Scottish Independence

Before I start, I want to say this is not an article bashing the rest of the United Kingdom, including England. I live and work in England, am marrying an English girl, and many of my friends are English. The aim of this article is rather to argue why I feel Scotland can grow and prosper as an independent state.

I’ve been a supporter of the Scottish National Party (SNP) my whole life. The SNP is currently the largest political party in Scotland, and forms a minority government in the Scottish Parliament. While they’re a centre left party, and stand for a lot of different policies, their main goal is the pursuit of Scottish Independence. In this post, I want to explain the main reasons why I feel Scottish Independence is important for Scotland and why I believe the SNP can deliver on their main agenda.

So lets start with the basics. Scotland was an independent country from 843, with the unification of the Scots and Picts, through to 1707, with the Act of the Union. Since then Scotland has been one of four countries in the United Kingdom. However, in 1999, Scotland received devolved powers for a new parliament in Holyrood. With the SNP coming to power in 2007, the question now is can Scotland take the next step and become a fully functioning independent state again?

Here, I want to list the main reasons why I think Scotland should take its independence back:

It is Already a Country

First and foremost, Scotland is its own country. It has its own culture, people, and history. Just because the Scottish aristocrats sold the country three hundred years ago, does not mean that in this modern world, the Scots can’t govern themselves again. This doesn’t mean we wouldn’t still be British – we are part of the British Isles remember – but we we are also European too, as members of the European Union. You can be British, European, but still belong to a independent Scotland.

The Economics

For unionists, the main argument against Scottish independence is the Barnett formula – a rule that Scotland receives 10 pence of every pound made in the UK, while only having 8.3% of the population. In my opinion this argument is flawed. Firstly, the the Barnett formula does not take into account the North sea oil. Unionists call this an old argument, however, this is because it’s such a key point.

The Scottish GDP is actually 96% of the UK average, without including the oil industry. That is £25,600 per person. If you take the oil industry into account, it’s £31,000 per person. Put another way, Scotland is not only funding itself per person, but actually making more than the UK. No wonder the UK has such a large deficit, while the Scottish public sector budget is actually in surplus.

9969835294_6357f4d074_b

A Place on the International Stage

Independence would give Scotland the recognition it deserves. I recently read this interesting article written by a unionist changing his mind. Living abroad, he was shocked at the worldwide belief that Scotland was part of England, and being propped up by our southern neighbors. If Scotland were to become independent, it would emphasize our greatest individuals, businesses, and achievements. Instead of having them blended with Westminster politicians.

Lose the Daft UK Spending

While the UK’s position as a “power of the world” has dwindled in the last fifty years – and especially in the last ten years – it unfortunately still spends money like a superpower of the world. This can be seen with it investing in nuclear weapons for the next 35 years at a cost between £20bn to £35bn. This is a substantial amount of the deficit, that the current UK government is trying to save through cuts to schools/universities, hospitals, police, and other public services. If Scotland was independent, how much of this could Scotland invest elsewhere?

Renewable Energy

Oil is not Scotland’s only major industry. Two of the UK’s largest industries outside of oil is tourism and tax on whiskey. I could give you three guesses on where this is driven from, but you’re only going to need one. Furthermore, for the next fifty years, renewable energy is seen as a key industry worldwide. Scotland has a strategic position for wind, hydro, and tide powered energy. With over 40 years of North Sea oil still available, the profits could be poured into renewable energy – instead of being sent to London.

So there’s obviously a case for Scottish Independence. But will it ever happen? The likelihood, is probably not anytime soon. For Scotland to even get the chance to vote on its future of independence, the SNP would need a majority government to pass this through. The way the Scottish electoral system is currently set, this will not happen in the short term future. Never-the-less, the Scottish elections are on this summer, I strongly recommend you to go out and vote for the SNP.

Image credit to Maria Navarro on Flickr (Creative Commons)

  • Gewyne

    The SNP have not pushed through a referendum on independence because they know they would lose it. As Labour have said many times, there is nothing stopping the SNP from putting the proposal forward – as they said “put up or shut up” well the SNP did not put up or shut up.

    • http://www.farlie.co.uk Charlie Davidson

      The SNP have not pushed through the referendum because they’re a minority government and don’t have the support from other parties. I believe the “put up or shut up” phrase was used by Wendy Alexander, who was forced to resign as Scottish Labour leader in the following days…

  • http://www.farlie.co.uk Charlie Davidson

    The SNP have not pushed through the referendum because they’re a minority government and don’t have the support from other parties. I believe the “put up or shut up” phrase was used by Wendy Alexander, who was forced to resign as Scottish Labour leader in the following days…

  • Revenai

    Stop talking about it and just go and do it!! I get so fed up of all the heart searching, ‘will we’ ‘won’t we’ – ‘can we’ ‘can’t we’ … how long as it been now? Remember another Englishman telling someone ..”You have sat here too long for the good you do; For God’s Sake … GO!”

    Or are you just going to wait around until you are pushed? … give us a chance and we’d be happy to oblige.

    • http://www.farlie.co.uk Charlie Davidson

      Love that to be the case Revenai. However, until we get the support from other parties or a majority government we unfortunately can’t oblige you.

  • Revenai

    Stop talking about it and just go and do it!! I get so fed up of all the heart searching, ‘will we’ ‘won’t we’ – ‘can we’ ‘can’t we’ … how long as it been now? Remember another Englishman telling someone ..”You have sat here too long for the good you do; For God’s Sake … GO!”

    Or are you just going to wait around until you are pushed? … give us a chance and we’d be happy to oblige.

    • http://www.farlie.co.uk Charlie Davidson

      Love that to be the case Revenai. However, until we get the support from other parties or a majority government we unfortunately can’t oblige you.

  • Ken Dickson

    I think the main problem in bringing this bill forward as a minority government was the danger that the opposition parties would push through ammendments simply in order to damage it beyond use. This is what was at the root of Wendy Alexanders “bring it on” debacle. If the SNP had submitted this bill they would have lost control of it to a hostile parliament.

  • Steyg

    Salmond is fully committed to full EU membership for the Scottish EU Region, uncluding adopting the Euro.

    Rule from Brussels is NOT ‘Independence’, look the word up, but yes please just GO as the nearest opportunity, and take the fellow feeble and irrelevant non-English Regions with you.

    Bye, miss you already, and PS dont worry we’ll fast track your English Visa so you can stay in the Promised Land.

    http://img718.imageshack.us/img718/2370/englandtourismnoflagslo.jpg

    • http://www.farlie.co.uk Charlie Davidson

      Steyg, many thanks for your input and the kind offer of a English Visa. Quick question. In terms of Brussels, surely this means the UK itself isn’t independent itself then?

  • Steyg
  • http://www.farlie.co.uk Charlie Davidson

    Steyg, many thanks for your input and the kind offer of a English Visa. Quick question. In terms of Brussels, surely this means the UK itself isn’t independent itself then?

  • Tearlach

    @Steyg – Since when did Scotland become a region? The UK is a political union of two Kingdoms, a principality and a province. Lets try that again.

    A political union.

    Like the EU.

    Formed for the same reason – to prevent war, promote free trade and the free movement of people, and economic unity through a single currency. In 1707.

    Now that Scotland is a member of the EU we do not need the UK, for things like free trade, free movement of people, a single currency. We get these – and a lot more – from being a sovereign nation within the EU.

    Anyway since you t***sers maneged to lose the empire not much point in staying hitched to lot of losers, lets get in bed with real economic players, like the Germans, French and Spanish…..

    Oh and if Scotland’s a region so England – your choice………….

  • Stephenmelvin

    scottish independence will be very very good to get away from england scum haha

    • http://www.farlie.co.uk Charlie Davidson

      Hi Steven,

      While I thank you for taking the time to contribute your thoughts, I’d appreciate it if we avoid offensive comments on this post.

      Many thanks,
      Charlie

  • Stephenmelvin

    scottish independence will be very very good to get away from england scum haha

    • http://www.farlie.co.uk Charlie Davidson

      Hi Steven,

      While I thank you for taking the time to contribute your thoughts, I’d appreciate it if we avoid offensive comments on this post.

      Many thanks,
      Charlie

    • Buchan

      grow up ,it comments like yours that makes us all look like cave dwellers

  • Buchan

    nice one. finaly a grown up common sence opinion on scotish indi.shame it will be spoiled by the usual small minded ‘i hate england and all that’. comments.

  • Buchan

    nice one. finaly a grown up common sence opinion on scotish indi.shame it will be spoiled by the usual small minded ‘i hate england and all that’. comments.

    • http://www.farlie.co.uk Charlie Davidson

      Thanks Buchan!

  • http://www.muzzerino.com/ Muzz

    Great article mate, and thanks for the link! Muzzerino.com

    • http://www.farlie.co.uk Charlie Davidson

      Cheers Muzz, anytime.

  • Johnyare

    can england have a referendum to seperate from scotland?

    • Calum Davidson

      Of course Johnayre – its a perfectly reasonable and honorable political aspiration – just get one of the existing parties in England to adopt it as a policy objective. I think its called Democracy. Lots of us here in Scotland are great supporters of English Independence. You are a great country with a long and distinguished history, and we agree that its time you stood on your own feet. Thats what grown up nations do.

      • http://www.farlie.co.uk Charlie Davidson

        Second that comment.

  • http://www.muzzerino.com/ Muzz

    @
    Steyg
    Hmmm, It would be funny if there was any truth to it.

  • Anonymous

    Some great info in there, i can’t help thinking about one point you make though – “No wonder the UK has such a large deficit, while the Scottish budget is actually in surplus”.
     
    Scotland IS the UK at the moment, you can’t talk about one without the other. The massive deficits and debt that the UK government has built up for wars and improving services has been a collective benfit, i.e for all parts of the UK. If Scotland or any other part of the UK wants to split off from the collective government, surely they can’t just cut and run and leave all of that debt behind to be dealt with by everyone who is left over?

    • http://www.farlie.co.uk Charlie Davidson

      Hi manicmartian,

      Yes, good point and apologies if that was misleading. The point I was trying to get across was that Scotland has the potential profit/loss to become successful, especially when if it can cut out expensive UK wide spending. 

      Very much agree that if Scotland were to win independence then it would take both its share of national debt, as well as national assets. Thanks for your feedback!

      Cheers
      Charlie

  • http://www.farlie.co.uk Charlie Davidson

    Hi manicmartian,

    Yes, good point and apologies if that was misleading. The point I was trying to get across was that Scotland has the potential profit/loss to become successful, especially when if it can cut out expensive UK wide spending. 

    Very much agree that if Scotland were to win independence then it would take both its share of national debt, as well as national assets. Thanks for your feedback!

    Cheers
    Charlie

  • RazzleDazzleBaby

    Hello, speaking as a  Welshman here so I suppose I have somewhat in the same boat, but here are a few arguments against Scottish independence:

    1. Economic – this is crucial, and even though I have a fairly rudimentary understanding of economics, I think it points towards independence being a bad thing for Scotland

    – Scotland’s economy s growing far slower than the rest of the UK’s – this is partly because of the recession hitting the rest of the UK harder, so there is a bigger bounce back, but the difference is not such so as to mask the fact that the UK as a whole is getting richer compared to Scotland. This year Scotland grew by 0.8% and the UK by 1.4%http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Economy/TrendLongerGDP

    – I think it is fair to say that Scotland has more say over the direction of the pound sterling than it ever would over the euro, which is essentially geared towards Germany’s and to a lesser extent,  the French. economy. The option of creating its own currency sounds like a really bad idea, as it will be so vulnerable to currency fluctuations simply because there will be so few foreign reserves of it – it will be at the mercy of foreign confidence unless pegged to a bigger currency like the US $, which then puts Scotland in the horrible place of having fiscal policy made in Washington without care for Scotland. 

    2. Cultural – Really Scotland has far more in common with England than with any other country in the world – even Ireland and Wales. Gaelic in Scotland is almost dead, whereas at least in Ireland it retains some sort of  status and in Wales it has c. half a million speakers. Your first point, relying on a nationalist conception of Scotland is really flawed, because if you try to pin down what differentiates a Scottish person from an English  or Welsh one, or perhaps more aptly from say , a Yorkshireman/Cornishman, you would really struggle to find the distinctions which exist between say, a German and a Frenchman.

    Now you can and doubtless will argue that this doesn’t matter, as long as Scots are able to think of themselves as a distinctive people and nation, and while I find that understandable to an extent, I think the shared British heritage and culture is far more an illustration of what people in Scotland believe in, just as with English people and Welsh people. 

    Effectively, Scottish independence seeks to kill in one fell swoop probably the greatest pluralist multiethnic state project ever embarked upon. My own subjective view is that a shared  identity built through empire, civil war, 2 world wars, the Napoleonic wars and 300 years of stability, probably has more to do with the formation of the modern Scottish person’s identity than does some idea being Scottish. 

    Values like democracy, individual liberty and rights, are British values, to which Scots, English,Welsh and Irish have all contributed equally. Had there been no UK, I find it difficult to believe Scotland would have evolved past the entrenched values of aristocracy, despotism, and clan based identity anywhere near as fast. 

    3. Geo-Political – as it stands Scots do reasonably well on the world stage. The last Prime Minister was Scottish, and through the UK Scotland gets a real voice in world affairs. Whatever the pessimists say, the UK is still the 6th biggest economy in the world, has a permanent seat on the UN Security Council (allowing it to veto any resolutions) and financially is a world hub. Scotland on its own will lose all the above, even the financial aspect – RBS and Bank of Scotland, while nominally Scottish and headquartered in Scotland, are run mainly by non Scots based in London. Also militarily the UK can project its will like only a few other nations. Scotland won’t ever have this power, will be a minnow on the world stage and will likely just be a joke.

    Scotland gets a really good deal as it is, one which is my view a little unfair on England. To change the current constitution, proven over history to be the world’s most stable for a major power, is in my view really stupid, short sighted and ill-planned.

    • Tearlach

      Well it’s the weekend, so I’ve had a chance to look at your thoughts, and if I’d been looking for an essay that purported to be from a confused Guardian reader who is still stunned by the election results of last month (and one feeling that we Scots are just, well, a bit – ungrateful), I’d have given you a A+, but unfortunately in the real world of modern Scottish Politics this is a definite fail.
       
      However full marks for trying, so lets just go through your points, highlight out where you have gone wrong, and suggest some further areas for study. I then look forward to next time.
       
      Point 1 – Economics. You argue that Scotland’s economy is growing more slowly than the rest of the UK, and therefore independence would be a bad thing for Scotland. This is known as the “Scottish Economy is a basket case” argument, and has been touted by Unionists for years.
       
      Except is wrong – have a look at other Government stats –
       
      http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Economy/GERS
       
      Which show Scotland – unlike the rest of the UK – running at a small surplus if the appropriate share of North Sea oil is taken into account. Your point about growth could be a red herring; Scotland and the UK have differing economies, and are at different stages of their growth cycles, though you are correct in one area, growth in Scotland has consistently lagged behind other parts of the UK. But in that you have – I suspect unwittingly – exposed the first basic flaw in the Unionists argument.
       
      If the Union is so good for Scotland, why is our economy lagging behind?
       
      Ah – small country, comes the reply, need the might of the UK to run a proper economy.
       
      So – Smaller countries can’t run successful economies? Err Singapore, New Zealand, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, even Luxembourg. Even Ireland and Iceland had booming economies before they decided to follow the UK and US models of banking de-regulation. So not that one then.
       
      So – The people of Scotland cannot run a successful economy. Interesting approach, one that the Labour and Tory parties have been pedalling for years – the too small and too stupid line. Except that no one can tell me why Scotland would be unique in the whole world in an inability to run our own economy – for  better – Singapore, New Zealand, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, even Luxembourg, or for worse, Ireland and Iceland.
       
      You have also fallen into the classic “because it’s always been it will always be” trap. In other words because the Scottish economy is weak, it always will be. Which is I’m afraid absolute rubbish. Structural problems with the Scottish Economy? No – swimming in natural resource, (even without oil). Well educated, skilled workforce, half decent infrastructure, but unfortunately part of the UK. That’s what is holding us back.
       
      You see that’s its clear that smaller EU and EFTA nations – such as Ireland, Finland, Sweden, Norway and even Iceland have many more fiscal and economic tools at their disposal to ensure that their populace are ready to face up to the challenges of developing modern, open, knowledge based economies than anything that can be seen coming out of Westminster. (And doing that without being burdened with the lame trappings of empire – two lame duck aircraft carriers anyone?).
       
      They can regulate their own banks (for better in the case of Norway, or for worse, in the case of Iceland and Ireland, but at least they can regulate their own banks) set Corporation Tax levels, invest the profits from a commodity – oil – in a high yield savings policy, or like the Danes use a public-private-community partnership to create a world lead in a Manufacturing industry like on-shore wind turbines.
       
      So it’s being in the UK that is holding back the Scottish economy. Oh and in case you were not aware current FM – Alex Salmond – is an economist, which you are happy to admit you are not, so I know where I’d be looking for advice. And its not you.
       
      Point 2 – what’s the point of swapping the pound for the Euro?
       
      A couple of points for clarification; current SNP policy is – as I understand it – to stay with Sterling until conditions are right for joining the euro. Ireland pegged its punt against Sterling for 60 or so years, so nothing new there. The right time to join the Euro will be a tricky one, but remember lots and lots of new accession countries have been ditching their own currencies and adopting the Euro in the last 10 years, so someone sees an advantage in that, despite what you see as the Franco-Germanic focus of the currency. 
       
      Interestingly on the subject of a separate Scottish currency, its worth reading the McCrone report, a dossier written in 1974 by Professor Gavin McCrone, a leading government economist, for the Conservative UK government into the viability of an independent Scotland. The report concluded that North Sea oil revenue would have given an independent Scotland one of the strongest currencies in Europe and a large tax surplus. It went on to say that officials advised government ministers on how to take “the wind out of the SNP sails”. The incoming Labour administration classified the document as secret over fears it could give a further boost to the SNP’s policy of Scottish independence. And there is another 40 years of oil in the North Sea, and huge deepwater reserves west of the Hebrides. So a strong Scottish currency, backed by oil (err like the Norwegian Krona, not much international speculation there), is not just something of science fiction.
       
      Point 3. Scotland has far more in common with England than with any other country in the world – even Ireland and Wales. Gaelic in Scotland is almost dead, whereas at least in Ireland it retains some sort of status and in Wales it has c. half a million speakers.
       
      Bingo! This is where you show your total lack of research and understanding of Scotland (and the UK in fact). I also think that we need a common starting point, and mine is that Scotland and England are nations within a state. That state – the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (to give it its Sunday name) is pretty unique in the world of nation states. That’s because it’s not a real Nation state, in the sense that anyone else would understand. It’s a state OK – the UK, but made up of two Kingdoms (England, Scotland), a Principality (Wales) and a Province (Northern Ireland). Wales’s status is by far the weakest, as it’s a conquered province that for 700 years that has been almost fully assimilated into England for most things legal, educational and political. Like Quebec and Catalonia.
       
      But the key issue is that Scotland – and England (and clearly Ireland in the context of the islands of Great Britain and Ireland) – remain – separate nations within a political union. Harry Reid in a Herald article back in 2008 detailed this quite succinctly, albeit in a Scottish context. It’s worth a read – http://tinyurl.com/5ezlxx If you do not accept this as a starting point, fine, but I’d be interested in your definition of the UK.
       
      I’d argue that if you consider Scotland as a region of the UK, so logically is England, and Wales, with all the problems that brings, (and no you cannot just argue that Scotland is just a region of a bigger country that is England/Britain, but as someone who lives in Wales, I suspect that its not a argument you would follow. Perhaps.)
       
      But Scotland and England, are separate Nations within that State – with separate legal, religious, education and political systems. Always have since 1707. When you look at the things that differentiate people, I’d argue that folk in England, Wales and the Republic of Ireland (a separate country, with a seat at UN) have much more in common than Scotland, and these other parts of the Islands of Britain and Ireland.
       
      Why? As they all share common legal systems (Irelands is simply English law and practice continued) based on Common Law, rather than Scottish Roman Law, they share similar educational systems (Scotland has entirely separate qualifications, schools, curriculum, indeed a quite separate philosophical underlying basis for education as part of the common good.). Quite different churches – Presbyterian, Lutheran and Calvinist in the case of Scotland, once based on the people choosing their own Minister, and having no hierarchy at all. Quite quite different from an Anglican or Catholic Church. We read different newspapers, listen to different radio stations, so to say that there is a common Britain underlying everything we do is simply wrong.
       
      But does that matter, as we share things like the BBC and a single car tax system? Taking your argument to the next level, Sweden, Denmark and Norway share a common language base, a 1000 years of common history, common legal, educational and political systems, even a common airline, so they should be a single country? The Baltic States – part of Russia, then Poland, then the USSR, only ever independent for a couple of decades in the 20’s and 30’s? Finland – 600 years part of Russia, then 200 part of Sweden, how dare they think of itself as an independent country? Err Canada, part of the USA or the UK – you choose. Ireland? Has a lot more in common with England than anywhere else, so it should be clamouring to rejoin the UK? Now do you see how ridiculous you are sounding?
       
      And lets go back to that Gaelic point. That comment shows your basic ignorance of Scotland and Scottish Nationalism. I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt as you live in Wales, where nationalism is defined through language. Like Quebec, the Basque country and Catalonia, all exclusive nationalism, ie so if you do not speak the language by and large you are not Welsh, Basque or Catalonian.

      Nationalism in Scotland is civic and inclusive, if you live in Scotland, you are Scottish. Period. That’s why when the new MSP’s were sworn in a few weeks ago the oaths were taken in English, Scots, Gaelic, Urdu, and Italian.
       
      Indeed I could draw you a graph showing the decline in Gaelic and Scots having a direct correlation with the growth of Scottish Nationalism. Paradoxical? Yes, but which party has been at the forefront of efforts to develop, support and grow Scotland’s two languages? Aye the SNP. And which parties belittle, diminish and insult these languages. I’ll leave you to guess.
       
      Point 4 – Scottish nationalism will demean Britain.
       
      Or as you put it “Effectively, Scottish independence seeks to kill in one fell swoop probably the greatest pluralist multiethnic state project ever embarked upon.”
       
      The “greatest pluralist multiethnic state project ever embarked upon”? The UK? Do me a favour. The USSR perhaps, or even Nigeria. But the UK? A little group of islands on the NW of Europe with less than 60M people the greatest multiethic state project ever embarked on?  Compared to the USA or China the UK is as multiethic as France, Portugal or the Netherlands, ie Multiethnic as a legacy of long failed empires.
       
      I think this is where your real issues come out. Scottish independence will mean the end of the UK (and actually that means the end of England as Britain), and you seem not to be comfortable with that. And your Welsh.
       
      You are bit angry, discomforted; your comfortable view of the world, and your place in that world is under threat. Things you thought fixed have moved, people you thought you knew have suddenly told you things that you do not want to here.
       
      Well tough. I don’t care.
       
      I’m that part of a marriage that has realised that I’ve been living a lie for a long time. Not abused, but just worn down, told I’m not worthy, told I cannot stand on my own two feet, told that I need my partner, need their wage, need their support, and that tough love is best for both of us.
       
      Well Scotland has just woken up, and discovered that we have been living a lie for a long long time. Its time to move out and move on, despite the sniffles of our spurned partner.
       
      I want what is best for me, my family, my community, my city and my country. And that means a modern Scandinavian Scotland, looking outwards, building on what is best of our Scottish and British identity. I want a Scotland that is looking forward, not stuck in your mindset of empire and “past the entrenched values of aristocracy, despotism, and clan based identity”.  I’m very comfortable with the good things that the UK has brought Scotland, and I’m proud of my Dad’s little bit in defeating Fascism in WW2, but why should I let misty eyed romanticism about the past get in the way of a proper future for my country.
       
      Post imperial Britain? – get over it and grow up.
       
      And Finally – Point 5 – “as it stands Scots do reasonably well on the world stage. The last Prime Minister was Scottish, and through the UK Scotland gets a real voice in world affairs.”
       
      This one always cracks me up. Please explain to me how Scotland gets a better deal on the world stage as the forgotten part of the UK, as opposed to having our own seat in the UN and as a full member of the EU? Go on, I’m dying to know. Being able to argue purely Scottish interests in international treaties and EU policies on things such as Fishing, Oil and Renewables, rather than through the interests of a London centric UK which sees these things as marginal and bargaining points for “real issues”.
       
      Oh and while you are at it please tell me how the citizens of Norway, Denmark or New Zealand are so disadvantages by not having a UN security council seat. What resolutions were they not able to veto that damaged them?. Where have they lost out, and where has Scotland gained? Just one example eh?  Oh and Scotland as a military minnow. Brilliant, just bring it on. No Nukes, no weekly deaths from Central Asia and I’d love Scotland to be like Ireland and Norway, fully participating in UN Peacekeeping, rather than invading other countries.  And I will not mention illegal wars, oh sorry I just did. Damn.
       
      And Gordon Brown was Scottish? Err no, last time I looked he was a British politician, who never referred to himself as Scottish, even when pushed (he says he was born in North Britain actually). And your argument suggests that Scotland only benefits when the PM is Scottish, so logically we are at a disadvantage on the world stage when the PM is English or Welsh? Is that really what you are saying?
       
      So “Scotland gets a really good deal as it is, one which is my view a little unfair on England.” And you say you’re Welsh. Mmmm.
       
      Two points here, which I’d be grateful for an answer:-
       
      -If Scotland is getting such a great deal out the Union, why did we just elect an SNP Government with an overwhelming mandate for a referendum on independence?
       
      -If the Union is so unfair on England, why are you not out campaigning for English Independence?
       
      Look forward to marking your essay next week. I hope it’s more than “could do better”.

  • RazzleDazzleBaby

    Hello, speaking as a  Welshman here so I suppose I have somewhat in the same boat, but here are a few arguments against Scottish independence:

    1. Economic – this is crucial, and even though I have a fairly rudimentary understanding of economics, I think it points towards independence being a bad thing for Scotland

    – Scotland’s economy s growing far slower than the rest of the UK’s – this is partly because of the recession hitting the rest of the UK harder, so there is a bigger bounce back, but the difference is not such so as to mask the fact that the UK as a whole is getting richer compared to Scotland. This year Scotland grew by 0.8% and the UK by 1.4%http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Economy/TrendLongerGDP

    – I think it is fair to say that Scotland has more say over the direction of the pound sterling than it ever would over the euro, which is essentially geared towards Germany’s and to a lesser extent,  the French. economy. The option of creating its own currency sounds like a really bad idea, as it will be so vulnerable to currency fluctuations simply because there will be so few foreign reserves of it – it will be at the mercy of foreign confidence unless pegged to a bigger currency like the US $, which then puts Scotland in the horrible place of having fiscal policy made in Washington without care for Scotland. 

    2. Cultural – Really Scotland has far more in common with England than with any other country in the world – even Ireland and Wales. Gaelic in Scotland is almost dead, whereas at least in Ireland it retains some sort of  status and in Wales it has c. half a million speakers. Your first point, relying on a nationalist conception of Scotland is really flawed, because if you try to pin down what differentiates a Scottish person from an English  or Welsh one, or perhaps more aptly from say , a Yorkshireman/Cornishman, you would really struggle to find the distinctions which exist between say, a German and a Frenchman.

    Now you can and doubtless will argue that this doesn’t matter, as long as Scots are able to think of themselves as a distinctive people and nation, and while I find that understandable to an extent, I think the shared British heritage and culture is far more an illustration of what people in Scotland believe in, just as with English people and Welsh people. 

    Effectively, Scottish independence seeks to kill in one fell swoop probably the greatest pluralist multiethnic state project ever embarked upon. My own subjective view is that a shared  identity built through empire, civil war, 2 world wars, the Napoleonic wars and 300 years of stability, probably has more to do with the formation of the modern Scottish person’s identity than does some idea being Scottish. 

    Values like democracy, individual liberty and rights, are British values, to which Scots, English,Welsh and Irish have all contributed equally. Had there been no UK, I find it difficult to believe Scotland would have evolved past the entrenched values of aristocracy, despotism, and clan based identity anywhere near as fast. 

    3. Geo-Political – as it stands Scots do reasonably well on the world stage. The last Prime Minister was Scottish, and through the UK Scotland gets a real voice in world affairs. Whatever the pessimists say, the UK is still the 6th biggest economy in the world, has a permanent seat on the UN Security Council (allowing it to veto any resolutions) and financially is a world hub. Scotland on its own will lose all the above, even the financial aspect – RBS and Bank of Scotland, while nominally Scottish and headquartered in Scotland, are run mainly by non Scots based in London. Also militarily the UK can project its will like only a few other nations. Scotland won’t ever have this power, will be a minnow on the world stage and will likely just be a joke.

    Scotland gets a really good deal as it is, one which is my view a little unfair on England. To change the current constitution, proven over history to be the world’s most stable for a major power, is in my view really stupid, short sighted and ill-planned.

    • Tearlach

      Well it’s the weekend, so I’ve had a chance to look at your thoughts, and if I’d been looking for an essay that purported to be from a confused Guardian reader who is still stunned by the election results of last month (and one feeling that we Scots are just, well, a bit – ungrateful), I’d have given you a A+, but unfortunately in the real world of modern Scottish Politics this is a definite fail.
       
      However full marks for trying, so lets just go through your points, highlight out where you have gone wrong, and suggest some further areas for study. I then look forward to next time.
       
      Point 1 – Economics. You argue that Scotland’s economy is growing more slowly than the rest of the UK, and therefore independence would be a bad thing for Scotland. This is known as the “Scottish Economy is a basket case” argument, and has been touted by Unionists for years.
       
      Except is wrong – have a look at other Government stats –
       
      http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Economy/GERS
       
      Which show Scotland – unlike the rest of the UK – running at a small surplus if the appropriate share of North Sea oil is taken into account. Your point about growth could be a red herring; Scotland and the UK have differing economies, and are at different stages of their growth cycles, though you are correct in one area, growth in Scotland has consistently lagged behind other parts of the UK. But in that you have – I suspect unwittingly – exposed the first basic flaw in the Unionists argument.
       
      If the Union is so good for Scotland, why is our economy lagging behind?
       
      Ah – small country, comes the reply, need the might of the UK to run a proper economy.
       
      So – Smaller countries can’t run successful economies? Err Singapore, New Zealand, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, even Luxembourg. Even Ireland and Iceland had booming economies before they decided to follow the UK and US models of banking de-regulation. So not that one then.
       
      So – The people of Scotland cannot run a successful economy. Interesting approach, one that the Labour and Tory parties have been pedalling for years – the too small and too stupid line. Except that no one can tell me why Scotland would be unique in the whole world in an inability to run our own economy – for  better – Singapore, New Zealand, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, even Luxembourg, or for worse, Ireland and Iceland.
       
      You have also fallen into the classic “because it’s always been it will always be” trap. In other words because the Scottish economy is weak, it always will be. Which is I’m afraid absolute rubbish. Structural problems with the Scottish Economy? No – swimming in natural resource, (even without oil). Well educated, skilled workforce, half decent infrastructure, but unfortunately part of the UK. That’s what is holding us back.
       
      You see that’s its clear that smaller EU and EFTA nations – such as Ireland, Finland, Sweden, Norway and even Iceland have many more fiscal and economic tools at their disposal to ensure that their populace are ready to face up to the challenges of developing modern, open, knowledge based economies than anything that can be seen coming out of Westminster. (And doing that without being burdened with the lame trappings of empire – two lame duck aircraft carriers anyone?).
       
      They can regulate their own banks (for better in the case of Norway, or for worse, in the case of Iceland and Ireland, but at least they can regulate their own banks) set Corporation Tax levels, invest the profits from a commodity – oil – in a high yield savings policy, or like the Danes use a public-private-community partnership to create a world lead in a Manufacturing industry like on-shore wind turbines.
       
      So it’s being in the UK that is holding back the Scottish economy. Oh and in case you were not aware current FM – Alex Salmond – is an economist, which you are happy to admit you are not, so I know where I’d be looking for advice. And its not you.
       
      Point 2 – what’s the point of swapping the pound for the Euro?
       
      A couple of points for clarification; current SNP policy is – as I understand it – to stay with Sterling until conditions are right for joining the euro. Ireland pegged its punt against Sterling for 60 or so years, so nothing new there. The right time to join the Euro will be a tricky one, but remember lots and lots of new accession countries have been ditching their own currencies and adopting the Euro in the last 10 years, so someone sees an advantage in that, despite what you see as the Franco-Germanic focus of the currency. 
       
      Interestingly on the subject of a separate Scottish currency, its worth reading the McCrone report, a dossier written in 1974 by Professor Gavin McCrone, a leading government economist, for the Conservative UK government into the viability of an independent Scotland. The report concluded that North Sea oil revenue would have given an independent Scotland one of the strongest currencies in Europe and a large tax surplus. It went on to say that officials advised government ministers on how to take “the wind out of the SNP sails”. The incoming Labour administration classified the document as secret over fears it could give a further boost to the SNP’s policy of Scottish independence. And there is another 40 years of oil in the North Sea, and huge deepwater reserves west of the Hebrides. So a strong Scottish currency, backed by oil (err like the Norwegian Krona, not much international speculation there), is not just something of science fiction.
       
      Point 3. Scotland has far more in common with England than with any other country in the world – even Ireland and Wales. Gaelic in Scotland is almost dead, whereas at least in Ireland it retains some sort of status and in Wales it has c. half a million speakers.
       
      Bingo! This is where you show your total lack of research and understanding of Scotland (and the UK in fact). I also think that we need a common starting point, and mine is that Scotland and England are nations within a state. That state – the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (to give it its Sunday name) is pretty unique in the world of nation states. That’s because it’s not a real Nation state, in the sense that anyone else would understand. It’s a state OK – the UK, but made up of two Kingdoms (England, Scotland), a Principality (Wales) and a Province (Northern Ireland). Wales’s status is by far the weakest, as it’s a conquered province that for 700 years that has been almost fully assimilated into England for most things legal, educational and political. Like Quebec and Catalonia.
       
      But the key issue is that Scotland – and England (and clearly Ireland in the context of the islands of Great Britain and Ireland) – remain – separate nations within a political union. Harry Reid in a Herald article back in 2008 detailed this quite succinctly, albeit in a Scottish context. It’s worth a read – http://tinyurl.com/5ezlxx If you do not accept this as a starting point, fine, but I’d be interested in your definition of the UK.
       
      I’d argue that if you consider Scotland as a region of the UK, so logically is England, and Wales, with all the problems that brings, (and no you cannot just argue that Scotland is just a region of a bigger country that is England/Britain, but as someone who lives in Wales, I suspect that its not a argument you would follow. Perhaps.)
       
      But Scotland and England, are separate Nations within that State – with separate legal, religious, education and political systems. Always have since 1707. When you look at the things that differentiate people, I’d argue that folk in England, Wales and the Republic of Ireland (a separate country, with a seat at UN) have much more in common than Scotland, and these other parts of the Islands of Britain and Ireland.
       
      Why? As they all share common legal systems (Irelands is simply English law and practice continued) based on Common Law, rather than Scottish Roman Law, they share similar educational systems (Scotland has entirely separate qualifications, schools, curriculum, indeed a quite separate philosophical underlying basis for education as part of the common good.). Quite different churches – Presbyterian, Lutheran and Calvinist in the case of Scotland, once based on the people choosing their own Minister, and having no hierarchy at all. Quite quite different from an Anglican or Catholic Church. We read different newspapers, listen to different radio stations, so to say that there is a common Britain underlying everything we do is simply wrong.
       
      But does that matter, as we share things like the BBC and a single car tax system? Taking your argument to the next level, Sweden, Denmark and Norway share a common language base, a 1000 years of common history, common legal, educational and political systems, even a common airline, so they should be a single country? The Baltic States – part of Russia, then Poland, then the USSR, only ever independent for a couple of decades in the 20’s and 30’s? Finland – 600 years part of Russia, then 200 part of Sweden, how dare they think of itself as an independent country? Err Canada, part of the USA or the UK – you choose. Ireland? Has a lot more in common with England than anywhere else, so it should be clamouring to rejoin the UK? Now do you see how ridiculous you are sounding?
       
      And lets go back to that Gaelic point. That comment shows your basic ignorance of Scotland and Scottish Nationalism. I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt as you live in Wales, where nationalism is defined through language. Like Quebec, the Basque country and Catalonia, all exclusive nationalism, ie so if you do not speak the language by and large you are not Welsh, Basque or Catalonian.

      Nationalism in Scotland is civic and inclusive, if you live in Scotland, you are Scottish. Period. That’s why when the new MSP’s were sworn in a few weeks ago the oaths were taken in English, Scots, Gaelic, Urdu, and Italian.
       
      Indeed I could draw you a graph showing the decline in Gaelic and Scots having a direct correlation with the growth of Scottish Nationalism. Paradoxical? Yes, but which party has been at the forefront of efforts to develop, support and grow Scotland’s two languages? Aye the SNP. And which parties belittle, diminish and insult these languages. I’ll leave you to guess.
       
      Point 4 – Scottish nationalism will demean Britain.
       
      Or as you put it “Effectively, Scottish independence seeks to kill in one fell swoop probably the greatest pluralist multiethnic state project ever embarked upon.”
       
      The “greatest pluralist multiethnic state project ever embarked upon”? The UK? Do me a favour. The USSR perhaps, or even Nigeria. But the UK? A little group of islands on the NW of Europe with less than 60M people the greatest multiethic state project ever embarked on?  Compared to the USA or China the UK is as multiethic as France, Portugal or the Netherlands, ie Multiethnic as a legacy of long failed empires.
       
      I think this is where your real issues come out. Scottish independence will mean the end of the UK (and actually that means the end of England as Britain), and you seem not to be comfortable with that. And your Welsh.
       
      You are bit angry, discomforted; your comfortable view of the world, and your place in that world is under threat. Things you thought fixed have moved, people you thought you knew have suddenly told you things that you do not want to here.
       
      Well tough. I don’t care.
       
      I’m that part of a marriage that has realised that I’ve been living a lie for a long time. Not abused, but just worn down, told I’m not worthy, told I cannot stand on my own two feet, told that I need my partner, need their wage, need their support, and that tough love is best for both of us.
       
      Well Scotland has just woken up, and discovered that we have been living a lie for a long long time. Its time to move out and move on, despite the sniffles of our spurned partner.
       
      I want what is best for me, my family, my community, my city and my country. And that means a modern Scandinavian Scotland, looking outwards, building on what is best of our Scottish and British identity. I want a Scotland that is looking forward, not stuck in your mindset of empire and “past the entrenched values of aristocracy, despotism, and clan based identity”.  I’m very comfortable with the good things that the UK has brought Scotland, and I’m proud of my Dad’s little bit in defeating Fascism in WW2, but why should I let misty eyed romanticism about the past get in the way of a proper future for my country.
       
      Post imperial Britain? – get over it and grow up.
       
      And Finally – Point 5 – “as it stands Scots do reasonably well on the world stage. The last Prime Minister was Scottish, and through the UK Scotland gets a real voice in world affairs.”
       
      This one always cracks me up. Please explain to me how Scotland gets a better deal on the world stage as the forgotten part of the UK, as opposed to having our own seat in the UN and as a full member of the EU? Go on, I’m dying to know. Being able to argue purely Scottish interests in international treaties and EU policies on things such as Fishing, Oil and Renewables, rather than through the interests of a London centric UK which sees these things as marginal and bargaining points for “real issues”.
       
      Oh and while you are at it please tell me how the citizens of Norway, Denmark or New Zealand are so disadvantages by not having a UN security council seat. What resolutions were they not able to veto that damaged them?. Where have they lost out, and where has Scotland gained? Just one example eh?  Oh and Scotland as a military minnow. Brilliant, just bring it on. No Nukes, no weekly deaths from Central Asia and I’d love Scotland to be like Ireland and Norway, fully participating in UN Peacekeeping, rather than invading other countries.  And I will not mention illegal wars, oh sorry I just did. Damn.
       
      And Gordon Brown was Scottish? Err no, last time I looked he was a British politician, who never referred to himself as Scottish, even when pushed (he says he was born in North Britain actually). And your argument suggests that Scotland only benefits when the PM is Scottish, so logically we are at a disadvantage on the world stage when the PM is English or Welsh? Is that really what you are saying?
       
      So “Scotland gets a really good deal as it is, one which is my view a little unfair on England.” And you say you’re Welsh. Mmmm.
       
      Two points here, which I’d be grateful for an answer:-
       
      -If Scotland is getting such a great deal out the Union, why did we just elect an SNP Government with an overwhelming mandate for a referendum on independence?
       
      -If the Union is so unfair on England, why are you not out campaigning for English Independence?
       
      Look forward to marking your essay next week. I hope it’s more than “could do better”.

  • Burnie

    How funny…pushing for independence just to turn around and be absorbed into the European Union, or are you pushing for freedome from Europe as well?

    • http://www.farlie.co.uk Charlie Davidson

      Hi Burnie. I think Scotland would be stronger as part of the EU in exactly the same way the UK is. Cheers Charlie.

  • Richard

    “You can be British, European, but still belong to a independent Scotland.”

    Er, no, that’s precisely the point.  Britain and Britishness as currently defined would cease to exist, as would common citizenship.

    • http://www.farlie.co.uk Charlie Davidson

      I disagree Richard. Britain is an island and a culture. Scotland will always be British, as is England and Wales. You’re surely thinking of the UK?

      • Edward Feast

        Right there you have just undermined your arguament by saying “scotland will always be british”, the SNP as it would seem are fighting to simply dissrupt the economic situation that the UK sits in, it always has, was it not the mass majority of scottish unions that put the UK in a worse situation during the 1980’s hmmmm. look so far as i am concerned Scotland has its independance it is a country in its own right with as you said “its own culture, people and history”, it has a government that have a party suggesting referendum iin the first place, there is even a border between us and yet still some
        Scottish people can do is complain and say that the English are bastards thanks… twat!  

        • http://www.farlie.co.uk Charlie Davidson

          Why? An independent Scotland would still be part of the British Isles, just not the United Kingdom.. In the same way we are all European, Scots would still belong to the British Isles.

          You’ve almost hit the nail on the head. Scotland is a country but is governed by Westminster. The key arguement by pro-independence is that Scotland would benefit more from governing itself fully. So it’s not currently independent.

          Finally, when have I said anything negitive towards the English (or other home nations)? I love England and the majority of things about it. Some folk spoil it and take things to far. But maybe that’s from both sides Edward – you charming gentleman.

  • http://www.farlie.co.uk Charlie Davidson

    I disagree Richard. Britain is an island and a culture. Scotland will always be British, as is England and Wales. You’re surely thinking of the UK?

    • http://www.farlie.co.uk Charlie Davidson

      Why? An independent Scotland would still be part of the British Isles, just not the United Kingdom.. In the same way we are all European, Scots would still belong to the British Isles.

      You’ve almost hit the nail on the head. Scotland is a country but is governed by Westminster. The key arguement by pro-independence is that Scotland would benefit more from governing itself fully. So it’s not currently independent.

      Finally, when have I said anything negitive towards the English (or other home nations)? I love England and the majority of things about it. Some folk spoil it and take things to far. But maybe that’s from both sides Edward – you charming gentleman.

  • Kadie

    Hi, I am a Erskine and Yes for Inderpendence. GOD BLESS the King!

  • Mwilly2

    I struggle with the main thrust of the above arguments. It appears that the underlying longing for independance is ‘ Cos we fancy it ‘ ,

    • http://www.farlie.co.uk Charlie Davidson

      I think ‘Cos we fancy it’ is a cheap way of looking at it. If you agree with economical aspects or not, I think my main argument is about Scotland governing her own affairs. If the majority of Scotland agrees or not, well, we’ll see in 2014.

  • Mwilly2

    I struggle with the main thrust of the above arguments. It appears that the underlying longing for independance is ‘ Cos we fancy it ‘ ,

    • http://www.farlie.co.uk Charlie Davidson

      I think ‘Cos we fancy it’ is a cheap way of looking at it. If you agree with economical aspects or not, I think my main argument is about Scotland governing her own affairs. If the majority of Scotland agrees or not, well, we’ll see in 2014.

  • Jordan

    surely if Scotland becomes independent we would become much like the republic of Ireland which is not British?

    • http://www.farlie.co.uk Charlie Davidson

      Hi Jordan,

      The Republic of Ireland is part of Ireland and so is indeed not British. Britain is an island made up of Scotland, Wales, and England. That’s why you’re passport says Great Britain and Northern Island. See Wikipedia entry here:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Britain

      Cheers
      Charlie

  • Jordan

    surely if Scotland becomes independent we would become much like the republic of Ireland which is not British?

    • http://www.farlie.co.uk Charlie Davidson

      Hi Jordan,

      The Republic of Ireland is part of Ireland and so is indeed not British. Britain is an island made up of Scotland, Wales, and England. That’s why you’re passport says Great Britain and Northern Island. See Wikipedia entry here:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Britain

      Cheers
      Charlie

  • Stuart

    Charlie

    Interesting site. Presumably living and working in England you wont get a vote on it anyway whereas any one ( including many non Scots) on the electoral roll in Scotland will. A couple of comments.

    North Sea oil will never come under Scotlands control. It just wont happen and everyone knows that. I understand that plain Fred’s RBS of course would continue to be the UK’s problem, depite Salmonds “Good luck with the bid” love not to Fred.  It’s all very well having a First Minister cherry picking what he wants but that is typical of Salmonds style.

    What everyone forgets is this whole idea of independence is one mans idea alone. Salmonds. A typical politician who craves power above all else. You only have to listen to the Scottish Parliament to realise the paucity of talent in a nation where 1 in 4 of the population works for the state.

    I know from an Estate Agent friend of mine that he has had two houses sales in the past week because Scots fear waht will happen should Scotland gain independence. A repeat of the Highland Clearances as Scots seek work elsewhere.

    As indeed you have

    • http://www.farlie.co.uk Charlie Davidson

      Thanks for your comment Stuart. I work for a private Scottish company, in a southern satellite office, so like to think I still contribute to the Scottish economy – but you’re indeed right that I’ve migrated down south.

      I can see why you raise the points on Salmond. His large character often draws the spotlight and makes party policies seem like personal causes – which they probably are. However, as he actually has a stronger positive rating in the opinion polls than the SNP party, I’d be curious to see if this is actually a bad thing..

      Your oil point is the big one huh? My own opinion is a hypothetical independent Scotland would have to split it’s portion of assets and debts with the rest of the UK. I’d guess in some situations this would be by population percentage, e.g. the deficit. But oil is a geographical thing and I can’t see how it couldn’t be transferred across. It would be like Westminster claiming the Pentland Firth for itself so it could profit from the tidal energy it produces.

      If you’re right though, and the oil wasn’t transferred, I think an independent Scotland would struggle.

      • Stuart

        Good response Charlie. I migrated south 20 years ago and will probably remain although half my family still live there. Oil is not really the big one. It is a finite resource after all. Scotland has contributed so much in the past to the world at large,TV, telephone penecillin, steam engines etc- out of all proportion to its size and population, but it has done so on the coat tails of a powerful British Empire, which although diminished still punches well above its weight. I am just not sure if Scotland going it alone will realistically be a nation that will make a mark on the World. Although maybe self governenace is more important to some people than making an impression. I just hope it doesnt become a charicature of itself, with toursim the main industry served by men in kilts all based on Queen Victoria’s romantic notion of Scotland.

  • Stuart

    Charlie

    Interesting site. Presumably living and working in England you wont get a vote on it anyway whereas any one ( including many non Scots) on the electoral roll in Scotland will. A couple of comments.

    North Sea oil will never come under Scotlands control. It just wont happen and everyone knows that. I understand that plain Fred’s RBS of course would continue to be the UK’s problem, depite Salmonds “Good luck with the bid” love not to Fred.  It’s all very well having a First Minister cherry picking what he wants but that is typical of Salmonds style.

    What everyone forgets is this whole idea of independence is one mans idea alone. Salmonds. A typical politician who craves power above all else. You only have to listen to the Scottish Parliament to realise the paucity of talent in a nation where 1 in 4 of the population works for the state.

    I know from an Estate Agent friend of mine that he has had two houses sales in the past week because Scots fear waht will happen should Scotland gain independence. A repeat of the Highland Clearances as Scots seek work elsewhere.

    As indeed you have

    • http://www.farlie.co.uk Charlie Davidson

      Thanks for your comment Stuart. I work for a private Scottish company, in a southern satellite office, so like to think I still contribute to the Scottish economy – but you’re indeed right that I’ve migrated down south.

      I can see why you raise the points on Salmond. His large character often draws the spotlight and makes party policies seem like personal causes – which they probably are. However, as he actually has a stronger positive rating in the opinion polls than the SNP party, I’d be curious to see if this is actually a bad thing..

      Your oil point is the big one huh? My own opinion is a hypothetical independent Scotland would have to split it’s portion of assets and debts with the rest of the UK. I’d guess in some situations this would be by population percentage, e.g. the deficit. But oil is a geographical thing and I can’t see how it couldn’t be transferred across. It would be like Westminster claiming the Pentland Firth for itself so it could profit from the tidal energy it produces.

      If you’re right though, and the oil wasn’t transferred, I think an independent Scotland would struggle.

      • Stuart

        Good response Charlie. I migrated south 20 years ago and will probably remain although half my family still live there. Oil is not really the big one. It is a finite resource after all. Scotland has contributed so much in the past to the world at large,TV, telephone penecillin, steam engines etc- out of all proportion to its size and population, but it has done so on the coat tails of a powerful British Empire, which although diminished still punches well above its weight. I am just not sure if Scotland going it alone will realistically be a nation that will make a mark on the World. Although maybe self governenace is more important to some people than making an impression. I just hope it doesnt become a charicature of itself, with toursim the main industry served by men in kilts all based on Queen Victoria’s romantic notion of Scotland.

  • Retiredsp

    Am I not understanding this? I seem to be reading that because Scotland is attached to England, it should be English? Anyone that takes that position will have to argue that ANY nation attached to another nation by virtue of being on the same continent, should be one. I believe, given the fair opportunity and a fair market, Scotland can, and should, sustain itself as an independent nation. If that means a war with England, that would be sad, but that’s how many nations BECOME independent. I am of Scottish heritage, and proud of that of that…but I am an American….I would support Scottish independence!   Great blog….is there a facebook page to like for this?

  • Mack Peter46

    England Ireland SCOLAND Wales-please

  • Russelldavid61

    we wont get 
    Scottish independence as long as the SNP are in charge do you know what the easyest thing in scotland to buy alex salmond

  • Chris

    I am English and think that Scotland should have full independence should they want it, I read some posts about England spending billions on defence also at a cost to Scotish tax payer, if I am correct then wouldn’t that mean our armed forces protect the whole of the UK and help pay for the scots guards etc.
    I hope that should the Scots gain independence then they go there own way totally and if it works out then great but should the proverbial ever hit the fan and Scotland or Europe if they join goes into serious decline we must stand firm and watch them sink into oblivion without bailing them out, I am pretty sure through wealth and good times most Scots living in England will head home but shoe on other foot they will jump ship and flood England.

    I hope they understand you can’t have your cake and eat it…