Thursday, 11 September 2014

Scottish Jig Speeds Up

With the vote on Scottish Independence very rapidly approaching, Alex Salmond, leader of the Scottish Nationalist party has already had rows with UK politicians, and the men from the ministries ... with claim and counter claim about the benefits, or costs that Scotland will incur or gain, if they vote for or against independence.

Essentially the SNP claim everyone in Scotland would be £1,000 better off each year, and the Westminster Parties have said they would only benefit by staying in the UK, and by £1,400 per annum.

Alex Salmond's Dance Of Political Expediency .....

Who knows the truth of these claims, certainly not me  .... both sides are making claims, but they are essentially dancing to the same political expediencies i.e. Saying whatever is needed to win the vote.

I won't even bother to wade through the claim and counter claim, but I will pick on another subject ..... Money management. On this, there are some irrefutable facts, which the Scottish people should really consider before that X goes onto the ballot paper.

I lived in Edinburgh for 5 or 6 years, and there were numerous wastes of tax payers money while I was there ...  but here's a few historical instances for consideration:

The Parliament Building: Scheduled to open in 2001, it finally did so in 2004, more than three years late, and with an estimated final cost of £414 million, many times higher than initial estimates of between £10m and £40m.

The Edinburgh Tram System: Construction began in June 2008 and the first tram ran on 31st May 2014, but on a system only half the original planned track length. The scheme was costed in 2003 at £375 million. In May 2008, when contracts were signed, this had ballooned to £521 million. However, once extra interest payments are factored in, the final cost is expected to top £1 billion, although officially it still stands as £764 million. The trams will run at an operating loss over the next 15 years and need an initial start-up loan of up to £3m and they will have to be subsidised by the formerly profitable bus service.

The Colony of Darien: Ironically of course the last time Scotland was independent it went bust through an imprudent colony scheme, at Darien in Panama. The colony they named 'Caledonia', and the town they called 'New Edinburgh', but the costs were enormous, as the colony had been funded by public subscription, with between a quarter and a half of the available wealth of Scotland invested into the scheme.

Within nine months of setting sail from Leith, most of the colonists were dead. A second fleet sailed in 1699, not knowing that the colony had already been attacked and burned to the ground by the Spanish, and abandoned by its few survivors, and so the Scots were bankrupt. Despite claims by nationalists, that somehow the English sabotaged the colony (as if England should help Scotland set up a rival colony), the truth was that it was a massively ill conceived idea for such a small and poor country on the northern edge of Europe. They then joined the Union with England and Wales, and the English Parliament bailed out the Scottish debts in return for the political union. Scotland thrived as part of the new British Empire with Glasgow becoming the second city of the Empire.

And my view of Scottish Independence? .... well I believe that the argument should be that:

'United we are strong, divided we are both weaker. No 'Devo Max', you don't try to bribe your partner to stay in a relationship, as it always ends in tears later on. So go or stay, its Scotland's choice, but the decision should be because that's what you want to do. But lets make the break clean, if break we must .... No shared currency. Independence is all or nothing.


  1. Great picture pal. I know you don't mind them being copied.


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