Let me say I’m not Scottish and I’m not an Englishman living in Scotland. I’ve only visited there once in the last 40 years and that was this year. I liked what I saw. I have a couple of friends that live near Glasgow. So – end of affinity with the place and, hopefully, a fairly unbiased view on the independence issue unveiled yesterday.
Right up front I have to say that I’m a little concerned about the code for the campaign for the ‘No’ vote : Project Fear. This seems to rather sum up the attitude of the ‘No’ team and strikes a chord with the campaign against UKIP. As Farage puts it “If you can’t win the argument then you need to discredit the other side.” On other words, brand them as a bunch of hapless irresponsible lunatics who should be written off out of hand.
Such tactics are unworthy of our elected representatives. But then, what’s new?…
Let’s look at the issues that have so far been thrown up by the ‘No’ team and see if they hold water.
The SNP say that they want to retain Sterling as the Scottish currency. The ‘No’ team say this won’t be possible. Why not? There’s lots of smaller countries still using it. There was a time when most of the Commonwealth used it. It’s a better choice than the Euro. Call it something else if you like and then peg it at par to Sterling, what’s the difference?
Ah, yes – that would mean that the Bank of England wouldn’t have overall control of the currency. Well, we already have a Bank of Scotland that issues its own notes. They already have devolved authority. Lots of diverse countries use the Euro. It’s the same principal.
Then there’s the bitching about keeping the Queen as the head of State. Why is that such an issue? She’s a constitutional monarch not a President. She’s good enough for the Commonwealth nations. She’s good enough for Canada, Australia and New Zealand so why not for Scotland? Have we forgotten that she’s directly in line from King James VI of Scotland? I can’t see the problem.
Then there’s the nukes. We want to keep the nukes in Scotland, but the Scots want them out. However, they want to stay in NATO so again, what’s the problem? They’ll just lease the bases out to raise money and we’ll carry on as usual, won’t we?
On the EU, Scotland says it wants to remain in the EU. The detractors say that might not be possible. The important word here is ‘might’. It’s pure conjecture. Remember Yugoslavia? Well Croatia and Slovenia used to be one country. Now they’re part of the EU. Montenegro used to be part of Yugoslavia but as a small country needed a strong currency so it adopted the Deutchmark – so why shouldn’t Scotland adopt Sterling? When Germany joined the Euro, Montenegro went along so now they’re in the Euro but not in the EU. So explain to me why it ‘might’ not also be possible?
Danny Alexander – the token LibDem at the treasury – has warned that Scottish taxpayers face a £1,000 a year tax increase if Scotland breaks away. But that’s based on the way things are at the moment and surely the entire point of Scottish independence is to change the way things are at the moment, isn’t it? Looks to me like scare tactics and pure conjecture based on meaningless supposition.
And while we’re at it, click to see Alastair Darling’s comments on the publication of yesterday’s SNP white paper. Read it carefully – and then think back to the opening comments in this post. There’s not one single solitary fact in the entire piece. It’s pure scaremongering coupled with rubbishing Alex Salmond, the SNP and the ‘Yes’ campaign. Gutter politics. Discredit the other side because you’ve nothing to say.
I know I’ve only scratched the surface and discussed a few issues, but Scotland deserves a proper debate and it the ‘No’ campaign carries on like this, then they’ll hand votes to the other side on a plate.
And it will serve them right. ‘Project Fear’ indeed! Bloody idiots!