By Mark McNaught
If there there any lingering doubt, then disclosures over the past months have obliterated the pretension that Scotland is an equal partner within the Union, and that the UK is ‘Better Together’.
It is now clear that Westminster views Scotland as a mere colony to exploit, is contemptuous of Scots, insults their intelligence, and has erected monumental lies to keep Scots cowering with fear from seeking self-determination.
As someone who has not lived in Scotland, I was initially amazed that more Scots would not immediately leap at the opportunity to vote ‘yes’ for independence. Americans achieved their independence from Westminster arbitrary rule over two centuries ago through war. How could Scotland not bloodlessly vote for self-governance and autonomy for many of the same reasons?
The more I have spoken with Scots and assessed their attitudes towards independence, the more I have detected a national inferiority complex which is sustained by big lies. Fortunately, those lies are being demolished by online media.
Perhaps the most monumental lie has been that Scotland’s oil is a ‘volatile’ commodity that only the UK can properly manage with its ‘broad shoulders’ and ‘deep pockets’. According to this line of argument, Scotland is too feeble and weak to deal with fluctuating prices on a commodities market.
The McCrone Report had shown this to be an utter lie. The ‘volaility’ of oil prices currently fluctuates in a range which is consistently over $100 a barrel, currently $110. Since when is high oil prices for an oil producing country an economic disadvantage?
Why, contrary to every other country which has discovered oil in their territory and waters, has Scotland become poorer. Billions have been spent in London for the M25, HS1, Canary Wharf, the Jubilee Line extension, and Crossrail, with mere crumbs for the rest of the UK.
Then, we had George Osborne’s ‘Sermon on the Pound’, threatening to deprive Scots of their own currency. This threat was purportedly on the advice of Treasury Permanent Secretary Nicholas McPherson, which somehow held a currency union to be against the interests of the r-UK and Scotland. The Unionist parties were able to unite on threats, but not yet a consensus on increased devolved powers in the case of a ‘no’ vote. I guess that’s progress.
Not only have unnamed officials refuted this threat, but its very logic is non-existent. How can any civil servant plausibly argue that a currency union after independence would not be the most logical, least disruptive, and simple solution after Scotland votes for independence?
Was Lloyds of London consulted, who owns RBS? Would businesses be in favour of higher transaction fees? Westminster will be brought to heel by the City if they ever did anything so stupid, and the Unionist parties know that.
Rather than cowering Scots into voting ‘No’, the currency threat clearly demonstrated the degree to which Westminster holds Scots in contempt, and that Scotland is but a mere colony within the UK. Why would any Scot want to stay in a union where they are obviously unwelcome, despite their 300-year contribution of taxes and lives in imperial wars?
Next, we have the disclosure of former Inland Revenue civil servant John Jappy, who explained the degree to which Scots were lied to for decades over their contribution to the UK budget. Far from being ‘subsidy junkies’, Scots have paid billions more into the Treasury than they have gotten out, even leaving petroleum revenue aside.
What is especially galling about his revelations is that he assumed that the truth would eventually come out, and that no lie could live forever. Apparently, Westminster can keep lies alive for decades, even centuries, and it is only through tenacious research that the truth can be found, often at personal risk to the whistleblower.
The monumental Westminster lies are being bulldozed, and the degree to which the British State has become a London-based slush-fund is increasingly evident.
It raises the question as to what other big lies and cover-ups the British state has perpetrated: from the lead up to the Iraq war to nuclear waste dumps in Scotland, to many more.
Upon independence, it is imperative that a constitution mandate total transparency in all state functions, all reports must be made available for public scrutiny, and all taxation, budgets, expenditure must be publicly posted online.
In the 1970s when the McCrone report was written, it could be typed on a typewriter and kept in a filing cabinet away from public view, in total secrecy.
The Scottish government must assure that they never become as institutionally mendacious as Westminster for independence to be ultimately worthwhile. If not, Scots will not have the clean, transparent government they so richly deserve.