Friday, 9 August 2013



Who hasn't seen the touching last seen in Braveheart were William Wallace, after enduring being hung and racked, wins the heart of the English spectators by his defiance on the quartering block and his refusal to plead to the tyrannical Edward Longshank's for mercy. Wallace's shout of freedom is one of the most iconic moments in cinema history, showing devotion to Scotland to the very end and still makes Alex Salmond's under pants sticky to this day. The spirit of Wallace is still alive and well in Scotland today, look at the reception that  Nigel Farage received from Scottish extremists during his visit. In 2014 the Scottish people will get to vote on if they want to remain a member of the UK or become 'independent,' but which way would Wallace of voted should he be alive today?

The first point I would like to raise its just how independant a Scotland that secedes from the UK would actually be. The first point I'd like to raise is that Scotland wish to remain a part of the EU, so will still have 60% of their laws made abroad, yet will have a smaller say in what these laws are. In fact they will be entitled to just 12 seats in the European Parliament, which is a fairly insignificant number. Of course it may be pointed out that it currently only receives 6 seats but these are part of a larger UK voting block, whose MEPs try and look after each UK citizens interests, which include Scotland's. In the real world Herman Van Rompuy isn't going to be changing any plans he has that may negatively affect Scotland because they happen to have 6 more MEPs.

Another issue with an 'independant' Scotland with in the EU is that many of its policies that are currently doing damage to Scotland, such as there fisheries being stolen from cannot be reversed by an 'independant' Scotland as the common fisheries act is a pillar of the EU. Not to mention that an independant Scotland is likely to be far more left wing that the UK as a whole and there is a real possibility that they will be seen as a soft touch to immigrants and attract the poorest of Europe to their benefits and healthcare, were as currently many of them stay south of the border. Again the free movement of people is a pillar of the EU and you cannot control your borders while you are a member of it. Higher education also seems to have been ignored by Alex Salmond as if they became independant they would have to offer free tuition fees to English students at Scottish university's, instead of charging them the £9000 they do now. I have no doubt that this will lead to a huge increase in English students studying in Scotland that will either mean Scottish students missing out on places or their education budget swelling to unaffordable levels. While under current regulations English students aren't entitled to a maintenance loan or grant while studying abroad, it is inevitable that this policy would change to encourage students to go to Scotland and reduce the UKr's spending on higher education.

Lets pretend for the purposes of this paragraph that Alex Salmond's  fantasy of joining the EU without adopting the Euro come to fruition, there is still no way that in the neat future at least, Scotland could adapt a independant currency. The most striking reason for this is that Scotland currently doesn't have a bank, as the Royal Bank of Scotland was bailed out by the UK tax payer and therefore Scotland owns around 13% of it. Even for someone like myself who knows very little about economics, I can see the problems that would cause Scotland. Salmond's current idea is to retain the pound, so Scotland will still be linked fiscally to the UK and are unlikely to get any representation within the bank of England. Currently the bank of England takes into account the entire UK when making decision on things such as minting and the interest rates, yet will have no obligation to take  Scotland's needs into account should they vote to be independant. How can you possibly claim to be independant and yet have no control over the currency you are going to be using?

Another myth often spouted in Scotland is the fact that they are a remanent of the British Empire and ruled by England. For a starter it was the the Scottish King James VI who became James I of England and united the monarchy's of the two countries, it wasn't an English invasions like many seem to believe. Another key issue to point out is that the Scottish parliament freely chose to dissolve, due to Scotland being bankrupt. In exchange for Scotland and England's parliaments uniting, the English government paid of Scotland's crippling debts and allowed her to prosper. This is not anything like how a colony of an Empire was treated. There is also a widespread consensus in Scotland that that the Conservatives do not represent the Scottish people, but nor do they represent Liverpool or Newcastle so should they attempt to become independant every time Labour lose? To make matters worse the Scots seem to have extremely short memory's as prior to Call Me Dave, we have had two Scottish Prime Ministers in a row from the Labour party who are heavily supported in Scotland. I very much doubt that Blair and Brown represented the people of Cambridge any more than Call Me Dave represents Glasgow, yet in a democracy you have to accept that you are not going to get the result you wish for every time. Indeed it could be argued that during Blair's years as PM the English were subjected to rule by Scottish, after all it was the Scottish Labour MPs who ensured that English children would have to pay university fees, despite it being free on Scotland because of devolution. Taking it back to my opening paragraph in Braveheart Wallace wanted freedom for Scotland because they had no say in how Scotland was run, yet was expected to pay money to the English treasury and they was also subject to harsh treatment of the English nobility, he certainly wasn't fighting over petty nationalism.

Nationalism is exactly what Alex Salmond is using in order to try to win the independence referendum, which is quite scary considering how far reaching the consequences of voting to leave could be. roof of this is the date that he has set the referendum for the 18th of September 2014, just three months after the 800 year anniversary of the famous Scottish victory at the Battle of Bannockburn. It is also shortly after the Scots host the Commonwealth Games, which will no doubt increase Scottish nationalism. Further proof is the fact that Salmond is allowing 16 and 17 year olds to vote in the independence, an age group unlikely to have any real ideas of the issues surrounding the independant debate, yet are more likely to be flag waving nationalists who will watch Braveheart the night before and vote for 'independence.'  The fact that Call Me Dave has allowed 16 and 17 year olds to vote is an absolute disgrace, if he truly believes that 16 and 17 year olds are old enough to make decisions on such a serious issue why aren't they allowed to elect and MP? Why can't they drink alcohol? Why can't they get a tattoo? The fact is that Call Me Dave is a weak politician and because of his spinelessness, the UK could be split up because of how a group of children have voted.

I have only touched on a few of the main issues regarding the independence debate and yet it is clear to see that not only is the independence movement using cynical tactics to win the election, Scotland will not be independant if they vote to leave the union as they will still have their economic policy decided in London and more frightening for them they will be little more than a satellite state of Brussels. I have no doubt that had William Wallace been around today, he would have found the likes of Van Rompuy and Barrosso to be closer to Edward Longshanks than the democratic relationship they have today with the rest of the UK. I am going to make a bold claim and state that had Wallace been around today not only would he have been campaigning to remain a art of the UK, he would also have been a member of UKIP as leaving Brussels is the only way Scotland and the UK can truly win their FREEEEEEEEEEEEDOM.

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