SNP leader Alex Salmond suffers blow as group says yes vote at 2014 referendum would mean cuts of £2.4bn in first two years
|Suggested by Vincent McDee|
Glossing over the puerile casting of the constitutional question in terms of a single personality, there is something rather odd about the kind of analysis being reported here. I'm not referring to the obviously skewed assumptions that are made in order to contrive another scare story for Project Fear and a nice sensational headline for the media. I'm talking about how one-sided the analysis is. It's a job only half done.
When the people of Scotland go to the polls in just less than a year's time, we will be faced with two choices. We can either bring Scotland's government home where it belongs, or we can leave it in the hands of a UK government we have invariably rejected and have no real influence over. But, while we are being offered two options, we only ever see economic analysis relating to one.
Even as British politicians these days try desperately to avoid openly insulting the people of Scotland with the standard "Too wee! Too poor! Too stupid!" line, we are daily regaled with tales of the myriad forms of economic catastrophe that will befall Scotland should we dare to vote Yes. But we hear nothing of what might happen if we vote No. British politicians, pundits and "experts" alike are curiously quiet when it comes to the consequences of remaining in the UK.
How then are people to make an informed choice? We know full well what independence means. It means being like any other comparable independent country. It means facing up to the same sort of economic challenges that those countries deal with as a matter of course.
Notwithstanding the vein-popping hysteria of the anti-independence campaign and its tame media hacks, there is no rational reason whatever to suppose that Scotland will encounter anything more than the rather mundane issues of economic management that are part and parcel of being an ordinary independent country. There is abundant analysis to bear this out. So much so that even the likes of Alistair Darling and David Cameron have felt unable to deny the weight of evidence. So that's the economic aspects of the Yes option covered.
But what of the alternative? Why are none of these "think-tanks" thinking about that? Or, if they are thinking about it, why are they not telling us what they reckon will happen to Scotland's economy and the services which it supports if these are left to the tender mercies of a British state that no longer has to concern itself with the threat of a vote for independence?
Half of the picture is missing. But, in all honesty, I'm pretty sure most of us can fill it in for ourselves. Most of us, including many of those determined to vote No, are perfectly well aware of the havoc that will be wrought on Scotland if we forfeit the opportunity to take back the powers that are ours by right.
It is not a question of whether we can avoid the economically destructive and socially corrosive policies of UK governments if we vote No. It is a question of whether we are prepared to accept a fate far more troubling than anything that independence might hold for us.