#AskFabiani – on Scottish Independence


What is the point in Scotland becoming independent?


In 1967, a good friend, and a great nationalist, Dr Winnie Ewing, was elected to the UK Parliament for the SNP.

She is famous now for a long career in politics, having served in the UK, European, and Scottish Parliaments.

In 1966, she became famous overnight for her stunning victory, but also for the memorable phrase:

“Stop the world, Scotland wants to get on.”

The simplest argument for Scottish independence is that independence is the normal state for any country.

With independence, countries get to make more of the big decisions for themselves, putting the interest of their own people first.

So, instead of, “why independence?” the question most people in the world would ask is – “why would Scotland remain in the union?”.

What benefits do Scotland get out of the union that outweighs the disadvantages – and even the most committed unionist has to concede there are disadvantages. Here are just six:

1 We get dragged into illegal wars, and while our troops are serving abroad their regiments are consigned to history.

2 We are used as the dumping ground for the UK’s nuclear weapons, while all the senior military posts stay comfortably in London and the South East.

3 We have no say in the key decision-making forums of the world – including the European Union – that exercise so much influence over Scotland’s economy and society.

4 Our assets are controlled from Westminster by a UK Treasury that uses them to prop up a failing UK economy.

5 We are unable to make economic and financial decisions that reflect Scotland’s unique economic conditions.

6 We are prevented from using the full range of powers over public services, benefits, and the tax system to tackle the poverty that affects too many of our people.

These are just a few of the disadvantages of the union.

Most politicians opposed to independence don’t even try to address these, they simply claim that Scotland is too small, or too poor, or is better off having the UK ‘look after us’.

Yeah right. Here are some examples of them ‘looking after’ us.

They have ‘looked after’ our oil for over thirty years!

On the other side of the North Sea, after 30 years, Norway has a £200 billion oil fund – what have we got to show for 30 years of being looked after? Cuts and unemployment!

Whenever oil gets raised as an issue, we get told it is ‘just about to run out’. That is why the Tory Chancellor is taking £13 billion in tax out of the North Sea this year!

The banking crisis has been used as a weapon against an independent Scotland.

When some of the oldest banks in the world fail – banks that have been regulated by London for centuries – that is a reason for Scotland not to become independent. You couldn’t make it up!

Yet, Labour politicians ,who claim they will ‘stand up for Scotland’, happily use London’s failure as just another excuse to talk Scotland down.

The SNP believe that Scotland could be so much better with independence. That is why we want to see the Scottish people given the choice over their constitutional future in a referendum.

This election is not about independence, but it is about what kind of government Scotland wants for the next five years.

The SNP is asking you to re-elect a government that has a real vision of what Scotland can be, and is prepared to work to deliver it. As this election campaign has shown, the alternative is just about unthinkable.

On 5th May, you have the opportunity to vote positively for Scotland’s future.

Linda Fabiani
April 2011

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