For more than three hundred years, Scotland has been an active member of a union with Wales, England and Northern Ireland but recently this partnership has come under threat due to nationalist views from a group of deluded self-serving failed councillors better known as the SNP. The ideals of these individuals threaten the very fabric of this hub of culture and enterprise that we know and love as Scotland. With the tricentennial anniversary of union, the idea of Scottish independence has again come up for fierce debate. How, I ask myself, did Alex Salmond and his nationalist cronies manage to concoct such a specious solution to Scotland's problems? A question easily answered: on the basis of false, misinterpreted and corrupt data.
In 2007, the SNP scraped a narrow election victory in the Scottish Parliament of 1 seat, holding 47 to Labour's 46 out of 129. This forced the SNP to form a minority government, being a pathetic 18 seats short of a majority but the result still caused uproar in the media. The SNP's decision-making power may be seen as weak due to its minority status. However, being in government has given the nationalists centre stage in the media for promoting their principal policy of independence for Scotland from the rest of the UK. Whether or not this conjecture has any feasibility remains to be seen. Which begs the question, what plans could the SNP have for Scotland that would supposedly improve the welfare of every citizen in the nation, be they laird or lavvy cleaner?
To begin with, if they achieve their ultimate aim of Scottish independence, the SNP want to withdraw public spending from what they consider “unessential” expenses, e.g. the military, with particular emphasis on Trident, our nuclear deterrent. The last UK budget put defence expenditure at £36.9 billion which is 1.7% of the UK's GDP of £2.2 trillion. To many this may seem extortionate but it is nothing out of the ordinary relative to similar sized countries in Europe such as France and Germany. Such a great sum of money is not merely for defence but rather to stress Britain's role as a leading power. With our blue water fleet, nuclear deterrent, large land army and technologically advanced air force, Britain possesses the power to engage in world affairs politically and militarily, something a nation of five million would never be able to achieve on its own.
So, how else would the SNP's independent Scotland be able to bring about its utopia of marble roads and gold-plated pavements? It is one thing to cut expenses in our country's essential defence budget but where else would they get the income to achieve their aims? Black gold seems to be the SNP's answer to every question posed regarding revenue. Party members continually fantasise about the UK's £10 billion annual income from North Sea oil being just for Scotland, where, they argue, it could be put to better use.
The SNP's policy regarding “Scottish” oil is a strange axiom to follow in the...