We’ve come a long, long way. We’ve debunked the scare stories over and over. We answered the same question thousands of times and as time went on the evidence got stronger to support Scotland becoming an independent country again.
As we are now within the last 100 days, it will be hard for anyone to ignore the frantic actions of the British Establishment as with the help of its media machine, those involved as leaders in the campaign to keep Scotland as a cash cow make their final pleas for us to “just vote no”. , I can almost hear them saying, “You’ll damage my bank account”.
I’m a bit confused over that campaign anyway. On the one hand they run Scotland down and then they say without Scotland, the rUK will be a greatly diminished place. That doesn’t hold any kind of logic for me.
I saw the remarks of the chap from the UK Treasury reported in an article a few days ago, you know, the one that briefed George Osborne about a currency union just before he made his flying visit and said “there will be no currency union” (or words to that effect). In the article he was saying that Scotland could get a very good deal out of Europe, that it could be a successful country but he was still of the opinion that Scotland was hung on just too much of a “shoogly peg” to entertain a currency union. In other words, he was saying that Scotland represented a bad risk.
Now I’ll tell you straight that I’ve had my head stuck in the independence debate for far too long to get angry. I’ve just seen too much of the bad stuff that Westminster have done to the people of Scotland and have become slightly blasé and de-sensitised, however, this made me mad and as angry as I’ve ever been. Let me explain…..
Right now, the UK’s public debt is standing at £1.37 TRILLION (£1,370,000,000,000). Now it doesn’t matter who the Chancellor of the Exchequer is and it doesn’t matter how hard that person tries to “austerity measures” their way out of it, that debt is going to get bigger. It’s a bit like having a massive credit card bill where the minimum payment has more than gobbled up all your disposable income and now you’re looking to see what you can do without in order to keep up the repayments. The interest alone is costing ONE BILLION POUNDS every single week and as you can imagine, Scotland having 8.4% of the population will be “in” for £84 MILLION of that interest payment every single week. In other words and to make it crystal clear, Westminster are never going to be in a position to pay down that public debt, and the only option left open to a Chancellor will be to finally “restructure” that debt. That is basically the same as if you get into trouble with your personal debt and make a deal with your creditors to pay the debt back over a longer period or if you’re really lucky, get some of the debt written off.
So why isn’t George Osborne restructuring right now? That’s rather a simple thing to answer, in finance, confidence is absolutely everything. You’ll have heard George Osborne over the last few weeks saying “everything’s okay guys, the economy is growing”. It is not. The bubble in the economy is being created (again) by the housing bubble in London and the South East in general. Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England has sent several warning letters to George Osborne (to our knowledge) regarding the “Help to Buy Scheme”, now he has taken to making public statements over the issue, warning openly that it has to stop.
To round this part of the story up, the interest rates that George Osborne borrows at are very, very low. Because of this he can just manage to inch along and pay that big credit card bill (the public debt of £1.37 trillion). The rates that he gets are really good but not as good as the rates that Ireland enjoys, however, I’ve heard the wee noises that say interest rates are going to rise globally and this is where George Osborne or whoever comes after him runs into trouble. If we continue with the analogy of the public debt as being a big credit card bill, if those rates go up then the minimum payment will go up. The government will hide the problem for as long as possible until it’s too far down the road and during this time, they’ll be whipping cash out from every stone that they can with savings and pensions etc. being amongst the first casualties.
Then after the damage is done and in a massive “fait accompli”, the sad news will be sprung on the British public. “Restructuring the debt”. This will have many effects. The first and obvious one is that Britain (or the rUK, your choice) will lose the confidence of the people in the financial markets. That will further raise interest rates right across the board. Sterling as a tradable currency will plummet (think it’s costly right now to buy currency to go on holiday? Just wait until this happens!) and the Westminster Government will have to try to manage things whilst dealing with rampant inflation because Sterling won’t buy as much abroad.
That’s not a good position for any country to find itself in, and having followed this for a long time now, I can’t see an escape route.
So, back to our “Treasury man” that made his statement for the waiting press last week. How can that oik point a finger at Scotland with all its inherent wealth in minerals, resources and fantastic exporting industries, how can he point to Scotland and say “TOO RISKY”?! That’s what made me angry and that’s what made me mad. The condescension of these people is simply breath-taking.
As I said back at the start, we’re within the last 100 days. This is it my friends. We can either vote Yes and chart our own path and avoid (largely) the mess down south, or we can be loyal to the UK and go down with the good ship Britannia with half a smile on our faces whilst saluting the Union Jack.
Personally, I have nothing but respect for the people in other parts of the British Isles and would wish nothing but the best for them in the future, but I have a family here in Scotland and we’ve suffered enough at the hands of successive governments in Westminster. We MUST get out of the union. That is as plain as the nose on your face.
Independence may be an act of “self-determination” but it’s likely to also become an act of “self-preservation”.
There are many reasons for voting Yes to Independence, good positive reasons, but this particular facet may turn into the biggest scare story of them all where the best advice that can be given to anyone living in Scotland is “Run away from the union as fast as you possibly can!”
I did support a currency union until recently, but now, having considered the state of play with regards to finances south of the border, I’m not so sure. I suppose even if we do enter a currency union, if things take a nose dive as I described, at least we’ll be able to make the choices and being small enough, we can turn quickly to protect Scotland from the worst effects.
David Milligan Lvss