Wednesday, 20 August 2014

In 2007 David Cameron said that “there is no point in trying to keep Scotland within the United Kingdom through fear of economic consequences".

However, when the 'Forces of Darkness' met at Westminster to plan to kill off Scotland's bid for freedom, they found that all the Aces were held by the 'Yes for Independence' campaign. After much deliberation, they decided that the only answer was to scare Scots into voting against Independence, hence 'Project Fear', as they themselves named it, was launched.

Consequently, every week, and sometimes every day, another scare story is beamed to the Scottish population.

One of the first was to tell Scots that, if they voted for Independence, they would not be able to watch Dr Who on TV.  This caused much laughter, particularly when the BBC was boasting that the programme was being broadcast to over a dozen countries.  A lot of people also knew that many of our Polish friends have their TV sets permanently programmed to accept only Polish broadcasts.

An equally ridiculous story was that following Independence there would be armed guards at the Border.  Most people are aware that being part of the EU you can travel across Europe as far as Poland or Greece with scant attention given to passports. Travelling to the Irish Republic causes no problems; open borders; different immigration policies, and as for the "foreign country" slur used by the ‘No’ campaign, as the Ireland Act of 1949 points out "the Republic of Ireland is not a foreign country for the purposes of any law in any part of the United Kingdom".  Would Scotland be any different?  I think not.

One scare story that seemed to worry some older people was that, with Independence, they would no longer be able to draw their pensions.  Whilst SNP literature simply says that pensions will be paid as normal, I felt that the position needed to be explained in more detail. The Chairman of Highland Labour's No Campaign sprung this particular scare story into the local newspaper on 14 March 2014, and I include part of my reply here so that anyone wishing to respond to similar lies can use extracts -  

"Having  worked  on  UK  National  Budgets  for  the  best  part  of  20  years  I  can  inform Mr Robb that the Treasury has not got a pot of gold from which to pay pensions.  The Tax and National Insurance deducted from you and me all goes into the one ‘Consolidated Fund’ which is used for everything e.g. overseas aid, foreign wars, nuclear weapons etc, and of course the whole security pensions structure.  If I can direct Mr Robb to the Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland figures for either 2011/12 or 2012/13 he will find that Scottish taxpayers pay more tax per head to the London Exchequer than do those of the UK as a whole and as officially recorded have done so for the last 33 years, from which it is easy to work out that an Independent Scotland would be in a much stronger position for paying pensions.  I found out accidentally much earlier than this, back in 1968 (before a drop of oil flowed) on obtaining access to the Nation's ‘books’ for my budget work, that this was also the case then.  On leaving the Civil Service, I decided to write an account of how Scotland's finances had been handled by Westminster and you can now read this on my blog – article has been published by the Metro Group of newspapers, totalling 3.3 million copies, 1.7 million of which were distributed in London.

The big worry over pensions nationally is that the UK is deeply in debt.  Each year the Chancellor has to borrow around £115 billion, simply to balance his budget.  This money is never repaid but is added to the National Debt which has now reached the staggering total of £1.43 trillion (Feb 2014), the highest per head of population of all the G20 countries. 

This can just about be coped with now as interest rates are low, but if Interest Rates were to rise considerably, it would not be another ‘Better Together’ scare story that the term ‘UK Insolvency’ would come into the equation".

One scare story that has quietly dropped off the main agenda of the ‘No’ campaign is that Scotland would not be allowed to join the EU.  With the UKIP triumph down south, and now the Labour Party promising an in-out referendum, the only threat that currently remains for Scotland staying in the EU is if we remain part of the UK.

Scots are "nae daft" and far from succeeding into scaring Scots from voting ‘No’, these "scare stories" have made Scots more determined than ever to vote for freedom.