Time to spread our wealth among the nation
When researching aspects of the Highland Clearances it dawned on me that those dark episodes in our history were the beginnings of capitalism in Scotland.
Over ninety percent of Scots lived off the land. The landowners discovered they could get a lot more profit out of wool than from renting property, and so the evictions began in the same way a company today would lay off workers, but in Sutherland’s case, without redundancy payments. Those who had lived off the land found themselves with nothing.
From that moment on the dispossessed sold their labour in order to survive. Employers soon understood they could acquire great profit by keeping wages low, and workers dependent on their employment. The adage all folks are born equal is a bare faced lie from the moment the midwife cuts the umbilical cord.
Poor as a church mouse- no! – a woodlouse
The gibe commonly thrown at Scotland by the pillars of the British State to the point of chronic boredom, is how poor we are and how poor Scotland will be if we restore independence. To make a flat lie stick repeat it endlessly.
Scotland is rich. Independent we would be one of the richest nations in the world.
One of the good things to appear out of the referendum debate was bright economists sympathetic to Scotland’s plight. They illuminated the real deficit – a lack of economists working in Scotland supporting independence, the few who popped up to give evidence self-appointed charlatans ready with figures skewed to Unionist purpose.
When those paid economists of the British State – often lecturers in our universities – talked of ‘the wealth of our nation’ it was always in terms of our culture, the arts, and what a fantastically inventive country we are. They avoid translating our output into what we earn and are not allowed to keep.
When a discussion turns to money we get evasion and deceit. We are offered spurious comparisons, told too few of us create wealth and the rest of us sell our labour or sleep on the streets drunk or doped.
The lesson drummed into us is this, for every millionaire there’s ten thousand struggling poor, a bizarre argument for sustaining English rule. One place where there’s definitely no collusion is between the British State’s brains and its mouth.
Scotland’s oil reserves were always marked down, an understandable sleight-of-hand because England snaffles the lot. A thief will always try to reduce the amount he has stolen so that you feel less motivated to string him up, but for kudos he will boast the real amount to his pals. Thus, it took non-Scottish based economists to tell us the truth.
One of the world’s most respected Irish economists David McWilliams explained in detail why Scotland would thrive as an independent nation, and why the economic potential of Scotland is actually in a stranglehold while it remains a part of the UK.
McWilliams is well respected because he also correctly predicted the global financial crash of 2008. Now of course, this was not reported in UK media, but it was on Irish news. Interestingly, he also predicted that the Scottish independence vote would change Scotland’s relationship with the UK Government forever.
The McWilliams Reasoning
Here is McWilliams showing how much stronger is Scotland’s economy to Ireland’s:
“Look, it’s clear to me that Scotland could be an independent economy. There’s no doubt of it. The Scottish economy is bigger than the Irish economy, the rate of unemployment is half of our unemployment, it has oil, lots of it, it’s population structure is quite young in comparison to other parts of the UK. So this is an economy that could survive on its own without any real problems – it could even thrive on its own. We’re not talking about a bit of the UK, we’re talking about an economy that has  one hundred and ninety billion Euros, GDP – so its big by any standard. There’s no reason to think Scotland can’t survive and thrive.
The fib lies in telling Scotland it gets more out of the Barnett Formula than it puts in. If you judge an economy on a projected deficit you’re putting the cart before the horse. The question is, how do you get there, and can the Scottish economy be dynamic enough to generate revenue over – let’s say – the next ten years to reduce its expenditure and narrow that deficit.
In actual fact, a deficit does not matter as long as they can finance themselves, and I’ve no doubt that they can.
People need to stand back and see what’s there. You’ve an economy in a wealthy country that says going independent now is probably the best time they could do so. Because for the next forty years they have oil revenues, substantial revenues, and they can deploy an investment strategy to attract multinationals – like our own – their wages are much lower than Ireland’s, one of their main competitors. So, there’s every evidence to prove Scotland can and will survive and thrive.
What we’re getting is a policy of a lot of scaremongering on the part of the establishment of Westminster, by that I mean the political parties, and the corporate block for the simple reason they don’t want change. Now, there’s no doubt there will be complications but that’s the negotiation period.
However, this notion – what currency? – it somehow changes the dynamic that Scotland could not manage the transition and be a normal country with wealth generated by a normal society, is to me just not credible.
The [world] will see there are two English speaking countries, Scotland and Ireland, and Scotland will see inward investment coming to them because Ireland has had the pitch to itself. And as long as Scotland was part of the UK corporation tax was never going to be touched because London didn’t want it touched, denying the Scots the game we’re playing, but whether its a Yes or a No [14 September 2014] all that will change.
My grandparents were Scots. If I was there I’d vote Yes because there’s something very exciting about the right to govern your own affairs. This is something that is deep inside all of us. Even if the vote goes No this is going to change the relationship between Ireland and England and Scotland in ways people would never have contemplated a few months ago.”
The game’s a bogey
Other economists followed suit, such as Richard Murphy, and Yanis Varoufakis. An article in the Independent newspaper a couple of years ago did the same as McWilliams, it explained exactly why Scotland has all of the ingredients to become the world’s richest country on a per capita basis.
Is there a problem why some think otherwise? Yes, we’re loaded down with debt accrued by the UK and we are obliged to help pay it back. They then call that Scotland’s ‘deficit’.
It ran a narrative admitting that, after the No vote, media lackies dropped their guard, and that includes Sir Ian Wood who made his billions out of Scotland’s oil and told us to vote No. Like the unionist media, he said oil was almost depleted, and then he said we’re floating on the stuff.
Thinking the independence movement no longer a threat to their comfort zone, journalists and tame economists now openly admit Scotland’s oil is a massive asset.
Oil is good for at least the next fifty years, not forty as McWilliams states based on the information he had in 2014. The media has blown its cover. They cannot downplay oil revenues as a scaremongering tactic for the next independence referendum.
In fact, BP openly admitted that Clair Ridge is a real project and have started drilling. I recall Salmond labelled a conspiracy theorist for discussing this project. BP predict 640 million barrels of oil. The oh-so-terribly-low estimate perpetuated by mainstream media was a deliberate deception.
Flaky economists are also admitting Scotland need not rely on oil alone, it has so much else to help generate a sound economy, and of course, it has the greatest resource of all, clever and hard working people.
If the guv’nor says it, it must be true
Canadian governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, got into the act. He told a press conference that “the broad brush assets of the Scottish financial sector” is worth at least “ten times GDP,” and admits that to be “north of a trillion pounds sterling.” Currently, that equates to over £1.8 trillion.
No wonder Scots are paranoid. Absent from the British mainstream media was any mention of that healthy economy. They will bring themselves to mention success achieved by Scots companies but as a one-off fluke. They won’t join up the dots for us.
What is the secret to being the wealthiest country on earth on a per capita basis? Well that’s easy to answer – have lots of wealth and share it with a relatively small population.
The argument that a country might be too small to survive is so much nonsense. Moreover, a small country means you can see your elected representative going to work each day, or shirking their duties. That closeness generates accountability and less opportunity for state corruption. Being smaller also makes it easier for a nation to remain competitive and attractive to foreign investment and corporations.
Go north, young man
McWilliam echoes a widely held belief voiced by outsiders which opines that Scotland could easily implement the Irish model of reducing corporation tax slightly in order to attract huge American multinational corporations to set up home in Scotland.
That policy attracts tens of billions of pounds into the Scottish economy, and would also provide excellent jobs with excellent pensions and benefits to thousands of workers who are currently undervalued in the UK’s low wage economy.
Scotland already has a higher GDP Per Capita than France, Spain, New Zealand and Japan. So if you’re saying that Scotland isn’t rich enough to be independent, then you’re also saying the same about those nations, which is preposterous. I’ve already written about New Zealand, a country similar in many ways to Scotland but without the string of pearls that is Scotland’s natural resources. It survives well, and with no submarines!
The state of the State
The point of this essay should be plain by now, by fudging the financial figures the British Government deliberately mislead the public into thinking that Scotland couldn’t survive on its own.
Forbes magazine, a periodical no one can call remotely left wing, made the same observation, “the British Government has lied to Scotland to keep it under control.” Nothing new about that, Mr Forbes, but nice of you to tell us conspiracies actually exist.
I repeat, unionists can’t use that campaign a second time, not when they’ve pulled out of Europe and desperately searching for new trading partners, none of which they can sign up overnight. For once the British government has stitched up itself.
Losing Scotland means England-rUK takes a massive hit to its GDP. The UK would lose oil reserves, gas reserves, hydro power, arable farmland, forestry, sea area, reservoirs, fishing waters, gaming lands, rock and granite quarries, slate reserves, tourism income, export income, and a staging post to train half-baked comedians trying to make it in politics. Just watch some of England’s indigenous companies and financial institutions move to Scotland in double quick time.
We can expect a very long caravan of sensible but anxious settlers arriving in Scotland for a ‘better life’, in which case we’d damn well should ensure we are in charge of all we earn and keep it in a very large, safe metal box to distribute as we think fit.
The only reason to let wealth go south is because we are giving England a loan!
For reasons why Scotland must use it own currency for indepedence, click on this link to a 6 minute explanation by the respected English economist Richard Murphy: https://youtu.be/YMLddlxapwQ