Successful union? Successful for whom?

strangulation

According to Boris Johnson and assorted British nationalists, the United Kingdom is the most successful union in the world. That’s a claim which begs many questions. Questions like, how are you defining a union exactly? Questions like successful for whom? What criteria are you using for “successful”? The number of foodbanks perhaps. The UK has been highly successful in the past few years at making people, even people in work, rely upon foodbanks in order to feed their kids. Or perhaps it’s based upon the least number of years without being involved in war or military action. That would be just a couple of dozen years out of the three hundred plus during which the UK has been in existence. Or maybe it’s based upon the number of Tory MPs who got their position on the basis of lies on the side of a bus.

Dunno about you, but I can think of quite a few unions that have been considerably more successful for their members than the UK has been for Scotland. Switzerland springs to mind. It’s peaceful, prosperous, has better public services, and doesn’t keep getting involved in wars. That sounds successful to me. It’s also highly successful in ensuring that members of the Swiss union can’t be browbeaten and dragged along into things that they don’t want by the largest member of the union. It would be very nice if that was also the case in the UK. Then we wouldn’t have to deal with Brexit.

The truth is that the union between Scotland and England has been spectacularly successful, but only in a very narrowly defined sense. It has been highly successful for London and the tellingly named Home Counties in the South East of England. It’s been successful at sooking resources and humans out of Scotland and using them for the benefit of the economy of the South East of England. For Scotland, success? Not so much.

In 1707 when the Treaty of Union was foisted upon Scotland under threat of economic blockade and invasion, Scotland was not the bankrupt basket case of British nationalist myth. Many of Scotland’s wealthy had lost money in the Darien fiasco, but that was their own money, not Scotland’s national wealth. The fact is that during the early years of the 18th century Scotland was doing as well as or rather better than other northern European states of a similar size and population. Scotland was wealthier than Denmark or Norway. Finland was an underdeveloped possession of the Swedish crown.

Yet after over three hundred years of what we’re constantly told is the most successful union that the multiverse has ever seen has reduced Scotland from a position of equality with other northern European nations to being far poorer. That’s because for the past three hundred years Scotland has exported its people, along with their talents, skills, and abilities honed by education that Scotland has paid for, to the maw of London, where those talents skills and abilities generate wealth and revenue for the economy of the South East of England and not for Scotland. Scotland exports its resources, its wealth, and its capital and we are told that having to export our children is a “union benefit”. Personally I think it would be a lot more of a benefit for Scotland to be able to develop itself so that its children aren’t driven to seek employment elsewhere. That would be a better and more realistic definition of success. But then the definition of success used by British nationalist politicians in Scotland is a highly self-serving one.

The cumulative result after three hundred years is a nation that British nationalists delight in describing as an economic basket case that’s supposedly too impoverished to join the EU in its own right. The peculiar thing is that they seem to believe that this claim is a vindication of London rule in Scotland and not an indictment of it.

In the 1600s Scotland was not an economic basket case. It was an averagely prosperous northern European nation enjoying a successful and thriving trade with France and the Baltic countries as well as with England. Today the GDP of Scotland is around half of that of Denmark, a country which does not possess a fraction of the resources that Scotland does. Denmark has exceeded Scotland in population growth and in wealth. Yet surely if the UK was indeed the most successful union of nations in all of history, it would have enabled Scotland to develop greater wealth than Denmark, to increase its population at a faster rate than the rest of Europe. Instead the opposite has happened. Far from being the most successful, the union has acted as a drag upon Scotland’s development. And that’s hardly surprising considering that Scotland’s role in the UK is the same as that of the English provinces – to act as a reservoir of resources and skilled labour for the benefit of the economy of London and the South East of England.

Population growth is a good proxy for comparing the economies and opportunities offered by different European countries over the past 300 years. At the time of the Treaty of Union in 1707, Scotland had an estimated population of approximately 1.1 million. A quarter lived in the Highlands. England and Wales at the same time had a population of approximately 5.1 million. Scotland’s population was about one fifth of that of England and Wales combined. Today the population of Scotland is 5.4 million, the population of England and Wales combined is 58.1 million, over ten times the population of Scotland. If Scotland’s population growth had kept pace with the rest of the UK, modern Scotland would have around 11 million people, over double what it actually has. The excess population has been lost to emigration, much of it to the rest of the UK.
(Source: http://www.spanishsuccession.nl/uk_england.html )

Denmark had a population of approximately 797,000 in the year 1769, about 75% of Scotland’s figure over 60 years after the Treaty of Union. Today Denmark has a population of almost 5.78 million, more than Scotland. The same pattern is repeated in Finland. In 1750, the first year for which records are available, there were 421,000 people living in Finland, less than half of Scotland’s population. Today there are 5.5 million Finns, more people than live in Scotland. Norway had approximately 440,000 inhabitants in 1665, and didn’t exceed a million in population until 1825, today it has a population of 5,399,962, almost exactly the same as Scotland’s.

There’s a very consistent pattern here. The Scandinavian countries have all seen their populations grow by a factor of between 8 and 11 since 1700. Scotland’s population has grown far more slowly, well below the average for Europe. Since fertility levels are similar in all northern European nations, this indicates that Scotland has been markedly less successful in holding on to its population. That can only be as a result of the macro-economic policies adopted by successive Westminster governments. Scots have been forced to emigrate, and we’re told this is a benefit of the union.

(Sources:
http://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/denmark-population/
http://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/finland-population/
http://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/norway-population/ )

The only northern European nation which has had a worse demographic history than Scotland is Ireland – the only other northern European nation which was ruled by Westminster. Ireland’s population reached 8 million just prior to the Great Famine, a tragedy for which the Westminster governments of the day bear considerable responsibility. Those are the same governments which bear the blame for the Clearances which depopulated much of the Scottish countryside.

All of this at least gives us an objective criterion for defining “most successful union”. The UK has been most successful union when it comes to devastating the population growth of its smaller members. It has been the most successful at producing the Cringe and destroying the languages and cultures of the non English parts of the union. It has been the most successful at creating the greatest chasm between rich and poor in Europe. It has been the most successful at warmongering abroad. So yeah, sure, it’s the most successful union, just not in a good way.

Scotland has been impoverished by Westminster and those who support Westminster cite Westminster’s mismanagement as a reason why Scotland needs Westminster. If the UK really was the most successful union the world has ever seen, then opponents of independence would not be able to claim that Scotland can’t become independent because it’s too poor.  They can’t, or won’t, explain why it is that Scotland has fallen behind other northern European countries economically.  If this union really was as successful as they claim, why isn’t Scotland as rich as Denmark or Finland – never mind Norway which also has oil in the North Sea.

The truth is Scotland could be considerably more successful as an independent country. A truly successful union is a handshake, a supporting hand. The reality of this union is a Westminster with its hands around Scotland’s throat.


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58 comments on “Successful union? Successful for whom?

  1. […] Wee Ginger Dug Successful union? Successful for whom? According to Boris Johnson and assorted British nationalists, the United Kingdom is […]

    • Chris Campbell says:

      How can Westminster expect us to want to stay in the Union, when we have been ignored in Parliament for the last 3 Brexit years. If our MSPs dared to speak, the are heckled and insulted, put down that we are running our Country badly that our NHS and Schools are inefficient. When the opposite is true.
      Yes get Independence now. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

      • Alex Dundas says:

        I have been an independence supporter for about 40 years but a lot of you guys fall into the trap the English establishment of Westminster have laid for you for a long time now. They are quite happy to bleat about their successful union and tell you that it would be an economic disaster for Scotland to become independent and will continue to do so for many years to come. This is all a smokescreen. Apart from the oil and gas they have stolen from us for the last 40 years, the only reason they want Scotland to be part of their united kingdom as they call it, is the fact that we house their big nuclear weapons dumps, well away from the mother land they cherish so dearly. They know they cant move it to England cos the punters there dont want it, the welsh and the irish definitely dont want it, and because they have nowhere to put it and cant afford to move it if they could. Don’t Ever Doubt It, the English will send their army, navy and air force to stop us leavin the uk to save their so called deterrent if they deem it necessary, just the same as they did to the starving men, women and children who held a demonstration in George Square for “mer money tae feed their families” just after the 1914-18 war, a large quantity of these men fought for them during that terrible period and their reward fur that wiz 10000 ENGLISH troops on the streets of Glasgow,,two manned machine gun turrets at each diagonal corner of George Square and 8 Tanks nearby. Who sanctioned this for their wonderful union WINSTON CHURCHILL Minister for war in their Tory Government. That’s the reason that Glasgow people never voted for the Tories and they are tryin their best to keep it secret cos the new generation generally are unaware of it. So awe you punters who voted fur these Tory numpties durin elections read about it on the internet if ye don’t believe me and shame on you if ye vote fur them again.
        END OF HISTORY LESSON.

  2. Malky McBlain says:

    Three saltires Paul for the piece 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 And a couple for your dedication and obviously staying up late to post it 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿. I’m in Sydney and it’s just about 1.00 in the afternoon (it’s still smokey and damned hot) so I get to read it and comment first. All power to you and your husband and dug.

  3. chicmac says:

    Great application of the macroscope Paul. Well done.

    May add another 2p tomorrow.

  4. ArtyHetty says:

    The so called ‘union’ has been and is the biggest, most ‘successful’ scam on the planet. Imagine, you con a few rich selfish gits into signing a bit of paper in a cellar in Scotland’s capital, while the people who do not agree in any way at all with the contents are raging in the streets, then for the next few hundreds of years the dodgy, dirty dealing, scheming cons take all your loot for themselves, laugh their freaking heads off and call you stupid and poor loz!

    Scotland, stop being so freaking soft, use the language they use, laugh like they laugh, and roar like a lion! ROARRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!
    It’s war!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Get yr armour out the cupboard Scotland, use your voice.

  5. Craig Murray says:

    Brilliant piece Paul congratulations. Also worth considering how Ireland since it escaped the UK has done staggeringly better than Scotland and I believe Irish GDP per capita is now about double Scots GDP per capita (From recollection, too late at night to look it up!).

    • Bob Lamont says:

      “Also worth considering how Ireland since it escaped the UK…” – Indeed, but unlike Nordic countries it was not a natural progression. Decades of economic blockade by the UK followed independence, it was only in more recent decades and EU membership when it’s potential was unleashed and reliance on UK markets receded to become the powerhouse it is today.

      Scotland’s recovery post independence would be relatively quick since London “revenge” would get short shrift, the world and europe in particular are very different today.

      • Brian Lucey says:

        There was absolutely no economic blockade Bob. Lots of economic blockheads maybe. Far from a blockade the very openness of the UK to irish goods and people, paradoxically, made it easy to remain overly dependent on it.
        The EU, and much more so the Single Market, marked sea changes in our economic relationship with the UK.

      • Bob Lamont says:

        I meant blockade from the perspective that ROI as a nascent state was not in the financial position to develop alternative trade routes and markets and couldn’t build revenues to fund it. The UK essentially had ROI trade over a barrel on pricing and shipping until after WW2, but agreed that it was on joining the EC when it took off and expanded dramatically.
        David McWilliams did a series of articles on it some time back…

    • This is probably my favourite wgd piece to date, and this is the argument that should be rammed home to Unionists above all others:

      “The cumulative result after three hundred years is a nation that British nationalists delight in describing as an economic basket case that’s supposedly too impoverished to join the EU in its own right. The peculiar thing is that they seem to believe that this claim is a vindication of London rule in Scotland and not an indictment of it.”

  6. Colin Dawson says:

    A good example of the economic vandalism visited upon Scotland is North Sea Oil. Nearly 60% of North Sea Oil jobs (circa 180,000 direct jobs and probably at least twice as many indirect jobs) are in England, predominantly London and the Southeast. If Scotland had been an independent country, these jobs would be predominantly in Scotland. Nearly all of the infrastructure and ships used in our oil, gas and renewables industries are imported. If Scotland was independent, they could have been built here. Norway has the powers to tie licencing of oil, gas and renewables projects to the creation and support of local employment. Even Newfoundland has these devolved powers. Scotland, in this supposedly fabulous union, does not.

    The Scotch whisky industry is similarly controlled by London based companies as are the bulk of Scotland’s big businesses, thus costing Scotland hundreds of thousands more jobs and countless billions in tax revenues, GDP etc.

    The question people in Scotland need to ask is whether they want the theft of Scotland’s resources, wealth, people and jobs to continue. Would we be better off being able to make decisions ourselves based upon what is best for Scotland’s economy and society rather than being subjected to the continuation of hundreds of years of decisions that favour London and the Southeast and bleed Scotland dry?

    People need to stop believing British Nationalist propaganda that we’re too wee, too poor and too stupid to survive as an independent country. It is blatant lies. Scotland should be one of the richest countries in the world on a per capita basis. Westminster has spent over 300 years impoverishing and depopulating Scotland. We need to call a halt to this. If not now, then when?

    • Colin Dawson says:

      Btw, here’s the link to the North Sea oil and gas workforce numbers; https://www.oilandgaspeople.com/news/15310/new-uk-north-sea-workforce-numbers-revealed/

      • Cubby says:

        Only 38% of the jobs in Scotland.

        • Colin Dawson says:

          Yes, but it’s worse even than that. Norwegian state oil company Equinor (formerly Statoil) and many other foreign owned oil and gas companies carry out work associated with Scottish oil and gas fields from their home countries. This costs the Scottish economy even more jobs and Westminster couldn’t give a stuff.

          The loss of direct and indirect jobs to Scotland as a result of Westminster policies, including the privatisation of our oil and gas resources, the importation of most of the infrastructure and ships since privatisation in the 80s and the location of so many oil and gas jobs in London and the Southeast has cost the Scottish economy trillions of Pounds in GDP and many hundreds of thousands of skilled, well paid jobs.

          It’s not a case of whether or not Scotland can afford to be independent. We cannot afford not to be. Successive Westminster governments of every colour have been bleeding Scotland dry for centuries.The GERS figures reflect that ongoing economic vandalism. They are in no way indicative of the finances of an independent Scotland. I just wish the SNP would get off their arses and start making these sorts of points. Their case for independence thus far is so incompetent that I have to wonder whether they really want it.

  7. andyfromdunning says:

    Fact shows you that the U.K. is a basket case.

    Nearly £1.87 trillion of debt or 85% of turnover.
    UK imports 38% higher than exports and for good old England this is 42%. Both have made a trade deficit for decades. Scotland on the other hand has a surplus of 28% with export growth up 11% last year. We have had a trade surplus for decades. These figures are from HMRC.

    This info if for ex U.K. imports and exports and excludes inter UK trade. Last year we sold £55.5bn to rUK and they sold us £62.7bn

    The lie about the UK is in years of data. Scotland despite decades of poor economic management is doing well in a UK context. Imagine what freedom would allow us to be.

  8. Bob Lamont says:

    Burning the midnight oil obviously, but spot on…..

  9. john lamb says:

    “The most successful union the world has ever seen^
    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
    And they believe it? What do they teach them at Eton – delusion!

    • Luigi says:

      I blame their geography teachers – putting up all those old maps of the world covered in pink.

      • john lamb says:

        In the broadest sense we comes back to Paul’s point – successful for whom? Not for Scotland and not for those indigenous populations in those pinkified locations. Colonies are exploited by an Imperial power. The London elite may be weaker but the mindset is just the same. It would seem the same is true in all dying empires. Destroyed by their own hubris.

      • Alex Dundas says:

        That wiz so Bo Jo could pass his Geography degree plus the money his auld man gave the wans that marked his paper rur him tae pass it. Funny how sumdae that cannae read or write cin pass an exam never mind a degree

  10. Nick says:

    Reblogged this on raggededgehouse and commented:
    A country with a falling population, reliant on charity (food banks) and dependent tourism is dying or being killed. The Tories are happy to “celebrate” the opening of food banks and the development of tourism because all of these are indicators of the demise of Independence.

  11. Douglas says:

    Does anyone know if there is a graph somewhere of those population numbers over the years?

    Alternatively a spreadsheet with all the available data points (but no sense in repeating the leg work if it’s already done)

    A picture of this would be stunning with the relevant dates marked (Scotland in the Union, Ireland free and I think there maybe some interesting changes about the time of Independence for Scandinavian countries).

    It might lend itself to something that Indyposterboy could tidy up

    Just a thought

  12. Welsh Sion says:

    Great blog as usual, WGD.

    But don’t think that just because I’ve indicated a temporary leave of absence next week that you can sign away this comment:

    “Ireland – the only other northern European nation which was ruled by Westminster.”

    Don’t *we* count?

    Yours concernedly,

  13. Tinto Chiel says:

    Some excellently-marshalled statistics, Paul, which clearly show the effects on our country of this accursed union.

    It’s a clear sign of the dreadful nature of our MSM that such a factual and well-argued article would never appear in one of their publications.

    By the way, lots of harmless fun can be had by vile seps like wot we are by listening to Pravdasound 4’s frankly delusional The Media Show of a Wednesday, where the BBC preens itself on its balance and impartiality and delusional hacks from the likes of The Guardian boast of their fearless integrity and impeccable journalistic standards.

    Your article puts them all to shame, frankly.

  14. barpe says:

    Tremendous post, Paul, and would that it could be required reading for ALL Scots!
    The problem, as always, is that this is seen by a relatively small number of us, because it will never get MSM coverage.

    We are trapped by the fact that BBC and news media still promote whatever the Tories say as gospel. Until we can break this hold, we are at a severe disadvantage.

  15. bigjon999 says:

    Fantastic article – will forward the link to friends (and foes)

  16. Craig P says:

    I’ve always held that the union had benefits from the point of view of giving Scots an empire to exploit. (A benefit which is long gone.) Thinking about it though, how many Scots really benefited? If the money was really staying in Scotland, the population would have too.

    The chart of relative populations people are looking for is here:

    • crabbitgits says:

      Great post Paul. Aren’t graphs wonderful? They show clearly what is behind the figures and much more than that. I nearly wept looking at this. The black line of England should be coloured in red to reflect the overwhelming vampiric embrace the English have had on the rest of the UK and Ireland since !750 and the onset of the Industrial Revolution. They’ve been sucking our young from us ever since and it still continues today and for one reason only; jobs (my son included and that breaks my heart) which they have deliberately harvested down south for the obvious reasons pointed out by Paul. It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee. It’s time for independence.

    • Cubby says:

      Craig, the money never stayed in Scotland. Westminster was taking its 50% empire cut of Scotland revenues all the way through the days of the Empire. It was never a British Empire it was always a Westminster empire. Sure some individuals from Scotland may have profited from the empire but Scotland was exploited then just as now. I have never accepted that Scotland was any more part of the empire than any other exploited part of the world.

  17. David Agnew says:

    Labour abstained and sold Scotland out. I would say I was shocked and surprised, but frankly this is now par for the course with this spineless sack of shits. This will do wonders for the federalism fairy that the walking victim of circumstance: Rucksack Lampshade, was going to announce.
    The No surrender, Boris Johnson and UK continuity party were no doubt singing happy clappy like a bunch of wee telly tubbies who’ve had too much sugar. I have no idea what the lib dems did and I don’t really care.

    What we saw last night, was what the UK actually thinks of Scotland. A nation only good for having its pockets dipped. A nation thats only good for being shat on by the tories and shoveled up by labour. A nation that will only be listened to when it starts voting for English parties again.

    It would have been nice had Labour finally saw the light, but they are determined to make us victims of Johnson. So now we have to waste precious time and resources getting rid of these cowards, instead of going to work on those little unionist toads in the tory party.

  18. chicmac says:

    This graphic of national regional wealth disparity for the EU sums up the position. Note that the UK regional disparity is so great that they have made a cut of 200% in the bar for the UK graphic so the chart didn’t look ridiculous.

    The UK is run like some anachronistic city state like Rome or Athens in ancient times.

    Here is the EU report for more detail.

    https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/2995521/9618249/1-26022019-AP-EN.pdf/f765d183-c3d2-4e2f-9256-cc6665909c80

    • Cubby says:

      I was always aware of the UK being one of the worst for wealth disparity but this chart is very useful to highlight how bad it is.

  19. Ken2 says:

    Excellent. One of the best.

    The population in Scotland had hardly changed since 1900 and before. Dipped in the 1950 (war dead?). Until Devolution 2000 when it increase 0.2million.

    Brexit will mean essential healthcare/education workers leaving, The Healthcare queues will increase. While the Scottish Gov will have to train more and retain them It is being done.

    Scotland’s population could decline and lose essential skilled workers. Unless it is sorted, The UK will be in the EU until December and beyond. The disputes will wrangle on. Not good for business or other sectors at all. More expense and higher prices.

    Westminster unionists at it again. The complete false narrative. Westminster ‘gives’ Scotland monies. It is funds and revenues going to the Westminster Treasury from Scotland coming back. With a rack off for Westminster failed policies. Scotland pays to much for the Westminster unionist dunces,

    Scotland would be better with full fiscal autonomy. Not paying for elsewhere but invested in Scotland. The Barnett Formula an illegal farce. A Ponzi scheme. Losing Scotland much needed revenues for Westminster incompetence funding London S/E. Increasing congestion there and ruining the Scottish economy. Depopulating Scotland. Decreasing the population.

    The North/South divide. A Ponzi rake off for London bankers etc who fund the Tory Party. Ditto the trade unions and Labour. Illegal wars, financial fraud and tax evasion. The UK one of the most unequal places in the world. Not cohesive policies. Failure of economic, social and foreign policies. A total waste of monies. Cuts to essential services and cuts to the wealthy higher taxes. No fair. Tax evasion. The EU wants to stop for fairness.

    Scotland (8%UK pop) raises £63Billion in tax revenues. The UK raises £661Billion. Scotland raises pro rata more. Scotland has to pay repayments on UK debt not borrowed or spent in Scotland. Scotland can borrow very little to invest in the economy for growth.

    Scotland pays for wasteful projects elsewhere but does not have the monies to invest in essential projects in Scotland. Rather for bad economic decisions of the Westminster unionists. Over which Scotland has no control, Hinkley Point, HS2. A total waste of monies, A bottomless pit of wasted expense. With no business case. Trident and Defence. There are far better alternatives.

    Devolution has improved the Scottish economy. The SNP Gov. Independence will improve it even more wise decision.

    Countries who are more equal and cohesive prosper more and the people are happier. A fair balanced economy. An Independent Scotland in the EU could be much better for all concerned. If Scotland gets better off. With good fiscal policies. So does the rest of Britain.

    • brianmlucey says:

      Scotland and the rest of the UK are out of the European Union at the end of this month. There is an agreed transition period where it will be ‘as if in’ until the end of the year, but legally and in terms of representation you’ve only got a few more weeks.

  20. Ken2 says:

    UK £1.8trn of debt. £8.7trn of assets.

    Scotland will be leaving with a nice wee nest egg. Proportionality Defibateky enough to get started on. The Union divide.

  21. JSM says:

    Reblogged this on Ramblings of a 50+ Female and commented:
    Excellent piece, Paul. I’m sure that if ‘soft no’s’ read this it would open their eyes.

  22. Rab1942 says:

    Very incisive article, Paul. The ruling classes in England have always held a knife at Scotland’s throat with the threat of using it. This from an article I wrote on Daniel Defoe (‘England’s spy at the Union of Parliaments’):

    “In another paper Defoe insisted union between the two nations would bring prosperity to Scotland. He quoted ancient Rome as an example of how communication rather than subjection had been used as a model of incorporation. In it he said when separate nations agree to be governed by a common set of laws, the very nature of that union guaranteed protection under the law. He concluded: “Should England attempt enslaving Scotland and assault the Articles of Stipulation, invade the Treaty, and break in upon the conditions by violence … the Union is dissolved … and the invaders become tyrants and oppressors.”
    Yet despite the public show of egalitarianism, Defoe continued to send secret reports to his English spymaster. Prior to leaving London, Harley [Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer] gave him a list of instructions, which Defoe was careful to follow to the letter:
    1. You are to use the utmost caution that it may not be supposed that you are employed by any person in England; but you come here upon your own business and out of love to the country.
    2. You are to write constantly the true state of how you find things, at least once a week.
    3. You may confidently assure those you converse with, that the Queen and all those who have credit with her, are sincere and hearty for the Union.
    Harley offered a carrot yet the veiled threat of the stick was present when he added: “You must shew them, this is such an opportunity, that being once lost or rejected is not again to be recovered. England never was before in so good a disposition to make such large concessions, or so heartily unite with Scotland, and should their kindness now be slighted…”

  23. MacMina MacAllan says:

    Excellent bit of research and more good information in the comments. An eye opener for me though I’ve probably come across the individual figures before when you put them together as the big picture it’s emphatic.

    In my grandparents’ and parents’ generations well over half emigrated mostly to Canada, Australia and USA. My own working life was mainly outwith Scotland and 2 of my 3 children, graduates of Scottish universities, had to go abroad to find work. I’m sure it’s the same for many families. The evidence is there before our eyes but you’ve helped us to see.

    Thank you and keep up the good work.

  24. Cubby says:

    Brilliant post.

    “A truly supporting union is a handshake, a supporting hand. The reality of this union is Westminster with its hand around Scotlands throat”.

  25. James Cheyne says:

    The reality is that the sovereign people of Scotland did not sign the treaty of the union in 1707. The reality is the sovereign people of Scotland did not vote to join the treaty of the union in 1707, The reality is we were not even asked to join the treaty of the union in 1707, The reality is it was deliberately kept a secret from the sovereign people of Scotland in 1707, The reality is the sovereign people of Scotland never chose the said representatives on the Scottish side whom did sign the treaty of the union in 1707.
    So the real logical questions are,

    Who chose the people that claimed, they “represented the voice of a sovereign Scottish people and its country”?

    Were they self elected and self appointed or appointed by the English crown or even the English government?

    What were the names of the people that did join the treaty of the union in 1707?

    Did any sovereign Scottish person then agree with them that had signed, and add their own names, until hundreds, thousands, or millions of sovereign Scottish signatures can be seen and recorded into legal history?

    Whom received financial recompense after the 1707 treaty of the union was signed, all of the people of Scotland?

    Were the only financial benefactors the same ones that signed the treaty of the union in 1707 and therefore would be the same inherent family/people obliged to pay England back any financial recompense upon acknowledgement that Scotland was a separate country?

    Why does England or Westminster agree that the people of Scotland are sovereign compared to the Welsh people’s, northern Irish people’s or even English people, did they not entrap the sovereign Scottish people after signing the treaty of the union like the claimed?

    If we are still sovereign as a nation of people, does that mean that the soil below our feet is still sovereign, and that no one else can buy, sell or inherit the country we are sovereign of.

    Questions like these should be racing through our minds at present when we talk about the treaty of the union. Surely if we were deliberately not involved in the secret meetings, Or in the legal paperwork in 1707 what makes you think that any sovereign Scottish person did join the union with England, and the people whom did join were in isolation from the rest of the sovereign Scottish people whom did not sign, vote or agree to the 1707 treaty of union with England.
    Have the sovereign people of Scotland had the wool pulled over their eyes for centuries, Just because England sent an army to Scotland to try shut down the voice of Scotland’s people whom were rioting and rebelling against the treaty, does not change legal facts on paperwork or in the treaty.
    No matter what properganda through the centuries has been fed to the Scottish people by England leading us to believe that all Scots are in the Treaty of the Union for all these eons, it can be contradicted as a long standing lie.

  26. Jason Smoothpiece says:

    Well said Paul. One of the problems we have is that now slightly less than half of the Scottish population is content to be badly treated by the English regime.

    Many folk are content to be poor and oddly have no aspirations for their kids.

    The media of course aid and abet the English and less well informed readers of the so called newspapers fall for it.

    I despair for the future. If independence does not arrive my children, who have the transferable qualifications, will leave Scotland and for the first time in my life I am seriously thinking about following.

    Looking forward to getting wet on tomorrow’s march.

  27. Ken2 says:

    Westminster imposed taxes and conscription on Scotland for wars for centuries. Edward 1 Wars in France. Normandy. Land and vast estates. Queen Ann 1707 Wars with France. Taxes and conscription imposed on Scotland. Riots and unrest. Petitions in Edinburgh. 1715 & 1745 Jacobite rebellion. Brutally put down. Brutality towards Scotland from the Westminster Crown. The Enlightenment 1750. Influenced the world.

    British/European monarchy. Queen Victoria’s descendants. Intermarriage and rivalry of Empire. Cousins married cousins. Inbred. ‘The divine right to rule’ from above. Autocratic Rule. The Czar invaded Germany. The Russian Revolution 1917. Balfour Agreement. Universal Suffrage 1928.

    The 1WW killing so many people. Millions worldwide. An appalling war. Starvation, disease and hunger. The EU founded to stop war and starvation in Europe after the 11WW. A successful union.

    Iraq, Dunblane and Lockerbie kept secret for 100 years. Under the Official Secrets Act,

    • Melvin penman says:

      Great post Paul, the British state is a saprophytic organism and lives off Scotland and it’s people. It’s no only sucking us dry but has plagued our minds with a virus of a caring Union. We need the EU as our antivirus and we must fight for it. We will not get independence “allowed or agreed by Westminster” we need to take it. It’s as simple as that the English saprophytic beast, will never give up on its food source so we need to cut off the resources and starve them, by whatever means required. That’s what England does to retain Scotland, so why are we so “kind” as to play their game,

      No more will be fooled by their lies and deceit.

    • chicmac says:

      Ken, the Scottish enlightenment began well before the Treaty of Union.

  28. leopardtown says:

    Very interesting, well researched piece. As someone of English and Welsh descent, resident in Scotland for the past 43 years, I have always been opposed to breaking up the Union, but only from a universalist perspective which brings with it a distrust of nationalism in general as something which emphasises differences between people, rather than their commonalities. However, following the triumph of narrow minded British nationalism in the Brexit issue and the attendant rise of bigotry in England, I find myself on the verge of reversing my stance, not least because I have children and grandchildren who I think would benefit from spending their lives in a more tolerant environment, hopefully embedded again in Europe via the EU. My only condition, if I can call it that, is that Scotland maintains its openness towards incomers and its outward looking orientation, not least because I haven’t lost my east Anglian accent! My kids etc will be fine, they are all proud born Scots and sound like it. Interesting stuff anyway.

  29. leopardtown says:

    Further to my earlier comment, I have just read a blog on an associated site which talks about trying to ‘marginalize’ the influence of voters who were born outside Scotland in the event of another referendum. As a tactic for winning a vote that’s maybe fair enough, but I suppose it chimes with what I was hinting at before: if the yes vote were to be successful there is the concern that those of us with the wrong birthplace or the wrong accent might be ‘marginalised ‘ in a more general way if national pride mutated into nationalism of the worst kind. I don’t attribute such negative intent to you but I would be interested in your views on this

    • weegingerdug says:

      I have always opposed any attempt to restrict the vote to those deemed to be “Scottish enough”. That’s not the kind of Scotland I want. Everyone who lives in Scotland deserves the right to have a say about Scotland’s future – no matter where they came from originally. Independence is about Scotland’s future, not about where you were born.

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