The cost of living is spiralling out of control; our economy has been battered by Covid, Brexit, Liz Truss and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; in Scotland, the Tories and Labour faffing about as they try to become the more extreme unionist party; and the LibDems are, well … the LibDems.
Despite their subtle differences, there is one thing they all have in common – their desperation to retain the Union – and we have to wonder why they are striving to keep hold of what is undoubtedly becoming a poisoned chalice. Perhaps some of the reasons why we are so vitally important are _
UK oil and gas revenues consist of offshore corporation tax (which includes ‘ring fence’ corporation tax and the extra supplementary charge), petroleum revenue tax and the energy profits levy (EPL). These taxes apply to the profits of companies involved in the production of oil and gas in the UK and on the UK continental shelf (UKCS) (“The North Sea”). In 2023-24 it is forecast that oil and gas revenues will raise £10.4 billion, however, the Scottish people were told in 2014 that the oil was running out but recent announcements that 100 new exploration licences were to be sold show us how we were misinformed and Crude oil was the second-most valuable commodity in 2022, with an export value of around 28.8 billion pounds in this year.
England has a massive international trade deficit In terms of exports per head, Scotland outperforms the UK: Scotland exports £17,455 per head per year, while the UK exports £8,626.so our leaving the UK would have a massive impact on England’s trade deficit Scottish produce is hard to beat, that’s why it’s exported all around the world. From our world-renowned whiskies, beef, lamb and seafood, to small-batch gins, craft beers, and baked goods, Scotland is the home of quality and flavour. If you’re interested in buying premium food and drink products. But that’s not all Mining and Quarrying, Refined petroleum products also make a huge contribution to UK exports
Scotland is a net exporter of Electricity into England and Northern Ireland Scotland’s net exports of electricity saw an increase in 2022 at 18.7 TWh, compared to 16.0 TWh in 2021. The value of Scotland’s electricity exports had an estimated wholesale market value of £4.0 billion in 2022, a 63% increase on 2021, and this has in all probability increased substantially since then. So England needs this union to keep the lights on
Out of Touch
We currently have a chancellor whose net worth is over £15 million and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak who are completely out of touch with reality and absolutely not on the side of ordinary working people They have no idea what it’s like to live month to month, or what it’s like to live on the bread line and decide whether you will put your kids in clothes or give them food that month. They at the head of government decide to cut Universal Credit for thousands of people but they live a lifestyle that ordinary people can only dream of. That’s what unionism really means that we are all better together just tell that to the thousands of people who are struggling to make ends meet.
As both Ross and Sarwar move closer to the next General elections, they must realise their support for the Union is purely based on England’s needs and if it continues, both will lose even more supporters. I know several Indy-supporting Tories and a lot more Labour voters who back indyref2, and while both groups say they understand the stance of their respective leaders, they know their parties will be consigned further to the backwater if they fail to change tack soon. They realise Ross and Sarwar will be backing their own “lame horse” – the Union – in the forthcoming election.
So where do they go from here as they head for elections?
The Tories might have gained more support when Douglas Ross took a break from running the line and became the first senior party figure to call for Boris Johnson to quit over Downing Street being turned into Party Central, as well as saying the PM would not be invited to their Scottish conference. Many people I spoke to – not all Tory supporters – said they didn’t think he had it in him, and some confessed to seeing him in a new light after his display of bravado in writing to the 1922 Committee demanding his boss’s resignation. That, however, turned out to be simply a desperate act from a man described as “having the backbone of a jellyfish”, and who withdrew his demand, saying it should be “paused” because of the war in Europe.
While this was going on, Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said the war in Ukraine shouldn’t stop Johnson’s removal from power, a sentiment many would have shared had he not then called for SNP voters to return to Labour to help get rid of the PM. Sarwar is too preoccupied with Scotland remaining in the Union to do anything to stem the long-term haemorrhage of Labour supporters as his party continues its exodus from its former left-wing heartlands
Len McCluskey led the union Unite for over 10 years and now says Scottish party chiefs should “grasp the nettle” and support holding indyref2. Otherwise, he says, Labour’s chances of winning the next Westminster election will be “impossible”. He warned the party’s refusal to countenance such a poll had led to droves of Labour voters switching their allegiance to the SNP – something we are well aware of.
Labour can only fight the SNP using negative economic arguments against independence, and would do better to focus on what Scotland could achieve as an independent country, instead of what it couldn’t. The Tories are stuck in their imperialist past and don’t want to lose any more of the UK’s outposts, particularly one that is so valuable. But the only weapons they have are blustering and bullying over indyref2 – and are unlikely to come up with any winning arguments before the elections.
It’s also true to say that many people now have little faith in the Westminster Unionist political system because it’s falling apart, with Partygate, allegations of corruption, bullying and a toxic culture for many female MPs then we have cash for peerages claims, MPs’ £2,200 pay rise and an austerity budget, for the many and tax relief for the better off. and the individual failings of ministers who behave as if the rules don’t apply to them. Then of course we have the scandal-hit House of Lords where 779 unelected peers costing in excess of £30 million, pass laws that affect all of our lives
The Union is looking politically unstable, so it’s time to dissolve it.