There’s so many uncertainties, at least according to the likes of Magrit, Wee Ginger Danny, Wee Danny that stabbed his sister in the back, and the confabulous Alistair brothers. They all seem to be Alicsammin’s fault too. It’s Alicsammin’s fault that Magrit is uncertain about what currency we’ll be using after independence. That would be the pound Magrit. She’s been told this before, but it doesn’t compute with her. It’s Alicsammin’s fault that Magrit can’t understand English. You’d think understanding English would be one of thae Union benefits – but apparently not.
Of course Magrit, the Ginger Danny et al know fine well that Scotland will continue to use the pound irrespective of what George Osborne is currently saying. They know that if there is no formal currency union, Scotland will embark upon independence using the pound anyway, and without the debt which weighs down the UK. They also know that Scotland cannot be held liable for any of that debt, even though they claim we’d be in default and the markets would punish us with punitive interest rates.
The debt might not be Scotland’s legally, but it is morally, they retort. Like that’s a problem, seeing as how the international money markets operate with the same moral compass as Gordon Brown. You know, the one that points unerringly to “self interest”. The markets will look at Scotland and see a prosperous stable democracy sitting on a pile of natural resources and figure it’s a safe investment. And it will be.
But even if Scotland has to pay higher interest rates in the short term, we’ll have no existing debt to service so we’d have less need to borrow as the part of the budget that currently goes on debt servicing could go on other things. We’d not be contributing to UK national projects which don’t benefit us, freeing up yet more money to spend on Scottish public services and reducing the need to borrow. Scotland would be quite able to service the higher interest on our tiny wee debt burden.
Since there is an extremely strong argument that we could afford an oil fund even if we took on our full share of the debt, we might even be able to save up a decent one. We could afford some lovely new toys for NHS Scotland – and Glasgow Social Services elderly support team could afford to employ a receptionist who will actually answer the fucking phone. (Are you listening Petershill Road? No. You’re not answering the phone again …)
Project Fear trades in uncertainties in order to distract us from the certain. There’s a lot of sure fire things that will happen if we vote no. Few of them are pretty.
The main uncertainty about an oil fund in an independent Scotland is just how big it’s going to be. It’s absolutely certain that if we vote no there will be no oil fund at all, and Westminster will continue to turn a blind eye to corporate tax avoiders and evaders while frittering Scotland’s natural resources away on tax cuts for rich people and infrastructure for London.
Our Unionist masters know all these things, it’s just that they chosen to present themselves as even more stupid and venal than they actually are. Which is quite an impressive feat when you think about it.
If we vote no there’s the certainty of cuts. On Friday the Guardian, continuing in its editorial policy of thinking that Scottish independence supporters don’t read the rest of the news too, told us that the UK is facing a £20 billion black hole in funding for public services. George Osborne, who as far as Scotland is concerned is the Guardian’s treasury guru, has miscalculated the amount by which the UK economy will grow and as a result he’s going to have less in the kitty than he’d thought.
So that’s £20 billion in cuts on top of the £25 billion that are already waiting for us after the 2015 UK General Election. The cuts that Labour is every bit as committed to introducing as the Tories are. With a no vote we have the certainty of £25 billion in cuts, much if not most of which will fall most heavily on the backs of the poor and the low paid, plus the certainty that there will be further cuts to come. By then they’ll be amputations, not just cuts.
Over the past few years, the UK has lost hundreds of billions in unpaid taxes. It is reckoned that the UK Treasury is losing £57 billion annually in tax evasion and avoidance, and it’s believed that this is a low estimate. Much of this cash ends up in tax havens which are UK crown possessions. It’s a certainty that Westminster’s not going to do much about any of this, even though it could wipe out the need for austerity cuts. And these are the same folk who are currently lecturing us about the “morality” of Scotland taking on our share of the UK national debt even though they won’t let Scotland have the due share of the assets.
There’s the certainty that more and more of us will subsist in unemployment or in low paid jobs while a tiny minority grow ever wealthier. Staying in the Union will increase the number struggling on zero hours contracts, disproving the mathematical law that says you can’t multiply nothing.
We have the certainty that UKIP will do well in the European elections in England in May, and the certainty that the Tories will continue their drift into Euroisolation. We have the certainty that both the Tories and Labour will adopt UKIP’s language on immigration. We have the certainty that UK politics will be nasty, bitter, and have a racist undertone. And there’s the certainty of an in-out referendum on Europe, and the certainty that Scotland will have no influence.
It’s an absolute certainty that if we vote no Scotland will continue to lack the media required for any democracy to function. We’ll still get the BBC showing Waterloo Road and insisting it’s a Scottish production that counts towards their commitment to reflect Scotland on the telly screen. We’ll still get a half hour of murrderr fita and wee cute kittens after the proper news. And it’s certain that we’ll still be stuck in a wee corner of the weather map.
It’s certain that we can forget about any more devolution. Labour will neuter the Scottish Parliament in the guise of “decentralising power”, which means putting power in the hands of those bodies which are still controlled by Labour. Like Glesga Cooncil’s very own Gordie Mathieson, or thon clown in Aiberdeen that tried to ban the Scottish Government from setting foot on cooncil property. It’s also certain that with George Osborne’s budget cuts local authorities will slash social services provision even more. And no one will ever answer the phone at Petershill Road. But cooncillors will still get their gravy trains, so that’s OK then.
Alienating its core voters in Scotland is what Labour does best these days. That’s the other certainty. That’s the future if we vote no. Alienated, powerless, and hanging on the phone to Petershill Road social services – but no one will answer the call.
And none of this will be Alicsammin’s fault. I really don’t want to spend the rest of my telling people who voted no – “See, A fuckin telt ye.” So let’s make sure all of Scotland gets the message before 18 September.