A Response To George Galloway
If Scotland votes Yes in September we will be handing the prize to the people of Scotland. The SNP was only formed in 1934 and the pursuit of Scottish Independence long predates 1707. George Galloway is a curious, and I’m sure uncomfortable, bedfellow for the No campaign, but they seem happy to hail his speech as ‘a landmark oration which could help save the Union’. Here I’ll go through the more notable blunders of his speech and explain why he’s wrong.
Galloway’s revisionist history is dangerous; particularly hot on the heels of Darling’s ‘blood and soil’ blunder. The UK stood shoulder to shoulder with many nations during WWII; it wasn’t about Scotland and England at all, it was so much bigger than that. He offends the memory of all those who gave their lives to make such assertions.
Women are less likely to support Yes because they are more likely to be disengaged and disenfranchised. An unfortuntate symptom of a patriarchal, misogynistic and outdated political system.
On Rowling and the ‘CyberNats’, again, media hysteria. I’ve still yet to see evidence of any ‘torrent’ of abuse. Indeed, as far as I can tell, it turned out the worst abuse Rowling received, as highlighted by the media, the only real ‘abuse’ rather than disagreement, was from someone in England nothing to do with the wider Yes movement! Juxtapose this with the deafening silence about BritNat abuse. A man has just been arrested for threatening Salmond on Twitter but it barely makes the news! It’s misleading to make out that this only happens on the YES side. There are idiots on both. Minorities. Don’t give them power or platform.
The Bank Of England is a misnomer. The £ belongs to the UK, not England. Politicians can say what they like now, but it’s politically motivated. No sane Chancellor will deny currency union out of spite. The Governor of the Bank Of England has himself said currency union is preferrable for everyone. The Euro comparison is foolish; Scotland and England represent an optimal currency area, there is not the same variance in economy that exists across the EU. No-one is advocating Scottish Euro membership. We wouldn’t qualify anyway as we’re not part of ERM2. Scotland can’t be forced to use the Euro.
Pensions are not intrinsically linked to oil in Scotland. That’s just plain untrue. Oil is not the crutch for Scotland that Unionists make out. Without oil Scottish GDP is only marginally less than the rest of the UK. Indeed, oil is only around 12% of Scottish GDP; not enough to make Scotland an oil dependent nation (16% is the minimum to consider a country dependent on one industry). Indeed, Scotland is entitled to its share of the pension pot. Accrued pension rights will be honoured in an Independent Scotland. The SNP say as much in their White Paper, and the wider Yes movement is in agreement. Even UK Pensions Minister Steve Webb conceded as much, and the DWP has confirmed. Going forward we can improve pensions in Scotland: lower retirement age, triple-locked, and better protection of spouses.
Oil doesn’t run out overnight either. It’ll be decades. I doubt any of us will live to see it and I plan to live a long time! As technology advances, and oil prices likely rise with scarcity, so current reserves that are not presently economical become financially viable. Oil prices fluctuate whether Yes or No. More exciting is the opportunity to diversify from oil towards renewables; the expertise and infrastructure is here to do it already. Indeed, the oil industry has imbued a large Scottish workforce with abundant transferrable skills.
Moreover, any uncertainty about oil already exists as part of the UK: a UK where Scottish oil receipts have been squandered supporting London finance and keeping taxes low for the richest people in society. A UK where Scottish tax receipts have been higher per capita in each of the last 33 years than any other constituent part of the UK. There is uncertainty either way. I’d just much rather people in Scotland were making the decisions going forward. With Scotland’s best interests in mind, not London’s. For normal people, not the wealthy elites.
I know which side I’m on. I’m with the ordinary people of Scotland. The people who have to choose between heating and eating. The one in three children in Aberdeen, the oil capital of Europe, who live below the poverty line. The people who have been neglected and ignored by Westminster. Just say YES.