Monday, 9 April 2007
Scottish independence - scary for Scots Tories.
This map is the political make up of the United Kingdom as of election night, 2005. As we can see, the area to the North of the Scots/English border is largely various shades of red and the area to the South is mostly blue. The North East of England is red, as is Merseyside. What all these areas have in common, is that they are peopled by the welfare-dependent. Since 1997, Labour have increased the public sector by some 800,000. Scotland has the highest proportion of it's workforce employed by government in the Western world*. At 23.5% that's even more than the notoriously socialised Denmark. The country with the strongest ratio is, predictably, the USA, with 14%. England comes in at a blubberly 20%. But you can bet that "England" in this instance actually means "England & Wales". Wales (another traditionally red area) would undoubtedly top the league if assessed as an independent nation.**
Should Scotland aquire independence, and I'm writing this from the perspective of someone who wishes them to have it, we will be in for interesting times ahead. I would not want to be self-employed or a money generator in the New Scotland. The SNP and Old Labour rule the roost North of the border - think Harold Wilson with a kilt.
Mr Salmon is also very keen to embrace the "European Ideal". Indeed, he envisages keeping Sterling for a couple of years and then embracing the Euro! In terms of national independence, it would appear Mr Salmon prefers the fire to the frying pan.
Talking of the EU, a newly independent Scotland will have to be very robust with Brussels. Lord knows, Westminster have rolled over and given in to the EU on occasions too numerous to mention. But a member state with a population of only five million and lots of black gold will appear much easier to intimidate and coerce than a net importer with a 52 million population. Germany has a mindset against nuclear power and the rest of Western Europe will increasingly be under pressure to pay the Russian Danegeld in the future years. How nice it would be if wee Scotland were to be "good Europeans". That invidious phrase "common resource" springs to mind........