Doomed!”
For weeks and months on end the editors who dictate what eventually will come out of the next Jackie Bird’s mouth each evening at teatime and the political editorial staff of the Herald, Scotsman, Record, et al would have us believe that there is a second ice age about to hit Scotland.
We’re spoon fed a diet of the ‘separatists’ the ‘nationalists’ are obsessed with oil (we aren’t).
Essentially the propaganda message they are trying to leave in your head is that self-government for Scotland is about oil and about oil only. The idea that the people of a sovereign country wishing to have the ordinary natural and normal right to be governed by their peers in their own country doesn’t even come into the equation. It’s all about oil you’ve to believe. Oil is worthless, it’s a burden best left in the hands of those in London who know better.
Then we have the flip side, when the price of oil goes up, or we are in sight of any kind of election time. Suddenly like snow off a dyke the oil disappears. It’s as if the vast amount of this rich resource around Scotland’s shores, that we still hear about being discovered through new exploration sites in different areas of the Scotland’s waters on a regular basis, somehow consciously knows that the price has gone up so for some reason it decides to hide in a big deep cavern under the ocean.
The media headlines are awash with ‘It’s running out, experts give it five years, twenty years at the most, oil industry slump, Sir Ian Establishment-Billionaire who owns half of Scotland, and the fishing, predicts oil scarcity disaster.” It doesn’t add up, or make any sense, but as a nation we seem to fall for it.
Oil is not the be-all-and-end-all of Scotland’s right to self-determination,(and in today’s era of the gathering climate change crisis more and more Scots are seeing that the development and construction of renewable energy projects on a major scale is not just an aspiration, it is essential) In fact it’s a red herring. Oil has nothing to do with independence. Scotland’s people have the right, like any other country in the world, to expect the perfectly normal proposition that their country is governed by people who live there. Union, as it exists in the UK is not normal. It is a contrived relationship which allows one larger country England to legally subsume its neighbours. That is not right.
British state propaganda is fond of inferring that your country is too wee and too poor to govern itself. Contrary to that it is a fact worth noting that until the last major world oil price slump the tax revenue from the oil in Scotland’s waters contributed per-head-of-Scottish population each year for several decades to the Exchequer in London a net gain far in excess of the money returned to Scotland to pay for essential public services by way of the block grants which Westminster decides we should have. Living in Scotland you helped keep the rest of the UK’s finances afloat for decades.
Yet as long as many of us continue to believe what the newspapers, and the tv channels (who are all owned and influenced by establishment backing figures or individuals or organisations who stand to lose out if Scotland becomes independent) tell you, propaganda that makes the ridiculous assertion that Scotland is the only country in the world who couldn’t possibly govern itself, we are unlikely to flourish.
Please, take a deep breath, step back, have a think about all of that. Do your own research. It’s not conspiracy, it’s not fake news from the internet. Be informed. There is plenty of corroborative information out there.
Coming on to the current predicament facing Scotland. You, as a country, voted overwhelmingly to remain in the European Union by 62% to 38% , England and Wales voted to leave. Therefore it would be reasonable to assume that democratically the people of Scotland should have a say in whether they should remain as part of a trading bloc of 500 million potential customers for Scotland’s goods and services, yes?
No. As is clear as it can possibly be Theresa May’s UK government has ignored any and all attempts for this to happen. The Scottish First Minister, after much consultation with European partners and experts in the field, produced a document way back outlining ways in which firstly the UK itself could escape the ravages of a “hard” Brexit, and secondly, if the UK didn’t want to do that, proposals to protect Scotland’s place in Europe, which, after all, Scotland’s people have voted resoundingly for. Copies of that document have probably been servicing the Downing Street lavvies for the last year or so.
Scotland stands to lose up to 80,000 jobs as a direct consequence of a ‘hard’ Brexit. It’s been delayed, but it’ll be coming back up again soon. Major corporation are changing headquarters from the UK to Europe. Foreign car manufacturing companies being just the latest to announce they are shutting their doors in the UK and relocating. Every day there is another story of a closure, a relocation out of the UK, a change in suppliers elsewhere. It’s only going to get worse.
Perhaps when you voted No in 2014 one of your considerations was the unionist statement that unless you voted No Scotland would be flung out of the EU into an economic wilderness, a financial disaster. Unfortunately, and tragically ironically we may be about to find out that exactly the opposite is the case, but with the same disastrous outcome. Think about it.
Brexit is all about the Tory Party, and the gutless Labour Party unwilling to challenge preconceptions about immigration. The British government, stuck in a longstanding internal squabble between right wing factions, would rather sacrifice the economy of all parties to the union than agree to EU citizens continuing to move and work freely in the UK. Scotland, with an increasingly ageing population, relies heavily on EU citizens coming to live, work and pay taxes in Scotland to help pay for its public services. It has been estimated that Scotland needs at least 25,000 immigrants a year to settle and work just to remain economically stable.
No matter what the Daily Mail and others tell you, the net financial gain to Scotland’s future wellbeing from the taxation and spending of immigrants who live and work in Scotland, as well as the cultural benefits we receive to our communities, far exceed any of the xenophobic simplistic nonsense that the haters continually feed us. Just yesterday the latest slap in the face to Scotland’s economy and chances of attracting a high quality workforce in the future came when Theresa May and her dodgy parliamentary crew refused to amend a visa policy to allow for EU students coming to study in Scotland, where university courses are generally for for a four year period, instead of the three in England. What a disgrace. How disrespectful can they get?
Oh, and they’ll also continue to try and convince you that self-government for Scotland is about hating English people. What an absolute insult to the many thousands of English born Scots who are committed to seeing their home, their country, Scotland returned to its rightful independent state, as well as many of the rest of us who have close family members we love who happen to be English.
Folks, if all of this stuff doesn’t bother you, if you are somebody who says “ I don’t do politics” please try to think a bit deeper, and a bit longer term. It is that important. All of this is actually about you, to benefit you and your standard of living, to protect and improve your family’s health and wellbeing, to create opportunities for your children, and their children for a better life.
Alternatively if you are somebody who says “ Why bother, they are all just the same, they are only in it for themselves” I’d urge you to try to keep an open mind. We can, with hard work and an honest heart, make Scotland what we want it to be.
You could be living in a country right now where an independent Labour Party with real Labour values, not the current plastic Tories of Westminster and Holyrood , are vying with the Greens, the Scottish Socialists, the SNP, any other brand new political party which might develop and whatever the Tories would become in an independent Scotland, for your vote. These political parties would essentially be answerable to you, putting forward policies that benefit you, your families, and future generations of Scots. They wouldn’t be answerable to London and the home counties, or be working towards building a cushy career at Westminster. They would be there to serve you.
If you’ve read this far sincere thanks for doing so. If it doesn’t encourage you to find out the facts for yourself, that’s fine. Thanks for your time anyway.
If you have been encouraged to do a bit of research please take your time. Read various reliable sources, get both sides of the story. Be informed enough to make a decision about your future without relying on the BBC or the newspaper’s.
As a country we’ve just got to do something about this. It can’t go on the way it is. Future generations of Scots will suffer, and suffer badly if we don’t. My view is that Scotland will only prosper and fully reach its potential as an independent country, an outward looking mature nation, a great neighbour to our friends, a nation where those you place in charge of government via the ballot box are answerable to you, and you only.
If you find yourself agreeing with that view please come and join us. The sky really is the limit.