FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Britain’s Global Influence Undermined by Scottish Independence Call

Posh lad George Osborne headed north of the Border this week to tell the Scots how lucky they are to be ruled by Westminster.

That’s a bit like sending a Sunderland supporter into my native Newcastle to give a lecture in the hallowed grounds of St James’ Park about the finer points of the beautiful game!

Few on the south side like or trust the Chancellor of the Exchequer so I would question the motives of those who dispatched him to the North in the expectation he would receive a rousing welcome.

It’s already well known that there are more pandas in Scotland than Conservative MPs and now that the female in Edinburgh Zoo continues to show positive signs she’s pregnant it looks as though the only endangered species here are the Tories.

I say ‘here’ because this is where I made my home a couple of years ago and as a member of the Geordie Tribe I reckon we’re close enough to hold a valid opinion on independence.

In fact I’m quite sure, following the ruthless Tory-inspired destruction of the North East’s shipyards, coal and steel industries that if the vote for independence was extended 100 miles south it would be seized upon enthusiastically with both hands.

The boss class in the south has never done any favours to northerners and I expect most Scots feel exactly the same but at least they have a chance to do something about it now.

I can’t believe anyone was taken in by the nonsense which came tumbling out of Osborne’s mouth when he said Scots would be £2,000 better off if they voted ‘no’ in next year’s referendum.

Like all of the figures coming out of Westminster they need to be scrutinized very closely. My man with the abacus says the sum of £2,000 is per household and would not be realized for a full 30 years; in other words Osborne is promising Scots the square root of nowt.

Bearing in mind the appalling state of the education system in England he might be able to blind folk on his side of the Border, but in Scotland where there’s a superior system in place and no such thing as university fees it’s not that easy to pull the wool over the eyes of canny Scots.

Here’s a figure to consider though – it will cost £25 billion to replace the Trident nuclear system … imagine the extra burden to taxpayers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland should Scotland’s 5.3 million population opt out not to mention the mind-boggling costs of installing a new nuclear facility if the Prime Minister still wants to dine at the same table as other nuclear powers including America, Russia, France and China.

Not content with using dodgy maths, Osborne also claims that the United Kingdom could boost real incomes by as much as four per cent after 30 years … not convincing at all from a man who gets his monthly budget predictions wrong and failed to see the double dip recession coming.

Seriously, if the Westminster crew were that sincere why have they waited until now to plan a bright future for Scotland? The truth is while Northerners have often been regarded as an afterthought, Scotland hasn’t even appeared on their political scanner.

Traditionally the North and Scotland have been viewed as Labour strongholds so the Tories never really concerned themselves with our lives other than to loot, pillage and then destroy the once lucrative heavy industries, livelihoods and communities.

Eton-educated Osborne even said Scotland’s trade would collapse without the UK … the truth is Scotland would be a lot better off today if his ilk hadn’t taken an axe to the shipbuilding, mining and steel industries.

And if the Tories had worked out a way of siphoning off the oil, gas and whisky and shipping the Edinburgh Festival off to Chipping Norton they would have done it by now.

Labour has always taken the North and Scotland for granted and, since the toxic introduction of Blairism, the region has become even worse off.

It’s little wonder the Scottish National Party has done so well. The formula is simple; the SNP puts Scots first and that is something none of the London-based politicians can do, or even promise to do.

Now we are being told we are better together. Does anyone seriously believe that? I don’t see any of the dominions, colonies, protectorates or other territories which cut themselves free from British rule queuing up to return to once the largest empire in history.

If Scots do cut themselves free from the yoke of Westminster rule it will mean an end to nuclear weapons and all that it costs the Scottish taxpayer to keep the British PM dining at the table of the G7 and G8 countries.

It would mean an end to legislation designed to extract more money from the pockets of the working classes and those who can least afford pernicious inventions like the divisive bedroom tax. Cutting off the ball and chain that is the UK, Scotland would be able to continue to maintain a free education system, free medical prescriptions and guarantee the survival of the National Health Service here at least.

Having already stood up to America on several issues in recent years, Scotland has shown it is prepared to punch above its weight and will not be bullied by superpowers or cajoled into foolish military adventures demanded through so-called special relationships.

Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill stood firmly by his decision in August 2009 to release the terminally ill Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi to Libya on compassionate grounds. US president Barack Obama reacted angrily at the time as did the US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, this was further exacerbated when Scottish ministers later refused a demand to attend the US Senate hearing in July 2010.

And under the present Holyrood government there is no way Scottish lives would have been wasted or used as cannon fodder in Iraq or Afghanistan for imperialistic wars built on lies and deception.

The referendum is all about putting people before politics and that’s something the war-mongering, sleazy, expense-fiddling, out-of-touch cronies and posh kids in Westminster know nothing about.

Scotland’s withdrawal from the union will expose fully something many of us have known for years: one of the world’s oldest political democratic systems no longer exists. Britain is being ruled at the moment by a cabal of over-privileged rich blokes who form a coalition government not one single person voted for in the last General Election.

Come Referendum Day, my advice to the Scots is: “Get out now while you have a chance.”

Yvonne Ridley is a British journalist and a patron of Cageprisoners.

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
June 22, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Karl Grossman
Star Wars Redux: Trump’s Space Force
Andrew Levine
Strange Bedfellows
Jeffrey St. Clair
Intolerable Opinions in an Intolerant Time
Paul Street
None of Us are Free, One of Us is Chained
Edward Curtin
Slow Suicide and the Abandonment of the World
Celina Stien-della Croce
The ‘Soft Coup’ and the Attack on the Brazilian People 
James Bovard
Pro-War Media Deserve Slamming, Not Sainthood
Louisa Willcox
My Friend Margot Kidder: Sharing a Love of Dogs, the Wild, and Speaking Truth to Power
David Rosen
Trump’s War on Sex
Mir Alikhan
Trump, North Korea, and the Death of IR Theory
Christopher Jones
Neoliberalism, Pipelines, and Canadian Political Economy
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Why is Tariq Ramadan Imprisoned?
Robert Fantina
MAGA, Trump Style
Linn Washington Jr.
Justice System Abuses Mothers with No Apologies
Martha Rosenberg
Questions About a Popular Antibiotic Class
Ida Audeh
A Watershed Moment in Palestinian History: Interview with Jamal Juma’
Edward Hunt
The Afghan War is Killing More People Than Ever
Geoff Dutton
Electrocuting Oral Tradition
Don Fitz
When Cuban Polyclinics Were Born
Ramzy Baroud
End the Wars to Halt the Refugee Crisis
Ralph Nader
The Unsurpassed Power trip by an Insuperable Control Freak
Lara Merling
The Pain of Puerto Ricans is a Profit Source for Creditors
James Jordan
Struggle and Defiance at Colombia’s Feast of Pestilence
Tamara Pearson
Indifference to a Hellish World
Kathy Kelly
Hungering for Nuclear Disarmament
Jessicah Pierre
Celebrating the End of Slavery, With One Big Asterisk
Rohullah Naderi
The Ever-Shrinking Space for Hazara Ethnic Group
Binoy Kampmark
Leaving the UN Human Rights Council
Nomi Prins 
How Trump’s Trade Wars Could Lead to a Great Depression
Robert Fisk
Can Former Lebanese MP Mustafa Alloush Turn Even the Coldest of Middle Eastern Sceptics into an Optimist?
Franklin Lamb
Could “Tough Love” Salvage Lebanon?
George Ochenski
Why Wild Horse Island is Still Wild
Ann Garrison
Nikki Haley: Damn the UNHRC and the Rest of You Too
Jonah Raskin
What’s Hippie Food? A Culinary Quest for the Real Deal
Raouf Halaby
Give It Up, Ya Mahmoud
Brian Wakamo
We Subsidize the Wrong Kind of Agriculture
Patrick Higgins
Children in Cages Create Glimmers of the Moral Reserve
Patrick Bobilin
What Does Optimism Look Like Now?
Don Qaswa
A Reduction of Economic Warfare and Bombing Might Help 
Robin Carver
Why We Still Need Pride Parades
Jill Richardson
Immigrant Kids are Suffering From Trauma That Will Last for Years
Thomas Mountain
USA’s “Soft” Coup in Ethiopia?
Jim Hightower
Big Oil’s Man in Foreign Policy
Louis Proyect
Civilization and Its Absence
David Yearsley
Midsummer Music Even the Nazis Couldn’t Stamp Out
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail