Belfast Telegraph

It's time to get rid of English spongers!

By Robert McNeill

Bile, ignorance and prejudice. Not a firm of solicitors but the Greater British response to the debate on Scottish independence. Well, sayanora to all that. The opprobrium suits those of us wanting to see Scotland a normal country. It's turning waverers towards the light in droves.

Then we'll see how England's usury-based economy gets by on its own, with its manufacturing output of garden gnomes, wee St George's Crosses, and bile against all its neighbours (if it isn't us getting it, it's the Welsh, Irish, and French, or indeed the 'Europeans': they hate everyone).

Consider this: English supremacists call Scots scroungers but their leaders are desperate to keep us. Curious. Consider this: they deride a once mentioned 'arc of prosperity' that cited Iceland and Ireland. In fact, SNP leader Alex Salmond originally mentioned a third country, Norway.

The supremacists always deliberately omit Norway. Interesting. Consider Norway: Scotland's nearest neighbour eastwards. Population: 5-6m, same as Scotland's. Resources: similar to Scotland's. Two oil-rich countries. Same part of the globe. One routinely cited as the world's richest country; financially secure for centuries to come. The other? Scotland.

Scots are sick of hearing tripe about subsidies. Everyone in the UK is subsidised, no more so than Londoners. But listening to the whingeing Englanders, you'd think it was just Scots (though the Northern Irish get a pasting too). In fact, Scotland gives more than it takes: according to the London Government's own most recent figures, in 2009-10 Scotland, including her oil, generated 9.4% of UK revenue and received 9.2% in expenditure. In addition, Scotland's deficit has for years been less than the UK's as a whole. As SNP deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon put it: "By the unionist parties' own risible logic, Britain could not possibly afford to be independent." Under independence, we wouldn't have Trident or fight in daft wars. We'd have a small army and navy, and would contribute these to the world the way other small countries do already: humanely and helpfully.

We'd have our own resources to stimulate our economy. We'd look after our elderly and sick, according to our communitarian traditions. For years, we've had Thatcher, Major, Cameron and all manner of freaks foisted on us, despite the fact that there are more giant pandas in Scotland (two) than Conservative MPs.

Somehow, of all northern European countries, only Scotland - engineering powerhouse, rich in resources, tourist mecca, inventor of multifarious whatnots (television, telephone, yada-yada) - would be too wee, too poor and too stupid to run its own affairs. Well, we'll see.

Where does this leave Northern Ireland? Still, alas, part of England and the Other Bits for now. But Scotland will always co-operate happily with her brothers and sisters, whether they call themselves Irish or British. As for the sectarian nonsense perpetrated by a minority of nuts in the Central Belt - and a source of bafflement nearly everywhere else in the country - that'll be swept aside in the new Scotland. Running our own affairs, we're going to tackle it and, indeed, have already started.

We're desperate to have our country back, to get on with things, to recoup 300 years in which our resources have been pillaged and we've been called 'subsidy junkies' in return.

Well, listen up, London: stick your subsidy in your own goddam hookah and smoke it.

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