According to the Herald, a “senior figure” in the Coalition UK government has said that even if Scotland delivers a yes vote in September’s referendum, this does not necessarily mean that Scotland will become independent. Described as a “senior colleague” of David Cameron, the anonymous source said that Westminster would refuse to grant Scotland independence if we refuse to roll over and let them kick us in the nads. Westminster’s idea of negotiation is for Scotland to agree to each and every demand they make of us. Demands like “We’ll tell you how much debt you’ll take on and what assets, if any, we let you get. And you’d better be grateful.”
Yes, he really did say that. If “independence talks “do not go smoothly” from the point of view of Westminster, “the status quo would be maintained”. Conversations like these between anonymous sources and journalists are conducted in a form of code. What was really meant was the following:
“The Edinburgh Agreement was just a ploy to get Alex Salmond to shut up,” said the unknown ToryDem, “we never meant for anyone to take it seriously. We never took the referendum seriously. We’ve never taken Scotland seriously. To be honest we thought that we’d get a massive majority for the Union without breaking into a sweat and the whole Scottish question would just go away.
“Now it looks like the Scottish question won’t just go away, the rest of Scotland will go with it. We haven’t just broken into a sweat, we’re shitting bricks.
“Some people think that the Tories would benefit from losing Scotland. But if Cameron loses Scotland he’d face a vote of confidence in the Commons, especially after it comes out just how bad the accounts are without our Caledonian top up. And we’ve spent the past couple of decades telling voters in England that we subsidise Scotland – they’ll be expecting tax cuts if Scotland leaves.
“Cameron will lose the vote of confidence. There would be an early election, and we’d all be annihilated. Dave’s fucked. George is fucked in a way he doesn’t enjoy. Danny Alexander’s totally fucked. Michael Gove will be fucked and foreign. We’re all fucked. We didn’t plan for this. So we’re pressing the nuclear fearbomb button.
“We’ve changed our minds. Screw independence negotiations. There won’t be an electoral backlash in England over it, and who gives a shit what the Scots think. We’ve always told you what you’re going to do, and voting yes won’t change anything. We’re the sovereign Parliament and we won’t give you independence unless you do what we tell you. The Union is the default position.
“Mind you we also said that voting no was the default position, so perhaps that’s not such a great example… ”
The signs are the nuclear fearbomb is a bit of a dud. It went off with the explosive force of a pettit lip. So far, amongst other belters, Scotland has been threatened with having our airports bombed, our power stations destroyed by terrorists, and the forcible annexation of Faslane, all of which are exciting and dramatic scare stories which could very well involve James Bond, fireworks, explosions, and even a secret underground lair. And they’d already be in 3 D so we wouldn’t have to pay extra for the special glasses. This is how we judge a good scare story in Scotland these days.
So when Georgie boy came to Embra promising a nuclear scarebomb, we ought to have got something really spectacular. But unfortunately George has not been paying attention to the development of the BetterTogether franchise, so what we got was: “We won’t let the Bank of England be your lender of last resort, even if it means hacking off my own limbs.”
It’s a scare of two halves, but it scores null points for dramatic impact. We’d only care about George’s self-harming if we cared about George. They’re your limbs George, hack away.
What it means is that an independent Scotland wouldn’t have the Bank of England to bail out our financial sector, so Scotland will have to introduce strict regulation to stop Scottish banks indulging in the wilder excesses of casino capitalism and make sure they behave responsibly. Wow George, that’s such a scary threat. I’ll be sure to vote no now. Imagine those poor bank executives we’ll be disappointing.
That would be the consequences for Scotland, and naturally we’d be debt free since we’d be deprived of our assets, like our share of the assets of the Bank of England which include over a quarter of the UK’s national debt. We’d have no credit rating, but we’re a peaceful democratic country in a quiet and stable part of the globe, with a highly developed economy and a shitload of natural and human resources. We would still find lenders and investors.
That’s what’s really got George worried. For all his talk of Scotland “reneging” or “defaulting”, he knows that we’d be perfectly within our rights to refuse to accept the debt if we are deprived of our due share of the assets. And for all their bluster over Scotland’s powerlessness and lack of friends in the world, Westminster knows that Scotland would insist the matter was put to international arbitration. How confident are they they’d win their case? Not very, judging by the loudness of the squealing.
Today’s revelation in the Herald is part 2 of George’s nuclear fearbombing campaign. He really really means it, because the stuff about the debt has the Treasury well spooked. So George came to Edinburgh and dropped Little Boy, now some anonymous briefer has dropped Fat Man via the Herald.
It will land with all the explosive impact of Eric Pickles falling into a muddy puddle in Somerset.