Friday, 28 March 2014

The Scottish Independence Referendum

Per head of population it seems to me that Scotland is over represented at Westminster. On top of that they have their own Parliament, with not inconsiderable powers. Not so long ago we had an unelected Scttish Prime Minister who bankrupted the country and whose minions left an apologetic note in the treasury before turning out the lights.

Scottish kids can get a free education where English, Welsh and Northern Irish kids can't. Scottish patients can get free prescriptions and access to some drugs which English, Welsh and Northern Irish patients cannot.

Whether you call this a United Kingdom or Great Britain it is not united because it isn't equal. The Scots claim the English have taken their oil. I've sailed across the North Sea and let me tell you those rigs are not in coastal waters, they're out there in the middle.

When Norway prospected for oil in the North Sea, they asked their neighbours the Swedes if they wanted to share in the adventure, the costs and the benefits. Sweden declined, Norway went ahead without them and solely reaped the benefits of their investment.

Great Britain also invested in exploration and drilling, not Scotland, Great Britain and all of us benefited, but most of the jobs were in hard done by Scotland.

Cameron promises a referendum on Europe and talks about leverage to get a better deal for Britain. I think the English, Welsh and Northern Irish should have a referendum on whether we want to stay with Scotland, perhaps that would give us the leverage to demand a fair deal for us on prescriptions, dentistry and educational equality.

Don't get me wrong. For the record I think Britain should stay in the EU on business grounds and that the break up of the United Kingdom would be a mistake for all concerned. Our grandparents and parents fought shoulder to shoulder with the Scots through two world wars, we were all brothers then, and we're a small group of islands, multi cultural but brothers and sisters nonetheless. I cannot understand why on earth sixteen year olds can vote in the Scottish referendum when they can't vote in a general election, if anyone's going to vote with their heart rather than their head it's a sixteen year old. One up for for the independence lot, and look out for multiple re runs of the Braveheart propaganda film.

So, if the Scots vote for independence the oil should be divided pro rata by population, because we all invested in it. Scotland should create its own currency, not try to claim ours and pick and choose the bits of independence they happen to like. If companies move south don't whinge about it. An independent Scotland should apply to join the EU and if they're considered too bad a risk then tough. But if they want to stay in a United Kingdom then we, the rest of us in this land should get our say and proper equality as should be our right now, today. Note Labour are promising to devolve still more power to Scotland as a carrot to get them to stay, ie even more inequality for the rest of us.

And where did all this Scottish angst come from? Norman Tebbit wasn't so far off the mark with his football test. If England aren't playing but Scotland, Wales or one of the Irish teams are I always root for the 'home' nation, but the Scots create the impression they'd sooner see anyone win than England.

I actually love Scotland and want to remain friends, but if we are to remain a United Kingdom then we should all live under the same laws and conditions, Scotland has had an unfair advantage for too long and now they want even more, it may not be politically correct to say so, but that's the truth of it.

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