This weekend saw the anti-Scottish Squadron Volante of British Nationalist Parties and the Orange Order getting together with literature to instil fear of normality into the Scottish people.
Jim Murphy went out to campaign with SCUP MSP Jackson Carlaw (Labour believe Carlaw is unfit to hold elected office but are happy to campaign with him to preserved the unequal, unfair and aggressive United Kingdom.) It's quite probable that apart from their obsession with holding Scotland back from joining the nations of the world, they had much to talk about: Carlaw was appointed Deputy Leader of SCUP after telling racist jokes at its manifesto launch in 2005 - perhaps they was able to swap stories about the "good old days" of the Apartheid regime in South Africa, which SCUP so loudly and proudly supported, and from which Murphy benefited so gratefully.
In other areas of Scotland, woman abuser Ian Davidson went out with the party's "leader" Johann Lamont in Govan to obstruct people's shopping Saturdays with a smattering of bitter Unionists. Quite how Lamont can bear to be gallivanting with such a violently misogynistic ned is beyond me. Perhaps she puts her principles in the same box as she keeps her views on Weapons of Mass Destruction.
They handed out the following leaflet:
|Anti-Independence leaflet, courtesy Nic Prigg|
The leaflet, as a whole is laughable. It contains the whole anti-Scotland argument in one document; the argument being "you are too small, too poor and too stupid to possibly be able to operate your own democracy".
If these ten points are the reasons to remain part of the most aggressive and destructive empire in the history of mankind, then it cannot be credible that the people of Scotland will choose this option.
1. Scots are represented by over 270 embassies as part of the UK.
This is not one of the typical and cynical distortions of the truth by the British Nationalist Parties which we know and love - it is a simple, blatant, outright and easily provable lie.
The British Government's very own foreign ministry shows the lie. It tells us that the United Kingdom has embassies in Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, Chile, PR China, Colombia, DR Congo, Costa Rica, Ivory Coast, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Georgia, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Holy See, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, DPR Korea, South Korea, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Luxembourg, FYR Macedonia, Mali, Mexico, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Nepal, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, The Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, The Ukraine, UAE, USA, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen and Zimbabwe.
It's an impressive list, to be sure.
But it's not "more than 270 embassies".
It is, in fact, little more than one hundred - of which more than one third (in italics) are in this very continent of Europe.
It is, in fact, little more than one hundred - of which more than one third (in italics) are in this very continent of Europe.
It's hardly a worldwide system of influence and presence, is it? Indeed, during the secession negotiations, Scotland will be owed money for many of the properties in which these embassies are based. Is it beyond comprehension that the Government of Scotland may strike a deal with the British regime that sees the UK representing Scottish consular affairs in place of this money?
Scotland, as part of the United Kingdom, fails to be represented diplomatically in almost half of all sovereign states in the world. Is it beyond comprehension that in these places in which we need to be represented, we can either open an embassy, or strike a deal with one of our European partners to do so. This isn't just an option for tinpot dictatorships: even the United States makes use of this arrangement on occasion.
2. Scotland exports twice as much to England, Wales and Northern Ireland as to the rest of the world.
Between 2006 and 2010, Scottish exports to the rest of the world increased by 18,7%.
For a small nation like Scotland, it is only natural that our major export market is our closest neighbour: the British are also our major import partner.
This is not only a nonsensical reason for remaining part of the United Kingdom (Britain's second largest export market is the Russian Federation: should they join in a political union? Surely they'd be richer, stronger together, and with a much better chance of winning medals in the Olympics?), but it has more than a slightly veiled threat of trade barriers and embargoes if we dare to take our independence back.
If there are to be no trade embargoes, then why would a change in the seat of government affect our export markets?
If there are to be trade embargoes, is bullying and threats really a reason to stay in the Union?
3. One in five Scots are employed by English, Welsh and Northern Irish firms.
How awfully nice. Not quite sure why it is an issue in an independence referendum, however (notwithstanding even the fact that this means 80% of Scots are not employed by British firms).
Is this an implication that these firms will flee for the hills the minute Scotland takes control of its defence and foreign affairs? If so, why are there so many British firms operating contentedly in Ireland?
There hasn't been a single British company which has spoken of leaving Scotland after independence. Quite the contrary: with our dedicated and highly-skilled workforce, we are an attractive location for companies.Of those which have spoken, GlaxoSmithKline, the major pharmaceutical company, has said it will be "business as usual" following Restoration of Sovereignty, with its CEO, Andrew Witty, commenting that
Since the independence-supporting SNP took control more than five years ago, outside companies have invested in Scotland, including Diageo (which only this week said that it would be business as usual for them after independence), GSK, Taqa, Avaloq, Ineos, PetroChina, Dell, Gamesa, Amazon, Mitsubishi, Hewlett-Packard, Mitsui and Life Technologies, with Scotland becoming the market leader in inward investment in the United Kingdom since the SNP won its second term and announced the Independence referendum.“Obviously the very big investment we’re making in Montrose and Irvine signals our confidence in the future of Scotland. What we’ve done speaks louder than words.”
4. 31,000 workers in Scotland have jobs with the UK Government
This figure represents fewer than one percent of the Scottish workforce.
This includes people working for the Department of Work and Pensions. Is it inconceivable that the functions of the DWP will not be duplicated by the new Scottish Government? Put it this way: if welfare was devolved, would it not be the case that all of these people would transfer automatically to the Scottish Government?
When the British government leaves Scotland, will all of its functions leave?
Do the British Nationalist Parties genuinely believe that none of the functions which are held in Scotland at the moment will be required post-independence? Do they genuinely believe that there would be a welfare staff of zero? Do they genuinely believe that there would be no Inland Revenue? Do they genuinely believe Scotland will have no Customs staff? Do they genuinely believe that we will not have a passport office (we'd better have a passport office if we're going to need a passport to visit the granny in Newcastle that every bitter Unionist seems to have)? Do they genuinely believe we'll have no Coast Guard?
Stop the scaremongering: people just don't believe your lies any more.
5. Scottish banks were bailed out with £470 bn from UK taxpayers
The collapse of the Bank of Scotland and the Royal Bank of Scotland were a direct result of the refusal of the British government to properly regulate the banks.
The "too poor, too stupid" leaflet from the British Nationalist Parties implies that only Scottish banks collapsed. When Labour speak of the collapse of the many British banks, they are quick to refer to the "crisis which originated in America". But when Janus speaks to the Scottish side, it was a Scottish collapse, in which we were saved by the largesse of our generous, paternal neighbours, who forgave our flirt with independence to pat us on the head.
In fact, the average Scot didn't want (or need) these banks bailed out, as so many UK banks were. We would rather that, like Iceland's banks, they were punished for their crimes.
The fact is that this was an act not of generosity from the UK taxpayers (Scottish parasites, subsidy junkies et cetera ad inifinitum), but one which - funded partly by Scotland's generation-long subsidy of the British exchequer and the money stolen from our country to pay for London's sporting vanity project this summer - was intended to maintain, for political reasons, the facade that the British economy was strong.
And ask this: if we are indeed Better Together, why should our banks collapse anyway?
6. 800,000 Scots live and work in England and Wales without the need for papers and passports
As is natural and healthy with a neighbouring nation to which our economy is so strongly linked.
This will continue after independence - unless the inclusion of this passage is a threat to revive the Alien Act of 1705.
As neighbouring, fellow EU nations, British people have the right to live and work unmolested in Scotland, and vice-versa. No amount of hate and bitterness by the British Nationalist Parties, acting in concert with the fascist Orange Order, can prevent this.
7. The UK has the world's second biggest aid budget
In 2011, the UK donated € 9,881m despite employing less than 500 staff in Scotland
Last year, the USA donated US$ 49 bn, and Germany donated € 10,453m.
Either a Euro is worth more than five US dollars, or this is a lie.
8. The UK means Scots get a seat at the top table of the UN
Really? Mark Grant is currently occupying the seat. He isn't Scottish, is he? His predecessors, Robert Sawers,Emyr Jones Parry, Jeremy Greenstock, John Weston, David Hannay, and Crispin Tickell, Anthony Parsons, Ivor Richard, Colin Crowe, Hugh Foot, Patrick Dean, Pierson Dixon, Gladwyn Jebb and Alexander Cadogan aren't/weren't. Scottish.
John Thomson was Scottish, to be sure. The last Scotsman to "get a seat" at the UN Security Council. Someone who was born the day he vacated that seat would have been able to vote in the 2005 General Election.
The only other Scotsman to "get a seat" at the UN Security Council was Donald Maitland, who was Permanent Representative for a few months in the 1970s.
So, the very last time a Scotsman sat at the top table was 1987. Perhaps it would have been more accurate to write "the UK meant Scots briefly got a seat at the top table at the UN in the past". But maybe that would hit too close to home: a Union which may have worked in the past but which Scotland has outgrown since the days of Thatcher doesn't really fit the narrative of the British Nationalist Parties.
9. Scots save billions on the cost of mortgages due to the UK's AAA credit rating
It is implied that a restored Scotland will not have an AAA credit rating. Quite why this should be the case when Denmark, Norway and Finland - like us, stable, northern European countries with a population around the five million mark - with their almost identical economies retain an AAA rating is not explained.
Apparently, we would be too poor and too stupid to manage to set up our own welfare system. Who can forget the chaos when Montenegro left Serbia-Montenegro with absolutely no idea of how to.....oh, wait, that didn't happen.
10. The pensions of 1m Scots are guaranteed by the UK welfare system
Again, the UK welfare system is not some benevolent act of charity. Scots have put into the welfare system and are entitled to those pensions.
There are 27 sovereign member states of the European Union. The United Kingdom does not administer 26 of them. They seem to cope alright.
Yes, the pensions are guaranteed by the UK welfare system. That is because the British regime refuses to devolve welfare to Scotland.
Their refusal to offer it means we must take it. And in a democratic Scottish socialist republic, we can be sure that - unlike the British system - our pensioners will never, ever again have to choose between dying of hypothermia or dying of starvation.