Friday, September 19, 2014

The dream of Scottish independence is over, so what now?


I'm disappointed, but not surprised at the outcome of the Scottish independence referendum.

It's no surprise that a lot of voters didn't dare to defy the entire Westminster establishment, the whole mainstream media (except the Sunday Herald), the outrageously biased BBC (reputation surely tarnished beyond repair now), the bully boy banks (who were bailed out by us just a few years ago when they caused the crisis that the Tories have so gleefully exacerbated through ideological austerity) and countless businesses who were pressurised by the government into making ridiculous threats (price rises, relocations, job cuts etc).

You can't blame people for being afraid and making what they consider to be a conservative decision. However many "undecided turned no" voters may live to regret their decision in 2015 if the UK ends up with the nightmare scenario of a Tory-UKIP coalition (Boris and Nigel) hell bent on punishing Scotland for daring to even have such a referendum, and dragging Scotland out of the EU, (no matter which way the people of Scotland vote on the matter). Many people have simply failed to realise that uncertainty cuts both ways.

It is saddening that the figureheads of the Westminster establishment are taking this result as a glowing endorsement of their unified agenda of austerity and privatisation, rather than a simple demonstration that their fear campaign just managed to overpower the hope that Scotland could do better without people in London holding the purse strings.

The people of Scotland have voted to allow London to continue taking the bread of Scotland's incredible wealth of natural resources and for the the Scottish parliament to continue distributing the few crumbs that fall off the Westminster establishment's table. All the while with the right-wing press shrieking "look at those disgusting Scottish scroungers stealing our crumbs".

The people of Scotland have voted to allow the Westminster establishment to continue parking their outrageous stockpile of (privatised) Weapons of Mass Destruction just 30 miles from their biggest city.

The people of Scotland have voted to allow politicians in London to continue imposing disgraceful stuff (Poll Tax, "Bedroom Tax" Royal Mail privatisation ...) that the majority of the Scottish electorate strongly oppose.


The people of Scotland have passed up this extraordinary opportunity to effect real political change and take more control over their own destiny. So what now?

The first thing to do must surely be to demand all of the additional powers that were promised, because we all know that David Cameron and Nick Clegg are about as trustworthy as a bad case of herpes. If the people of Scotland want any of these last minute promises to be fulfilled, they'll have to work hard to ensure that they are, because there are already growing calls for the "timetable" to be torn up and thrown away. The calls to renege on these promises are being led by Tories like Boris Johnson (the man who wants to impose a 50% turnout threshold on trade union ballots despite being elected mayor of London on a 38% turnout) Claire Perry (the woman who thinks a debt and a deficit are "the same thing") and James Gray (a man who used a charming junkie analogy to demand that Scotland be punished for their audacity and banned from ever obtaining more autonomy from Westminster: "talk about feeding an addiction. The more you give them, the more they want").

It would be crazy if the Welsh and Northern Irish didn't make demands that they also get the kinds of additional powers that the three stooges were prepared to offer to Scotland during their last minute panic. I've got less faith that anything serious will be done to devolve political power in England, given that the English have mainly been content to allow the Westminster establishment to continue ruling over them with impunity, and do little more than just whinge about the unfairness of Scotland getting free prescriptions.

There are two devolution options for England. Either a single English parliament, or a number of regional parliaments for areas like Yorkshire, Cornwall, London etc, but maintenance of the ridiculous status quo is much more likely because the Westminster establishment are notoriously reluctant to give away any of their powers without a big fight, and the English electorate simply don't seem to have the balls to stand up and demand the greater political representation that the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish have had for years.

Another thing that should be done is preservation of the incredible grass-roots movements that grew up around the independence campaign. These movements did not quite achieve the independence they wanted, but they did inspire hundreds of thousands of people to get more involved in politics, which is a very good thing in its own right. These politically engaged communities shouldn't be left to wither and die because they can still be used to effect political change, it's just that the changes will be even harder to achieve from within the Westminster straight jacket that the majority of Scottish voters have apparently endorsed. It is undeniable that Scotland can still be made a better country if enough people are prepared to stand up and demand it.

Update: Alex Salmond was announcing his decision to retire pretty much at the same time I was writing this article, raising more questions. Who will be the next First Minister of Scotland, and what political direction will the SNP take? 


 Another Angry Voice  is a not-for-profit page which generates absolutely no revenue from advertising and accepts no money from corporate or political interests. The only sources of income for  Another Angry Voice  are small donations from people who see some value in my work. If you appreciate my efforts and you could afford to make a donation, it would be massively appreciated.


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MORE ARTICLES FROM
 ANOTHER ANGRY VOICE 
         
How the anti-independence campaign is falling apart
        
Scottish independence and uncertainty
           
Scottish independence, vote Yes because we don't need your pity
                     
A letter to Scottish voters
       

Scottish independence and the complacency of the Westminster establishment
                             
The Tory vandalism of the education system
                                         
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"Bedroom Tax" - tax the poor to subsidise the rich
                
Asset stripping "bankrupt" Britain with Gideon & Dave
                      



Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Scottish independence and the "switcheroo"


In my view this thought experiment is one of the most compelling reasons to vote in favour of Scottish independence. I can't claim credit for having come up with it, I actually first heard it when a Scottish couple visited my local pub (yes I am one of those awful people who insists on talking politics down the pub - I just can't help it).

The thought experiment is to imagine that Scotland is already an independent country, and that this referendum is to decide whether Scotland should join the United Kingdom.

If an independent Scotland joined the UK as the result of a referendum these would be some of the consequences:

Control over the Scottish economy could be moved 400 miles south to London. 
Scotland could "benefit" from a government it didn't vote for imposed on it most of the time because their electorate is so massively outnumbered by the much more Tory sympathetic English electorate. 
These governments imposed on Scotland by the English electorate could keep doing things that Scotland that the Scottish electorate strongly oppose (Royal Mail privatisation, "Bedroom Tax", Poll Tax etc). 
Scottish laws could be ruled upon by a bloated, entirely unelected House of Lords, the largest upper chamber in world politics and one of only two to contain unelected positions for religious clerics (the other being Iran).  
Scotland's oil revenue backed sovereign wealth fund could be shut down, and the huge revenues used to prop up the hopelessly bloated and technically insolvent financial services sector in London, and to offer pre-election tax cut bribes to the gullible English electorate.
Scotland could produce 9.4% of the UK tax returns, but receive only 8.2% of the UK budget in return. Despite this, Scottish people would be constantly derided by the right-wing media and ignorant English people as "scroungers" and "subsidy junkies". 
Despite providing such an impressive contribution to the UK economy, just like all other areas of the UK, Scotland could receive a tiny fraction of the infrastructure investment that London gets, and several important Scottish industries (steel, shipbuilding, fishing etc) could be left to ruin.
Scottish taxes could be used to pay for London vanity projects like the Olympic Games and a high speed railway that goes absolutely nowhere near Scotland. 
Scottish taxes could be used to prop up a completely bizarre energy price-fixing scheme where the London government pays the French state (in the guise of EdF) double the market rate for electricity for 35 years in order to bribe them into building a nuclear power plant that the London government have an ideological objection to building for themselves!
Scotland could be dragged into participation in the invasion and occupation of foreign countries on incredibly spurious pretexts, making Scotland a much more likely target for international terrorism. 
Scottish taxes could be used to pay for the maintenance of a (privatised) nuclear weapons arsenal (that should never be used), and these weapons could be moved to a base just 30 miles from the biggest city in Scotland.
Scotland could gain an overbearing and unaccountable secret service that has just been given permission to continue trawling the communications data of millions of completely innocent people. (all six of the representatives of the Scottish government in London joined just 45 other MPs in opposing this outrageous scheme).
Scotland could "benefit" from the use of new Secret Courts, in which the defendant can have their fate decided in a courtroom that they are not allowed to enter, on charges that they are not allowed to know based on evidence that they are not allowed to see (Once again the six representatives of the Scottish government in London voted against this Kafkaesque attack on the concept of open justice alongside just a handful of dissidents from the Westminster establishment parties).
Scotland could be left totally reliant upon the will of the English electorate to decide whether they remain part of the EU, should the Tories get back into power again, or God forbid it a Tory/UKIP coalition.
These are just a few of the things Scotland could expect to "gain" from joining the United Kingdom.

Just thinking about some of the consequences of being part of the United Kingdom make it very clear why the Unionist campaign concentrated so hard in instilling a sense of fear in the Scottish electorate instead of attempting to build anything remotely resembling a positive case for Union.

They couldn't have people thinking about the consequences of being part of the Union, just in case they started thinking along these lines.

Thus the "Better Together" campaign was all about creating fear with the constant reiteration of themes like "you can't have the pound", "Your oil will run out", "your banks will do a runner", "your supermarket prices will rise by this percentage we've just plucked out of the air", "your social safety net will become unaffordable", "ISIS, ISIS, ISIS, ISIS, ISIS!".

If Scotland was an independent country right now, would you really vote to have her join the United Kingdom?


 Another Angry Voice  is a not-for-profit page which generates absolutely no revenue from advertising and accepts no money from corporate or political interests. The only sources of income for  Another Angry Voice  are small donations from people who see some value in my work. If you appreciate my efforts and you could afford to make a donation, it would be massively appreciated.


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MORE ARTICLES FROM
 ANOTHER ANGRY VOICE 
         
Scottish independence and uncertainty
           
Scottish independence: We don't need your pity
                     
A letter to Scottish voters
       

Scottish independence: A tale of hope and fear
                             
How Labour dropped the ball on Scottish independence
                                         
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Asset stripping "bankrupt" Britain with Gideon & Dave
                      
The Tory ideological mission
                                
Margaret Thatcher's toxic neoliberal legacies
  



"The SNP are just tartan Tories" smear campaign


As the Scottish independence referendum grew ever closer, I began to notice the ever increasing desperation of the anti-independence comments appearing on the Another Angry Voice Facebook page. As it became clear that despite the overwhelming bias of the mainstream media the No Campaign were losing the argument, and that the Yes Campaign were surging in popularity, ever more Unionists showed up to rant about how Alex Salmond and the SNP are just "Tartan Tories".

Before I get to debunking the 
"Tartan Tories" smears, it's worth pointing out that smears like this are hopelessly poor debating tactics for another reason too. Scottish independence is not just about the success or failure of the SNP, it's about the entire future of Scotland. If Alex Salmond suddenly sprouts a Thatcher head and starts ruthlessly dividing Scottish society and selling off all the national silver that remains, the people of Scotland can vote him out in 2016. I've had to explain this point to so many ranting Unionists that I've reduced it to a simple formula:

Scottish Independence ≠ Alex Salmond.

Now onto the "Tartan Tory" accusations.

These accusations tend to come from supporters of the Scottish Labour party who have taken the absurd stance that the Scottish National Party were entirely responsible for Margaret Thatcher's first General Election success in 1979. It's like these people are stuck in the early 1980s, they refuse to see that Labour were to blame for the fact they lost power (Callaghan's gamble) and they refuse to see that politics has moved on an awful lot since Thatcher's rise to power, most notably the fact that Labour has turned into New Labour, which pursues a political agenda of "Thatcherism lite".

The absurdity of people who support a Labour party that is now completely riddled with Thatcherites whinging on that another political party are 
"Tartan Tory" is just laughable.

If we judge the political parties by their actual voting records in parliament (as I like to do) we find that since 2010 the Labour party has supported the Tories in parliament far more often than the SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party (who are the real opposition to Thatcherism). 

There are many examples of the Labour party, or members of the Labour party colluding with the Tories, when the Scottish National Party voted against them. Here are some of the most notable examples:
Retroactive Law: In 2013 the Labour party colluded with the Tories to help them pass a retroactive piece of legislation designed to cover up Iain Duncan Smith's unlawful mistreatment of the unemployed. Ed Miliband allowed the Tories to rush the legislation through parliament in a single day (with barely any scrutiny at all) and ordered his MPs to abstain from the vote. All six SNP MPs sided with a small bunch of "Old Labour" rebels in opposing the bill. 
Secret Courts: Another example of Ed Miliband ordering his MPs to abstain in order to let horrible Tory legislation glide through parliament was the "Justice and Security" Bill which undermined the whole concept of justice by creating secret courts. When the Green MP Caroline Lucas tabled two last minute amendments to try to ensure that judges should at least consider "public interest in the fair and open administration of justice" before any secret court proceeding could be launched, the SNP MPs backed her amendments, a load of Labour MPs abstained, and some Labour MPs even sided with the Tories to vote against the amendments. 
DRIP: One of the most appalling examples of Labour siding with the Tories in parliament was the "emergency" DRIP legislation designed to allow the security services to continue trawling the communications data of millions of innocent people with complete impunity. The majority of Labour MPs voted in favour of it, all six SNPs were amongst the 51 who voted against it.

A look at the SNP record in the Scottish parliament also illustrates that they occupy political territory far to the left of the modern Labour party, and therefore, further away from the Tories. Thanks to the SNP, the Scottish NHS has been protected from the waves of ideological privatisations that were launched by New Labour and massively increased by the Tory led coalition in England, and Scottish students have been protected from the commodification and financialisation of higher education which was again introduced by New Labour and massively increased by the Tories.

The thing is that you don't have to trawl through parliamentary voting records (as if you're some kind of politics nerd like me) to understand that these days Labour are far closer to the Tories than the SNP are, you just need to look at the Labour politicians willingly sharing a political platform with the Tories during the Scottish independence debate.

The Labour party abandonment of socialism in order to pursue an agenda of "Thatcherism lite" hidden behind a thin veneer of pseudo-socialist window dressing has left the territory of the traditional left wide open for the SNP to take over. It doesn't matter whether you believe that the SNP are sincere or not in their social democratic stance, their voting record clearly shows that they are now way to the left of the Labour party.

The Scottish socialist politician Tommy Sheridan summed up this transformation very nicely when he said "The SNP won the 2007 election, a democratic election, they then won the 2011 election. Do you know why they won? Because they picked up the clothes that the Labour party has thrown away. They picked up the clothes of social democracy". It doesn't matter what your personal opinion of Tommy Sheridan is, he's hit the nail on the head with this explanation.

Of course I understand that the SNP are nowhere near as left-wing as I am. I abhor Alex Salmond's dalliance with people like Donald Trump, Brian Souter and Rupert Murdoch. But that doesn't prevent me from feeling revulsion at New Labour supporters using desperate, absurdly outdated smears against the SNP, when the evidence is absolutely clear that the New Labour party are much closer to the Tories than the SNP, so much so that they're now essentially just Tories with red ties.

In my view if anyone wants to go on a hunt for 
"Tartan Tories" the first place they should look is the Liberal Democrats, and Scottish politicians like Danny Alexander, a man who has gleefully helped George Osborne with his ideological mission to impose austerity on the masses, whilst allowing the super-rich to get richer at a faster rate than ever. Then, you need to look at Scottish Labour MPs like Gordon Brown and Jim Murphy, who are more than happy to share a political platform with the Tories in order to oppose self-determination for the Scottish people.

Finally, it's worth noting that it's no wonder that the Unionist campaign has floundered so badly as the Yes vote has surged in popularity, if with just days to go before the referendum, the best arguments they can come up with are ridiculous smears from the past, that reek so strongly of hypocrisy in the present. Imagine the incredible lack of self-awareness it would take to try to smear your political opponents as Tories, when you're actually sharing a political platform with the Tories, and supporting a "Better Together" campaign that is being bankrolled by wealthy English Tory party donors like Ian Taylor.

 Another Angry Voice  is a not-for-profit page which generates absolutely no revenue from advertising and accepts no money from corporate or political interests. The only sources of income for  Another Angry Voice  are small donations from people who see some value in my work. If you appreciate my efforts and you could afford to make a donation, 
it would be massively appreciated.


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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Salmond has "no plan B"? The Westminster establishment are having a laugh


One of the most pervasive propaganda narratives utilised by the Westminster establishment and their allies in the mainstream corporate media in their campaign to keep Scotland under Westminster control is the oft repeated "No Plan B" accusation made against the SNP leader Alex Salmond.

The "No Plan B"  accusations came about because Alex Salmond refused to give in to the economically risky hardball tactics used by the Westminster establishment. Salmond insists that his plan for Scotland is that they will continue using the Pound as currency, whilst George Osborne has insisted that that an independent Scotland will lose the Pound, reinforced through constant reiteration of statements like "No ifs, no buts, we will not share the pound if Scotland separates from the UK".

   This hardline stance from Westminster is extraordinarily risky because it creates a lot of economic uncertainty. In fact it actually actually relies on the fear of economic uncertainty frightening people away from voting for Scottish independence. Economic uncertainty is extremely bad because it damages market confidence, causes risk aversion and capital flight, and is an important causal factor in the development of economic crises.

The best course of action from an economic perspective would have been for both sides to agree a fixed-term currency union in order to maintain economic stability during the process of constitutional separation, should Scotland vote for self-determination. The Westminster establishment simply couldn't agree to this kind of pragmatic solution because they felt that they needed to frighten the Scottish people with economic uncertainty in order to win the debate. In my view this decision to put a political propaganda narrative above the stability of the economies on either side of the border just goes to show how terribly unfit to rule the Westminster establishment really are.

Another huge hole in the 
"No Plan B" propaganda narrative is that Alistair Darling (the leader of the Better Together campaign) has publicly admitted the truth, that there is absolutely nothing the Westminster establishment can do to stop an independent Scotland from using the pound. 

As far as I'm concerned Alex Salmond's plan to have a long-term currency union between Scotland and the UK is not a good one. You only have to look at the disastrous economic consequences of the Argentine Peso-US Dollar currency peg, or the Eurozone crisis, to get an idea of why currency unions are risky.However, since Alex Salmond is the democratically elected head of Scotland and I'm not, he's the one making the plans (until 2016 that is).

If Scotland does achieve independence, and the Westminster establishment continue to play their incredibly risky game of hardball, Salmond has a number of other options to pursue, plans B through to F if you like (I prefer option E or F by the way).

  • Plan A: Currency union with the UK
  • Plan B: No currency union, but use the Pound anyway
  • Plan C: Use the Euro
  • Plan D: Launch a Scottish currency pegged to the value of the Pound or the Euro
  • Plan E: Launch a free floating Scottish currency
  • Plan F: Launch an innovative new kind of currency (a Scottish cryptocoin perhaps)
Now that we've established that there are many options open to Alex Salmond, or whoever might succeed him as leader of an independent Scotland, we'll look at the factor that makes the "No Plan B" propaganda narrative of the Westminster establishment so incredibly hypocritical.

In the week before the Scottish referendum David Cameron's official spokesperson admitted that the government has made no contingency plans at all should the people of Scotland vote for self-determination, and excused this extraordinary admission of complacency with the claim that "The government’s entire focus is on making the case for the UK staying together".

The Westminster establishment have publicly stated that they have
 "No Plan B"  should the people of Scotland defy them and vote for self-determination. The only thing they're prepared to publicly commit to in regards to an independent Scotland is their plan to deny Scotland use of the Pound, no matter what the economic consequences either side of the border!

Of course there is the possibility that they have drawn up secret contingency plans, but that they're lying to the public about it. However to chastise a political opponent for having 
"No Plan B"  whilst publicly stating that they themselves have "No Plan B"  is a ludicrously hypocritical stance.

I suppose the only way that we get to find out whether David Cameron's official spokesperson was blatantly lying, or if the Westminster establishment really are that breathtakingly complacent that they actually haven't drawn up any contingency plans at all, is for the Scottish people to vote Yes.


 Another Angry Voice  is a not-for-profit page which generates absolutely no revenue from advertising and accepts no money from corporate or political interests. The only sources of income for  Another Angry Voice  are small donations from people who see some value in my work. If you appreciate my efforts and you could afford to make a donation, it would be massively appreciated.


Flattr this




MORE ARTICLES FROM
 ANOTHER ANGRY VOICE 
         
Scottish independence and uncertainty
           
Scottish independence: We don't need your pity
                     
A letter to Scottish voters
       

Why the Unionist campaign is falling apart
                             
The "unpatriotic left" fallacy 
                                         
How Labour dropped the ball on Scottish independence
                          
Scottish independence: Hope against Fear
                
Asset stripping "bankrupt" Britain with Gideon & Dave
                      
The Tory ideological mission
                                
Margaret Thatcher's toxic neoliberal legacies
  



Monday, September 15, 2014

Scottish independence, a tale of hope against fear


In just a few days the people of Scotland will go to the polls to decide the future of their nation.

I'm not Scottish, I'm a Yorkshireman, and I don't live in Scotland. However I have written extensively about the Scottish independence referendum because I passionately believe that Scotland could be a better country if they had a smaller, more democratic and more accountable government, instead of being ruled over by the corrupt, self-serving and unaccountable Westminster establishment down in London.


A message of hope

The Yes campaign has attracted support from all kinds of people, from all different walks of life, and all different political persuasions. In my view the one thing that unifies them all is the idea that an independent Scotland has the potential to do things better. It's the hope of a working to create a better Scotland.

This hope for a better Scotland isn't just an idle optimistic fantasy because there is already plenty of evidence that a better Scotland can be achieved through the localisation of political power. Thanks to the existence of the Scottish parliament, access to university education in Scotland hasn't been commodified and financialised as it has been in the rest of the UK. Scottish students from poor and ordinary backgrounds aren't forced to assume huge debts, which are then repayed through a 9% aspiration tax on their disposable income, that for millions will not be payed off, even through an entire lifetime of work.

Thanks to the devolution of power over the NHS and the education system, Scotland has remained immune to the waves of Tory ideological privatisations that have seen £1.5 billion in NHS contracts handed out to Tory party donors, and over 3,000 English schools simply given away to unaccountable private sector interests.

The success of an independent Scotland is by no means guaranteed. If the Yes campaign wins the vote, the people of Scotland can't just sit back and relax at a job well done, It is absolutely vital that the amazing spirit of political engagement that has been awoken by the independence debate is kept alive.

In order for an independent Scotland to "do things better" the ordinary people of Scotland will have to engage in the process of constitutional renewal, work hard to hold their politicians to account, and work together to make sure that the issues that are important to them stay at the forefront of the political agenda.

A Yes vote isn't the objective in itself. The real objective is for the people of Scotland to give themselves the opportunity to hold the Scottish government to account, in a way that has been simply impossible to do through the corrupt and antiquated political system that has allowed the Westminster establishment to ruthlessly enforce their agenda of austerity and privatisation against the will of the vast majority of the population.

A message of fear

The No campaign has promoted a very different message, a message based around the basic animal instinct of fear. The Westminster establishment and their allies in the mainstream media have bombarded the public with one scare story after another.

The No campaign has constantly fearmongered about how Scottish oil is going to dry up, even though the experts are divided on how many billions of barrels remain untapped, and how many hundreds of billions of pounds that will be worth to the Scottish economy. The only consensus between the experts in the oil industry over how much oil remains seems to be that the figures publicised by George Osborne's Office for Budget Responsibility are extraordinary under-estimates.

The No campaign has fearmongered about Scotland not being able to defend itself. Who could forget the former Secretary of State for Scotland George Robertson (who now occupies a seat in the anti-democratic House of Lords) demeaning his own country by referring to it as "a minor entity in the north of Britain" as he tried to fearmonger about the threat of Islamist extremism to an independent Scotland. In my view the threat of Islamist extremism in Scotland would be severely diminished if future governments of the nation avoid participation in the invasion and occupation of predominantly Muslim countries.

The No campaign has fearmongered about the major banks relocating their headquarters to London, presumably because they assume that the Scottish public are such a bunch of feckless halfwits that they'll have completely forgotten that it was the banks that created the economic crisis in the first place with their massive fraud schemes and their incredible binge of reckless unregulated gambling. 
Even if some of the banks do relocate their headquarters, they can't just take all of their jobs and tax revenues with them. Taxes on financial services provided in an independent Scotland would go to the Scottish government*, no matter where the official headquarters of the bank that provides them. 

RBS, which is 82% owned by the taxpayer, threatening to leave an independent Scotland in order to try to influence the outcome of the referendum just goes to show the desperation of the Westminster establishment. What on earth is a publicly owned bank doing trying to interfere with a public vote? 

Even though the No campaign has been losing ground in the debate as the referendum has drawn nearer, they have stubbornly refused to change tack. And in the final week, ludicrous stories were circulated about how the supermarkets would impose massive price rises in an independent Scotland. Fortunately there was someone with the good sense to actually write to the supermarkets and ask them. The response from all four of the supermarket giants was the same; that they have no plans at all to raise prices in an independent Scotland.

It beggars belief that the leaders of Better Together can't see that their fearmongering has been driving undecided people into the arms of the Yes camp, and with just days to go before the vote they still haven't tried to present anything resembling a coherent positive case for continued union. All they seem capable of doing is pressurising their corporate buddies into talking down the prospects for an Independent Scotland in order to constantly snipe that "Scotland just won't be able to hack it on it's own". If I was a Unionist (which I'm not) I'd be utterly dismayed with the risible Better Together campaign and the hopelessly complacent debating strategies they've used.

Perhaps the biggest fearmongering campaign of all is the insistence by the Westminster establishment that Scotland will not be able to use the Pound, which is of course, as Alistair Darling himself admits, an impossible threat. Scotland can use the Pound because it is a freely tradeable currency. The only thing that the Westminster establishment can do in reality is to rule out a formal currency union between Scotland and the remainder of the UK.

In my view a long-term currency union wouldn't be in the interests of an independent Scotland anyway (look at the Argentina-US pegged currency union and the Eurozone), however a temporary fixed-term currency union in order to ensure economic stability during the process of constitutional separation would have been by far the most pragmatic option from an economic perspective, because economic uncertainty leads to economic instability (risk aversion, market panics and the development of economic crises).

Such a short term currency agreement would have mitigated some of the worst effects of economic uncertainly on either side of the border during the constitutional separation, however such a pragmatic stance was never going to be adopted by the Westminster establishment because uncertainty over the future currency of Scotland is one of the pillars of their anti-independence propaganda campaign. The fact that the Westminster establishment would put a political propaganda narrative above the stability of the economies on either side of the border just goes to show how terribly unfit to rule they really are.

Conclusion

I know it's not possible to imagine that all pro-Independence people are hopeful optimists, nor to tar all anti-independence people as cynical and fearful pessimists, because that would be the kind of naive absolutist thinking I so often argue against in my work. However, in my view it is fair to describe that the propaganda strategies employed by the two campaigns as a battle between hope and fear.

The spirit of hope must be stronger than fear, because what optimism can we have for the future if, even after the amazing political reawakening of Scotland, the majority still choose fear over hope? What optimism can we possibly have for the future if the positive, complex and very human spirit of hope can be defeated by the negative, simplistic and animalistic sensation of fear?

I'm hoping that later this week I'll be able to celebrate the rebirth of the Scottish nation, and drink heartily to the future of Scotland, rather than having to lament that the people of Scotland passed up the greatest opportunity of their lifetimes to effect real political change because they allowed the animal instinct of fear to overpower the human spirit of hope.


 Another Angry Voice  is a not-for-profit page which generates absolutely no revenue from advertising and accepts no money from corporate or political interests. The only sources of income for  Another Angry Voice  are small donations from people who see some value in my work. If you appreciate my efforts and you could afford to make a donation, it would be massively appreciated.


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* As long as the Scottish people are prepared to pressurise the Scottish government into clamping down on tax-dodging.




MORE ARTICLES FROM
 ANOTHER ANGRY VOICE 
         
How the anti-independence campaign is falling apart
        
Scottish independence and uncertainty
           
Scottish independence, vote Yes because we don't need your pity
                     
A letter to Scottish voters
       

Scottish independence and the complacency of the Westminster establishment
                             
The Tory vandalism of the education system
                                         
Who is to blame for the economic crisis?
                          
"Bedroom Tax" - tax the poor to subsidise the rich
                
Asset stripping "bankrupt" Britain with Gideon & Dave