Mark Dolan: It’s my personal view, that the Scottish people are far too wise to sign up to unending rule by Nicola, Queen of Scots
Mark Dolan says 'Someone should just do the maths and show it to the public. Show them how high the economic, societal, infrastructural and national security bill would be'
Nicola Sturgeon yesterday proudly announced that UK pensions would continue to be paid in full by UK taxpayers, in the event of Scotland leaving the union, which I’m calling Scexit.
Sturgeon said that Scots who have made state pension contributions to the Treasury would still receive those payments, and her official spokesman went further and claimed that the UK government would be expected to contribute to the pensions.
Except they were referencing comments made in 2014 by the then pensions minister Steve Webb, comments which are more out of date than a Bobby Davro
Prior to the Scottish Independence referendum, Steve Webb said people who had 'accumulated rights would continue to receive the current levels of state pension'. However, Mr Webb quickly clarified his remarks within days, saying that it was for the independent Scottish government to pay its own state pensions.
Mrs Sturgeon has obviously been too busy for the last eight years to notice that correction. But why let the facts get in the way of a good headline.
But Nicola Sturgeon is courting disaster for Scotland with multiple assumptions. For example that the Scottish currency, in the event of Scexit would be the pound. Pray, tell me who this supreme leader has negotiated that one with? And how will Scotland replace expected billions in oil income, now they’ve said they won’t exploit the vast oil fields of the North Sea?
Or what about Scotland’s share of the UK national debt? That one seems to have been swept under the carpet too. There are a lot of dark surprises, lurking under the tightly woven sporran of the SNP. What would the national security consequences be of Scottish Independence? We’ve heard very little from the first Minister on that one, other than a determination to get rid of nuclear weapons, which notwithstanding the natural courage of the Scottish people and its rich pedigree in combat, is hardly going to make Scotland safer.
To be fair, and Brexit supporters will get this - there is an understandable emotional and cultural argument for independence, for sovereignty. Except that the SNP plan, is to replace so-called rule from Westminster, with rule from Brussels, subsuming Scotland into an even larger and more all encompassing political union – the EU. Out of the frying pan into the fire.
And if you want to see how the EU treats smaller nation states, exhibit A: Greece, a nation effectively bankrupted by a deal so unfavourable, it would have Donald Trump suffering pangs of guilt. The EU only know the art of the bad deal.
And will the EU accept an independent Scotland and thus risk Catalonia leaving Spain? And how would the EU protect the single market given that Scotland has a land border with England.
Questions, questions. So whilst the emotional and sovereignty argument for Scexit may have some merit, the economic one for an Independent Scotland is non-existent. And the economy matters, as we have seen during this pandemic. In fact, this pandemic has been the ultimate advert for the union.
It was the decisive buying power of the UK that saw a world-class vaccine rollout – EU member states were left biting our dust. That was a British success story. And what about our borrowing power? UK plc, with it’s enviable AAA credit rating, was able to borrow money at next to no cost, which allowed the administrations in Edinburgh, Belfast Cardiff and London to bankroll the economy, protect livelihoods and save thousands of businesses and quite literally millions of jobs.
Scotland has a high quality, dynamic, industrious economy. Scotland punches above its weight and always has done. But please don't tell me an independent Scotland would have the ability to borrow as cheaply and in such volume as the United Kingdom. I lived and studied in Scotland for four years. It's one of the most beautiful countries in the world, with the best people. Art, culture, manufacturing, education, digital expertise, innovation, design, food and drink of course – they’ve got it all. But it's a great disservice to the people of Scotland to assume, as many in England do, that if you're Scottish you automatically want independence or even that if you're an SNP voter, that you want independence.
A vote for SNP does not always mean a vote for independence. Scots already know what life would be like in an independent Scotland. Under Sturgeon, Scotland is becoming a woke dystopia. Civil servants are being ordered to put their pronouns on emails, children as young as four will be able to change their name and gender at school without their parents’ consent and there's a very real possibility that if you tell a dirty joke at home, or make a remark that is loosely defined as hate speech, you could be arrested. Going to jail for saying things in your kitchen, over a cup of tea, with friends or family. Just let that one sink in. Even Kim Jong-un himself would say you've overstepped the mark there.
Don’t get me wrong. Nicola Sturgeon is a very impressive polititian. Arguably a far more astute operator than our current beleaguered PM, currently mired in a set of scandals around lockdown-breaking parties. And unlike Boris, she runs a tight ship. She’s got her ship together. The disarray in Westminster and the chaos at number 10 imperils the union and adds lustre to sturgeons argument to leave.
And things going from mad to bad to worse in Scotland. Don't forget they've had more prolonged Covid restrictions, bankrolled by the UK government, with no better Covid outcomes. All of the consequences of restrictions, none of the advantages.
Masks are still required in shops, plastic screens everywhere, social distancing in retail and hospitality venues, customer flow, vaccine passports and kids are still stuck with those filthy rags all day long in the classroom. And how about this for the definition of bat shit crazy.
The latest act of lunacy is a plan to chop the bottoms off doors in Scotland schools to aid ventilation.
Who knew that the answer to Scotland’s Covid spread cam in the form of Nick Knowles and the cast of DIY SOS.
The good people of Scotland need an SOS out of this madness. First of all, when is this obsession with stopping the virus, going to end. Especially omicron, which we know is milder than a night on the tiles with Sir Cliff Richard.
Why in particular is there this obsession with keeping Covid away from kids? With teachers vaccinated and kids themselves at such famously little risk. Nicola Sturgeon chopping up doors, is an act of such anti-science, it makes the Bible look like the Encyclopaedia Britannica.
Even fire brigades in Scotland have said this will be dangerous as it may be against fire regulations. But while at the facts get in the way of a good headline. It's for your health folks, we are following the science. We will all obey, in the Peoples Republic of Nicola.
I actually think there's an argument to grant Scotland an independence referendum at the earliest opportunity. Lance the boil I say. Just as Vladimir Putin has his troops stationed on the border of the Ukraine, it's the politically cunning Nicola Sturgeon whose threats to take Scotland out of the Union, are the source of her power.
Grant her a referendum, Scotland stays and it's game over. I know that's a risky strategy, but in the end I'm not afraid. Especially if the economic, infrastructural, societal and national security implications of Skexit are made clear.
Someone should just do the maths and show it to the public. Show them how high the economic, societal, infrastructural and national security bill would be. It’s my personal view, that the Scottish people are far too wise to sign up to unending rule by Nicola, Queen of Scots.