Scottish independence and some truth about the "yes" campaign

By Sean DeVries
September 08, 2014
The Union Jack and Scottish Saltire together
The Union Jack and Scottish Saltire together -
I met a Scottish girl during the summer and she was extremely embarrassed by the behavior of the outspoken "Yes" people, the ones she's described as vehemently anti-English. Then, the pollsters were pretty sure that Scotland would remain an integral part of the UK. Since then, the souverainistes, to use a Canadian word, seem to have taken a two point lead, according to YouGov.

I just don't understand some of the complaints from the "Yes" campaign on Scottish independence. The most often I've read are about the negativity of what the "No" campaigners are talking about and all I can find are those dealing with the realities of legal treaties between London and Brussels and the 27 other members of the European Union.

All one has to do is look to Twitter to see them foaming at the mouth about their hatred of England. It becomes even more obvious when they insist that as a new EU member and Eurozone country (both of which are completely delusional notions), they would be completely independent and prosperous. The "Yes" campaign seems to believe that stating any difficult-to-swallow facts is "negative"; let's see:
  • An independent Scotland will not be in a currency union with the rest of the UK
    • Another country, the UK in this case, should not be expected to underwrite the debts of foreign country via the Bank of England
    • If they used the £ with or without currency union, it would not mean independence
    • The "Panama" scenario, whereby Scotland would emulate Panama's usage of the US dollar, but Scotland the GBP, would completely crush any Scottish National Party (SNP) dreams of a socialist utopia. The country would not be able to print money in the way that independent countries with a central bank can
    • In any scenario, Scotland does not have enough foreign currency reserves in order to create their own currency
  • An independent Scotland would not be a member of the European Union
    • Which would actually mean true independence
    • The SNP insists that they would be able to secure membership from "within", despite legally binding treaties which state that if a region separates, its treaties would no longer apply
    • Spain has made its intention clear on using its veto powers to block the entry of Scotland, due to its own obvious internal problems. Belgium is another country which might veto. There are other countries in the EU which may also veto entry but have remained silent on the issue
  • Borders between the rest of the UK and Scotland
    • Again, laws and treaties require the United Kingdom to protect its external borders
    • Scotland would not be eligible for any of the currently existing opt-outs that were secured by the UK and the Republic of Ireland; It's been attempted by other, newer countries without success
    • Scotland, if it were to attempt membership of the EU or even the EEA, would require it to join Schengen. Schengen is a treaty which allows for free movement without border checks... further cementing the previous point
  • NATO membership
    • There are a ton of responsibilities with regards to NATO and I haven't read any of the treaties. It appears that many of the claims by Alex Salmond simply are not feasible
  • Scottish oil is finite
    • It's a big thing the SNP are counting on: being able to fund their grand socialist programmes with oil
    • Oil reserves are not very accurately calculated, as can be proven by the shortfalls over the past years
    • Oil price and revenue cannot be accurately measured by any means
  • The NHS will be privatized
    • A rumour which was created by anti-UKIP campaigners (without any merit)
    • Whether or not it's a rumour, the cost, quality and efficiency of healthcare in the UK is questionable

None of the above can be considered negative campaigning, although as I avoid the BBC and television programming, I can't really comment on what certain members of the "No" campaign have been spouting. In any event, facts are facts.

All of the real questions about what Scotland will be or shall become upon independence remain unanswered, ESPECIALLY the evasive answers having to do with the treaties and laws of the European Union.

If the "Yes" camp were actually campaigning for true independence, as they would be outside of the EU, I would probably support them. Alas, their leaders are not. These delusions of some utopian world where Scotland were some fantasized version of Norway are preposterous and above all, dishonest.

On a sad note and in defence of the "Yes" campaigners and their promises, the European Union has often bent and even broken many of its own rules in order to accommodate its own agenda and political objectives. Unfortunately for the "Yes" campaign, the European Commission, the European Council, the ECB and many other related taxpayer-funded bodies have never managed to break any of the treaties relating to SNP's claims in unison.

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Comments (3)
Canbitbill's Avatar
Canbitbill    Mar 12th, 2015
'KISS' or 'Keep it simple stupid'. First thing to decide is do the majority of Canadians care? (Apparently we do. The reason why could be the subject of another column.). Then do we as Canadians benefit most when Scotland is part of the EU as a stand alone or as part of the British Isles? In the analysis there is much talk of existing laws and treaties which can all be changed within the British Islesand so not a deciding factor though a source of income for involved legal types. So keep the discussion entirely Canadian and consequently simple lest we as Canadians become involved unnecesarily.
Blackleaf's Avatar
Blackleaf    Mar 12th, 2015
Quote: Originally Posted by Canbitbill --

Then do we as Canadians benefit most when Scotland is part of the EU as a stand alone or as part of the British Isles? .

Scotland will always be a part of the British Isles, unless you were to get a circular saw, cut along the border, and then tow Scotland away to another part of the world.

As for the Scottish "Cybernats", they're nothing but foul-mouthed bullies.

It's time the UK became a federal state in order to keep the world's most successful political union intact.
Blackleaf's Avatar
Blackleaf    Mar 21st, 2015
Scottish nationalism is hypersensitive and insular. So is the newspaper it has spawned

The Spectator
20 March 2015
-- (a Scot)

Scotland's new nationalist newspaper, The National
Image: Getty

Last year Russia Today launched a -- with a fanciful strapline: ‘This is what happens when there is no second opinion’. The extraordinary implication is that the Iraq conflict could have been avoided, if only we had listened to Putin.

This is such an obvious fallacy that it’s hardly worth dwelling on. But RT (as it now likes to be known, as if people don’t know what the ‘R’ stands for) is producing lightly disguised state propaganda. The viewers know it and so do the mercenaries that make it. In contrast, Scotland’s new pro-independence daily newspaper – ‘ -- ’– is written with earnest conviction. Its contributors are devout believers, and that’s what makes it so hilarious.

The paper’s -- was typical. In a desperate search for opinions which fit the separatist narrative, The National sought ‘expert advice’ on economics from the project manager of an equal pay organisation and the director of a child poverty charity. Martin Crewe of Barnardo’s told readers that the budget was ‘meh’. He does at least believe in austerity of prose.

The comment section is particularly inane. It’s a forum for ideas which would be troubling if they weren’t so half-baked. Yesterday, for example, the broadcaster Lesley Riddoch asked: ‘Is it time for a People’s University to take advantage of the incredible appetite for knowledge about Scotland since the referendum?’
Why not create a virtual People’s University of Scotland which could supply speakers to any group who’d like to know more – from the SWRI to local cafes or political party branches? The idea would be to take the mountain to Mohammed with speakers going where people are already gathered – not expect people to trail into hard-to-reach ivory towers.
Given the number of problems Scotland faces (and there are a lot of them, especially if you’re a National reader) it seems incredible that Riddoch should use her column inches to complain that we aren’t insular enough. But flag-waving nationalists do tend to be insecure.

Consider John Swinney, our Deputy First Minister. In response to reports of declining oil revenues he moaned this week that Westminster politicians are ‘talking Scotland down’. It’s his -- . Imagine if such a callow figure was in charge of an independent country! In fact, we don’t have to. The quasi-nationalist government of Turkey created a new offence in 2005; the ‘public denigration of Turkishness’. These are presumably the sort of policy edicts we could expect from the ‘People’s University’.

Russia Today is primarily aimed at an English speaking audience, and so Moscow is attempting to engage with the outside world. But Scottish nationalism is different. It’s inward-looking and hypersensitive, and so is the god-awful ‘newspaper’ it has spawned.