Ruining to stand still

It’s GERS week, the annual release of the Government Expenditure and Revenues figures for Scotland, a set of data which bears the same relationship to the economy of an independent Scotland as a graph showing the economic impact of the damage done to Westeros by dragons. The release of the GERS figures are the excuse for the ritualistic self-flagellation of ProudScotsBut, those Unionists who are proud to be Scottish and even prouder when Westminster tells Scotland that it’s a basket case.

The GERS figures were first introduced as a political wheeze by then Tory governor general Ian Lang in 1992 as a means of staving off calls for devolution. Despite the nakedly political intent of the figures, they are invariably seized upon by gleeful Unionists in order to produce pretty coloured graphs showing that Scotland is poorer than Greece. The news of Scotland’s penury is cheerily broadcast far and wide across the nation, with the subtext that we ought to be grateful to the kind dragons of Westminsteros. Bow down before your lizard overlords is rarely expressed in a less subtle manner.

This year’s figures are worse than last years because of the fall in oil prices. According to the Unionists the case for independence depends entirely on the price of oil, although funnily enough they were still against independence when the price was high. The GERS figures do indeed show a fall in tax receipts from the oil and gas sector, but they also show an increase in economic activity in non-oil and gas sectors, boosted by the lower price of fuel. This increase is almost equal to the fall in oil receipts. So there are other stories to take from the GERS figures. You could take the story that Scotland’s economy is so resilent that it’s unaffected by the drop in the international oil price, you could take the story that Scotland’s economy is broad based and well able to absorb shocks.

But these are not the stories that appear in our Unionist media. A 0.1% drop in government receipts and allegedly the case for independence is “shattered”. The only thing that is shattered is the remaining shreds of Scottish Unionist credibility.

It’s one thing to be told that your country is an economically incompetent near-basketcase, it’s quite another to receive the news with rapturous glee. There’s something very dark and twisted at the soul of Scottish Unionism when news that Scotland allegedly teeters on the brink of financial ruin should be the cause of such unalloyed joy. It’s masochism as a mechanism of rule. And that’s the essential truth of Unionism, it requires Scotland to be incapable and unable to make its own way in the world, because then the Unionist cause is justified.

Here we are then, according to GERS, after 300 years of munificent Westminster rule, guiding Scotland by the hand, looking after us despite our base nature, and still this country with its plentiful resources, its fertile soils, its functioning institutions, and its educated populace is unable look after itself. We’re supposedly facing a budget black hole of £15 billion, and the people who have created that budget black hole remain the best people to look after us, despite the fact that in Scotland they were handed the best raw material imaginable for the creation of a prosperous and peaceful democracy.

What the Unionists never explain is just what is special about Scotland. What is it about Scotland that makes it unique amongst the countries of North West Europe? All the others are able to manage their affairs successfully, to grow their economies and supply decent standards of living for their people, to provide levels of public services that are often well in excess of anything we get in the UK. Yet an independent Scotland would, according to the pretty coloured graph of the unravelled wool of an armchair economist, be poorer than Greece or the former-Soviet republics.

I’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating. Scotland is blessed with natural resources that any country would envy. We have an embarrassment of energy resources, both fossil and renewable. We have a fertile country that is more or less able to meet its own food demands. We have a sizeable chunk of Europe’s fisheries. We have water in such enormous quantities that domestic water consumption is not metered. We have whisky. We have a huge tourism industry. We have a highly educated English speaking population with four of the best universities in the world. We have a world class record in invention and innovation. We have impeccable democratic credentials and institutions which are relatively uncorrupt. We are situated in a geo-politically quiet corner of the planet. This is the recipe for a peaceful, prosperous, democratic country. Raw material for independent states do not come any better than Scotland.

Yet we’re facing a massive budget black hole. We struggle to provide public services. Pensions for our elderly are threatened. Why’s that then? Who’s been in charge of Scotland for the past 300 years? Who has had their hands on the levers of macro-economic control? And why do you think that that bunch of incompetents are the ones we should entrust our future to? Because all the pretty graphs show is that Scotland has been mismanaged by Westminster. That’s not an argument for Scotland remaining in the Union. That’s an argument for independence.

None of this gets an airing in the Unionist press, too busy climaxing in a masochistic orgasm. We’re screwed! Isn’t that great! That will show those pesky cybernats. Scotland’s poverty is to be celebrated by the ProudScots with a poverty of spirit and a poverty of imagination.

Bow down before your Unionist masters, they know what’s good for you. What’s good for you is what profits the Scottish upper classes. What’s good for you is what benefits the owners of the landed estates. What’s good for you is being kept in fear and remaining ignorant of your strengths. Bow down before the lizards. You’re being ruined for your own good, ruining to stand still.

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29 comments on “Ruining to stand still

  1. Robert Graham says:

    Very surprised our own Scottish BBC didn’t start a half hour earlier , or indeed break into transmission to break this cataclysmic news , you could almost feel the me first me first I want to break the news Jackie put that Mike down your on later , Are you sitting comfortably viewers here is our oh I mean the news .

  2. Tinto Chiel says:

    “I’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating. Scotland is blessed with natural resources that any country would envy. We have an embarrassment of energy resources, both fossil and renewable. We have a fertile country that is more or less able to meet its own food demands. We have a sizeable chunk of Europe’s fisheries. We have water in such enormous quantities that domestic water consumption is not metered. We have whisky. We have a huge tourism industry. We have a highly educated English speaking population with four of the best universities in the world. We have a world class record in invention and innovation. We have impeccable democratic credentials and institutions which are relatively uncorrupt. We are situated in a geo-politically quiet corner of the planet. This is the recipe for a peaceful, prosperous, democratic country. Raw material for independent states do not come any better than Scotland.”

    All of which makes our present situation all the more difficult to bear, I’m afraid, WGD.

    Never mind, I’m sure this would have been in Jackie Bird’s RS script tonight but for the “breaking news” discovery of a haggis in the shape of Jackie Baillie in a Dingwall butcher’s window. Who says we don’t have real news in Scotland?

  3. I jumped the gun on this one, and posted this on your earlier Game of Sojurs piece. (ace, BTW). It’s more relevant here.

    Mass suicide is often motivated by a disillusioned cult, political or religious sect becoming so disillusioned or collectively despairing that they resort to this one last act of enraged frustration and defiance.
    These sad phenomena are well documented, yet in each case we are left to wonder why a group of previously rational beings find themselves so desperately lost that the only way they see out is to end it all.
    Perhaps the world didn’t end on the day it should have. Perhaps God’s spaceship did not swoop from behind Mars and whisk the faithful off to their exclusive Promised Land.
    Perhaps the Unionists cannot force the pro Independence supporters to bow down to their SE Imperial Masters rather than continue to vote SNP regardless.
    Such was the scene at FMQ to day.
    There were Kezia, Ruth, and Willie, out on the ledge, threatening to Jump Together, probably for the last time. One by one they leapt into political oblivion shouting ‘GERS Ya Bass’.
    Like a Boy Band Reunion, they couldn’t quite hit the high notes any more; their harmonies were slightly off key, but they ran through their Greatest Better Together Hits with a mock enthusiasm that sadly fooled none of us.
    The Gers prove it!
    We’d have been right humped if we had voted to leave!
    Education cuts, shrieks Kezia, Oil cuts, bellows Ruth. £15 billion Black Hole , whimpered Wullie.
    As it stands, Scotland is the economic shit hole of the World, never mind Europe, they all holler as the pavement comes up to meet them with a Splat! What would it have been like if we had voted for Independnece?
    You won, chaps, yet 18 months on you will not let up. Yet you still rejoice in painting Scotland as a subsidy junkie baskey case. Perverted sickos.
    I relish the May election….Unfortunately, at least two of you will still be there even if there is only one voter in the whole of Scotland who votes for your party.
    It wasn’t pleasant to witness. I lie; I laughed my socks off.

  4. Davy says:

    F-ing ace, those bunch of scot bashers are too thick to notice that everyone has just see them dance with joy at watching Scotland get a bad result and they couldn’t give a shite what game it is, as long as it was Scotland loosing.

    Well on May the 5th the nation of Scotland will have its revenge on these ProudScotsButt’s, and vote their meally mouthed earse’s out the door.

    Well done our First Minster,at least she stood up for her own country during question time and ripped each of the unionist naysayers a new earsehole.

  5. As you say Paul – Scotland has been tied to this Union for 300 years and during that time we have had essentially no control over our finances.

    We have been largely dependent on the largesse of London and we have been denied the tools to take Scotland in a different direction. So even if we take GERS at face value the current debt allocated to us is not much more than our “share” of the cost of renewing Trident.

    We have no control over that nor will we ever whilst inside the Union. And a Government that saddles us with a share of the debt for things like Trident or Cross Rail or HS1 and 2 or whatever are choosing to saddle Scotland with a share of debt for thing whcih bring Scotland little or no benefit.

    An independent Scotland would not have had to pay for Trident (our share £8 billion) or Cross Rail (our share £1.5 billion) or HS1&2 (our share £5 billion) and we would be making decisions on tax, spending and wlefare the reflect the needs of Scotland.

    But no mention of any of that by GERS or by the Douglas Frasers of this world on the BBC and in the MSM

  6. muttley79 says:

    Self preservation is the defining characteristic of unionism in Scotland, certainly among the No politicians imo. It has long been evident that they think Scotland is an economic basket case. If pushed they will concede that Scotland could manage to be an independent nation, but that is far as they will go. For the vast majority of the time we are given the full subsidy junkies/ Scotland is shit routine from them. They cannot really help themselves to be fair. It has come to dominate their mind sets to an incredible degree.

    I suspect a lot of it due to them trying to maintain their careers and status. Kezia Dugdale is almost certainly not driven by any sense of principle, Ruth Davidson is clearly a genuine British nationalist, she believes what she spouts, even if it sub-Daily Mail drivel, Willie Rennie, well who knows?…This was always on the cards with the oil price plummeting, Scottish unionists were always going to seize on anything that is perceived to be bad for the economy in Scotland.

    I do think there is an issue with GERS though in relation to the independence side. I know many tend to find political think tanks boring, wonkish, tedious etc, and to an extent they are correct. But that does not mean they are unimportant in (potentially) producing sourced and credible information. I feel the Yes side are really at a massive disadvantage. I know we have Common Weal, we should be grateful and appreciative of their efforts. But that is from the radical wing of the independence movement, as far as I am aware the SNP do not have a think tank. If this is the case, and as far as I am aware it is, then this is a major problem in counteracting the Unionist/British establishment/MSM on-going anti-independence campaign, which has been running since the No vote.

    Put bluntly, I think we require a mainstream independence supporting think tank which can build up credibility by challenging and debunking all these stories and narratives about how Scotland is such a basket case. I fear if we put all our eggs on arguing for independence solely during the second independence referendum, whenever it takes place, the unionist narrative will be too difficult to shake off, as it is constant, and is amplified by the MSM/British state.

    • jimnarlene says:

      Wings over Scotland, does a great job of debunking the unionist narrative.

      • muttley79 says:

        Yes it does, but many in the MSM despise Wings, and Wings really about what happens in the MSM in regards independence. Obviously this is through no fault of Wings, but we need imo an preferable independent supporting Yes think tank that can produce reports and other academic things, which is not possible to reject out of hand, and make it very difficult for the unionists/MSM to dismiss. There is Business for Scotland, but we need something more comprehensive, I am not dissing them as they have done very well for Yes, but we probably need something more independent of the SNP.

    • broadbield says:

      Some of us have been making this point about an independence-leaning think tank for some time. Gordon Wilson said the same. No one seems interested.

      • muttley79 says:

        Yes, Derek Bateman had an article a wee while ago saying that after the 2011 election he spoke with Salmond and I think Kevin Pringle, and said basically what is in your post broadbield. I presume it was not established because the SNP were rushed off their feet between 2011 and really till now. It is kind of understandable given how busy they must have been, but Bateman and others are right, we need it now or soon because the No campaign never stopped after September 2014.

  7. Yipe, pretty well nailed it!

  8. macart763 says:

    After yesterday’s showing I’m finding it hard to believe the ‘proud to be Scottish and…’ line at the moment (cough) from our media and political classes. Spooky I know, but they do make it difficult to believe otherwise.

    Not in any way I recognise pride at any rate. Having said that, were I an establishment politician would I hold up an example of my abject macro economic mismanagement and declare myself proud of the record? Ooooor, would I attempt to make out that my country was basically too pish to actually be a country? Would I attempt to convince my electorate/readerships/viewers that they alone, of every national population on the planet are a. living in a country too bereft of natural potential to be worth anything and b. that said population were too incapable of tying their own shoe laces without parental supervision to even consider self management?

    Well documented above the line, but worth pointing out again. GERS is a snapshot of a past years performance based on the current devolved settlement. Its methodology was specifically designed to show how poorly Scotland would cope under devolution and does in no way reflect a full accounting of Scotland’s finances, or decisions which could or would be made in an independent Scotland by a Scottish government free of devolved economic constraints and with full access to all of Scotland’s resources and revenue streams.

    Right now we are part of the UK and last I checked, the Scottish electorate were ‘promised’ broad shoulders, economic security, job security, protection from a cruel and volatile world, pooling and sharing.

    Over to HMG – In their own time then. Better togetherness will be along any moment.

  9. Scotland’s greatest asset. Its people.

  10. arthur thomson says:

    Spot on Paul and I particularly liked the points made byJack Collatin and Muttley79.

    I await the verdict of the Scottish electorate in May. The result – to the extent that is not distorted by bent postal votes – will tell me if the electorate are increasingly aware that they are being lied to and are rejecting the lies.

    The unionists and their ‘leaders’ are a disgrace but they are people who don’t care. That is their stamp. I have nothing but contempt for them. But every country has such people.

  11. smiling vulture says:

    FMQs today was like a better together love fest reunion

    great article dug

  12. Scots_wa_hey 0 says:

    In years to come historians will ponder why a accient nation equipped with everything needed to succeed , plentyfull natural resources,a Highly educted people chose to give it all away for the benifit of others. The wall street journal sept 2014

  13. broadbield says:

    Now, if the UK was running a huge deficit, had built up an enormous debt, had a balance of payments problem, had banks teetering on the edge, had an out of control financial sector, appalling levels of productivity, no industry worth speaking of, and was ruled by fascist-lite right wingers for the benefit of rich individuals and corporations, I’m sure we’d all know about it through our magnificent msm who’d be clamouring for the UK to renounce it’s sovereignty and seek the protection of a superior State.

  14. Tinto Chiel says:

    @ broadbield: I’m sure what you said made perfect sense but unfortunately half-way through the irony filters on my laptop failed! 😃

    When can we get out of this pernicious, corrupt, good-for-nothing Union?

    I’m of an age when I can’t afford to hang around much longer. 💀

  15. David Agnew says:

    GERS has been used by the Tories to basically rip the pish out of Scotland in a ritualistic ceremony of humiliation. Every year for 5 years, right up until 1997.

    If there ever was a party who should have understood what it was for…it was the Scottish labour party. To be a unionist and allow yourself to be basically treated like shit on the heel of a Tory back benchers shoe is pretty wretched. To actually cheer along with them is pretty sick. The GERS report has never cast Scotland in a good light. That is not its purpose. It’s sole purpose is to make Scots feel bad about themselves and undermine support for parties there. What is different is the real joy and sense of celebration from the Scottish labour party, the Scottish lib dems and the Scottish Tories and the entire UK media. It’s party time for the parties of Union as David Cameron takes a shit on Scotland once more.

    I said sometime back that if the Bettertogether camp won a narrow victory based on an argument of dependency as “boon of union”, Scotland would increasingly feel less and less welcome in Britain. Beginning to look as if I was correct at least on that point.

    No one but a prize tit, enjoys being shat on. No people anywhere enjoy being made a fool of, by of all things a political party that they have always rejected. Only the SNP are standing up to this. People will notice that just about everyone, from labour to the Scottish main stream media are ganging up on Scotland in the union and ripping the pish out of it. In the five years from 1992 to 1997 the conservative party in Scotland committed political suicide. One of the instruments of its self inflicted death was the GERS report. From 2010 to 2015 the Lib dems were crushed because of their association with the Tories. Scottish labour are now seen as less competent versions of the Scottish Tories, and they too got their balls well and truly kicked in 2015 as well. The Scottish MSM are feeling the heat from a large section of the Scottish electorate who think they are complete and total bawbags. Those who voted yes and voted for the SNP in May did so because all that happened from 2011 onwards. And what do these witless, spineless little arseholes do? Why they line up to take party in a process that has always been about making Scotland like it can’t even manage to be part of the UK without a handout. So they’ll sit there with their idiotic rictus grins thinking that this time…this time, they can humiliate SNP voters in voting for them again. Because history has always show that parties who do this are always rewarded for being two-faced little shits…right?

    I am sure that come this May the UK and the Union will be left under no illusions just what we think of them, their union and their ritualistic yearly “we hate the Scots” ceremony. Will it sink in though? No it won’t. Why? Because they are two faced, swivel eyed. Lying little gobshites. They petty, petulant, pugnacious little pricks. They have been having an extended temper tantrum because we won’t back down and we still don’t want that booby prize called “Union”. But more than that…they won’t be aware of it, because they are the dumbest fuckers in the room.

    If you don’t have any respect for yourself and your nations contribution to the Union…why the fuck should a Yes voter give a shit about it either?

  16. mealer says:

    Aye.We live in a country which is blessed with an abundance of resources.However,it’s a country which could never stand on its own two feet because…..? Well,it’s obvious.We’re too useless.And so are our children.Below is a list of just some of the Scots who are too useless to make a success of a well resourced country;
    Teachers,bricklayers,doctors,joiners,lawyers,nurses,policemen,bin men,electricians,fishermen,farmers,lorry drivers,paramedics,firefighters,plumbers,scientists,salesmen,slaters,mechanics,carers,shop workers,chefs,oil workers,secretaries…..get the picture?

  17. Flying pigs says:

    If we are such a basket case why, oh why are they so very desperate to hang on to us?

  18. hettyforindy says:

    I would have thought that the yoons might be scratching their dumb heads and asking why Scotland is such a basket case when we are told we are ‘better together’. But no, the North Brits, will laugh, ridicule and lay the blame at the foot of the SNP, their most hated organisation on the planet. Meanwhile they will go get their prescriptions, without having to hand over £8 per item, and their kids will be enjoying Uni, with no worry about leaving with a massive tuition fees debt, before they even start their careers. Some will even get on a bus without paying, because the bus pass is available from the day you turn 60, (you have to wait until you are 65 in Newcastle, if you live that long).

    You might find some enjoying a visit to a well stocked library, or visiting a national museum or gallery of excellence, no entry fee. All while libraries, leisure centres and some major galleries have already had to shut up shop in the poorer parts of england.

    Now, I wonder who it might be that is making sure that they do not suffer the same level of austerity as their english counterparts?
    Yep, their hated SNP.

    I have nowt but contempt for the folks talking down, and taking down their own country. It’s sickening.

  19. Michael says:

    Let me get this straight, the SNP majority government have spent so much Scottish, English, Welsh and Northern Irish money on centralisation that it has ran up a deficit of nearly 8% of GDP that the Shetland Islands Council to cut 20% of their budget over the next four years.

    If the Scottish NHS had significantly better statistics than the rest of the UK it might be reasonable, or better educational results, etc. As it stands the SNP government appear to be trying to mug the rest of the UK for all they can get as much as they’re trying to mug the Scots.

  20. Peter Clive says:

    Unionists act like “feeders” and we have to keep our fat ass in bed for them …

  21. Janet says:

    My view was that the Yoons have been having an uneasy time because of GERS, not Yes folk like me! We all know that GERS is propaganda produced primarily by HM Treasury and HMRC.

    Keep on producing it. Keep the debate going. I’m loving it!

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