A CENTRAL plank of the SNP's case for independence - that Scotland has a healthy budget surplus - is "fundamentally flawed", the country's leading public finance expert says today.And there'll be more replies like this:
Professor Arthur Midwinter says that the nationalists' claims, made in their "Scotland in Surplus" document, are based on £4.5 billion of "dubious assumptions and unexplained assertions".
The Scotsman is really pushing the New Labour propaganda. Same garbage in two different articles. So when are they going to allow the SNP the same amount of space to reply to these lies and distortions?Here are some reasons why I'm still a unionist, albeit a federalist one:
(1) I worry about Scotland's large financial industry. Most customers are in England and at the first real whiff of independence English competitors will be warning folk about the wisdom of keeping their money in a country that appears to be addicted to socialism. On the other hand, the tourist industry could well benefit from independence.Over to my readers...
(2) It seems highly likely that Scotland's first few governments would be dominated by the numptariat with all of the financial consequences that would inevitably follow. But what about Ireland, we are asked. It took the Irish some fifty years after independence to realise that a low business tax regime was the key to prosperity. I don't think it would take us quite as long to get the message - (a) because the world is much more knowledgeable nowadays about which policies work, and (b) because predominantly urbanised Scotland was historically much wealthier than predominantly rural Ireland and people here would demand sound policies rather quickly. But it would still take a time.
(3) Anyone knowing history can only be impressed by the overwhelmingly positive things that have come out of the UK. I'm not convinced that the Union's time is up.
(4) Despite what some preach, many of us are both Scottish and British. Like me. My late father was English but spent a lot of his life in Scotland. My mother is Scottish but has lived in England since the 1960's. One of my sisters was born in Scotland, the other in England. I was born here, then moved to England, then back here again, then to England once more, and am now back in Scotland. I would find it distinctly upsetting to have a different nationality from others in the family and the idea that London or the Lake District could become "foreign" is bizarre in the extreme.