Springingtiger's Blog

Where Now For Scotland?

The campaign for a free democratic Scotland has begun, but it must be remembered that the SNP’s vision is not the only one, and that the future of an independent Scotland will be determined by the people of Scotland, not by the SNP. I am very much of the opinion that, while the SNP is right to push for independence, its vision is flawed and those considering voting “No” because they don’t like the SNP should consider voting “YES” to freedom so that they can actively determine the freedom of Scotland.

The “No” campaign who want to keep us under the control of the English Parliament and their allies in Europe, who wish to exploit our resources, are adamant that we will not be automatically accepted into the European Union. The SNP, somewhat embarrassingly, are desperate to exchange Westminster’s rule for Brussels. The question of whether we want to apply to be in Europe should be put, after Independence, to the Scottish people. Countries outside Europe do not necessarily have to fade away and there is no reason why we cannot thrive as the Scandinavians have.

When we are free of both Europe and the UK we can close our fishing grounds to Europe, like Iceland. We can allow our fisherman, whose attitude to maintaining fish stocks ecologically is responsible and based on a realistic, on the spot assessment of the situation, to fish responsibly. Without the depredations of European factory fishing fleets our fish stocks will be safer. It will also be for us to determine how our resources are used, England is gloating that they have drained much of our oil stocks, we need freedom to preserve what we have and develop future resources for the good of Scotland and not to subsidise a spendthrift UK government. I suggest that one of the first actions of a free Scotland should be to take into public ownership all energy resources and supply to stop further foreign profiteering. Under English rule we have lost our engineering, shipbuilding, steel and coal industries, if we are to have an industrial future we need to be free of Westminster. The hatred of Scotland that led Margaret Thatcher’s government to allow the destruction of our industries, use us as a testing ground for unpopular policies like the Poll tax, and destroy the most effective Regional administration in Europe is symptomatic of the Conservative party’s attitude to scotland over the last couple of hundred years; as long as we are under an English parliament we will have to endure the vicious anti Scottish racism of so many of its politicians.

England says we could not keep the pound. As a sovereign nation we will be able to call our currency what we like and determine its value against other currencies. I would suggest that a free Scottish Government might lower the value of the pound to boost Scottish Exports. As well as devaluation might we not also lower our business rates and taxes to well below the European averages to encourage businesses to use Scotland as a convenient offshore base of operations.

We will need to put some investment into our two major airports and into shipping, however as we can see being an appendage of England is of no advantage to us. Westminster is determined to build high speed rail links within England, and equally determined not to extend them to Scotland. We have ports, we have airports, we can trade directly with Europe without the long drag through England. As a free independent nation we will have control of our own imports and exports and will be able to impose or lift such restrictions as we find expedient, without restriction from Brussels and London.

The “No” campaign and their English masters say that Scotland could not afford its own armed forces. I think more to the point is that we cannot afford the UK’s armed forces. We are paying Scottish taxes to feed the vanity of Westminster politicians determined to send troops, many of them Scottish, to wage unnecessary wars overseas. Even when not at war the bulk of defense spending is in the southeast of England, we derive little benefit from a UK military. There are alternatives to a standing army that may well be explored, country after country has won its freedom by the military action of armed civilians. Were we to replace our standing army with volunteer militias and extend a cadet force into every place of learning, Scotland would become a country ungovernable by an invader. As a free and independent country our military airbases and our deep water facilities will be for us to dispose of as we choose. It is common practise for countries to establish overseas bases in friendly countries. As a free independent country we will lease our bases to whomever we chose and there are plenty of countries who would welcome the opportunity to access air bases on the edge of Europe or deep ports on the North Atlantic.

It is argued that we must “cut our coat according to our cloth”. I think we must accept that we may have to restrict our public spending, but it will be our cloth and it is ourselves will be cutting it rather than having cuts forced upon us by the English. Of course, no longer being part of Europe we will have no obligation to provide benefits for non citizens which will reduce immigration and its costs as European economic migrants will rarely venture north of Carlisle. We will then be able like Australia and Canada to restrict immigration only to people we need to boost our human resources.

What about the Queen? The SNP are determined that she should remain head of state, but a free Scotland can choose to be a republic. It is reasonable to assume we will remain in the Commonwealth, particularly if the English oppose it, and the Queen is head of the Commonwealth, however it will be for the people of a free and independent Scotland to determine our political structures and to choose our head of state. Personally, despite being a republican, I’d sooner the Queen than President Salmond.

A “YES” vote will give us the freedom to determine our own future and, yes, make our own mistakes. A “no” vote will condemn us to continued government from a foreign country and to have their mistakes and incompetence inflicted upon us. I do not think accusing the “No” campaign of being traitors accomplishes anything of value, they believe that protecting the interests of English business and finance is important and they are entitled to their opinion, just as we are, but we do not need to stoop to their level of petty vilification. If we are to build a free and independent Scotland it must be a country where people are free and accepted for who they are along with their right to think as they choose. We have a right to build a country where are standards of behaviour are higher, our values cleaner and our aspirations purer, we do not have to accept the increasingly grubby and materialist standards of our southern neighbour. We can regain our freedom, let us also regain our dignity.


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