What staying in the United Kingdom “actually” means for Scotland

UK Govt pack of liesI just received a leaflet from the UK Govt.  Fancy that.  That leaflet is the UK Government’s big pitch to get us to stay with the union.  Let’s have a look…….

The picture on the front was nice, it was five children holding hands and running through a glen with smiles on their faces. At the bottom of the first page it had the words, “Information about the referendum on Scottish independence“.  Very good.

img008

I opened it up. I was met with “A United Kingdom, A United Future“……well that’s novel idea nowadays, isn’t it?

On 18th September, you will be asked to make a big decision on the future of Scotland: to remain in the United Kingdom or to leave and become a separate state – permanently.”

“Permanently?”, I thought, why did they need to say that? Did they think at one time we were only going to do it for a few days and now they’ve just realised the terrible truth? Surely not.

HM Government believes that there are many reasons why Scotland should stay in the United Kingdom.”

Well HM Government might think so but when asked, HM herself didn’t want to support that position, did she?  Thank you Ma’am. Her Majesty was asked on three occasions to include something on keeping the union intact in the Queen’s speech and she refused.  I’ll say that again – thank you Ma’am.

“It’s for you to decide and you should make your choice knowing all the relevant facts.”

Do you know, I’ve been saying that very thing for ages now, but as the relevant facts from the Yes side of the debate don’t seem to be getting out, how can people know “all the relevant facts”.  Is that logical or am I missing something?  I’m attending a protest in front of the BBC Scotland HQ in Glasgow on Sunday just for that very reason.

This booklet provides important information about the issues that affect Scotland’s future. If you would like to know more about any of the information found in this booklet,  gov.uk/youdecide2014 has further resources, publications and announcements.

That’s awfully kind of you chaps, but are you going to keep changing your mind on what’s on offer?  Is that why we need to keep referring to the website?

img009

Next page…… Oh look there’s a nice smiling chap stood at the back of a trannie van carrying his tools and some pipe.  Perhaps he’s going to help with one of those nice fracking setups and pump chemical muck down a hole and contaminate our water supply. You never know…..or perhaps he’s at a house near one of the fracking setups that are complaining that their water is starting to taste odd and he’s going to replace the pipework to see if that helps…..yet again, you never know.  Did you know that the House of Lords removed Scotland’s powers regarding onshore energy extraction to make it easier for the fracking companies to set up next to your house?  It’s true! They removed that power in a morning’s session and then had a great big lunch washed down with a cheeky little Moet et Chandon subsidised by the tax payers.  Then they slept it off in the chamber for the rest of the afternoon.  Just whilst I’m on that, it seems that licences have already been sold to fracking companies covering most of the central belt of Scotland. Must put “more tea” on the shopping list in case a fracking crew want a cuppa whilst they’re here. Don’t laugh, it could be coming to that wee patch of waste ground that the kids play football on right next to you.

Then I had a look at the next page….ah, here we go,

All the advantages of the pound
As part of the United Kingdom, Scotland has one of the oldest, strongest and most stable currencies in the world, backed up by 31 million taxpayers and the strength of the Bank of England. It would not be possible to recreate today’s currency arrangements across two separate states. Staying within the UK is the only way to keep the pound we have now.”

Hmmm, in Scotland we have currency that’s different anyway run as a currency union where every single pound in our pockets has a similar amount lodged with the Bank of England.  According to Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England the money lodged with them now is £6 billion. I don’t quite see why it “would not be possible” to have similar arrangements to the way they are now. “Would not be possible” is the same as “won’t do it” or “ye cannie” as far as I can see. I do know that the rest of the UK benefits greatly from the exporting capability of Scotland which is in the top 35 exporting nations worldwide and as England is an importing nation, if Scotland didn’t use the pound Sterling then that would create a great big black hole in the balance of payments and I’m pretty sure I heard an economics expert say that without Scotland, the pound would take a tumble.  So not so sure about that one……perhaps they should change the wording to “just might be possible?” After all, one of the coalition cabinet ministers said it “just might be possible”, didn’t they?

“Closest trading partners
The United Kingdom economy is set to recover faster than every other G7 nation. As two-thirds of Scottish exports go to England, Wales and Northern Ireland – more than the rest of the world combined – putting up an international border with the rest of the UK would slow growth just as our economy is starting to take off.”

I don’t think I like the sound of that at all. But wait! What would happen to the goods and services that the rest of the UK sell to Scotland?  Are the UK government telling us that they would actively slow trade between the two states? Or are they just worried that somehow that might happen? And what about the phrase “just as our economy is starting to take off”??? Hasn’t George Osborne been telling us that the economy is alright now and that everything is just fine and dandy? So which is it? Is the economy all better now or are we still waiting for the starting gun? And doesn’t that starting gun go off before 2016?  When thinking about that, the words “Housing bubble” just popped into my head. Hasn’t Mark Carney the governor of the Bank of England written to George Osborne about the dangers of another housing crisis? The United Kingdom’s headline economic figures may be looking okay at the moment but if built on a housing bubble, won’t that be a little short lived? The words “just as our economy is starting to take off.” are perhaps a little over confident, don’t you think?…..And what about that public debt of £1.37 trillion? Doesn’t that have something to do with it? More on that later on.

More businesses and jobs.
Many thousands of Scottish jobs are connected to trade with the rest of the United Kingdom. For example, 200,000 Scottish jobs are supported by banking, insurance and finance, and the industry itself estimates that nine out of ten customers live in the rest of the UK.”

Hold on jist a wee minute, if you’re going to make an argument about “More businesses and jobs”, shouldn’t that argument cover a little bit more than financial services? And where does it say “more jobs”??? I think I should get the calculator out here….let’s see…..Scotland has 8.4% of the population so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt here and say 10% leaving 90%.  So the statement about ” the industry itself estimates that nine out of ten customers live in the rest of the UK” doesn’t actually need an economic wizard to work out does it?  And if “Many thousands of Scottish jobs are connected to trade with the rest of the United Kingdom”, shouldn’t the argument cover what those thousands of people actually do? I mean, doesn’t Scotland do more than financial services? And yet again, are the UK government in this leaflet telling us that there won’t be any trade between Scotland and the rest of the UK? That trade will still be happening because businesses in all parts of the British Isles will want it and it doesn’t matter what the government say. Just like any business person, I don’t care where the bits are that I need to operate my business come from, just so long as they’re available and don’t take too long to arrive. On this one I have to say that if that’s the best argument that the whole United Kingdom government with seemingly unlimited resources can come up with then I will definitely take that as an area where they don’t have much of an argument and support independence.
img011

Next page……………..oh look! Here we have two people coming out of a house and loading what looks like bags of food into a car….now why would they be doing that???  I know! They’re taking donations to the local foodbank! How nice of them. But wait a minute…there’s a label attached to the picture and that says, “By staying in the United Kingdom. your money is safe and goes further.”  But if they’re going to the foodbank, doesn’t that mean that a sizeable chunk of the population haven’t got any money? Otherwise they wouldn’t have to go in the first place. Let’s get this right, I want a fairer society, not one where the leadership is saying that for only part of the population that their money will be “safe and go further”, that’s dreadfully unfair isn’t it? Shouldn’t we aspire to more? Shouldn’t we be trying to end the use of foodbanks by giving everyone that works a living wage where they can actually afford to feed their families without relying on handouts? Am I alone in wanting this? I don’t think so.
img012

Cheaper bills
The United Kingdom’s financial standing helps keep interest rates low. That means cheaper loans and mortgages for you and your family. And because the costs of investing in Scotland’s energy networks and renewables are shared across the whole of Great Britain, staying in the UK would keep future energy bills for Scottish households up to £189* a year lower.” (” * Source: Scotland analysis: Energy, HM Government, May 2014″)

Well there you go, that’s the UK government saying that if you opt for independence, because your tiny little country wont have any credit history, your mortgage or your car loan will rocket in cost of repayments. And they’re saying that because of the “United Kingdom’s financial standing”. But that can’t be true. Didn’t the big credit reference agency Fitch downgrade the UK where it lost it’s AAA credit rating? And didn’t the other big credit reference agency “Standard & Poors”say that after the analysis they had done on an independent Scotland without the oil, that they’d give us their highest credit rating due to Scotland’s wealth? Now what about those energy bills. Did you know that you pay a premium for your energy bills right now and have been for the last 20 or 30 years? It’s simple when you look at the facts. First, Scotland produces more gas and electricity than it needs, so the rest goes to England. England needs much more than we give them and many times more than they produce themselves. That means they need to buy in the rest to satisfy their needs. They end up paying through the nose for imported gas and electricity. Now who do you think bears the brunt of all that extra cost? ……You. It’s added onto your gas and electric bill and yet you live in Scotland that doesn’t have to buy from abroad. That’s unfair isn’t it? It’s estimated that the amount added to each bill in Scottish households is £305* a year higher.  (” * Source: Scotland analysis: Energy, Paying to much to keep the lights on elsewhere, June 2014″) And what about renewables? So far we’ve had a UK govt that are positively anti-renewables so I’ll stick with the Scottish governments plan to invest in our own renewables and re-industrialise Scotland into the bargain. I’ll be voting yes then.

Safe savings and pensions
With Scotland as part of the United Kingdom, you savings in any UK bank or building society are protected by a guarantee of up to £85,000. And state Pensions are more secure because costs are shared by 31 million taxpayers across the UK.”

Now I don’t want to seem ungrateful here but out of the hundreds of people I know personally, perhaps a handful of those people would have anything approaching the £85,000 limit that’s talked of. Perhaps the other thing I should tell you is that three of those people live in England. Personally, I’d rather see banks and building societies that didn’t play roulette with their customers money every night. And besides which, the Bank of England belongs to all the people that live on these islands that we inhabit. Or doesn’t it? Now what about State pensions….they would in fact be safer in an independent Scotland because we’re in a much better position financially than the rest of the UK. Please don’t forget that the UK has an enormous £1.37 trillion in public debt. Now it doesn’t matter who gets into Downing Street in 2015, that debt is costing one billion pounds a week and the chancellor will have to start applying the brakes more, much more than in the past. Savings and Pensions are just sitting there, aren’t they? I mean, what else does the chancellor have left to strip to the bone?

A bigger economy that protects us all.
The United Kingdom economy is the sixth largest in the world. Our collective size, strength and diversity allow us to grow and succeed together, and help to protect jobs in difficult times. In 2008, for example, we were able to provide Scottish banks with support worth more than twice Scotlands national income.”

If Scotland was already independent we’d be in the 14th place in the list of developed nations by GDP and the rUK (rest of the United Kingdom) would be in the 22nd place.  That’s according to the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development).  So that sixth position would be subdivided somewhat and it’s very telling that it’s the rUK that drops 8 places more than Scotland due to Scotland’s exporting muscle.  We really are that loaded.  Now let’s put the bank bailout thing to bed…Taking the higher of the estimates of the bailout of HBoS (Halifax Bank of Scotland) and the RBS Royal Bank of Scotland was £66 Billion in 2008, however, apart from anything else, the Scottish GDP that year was £145 Billion so it wouldn’t have bankrupted us as some say and I think its a pretty cheap trick to use the amount given to Scotland as a block grant to do the calculation on the UK governments leaflet. “worth more than twice Scotlands national income.”  It’s quite apparent that Scotland would have dealt with the banks just as well but perhaps we’d have taken a different path. Iceland handled it well, didn’t they? They bailed out no one, jailed the bankers and the politicians connected with them and now they’re on the up and up. They’re doing much better now than most countries in Europe. The big story that was generally kept under wraps is that Barclays which is the quintessential English bank received a bailout of over £600 Billion from the US Federal Reserve. I wonder if the Americans talk about English banks the way that the UK government talk about Scottish ones? Banking is an international pursuit and banks run across almost all borders in the world. The bailout of Barclays by the US Federal Reserve was commensurate with the amount of trade they did in the US. Similarly, even though the brass plate exists in Scotland for the two “Scottish” banks, only 5% of their total trade was carried out in Scotland.

img013

Next page……..oh no? What a gaff! How could they be so stupid!!!! Here we have two women in a pharmacy with one woman handing the other a free prescription! We already know that we stand to lose £4 Billion off our block grant if we stay with the UK and the first sacrifice would be all the universal benefits that we’ve come to enjoy, all the free prescriptions, free care of the elderly, free bus passes and free university tuition…..gone. So for the UK government to have such a picture in a leaflet that’s their big pitch for getting folk to vote no is well, laughable.
img014

Lower taxes, higher public spending.
As part of the United Kingdom, Scotland’s finances are much stronger with lower taxes and higher public spending. The UK Government estimates that the long-term financial benefit of staying in the UK is worth £1,400* every year to each person living in Scotland.” “( * Source: Scotland analysis: Fiscal policy and sustainability, HM Government, May 2014)”

Okay, this is nonsense, pure and simple. Calculator out again. Scotland runs a deficit like most countries in the world. This isn’t money gifted to us by a benevolent Westminster, no, it’s a loan. We get a block grant each year and then the UK treasury adds around £17 Billion to our bottom line. That’s for things spent on Scotland’s behalf but not on Scotland. It’s for things like the Golden Jubilee, the Olympics, our part of the Billion pound a week interest payment on the public debt etc etc etc. Adding that much to the bottom line creates a deficit which we pay for. Scotland more than pays it’s way if we were an independent country. At the moment we live under Westminster rule, it’s like going to a restaurant and getting a huge service charge added to the bill. Are we that daft? No not really, it’s just that we can’t do anything about it unless we vote for independence. Due to spending requirements and projects going through at the moment like the widening of the M25 that runs around London, the HS2 High Speed Rail link that’ll only make it as far as Leeds or Manchester and a few more projects which don’t touch Scotland, that bottom line payment is going to get bigger. In other words the service charge is going to cripple us. And then there’s the public debt that wont go away no matter what the chancellor does. It just gets bigger and bigger whilst the chancellor is saying things are getting better and better. Who’s fooling who? Lower taxes? I think the UK government are fooling no one on that account. And the higher public spending depends on what side of the Watford Gap you’re standing. The M25 motorway around London is being widened whereas the M8 “Motorway” between Glasgow and Edinburgh which are two of Scotland’s largest cities is still a dual carriageway for much of its length. The maximum we can do at the moment is put up an average speed camera system on the A9. All in it together?, Don’t make me laugh. We can do an awful lot better than that for ourselves.

More support for public services
As part of the United Kingdom, Scotland benefits from public spending that is around 10% higher than the UK average. This helps fund public services like health, education and transport.”

As I said before, Scotland more than pays its way. That higher public spending is as a result of choices made on our behalf by the devolved Scottish parliament. It is not some kind of a gift from Westminster. The formula used to calculate what we get to spend is called the Barnett formula. That formula looks as if it’s going to be dropped and we’ll lose about £4 Billion from our public purse as a result. Those public, universal benefits we enjoy such as free prescriptions and free university tuition will actually be lost if we continue with the UK because we wont be able to afford them. Our health service which is a publicly owned Scottish body will come under attack pretty soon as well. So where are the benefits that the leaflet talks about? It looks pretty dodgy to me.

Shared public institutions.
Scotland benefits from over 200 United Kingdom institutions and services: the BBC, the National Lottery, Her Majesty’s Passport Office, Research Councils UK and the DVLA. An independent Scotland would need to create new public institutions, which would be complex and expensive.”

I must admit, this one made me laugh. With the embarrassing expose’ a couple of weeks ago of the UK Treasury’s estimate of what it would cost to set up these institutions, egg is all over the face of those involved. They estimated £2.7 Billion. The man that actually did the research for them estimated £200 – £300 Million tops. His name was Professor Dunleavy and he was pretty angry that the UK Treasury had dragged his name and the name of his university into disrepute. Let’s savour this one and vote yes. This will go down as one of the biggest laughs when we look back and remember.
img015

Next page……awww a woman holding a sleeping baby and she’s smiling, however, what that’s got to do with the strapline which says, “By staying in the United Kingdom, Scotland has a strong voice in the world.” I don’t mean to be unkind here but the only connection I can possibly make is that someday after the child has grown up, perhaps it’ll join the armed forces and get thrown into another illegal war that America decides it wants fought. The strapline obviously alludes to something completely different and is a direct reference to the G7, NATO, the UN, etc etc etc. Did we ever actually have a voice in those bodies? I mean does Scotland specifically have a strong voice in the world? Think about that for a moment. Does anyone think that Scotland’s interests were ever directly discussed in any of those bodies? I would have to say no. The only time that Scotland may have benefitted in some way (scratches head) would be only if it suited some larger plan. I would say the most sensible solution would be to regain independence first and take our place in the world. We have a lot of friends out there. Sometimes influence isn’t wielded by the person sitting at the top table. Sometimes a crowd of little guys working together can be very effective.

img016

Protecting our people and promoting our interests.
For centuries Scottish people have been at the heart of the United Kingdom’s armed forces, which keep us safe at home and abroad. You can rely on help from over 200 embassies and consulates around the world if you get into difficulty. Scottish businesses are supported around the world by the UK. This includes successfully promoting Scottish exports such as whisky.”

Now forgive me for this, and I did have to look closely but there’s a picture next to that paragraph on the leaflet which is most definitely a British Passport. I haven’t held one of those for years, I hasten to add that I do have a passport but it’s a European passport. That means that if I get into difficulty abroad, I can go to any European embassy or consulate for help and collectively there are many times more of them in the world than the amount run by the UK and don’t forget Scotland will have its own embassies. The UK have a head start of a few hundred years but I’m sure we’ll soon catch up as much as we need to. As to the armed forces, our lads and lasses have made a disproportionate sacrifice throughout the history of the union, haven’t they? And yet the UK Government, almost in the middle of a firefight with the Taliban in Helmand Province, tap the soldier on the back and hand him his P45. You could not make stuff like that up, could you? As far as the promotion of Scottish businesses abroad is concerned, Scottish trade missions are more effective than anything the UK Foreign Office have ever managed. Scotland is a great brand now, think how powerful that brand will become when we’re an independent nation.

Help for the world’s poorest.
The United Kingdom is the second largest aid donor in the world. Our collective influence and reach means we are helping to end extreme poverty, saving lives during humanitarian crises and making vital contributions to international peacekeeping missions. In response to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, the UK helped on million people by providing food, water, shelter and lifesaving medicine.”

Now I’m all for humanitarian aid and an effort to end extreme poverty and I believe that an independent Scotland would do more than just put its hand in its pocket, but what of the humanitarian aid that’s needed right here and now?  The term “help for the world’s poorest” is getting dangerously close to including folk that live in our own country. No I’m not saying that we have hundreds of thousands dying of starvation but we do have many people and children that go to bed hungry every night of the week. That’s the stark reality of 21st century Britain. Did you know that many millions was offered to the UK Government in aid for the foodbanks by the EU and they refused it??? It’s true. That happened shortly before Christmas last year. It was an unforgivable display of foolish British pride over common sense by those millionaires in the coalition cabinet. The foodbanks are always running out of food and that aid would have created a bubble of comfort for those least able to help themselves during the festive season. That one made me weep with sorrow and made me angry all at the same time.
So, my take on this particular section is that it’s fine painting pictures of what Britain has done abroad but is pretty ignorant over the actual situation right here, right now. How do you feel about one single child going to bed hungry anywhere in the United Kingdom?  It churns my guts when I think of it and yet those who have sworn a duty of care to the people on these islands that we collectively inhabit seem to be happy that they are “providing food, water, shelter and lifesaving medicine” to people in another country. As always, we seem to have plenty of money when it comes to paying for nuclear weapons in the UK, but when it comes to helping those least able to help themselves in society then “money’s too tight to mention”.

Let charity BEGIN at home.

An influential voice in important places.
The United Kingdom is a leading member of the UN and the only country in the world that is also a member of NATO, the EU, the Commonwealth, the G7, the G8 and the G20. As one of the EU’s “big four” nations, the UK is more able to protect Scottish interests in areas like agriculture and fisheries.”

This one actually hit a nerve with me. Of course Scotland would enter the UN. From what I’ve read, we’ll have very little difficulty joining NATO even if we do tell the nuclear subs and nukes at Faslane to take a hike. Scotland will also be in the EU and the Queen will be our head of state which means we’ll be in the Commonwealth. There, what’s missing?  Oh yes the G7, 8 and 20. Well taking that Scotland will be 14th richest in the world – that’s right now if we were independent, then why wouldn’t we be invited to at least the G20? Collectively, the G-20 economies account for around 85% of the gross world product (GWP), 80% of world trade (or if excluding EU intra-trade: 75%), and two-thirds of the world population. The G-20 heads of government or heads of state have also periodically conferred at summits since their initial meeting in 2008. So why wouldn’t an independent Scotland be part of that?

G7 is a group of seven industrialised nations of the world, formed by Canada, USA, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the UK. (“G6” refers to the same group minus Canada, while “G8” refers to the group plus Russia.) Now to the good people of France, Italy and Japan I say this with utter respect, if your country is in the G6,7 and 8 then why wouldn’t a re-industrialised Scotland be in it?  It’s just a matter of time. Perhaps in future those numbers would change to G8, 9 and 10 to reflect an extra industrialised nation joining their number. Or perhaps we’ll form other allegiances in the future such as with the other Scandinavian countries. We’ll see. At least we’ll have the choice if we want it.

Finally on this section I have to call a halt to what is an extra-ordinary lie. ” the UK is more able to protect Scottish interests in areas like agriculture and fisheries.” When the UK began to negotiate with the EU, certain bargaining chips were used to gain the UK things in other areas.  One of those bargaining chips was our fishing industry. In the past, the sea off Scotland’s coasts has been peppered with other EU fishing vessels whilst the the entire Scottish fishing fleet was tied up at home, unable to fish their own home waters.  That’s the core of the lie. Protect Scottish interests? Don’t make me die laughing! Similarly, we have the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) which provides a grant to farmers all over the UK, however, Scottish farmers never seem to get their fair share of that, do they? It’s provided on a size basis and not an agricultural output basis which it should be. Some huge “estates” owned by the landed gentry have the gaul to boast an output of 0.25 grams of Grouse per acre, per year and get to stuff their head into the nosebag of CAP for simply owning the land. Ridiculous! With proper land reform laws, we can do so much better for our farmers and argue our corner with regard to the EU fishing limits and rights. Independence is a must for this.

img017

Next page…….the picture shows happy workers in their place of work.  The strapline says, “By staying in the United Kingdom Scotland is stronger“, what it doesn’t tell you is that the guy on the left is on a zero hours contract, he’s just turned up for work and has been told that he’ll have to go home because they’ve got enough folk on to cover what needs to be done that day and the wee lass on the right is a Mum who is part of a single parent family and doesn’t earn enough to keep her and her children with a roof over their heads and food on the table. She’s looking to see if there’s a foodbank that she can go to, especially after the extra that was taken off her due to the bedroom tax and the cost of living just gets higher and higher. The lad in the middle has a terribly disabled child in his teens and ATOS have just told him that he’s fit for work and are stopping his payments.

There you go, conjecture applied to a photograph, but I’ll bet you that if you go to work places throughout Britain, you’ll find plenty of living, real examples such as the ones I mentioned above. In Scotland, we can put a stop to that. All we have to do is vote yes.

img018

A successful family of nations
For over 300 years, Scotland has flourished as part of the United Kingdom. Together with England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Scotland has created one of the world’s most successful families of nations.”

Correction, Scotland has paid through the nose to provide Tunnels, Motorways and more for London and the South East of England in an unfair and undemocratic straight jacket that has pulled us down and made us poorer. Just look at the evidence; Scotland has always paid its way and yet in 1979, just when the real wealth of the oil was hitting the treasury with smiles all round and a search for “what can we spend it on?”, we were funded through the Goeschen formula (1888) which provided us with 13.75% of what was handed over to run England and Wales. That was the year of the Scottish referendum where they hoodwinked the Scottish people out of a “Scottish Assembly” by applying a made up rule that had never been used before which said that at least 40% of the votes of everyone eligible to vote in Scotland had to be a yes. Because of this, even the dead counted as no votes. Just shortly before that scam of a referendum, the Goeschen formula (1888) was changed to the Barnett formula which gave us just 11% of that given to run England and Wales. So it can be said that whilst Scotland had discovered great riches under the waters that surround it, the people in our land got much poorer as a result.  That’s how it’s been with Westminster in charge all the way along. Are we daft? No, we just can’t do anything about it until we vote yes.

A strong Scottish Parliament
Scotland already has its own Parliament that makes decisions about hospitals, schools, policing and other important matters. From next year, the Scottish Parliament will be getting even more powers to set tax rates and decide if and when to borrow money.”

Oh they mean the Scotland Act (2012) do they? I’ve had a good look at that. There’s always been the capability to raise taxes in Holyrood. The Labour Govt didn’t use them and they could have. Why not? It’s simple really, there wouldn’t be any net gain to Scotland. Anything extra raised by extra taxes would simply get sliced off our block grant. The Scottish people would be paying more in tax but getting nothing back in return. That’s an unfair set up. Many economists like Professor Andrew Hughes Hallet have warned against being foolish enough to do such a thing. The actual “more powers” are the powers to legislate on air rifles and vary speed limits, not really helpful, is it? What about giving us power to vary APD (Airport Passenger Duty) which adds a big sting onto the cost of air travel. At least that would have been somewhat helpful to our tourist industry and helped cash strapped families get a wee holiday abroad. We asked for that power to be “given” to us and it was refused and yet it was given to Northern Ireland. Not much of a family spirit there eh?
The simple common sense answer to all of that nonsense is to vote yes in September and then we’ll get all the powers we need and we won’t have the embarrassment of asking for more powers and being turned down again and again.

We all benefit from being together
Collectively, the United Kingdom’s four nations contain more than 60 million people and nearly 5 million businesses. This larger community provides more opportunities to succeed and greater financial security.”

Did you know that in the top trading nations on the list of successful nations are mostly made up of countries that are similar in size or smaller than Scotland? It’s true. The UK Government are trying to somehow make out that large size equals stability. Very few individuals and businesses have felt any stability in the last 6 years. In fact the downturn due to the credit crunch was handled easier by those smaller nations because they could quickly react to what was happening. In fact, over the last year and a bit, Scotland has out-performed the rest of the UK and is still doing so. It’s a shame that we don’t get to enjoy the fruits of our labours though, isn’t it? Just think, all that money being frittered away on items such as the bar bill in the House of Commons and they wouldn’t even think of raising a glass in a toast to the people of Scotland. However, they certainly will raise glasses full of expensive champagne if Scotland votes no, won’t they? They’ll have secured the gravy train from Scotland for another generation. Don’t give them that pleasure. Vote yes.
img019

Next page…..oh a happy smiling family complete with Mum, Dad, two kids and the Grandparents. How nice. They seem to be sitting at the bottom of a Scottish glen and the sun is shining….

Across on the facing page we have the words, “The referendum on 18th September means making a big decision that affects everything: how you live and work, what money you use, the tax you pay, the laws you abide by and the passport you carry. The UK Government believes that by staying united we have much more to share and much more to gain.”
img020

I wonder if that family would be smiling if they realised that when the UK Government talk of “much more to share and much more to gain”, it’s the UK Government that have much more to gain out of that deal and it’s us that’ll be doing the sharing.

The “epilogue” – my opinion of this leaflet
If this is the best that the UK Government with all the resources that it’s got can muster then frankly I think it’s fair to say that I don’t feel the love. This was an exercise in “say something, say anything” and I cant imagine that people would get taken in when they look at the reality of what’s actually on offer for the Scottish people. The reality of it is that the people of Scotland will actually be much poorer than they are now and with a Scottish Government champing at the bit to remove austerity from our land, we have the comparison of a UK Government that have hardly started on their austerity measures which will go on for years. A debt of £1.37 Trillion isn’t going to get paid off inside just a decade. Our children will end up working hard to pay off a debt that had nothing to do with them and was created by the banks gambling addiction and a government that couldn’t see beyond the bling that the bankers were wearing at the time. Thanks a lot Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling and thanks a lot George Osborne who should have stuck to folding towels. Between those three, a fantastic debt has been run up which can’t be paid off. If Ed Balls ends up as Chancellor, just like everyone else, he’ll play politics for a while and then realise he’ll have to go cap in hand to the money markets and restructure the debt. When that happens, if we’re sensible enough, we’ll have voted to regain our independence and should be able to stave off the worst of what will happen next. At least when that happens, the rUK will have eaten a large slice of reality and will realise that perhaps the “Empire” is no more and will stop fighting with everyone that the USA points to.

Scotland needs out of the union urgently, but on the upside, if we choose independence, we’ll have a country to rebuild and we’re going to enjoy building it the way we want it.

Contrary to the point of view in the UK Governments leaflet, I recommend a yes vote on the 18th of September 2014.

Kindest regards,

David Milligan Lvss

Advertisements

14 thoughts on “What staying in the United Kingdom “actually” means for Scotland

    • Do you have a link to that Edward? That is very interesting. I’m always keen to follow up on stuff I was unaware of. Any evidence of that you can present, I’ll be only too happy to add and give you due recognition to you in the blog.

      Kindest regards,

      David Milligan Lvss

  1. w
    When oil revenues were at their peak in the early eighties, they actually helped to destroy Scottish manufacturing because they were so mis-managed by the Thatcher government. In spite of presiding over a deep recession made worse by a moneterist experiment, the value of the pound was kept artificially high because of oil exports and many otherwise viable Scottish businesses could not export their goods.

    • hat’s an interesting point Maggie. I get that Maggie used the revenue to fund de-industrialisation but your other point was well made. That’s possibly another reason that a currency union would help. It would keep the pound stable.

      Kindest regards,

      David Milligan Lvss

    • Is that not what is referred to as the “curse of oil ” , it makes your currency too strong , to the detriment of everything else you export ?
      That’s why Norway diverts all profits into its Wealth fund

      One of the upsides of the 2008 crisis and the collapse of Sterling was the massive gains made by exporters in the UK , and notably Scottish food and drink , Fish Whisky etc

      It was cheaper by 30% say , and saw double digit sales growth over the last 6 years

      Interestingly as Sterling has strengthened , al ot of Companies are reporting profits warnings

  2. Brilliant article,

    Id like to say that one of the most important factors to our current economic model is the fiat currency experiment. Which is failing in epic proportions, having an independent country during what is going to be the largest crash to the financial system the world had ever seen, and that is me paraphrasing the general tone of economists from around the world. With the impending implosion of the derivatives bubble, we can look to protect or kids and generations to come from the collapse and prevent further enslavement of the population through fiscal debt.

    “we’ll have a country to rebuild and we’re going to enjoy building it the way we want it.”- I couldn’t say it better

  3. My sister left Scotland in 1963 for a job in England. She is upset that she doesn’t have a vote in the referendum but when I showed her the leaflet, she looked at it and threw it down saying “there is nothing in it”.

    From someone coming from a Unionist point of view initially, that says it all.

  4. Nice of them to mention the Passport Office which now resides in Belfast. I had an occasion where I desperately need a passport circa a Friday so that I could reach my Dying Mother in Tenerife, Fortunately this was before they closed the Passport Office in Glasgow. What someone would have to do now is beyond me. Stronger together aye right.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s