The fatuous claim that Scotland benefits from UK largesse rebutted once more

Retired Professor of German History, Jill Stephenson

Leah Gunn Barrett

Jill Stephenson fatuously claims [below] that Scotland benefits from UK largesse. This is simply not credible. Westminster, not known for its generosity, clings onto Scotland because it needs to continue its exploitation of our oil, gas and renewable energy, which it is taking without providing compensation to the Scottish people to whom it belongs. 

In fact, it is Scotland’s oil and gas that dug the UK out of its financial hole in the 1970s which is why the UK government buried the McCrone Report that revealed the extent of the theft. The second great rip-off has started. Scotwind was vastly undersold and Scottish renewables are being cabled to England without compensation for Scotland. 

An EU Commission report reveals that Scotland is on course to deliver nearly half of Europe’s offshore grid supply by 2035.[1]  This represents over 55% of the entire offshore grid potential in the Mediterranean Basin.[2] If Scotland controlled its own resources, it could lead the world in offshore wind energy production, fuel poverty would disappear and it could reap billions exporting surplus energy to England. 

Then there’s the unfolding Brexit calamity, which Scotland roundly rejected. We’ve not only lost valuable export markets and freedom of movement but also EU funding. Westminster promised to replace lost EU funding, but has provided just 60% of what we would have received had we not been forced from the EU.[3]

Unionists like Ms Stephenson are in panic mode because they know their arguments that Scotland can’t prosper outside the UK are absurd. 

Yours sincerely,

Leah Gunn Barrett


[1] https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=COM:2020:741:FIN&qid=1605792629666

[2] https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/91d2091a-27bf-11eb-9d7e-01aa75ed71a1/language-en

[3] https://www.gov.scot/news/eu-replacement-funding-60-percent-shortfall/Leah Gunn Barrett

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12 thoughts on “The fatuous claim that Scotland benefits from UK largesse rebutted once more

  1. Speaks German but hopeless at Maths and Statistics.
    Can’t read a balance sheet or count. Just look up the UK Gov Accounts for all the inconsistencies an£ £Billions wasted. Including Scottish revenues and resources.

    Supporting a UK Gov killing people. One a taxpayers pension contributions. To increased poverty in the UK. Beyond comprehension.

    Scotland loses £Billions to Westminster poor, bad decisions. Breaking the Law International and otherwise.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Although almost all of those who post on this site would like Scotland to be an independent country, we also accept, albeit reluctantly, that, at present Scotland is part of the United Kingdom, and, as such, is co-owner of all the assets and liabilities of the UK.

    In 2014 there was the stooshie about the continued use of Sterling. Whether that is a good idea is a matter for debate, but Sterling ‘belongs’ as much to Scotland as it does to the other parts; as do the armed forces, the NHS, and many other things, including the security services.

    The unionist/colonialist mindset is that UK/England, through its centuries old beneficence has generously and self sacrificingly expended it’s resources to help less fortunate peoples. When I was young and attended Sunday School we were regularly told how white missionaries helped poor black people, who were really just simple children who needed our help. It was condescending racist crap, but it is the same philosophy which underpins the ‘broad shoulders of the union’ myth.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. I was intrigued by Jill Stephenson’s comment on free bus passes so I followed her advice and checked entitlement in England on the gov.uk page. As she states it is 60 in London however for the rest of England it is State Pension Age.
    Just more gaslighting, who would have thought?

    Liked by 4 people

  4. England to restrict bus fares to £2 for a single journey so there will be some subsidy but nowhere near as good as Scotland , Stephenson is a fool she knows she is wrong but is a representative of the English and other British nationalists and has to continue down the wrong path the path she chose many years ago, to admit she chose wrong and turn back would end her celebrity status which in old age is about all the comfort she , a miserable person , has.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m guessing that the conflated images of Big-Brother Scottish Government and Hitler’s Home Front are a conscious choice of byline on Jill Stevenson’s part. That’s cheap even by general Unionist standards.

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  6. If anyone had any lingering doubts about an Independent Scotland’s ability to not only survive but prosper you need no other evidence than Eire who according to some are quickly becoming one of the wealthiest countries. A country also that has far less natural resources at its disposal than Scotland.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good letter about this in this morning’s Herald. I’ll copy it in, but for your added enjoyment I will also copy in the letter that preceded it (online at least).

      Is the independence movement largely driven by emotion?

      IAN McConnell’s recent article about Brexit (“Two years on, Brexit ebullience is gone and many have woken up to grim reality”, The Herald, December 30) lists so many downsides of Brexit from economic downturns, the collapsing pound, travel restrictions, and reduced taxable income that it is difficult to comprehend that this is now happening.

      All of this, however, was predicted before the referendum, but most of the UK population seemed to be more affected by the side of a bus than economic statements from many experts.

      Scottish fishermen, for example, seemed to think that being able to fish from all of the UK’s waters without European competition would be wonderful. They forgot, however, that they would need to sell to someone and that someone were the Spanish and French who would soon put a stop to UK boats being allowed into their ports. Others were convinced that instead of “our” taxes funding inefficient French farmers and the Common Agricultural Policy we could keep it to ourselves for our own benefit.

      It seems that we are not good at listening to experts when it comes to economic predictions which conflict with our gut feelings. Other examples involve the results of Liz Truss’s actions when she became Prime Minister. She was warned, prior to the vote, by Rishi Sunak and others that her intended actions would wreck the UK economy but she and the majority of the Tory MPs did not listen. So, we had the UK economy falling off a cliff, the pound crashing, and the Bank of England having to take emergency action to support pension funds when she carried out her plans.

      There is unfortunately another potential action that is being driven by emotion although experts have told us will result in economic catastrophe. This is the proposal for Scottish independence. We are told of many things that will be better after independence. Scotland will be the “Saudi Arabia of green energy”, and our oil and gas profits will stay in Scotland and fund our own decisions rather than being diverted to London where the UK Parliament does not act in Scotland’s interests. There are plenty numpties in Westminster (as there are in Holyrood) but will gut feelings overcome the proposed reality of experts?

      Will the economic arguments against Scottish independence (even one where we are in the EU but out of the UK) when our biggest market is at present across a seamless border be any more effective than the ones which involve feelings of the heart listed above? Or will we be seduced by the sunlit uplands of independence shown metaphorically on the side of another bus?
      Colin Gunn, Glasgow

      Here’s what we could have won
      FIFTY years ago this week, the UK and Ireland joined the EEC. Back in 1973, Ireland’s economy was weak and it relied for the bulk of its trade on the wealthy UK. How times have changed. Through its membership of the EU, and its long-established transatlantic connections, small (Scotland-sized) independent Ireland has blossomed to become the world’s 27th-largest economy, with exports to the EU and US now accounting for 60% of the country’s $20 billion total.

      Ireland has also become a key actor on the world stage; it was a member of the UN Security Council for the 2021-2022 term and it sends more troops on UN peacekeeping missions than the UK. Since 1973, Ireland’s trade with the UK has fallen to less than 20% and this reduction continues thanks to Brexit.

      At the start of 2023, the economic position of the two countries could not be more different; according to World Bank data, Ireland has one the world’s highest GDP per capita ($100,000), compared to the UK’s lowly $46,500, and unlike the ‘zero-growth’ UK, this confident, connected and lucky country is looking forward to economic growth in 2023 of a healthy 3.2%. In short (and despite having fewer natural resources than Scotland), Ireland has successfully decoupled its economy from the UK’s and has a bright future ahead of it.

      See it Scotland, and weep.
      D Jamieson, Dunbar

      I think it fair to say that Mr Jamieson has given Mr Gunn his reply

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The economic distractions which the Unionists so love to bring up, besides being contentious, selective and utterly self-serving, are also essentially irrelevant. What is beyond doubt is that we shall have enough, more than enough; even David Cameron and Alistair Darling were obliged to concede that during the 2014 campaign. I recall the Daily Express getting into a right old froth some years ago when Nicola Sturgeon said that economics were not the be-all and end-all of the argument, screaming that her attitude was somehow indicative of criminal irresponsibility. Interestingly enough, the editor of the Express never said which country he thought the economic basket-case UK ought to join itself to if fiscal concerns really were more important than national sovereignty. Undoubtedly, most people in the UK would be considerably better off if it were, for example, a province within the Kingdom of Denmark.

        What IS significant is what you do with the budget you’ve got. You can play cynical manipulative games with it, which is what Westminster has been doing for as long as I can remember (and that’s over forty years), or you can use it to ensure that the life of the average citizen has as much security and dignity as is constitutionally [‘What that?’ – Westminster] possible. The Scottish political culture is thoroughly social-democratic, and there is no reason at all to doubt that a sovereign Scotland of whatever political colour would bear a considerably closer resemblance to Denmark than to the dismal model to which we are currently chained.

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  7. There is one thing that we should be clear about with Prof Emeritus Stephenson – she is an embittered old woman who can see her beloved Union disappearing round the U-bend and is appalled by the prospect that all her academic training about objectivity and being led by the evidence preceded the Union round the U-bend.
    As pointed out elsewhere, her claims do not stack up. Many of these make her a sort of female Gerald Edwards! I suspect she knew her claims were exaggerated (at best) at the time of writing. The point of the letter is what it means to others who are only marginally interested in the debate, and not necessarily well enough informed to know how and when you can get a free bus pass in England (I confess I am one who didnt know, and I am sure in the very unlikely event of me going to live there, it will be very useful). If you can convince people even of lies then you have contributed to the debate.
    However, Jill doesnt like getting found out. I had a Twitter spat with her a few months ago, in the course of which I called her “an embittered old woman”. Interestingly she seemed to take no offence at my use of “embittered”. It was the “old” that got her, coming back with, “how do you know I am old”. In one of her books (she was a fine Historian btw to her credit) there is a biog which says that her first lectureship was at Glasgow University in 1969/70. By this time she had completed her PhD, so aged, lets say 25 (or thereby). In that year I was in my last year at school, so I was 18. Ergo, she is about 7 years older than me, therefore given that I am 70 she had to be 77, which I pointed out to her. No reply!

    Like

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