A very useful letter which Leah Gunn Barret sent to the Herald, Scotsman and Edinburgh Evening Times but which only made it into the latter, deserves much more attention and saving away for future arguments with your favourite Unionist neighbour:
Did you know 1921 was the last year the British State published Scotland’s contribution to the UK Exchequer? That year, Scotland contributed £119.7m, of which £33.1m was spent on Scottish services and £86.6m was retained in London for ‘Imperial Services.’ Irish independence was most likely the reason publication ceased. London didn’t want to give the Scots ideas above their station.
Another brief glimpse of Scotland’s contribution to the UK Treasury was in 1952/3. That year, Scotland’s revenue of £409.6m exceeded by £100m the combined revenues of Norway (£183m) and Denmark (£130m).
After North Sea oil was discovered in Scottish waters in the early 1970s, Scotland’s revenue exploded into the billions. The UK Government reacted by hiding the McCrone Report that showed just how wealthy Scotland would be if it retained its oil revenues. Again, London couldn’t risk Scots finding out how wealthy they were. Then Thatcher destroyed Scotland’s industrial base, not replacing it with anything.
In 1999, on the eve of the opening of the Scottish parliament, Tony Blair and Donald Dewar moved the maritime boundary from Berwick to Arbroath, reclassifying 6k square miles of Scottish sea as English, along with seven major oil fields. This immediately reduced Scottish revenue in the rigged GERS accounts. And Keir Starmer wants Scots to once again trust a Labour government!
The UK’s ongoing theft of our natural resources should be reason enough to end this union farce. The SNP leadership candidates, if serious about independence, should be shouting this from the rooftops.
11 thoughts on “The leadership candidates should be shouting this from the rooftops”
The reference to money retained for “imperial services” is, after some brief consideration, hopelessly unclear. Is this another way of referring to “services for Scotland” that we find in GERS?
Or is this money to help pay for the Empire, for if it is then it directs us away from the manner in which the UK ruthlessly exploited its colonies. One estimate suggests that prior to independence India had 45 trillion dollars “stolen from it”. https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2018/12/19/how-britain-stole-45-trillion-from-india
The Empire paid its way. More than paid its way. In the UK little has changed. In a book on Welsh independence I’m reading just now, the author makes the point that while Welsh coal was exported from Wales to other parts of the UK or abroad, in vast quantities, little of that money stuck in Wales, which is one reason for Wales being one of the most disadvantaged parts of the UK. Sound familiar?
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You may have seen this previously but this review of spending allocated to Scotland relates to a period just a few years prior to the Treasury paper revered to in the article.
Imperial spending really just refers to the money the establishment spent in furthering the foreign ventures used to filling the pockets of the establishment.
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#ClaimOfRight #SSRG #IndependenceisNormal
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Yes it always strikes me why the SNP don’t use this info more widely especially when Unionists use GERS to good effect giving the wrong impression that we are somehow beholden to the generosity of English Taxpayers. Indeed I use the analogy quite often in reverse role play…
”Hi I’m your Tory MP and want to know if I can still count on your vote”
” OK but we are struggling so why do we not get the same ‘freebies that the Scots get?”
” Well we have to subsidise those pesky Scots that’s why”
English householder …
”So if they are such a liability why don’t we let them get Independence?
That usually shuts them up.
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Yes and of course it’s always perplexing. I ask folk who call Scotland a ‘subsidy junkie’ with zillions of freebies given as a gift lol, why do they want to keep doing that to their detriment? ;-/
The other thing I say is, keep sending your hard earned cash to Scotland and get back to work lazy sods, the people of Scotland want to continue to live in the manner to which they have become accustomed, luxury, now where’s my champagne butler! Just as well the English are so generous. 🙂
Of course reality is, Scotland has been massively stolen from, kept poor and using tactics such as drugs being imported (easy peasy guess who controls the coastline/ports in Scotland) to keep the young folk from seeing the truth, and the English establishment for what it was and is, posing as the Uk, thieving Scotland’s resources and land, while keeping control of the levers of power in order to keep taking huge resources from Scotland. Certainly can’t fault the British nationalists for their cunning, it’s worked a treat, until now. They won’t let go lightly.
So yes, SNP should shouting this from the rooftops, historically and presently.
Scotland is being ripped off, to the tune of well, probably £trillons in fact. With their BREXIT, Scotland is in great peril and must escape from the (pretendy) UK without delay. I want a future FM to have the guts to tell the people of Scotland how Scotland is being ripped off by the country next door, (no offense I love my English friends and family) has been for a very long time.
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Completely agree, and as well as that, all candidates should be shouting from the rooftops that Scotland is self sufficient in energy, and exports a surplus to England!
Leah’s letter is in The Scotsman e-paper of 25/2, under the heading “Stolen Resources”. I have saved it for future use.
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Must tell her
Scotland raises £69Billion+. Gets on average £30Billion Block Grant. £20Billion? (UK) pensions/ benefits back. Scotland has to pay for loan repayments on monies not borrowed or spent in Scotland. Scotland loses out £Billions in tax evasion. £Billions on Brexit. Scotland cannot borrow paid in growth. Scotland pays too much for the military Trident and redundant weaponry. Getting little back. Illegal wars cost Scotland £Billion. Financial fraud by Westminster. Scotland surplus in fuel and energy pays more. The list is endless. Scotland could raise £80Billion like Norway without Westminster mismanagement and interference.
Another good resource is the excellent video ‘Diomhair’ (trans.’Secret’) by BBC Alba, made some years ago, but still on Youtube.
Although it is in gaelic, it has English subtitles.
Under te hgold standard this may have been significant, but since we are no longer on the gold standard (it ceased in 1971) there is no need for taxes to fund spending, and the link between taxation and spending is invalid these days. Taxes certainly serve several useful purposes, but funding government spending is not one of them. There is no operational dependency on tax revenue when you are a monetary sovereign government that issues a free-floating fiat currency. You simply debit your account at your central bank (which of course, you own, you are your own banker).
You can never run out of money and never go bust, and there’s no need to “balance the budget”. Margaret Thatcher famously said in 1983 that “government has no money of its own, there is only taxpayer money’, and we have lived with this lie ever since. It serves the Tory party to continue with this lie; they can impose austerity, make cuts to public spending, and increase taxes on the working population under the guise of “paying for” stuff. But there’s never an “affordability” constraint on a currency issuer, it is purely a question of resources. If the raw materials, the human and physical resources are available, then te government can create the money and spend it to achieve whatever is achievable. Yes, teh numbers may be quite big—but that’s not a problem, as I’ve said, teh government owns the bank, its cheques will never bounce, it can always pay its bills. The money itself is not a constraint—it just settles accounts. As te economist Steve Keen says, “The great tragedy of the global economic malaise is that it is caused by something that is essentially costless to produce: money”.
THIS is what the candidates need to know, not how much taxes were raised a hundred years ago.