29 Good Reasons to Stay in the Union – Numbers 11-20

Today we continue our look at 29 reasons to stay in the Union.

11. Integrated science research structure with rUK. – The UK government spends nearly £500 million per year on funding research in Scottish universities. The SNP have no realistic plan for replacing this. Instead they think that the private sector will step in to fill the gap. The British government has made it clear that joint funding will cease on all except projects shared with academic departments in rUK. Without world leading research in Scottish universities, like Dolly the Sheep and the Higgs Boson, Scotland will just become an academic backwater. We need to stay in the UK to stay in the forefront of technological development. (Check out Prof. Jill Stephenson’s blog posted earlier this week – here

12. Governmental economy of scale. – Government costs money. Buying in bulk is always cheaper than buying in small amounts. Paying for civil service staff is no exception. All the functions that are currently carried out UK-wide will need to develop their own miniature Scottish replica, from vehicle licensing to passports to health and safety to the UK National Savings and Investments bank to the post office, to the BBC. By contributing to our share of all these things that are run on a UK-wide basis, we get better value for our tax-payers money. We can be like Norway, say the separatists at every turn. Presumably that means that we can have the higher taxes we will need to pay for doing everything ourselves that used to be done by the UK as a whole. Indeed since the SNP have stated that they will not raise oil taxes and will lower Corporation tax, yet increase spending on services, raising taxes substantially is the only avenue left to them.

13. Likelihood of future Scottish UK PM. – Since Scotland has produced 7 UK Prime Ministers since 1900, we are well ahead of our notional 9% share. There will be many more Scottish PMs, perhaps Douglas Alexander, Jim Murphy or Michael Gove in the near future and who knows how many later. But they’ll only have the chance if Scotland stays in the UK. Why are the separatists so anti-aspirational? Why do they think retreat into the wee-bit-hill-and-glen is a positive thing? Why do they want to condemn our young people to a life of insignificance in the global world?  A Scot has a right, as a UK citizen, to have the whole cake.  Why settle for part?

14. Cultural links across UK. – When Andy Murray and Laura Robson won a silver medal in the London Olympics, it showedhow the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. In all fields of human activity, we co-operate across the whole UK, not worrying about which side of any spurious border we lie on. The separatists want us to think of the English as foreigners, as others, as people with which we have nothing in common. They make an “us” and “them” where none exists. But the British people realise that being British does not lessen any of the individual nationalities in the Great British family of nations. The separatists talk down Scotland when they claim that we need to be “not-British” in order to be truly Scottish.

15. Family links across UK. – In the 410 years since the union of crowns, Scotland and England have grown together. The long war that began in the 11th century and which continued unabated for almost 500 years was finally brought to a close. Never again would English and Scots fight each other on the battlefield in a contest between national armies. Instead of bloodshed and hatred a process of migration and integration began. Most of us today have mixed English and Scottish ancestry. The separatists want us to deny this, to betray the memory of our ancestors by adopting a false identity as “purely” Scottish. They speak of preserving the Social Union yet many of them speak of the rUK with hate.

16. Guaranteed continued access to UK bilateral trade treaties._- There are many of these. Very many. Very, very, very, many. How many? Take a deep breath separatists, you’re going to be really busy re-negotiating them. 14,000. Yes, not misprint, 14,000 treaties that give the UK preferential treatment around the world. ‪https://www.gov.uk/uk-treaties This is actually not just an amazing number of prospective foreign freebie trips for Nicola Sturgeon, but actually a major weakness in all separatist economic calculations. Without these treaties, they cannot assume that Scotland will continue to do business around the world to the same extent as it currently does as part of the UK. Consequently, all calculations about GDP, exports, oil funds etc etc are just pie in the sky. The separatists cannot know how Scotland will fare economically.

17. Being part of what the OECD now recognise as the fastest growing Western economy. – In fact, the UK may be the largest economy in the Western world after the USA by 2030. The UK is also the top target for immigration for economic purposes. Of all the countries the immigrants could go to, what is their top target residence: the UK. Not Norway, or Iceland, or any of the other economies that the SNP hold out as models. Nope, economic migrants know where there is prosperity and it is found in the USA or UK. Fact. Inconvenient fact for the doomsaying negative seps. We are on target to grow our way out of debt.

18. Likelihood of restoration of AAA in 2014 – with consequent cheaper mortgages etc. The economic expansion of the UK to the position of largest economy in Europe will absorb the remaining debt crisis and lead to the re-balancing of our finances. Recognition of this positive outcome will restore our deserved position as a AAA economy. Anybody who has a mortgage or any other large loan wants to live in a AAA economy because the costs of borrowing passed onto the individual borrower are always less.  Standard and Poor’s already have us on AAA and bond dealers are selling our bonds with no problems at AAA prices.  The world has confidence in the British economy – but the SNP affect not to. The Pound has grown in value 10% against the dollar since last July.

. Bank of England as lender of last resort. – As part of the UK, we have the Bank of England protecting our economy, making sure that we don’t see the same bank run scenes here as sadly occurred in Cyprus and elsewhere. Professor Adam Tomkins, Professor of Public Law at the University of Glasgow stated categorically at a House of Commons  Scottish Affairs Committee that the Bank of England is not an asset to be shared. It is an institution and, as such, belongs to the continuing state (rUK). Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, while refusing to step into the political fray stated just yesterday that a currency union with rUK “requires some ceding of national sovereignty.” He also said it would be for Holyrood and Westminster to negotiate terms of any currency union. With rhetoric like “well we can use the pound just now and see what suits us later,” and “Wastemonster have destroyed the economy,” can we honestly see our friends in the South being willing to work so closely with is. And can a predominantly left wing Scotland, really work fiscally with a much more Conservative rUK? George Osbourne and Ed Balls are both on record as saying they can’t see it being feasible.

20. Avoidance of SNP anti-competitive policy on minimum wage. – The SNP want to price Scottish workers out of low wage jobs. Being in a minimum wage job is tough, but it is probably better than no job at all. Yet the SNP are trying to convince people to vote yes by promising them higher minimum wage levels. However, if the minimum wage in the UK stays at the same levels while that in Scotland rises, then those companies that employ people on minimum wage, will simply relocate to Carlisle or Berwick, where they can hire people for less. To keep minimum wage jobs in Scotland, it is best to stay in the UK. The only way out of this for the SNP is to allow companies to continue to pay UK levels of minimum wage but to then top them up by a subsidy from the Scottish taxpayer.

29 Good Reasons to Stay in the Union – Numbers 1-10

If you spend any time at all on Facebook you will see the same request again and again and again. “Give me one good reason to stay in the union.” One of the regular Better Together posters made up a list of 29 reasons to stay in the union. This list has since been expanded upon. it is a lengthy list so we will split it into three. You never know, by the end of the week we may even have a 30th reason.

Positive Reasons for staying in the United Kingdom

 By Scotswoman

1: Defence – by HM Armed Forces here and overseas. HM Armed Forces have a total of 251,240 personnel. That means that if all British armed forces came to Scotland and set up a camp, it would constitute Scotland’s third largest city. The UK has an army bigger than the population of Aberdeen and bigger than the population of Dundee and Paisley combined. At present it is not certain what our defence force will be. The White paper makes certain claims about how large a share of UK defence budgets we will be entitled to, but Prof. Tomkins of the University of Glasgow explains the legal situation

“On defence assets, the white paper states baldly that “we will inherit a share of existing UK defence assets” (p. 234). While the white paper acknowledges that the matter will have to be negotiated, it suggests that Scotland’s share could be calculated based on population, giving it a share of assets worth £7.8 billion (ibid). As we have seen, however, such a crude calculation overlooks the complexity of the fact that that which is integral to the defence and security of the UK as a whole might not fall to be apportioned with an independent Scotland at all. Working out what an independent Scotland’s share of the UK’s defence infrastructure would be is a more complex matter than simply dividing the UK total by Scotland’s population share and, moreover, is likely to result in Scotland’s share being markedly less than is assumed in the white paper.” http://notesfromnorthbritain.wordpress.com/2014/01/28/the-hidden-costs-of-independence/

 

2. Defence –  by the UK’s intelligence services: Scotland has already suffered one serious terrorist attack, at Glasgow Airport in 2007. The UK intelligence services are in the forefront of the international fight against such terrorism, in overseas intelligence gathering (MI6), domestic surveillance (MI5) and communications intelligence (GCHQ). Scotland also has very vulnerable offshore assets in the shape of its oil wells, currently guarded by the Royal Navy and with perpetual emergency forces on standby (the Special Boat Service). The SNP would have us abandon the protection of the British armed forces and intelligence services. Mr Salmond thinks that a declaration that “we will be the friendly neighbours of the world” will be enough to make our enemies think twice. I know who I’d rather rely on.

3. Guaranteed continued use of Sterling. –  A separated Scotland really only has 4 currency options. Plan A is to beg the UK to underwrite the Scottish economy via the Bank of England, letting us keep using the pound more or less as we do now, at the price of becoming a Crown Dependency. Plan B is to use the pound unofficially. This gives Scotland the advantage of trading in hard currency but without a central bank it means that the next economic shock could break us. This kind of unofficial currency arrangement is used by Panama, Zimbabwe and Kosovo. Does Scotland really want to join that club?

Pound-Sterling

Plan C is to use the Euro. Again this could be official or unofficial. Doing it officially will have to wait though, as Scotland first needs to jump through whatever hoops the EU set it to achieve membership. Plan D is Scotland’s own currency, the “millstone” (borrowing a word that Mr Salmond

once used to describe the pound, a currency he is now apparently so desperate to keep). The millstone is likely to be in for a rocky ride, causing unpredictable price hikes and interest rate fluctuations. Nobody is really going to want that. The best currency situation is found in full union with the UK.

4. International representation.  – The separatists propose to have 70 or so embassies around the world, as opposed to the 270 that the UK has. What is their reply to those who quite reasonably ask how Scottish citizens abroad will fare with far fewer embassies to access? Quite simply that Scotland will come to some reciprocal arrangements to share embassies with other countries, like…… the UK! So we have the extra cost of maintaining our own embassies plus the costs of sharing with the very embassies they propose to reject!

royalNavy_1700804c5. Defence of Citizens abroad. – HM Armed Forces constantly are available to defend the interests of British citizens who may find themselves in trouble in war zones. This happened in Libya and is currently happening in the South Sudan. The SNP have no replacement for this, and can only protest feebly that it would be childish of HM Armed Forces not to also help Scottish citizens in the future. These are the same British Armed Forces that they roundly condemn at every possible opportunity. As always the SNP’s position is cynical and untenable.

6. Access to UK top power structures for Scots. – The separatists’ dreaded Westminster government is apparently dominated by Tory posh boys who simply love to exclude Scots from all power. So how come there are 5 Scots in the Cabinet of 22? Yes, we have Gove, Alexander, Carmichael, Duncan-Smith and Cable (honorary Scot). Being Scottish doesn’t seem to have blocked their way very much. And let’s not forget Dr Fox, who was on the cards to be the 6th Scottish cabinet member. Let’s not also forget the various Scottish PMs of the 20th and 21st centuries: Arthur Balfour, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, Andrew Bonar Law, Ramsay MacDonald, Sir Alec Douglas-Home, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. Scots have always punched above our weight in the UK, and we shall continue to do so, as long as we don’t turn our back on it for the wee-bit-hill-and-glen mentality.

7. Access to top UN power structures for Scots. – By virtue of being British, Scots have access to all the influence in the world that Britain holds. A permanent seat on the UN Security Council could be held by a Scot. In fact it was held by Sir Donald Maitland for several years. Pity that the Scottish government wants to deny future Sir Donalds (and Lady Donaldas) access to the same global status. Historically a Scot, Sir Eric Drummond, was the first Secretary General of the League of Nations, the first attempt to regulate relations among nations on a global scale.

8. Guaranteed continued membership of NATO. – The SNP as we all know used to hate NATO but now love it – rather like they used to hate Sterling but now love it, used to hate the Queen but now love her and so on. Apparently Scotland will be welcomed into the NATO defensive alliance at the same time as telling NATO to take its submarine bases out of Scotland. Not quite sure how that one will work, but they have to pretend to the people of Scotland that there will be somebody else coming to defend us once they have told the UK Army (bigger than the population of Dundee and Paisley combined) to get lost. NATO have received this with a level attitude and told them that independent Scotland would have to apply for membership.  One wonders what the terms would be?  The North Atlantic Treaty makes it clear that Scotland could be drawn into war by NATO membership.  So much for no more wars… NATO article 5: Article 5

“The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.‪http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/official_texts_17120.htm

9. Continued membership of EU on our own terms, – not those of Euro federalists. The position of Scotland relative to european-union-flag-1the EU gets more uncertain every day. The separatists maintain that we will not only be welcomed with open arms but that we will have all the same privileges in the EU currently enjoyed by the UK – a rebate, freedom from Schengen, our own strong currency. Apparently the fact the all new member states have to sign up to the full Euro federalist package of adopting the euro and signing the Schengen, has escaped them. This is all set out in black and white in the Treaty of Amsterdam which all nations acceding to the EU must sign. Better to stay in the UK and keep the EU in the position most beneficial to us.

10. No obligation to adopt Schengen. – This is the most awkward of the EU’s demands on Scotland. Since the UK and Ireland, by virtue of being part of the EU class of 1973, are exempt from Schengen, we can keep a fairly open border with our Irish neighbours. However, if Ireland were to adopt Schengen, things would get a lot more difficult. Since Ireland would have completely frontier-less exchange with the rest of the EU, the UK would have little option but to set up a border to prevent migrants entering Ireland via its Schengen portal, then simply passing through into the UK. Of course, Ireland know better. Like the UK, they’ll stay out of Schengen. But Scotland won’t have the option. The British government has made it clear  (January 2014) that a nation cannot be a member of Schengen (which Scotland would have to be) and be a member of the Common Travel Area at the same time.

West Coast Oil – A View from De Bunker

The Nationaliconspiracy-theory-caution_0sts have made much of West Coast oil in the last few weeks and it is becoming gospel that a new bonanza is about to happen.  The only reason that it did not happen is because the wicked Ministry of Defence objected to exploratory drilling in the Clyde area in the 1980s.

 

According to the Sunday Post:

“Documents from 1983 show how the MoD’s “blanket refusal” to allow test drilling effectively ruled out establishing the full scale of any reserves in the Firth of Clyde.”

Cue the great indignation and the whipped up fervour; according to MSP Chic Brodie of the SNP.

“This is another McCrone-type deception of the potential use of Scotland’s natural assets. “I am angry that the people of the West Coast of Scotland, and indeed Scotland as a whole, have been deprived of the economic benefits and income that would have flowed from oil and gas production.”

David Lambie, ex-Labour MP from Ayrshire claimed that he had ‘been told’ by key figures in Margaret Thatcher’s government that there was oil in the Firth of Clyde but that exploration had been blocked.

Let us leave aside the notion that key figures in a Conservative administration would confide such a thing to a Scottish Labour MP (which would be a michty dumb thing to do).

Let us also leave aside the notion that Margaret Thatcher of all people would have allowed her Defence Secretary to prevent her from reaping a bonanza from the oil.  After all we are speaking of people like Lord Carrington, Francis Pym, John Knott and Michael Heseltine – and we all remember how the Cabinet bossed her about, poor woman.

Let us leave aside the notion that a giant international oil company keeping quiet about a huge oilfield it had discovered is a bit unlikely.

Let us also leave aside that the Cold War ended in 1990 and that quarter of a century has elapsed since then – and if the Labour government of Tony Blair had known about oil in the Clyde, what would they have done with it?  Left it there? Ignored it?

That the British government knew and knows about vast West Coast oil reserves flies in the face of reason.

Let us then abandon reason and look at what evidence was found for the existence of West Coast oil.

The Post article says this;

“BP then applied for a production licence in the summer of that year for a large area of sea spanning the breadth of the Firth of Clyde. Letters between the Department for Energy and MoD show defence chiefs asked for no drilling rigs in this area and BP did not pursue its application.”

BP did carry out some seismological and geological surveys in the Clyde area between 1984 and 1988.

They found no oil.

A Freedom of Information request from Mr Brodie gained this response from the Dept of Energy;

I am writing to advise you that, following a search of our paper and electronic records, we have established that the only information we hold in the scope of your request is:

1. A reference in a spreadsheet to a licence held covering an area in the Firth of Clyde. An extract from this spreadsheet is set out below:

Final

Licence Number PL262

Operator BP Petroleum Development Limited

 

Start date 06-Apr-84

Expiry  06-Apr-88

Area 239.8

 

This may be viewed here; https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/oil-gas-exploration-in-the-firth-of-clyde-foi-130568

And that is that. No other documents

Here is a thrilling account of how a group of Nationalists went down to the National Archives and found ‘documents’ which were ‘dynamite.’  Mr Brodie has these documents and has had them since last year – he is supposed to have given them to Mr Salmond and they will no doubt be published.

http://ncdiblog.wordpress.com/2013/12/09/did-the-mod-block-an-oil-boom-on-the-clyde-they-certainly-did/

Business for Scotland invented an oil boom just waiting for independence on the basis of this.

The British government does not have these documents referred to and they have not been published by the Nationalists.  They exist on hearsay.

Do they exist?

If they did exist, what do you think Mr Salmond would have done with them in the last year?

BP relinquished their license to explore the area in 1988 after finding no reason to continue exploration work in the Firth of Clyde while the MoD said that the information relating to the surveys done may have been destroyed.

There is not a single shred of evidence that West coast oil exists or ever did.1802

Well obviously there’s been a cover up eh?  First thing that comes into mind.  Conspiracy – any rational person would think that first.  Wouldn’t they?

There’s no mystery to the National Archives- you go in, look at the catalogue then order the documents you want.  Then you go and sit down at your desk.  Within 30 minutes or so the documents are placed in front of you.

The National Archives save about 1.4% of Government paperwork each year- and it fills about 1 mile of shelves.  They have 60 miles of shelving in the basement which is why they have outlying depots and you must take care to order the documents you want before you go there, using the online catalogue.

The rest of the paperwork, judged as of little or no use by departmental historians- is destroyed.  This is routine.  Nothing sinister or underhand – just normal, otherwise they would need nearly 100 miles of shelving a year to store it.  As it is they fill a mile.

The reason there is no documentation on West Coast oil is because none of the paperwork was deemed worth saving.  That’s it.

There is a Clyde oil field and a Clyde platform – but it’s in the North Sea.  Maybe they got confused?

If there is oil off the West Coast of Scotland in the Clyde area then I’m a lizard man working for the illuminati and you’d better get a tinfoil hat now!

The hidden costs of independence

This is a brilliant explanation of the legal flaws in the Scottish Government’s White Paper – Scotland’s Future.

Notes from North Britain

I appeared as a witness before the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee on 15 January 2014, alongside two other academics: Prof Kenneth Armstrong (whose expertise is in EU Law) and Prof Iain McLean (who is a political scientist). You can read the transcript here. Or you can watch the evidence session online via the parliamentary website but, be warned, we were kept there for three full hours. The first question we were asked was whether we thought that the SNP’s proposed timetable for achieving independence was realistic – they have suggested that it could all be done and dusted within 18 months. We said that it was not, and this caught the attention of the press, appearing as the front page headline in the following day’s Herald. This, however, was far from the most important material we covered.

Much more important was that we brought to the…

View original post 1,531 more words

Wrong! The cry of the Nationalist

(According to the Nationalist hymnal – at the end of each expert opinion, adherents should give the appropriate response in bold. Please ensure increased fervour with each response)

The Office of  Budget Responsibility and the Institute for Fiscal Studies have warned that forecasts of Independent Scotland’s fiscal position by Nationalists are over optimistic.

They are wrong!

The UK government has made it clear that Independent Scotland with a differing immigration policy to rUK could not share a common travel area with them.

They are wrong!!

The UK government has stated that it is extremely unlikely that they would consider currency union for Sterling with an Independent Scotland, and that it would not automatically be in the interests of rUK to do it anyway.

They are wrong!!!

 

Mr Barroso, and Mr Rompuy from the EU, and Mr Rajoy have stated that Scotland would not automatically be a member of the EU and would have to apply to join.

They are wrong!!!!

 

If Scotland has to sign the Treaty of Amsterdam, then she will have to join the Schengen area and eventually adopt the Euro.

That is wrong!!!!!

 

Experts of all kinds have stated that an Independent Scotland in the EU could not continue to charge students from rUK whilst not charging students from other EU countries.  It is contrary to EU law.

They are wrong!!!!!!

 

An independent Scotland would no longer receive a rebate as the rUK would from the EU.  Indeed by contributing to the EU they would, in part, be funding the rebate for rUK.

That is wrong!!!!!!!

Scotland’s economic growth is looking good, but the figures produced by the Scottish government did not include 2008 and the bailouts; without them Scotland would be in bad shape.

That is wrong!!!!!!!!

 

Independent Scotland would not be able to keep the Bank of England, the National lottery, the Uk’s Embassies, and all the other institutions they have proposed to continue sharing.

That is wrong!!!!!!!!!

 

An independent Scotland would not necessarily receive the increased CAP payments from the EU that many Nationalists say they would.  It would depend on negotiations with Brussels and Scotland would not have as much muscle in those negotiations as the UK enjoys now.

That is wrong!!!!!!!!!!

 

Unlike what is set out in the White Paper, funding of research and innovation by the UK’s research councils would no longer apply to Scotland unless the departments concerned were in partnership with a body in RUK.

That is wrong!!!!!!!!!!!

 

The UK does not build warships outside the UK.  No warship contracts would be placed in an independent Scotland.  The UK government has made this clear.

That is wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Bankers, Financiers and insurers have expressed concern about the effects of independence upon Scotland’s financial sector.  They fear increased borrowing rates on the international markets and question what Scotland’s credit rating would be.

They are wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Supermarket bosses have expressed concern that costs would go up in an Independent Scotland.  They point out that at the moment they treat the UK as a single market and spread costs accordingly but divided into two markets with different systems of regulation, costs may very well rise.

They are wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

The CBI have expressed concern about the dislocation effects of independence and fear that the border effect would damage the £46 bn of trade done between Scotland and rUK each year.

They are wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Defence chiefs and military experts have raised concerns about the effectiveness and capabilities of a new Scottish defence force.  They point to a lessening of influence in NATO and an inability to carry out the full range of missions currently carried out by UK armed forces.

They are wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

There is no evidence of oil off the West coast of Scotland.

That is wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Scotland on her own, joined to the EU would be less independent than it is now.  They would be more under control by Brussels or Berlin than now. As part of UK she has far more muscle to resist diktats from the EU and to do things her own way.  With continuing Devolution which is being discussed even now by the mainstream parties, she will soon have even more control over her own revenues and affairs than she does now.

That is wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

The Scotland Act of 2012 gives Scotland the greatest transfer of powers from Westminster since 1707 and is symptomatic of an increasing roll out of Devolution for the rest of the UK as Wales and Ireland get similar powers.

That is wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

If Scotland leaves the UK, she automatically leaves the EU, long before rUK gets any referendum on the matter – which may never happen.

That is wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

This could continue for a long long time.

In any field of endeavour, in any area, the Nationalists have it right.  The experts, the lawyers, the doctors, the pundits, the professors, the academics of all kinds and of all shades have it wrong.

 

Think on this and think on it well.

 

In the politics of denial, how many wrongs does it take to make a right?

The Jabberjock

Since it was Burns’ Night on Saturday we thought we would bring you a poem from a more contemporary bard

The Jabberjock

‘Twas dreich, and came the slithy tove

Tae greet and brag throughoot the wabe

Al’ snooty were the Cybernats

And the hame wrath ootgrabe.

 

“Beware the Jabberjock, ma son!

The gob which shites, the lies that catch!

Beware the Harpy bird – aye, her

The Shrieking Krankiesnatch!”

 

He tak’ his Union sword in hond

Lang time the fetid foe he sought –

So rested he by rowan tree

And stood awhile i’ thought.

 

And as in huffish mood he stood

The Jabberjock, wi’ een insane

Cam’ waddlin’ through the tulgey wood

And blethered wi’ nae shame!

 

Ain, Twa! Ain, twa! the sword o’ truth

With vorpal blade went snither-snack.

He left it deed, and wi’ the hied

He went galumphing back.

 

“And hast thou slain the Jabberjock?

Come tae ma airms, ma true Scots boy!

Oh frabjous morn! Wee Eck is gorn!”

He chortled in his joy.

 

‘Twas brilliant, and the slimy toe-

Rag no more gambolled in the glade

And all the mimsy Cybernauts

Their mome wraths had outstayed………

by Max Nix

Image

Can you answer the Nationalist Paradox?

‘Nationalist Paradox – discuss if you dare’ has been a common sighting on Better Together’s Facebook page in the last few weeks.

It has irritated, flummoxed, annoyed and baffled Nationalists who of whatever colour and shade in Politics, cannot see what it means.

This is because it is not included in the language of their particular discourse group. And they certainly are that – with their own language, morals, understandings, relationships, creeds and accepted values.

The Nationalist Paradox is something they instinctively deny because they have screened it out of their thinking – and it is easy to see why because it is inconvenient to what they wish to achieve.

So what does it mean?

Simply put, Scottish Nationalism is a great paradox, and on whatever level. It is a paradox, that is riddled through with sub paradoxes in many layers, like an enormous onion.

Picture Nationalism as a great and shining onion, plump, shiny and desirable. Then peel away at the layers and what do we find? 

Paradox 1

The greatest paradox of the Nationalists is that they offer Independence, yet there is more independence to be gained by staying in the Union. What they offer is not independence but fiscal dependence either on Brussels, or Berlin, or even on London without the controls they have now. That’s the over arching paradox; the skin of it. The “independence” they offer is not. They may point out that we are controlled by Brussels anyway through the Westminster middleman, and that Scotland could just as well liaise with Brussels herself. This ignores the considerable muscle of the UK in dealing with Europe as exemplified in our opt outs from Schengen, the Euro, and our rebate. Scotland alone would simply not have the strength in saying No! to Europe that the UK has – and therefore would be much more under control. That is not independence.
Paradox 2
The second layer is that they claim to be wanting Scots to be self determinant, yet a key stone of their policy is to boost productivity by opening the doors to economic migrants and excluding hundreds of thousands of ‘Scots’ from having a say in the matter. This will ultimately benefit thousands of non-Scots who come to Scotland but probably not the 7.4% of unemployed Scots. Whilst excluding Scots who do not live in Scotland from the referendum on Scotland’s future may be seen as democratic and reasonable- indeed the only way to stage such a referendum, there is an irony in who does have the vote. It is not ‘Scots’ but the residents of Scotland who will decide the future of Scotland – and indeed of the United Kingdom. These include in their number thousands of people from all over the world, some of who will not stay in Scotland anyway. People born behind what was the Iron Curtain, under Communism, Americans, English, – will have a voice in this whilst 850000 Scots in England do not. This is a curious type of Nationalism, and indeed is not what it appears. It is Secessionism, and many of those who want it give reasons that are not Nationalist but economic. What appears to be Nationalism is apparently, for the most part, not what it appears.

Paradox 3
The third layer is that they claim green credentials and ally with Greens and such, yet the bedrock of their policy is a fossil fuel which is running out. This is not very ‘green’. Neither is it very green to cover huge areas of beautiful Highland scenery with wind turbines. That is in itself quite a paradox, however there is another which is of greater irony than most.

Paradoxically this disallows them from using the vast wealth under Scotland’s feet which could be exploited through Fracking ,or coal gasification which they do not even consider. Which raises the question if their ‘ideology’ is actually good for Scotland? A linked paradox is that if clean ways could be found to utilize the massive amounts of gas and coal under Scotland, then there is more than enough to fund independence. Yet the available money is put into types of power generation that for the most part cannot supply base load to a national grid.

Paradox 4
The 4th layer of paradox is that they claim to want a more inclusive Scotland, welcoming, honest, open, bustling, yet what we see is secrecy, stonewalling, propaganda, elitism and exclusion in their tactics and language. They stated they had received advice on the EU when they had not.

But when they did seek advice they refused to publish the advice received- and still have not.

They have also been observed lying or misleading on several occasions, even within the walls of Parliament. They have cooked up a vast fantasy about oil on the West Coast when there is no evidence that it exists. They claim that England has stolen seabed from Scotland when the evidential record proves conclusively that this has not happened. Even this week they claimed that BAE will continue operations in Scotland based on a half quote from the BAE Chairman, when if you read it in context he makes it clear that how BAE would react would be in accordance with how their customer, Westminster wished to deal with the problem. And for all their talk of inclusion there is a strong element of anti English feeling in many of them that is no longer banter but racism.

Paradox 5
They claim that Scotland subsidizes England. This is not true, and neither is it true that England subsidizes Scotland. What it would be more accurate to say would be that the four nations of the UK have united their economies into a larger one, and benefit, as shareholders, from any dividends. However that is actually not relevant. The Paradox is that by voting for independence they have to apply to enter the EU and will not partake of the rUK rebate and will end up subsidizing … England via the rebate which they will no longer get but will contribute to.

Paradox 6
They talk of ‘Wastemonster’ yet spend vast amounts of public funds on their own expenses and propaganda. They spend money on trews, hotels, expenses, their own propaganda yet see no contradiction or irony in accusing Westminster of the same.

Paradox 7

This is a tragic paradox, for they offer false hope to those who have not. The have nots want more and think they will get it by voting for independence. The Nationalists have ruled out increasing tax on Oil. They have promised to lower Corporation Tax. They want a Scandinavian style society. There is only one way that they can make up the shortfall in spending for the society they wish to achieve. Taxes must go up. Not a little, but a lot. How else could it be done?

But if they do, then the over taxed haves will leave, and the have nots will end up with less. The goose that lays the golden eggs will leave. This is a charlatan’s trick.
Paradox 8
The Nationalists claim that Scotland independent would be Scotland more democratic. Yet they rule by imposition. Caithness Councillors were unanimous in opposition to Gaelic road signs and a requirement that new teachers be able to speak Gaelic, yet they had it imposed on them.
The nationalists favour wind power, an expensive and unreliable form of energy that pushes electricity bills up, yet champion the poor – who cannot afford the higher bills and drives them into fuel poverty. They grumble when the UK government removes the requirement from the energy companies to buy onshore wind.
They also accuse the UK government in a press release this week of not funding offshore wind when the UK government announced increased subsidies for offshore wind on December 4th 2013 wihcih was widely announced in the Press and may be searched for on the net.

Paradox 9
The Nationalists claim to be concerned about poverty and inequality in Scotland yet have no anti poverty strategy or policy in place. For this lack of policy, Leslie Riddoch, a Yes voter told them off in her own column.

Indeed they diverted £1bn of anti poverty money to other places to make up for shortfalls in local spending after freezing Council Tax.

They blame the UK government for underfunding them and point to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Dr Barnardos as both saying that not enough was being done to address poverty in Scotland. Yet both these bodies stated that although they recognized the limited powers of Holyrood, there was a lot more they could be doing with the powers they had.

Paradox 10
They claim that they wish to have no nuclear weapons in Scotland and decry Trident, yet in their White Paper they allow for flexibility on removal and are prepared to let visiting NATO vessels use facilities in Scotland on the basis of don’t ask don’t tell.
They wish to join NATO, an organisation they were against for years. They think they will reap billions to spend on other things by cancelling Trident. They claim that Trident costs £30bn, yet do not mention that this is spread over nearly 40 years, and that the money is not spend to buy Trident to maintain it. It pays the wages of thousands of people in Scotland. Paradoxically the rUK could afford the pay for Trident at about £3bn a year out of the £100bn in invisible earnings that she reaps each year, and in which Scotland currently shares. That revenue stream will be closed to Scotland after independence.

The UK spends about £34bn on defence every year. It is not one of the big spenders. If Scotland were entitled to 10% of that (in reality its about 9) then she would gain £3,4 bn. That includes Trident. It is not a lot of money. Indeed the paradox is that is about the maximum of what is spent on Trident each year. It would have to be spent on creating new jobs for the people who would lose theirs after Trident left.

Another paradox of this is one of the purposes of Nuclear weapons. We hear a lot about deterrence – but that is not the sole purpose of nukes. They save money. If you have nuclear weapons then you do not need large conventional forces in the event of large scale conflict. This not only saves money on buying personnel and kit, but on the research needed to develop the new generations of weapons and the industries to build them. You can still be a big player on the world stage but have smaller forces.

Paradoxically this makes the world a safer place because there are fewer conventional weapons around.

Paradox 11

Scotland has played a huge part in the development of the United Kingdom. Indeed it can be argued that the United kingdom was a Scottish creation, forged by a Scottish dynasty and is now a nation with one of the biggest economies, and generally one of the better standards of living in the world. The great paradox is that those who wish Scotland to be independent cry this down.

To them Scotland is a miserable downtrodden place, starved of funds by a government ignorant of Scotland, with only 59 MPs, undemocratic, neglected and victimised.

Scotland the victim. ‘Too wee, too poor, too ignorant’ they cry at the No voters, yet you would go very far to see a No voter who would actually say this. To No voters Scotland is a vibrant and proud place with great culture, scenery, industry and prospects of being even greater with the advance of further Devolution. No people are positive about Scotland and her place as a shareholder in a large Union which has more clout as the sum of its parts.. Yes voters ask what the positive things are about staying in the Union – but ignore lists of positives when repeatedly placed in front of them.

It is quite a paradox that the people supposed to be most upbeat about Scotland end up being the downbeat, the victims, the ones who do Scotland down.

Paradox 12

This one is the scaremongering of the Yes camp. The UK, they say, is finished. They point to an advertisement published by a magazine called Moneyweek over a year ago called ‘The end of Britain’ and use it as ‘evidence’ to prove that Britain is finished.
They do not read it, because if they did they would see that the main idea is that Britain is spending too much on Benefits, the NHS, Pensions, and Education – it’s a very right wing article inspired by the Tea Party in the US. We are supposed to learn from this that the only way to save Britain from drowning in debt is to cut spending on these things

Which leads one to wonder if this is the model they would wish to see followed in an independent Scotland?

In reality the article was completely demolished in February last year by the noted Banking advisor Frances Coppola yet still gets trotted out as infallible proof that the UK is finished.

The great paradox here is that since the crisis over the Euro, the Independent Scotland wishes to use the pound.

The nationalists apparently see no irony or paradox in wishing to shackle themselves to an ailing and failing currency because they now think they have a share in it. The pound at any rate is not an asset – it’s an institution; the difference is not subtle, but you can’t really carve up an institution.

To be independent Scotland needs her own currency.

Even in the unlikely event she would have a currency union – or use the pound as a dollarized economy, she would still not have control over her own finances.

That is not Independence.

The Judas Paradox. Number 13

To vote no, we are told, is a betrayal of Scotland. No voters are ‘not true Scots’.

Yet surely the vote is about what is good for Scotland?

We have a scenario set out in the White Paper published last November, Everybody now knows what the Nationalists was- if not how they will pay for it.

But the great paradox here is that it might actually be the Nationalist who are betraying Scotland. There is no ‘what if’ about their plans. They will not even concede the necessity of a plan B for currency.

But the great ‘what if’ here is what happens if they cannot deliver after voting Yes?

What will they have delivered Scotland to?

Could it be analogous to Ireland? Will the young leave to find jobs in the southern part of the British mainland?

Will industries, companies, enterprises relocate and shrink?
Will unemployment rise?
Will taxes soar?
Will the poor finally get a poverty strategy which does them no good because the money has run out?
Will great houses and museums and monuments become shabby because there is nothing to spend on them?
Will the population shrink?
Will the population rise as cheap labour is brought in to boost the economy, driving down wages and eroding worker rights?
WIll power have to bought from England when the wind does not blow?
Will the NHS continue at its current levels?
Can pensions be afforded at current levels?
What will happen to house prices?

And so on. A never end of questions that must not be asked because the mere act of asking them s ‘scaremongering.’

And Scotland ends up poorer, leaner, declining, shrinking, having sold her shares in the huge company she was a shareholder of and set up a corner shop?

If that happens – but of course it never could, then where is the betrayal, and who is the Judas?

Can you answer the Nationalist Paradox?