When people ask “Why would you want an independent Scotland?” they usually complete the sentence with something along the lines of “… I mean, you’ll be impoverished within five minutes.” Or “… Oil won’t save you. Look at the price now.”
They don’t come at it from the more obvious side of the argument. On my side of the argument, I’m not looking for independence because I think the Scottish people will all suddenly be massively better off.
In fact, I expect that we may be a bit worse off and possibly for a few years. Partly, that will be because we’ll have a lot of short term costs as we replace what Westminster managed with what we need Holyrood to manage.
And, no doubt, we’ll also suffer a wee bit of backlash from the “I’m not keeping my business in an independent Scotland!” brigade. There may even be an element of those south of the border taking the huff and swearing they’ll buy their goods elsewhere.
But, we’re a clever nation awash with excellent resources and we’ll overcome the short term setbacks.
And, anyway, as I said above it’s not about being better off. It’s about releasing ourselves from the scandals and the fraud and the wasting of money and the wars and HS2 and Trident and targeting the poor and bailing out the rich.
Ne’er a day goes by that we don’t see a fresh scandal or, and this is much much worse, evidence of past scandals that have been swept under the carpet to avoid any of the dirt hitting the ‘establishment’; heaven forbid that we might lose our faith in their omnipotence, their brilliant ability to lead us and do the ‘right thing’.
One of the beauties of a small country such as Scotland is that our government in Holyrood is on the doorstep of the vast majority of the voting public. From day one, Holyrood was subject to extreme scrutiny and very quickly put in place measures to ensure that it wouldn’t fall prey to the corruption that power brings. Expenses publicly-viewable online. None of that nonsense about second homes. Our MSPs live and work here in Scotland.
That openness is a double edged sword given the high degree of media bias that the SNP suffer in Scotland. With open government comes plenty of opportunity to carp from the sidelines.
Independence should usher in the opportunity to improve media relations and may also provide the BBC in Scotland with the resources to operate as an independent and responsible broadcaster focussed on Scotland. What an asset they could become for marketing us worldwide.
No, it’s not that I want independence so that I’ll be better off. I want independence because it will lead to a fairer society. I’ll live with that.