Let’s get back to basics

There are so many distraction tactics, coupled with misdirection, misinformation, and sheer outright irrelevance, that go on in Unionist responses to the independence campaign. We’re accused of racism and homophobia by people who support a UK that is politically headed off to the nasty Little Britain espoused by the extreme right, cut off from the rest of the world and nostalgically looking back to the days of Empire, suspicious of everything foreign and convinced of its own exceptionalism as it sinks into a mire of its own making.

But they tell us that this time it’s Empire 2.0, so that’s OK then. Empire 2.0 is a new, improved and rebooted version that’s being touted by people who conveniently overlook the fact that the pillage, theft, racism, and war that characterised Empire 1.0 wasn’t a bug, it was a feature. Empire 2.0 will still be characterised by all those things. The pillage and theft of public assets by corporations who don’t pay taxes. The racism of a xenophobic immigration policy. The future wars that Britain will engage in as a form of viagra for a flaccid former power.

We get told that it’s all about the money, that Scotland is an economic basket case which depends on subsidies from a kind and generous Tory government that’s giving us squillions out of the kindness of its ice cold avaricious heart. We’re told this by people who apparently believe that the economic mismanagement by successive Westminster administrations which have reduced a European country with an embarrassment of resources and potential to penury is a good thing. They have no answer to the question of how, if what they say is indeed the case, does Scotland escape from the economic disaster zone to which we’ve been consigned. Seemingly they believe that we’re better off remaining with the people who caused the mismanagement, and who don’t even recognise their mismanagement for what it is, than to try to remedy things with our own efforts.

These are the people who want us to rejoice that the Chancellor of the Exchequer found £350 million for Scotland, over four years, and claim this is extra money and evidence of Westminster’s kind generosity not merely a slight reduction in the cuts we face. It’s still a lot less than the £370 million of public money that’s being spent on the renovation of Buckingham Palace. The only reason Scotland’s getting it in the first place is because he’s found a larger amount of dosh for spending in England. So whoop. And indeed, de-doo.

We’re told repeatedly that it’s all about the SNP. Scottish independence in the eyes of Unionism is entirely the creature of a single political party. The many thousands of independence campaigners and supporters who are not affiliated with the SNP scarcely get a look in. It’s “Nicola Sturgeon’s referendum”, not a referendum for the Scottish people. The Unionist press is full of stories along the lines of “Blow for Nicola Sturgeon”, but similar set backs for Unionism are never described as “Blow for Theresa May” or “Blow for Ruth Davidson”. Admittedly this isn’t unrelated to the fact that they’re scarcely reported at all.

It’s time to get back to basics and to talk about the core issue. Scottish independence is not about the SNP. An independent Scotland will be a democracy with a written constitution and proportional representation in its parliament. That means it will be considerably more democratic than a Westminster in which the powers of the different branches of government are not rigorously separated by a constitution and the prime minister is effectively an elected dictator who is elected under an electoral system which permits a party which gains under 40% of the popular vote to enjoy a crushing absolute majority in a parliament which is little more than a creature of its leader. What we currently experience in the UK has many more of the characteristics of a dictatorship than an independent Scotland would have.

Scottish independence is not even about the money. Like many independence supporters I firmly believe that Scotland will be better off managing its own resources and the talents and skills of its people for the benefit of Scotland, that Scotland will do better controlling its own assets and investing in its own future rather than having these decisions made for us by a government which prioritises the needs of the financial sector in the City of London. But to be honest, a country whose independence is only justified if it can be demonstrated that the average family will be better off by the price of a Chinese takeaway once a month is not a country which deserves independence. Unionists would have you believe that’s the case, that Scottish independence is predicated on the price of a chicken chow mein. It’s not. It’s about a much bigger and more profound issue.

Independence isn’t even about being a member of the EU. It’s not about being a member of NATO or being neutral. Independence is not about choosing a republic over a monarchy. Independence is about one thing and about one thing only. It’s about ensuring that the only sovereign body in Scotland is the people of Scotland. That’s all of us, those of us who were born Scots, and those of us who came to Scotland to live and who choose to become Scots and throw their lot in with Scotland. Independence is about ensuring that the sovereign body of the people of Scotland have a government that is responsible to them and to no one else. It’s about ensuring that the path that Scotland takes, the choices that Scotland makes as a country, are determined by the people of Scotland.

If Scotland remains a member of the EU then that will be because a majority of the people of Scotland have chosen to do so. If Scotland becomes a republic that will be because a majority of the people of Scotland have chosen to do so. Because right now it’s not the people of Scotland who make these decisions. The decisions are made for us by a government in Westminster that Scotland didn’t choose, that Scotland didn’t vote for. It’s a government that’s taking Scotland out of the EU against the will of the majority of Scots. It’s a government that’s turning a deaf ear to the opinions and views of the majority of Scots. And it can do that because as a part of the UK there is absolutely nothing that Scotland can do in order to ensure that the views, opinions and beliefs of the people of Scotland are even listened to, never mind ensuring that they are acted upon.

We are governed by people who know little about us and who care even less. They don’t need to care, because Scotland has no means of holding them to account. Scotland needs independence because it’s the only way in which we can get a government which is accountable. We need independence because politicians cannot be trusted. Scotland needs independence because we must keep politicians close to us, so that their arses are within kicking distance of our feet.

Let’s get back to basics. The argument for Scottish independence is an argument for making government accountable to the people of Scotland. It’s an argument for ensuring that the only sovereign body in Scotland is the people of Scotland. It’s an argument that the only people who should choose the path that Scotland takes are the people of Scotland. Let’s focus on the core issues. Everything else is a distraction.

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0 thoughts on “Let’s get back to basics

  1. Everyday, I teach concepts that I understand to those who need to understand them. Sometimes, it goes like a dream and, with the newfound understanding, we’re ready to move on to the next building blocks. Sometimes, the apparently easy needs teaching and explaining several times.
    It can be frustrating, it can be funny, it can be so much fun. It is so worthwhile. Lightbulb moments occur all the time, sometimes when least expecting them. The bulbs are going on all over Scotland. Of this, I am sure, for, once a concept is explained and understood, there is no going back to what was previously believed. The people of Scotland are learning every day.

  2. Pingback: Let’s get back to basics | speymouth

  3. Agree with the ‘back to basics’ point. Whilst I do believe that this SNP government is doing a competent job in difficult financial circumstances, the success or otherwise of a particular SNP policy does not change the case for Scottish independence. Similarly, views on the EU, in or out in the immediate future, does not fundamentally alter the case either.

    I am struck by the Chancellor’s language today in ‘giving’ Scotland £350m extra. This is (just) a consequence of his own decisions that must be reflected via the Barnett Formula – and as I understand it from reading The Herald, it is £260 million to the Scottish Government’s resource budget, notably, in the period to 2020 and £90 million to its capital budget in the period to 2021.

    Given it is a Barnett Formula- based calculation, this ‘gift’ is being financed at least in part by our tax contributions and/or will be by our future share of Westminster debt interest payments. And just for context, compare £350 million to Scotland over the period to 2020/21 with £350 million-a-week spending bonanza for the NHS promised by the Brexiteers last year.

    So be grateful North Britain for this largesse!

    • Bang on, Stewart. When Hammond looked pointedly at the SNP MPs while he announced this, I’m surprised they didn’t chuck something at him. How generous to give us back a small portion of what we have paid in. How grateful we should be. He, and the rest of the Government, clearly think we button up the back.

    • The cynic in me can’t help but think the 350 million figure was chosen deliberately. “Look there is where your brexit money has gone”.

    • PM Teresa said that whisky alone brought in £5 billion to the Treasury. That is £1000 per person of the population of Scotland and they are giving us £20 per person in return. And 70% of whisky revenues are not counted in the £5 billion because the distilleries are owned by companies registered outside Scotland.

      • Indeed, and as I understand it, whisky exports do not count towards Scottish GDP as it is allocated to the port/point of export and that is invariably outside Scotland.

        Also, much is made about the barrel price of oil and how much it has fallen (even though it is trending upwards at the moment). Fair enough, yet this resource is about to surpass Norwegian production. Mr Cameron (despite the low oil price) said to Andrew Marr, that the wealth of this resource is spread amongst 5 million Norwegians as opposed to 56 million British. It is why the UK doesn’t benefit as much as Norway does.

        The fact remains the oil and gas industry meets 50% of UK domestic energy needs and it contributes 25% towards the UK’S ballance of trade (still a deficit).

        The price of oil is a distraction, nothing more. Even if iScotland really would have a £15billion current account deficit, and I believe there is more fear mongering than accuracy in that number, I still say bring it on.

        Pooling and sharing sounds good on paper, if you have a say in how and what is pooled and shared. I’ve never read where Wales and NI receive a share of oil and gas revenues.

        Oh, and was it not Brian Wilson who said in the last indyref that the reason why the Northern and Western Isles don’t has interconnectors to the National Grid is because of the threat of independence? Meanwhile as Scottish wiggly amps keep the lights on in the UK, Scottish consumers pay higher bills because power generators are charged more in Scotland to connect to the grid whilst taxpayers pay southern generators to connect… I could go on but that rant was long enough.

        London sewers anyone?

  4. It bears repeating, Paul.
    “Independence is about one thing and about one thing only. It’s about ensuring that the only sovereign body in Scotland is the people of Scotland. That’s all of us, those of us who were born Scots, and those of us who came to Scotland to live and who choose to become Scots and throw their lot in with Scotland. Independence is about ensuring that the sovereign body of the people of Scotland have a government that is responsible to them and to no one else. It’s about ensuring that the path that Scotland takes, the choices that Scotland makes as a country, are determined by the people of Scotland.”
    This is the core message we must impart during the next Referendum.
    Well said.
    I’m still spitting teeth over Iain Gray’s Education No Confidence Motion.
    Roll on Self Determination when there is every chance we rid ourselves of these, frankly, evil little toads.
    What were the Greens thinking?

  5. You’ve hit the nail on the head again, Paul.
    This is the message we need to be emphasising.
    Independence is not about the decisions, its about the ability to make the decisions.

  6. ^THIS^

    A thousand times this!

    Independence isn’t about policy. It’s about giving you the power to choose.

  7. As you say, Paul, it all boils down to sovereignty and the democratic deficit.

    It is ludicrous to have to listen to Unionist attacks on Scotland’s economic viability when Westminster has mismanaged the economy so badly that there is now a £1.7 Trillion debt.

    And WE would be a basket-case?

    As Peter A Bell said in today’s National, “You can’t answer a constitutional question with a calculator.”

  8. “Independence is about one thing and about one thing only. It’s about ensuring that the only sovereign body in Scotland is the people of Scotland.”

    Quite, I think I should have that message tattooed on my body somewhere. Forehead might be best for maximum effect.

    • I am automatically suspicious of anyone trying to make obscure and (normally SNP/EU critical arguments about post-indy Scotland at this time.
      I suspect a fair few are Yoon plants for divide and rule purposes. We seriously do need to ignore and block them.
      They are deliberately placed obstacles and we need to concentrate on the primary goal.
      That’s the only way we can extricate our selves from the doomed Great British Wank Fantasy of Empire 2.0.

      Quality piece, Paul.

  9. The SNP is the only party committed to and capable of delivering an Independent Scotland . Whether or not you are a member of the SNP is , at this stage , irrelevant . If you believe that Scotland should once more be an independent country free of the cold , dead hand of Westminster then the only way of achieving this political objective is by backing a second IndyRef and giving your support , even if only only on a temporary basis, to the SNP.

    After Independence has been obtained different political alignments will certainly take place within Holyrood . Only by that stage there will be plenty of time to make decisions on which party to support but all under the freedom of choice which only Independence can offer.
    What would be sure of is that Scotland free of Westminster control would have a blank canvas to plan our future ; and what a future awaits an asset rich energy producing country, well stocked fishing grounds, agriculture and farming, tourism ,manufacturing industries, a stable judiciary and world class universities, a well educated industrious workforce with an abundance of native wit and ingenuity.

    There are few countries as well resourced and prepared for independence as Scotland. Westminster is desperate to hold on to Scotland , their Jewel in the crown and will continue to denigrate , prevaricate , and treat us as the troublesome family which should be seen but not heard. Let’s not listen to their lies and false promises . We should be Independent and can be Independent because independence is quite simply the natural state for any self respecting country.

  10. I absolutely agree.

    Unionist dissemblers want the debate to get lost in the weeds of particular issues: oil, EU, racism, fisheries, etc. Anything where they can muddy the waters and let their media dominance confuse and distract the voters – or so they hope.

    In fact they don’t want it to be a single debate – they want a ton of debates, on and over different issues, that they can try to make as conflicted and as confusing as possible in an attempt to fatigue people into sticking with a status quo that does not value them, and indeed can be shown to be actively harming them as pensions dwindle, and funds for economic development get diverted away from Scotland. (Renewables and farming subsidiies, anyone?)

    The cause at hand is our ability to make our own decisions.

    The democratic deficit. The simple fact that the expressed will of the Scottish people can, and has been ignored. The examples are legion, and should be spread far and wide. The people of Scotland need to make an informed choice about whether or not they should make their own decisions, or let a group of people elected outwith Scotland, continue to make Scotland’s decisions for it.

    Even 4 year olds get more input into what they want for their tea than Scots do in reseved matters.

    Do we want that to continue?

    Once more Scots realise that is what we are arguing about when discussing Independence, will they still want others to make their decisions for them? Or will they decide they want cereal for their tea, and like it? Maybe some jam tomorrow, if someone else will let them have it?

    I belive that given the information, shown the examples, Scots will choose Independence.

    We are not a nation of 4 year olds, and it is time to stop letting anyone else try to treat us as such.

    The people who rule over us have spent centuries working on our collective psyche, telling us and our forebears that we couldn’t possibly manage our own affairs, and to ignore any examples of nations that do. Especially others that left the blessed Empire, and somehow continue to exist, and even prosper. Those countries should be ignored because Scotland would be nothing like them, because we are told so, and should believe what we are told at all times by our nice Aunty in the corner.

    Even as unionist policies destroy the fabric of the union, they try to blame the scottish people, and the SNP in particular for all the ill effects of the reserved powers that they, the unionists, wield. They pretend what they do is the SNP’s fault. Or Scotland’s fault. They play politics with people’s lives and futures. People who can never vote them out of power. Because of the democratic deficit.

    I have been told many times to avoid sweeping generalisations in arguments.

    But do the unionists, and conservatives in particular, ever own up to their mistakes? Are they not over-fond of blaming someone else for their own demonstrable short comings when it suits? Or of course simply pretending it never happened! Truly they believe that a big boy did it and ran away, because they certainly have never done anything wrong.

    Scotland is blamed for the state it finds itself in, by the people who have squandered Scottish resources, and ignored the voices of the Scottish people for generations.

    Scotland gets told to stick with its abuser – the Westminster Government – because we might be worse off on our own. They’ve said that to every other country that started to show them the door, but those countries persevered, and gained their independence. So far none of them have come crawling back to Westminster, asking to give up the ability to govern themselves. We can, and will do better on our own. It will not all be sunshine and rainbows, but we will be in charge of our destiny, not hostage to the whims of others.

    It is time for Scotland to make its own decisions.

    It is time for Independence.

  11. Great read, thanks. I do hope lots of soft no’s heard the tories laughing at Scotland in parliament’ openly ridiculing a country they said was ‘loved’ and an ‘equal partner’, oh, when was that now, oh yes, 2014. Surely they must be at least starting to see the utter contempt that the tories and red tories have towards them, and not just the yes voters.

    So better together that they openly display this deep, dark, nasty contempt for our elected representatives and for the people of Scotland.

    We must have the right angle on things next independence referendum. Some, or most of what is written here is what we need a pro independence leader to say, over and over. Let’s repeat things, and make sure that the subsidy junkie myth is well and truly revealed as being just that. A made up fantasy, a lie. We know that it is in fact the opposite, that Scotland contributes more than its fair share, nevermind our oil and whisky revenues that are taken by the london treasury.

    The Greens today, playing party politics, disgraceful. It won’t win them seats at the local elections and many teachers will be extremely angry.

    Let’s do what we can to ensure as many SNP are elected in local elections in May. It is essential, just look at what the Labour and tory run councils are doing. Sweary words only describe such rogues.

    • Hetty, what gets me is that Harvie, and his colleagues don’t seem to see the big picture.

      Never mind that they are siding with the most Right Wing Tory Government ever, they appear unaware that we are on the verge of a second vital Independence Referendum, the result of which will decide the direction Scotland takes: now is not the time to be dithering.

      Vote No, and we are in all probability looking at 15 more years of a hard line regime which will have carte blanche (sic) to finish the job. Ruth Davidson will return Scotland to Victorian levels poverty and servility.

      Already our most vulnerable continue to be Ruth Davidson’s targets.

      The Blue Tories in Holyrood are scrapping widow’s benefits.

      If you lose your partner and are left to bring up a young family on your own, Professor WATP Adam Tomkins the man who lectures on law at one of our Unis(!) has just made it that bit harder for bereaved partners

      Pull yourself together, woman, and sign on for work at the Buroo.
      Arbeit macht Frei.

      Murdo the Queen’s Eleven Fraser has restricted the Child Tax Credit element of the wunnerful, absolute feckin’ disaster, that is the poisonous benefit cutting Universal Credit Scheme, to two children only, so let’s hope the widow in our example doesn’t have more than two infants to bring up on her own.

      Jackson Carlaw has scrapped Housing Benefit for 18-21 year olds. They’ll be ‘incentivised’ into looking for work from their new residence, a Zanussi fridge cardboard box under the arches of the Kingston bridge.

      And the political equivalent of Dolly the sheep, Mundell Minor has cut the Employment Support Allowance of disabled jobseekers by £30 a week. That’ll get them up off their malingering arses and out there looking for shelf filling jobs in Asda.

      The Greens in bed with the Tories.

      Harvie is aware that the Blue Tories have cut subsidies to renewable energy firms Up Here to the point that some may go out of business? Of course he is.

      So what has prompted the Greens to play ‘parish council’ games and back this pointless nonsense on the Education Bill?
      Could it be because of the Remain in the EU factor which has precipitated Indyref 2?

      Are Patrick and his colleagues determined Leavers?

      Like Sillars, is he an old fashioned Militant Red?

      Or does the Green Party just not get it?
      We are on the brink of something wonderful, or fatally damaging for Scotland.
      Now’s the day, and now’s the hour.

      • Couldn’t agree more, I don’t get the Greens, nvr voted for them, but definitely wouldn’t now. Not sure what their game is, but playing games with Scotland and our kids’ future is just despicable. I keep saying, the tories will introduce national service, hence housing benefit being scrapped for our young people. The tory and red tory contempt for Scotland seems now to have no boundaries, if it ever did before. I have lived in Scotland for 28yrs and when I read of the history, and the dreadful crimes and injustices perpetrated by the english, a rage wells up. It is amazing that the english have been allowed to get away with such oppression. It is like the countries in south ‘America’. The persecution by their neighbour to the north is still going on, in fact, it is getting worse. Truly terrifying that the US can get away with the oppression of so many, and make it look like an inside problem.

        The UKgov, taking a wrecking ball to so called, benefits, is criminal. Universal credit is an abomination, costing 100£ millions to implement. If it goes tits up, people lose their housing benefit too as itvis all lumped in together. For those with learning disabilities it hardly bares thinking about. It is removing money from councils, because if housing ‘benefit’ is not paid, they lose out, or would have to make people, vulnerable people, homeless.

        The Greens will lose votes because of their siding with the right wing tories. Last year many I spoke to were giving their ‘2nd vote’ to the Greens, saying, ‘The SNP will win anyway’. Maybe they will be less enthusiastic to lend the Greens their vote in any future elections and stick with the SNP. The only party by far, working to actually improve peoples’ lives, protect the environment and keep people from true destitution. The unionists have kept Scotland poor, we can’t let them drag us back to victorian times. Independence is crucial for Scotland’s survival.

        • Well said, hetty.
          Housing Benefit was introduced specifically because Social Security claimants, faced with a choice of putting food on the table, or paying rent from the ‘rent allowance’ portion of their weekly benefit, put food on the table. There were massive rent arrears problems because the weekly allowance was not enough to pay for even the basics.
          I recall, because that is the sort of warped memory I have, that the ‘business case’ was that it would ‘save’ 4000 civil servants jobs, the Councils would get their rent allowance direct from DHSS, and everybody would be so much better off. Except of course the poor sods who couldn’t survive on benefits.
          The pilots for UCS have proven that by including the rent portion of UCS in a payment to the recipient, who then pays their landlord ‘rent’, this is not working, and councils are running up massive non payment of rent arrears; the reason why Housing Benefit was introduced in the first place. Direct Payment of rent to the landlord.
          Still it keeps Whitehall civil servants in a job, making as big a cock up of the latest Welfare system as they can.
          Time for another Reform and Review. Hire another 5000 staff to undertake it!
          The Tories will not be happy until, as you say, they reintroduce conscription and press gang the undeserving young skivers into the Forces, and introduce Work Houses for the poor who fall behind in their rent.
          Davidson and Co simply disgust me now.
          Dugdale and Co are simply hopeless.
          I haven’t a clue what the Greens are thinking about. I hope one of them is reading these comments.
          bisous, hetty.

          • Aye, Jack. You’re probably not far off it there. All the same, giving a load of screwed over and pissed off young folk military training and access to weapons.
            What could possibly go wrong for the Tories..? 😉

  12. To coin a currently popular phrase doing the rounds down here in England, in essence this issue is all about “taking back control.”

    Every argument that has been used to justify an exit from the EU by a Westminster dominated Greater UK is equally applicable to Scotland vis a vis the relationship with the UK.

    Whatever it is they want to call themselves, Unionists – but not EUnionists – Empire 2.0, Greater Britannia, whatever, the so called “principles” upon which they have hung their hats in regard to the UK relationship with Europe needs to be thrown back at them and force fed to them if need be that those same principles apply between Scotland and the UK.

  13. Westminster borrows trillions [because of its own incompetence] then chucks some crumbs at Scotland and demands we go down on out knees in grovelling gratitude. Britnat arrogance is puke-inducing.

  14. I don’t have Paul’s way with words, but I’ve been saying this to anybody who will listen for years. Independence is about control, and it’s time we started saying that. It’s not about what decisions we might make, but about being in the position to make them.

    We should avoid absolutely, saying what our preferred decisions would be – because they are irrelevant, and they more we express, the more we will provide the one reason somebody needs to ‘respectably’ vote against us controlling our own affairs.

    Then there’s who we should be talking to. During the campaign we had many well attended meetings, but the audience, in my experience, was already 95% YES. Our problem is how, in the face of near blanket media coverage on the NO side, do we engage with those who voted NO?

    Here’s one thought. If you start off with some direct independence conversation, then with many people you are immediately on a loser. So we need to approach such people with something that they will want to engage with.

    How about the London allowance/weighting – started around 1920, and now several thousand per year for doing the same job as people in the rest of the UK? How about a negative allowance (yes, it has been suggested) for people in the same jobs, where, you know, it’s so cheap to live.

  15. So beautifully said! Awesome! So glad that I moved to Scotland not long ago, ’cause now, this part of the UK seems to realise what’a happening and is up to the task of going at it alone if necessary.
    Just perfectly said!

    • Of course it will, though I wouldn’t say when. The people who banged on about how this is the end for oil and it will never rise in price again are as delusional as those who said it will be over a $100 a barrel for evermore.

  16. For the life of me i cant figure out why most of the people on the planet believe it is normal to be governed by people they elect , its a simple concept but it seems to have eluded these people who cling to this United Kingdom , maybe its the daily brainwashing we all receive , this brain washing started with i guess newspapers then , radio , and films , then the real winner TV ,
    How many times have we seen and heard England and English being used to describe the whole of Britain , even recent TV drama programmes like SS – GB the latest episode features references to the King Of England more than once , This cant be by accident a slip by the director or producer , it’s more evident when you wake up to the subtle methods used once you figure it out it starts to become pretty sinister a whole industry being used to keep a nation in the dark and subdued so as not get ideas , how deep and long this propaganda has been employed well who knows , ask anyone in their 50s 60s even 70s probably how must they really know of Scottish history , a simple thing as our crown jewels that pre date the English ones , and have had nowhere near the reverence heaped upon them , how many folk know we had successful Universities long before England , God when you start its as if we are being assimilated into greater England , a nation that knows more about another country’s history than its own , this didnt happen by accident it was a willful act by devious people .

    • The TV drama is an interesting one. Read a lot of books from the period and they will refer to England instead of the UK and even the King of England. Even a lot of Scots referred to themselves as English as interchangeable for British. So that could be trying to reflect speech of the time. I would say historical uses of England instead of Britain were an attempt to subsume Scotland (and Ireland and Wales) fully with in the United Kingdom. Nowadays I think it is that a significant number of English don’t consider what is beyond the English borders of being much interest.

      But I agree we are generally quite ignorant of our history. How many know that it was only really in the years before the Act of Union that Scottish trade changed from being predominately with the continent to England. And I’ll be honest I know more about the English reformation than that of Scotland.

      That is not to say we should take a parochial interest in only our history. English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish history is so intertwined it is impossible to fully understand one without understanding the others. Just the other day I was trying to explain to a South African colleague the difference between, England, Scotland, Great Britain, Northern Ireland, Ireland and the United Kingdom. It is a surprisingly difficult thing to do.

  17. I just caught up on FMQ.
    Swinney is a born again swashbuckler!
    Davidson and her clone, the Poundshop Red Tory version, spent precious parliamentary time attempting to ridicule the oil claims of the SNP and David Cameron during Indyref 1.
    They really are one issue parties now. The constitution haunts their every waking minute these days.
    There was a young lad, sitting to the right directly behind Dugdale as she waved her Top Secret Document about. His face is a picture. Even he could not believe how alarmingly bad his leader, Dugdale the Purple Tory was.(she is melding from Red to True Blue Tory over time.
    She’s at the Flying Purple People Eater stage at the moment.)
    I can see this lad jumping ship and joining Labour for Independence any day now. Seriously, check out his look of horror as Dugdale implodes and is destroyed by Swinney the Swashbuckler.

    • John Swinney was on tremendous form today Jack swatting Tweedles Dumb and Dumber like flies and loving it. I have never understood the economics of oil, how can it a bonus when shared among 60 million people yet a burden when shared among only 5 million?

      Paul another excellent article, you do indeed have a way of putting all our thoughts into words.

      • Duncan Fraser was peddling the £15 billion deficit, 9% of GDP lie again on Reporting Scotland; oh yes, and the oil will be a curse.
        They KNOW that they’ve lost.
        I expect Dugdale to be ousted by Sarwar any day now.

      • The one I don’t get about oil is that yes for the UK it does not meet current demand domestically. But for an independent Scotland it would exceed Scottish domestic demand by a magnitude. Therefore contributing to a healthy trade balance. And a Scottish currency that is not kept artificially high like the pound to help the finance industry would also be a boost for oil sold in dollars and exports in general.

    • I saw a clip on STV of John Swinney ripping the pish out of the two of them , by the look on their faces they thought he was laughing with them , oh christ someone tell them , its at them not with them , As the BBC have conveniently omitted the current STV Poll from their website I wonder how they doctor the two tory leaders performance today , hard to tell them apart both liars ,

      • the last couple of sentences have it in a nutshell,everything else is peripheral,do not engage in all the other issues,they will not be able to answer.

  18. I wish you cet on the BBC, STV, and Sky to make this case. It’s common sense. Surely when it’s presented on the tv channels watched by most Scots, the light will dawn and we’ll have a mass movement for independence!

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