The Scots aren’t very bright

Rab Nesbit

Over three years ago I wrote how the English would be much better off without Scotland. This still holds, so recent polls putting the YES campaign ahead for the upcoming referendum should be celebrated in England. We win, big style. Which makes it very confusing as to why anyone in Scotland should vote YES. I can only think of four reasons:

  • Braveheart effect. This totally fictitious film, with no basis whatsoever in fact, is one of the most effective pieces of propaganda ever for the hard of thinking. Very many Scots are racist against the English, some overtly, some less so. The whole Braveheart thing lights these people’s fuses. This is one of the very good things about independence, we get rid of them.
  • Margaret Thatcher. I know she left office in 1990, but she is still the main reason that many otherwise rational Scots will not vote for a Conservative party that would be the best option for them. Any political discussion with a Scot soon turns to Margaret Thatcher. It is their national obsession, despite all the immense good she did for the region.
  • Alex Salmond. This unashamed populist will say anything for a vote. And often it is easy to question the veracity of what he says. I would hate to live in a country run by him, he would be psychologically incapable of making the necessary hard choices. Yet to many in Scotland he embodies their nation. Which is sad.
  • Wanting to wallow in a socialist paradise. Scotland is a vastly more socialist place than England is. They return mainly Labour MPs to Westminster. One can only assume that their susceptibility to Braveheart propaganda proves that they are also susceptible to the leftie propaganda churned out by the BBC and school teachers.

I am looking forward to an independent Scotland. It will be a great spectator sport. Venezuela with a Buckfast habit. There is a £10bn a year deficit in Scotland between what the state earns in taxes and what it spends. It will be very interesting to see where Salmond finds this money, tax like crazy, make huge cuts to public services or vastly increase the national debt. As he is such a populist it will be the last of these. Future generations will enjoy the anchor strapped to their necks. Other than the money lets look at how else the Scots are shooting themselves in the foot.

  • Having no control over the currency. OK use the pound, nothing wrong with that, Panama has been dollarised since 1903, as is Ecuador, El Salvador, Micronesia and a clutch of other countries. But they are all subservient to what the US Government decides to do. As we have seen in recent years with quantitative easing.
  • Giving up support. Scotland will be a country of 5 million (like Lebanon or Turkmenistan) instead of being a country of 60 million, part of an economic group of 500 million. So a new banking crisis would rapidly make Scotland become like Greece, only colder. Travelers getting into trouble abroad will have no consular support. National defence will become lightweight, so Russia, for instance would easily be able to get up to its usual bullying. There won’t be enough money for major capital projects like HS2. It goes on. The shock of going from a major player to a bit part player will be huge.
  • Relying on oil. This is a joke. The world has changed and nobody in Scotland has noticed. It doesn’t matter what the North Sea reserves are, they are too expensive to extract. We live in a world where technology allows low cost fracking. Already in USA it has totally transformed the energy market, oil and gas have become a lot cheaper. Now look at a fracking reserves map of Europe. The potential is immense. Who needs expensive Scottish oil?
  • Relying on financial services. At one stage Edinburgh thought it would become the number two financial centre in Europe. Then the big Scottish banks went pop and had to be rescued by the British government. After independence they will be screwed, they will no longer have the Bank of England as a guarantor and they will no longer be able to sell or run many financial services in England, their main market. The Royal Bank of Scotland, Bank of Scotland, Scottish Widows, Alliance, Standard Life, Scottish Life, Aberdeen Asset Management etc etc will have no option but to move to England.
  • Lots of Scots who work for the British government will lose their jobs. Very many in the armed forces and big numbers in the many British government offices that are based in Scotland. There are 44,000 civil servants in Scotland but only 17,000 work on Scottish matters. That’s a lot of jobs that will go.
  • Halt to inward investment. Now a company setting up in Europe has good reasons to go to Scotland. Access to the EU markets being principal among these. After independence there will be no incentives and many disadvantages to setting up in Scotland. So people won’t do it.
  • Ability to work in the rest of Britain. After independence Scotland will be a foreign country, like Pakistan, so any Scot wanting to work in England, Ireland or Wales will need a visa and a work permit, both of which will be very hard to get. So Scots will be limited to working in Scotland. And there won’t be many jobs because of the reasons above.

I could go on, but you get the idea, Scotland seems to be like so many turkeys voting for Christmas. Cutting their noses off to spite their faces. And all because of Braveheart, Thatcher and Salmond. Not very bright.

 

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3 Comments


  1. I think in all fairness you need to de-strawman your argument by thinking a little harder to come up with realistic reasons why many people in Scotland see independence as a viable option. Or maybe ask someone from Scotland – jeez it’s not that hard; we speak English reasonably well these days.

    Let’s have a go then.

    * Forget Braveheart; that film was gash. How about: democracy? The UK has a barely-accountable parliament of expenses-junkies ensconced in mostly safe seats, and unelected non-recallable ‘Lords’. Voting isn’t proportional, and every attempt at reform has died just out of the starting gate. By contrast, the Scottish parliament has a fairer voting system, a more open decision-making process, and has been politely and competently managing the small fraction of the money you claim is ‘spent on’ Scotland for many years now. More on that in a moment. A neutral observer might just look at that situation and think we can do better if that polite, open, democratic parliament got to run the rest of our affairs too.

    * How about one of your own bugbears: HS2 and other stupid vanity projects that will cost a ton of money and not benefit Scotland in the least. Let’s add the cost of replacing Trident to that category while we’re at it.

    * Forget Thatcher too. In terms of pure evil, Tony Blair and her are more or less neck-and-neck. More people died in Tony’s war, for example. It is quite possible that what we are seeing in Scotland is an opening of eyes to the fact that we keep voting Labour, and they keep fucking us as badly in government and doing nothing to shield us in opposition. But if not them, then who?

    * Not Alex Salmond, I’ll tell you that. He’s a fairly savvy politician, and no idiot. Check out his qualifications: a lot better placed to give opinions about the economy than the current or previous chancellor. But the SNP are only effective within the Scottish parliament. At Westminster, they could never get enough seats to have any influence. It’s nice that they arranged this referendum for us, but if we get independence, they will be just another left-of-centre social democratic party.

    * There is no socialist utopia in any party’s manifesto, unless you call Denmark or Norway utopian, because yeah, we could very easily become like them. Higher taxes, higher cost of living, but higher average standard of living, and less child poverty. Basically, anyone who reacts to the lightest mention of tackling child poverty with scoffing about socialist utopias is hard to take seriously. Now if you don’t want to live in that kind of economy, that’s fine. Hence the reasonable desire for neighbouring countries to pursue different priorities and seek different solutions.

    You can be sceptical about those reasons, or any others that other people in Scotland might come up with, but starting from a list of made-up comedy reasons is playing the game of politics in easy mode. We’ve been honing our skills in crazy-unfair-hard mode for too long to be much impressed.

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  2. It seems there are just under 4,000,000 people allowed to vote, on a TV programm a few months ago on the up and coming vote, the reporter said that in Glasgow & Edinburgh there was more unemployed than the rest of Scotland, fair as it has most of the population, but there are not enough people working paying taxes to support those who are not in work.
    The promises of what the SNP government will do when in power the money has already been spent, they say they will create jobs, governments cant create jobs, they can create the conditions that help people create jobs, the lefts track record on this is not good, if you thought Labour was left think again, SNP is Marxist / Communist as was / is the IRA.
    I live on the border between Scotland and England, Tesco’s Carlisle is my main shopping point, Tesco’s opened a big store at Annan closer to me by 2 miles, but things are more expensive Diesel is 3–4 p more expensive in 18 miles.
    Then 25 miles west at Dumfries a huge Tesco’s it is more expensive again.
    Then there is the new expense of putting all Scotlands driving licenses on computer from Swansea to somewhere north, same with the VAT offices, then national insurance number allocation from Newcastle.
    So much they have not thought of it will collapse.

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