So. Have you had enough of The Bard for another year? Even though people can argue anything (and do) when relating to independence, I’d have thought this letter made his opinions rather clear on the subject! Doubtless there are those who can say that Rabbie was a staunch Better Together -but then there are millions of people who believe in UFO’s/ zombies and that Elvis is alive and well… hmm.. these things have more support than even the UKIP party I guess! Nowt, as they say, so queer as folk. Horses for courses.
Personally, I’m getting pretty tired of the same old stories being hashed up time after time. Depending what you read and who you listen to you’ll find that if Scotland gets independence we won’t be allowed into Europe, we won’t be allowed to use ANY currency, we will be in bigger debt, invaded with no army and navy to protect us. No one will have jobs and we won't even be able to drink the oil reserves… Project Fear just keeps on rolling. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that we won’t be able to drink Irn Bru or eat soft rolls come Independence. And of course, rabid nationalists will roam the land (over the border controls naturally) burning babies. A good solid argument why we are ‘Better Together’ I have yet to find.
But then Economics is just so much fairy dust to me. I don’t understand why people get all excited about a politician telling them what they will do in a fictional scenario some time down the line (Ed Milliband springs to mind here) when they first have to get elected and then have to stick to the promise and… this isn’t as much a digression as you might think though, because it’s key to one of my PRO Independence arguments. For me it matters less to debate WHO will be ‘running’ Scotland post Independence (we will get to choose that won’t we, in a free and fair election – or is Project Fear suggesting that post referendum the SNP will become a Taliban type organisation?) It matters more THAT we are ‘running’ Scotland as an independent country. That WE make our choices.
Reduce this to the personal. I have a car. I choose when and where to drive it. I choose what petrol to put in it and whether to wash it or not. This is Independence. (of course economic necessity can act like a policeman on me here, I accept!) But if I were expected to ask approval of my next door neighbour before I got in my car, if he could tell me where to buy petrol and how to drive, I’d be pissed off. Well that’s what it feels like to me being Scottish and having to get UK approval for every little thing. Examples flow thick and fast. What about the bedroom tax? (Aye, what about it?) Turns out that there are some ‘loopholes’ which councils haven’t picked up on and DWP didn’t make clear. And so, people in Scottish council areas are losing out because until and unless the DWP (which is a UK organisation folks) sorts things out… you get my drift. I’m not making comments on the rights/wrongs of the Bedroom Tax you understand, simply suggesting that it would be nice if WE could be in control of: Bedroom Tax, armed forces, nuclear policy, foreign policy, social policy etc etc. We could make CHOICES about these. In the same way that we could really make choices about the composition of our Government. A vote for Independence is NOT a vote for the SNP. It’s a vote for Independence.
Thus far: We have our own education system, our own legal system and they aren’t too shabby. We have free prescriptions and different social care… isn’t it time we grew up and were prepared to take the responsibility of MAKING our own decisions ALL THE TIME not just when we are ‘allowed’ to. It’s a risk, but so is getting up in the morning. Being a ‘wee sleekit cowerin’ timorous beasite’ has never been the way I wanted to be. I’m proud to be Scots. I want to be a Free Scot. The prospect doesn’t frighten me, it excites me. It offers hope. But then that’s perhaps because being £500 better or worse off isn’t what motivates me. I know that Scots have a reputation for meanness, but surely we are not so stupid as people that we think that a fictional future economic scenario set out by those who wish to keep us in the economic bag they’ve put us in is going to tell us ‘the truth’ about anything?
And now Mark Carney has waded into the debate. From what I heard of what he said, he said nothing really. Though according to the BBC he was 'meticulous.' I shall have to try and actually find a full transcript of what he said, because the BBC sound-bites both online and on media didn't reveal much. As I understood it he just said it's for the economists to do what the politicians tell them and if they want to do it they'll have to do it carefully and properly. So? Of course, each side takes what it wants out of that as a victory. Truth may be the first casualty of war but it seems common sense is the first casaulty of referendum debate!
And while . I’m not sure there IS such a thing as a non political economist in our modern world, MC did reinforce my own opinion that this is all so much huey until and unless we get Independence. We need the balls to take our chance and THEN sort out these issues. Not be led by the stupid economy stupid!! I'm off to find out more. If Mark Carney can convince me that Scotland should stay in the Union because of the economic benefits – you’ll be the first to know.
Meanwhile, here’s a link you might like to explore. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/16630456
Of course what would happen to the BBC after Independence is another matter entirely. Probably Project Fear would say we’ll be banned from watching it in Scotland. But that’s onto quite another post entirely… at the moment the initials sometimes seem to stand for Biased rather than British anyway! (I await to be stricken down for daring to be less than complementary about a bastion of Britishness!!!)