Quietly fuming at a comment in the article by Bruce Anderson in The Telegraph
. He is talking abut the increasing use of the cross of St George by English football fans and how, he believes, it indicates a potential deeper malaise with the union.
There is much in his article to agree with. I, too, have noticed how England has become a sea of white flags with St George’s Crosses, rather than the favoured Union Jacks of earlier days.
I mean, even No 10 Downing Street flies the St George’s Cross. That is more than a little controversial because it is a UK Government building occupied by a UK Prime Minister. Would David Cameron (whose blood line comes from Aberdeenshire) be so confident of flying the Saltire above No 10, on, say, St Andrew’s Day?
So, there is much in Bruce Anderson’s article to agree with.
What really had me fuming was this reporter, with a very Scottish sounding name, commenting about a referendum on Scottish independence and stating:
“If it came to a referendum, the Scots would never vote to separate themselves from England's chequebook.”
That sort of arrogance is exactly what would drive me to tick the yes for independence!
Comments like that make England sound like the insecure partner in a strained marriage, trying to reassure itself that the spouse won’t leave.
Yes, Whitehall has produced figures to say that Scotland would be in deficit if it was independent. But, the Scottish Government has figures that say Scotland would be in surplus, even in the financial current mess.
One thing for sure is that disagreements over finances have been the root of the breakdown of many marriages. Especially when one of the partners has been caught lying about the figures in the past.
During the 1970s, governments kept telling Scotland that the country would be an economic basket case if it went independent.
Meanwhile, behind the scenes they hid the government report that said an independent Scotland’s budget surplus would be so great as to be “embarrassing”! It added that the Scottish currency would become the hardest in Europe, with the possible exception of Norway and that “this situation could last for a very long time into the future”.
That damning report about the lies from Westminster was only quite recently revealed under the 30-year rule.
Whether we want Scotland to be independent is one thing. The suggestion that, somehow, a sophisticated western nation of five million people with proven entrepreneurial and inventive spirit, international perspective and a reputation for financial sense, could not run its own affairs, is as ridiculous as it is nonsensical.
Take the oil and gas industry alone. It is principally centred in the Aberdeen area. Without it the lights would go out throughout the UK, cars, buses and trucks would grind to a halt and our homes would go unheated.
North Sea oil and gas provides 75% of the UK’s prime energy needs. With almost as much oil to come as has been extracted so far, there are decades more of oil which can provide prosperity for the UK (or even greater prosperity for Scotland alone if that’s the way that Bruce Anderson and others want it).
The North Sea oil and gas industry contributes some £12 billion annually to the UK Exchequer. That’s part of the reason that the Aberdeen area contributes more in company tax than the Square Mile in London.
The predominantly Scottish supply chain boosts the UK balance of trade by a whopping £36 billion.
We are also on the threshold of a whole new marine energy industry which is forecast to produce seven times the amount of energy that Scotland needs.
No, Mr Anderson, Scotland will not stay in the union to have access to England’s chequebook.
But Scotland may keep the UK deposit book if both parties agree to stop exchanging silly arguments about which partner is the breadwinner and get on with focussing on what makes the marriage work to mutual benefit. Energy facts page