I’ve been thinking we need a short, simple, true explanation of why Scotland should be independent, that all, regardless of age, experience, background or understanding of political and economic arguments, can understand.
In the early hours, just awake, it seemed that this would be more elegant in its simplicity but as I wrote things became fussy. However, waste not want, this is my attempt.
Why it’s normal to be independent
It’s normal. Scotland was an independent country for around 1 000 years before the union with England only just over 300 years ago. We are surrounded by independent countries, many quite small like Ireland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, The Netherlands and even tiny Luxembourg. Most are better off, healthier and happier than we are yet only two, Norway, and Iceland, have the massive natural resources of wind and wave power, gas, oil, fish and other food products that we have. Some, like Norway and Ireland, only got their independence in the last 100 years. None of them want to be taken over by a larger country.
Why it’s right to leave Britain/ Britain was a bad idea
Britain, the four nations of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland along with a scatter of islands all over the world is the remains of a vast empire which used violence to conquer weaker populations and steal their resources. Millions died in war or in the famine and disease caused by Britain’s policies. None of us were taught about this in schools and by an education system designed to pretend Britain was civilising and educating these barbarian people. Were any of you taught about the Opium Wars when the royal Navy bombarded Chinese cities to force them to accept that British companies could sell them huge amounts of opium that would destroy their communities with addiction? Were you taught about Britain’s extreme violence, in the Scottish Highlands in the 18th Century, in Ireland in the early 20th Century, in Kenya in the 1950s? Did you know that under Queen Victoria, millions died from famine in India due to economic policies that, among other things, used the railways to take rice away from the starving? I did Higher History in 1968 and heard only how great the British Empire was.
Why many Scots want to stay in Britain
There are three reasons. One is the education we, especially the older have had, based on lies about how great Britain was and is. We never heard of the massive poverty in our cities while at the same time Britain was conquering the world and enriching its powerful elites. We hardly ever heard of our own writers and poets, force fed Chaucer, Shakespeare and dozens of other English cultural figures. Schools made us feel inferior, somehow not fit to be a nation. Two is the mainstream media, 90% in favour of the Union, lying to us daily, undermining our confidence by choosing to report mostly that which is negative and in ways to make it seem that Scotland’s government is not competent. The most obvious example is the unique way in which only BBC Scotland links reports of problems in health, education or policing to opposition party calls for SNP ministers to resign. Three, is the Labour Party, dependent entirely on orders from its London bosses, it champions the Union every step of the way and, in control of Scotland for much of the last century responsible for what has been our education.
I’ll stop there. Readers will no doubt have much more to say.