Archive | February, 2014

Out of Touch Cameron Begs rUK to Lovebomb Scotland

8 Feb

Having had time to think through the “wee feartie’s” speech, delivered from the safety of London, here are my thoughts:

This Government has set out a long-term economic plan for Britain, getting behind enterprise, dealing with our debts, a plan to give the people of this country peace of mind and security for the future.

I’m sure that for his pals from Eton and the Bullington Club, there is peace of mind and security for the future, but for too many there is no peace of mind or security for the future as they face unemployment, foodbanks, bedroom tax and the hounding of the weakest and most vulnerable in society.  While that may be acceptable to Tories – there are more Pandas in Scotland than Tory MPs – it is not acceptable to the majority of Scots who have rejected the Tories in both Westminster and Holyrood.

He also ignored the fact that the economic benefits of independence have been repeatedly shown to be greater than those of remaining in the UK (eg see the FT article, OECD Factbook), especially given that the Westminster parties have said that they will scrap the Barnett Formula in the event of a NO vote and the promise of further £25bn of austerity cuts.  Missing was any mention of oil, which if the Barnett Formula is scrapped (as Westminster have stated is their wish), will add greatly to UK finances as little will get back to Scotland.

While Britain may have greater clout in the world, it doesn’t extend to Scotland as the democratic will of the Scottish people is negated by the in-built majority and centrality of the interests of the city-state of London.   As DEVO Max was removed by Cameron from the options, the only way for Scotland to get more powers is to vote YES in September.  Furthermore, an independent Scotland would have twice as many MEPs as it currently has, thus, in Europe our clout is actually reduced by membership of the UK.  Either way, there is a hypocrisy in the attitude of Cameron regarding his desire to keep Scotland in the UK with no renegotiation, but his willingness to take the UK out of the EU if he does not get the renegotiations he wants from the other 28 member states.

The only threat to “connections between people”, connexions which existed long before the Acts of Union in 1707, comes from the Unionist side who claim that we will be expelled from the EU, NATO, etc, that they want to erect border posts and treat Scots  as “foreigners” if they dare to vote for the right to run their own affairs .  Despite Portugal winning her independence from Spain, Norway breaking free from Denmark, Belgium rejecting Dutch rule, or even British-American relations, there are still marriages, families in the other country, trade and joint defence between  each of these nations.  It should also be remembered that Scotland and England’s separate history is as long as their joint history.

As for the impact of UK culture, in my experience (especially from abroad), it is that so called “British” culture  is principally “English culture” to which the rest of the home nations are meekly expected to conform.  This view is borne out by the Prime Minister’s claim that his favourite childhood book, which he is so desperate to pass on his 3 children, was “Our Island Story”, which is in fact subtitled  “A History of England for Boys and Girls“.   This glaring Freudian slip reveals how Cameron really views Scotland – as a part of  England; and Britain as merely England writ large.  This view is not something that is likely to make Scots wish to remain in the UK!

Cameron’s listing of UK-wide institutions and icons is equally suspect.

The  BBC, which  has shown    itself to be a  tool of the  Westminster  government  through its  biased reporting  of the  independence debate thus far, as has now been demonstrated by the independent research carried out by the University of the West of Scotland, is losing the respect of the Scottish people along with the English owned “National” press.

The NHS is not UK-wide and never has been.  Scotland has (and always has had) a completely separate NHS from England & Wales – the only way that the Scottish NHS can be protected is through voting YES; and the armed forces have, in Scotland, been disproportionately cut in relation to other parts of the UK under Cameron’s government.  In fact, it has recently been revealed that the MoD is reduced to using Twitter to obtain information about Scottish coastal waters.   Let us not forget that, during the time of his mentor, Thatcher, the only successful British Steel plant, Ravenscraig, was closed to try and save English Tory votes.

And just since when has Scotch Whisky been a British cultural icon?  The name Scotch makes it clear that it is a Scottish icon (like the kilt and the bagpipes!).  While we are on the subject of whisky, there was more nonsense about British Embassies promoting it (they did nothing for St Andrew’s Day last year and charge for promotion days!);  it is clear that Cameron’s real interest is the £135/sec that Scotch Whisky brings to the UK Balance of Trade, which EWNI will lose if Scotland becomes independent.

Hypocritically, Call me Dave has the audacity to quote Mandela, a man his party wanted hanged as a terrorist, who said,  “I have great respect for British political institutions, and for the country’s system of justice. I regard the British Parliament as the most democratic institution in the world…”.  Mandela made that comment in 1964, long before the merging of policy which made the Conservative and Labour parties almost indistinguishable; before the exceptionally punitive sentencing of English rioters in 2011; and he never had to live in Scotland under that “most democratic institution” where the electoral will of the people is ignored in favour of English voters.  Of course, in comparison to the South African institutions and systems that imprisoned Mandela, his comments are understandable. Cameron’s speech makes me think that an alternative view, from a 19th century member of the House of Commons, is more apposite: “…that smuggest and most Philistine of legislative assemblies – the British House of Commons.” [1]

Yet again Cameron trotted out the spurious, negatively emotive “separation” in an attempt to imply that the aim of independence is alienation rather than the very normal desire for “self-determination” which is what independence is actually about.   As a great man once said: “Every nation since the beginning of the world, has preferred, and rightly, indifferent government by one of its own citizens, to any rule, however beneficial, imposed from the outside.” [2]   How much more preferable when the Scottish government is so much better than the far from beneficial one imposed by Westminster?  Dave’s reiterating his plaintive dirge that the decision would “be forever” is meaningless as I cannot find any country in the world, which once having gained independence, has begged to return to their previous vassal state.

As for his phone a friend plea: he couldn’t sound more desperate and more out of touch if he tried (notice that the first question was about the flooding in Somerset, showing how little independence matters to the average non-Scot).  Little wonder the Better Together campaign cringe whenever Cameron opens his mouth on the topic of Scottish Independence and are so supportive of his refusal to debate with Salmond, who, after all, doesn’t have to quote Mandela or embarrassingly mimic Martin Luther King, to get his message across.

To reduce a country as ancient and proud as Scotland to a mere brand, even the suppposedly “powerful brand” UK, is to add insult to injury! Currently, Scotland is so submerged in the  GB that it is almost as invisible to the rest of the world as the waters of the River Tweed are to a casual observer 5 miles out into the North Sea! and that will always be the case when the smug, self-satisfied, Westminster elite confound Britain with England as Cameron does.

The plain fact is that, without Scotland, EWNI’s place in the world would be diminished, but Scotland’s would be enhanced.  Cameron knows this and it gives him the collywobbles.

[1]  R B Cunninghame Graham, “A Plea” in The Nail and Chainmakers, Labour Platform Series (1888)

[2]   R B Cunninghame Graham, “José Antonio Páez“, London: William Heinemann (1929), p 217

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