This article comes from the blog of the late John Jappy. He is one of Scotland’s unsung heroes, or he would be had we an honours system of our own and the shared belief in our country as an homogenous society. He ought to be up there among Scotland’s ten best champions of open democracy. There is no Wikipedia page on Jappy and you will be hard pressed to find a decent obituary. And here we are in 2021 still answering the same inane questions thrown at us by defenders of a crooked, failed Union. For all the truth he told, Jappy might as well have been a sandwich board man walking up and down the High Street, his message reading, ‘Destiny is at hand’.
It takes generosity of spirit and a lot of guts to thank those who make the ultimate sacrifice when you feel safer to hold your tongue, watched by authoritarian governance. Jappy was among the first to scotch the myth that Scotland was subsidised by London. In truth it was, and is the reverse, Scotland pays more to England’s coffers than it receives in annual allowance. If one also takes into account the profits from North Sea Oil the sum adds up to trillions. I know of no nation that would accept this grand larceny without mass revolt yet the person in the street thinks it is not a criminal conspiracy.
Back in 2014, I and others drew attention to Jappy’s work for the Cause when he published his exposé prior to the referendum vote. What he had to say then is as relevant now as it was when he published it.
John Jappy had a Road to Damascus moment. He discovered his London masters were liars and crooks, the Labour party a gang of thieves, Tories, House Jocks urinating on people’s hopes, crawlers, coattail hangers-on and cap doffers siding with the power elite so they were offered preferencial elevation. People such as the insipid Ian Lang, Lord Lang of Monkton, is one classic example, the man who boasts of introducing a voting system to Scotland ‘guaranteed to keep the SNP out of government’. (In the event, he need not have bothered. New SNP shows no inclination to recover universal freedoms.) Jappy told Scotland how we are duped and what we can do about it. The tragedy is, we ignore the John Jappys and allow the Ian Lang’s the power they crave.
Jappy made a telling contribution to the Yes cause with memorable blogs and video posts on Youtube which readers can still view. He was an insider who knew the UK Government’s accounts achieving high office in the General Accounting Division, with links to the Treasury.
Jappy never got the thanks he was due. Sometimes, we Scots can be ungrateful bastards. In normal circumstances, he might have received an honour from the Queen on his retirement, but a dissenter and a member of CND he was passed over. Republication of his most revelatory blog honours his memory.
by John Jappy
As a civil servant in London, and being part of the establishment, I always accepted the general view that an independent Scotland would not be able to survive on its own without financial help from the London Exchequer.
In fact it took another 30 years before the first chink in their armour started to appear. This came unexpectedly on 13 January 1997 when, in reply to a series of questions put by SNP Leader in the Commons, Alex Salmond MP to the then Tory government, Treasury Minister William Waldegrave admitted that Scotland had paid a massive £27 billion more to the London Exchequer than it had received since the Tories came to power in 1979 (ref: Hansard). Statistically this works out at £5,400 for every Scot.
Silence is golden
There were no attempts to refute these figures, which caused much embarrassment to the Tory Government of the day. The facts were quickly covered up by the Unionist controlled media.
When the Labour government came to power it announced a 1p cut in the standard rate of income tax. From my detailed knowledge of income tax, I felt that this was the worst possible thing that they could do, as extra monies would be needed following on from the Thatcher era, if they were to fulfil even a fraction of their promises to the electorate. I came to the conclusion, and I still feel that I was right, that this was done by Labour to prove to the voters of Middle England that they could match the Tories in tax cuts.
After the debate it took the Labour Party a whole week to admit that they were wrong. There was in fact a whole chain of errors which the Labour Party tried to blame on “printing mistakes”. However Labour could not deny the fact that in their calculations the UK average figure, which included the high wage earners in the city of London and the booming economy in the South East corner of England (which if I may say so were the result of the selfish policies of Mrs Margaret Thatcher), the figure used was almost double those of the average Scottish wage which at that time stood at £17,000 per year.
Checking the figures
Looking closely at the figures and taking the year 2006 as a benchmark, I found that Scotland had an annual relative surplus of £2.8 billion, which works out at £560 for every man, woman and child. In contrast the UK had a deficit of £34.8 billion. In November 2006, the UN published its annual “Human Development Index”.
For the sixth year running, oil rich Norway topped the list, and won on such factors as generous welfare payments, education, high income and a long life expectancy. Norway wisely created an “oil fund” in 1995 which in 5 years reached a total of £250 billion, so that Norway sailed through the Credit Crunch.
Who are the real subsidy junkies?
Any lingering doubt that Scotland more than pays its way, or survives on subsidies, was dispelled by a report published in the Daily Mail on October 12, 2007.
The Daily Mail, which by no stretch of the imagination could be described as a supporter of Scottish nationalism, devoted a whole page to the analysis of the report which was based on tax paid per capita as against spending; Northern Ireland received £4,212 more than it paid in tax, North East England £3,133, Wales £2,990, North West England £1732, South West England £978, West Midlands £931, East Midlands £185 and lastly Scotland £38. Only the South East corner produced a small surplus due to tax paid on the high wages within the city of London at this time (pre-Credit Crunch).
It is no longer refuted that Scotland exports more per capita than the rest of the UK. In 1968 when I first discovered that Scotland was in surplus in relation to the rest of the UK, its exports could be broken down into whisky, meat, timber, fish, and of course tourism which is a huge hidden income.
Those exports are supported by a population of only 5,000,000 as against 45,000,000 for the rest of the UK, quite a substantial advantage.With the oil boom, Scotland’s economy was transformed. Scottish oil has to date funded the Treasury with £300 billion, which has pushed Scotland up from 7th place in World Wealth rankings, had it been in control of its own resources, to 3rd place.
On 29 May 2008, Labour Chancellor Alistair Darling admitted in a back-handed way, that Scotland’s oil revenue had been underwriting the UK’s failure to balance its books for decades. There is still 30 years of oil supply left in the North Sea (some 150 million barrels) valued at 2008 prices at 1 trillion dollars. This excludes the new fields being brought into production in deeper waters west of Shetland.
Meantime whisky exports, which I listed in 1968 as one of Scotland’s top assets, have risen at a phenomenal rate. For example, whisky exports to China amounted to £1 million in 2000/2001, by 2012 they had risen to £71.5 million and have continued to rise.
The economies of independence
On the economies of Independence, Scotland has also 18 times its requirements in North Sea gas, which on current trading is more expensive than oil. The country exports 24% of its surplus electricity south of the Border, with much of the back-up by Hydro Electric unused.
Even if nuclear is excluded, the future looks bright, the new Glen Doe hydro station on Loch Ness which was opened by Scotland’s First Minister last year can produce enough electricity for 240,000 homes. Further projects down the Loch which have now reached the planning stage will increase this to over 1,000,000 homes. Wind and wave energy will also contribute significantly in the future.
No doubt as the time draws nearer to the referendum on Scottish Independence, politicians will do their best to distort the figures – but all that a UK politician needs to be is a good actor.
Having worked on the preparation of UK National Budgets for most of my working life, it irks me when I hear the likes of Danny Alexander [former Tory stooge] spouting forth figures condemning Scotland to financial disaster if it votes for Independence. He has no life experience of producing these figures, he is simply reading from a script given him by his Tory chums. They pull the strings. In fact I once met a Chancellor of the Exchequer who could not even work out the PAYE tax for his domestic employees. The only reason why he didn’t get someone else to do it was that he was ashamed of how little he was paying them!
Amidst all the claims and counter-claims being thrown around at the moment, I am sure of one thing – if Scotland votes for Independence on the 18th of September, those of us living north of the Border will not lose out.
John Jappy speaks about the theft of Scotland’s wealth. https://youtu.be/TG8uLTaicIY
John Jappy on Scotland’s oil: https://youtu.be/vESsdL4c0-k
After completing ‘Highers’ in school, John Jappy joined the Civil Service in Inverness in the Accountant and Comptroller General’s Branch. Several quick promotions took him to the Head Office in London, and further promotions to the General Accounting Division, with links to the Treasury. This involved Jappy in the preparation of National Budgets, entrusted to handle the most confidential investment papers of Her Majesty the Queen and personally repaid to her the income tax deducted on these investments, which at that time the Monarch was not required to pay. It was whilst working on Government finance that he became aware of the appalling waste of resources on weapons of mass destruction, which could never be used without causing the end of civilisation. On retiring from the Civil Service he joined the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and was elected National Convener of the Scottish Campaigns’ Committee and served as a member of the Scottish National Executive. He was Vice President of Scottish CND.