Fly in the yes/SNP ointment (Magnie Stewart)
I am totally amazed that the Yes Campaign/SNP is managing to close the gap in the opinion polls with nothing more than emotive propaganda.
Their propaganda labels anyone who dares to question YC/SNP doctrine as unpatriotic, or negative, or a scaremongering bully threatening the Scottish people, or a bluffing, blustering, public school educated, Tory posh boy, who has absolutely no democratic right to be governing north of the border.
When anyone against the breaking up of the United Kingdom is asked a straightforward question on currency union, the EU, defence, membership of NATO, or indeed anything, and he/she gives a straightforward and honest opinion, if the YC/SNP doesn’t like the answer, then he/she is immediately accused of – well, take your pick from any of the labels mentioned in first paragraph.
In April the defence secretary Philip Hammond, on a visit to Glasgow, told workers at Thales, a firm which supplies periscopes for the Royal Navy, the simple truth that if Scotland voted for independence, their jobs could be at risk.
Mr Hammond was immediately accused of threatening Scottish workers. No he wasn’t, he was simply giving a truthful and honest answer. Why would the government of the United Kingdom of Northern Ireland, Wales and England dish out defence contracts to a foreign country when the work can be done within their own borders?
Or take the insurance company Standard Life, which employs 5,000 people in Scotland, but has 90 per cent of its customer base south of the border. It has made it plain that in the event of a “yes” vote it will be considering relocating to London, citing uncertainty over currency and membership of the EU among other concerns.
According to SNP finance minister John Swinney, Standard Life has come to this decision due to “irresponsible threats over currency union” from the UK government. No it hasn’t. Standard Life has taken this decision because it cannot see the taxpayers of Northern Ireland, Wales and England being prepared to underwrite the spending plans of a foreign country.
So surely, instead of launching into hysterical accusations and trying to make emotive propaganda capital out of workers fears, the YC/SNP should be reassuring these workers that plenty of work will be found for them in an independent Scotland and telling them how these jobs will be created.
At the SNP spring conference Alec Salmond went into Mel Gibson mode and, to wild applause, started going on about Scotland achieving “freedom”.
Freedom is a very emotive word when used by the likes of Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela, great men who sought to lead their people from under the yoke of oppression. So does Alex Salmond see himself as a King or a Mandela and if so could the YC/SNP tell us who, or what, exactly, are we seeking “freedom” from?
Who are these people/countries oppressing us Scots? As far as I know we enjoy the ability to come and go as we please, we go to the ballot box and cast our vote, completely free from any pressure, so why do the YC/SNP feel oppressed and their “freedom” curtailed? Let’s have some answers.
We are told by the YC/SNP that Scotland suffers from a democratic deficit, ie the Tories have no right to govern north of Hadrian’s Wall. Do we?
To put things in some sense of perspective, at the last General Election the Scottish people, on a turnout of 63.8 per cent, cast 77.6 per cent of their votes for the parties in favour of the Union – Labour, Lib/Dems and Conservatives – while 19.9 per cent voted for the SNP.
This can hardly be construed as an oppressed people crying out for “freedom”. (Just for the record, 16.7 per cent voted for the public-school educated, Tory posh boys.)
At the 2011 Scottish elections, out of the 3,950,751 people eligible to vote, their was a turnout of 50.6 per cent. In the constituency vote, 45.4 per cent voted SNP while 48.1 per cent voted for the Unionist parties.
Again, which ever way you dress it up, this can hardly be construed as the screams of an oppressed people crying out for “freedom”, when half of them didn’t even turn out to vote and half of those who did, voted for the Unionist parties.
As to the cost of things in an independent Scotland, who knows – including the YC/SNP – what anything will cost, if we do not have a currency? For example, Mr Salmond tells us that the Scottish defence budget will be 250 billion … which prompts the question: 250 billion what? 250 billion dubloons? 250 billion pieces of eight? 250 billion Scottish pounds? How does he know what the cost will be?
It is obvious that Mr Salmond’s budget for an independent Scotland is costed under the United Kingdom monetary system – the pound sterling. However, if the people of Scotland vote “yes” we will be outside the UK and will not have a pound, underwritten by the Bank of England and the taxpayers of Northern Ireland, Wales and England, as there will be no currency union.
Yes, we can keep the pound, but it will be a Scottish pound and, as an independent country with an independent currency, the Scottish pound will have to find its level on the International Currency Markets.
Who knows, it may find a better value and exchange rate than the pound sterling, but then again it may drop like a stone, so until we know the value of our independent currency, the YC/SNP can’t cost any policies.
It would seem, however, that the YC/SNP have not considered this scenario and have gambled everything on a currency union. So what is plan B for an independent Scottish currency?
Finally, the YC/SNP are doing cartwheels of pure undiluted joy when a recent opinion poll found that more Scots would be inclined to vote for independence if they thought that the UK would return a majority Tory government to Westminster.
For pure, barefaced hypocrisy this takes some beating. Think about it. If Scotland votes for independence then Labour would immediately lose 41 Scottish MPs from Westminster. This would mean that the United Kingdom of Northern Ireland, Wales and England would almost certainly have a majority Tory government.
And who are the YC/SNP wanting an independent Scotland to have a currency union with? They want – and have staked everything – on a currency union with the rest of UK, where the Bank of England will set Scotland’s interest rates and oversee, as the lender of last resort, Scotland’s public spending.
This brings us to the mega fly in the YC/SNP ointment, a fly which their carefully crafted emotive propaganda, strangely, does not mention; that being – which parliament will the Bank of England be answerable to? It will be answerable to the Westminster Parliament dominated by none other than the public-school educated, rich, posh Tory boys from the south-east of England.
Now I may have got all this a little bit wrong, but it seems strange to me that the “freedom” loving YC/SNP want to jump into a currency union bed with a party which has absolutely no democratic right to be governing north of the border.