Will Scots be swayed by fear and ignorance or can Batman save the day?

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By G.A.Ponsonby
 
Another week and another scare story.  Last week it was a report by Citigroup, now pretty much discredited, that provided the backdrop to tales of impending doom should Scots decide to take charge of their own destiny.
 
This week the claim is that an independent Scotland would face a 9 billion Euro bill if it wanted to stay in, or is that re-join, the EU.

By G.A.Ponsonby
 
Another week and another scare story.  Last week it was a report by Citigroup, now pretty much discredited, that provided the backdrop to tales of impending doom should Scots decide to take charge of their own destiny.
 
This week the claim is that an independent Scotland would face a 9 billion Euro bill if it wanted to stay, or is that re-join, the EU.

The prospect of Scots deciding that they have had enough of Westminster telling them what to do is indeed scary, but not for ordinary Scots who are relishing the chance to have their say. 

It is the Unionists who are terrified and their formulaic scare stories are already looking predictable.  The law of diminishing returns is kicking in, but alas they aren’t yet aware – the media continue to lull them into a false sense of security by obsequiously amplifying each and every tall tale.

The referendum’s illegal, the SNP are delaying, businesses are withholding investment and of course the ballot will be rigged.  It’s tripe of course as any half decent serious analysis will show – how for instance can keeping to a pre-election schedule be a delay?

But it’s the Euro bill that was this week’s biggy.  The Scotsman ran the initial story and our old pals at the BBC weren’t slow to pick up the baton when Reporting Scotland provided it’s usual in depth and balanced analysis of the spurious claim.

Here’s how the BBC ‘informed’ the ordinary non-politically minded viewer of the latest scare story.  Note the now ubiquitous ‘two Unionists for the price of one nationalist’ clips in the item.

 

As with the Citigroup story, the uninformed politically motivated guff had been promoted for several days before the actualities of Scotland’s EU prospects post-independence started to be aired.

No front pages or prime time TV slots for the informed though.  The academics who may have helped educate Scotland’s less than politically aware masses, including a good few Unionist politicians, were consigned to a newspaper opinion page and a Saturday morning radio show.

Just why is it that BBC Scotland consigns the best and most widely respected current affairs programme to a Saturday morning?  Surely with the independence debate now in full swing the state broadcaster would be eager to fill the ‘foundations of ignorance’ with a little ‘concrete fact’.

Can someone not arrange to swap Newsweek Scotland with the Shereen Nanjiani Sunday breakfast show?  Even better, give Derek Bateman an evening TV slot.  STV are poaching viewers with their own excellent four nightly current affairs show Scotland Tonight and the BBC will need to come up with something to counter their broadcast rival.

Anyway, for those of us who were able to catch the excellent Newsweek Scotland, hosted by the aforementioned Mr Bateman, the interview with Dr David Howarth provided an antidote to the latest propagation of uninformed drivel that is fast becoming the norm in the ‘referendum campaign’.

Dr Howarth’s finishing sentence in the interview pretty much destroys the absurd claim that an independent Scotland would face a €9 billion membership fee.

The Unionists are partly correct though when they say that there is no definitive procedure that would guarantee Scotland remaining in the EU.  However the accepted wisdom is that our continuation within the Union (European that is) is as guaranteed as it can be.

After all, the conditions contained in the 1707 act of Union have been traduced many times over by Westminster, but thus far I don’t hear any Unionists proclaiming Scotland is no longer a constituent partner.

The worst case EU scenario seems to be that both Scotland and England (with Wales and Northern Ireland) would have the same status and some minor administrative renegotiations would take place.

An EU that would place obstacles in the way of the remainder of the UK, with a population of 50 million, and/or Scotland with its vast natural resources exists only in the minds of Unionist politicians and curiosity challenged media commentators

Next week it will be another scare story.  Already the Unionists are preparing the ground for their attempted hijacking of Scotland’s democratic process.

The claims that the referendum will be rigged and businesses are concerned about a delay is simply a way of softening up the Scottish voter for the moment nice Mr Cameron grabs control of the referendum via the Scotland Bill.

We’ll be told what we can ask and when we can ask it.  Do you want Scotland to flourish within the wonderful blossoming 300 year old marriage or do you want to smash Britain to pieces and never see the outside world again?

Then it will be a formality as ex-BBC presenter and saviour of the Union, Ruth Davidson, is anointed First Minister of Scotland.

Only caped crusader Bateman can save us – well, Bateman does sound a bit like Batman – tenuous I know.