Thursday 2 November 2006

Freedom from Scotland

My very first job involved sharing an office with a Scotsman; and hilarious company he was too. Since then I have acquired one or two other Scottish acquiantances. Many is the time I have wound them up with a refusal to ever got to Scotland. An achievement with no merit, but it gladdens me nonetheless to hear them witter on about the glories of Edinburgh(never seems to be Glasgow though?) and why I should go.

Today, in the Times here there is a poll which, albeit rather weakly, suggests the people of Scotland may soon seek Independence. This has the effect of making me draw a huge sigh of relief.

Scotland has many famous sons and daughters; but some notable bloggers apart (The Devil and Mr E. for example), it provides little benefit to merry England today.

Without the impernicious Barnett formula the English would be much better off.
Their dreary and socialistic local politico's would be free to impose on the Country its own new 1980's style communist government. Leaving England to be a more Right-wing and Conservative dominated political state, more like the USA. Their intelligent and hard-working citizens would flock to London at an even greater rate than they do now, to our benefit.
They would be free to adopt the Euro; with all the benefits that has brought to the countries of the EU.
The last few years of oil revenue could be all their own too (or most of it, it depends how the boundaries would be drawn). The cost to the English treasury, at up to 10% of revenues, would be lessened by the fact that BP and Shell are London based and would still have to pay English taxes. In addition, the Pound would lose its petrodollar premium which would help our balance of payments and improve e the prospects of our manufacturing sector.

Overall, I can think of few reasons to keep the Union from the Southern side. We may miss their stout troops perhaps and submarine bases..I can't think of too much else.

I look forward to May 2007 and Alex Salmond's smiling face; I never thought I'd say that!


Anonymous said...

Where will Gordon Brown end up?

Richard Thomson said...

A well-reasoned and intelligent post. However, if you ever were to make your way to Scotland, I think you'd find that it's not quite the place you make it out to be.

Independence for Scotland means greater independence for England. However, since London gets more government spending than any other part of England, even before you consider things like the Millennium Dome, Olympics and the economic benefits of the government apparatus, you might find that any re-jig of Barnett favours the South West and East Midlands rather than London.

You should rethink your refusal to come to Scotland. If you ever do break that habit, this Scottish Nationalist might even buy you a pint :-)

Stan Bull said...

The electoral system in the devolved Scottish parliament is deliberately designed to prevent independence. The SNP can never hope to obtain a parliamentary majority by itself. It can only hope to deal with the Greens and Tommy Sheridan's shower. The latter simply don't have the required electoral strength. However, in the (near) future we will see a Conservative gov. and a centre-left one in Edinburgh....that's when things will get interesting.

Anonymous said...

As someone who only moved from Scotland recently, as far as I can see, the only benefit of the union is on the northern side of the border.

And Richard - whilst most public spending is spent in the South East, I think you will find that most tax revenue comes from the very same region. So much so, in fact, that if the money was spent where it originates from, the only winner would be the South East. And then if you do the same calculation, based on the number of people living in an area rather than where the money comes from, I think you will also find that the South East would win hands down.

But all of this is academic - the point is that the Barnett formula has given Scotland a huge sum of public money, only to be frittered away by a nutcase socialist government. If they had spent it all on revenue creation schemes (e.g targetted tax breaks for business), Scotland might be able to go independent.

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