Yes: Scotland’s UK Future: Nasty, Brutish, and Short

By Pete Ramand and James Foley, authors of Yes: The Radical Case for Scottish Independence.

Scottish Referendum No

Some call it the dismal science.  But, of all the referendum’s controversies, economics arouses the nastiest emotions.

The media, along with No campaign leaders, frame the problem of Scotland’s economic security around Alex Salmond’s personal credibility, and the tactic works.  Otherwise level-headed Scots confess they would vote Yes, except that putting wee fat ‘Eck at the helm is a risk too far: who would compromise their futures so he can swan about as uncrowned King of Scotland?

This conflation succeeds on two levels.  First, Salmond, once seen as the Yes movement’s strongest asset, is now an embarrassment.  Even as he retreats from public view, Better Together paints him as arrogant and reckless, toying with Scotland’s prosperity for selfish ends.

Second, Scotland’s political class has become myopic about our present economic order.  Salmond is expected to outline, in ludicrous detail, how Scotland’s future economy and international arrangements will work.  Yet nobody from Labour, the Tories, or the Lib Dems is pressured to guarantee Scotland’s economic security.  In an era of potential EU exits, the rise of UKIP, and British economic stagnation, that amounts to startling complacency from our public intellectuals.

The risks of staying in the UK are easy to foresee.  Britain’s financial institutions have learned nothing from the 2008 crisis, and will likely deregulate further when the opportunity arises, while all Westminster parties are committed to austerity in coming decades.  Unless this course is reversed, Britain will end the next era far poorer, far nastier, and far more isolated than its neighbours.

Between Thatcher and 2008, the UK transferred more income to the rich than any developed nation.  Tiny elites made fortunes, while the real “middle Britain” stagnated.  As the square mile boomed, and debts bubbled, Britain’s pensioners become the fourth poorest of the EU 27; disadvantaged children suffered Dickensian misery; and fuel poverty was Europe’s worst barring Estonia.  Britain’s wealth gap extended to twice as wide as even its meanest EU rivals.  Despite endless Westminster moralising about families, it was declared the third-worst European country to raise children.

Since 2008, Britain’s growth has fallen behind all G7 economies, except Italy, and its wages have sagged lowest of all.  Having missed every chance to reform London’s Gordon Ghetto-era moral order, Britain’s living standards slump far exceeds Japan’s during its infamous “lost decade”.  And Osborne and co have reinforced existing volatility with austerity, while raising exploitation to Victorian levels.

If Britain continues its present course, the trend is ominous.  It could surpass countries like Singapore, Portugal, and the US to become the most unequal developed society, a paragon of indecency and squalor.  The symptoms are already visible.  The World Health Organisation states that child poverty is a deliberate “policy choice” by Westminster parties.  One-in-ten workers experience precarious employment, and the crisis has normalised zero-hour contracts.  The bedroom tax hints at further depths of irrational cruelty, although it merely symbolises UK economics, and our party-political system offers no alternative.

To face up to the 21st century, Britain needs epochal transformations.  On key planetary challenges, like climate change, the UK has fallen behind its rivals, in moral and competitive terms.  We are the third worst in Europe for using renewable energy, spending just one per cent of GDP on green investment, less than on furniture or advertising, and three times less than on the military.  Clean energy research is nearly ten times higher in Japan and Finland.  Meanwhile, Britain is badly adapted to the rise of the BRIC economies, exporting more to the Irish republic, with a population under 5 million, than Brazil, Russia, India and China combined.  Furthermore, one-in-ten UK firms are connected to the arms industry.  Westminster parties cannot deliver necessary reforms, as they are wedded to US neoliberal, military and financial hegemony.

Better Together’s main argument, that larger economies are more resilient and flexible, stands little scrutiny. Small Northern European economies, with similar geographies to Scotland, have maintained independent currencies with greater stability than the sterling.  Indeed, all comparable regional economies have equal or better living standards than the UK, and greater equality.  Scotland could aim, at minimum, to replicate these models.  But with capitalism prone to recurrent crises and rising inequality, as Europe’s newest nation state, we should aim for something better, more sustainable, liable to last the course of the next hundred years.  That means planning our economy to meet social and environmental needs, not squandering resources on market anarchy.

Contrary to popular myth, Scotland is no “subsidy junky”.  Since the 1970s, it has run a net fiscal surplus of £100 billion, while RUK experienced a large deficit.  Of course, volatile oil revenues are significant to this figure.  But just as oil has physical limits, so London’s financial cluster has social limits, and the UK needs a painful transition from unstable rentier capitalism, which no party is willing to confront.  Scotland has the physical resources to lead the new energy revolution, with a quarter of Europe’s wind and tidal potential, and a tenth of its wave potential.  But we need the social and political will, allied with the economic infrastructure, to make this workable.  Independence is a precondition for these long-awaited social changes.

So far, the debate on Scotland’s economy has been parochial and personal.  We challenge Better Together’s parties to explain their vision for ending Britain’s dependence on finance, arms, and polluting industries, and creating a sustainable economy.  The instability of independence is minor compared to the risks of staying for an impending EU referendum, freewheeling banks, and inevitable US-initiated invasions to join.  Compare this to Scotland, with two centrist leading parties, aspiring to a Nordic-style future.  The latter is no utopia.  But let us aim to set better precedents; don’t hold us to the crushing inevitability of Cameron’s Britain.

47 Responses

  1. I wrote it all down in a song not just for the people of Scotland but for those in the northern cities of Manchester, Newcastle, Liverpool, Sunderland, etc. The opening line is meant to provoke reaction but listen on for a northern perspective. As a Scot I want a Scottish passport to move away from our warmongering embarrassing past involvements of the past like the Iraq war. It’s about new nationhood in Europe for us, years of neglect from Londoncentric racial slurs from their press and apathetic politicians and the greed of their ways when it comes to second homes et al. Listen first then decide. Mark.

    1. Tommy Thomson

      Yes to more taxes, Yes to no currency, Yes to no pensions, Yes to no defence, Yes to negative equity, Yes to property devaluation.
      Is Salmond going to take responsibility if things go wrong? NO He`ll do a runner, the colours of the Union Jack don`t run like the forces that served under it.
      The SNP have already bankrupt East Lothian and soon Scotland will follow under these incompetants.

  2. Richard McHarg

    It’s hard to argue with much of this article, except for the opening paragraphs describing Alex Salmond as a liability.

    Of course, there are some that will attempt to portray him as a king-like figure, but, in reality, he remains the most popular political leader in the British Isles, if the ratings are anything to go by. He is also the most capable, and is much respected as a consequence by people right across the political and social spectrum!

    And yes, he isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but that is far from him being an embarrassment to the Yes campaign. In fact, he remains an asset that has rarely been used thus far, but that will change as we get closer to the referendum.

    What people will begin to appreciate is that this, in the long-term, is about Scotland and not one political leader. Scotland will, in the future, have many leaders, some of whom will be more popular than others, but at least they’ll be elected to govern this country.

    If people vote ‘no’ because they don’t like Salmond, is that the an endorsement of Cameron, Clegg and Miliband, and whatever others of the British Establishment elite follow them?

    I suspect people will wise-up in time!

  3. Andy Anderson

    I entirely agree. In a book just being printed “Moving on The economic case for Scottish independence” by Ronnie Morrison and I we make this very case.

  4. I am a Yes man. Talking to wealthy intelligent professional people in the course of my business. The fear is that the complexity of this divorce from the Union has not been addressed. Particularly regarding cross border businesses which rely on goodwill and co-operation. They fear that businesses will be bogged down in claim and counter claim for example the person who owns the intellectual rights to the digital language which resets the mains switchgear following power cuts, if they disliked Indy Scotland would they have the ability to black us out? It is this level of detail that the voters must be assured by the yes campaign is being studied by the best people who stand to loose personally should they get it wrong.

  5. annoyed

    What guff. You want a green country financed by Oil. You want to shun Financial Services (one of the greatest industries of the UK, and a significant part of Scottish GDP). You want to shun Military/Defence (another significant part of Scottish GDP).
    What exactly do you suggest the independent Scotland will generate money from?
    I also dispute your comments about it being risky to stay in the UK. How will an independent Scotland be less austere? Oh yes Oil revenues again. And wind and tidal power. Is that an industry? And a false assumption that independent Scotland will be able to raise money as cheaply as a triple A rated UK. Not to mention the very strong currency that will arise (tied to Oil exports) thereby demolishing most other export capability – see Norway for similar issues.
    Scotland has fantastic level of local governance, a vibrant economy dependent on the Union, and can surely ask for more powers, whilst still being part of a recovering G8 economy that stands to outperform most of the others who with their leftist, austerity denying approaches are heading for deflationary basket case status.

    1. Annoyed by Annoyed

      The guff is all yours. Time to understand the basic concept – the people living and working in Scotland are best placed to make the decisions affecting Scotland. That’s it. Simple. Annoyed, is that too hard for you to get your head around? As for all the rest, the people living and working in Scotland will solve all and any problems we come up against following independence. Have no doubt about that, whether it’s oil and gas, finance, currency with or without the UK’s blessing, defence or any of the other 101 areas which independent countries routinely handle every single day. Yes, we’ll face a few problems – as is the case with every other country on the planet – but we’ll overcome them all, and thrive. Perhaps that’s what you’re really afraid of, Annoyed. Isn’t it? Independence for Scotland, first, last and forever!!

    2. David Lafferty

      Dear Annoyed

      Yes what GUFF you speak. I have my own manufacturing business that exports to 50 countries and based on my 30 years experience the union is killing Scotland.

      Regardless of all the guff the government tell you about helping business that’s all talk. British Embassies abroad are supposed to represent us and they are worse than useless. Don’t ever get into any trouble overseas because the last embassy you want to go near is ours.

      Financial Services.

      No country can survive on financial services the way forward for any country is manufacturing and exporting. If you don’t export more than you import your country dies. IE you take home £1000 per month and spend £1001, you eventually go bankrupt and that’s the way this union is going.


      For over 40 years Scotland has been losing its industries and the meager crumbs left from small military contracts are not worth it. The UK for many years have been outsourcing virtually everything in our military but they dont tell ordinary people.
      How many shipyards do we have in Scotland????? Norway with the same population has 39 and they make 11% of the worlds ships.

      I can give you hundreds of examples of your wonderful union but why don’t you come into my business for one day and see how bad the union is.


      Any business worth their salt will trade in pounds, euro and dollars, I’ll even accept rubles or any currency so if we are in the pound, in the euro or whatever currency it makes no difference.

      Take your head out of the sand and don’t listen to the constant lies of the NO people.

    3. Stephen Quinn

      This comment indicates a largely ignorant grasp of what Scotland produces for the rest of the UK. Scotland’s GDP is similar to rUK without oil. It has numerous natural resources and it has many exports. There is a fiscal deficit on Defence of about £1.3 billion (what we pay and what we get) None of that money is spent in Scotland, Air bases closing, troops disappearing and little or no naval vessels to speak of, save the submarines. Nuclear weapons which no one can use, its cost is prohibitive and more costly to the nation is its disposal. No one wants it yet it cannot be housed anywhere in England because it is dangerous.

      Oh, and the oldest of them all, we are subsidy junkies! Scotland more than pays its way. Just look at the clangers of banner headlines by Better Together showing that 9.3% is greater than 9.6%. These figures are what Scotland gets back and what it pays respectively. Scotland’s population is 8.4%. It seems that we more than pay for what we receive. Indeed, there are matters which are not counted for the balance books, the hidden assets, which are mysteriously hidden by creative accounting. Excise for example, charged at point of exit from the UK and being added to, usually to England’s GDP, thereby shoring up the figures for export. This also reduces Scotland’s GDP.

      Yes, Scotland could have the hardest currency, but that is why they seek to share currency. It would benefit both Scotland and rUK. Otherwise they will have their own currency or just use sterling. The danger in that would be that BoE will not be able to control it adequately.

      Independence would lead to an “embarrassment of riches” according to Gavin McCrone Senior Civil servant, an expert in finance. His assessment stands today with few adjustments over the years except that there is no sovereign fund started for the oil revenues.

      Scotland has a bright future outside rUK and will make decisions for Scotland, paid for by Scotland with Scottish MPs solely concentrating on Scottish matters.

  6. Uncle Al From The Rigs

    this confirms all of my thoughts and view-points – the Independence campaign is merely a long wish list backed up by personal fantasy
    A nation claiming green credentialsrun solely on diminishing oil taxation, turning its back on credible defence, the most profitable part of the economy (finance) with no credit rating, relying on a foreign nation for currency (if they are allowed which seems doubtful at best) no real economic policy beyond increasing the spend of the welfare state (yet with no plan of how this would be financed) & governed by a megalomaniac with a speech impediment who thinks that in the event of a no vote you will be in a position to demand an ever increasing subsidy from the exchequer.
    But if you think this is a viable option you should vote yes

    1. David

      This really bugs me. ‘A wish list’. What is wrong with a wish list? At least it is a list rather than an empty piece of paper.

      I am not naive. I know we won’t get everything in the white paper but it is something to aim for. Guys like you think that it’s as easy as writing out a shopping list and taking £100 in your pocket.

      ‘The most profitable part of the economy’????? Finance???? Excuse me but if profit is measured by how many trillion you are in debt then we are world class.

      We will still have a defence industry by the way.

      The article you are commenting on contain facts. Not YES propaganda. FACTS. Pulled together by many different people who are far more knowlegable than you.

      These facts highlight the reality we live in all because of greedy politicians and greedy ‘financial experts’.

  7. Uncle Al From The Rigs

    Oh & all from outside the EU as Spain have confirmed they will veto any move for an independant Scotland to enter Europe – If you try really hard you can be the next Turkey – knocking at the door of Europe, but with no real chance of an invite to the party

  8. annoyed

    so please answer my question – how will the Scottish economy on its own make enough money?

    I keep hearing the same wooly arguments. The initial position is – Scotland is better independent. The fall back position to all rational arguments about the fact that its at best a break even economically, are met with pseudo patriotic b/s about – we’ll overcome and thrive… Why do you need to put the country in a position to be at significant risk of failing?

    And annoyed about annoyed – so you will deal outside Scotland in other currencies – and what? swallow the delta currency risk with your internal costs due in whatever local currency Scotland ends up with (which will be significantly strong if its solely driven by an oil based economy)? That’ll work.

    1. Annoyed by Annoyed

      Do you read anything anyone actually writes? On the evidence, obviously not. You’ll vote No…I’ll vote Yes. Let’s see what happens, shall we?

  9. Uncle Al From The Rigs

    a few points – the so called “white paper” was not actually a white paper as it was actually SNP propaganda rather than an actual proposal of law to be passed through the Holyrood or Westminster government – so for uncle Alec & Aunty Nicola to title it as “the white paper” was disingenous at best
    For the most part the debate is incredibly inward looking and takes no account of your current fellows in the rest of the Union – whilst Scotland have benefitted more than all other areas from devolution, England has systematiccaly become the poor cousin actually having to pay for an array of benefits (free social care, prescriptions, further education etc..) for Scotland (& to a slightly lesser extent Ireland & Wales) but doing without themselves – England now view Scotland as the spoilt younger child – given more than other siblings, but still crying out for more. There is however growing support for an independant Scotland south of the border as people have become weary of the demanding irresponsible sibling and they begin to look forward to greater prosperity when the Scottish subsidy (currently just over £1300 for every man woman and child) is no longer paid. Alec may be very quiet on such matters and they certainly weren’t accounted for in his “white paper”

    Your defence industry is quietly closing up shop – the UK MOD will not have capabillity maintained by a foriegn nation & BEA will not commit to anything until Septembers “episode” is complete

    Finally we may have our own “megalomaniac with a speech impediment” in waiting – may God have mercy on us all if Milliband Jnr gets a taste of power….
    The only real reason England has a stake in maintaining the UK in it’s present format is the loss of the Scottish labour party would decimate labour as a credible opposition & we would be damned to essentially 1 party polictics for decades to come.

    Still “FREEDOM” -….

    1. David

      Here we go again – ‘subsidy junkies’. OK drop all other questions and arguments. Put yourself in the position of a UK politician.

      If we cost you money – WHY DO YOU WANT TO KEEP US?

      Forget all the other arguments. Answer that one question.

      1. uncle al

        well to be honest the majority of those living in England don’t really care or don’t want to keep Scotland – Scotland is viewed as a financial drain & a lot of people are sick of the constant whining and complaining

        1. David

          Thank you Uncle, I appreciate your honesty. I’m not being sarcastic, I really am so happy that finally, someone has answered the question I have asked several times. Even if your answer is drivel and crass in the extreme.

          You have probably decided to stop reading, but just in case you are interested in my views, here we go.

          1. OIL. Thankfully the old chestnut, “It’s not your oil'” has been put in the dustbin of history. It is ours, and without it, successive Westminster bullies could not have funded wars, paid for their second homes, or helped to bankroll their banker friends to the tune of billions. Stephen has very eloquently explained how the electorate in Scotland have been fed lies for years to keep them believing that they could not afford to be without their big cousin, and the same lies to those South of the border, to make them think we were scroungers. For proof, read ‘The McCrone Report’

          2. Trident! Mr Cameron cannot afford to lose his bathtub called ‘The Clyde’, where he plays big boy games with his nuclear subs. Because once he loses that, he no longer gets invited to the ‘big boys table’ He then becomes head of ‘A Wee Diddy’ country.

          You see, as Yes voters, we have had to spend the time studying websites, reports, and statistics. We can see the truth behind the lies. Where as those who say No, just sit back and cast fear and doubt over everything we say.

          So Uncle, all your nephews are leaving home, and their wages no longer are coming into your house to help pay your keep. And you better worry, because when David, Nick and Ed, are finished stripping the bones from the ‘benefit scroungers’, they’ll come after you next, and I don’t fancy their ‘death by a thousand cuts’.

          But don’t despair, I hear that they are working on the plot for ‘300 Years a Slave’. The will be looking for extras.

          1. Uncle Al

            whilst you call my answer crass, you then diver headlong into an unfounded and unfactual rant – The bathtub called the clyde is no longer home to the nuclear fleet – they are currently being withdrawn and the contract to refurb and future service of them was awareded to Portsmouth.
            The oil revenue is not what it once was – it is significant, but it’s spit in the bathtub compared to the revenue from the financial district in London – and even if you claim all oil revenue historically gathered, Scotland has consumed all of that and more since the mid seventies – as an independant entity, Scotland has never been capable of self suffiiciency. The SNP would wish to compare economies with Norway or Denmark, but simply put there are huge differences in both socio economic issues, the mental build oft he people and the natural resources available. The SNP want to exploit wind power, but without the huge subsidy from EU & Westminster this is simply not viable (as we are finding out now that the Westminster government is finally & rightfully strangling the green cash cow – there is no secret why both Holland and Germany are swiftly backing away from further wastful investment in this technical cul-de sac)
            As I have already alluded to the majority of English citizens are weary of being disadvantaged whilst the Westminster government tried to appease the misplaced Scottish sense of prejudice andexploitation – also weary of the growing call for more – with Holyrood came a massive sense of entitlement as displyed in the current thought that in the event of a no vote Holyrood will press for devo-max (in other words you get more than everybody else and you think you deserve more despite the fact you contribute less) In the event of a no vote, the only certain things are the staus quo will not continue, and devo max will not be offered – what is likely to happen is the current disparity will be addressed as the Tory & Liberals attemp to bring disaffected English voters back on side – Whilst I would be stunned if we are brought into line with Scotland (all the welfare health and educational freebies you enjoy) I think it is more likely the settlement budget and Scottish subsidy will be slashed (punishment for Alecs greed?)
            There is no fear South of the border – beyond being stuck with a Tory government for a while, we’ll be OK – once you have your share of the national debt, a doubtful credit rating, no entry into Europe, a dwindling tax take from oil and an SNP government hell bent on offering greater welfare spend but with no credible plan how this would be paid for) no may have greater worries to contend with than what you dismiss as crass comments
            I have no fear over what is said – I have doubts over the honesty and inegrity on both sides of the campaign – SNP want power at any price, Tory’s want to rid themselves of bonny Scotland because they lose the Scottish Labour party & so Labour as a credible opposition as a bonus to the savings to the exchequer – in all of this no side seems to have the wellbeing or best interest of the Scottish people at heart.

          2. David

            Al, are you on some kind of hallucinatory drug?

            Where in all this debate did you ever read that the Trident fleet was going to Portsmouth? That is probably the SNP’s flagship cause, to rid Scotland of nuclear weapons. I just keyed in ‘moving Trident to Portsmouth’ into google and do you know what came up?

            Window blinds and fencing. The fourth article was a Guardian piece about a freedom of information document received from MOD which says that they cannot be moved to Devonport or Portsmouth.

            Last week a convoy of these obnoxious weapons passed within 200 yds of my house. They would kill tens of thousands of people in and around Glasgow if there was an accident. Which is deemed to be OK as far as the UK government is concerned (but not OK when it comes to England). And if we were attacked, Glasgow would be the prime target in the whole of Western Europe. We have put up with them for over forty years and with a NO vote we would again be stuck with them for another forty.

            When you believe that about Trident how can I possibly believe anything you say about more complex issues.

            Fingers crossed, you get your wish.

          3. Uncle Al

            It looks like you have been badly let down by professor Google – the gradual run down of the naval yard is well documented and the awarding of Trident contracts was announced over a year ago – Again you try insult to deflect argument – That you have put up with them for forty years ignores the huge amount of revenue they have given to the area and similar blinkered views from SNP are not helpful.
            Believe my opinion or not – it doesn’t matter – but an open mind should consider all points rather than prejudging an issue – prejudice is the badge of an ignorant man!

          4. David

            “but an open mind should consider all points rather than prejudging an issue”. So you are correct and I plus ‘maybe’ the majority of Scots are wrong.

            Please forward links to prove your case and I will gladly read. And all the jobs and money in China does not change my view that wmd’s in Scotland is wrong. btw, have never voted SNP or intend to do so. This is not about SNP or Alex Salmond.

          5. that’s the problem its you and i and not us we are supposed to be a united nation but some in Sotland do continually whine how hard done by they are and how they are governed from Westminster do they forget before this lot blair and brown both sottish were in no 10 .

  10. Uncle Al From The Rigs

    Incidentally – for what it’s worth my own thoughts are the UK is a small player on the international stage, yet we have a standard of living which is better than most of our European cousins (despite what the Express & Mail would have us belive) – I don’t think breaking up the union benefits the UK or Scotland – I think the remainder of the UK would be less prestigeous (but potentially financially better off) but Scotland would sink rapidly as debt would quickly accumulate

    Where will you draw the border? where it is now, or where it was 400 years ago (which is when all Scots seem to hark back to) – if so Edinburgh may have to be returned to Northumberland

  11. annoyed

    annoyed by annoyed.

    who hasnt read anything? seems i’ve done more homework on the economics/financials. right or wrong that is the only basis that people should decide to vote. will an independent scottish economy live or die, figure that out before you vote, and based on real facts (which sadly arent thick on the ground, especially in this article).

    you didnt answer any questions either..?

  12. Trucker Dave

    According to the latest yougov report there is more support for independance in England than Scotland :-
    One in four English people (25%) back the break-up of the United Kingdom, compared to 23% of people in Scotland, according to the British Social Attitudes survey.

    According to the new report, support has climbed in England for Scottish independence from 19% in 2000 to 25%. Meanwhile, support for Scottish independence has fallen to 23% in 2012, from a 30% peak in 2006.

    “England has, it seems, become rather less sympathetic towards the ‘demands’ of its Scottish neighbour,” the survey notes.

    This is not the first time that research has found greater support for Scottish independence in England than north of the border. A survey last year found that 26% of Scottish voters want to break up the United Kingdom, compared to 29% in England.

    The same survey suggested that 46% of Scottish voters wanted the United Kingdom to stay together, whereas only 40% in England felt the same.

    Scottish voters are set to vote on the country’s independence on 18 September 2014 in a referendum.

    The findings come as deputy prime minister Nick Clegg told Scottish businesses to “express their views” on the future of Scotland in the United Kingdom.

    “The future of devolution in Scotland must evolve in a way that enables your success too. This train is leaving the station – debate is under way,” he said.

    “So now is the time for you to express your views, to shape that debate, to influence and shape a modern and successful Scotland within a strong United Kingdom.”

    But other business figures have not been afraid of speaking up. Last Friday, Dragons’ Den star Duncan Bannatyne, who was born in Clydebank, wrote on Twitter that if Scotland becomes independent, “the only people who will lose are Scottish people living in Scotland”.

    Pretty telling doncha think?

  13. Angus McTavish

    Being both Scottish and British (& maybe a little European) all of this negativity concerns me. The last time inward nationalism based on hatred of other people and nations took hold in European nations it was the late 1920’s and 1930’s – that didn’t work so well – that is why we have NATO, the European union & why the United Kingdom is so important – we should turn our back on the biscuit ersed politics of Salmond and look to build relationships – not support the policies self serving comedy figures who may well lead us to a place where the stability of our beloved Scotland is on a very shuggely peg

    1. Stephen Quinn

      I agree that there are Policies of self serving comedy figures which will lead us to places we should never be, but Cameron and Osbourne are not Scotland’s problem after independence.

      The only people who spout hate are those who choose to spin the reason Scotland has a referendum to look forward to. The misinterpretation that Scots hate everyone else is just union spin. Of course they do not hate anyone. Scotland makes friends all over the world. It is the lack of democracy in Scotland which they hate. Getting rid of the tiers of purgatory that are Westminster will free Scotland to choose it’s own direction of travel fiscally.

      Those who are for the union always have their duplicity enhanced by their views of Europe. If union was so great, they would not be seeking to break off from Europe. It would seem the reasons may be similar to those which Scotland argue with Westminster.

  14. Los

    People would not be voting for Alex Salmond they would be voting for independence. No point in Scotland being a democratic country when the majority vote the exact opposite of England and get a leader they never wanted. At least if they get Independence then the majority will eventually be able to vote for a leader whom the majority want.

  15. Uncle Al

    I think Mr McTavish (real name? – seems a bit too Scottish to me) may be overstating the case somewhat – I can see parralels – a funny little man takes over a country using deception and populist propaganda – but national socialism? There is a lesson though – a political landscape based on fear and loathing of another group of people can only end badly

  16. Bill Johnston

    In Scotland 1 in 4 people employed are employed in the public sector. I read in a recent postcard through the door from the SNP that thousand of government post would be created on independence. Scotland needs thousands more public sectors posts like a hole in the head.This highlights on of my concerns about independence, “bigger government”.Another conern is that we do not have the quality of politician in Scotland to be able to run a country. Scandinavian countries seem to have a better quality in politicians, and they appear to work more for the benefit of the people rather than the party they represent.

    1. David

      You can have your views re jobs, but it really offends me when people run down the quality of the people in our country. You embarrass Scotland when you say “we are not good enough”. There are plenty politicians capable of running our country, and at this moment they are doing a better job than Westminster.

      Having said that I would hope that they would strive to become more like the type of politician in Scandinavia. That is what we must aim for, and only with independence will we get the chance.

      1. Trucker Dave

        You can’t compare yourself to Scandivaians – they are nations with a huge work ethic, and a genuine altruistic nature – Scotland is and always has been a tribal group, allways looking with envy at what others have – also the Scandinavian nations do not have a huge underclass of non producing consumers off theor welfare state – they don’t have the same drink culture, drug culture or anywhere near the same teen pregancy rate to support. They also have real natural resources beyond oil & gas – not wind & wave, but real wealth to support their standard of living

          1. Trucker Dave

            I may be obnoxious, but as Kevin Bridges said – if you get independance Scotland will be a great big empty – except mum & dad (thats the real government in London) won’t be around to call a halt when things inevitably run out of control – good luck!

    2. Derick Tulloch

      We already employ, and pay for, those public sector employees. It’s just that we pay them, and they spend their wages, in London. E.g. Foreign Office.

      In actual fact Scotland’s public sector is pretty much identical to England’s. The difference is that Scottish Water is still publicly owned in Scotland, while it has been privatized in England. This is why Scottish water bills are lower btw

  17. sean

    The trouble with this well written piece is that it comes across with a xenophobic bias which is a shame. It also losses credence by being a London based article. You see we can all look for what is bad or interpret innocent aspects with bias. The independence of the media is no longer part of British Society

    For this debate Darling constant spoke about Salmond whereas Salmond spoke in terms of Scotland. What I truly cannot get my head around is this business of currency. I can use the ‘English’ pound in some countries who are part of the commonwealth and also some countries in Europe. Id this government is so proud of its currency why are they scared of exporting its use to Scotland. By the way you can also spend ‘our’ pound in Southern Ireland.

    Keep going I do like the sparks you cause however irreverent they are!

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