Thursday, September 11, 2014
10


This has nothing really to do with Muscat, or Oman, except in a very loose way - and some people will disagree with what I'm writing here, and maybe some will agree - but I'm fascinated by the entire debate raging in the UK currently regarding the independence vote for Scotland due to take place next Thursday on the 18th September. And because I'm fascinated by it, I'm going to write about it.... sorry ;)

A few facts first: I'm English by birth, Canadian by choice and so its very easy for a Pro independent Scottish person to say I'm bias. Perhaps I am, but more than that, I honestly am amazed at the Yes campaigns stance, and how it intends to operate as a separate country should it win next week.

The Scottish National Party's mantra, under Alex Salmond and those before him for that matter has been, "It's Scotland's Oil". Salmond has consistently gone on and on about hydrocarbon tax revenue being Scotland's ticket to riches and that Scotland would be better off alone. Except, he's been lying about just how much oil is left in the North Sea basin. World leading oil services outfit, Wood Group came out yesterday, along with Shell and BP and stated that Salmonds figures are up to 60% inflated. The North Sea oil gravy train is coming to an end.

Oops, that's just put a cramp in Scotland's independence. Next up, SNP have stated that they want to retain the Pound once becoming an independent sovereign country, except, well that's just stupid as Paul Krugman pointed out in the NY Times earlier this week. The crux of this concept is this: Scotland can't print currency if it doesn't control it, and should Scotland find itself in a fiscal crunch, they're on their own with few tools to get out. Case in point... look at Spain, it's forked. Read the article it's a good 2 minutes. One could capture Scotland's stance on monetary union as this: "We want independence but we want to keep the pound, so the UK pays if we cock up". Salmond has even been reported by ITV as saying, "what are they going to do? Invade?" in reference to the national debt, and Scotland's share of it (some £111 billion) - should they default on it. Thats a really responsible person who Yes voters are backing.

Right, so SNP don't have as much oil tax revenues as they say they have, in fact half as much. They're prepared to run away from their fiscal responsibilities, which will mean a crap credit rating, and harder access to world funds. Looking great for Scotland so far. SNP believe that it would automatically join the EU and would not be forced to join the Euro - except that the last president of the European Commission clearly stated that Scotland would have to apply to join the EU, and new member nations are required to join the Euro. No problem, Salmod will just fix this with his imaginary oil revenues. And IF that happened, there'd need to be passport control on the border with the UK, as the UK have their own entry requirements and are not part of the Schengen agreement in Europe.

Next, the very fact that this referendum is a democratic farce right from it's outset. Only those over 16 years old, currently living in Scotland get to vote on Scotland's independence. We'll just skip over the fact that the UK has been investing and funding Scotland for the last 300 odd years. According to one article English tax payers subsidize Scotland £17.6 billion a year according to the most recent Treasury figures - Scottish government figures for 2012-13 estimated that £65.2 billion was spent that year in Scotland against £47.6 billion raised in revenues. As an example of inequality in Scotland versus the rest of the UK: Scottish students get free university tuition, no one else in the UK gets that.

So why exactly can't everyone who has paid into Scotland decide on what Scotland does? Or forget that, what about Scottish men and women all over the world who are living abroad currently (and thus my loose link back to something to do with Muscat in this post)? If Scotland votes yes, suddenly loads and loads of Scottish people around the world will have to get new passports (granted the UK has stated that Scottish citizens UK passports will remain valid until they expire). The UK has embassies around the world, Scotland have none, and would have to establish them very quickly.

Furthermore, Scotland would lose it's access to the UK security services, MI5 and MI6, exposing it, and the UK by extension to potential threats. Then there's the NHS, Armed forces, BBC, State pensions and so much more.

I could go on and on but I wont. Scotland's Yes campaign has its roots, I feel, in this mindset: It's our oil money, we don't want to share, why should people in London control what we do?

And my answer is simply, because they are democratically elected to do so.

It amazes me that so many people are still prepared to vote Yes next week with so many unanswered questions about their future hanging in the balance. Are you still reading this? Do you even care? What's your take on the Scottish Independence referendum?

le fin.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Whilst living in Oman for six years , like all other expats we did not contribute taxes to the UK therefore why would we give expats a vote. What happens in Scotland happens to the people actually living there. If you did your home work you would know that Scotland get back less money than they put into the UK , so we are not subsidised by England.
I'm sure the people of Muscat would love to be governed by a Sultan that had no interest in ALL the people in his country!

Muscateeress said...

In reply to anonymous, I am English , but would be terribly sad to see Scotland go as an independant country. The decision made will be irreversible, so people will be voting for the future generations, not just the next four years until the next election, so it could be changed if they decide they don't like it after all.
I do think that there are a LOT of holes in the yes campaign that have not been answered, especially the currency. Standard life and llloyds have already stated that if the vote is yes, they will be relocating back to London -more job losses for Scotland
Also, Alex Salmond wants to operate a nuclear free policy, hence the uk will have to move their Trident program, which will eventually lead to closure of dockyards, and more job losses The yes campaign have not indicated how much of the GDP will be spent on defence, and to be a member of NATO there is a minimum percentage a country has to spend.
On BBC Radio 4 yesterday, Scotland would not be entitled to receive BBC without having to pay for it.
Another interesting fact was that out of a population of approximately 4.5 -5 million people in Scotland, currently there is approx 1 million people receiving government benefits of one kind or another........that is a huge amount of public money they would have to find.
I understand their pride in their heritage, and that has never been denied them, but the rest of the UK has played a part in shaping Scotland as it is now. Just as well Wales didn't do it before their coal ran out!!!

Begbie said...

Trainspotting (1996) summarizes Scotland beautifully for me...

Tommy: Doesn't it make you proud to be Scottish?

Mark "Rent-boy" Renton: It's SHITE being Scottish! We're the lowest of the low. The scum of the fucking Earth! The most wretched, miserable, servile, pathetic trash that was ever shat into civilization. Some hate the English. I don't. They're just wankers. We, on the other hand, are COLONIZED by wankers. Can't even find a decent culture to be colonized BY. We're ruled by effete arseholes. It's a SHITE state of affairs to be in, Tommy, and ALL the fresh air in the world won't make any fucking difference!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Your post is about as biased as the rest of the media in the UK. Have you done any research at all?! It's interesting that the people who spout this kind of nonsense invariably have no link to Scotland whatsoever & therefore have no understanding of Scottish concerns. I temporarily in Oman but luckily as a service voter still have a vote and it will be yes. Westminster does not subsidise Scotland: we contribute more than we get back. Some banks have said they 'may' shift their headquarters : they equally might not (& have already said jobs will be retained), Salmond is irrelevant given the SNP are unlikely to be voted in to govern an independent Scotland. Our free education is decided by our own devolved parliament: same goes for our free prescriptions. Do you seriously think Westminster is gifting us these things? Westminster does not & can not represent Scotland's best interests when London alone has a vastly greater population than the whole of Scotland. This referendum is about democracy pure & simple. We deserve to actually get a government we vote for (impossible in current situation) & not have policies imposed on us that no-one in Scotland wanted. Westminster had the optikn to put increased devolved powers for Scotland on the ballot paper but rejected it because they arrogantly assumed a no vote. Now they're trying to backtrack because its not going their way. They have zero credibility & will do anything to sway the vote with false promises. I could go on but I wont. I'd rather engage with undecided voters & encourage them to yes.

Begbie said...

...Whilst humping your sister, before your Dad has a go. Stupid inbred fool.

Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) said...

While the current line of the independence campaign has its holes, you have to remember, this campaign has been ongoing since, like, what, since the 12th century? Oil is new.

Though I don't believe they should keep the pound... They should have the eurro I gues sor strat their currency...:Leave UK with the national debt, that's fine. They deserve it for hundreds of years of illegal (according to what the UN would consider illegal) occupation;).

I support it on those grounds, having irish ancestry,and while from a very pro-anglo French family in Canada, I don't veiw Scotland the same as our Quebec seperatist movement there you know?

Their unemployment can't really get much worse in Glasgow ect...

Anyways. From someone not Scottish;) that's my opinion.

Proud Scot said...

You do know there's oil under Faslane? that Scotland has a thriving whisky industry? that Scotland can supply 15%+ of Europe's energy from tidal power? that we have huge water supplies? farmland? tourism potential? that we want to be Scottish?

Anonymous said...

Proud Scot - youre already Scottish you dumb prick!

Derek said...

A few facts first: I'm English by birth, Canadian by choice:

That sentence sums up why you don't have a clue about the Scottish Independence debate. You shunned your birthplace in favour of another and you question Scottish hopes and beliefs?

Sythe said...

Derek, I didn't shun my birthplace, I moved to Canada for a very good reason. As I made it very clear at the start of this post, it's just my observations and of course I can be called bias... but then I published, verbatim, a post written by someone who totally disagreed with what I'd written.

Anyway, it's over now, and Scotland is still a part of the UK, thankfully.

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