Posted by DeadAnarchistPhil on May 11, 2011
The Scottish National Party (SNP) won a majority of 69 seats in the Scottish Parliament! Now there’s talk of Independence? Before I get on to that, can I just say that the SNP only won so many seats for two reasons which were:
1 – It was about leader popularity and not policy
2 – The People of Scotland were fed-up with Labour and the Lib-Dems
I’ve heard and read a lot of people calling Scotland a “Drain on England’s resources.” and “We [the english] subsidise Scotland!” This isn’t 100% true! The UK Government takes all of Scotland’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and uses some of it to subsides some other parts of England and the UK, the same way it does with English GDP. The fact is that if Scotland was to go independent then Its GDP would be slightly higher than that of England’s because they’d have 90% of North Sea Oil and Gas.
This doesn’t mean Scotland is a victim here, it is part of a Union, the same as other nations inside of it, and money is dished out accord to population, and Scotland has a population of about five million people, which is why they get a little less back in funds each year. But Scotland is still not getting Its full amount. It’s said spending per head in Scotland is 20% higher than it is in the rest of the UK, which is true, but that money is spent of behalf of Scotland, and some it doesn’t make it to Scotland and goes elsewhere, mostly likely back to London.
So, I think it’s fair to say Scotland isn’t a burden on the UK and nor does England subsidise it, in fact Scotland has been helping to subsidises the UK, but this is nothing new and has always happened, but Scotland does not fund the UK as much as the Scottish Nationalist make out.
It’s also fair to say if Scotland did leave the Union that the UK and England would be fine! Yes, the UK would lose a lot of GDP, but we’d still be OK. The idea we’d sink over night is absurd. But Scotland does have legitimate grievances for leaving, the biggest is the squandering of the North Sea Oil by successive UK Governments, misplaced funds and a misconception that Scotland is some kind of leech on the rest of the UK.
My personal Opinion is that we’re stronger together, than we are apart! Yes, both nations would go on fine if we separated, but we’d be nowhere near as strong in the world together as we are now. Heres why:
We’re currently the Nation with the 3rd largest military budget and a world power, yes, maybe secondary, but still a power. We currently have the power to resist political pressure from the EU, USA and even China because we have our combined economic, military and cultural strengths. Apart? Well, we’re going to get sucked in to the European Union, if that isn’t there we’ll be pawns of either the U.S, China or one of the other large emerging economic powers like Brasil, Russia or India.
The above isn’t fearmongering, which is what the SNP would have you believe, nor is it impossible, it’s what will happen at some point because the world’s political and economic power structure is rapidly changing from West to East. And the Nations of the UK, whether together or apart, will come under increasing economic and political pressure from other world powers, but together, we can resist that.
Of course if the Union stays together is a matter for the people of Scotland. And to be honest, seeing the Pro-Union side consisting of David Cameron and his party, Ed Miliband and his party as well as the Leb-Dems with the background of financial turmoil caused by Economic cuts, the Scottish electorate will vote for independence in three to four years. Who wouldn’t vote “YES!” with Union activists like the above?
I forgot the issue of Scotland leaving the British Union and then joining the European Union. What is the difference between the British Union and European one? At least in the British one you have more freedom and wont be federalised, which is what will happen with the EU within the next three decades. And when you’re locked in to the European Union it’ll really hurt for any country to leave because the EU will make it harder for any outside of the EU to do business within the EU (That’s a forced incentive to join). Scotland as well as England may not be able to leave or resist an EU looking for federation (more control and political union) if we’re apart. Of course, the SNP would call this ‘fear mongering’ again, but it is truth.
We need a whole new political structure for the country, we need a British Confederation of States, one where each constituent nation has its own Parliament with a main westminster parliament that looks after limited taxation, military and foreign policy. That way the Union works for the individual nations, and not the other way around.
This could be the new British Confederation flag. I think Wales should be represented on it to.