Well that’s us telt then. According to a new opinion poll, a large majority of voters in England want to dock Scotland’s pocket money and send us to bed without any Barnett supper. Over half the respondents wanted Scottish public spending to be cut to the UK average in the event of a No vote. The newspaper reviewers on Sky News discussed the story and all agreed that it was a massive blow for Alicsammin. It’s the default position on all Scottish news stories.
I’ll summarise the rest for you:
“Naughty Caledonians, naughty. No Great British pudding for you lot, oh no. You’ll have had your jam. It’s terribly unfair that Scotland gets more money and all those free universities on prescription. Everyone knows you only have to swan into a Scottish university and they’re throwing free drugs at you. They’ll even look after your granny for free – and give her drugs as well. That’s how that wily Alicsammin gets them to support the Scottish Nationalistic Party, because they’re all on free drugs. And they hate English people too. That’s the only reason they have free education, so they can teach hatred of the English. It’s so bad that it’s not safe for an English person to walk down a street in Falkirk without someone leaping out a close and demanding that they say the word ‘murderer’ then mocking them because they can’t say R. That’s Scottish people, they even steal consonants out of the mouths of the English. Then they yell cruel hateful things like ‘Germany’s won on penalties’ and fall about laughing. And it’s English taxpayers who have to foot the bill you know. It’s unfair.”
That’s the kind of reporting that led to the poll findings which led to yet more of that kind of reporting. It’s the consequence of the Great Lie, the lie that told Scotland it was subsidised by the rest of the UK so it wouldn’t get ideas above its oil and gas station. It may have started off as a deliberate lie, a political tactic, then it took on a life of its own and became one of those things that’s only true because everyone thought everyone else believed it to be true. But when you move in the rarified circles of the UK media commentator what you think everyone else believes to be true becomes pretty rarified too, and then you end up with people who believe that the globe-bestriding mighty British nuclear defended state which punches above its weight and is MI5’ed up to its oxters is being bullied by woman in Clackmannan whose daughter bought her an iPad for her birthday. If a mountain can be dwarfed by a pebble, it can’t have been much of a mountain to begin with. Certainly not if it’s Ben Fogle. Although if Ben Fogle really was a Scottish mountain it would be Beinn Foghail in Gaelic, which translates as “heap of offensiveness” and is spookily appropriate.
The truth of course is that Scotland more than pays its own way within the UK. Yet there are still people who ask themselves “Where is the money going to come from?” when they think about Scottish independence. The money is already here. It’s just collected by a Parliament which isn’t here, and which decides how much of it it’s going to give us back after first meeting other needs it considers more important, weapons of mass destruction – like Trident or a Better Together strategy meeting – or London commuter rail projects.
Thanks to the Barnett Formula, Scotland is protected to some extent from the gross imbalances in UK regional spending, but the real imbalance is within England. London benefits disproportionately while the English regions suffer. But it’s Scotland that gets the blame in the UK media, and the Barnett Formula has the same chance of surviving after a No vote as Danny Alexander has of getting re-elected in 2015. And there’s £7 billion wheeched off the Scottish budget, on top of our share of the billions of austerity cuts yet to come. But this is scaremongering and bullying, and it’s naughty and divisive to bring it up.
The poll didn’t ask respondents whether they also believed that public spending in London should also be cut to the UK average. The Sky News reviewers never thought to ask that either. Funny that.
While promising to slash Scottish funding, at the same time a majority in the poll want Scotland to remain a part of the UK. Which is a bit like expecting a dug to come and greet you enthusiastically when it knows you’re going to kick it. Vote No for a kicking, there’s a good Scottie.
So after two years of the UK media being full of Better Together press releases and UK politicians telling everyone that Scotland is a basket case which is only saved from tripping over its own feet thanks to the financial zimmer frame of the English tax payer, and spreading the foul lie that the independence campaign is motivated solely by an atavistic hatred of English people, we discover that most voters in England want to punish us and cut us down to an even smaller size and consequence if we vote to stay a part of this greatest partnership of nations in the time space continuum of the multiverse.
Those ProudScots must be oh so very proud of themselves now. Actually they are, because one of the symptoms of ProudScottery is that nothing is ever your fault. It’s the defining characteristic of the condition.
It’s the logical consequence of ProudScottery, because what they’re most proud of is that being Scottish exempts them from blame and responsibility. It’s easy being proud when you can always blame someone else for everything that you dislike. England can vote Tory, but the ProudScots can safely blame someone else for the ill effects of Conservative governments on a Scotland that didn’t vote for them. It’s not our fault, we’re ProudScots, we don’t vote Tory. And they can safely escape responsibility for a hypocritical hollowed out Labour party desperately chasing the support of Tory leaning voters in England’s Labour-Conservative marginals. It’s not our fault, we’re ProudScots, we despise Tony Blair.
And it’s not their fault or the fault of the No campaign for whipping up an atmosphere of bile and contempt against Scotland in the UK media, and cheering enthusiastically whenever Scotland receives a PR generated blow to Alicsammin. It’s all the fault of Alicsammin, it always is. Alicsammin’s Fault is a geological fixture in the ProudScot political landscape. It’s always someone else’s fault when you’re a ProudScot. They’re not ProudScots, they’re shameless infants who revel in their lack of responsibility.
Independence? Oh gods no, we’re ProudScots, we don’t accept responsibility for Scotland. If you have no responsibility, you have no pride.
But that’s what independence means. It means that the people of Scotland take charge, take control, and take responsibility. Then if we fail we have no one to blame but ourselves. That’s what scares the ProudScots. Real pride comes from responsibility.