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.