So, just for fun, here is a simple point-for-point explanation as to why the new UK Government ‘Vote No’ pamphlet (I mean, helpful guide to allow you to make an informed decision) is nonsense that deserves nothing but your contempt:
1) “The pound is one of the strongest and most stable currencies in the world. Staying in the UK is the only way Scotland can keep the strength of the Bank of England and the pound as we have now. Setting up a new currency for an independent Scotland would be costly and risky.”
Any country that wants to can use the pound, so claiming that staying in the UK “is the only way Scotland can keep” the currency that we have helped to build is, without any doubt at all, a blatant lie.
2) “Currently, Scotland benefits from public spending per person that is around 10% higher than the UK average. Taxpayers across the UK help fund the vital public services we need such as health and education. The long-term financial benefit of staying in the UK is worth up to £1,400 a year to each person in Scotland.”
All three Westminster parties are completely committed to cutting public services further and further, so the notion that staying in the UK is what will protect us from the very cuts being imposed by the UK government is beyond absurd.
3) “Scotland trades more with the rest of the UK than with the rest of the world combined. Hundreds of thousands of Scottish jobs are connected to trade with the UK. A new international border and a different currency system would make trade harder and cost jobs at a time when the UK economy is recovering.”
The exact same situation exists in numerous places across the world (such as Canada and the USA, or the Republic of Ireland and the UK) so why should things be uniquely impossible here?
4) “The UK’s financial standing keeps interest rates low. That means cheaper mortgages and loans. Plus our greater size makes household bills cheaper. Staying in the UK would keep future energy bills for Scottish households up to £189 a year lower.”
Scotland is in a position to become a (perhaps the) world leader in renewable energy, with a massive chunk of the EU’s entire potential in wind and tidal energy available to us. On top of that, a new oil field west of Shetland has just been found to contain much more oil than was previously expected. Scotland is an energy rich nation, yet Westminster wants us to believe that we need them in order to benefit from this? The other point – about the UK’s “financial standing” – is also spurious given its recent downgrade in credit rating and the fact that Scotland’s annual deficit is, in fact, lower than that experienced by the rest of the UK.
5) “The Scottish Parliament already decides important matters like health and education, and more powers for Scotland are guaranteed. And, as part of the UK family, we benefit by sharing resources and pooling risks. By staying together, we can have more decisions taken here in Scotland backed by the strength, stability and security of the UK.”
New powers for Scotland are not, in any way, guaranteed; Scotland will receive more powers if and when the main London parties can agree on which scraps they should deign to offer us. Don’t forget that the same promises were made in 1979 and turned out to be lies. Of course, even if these entirely unspecified new powers were guaranteed, this wouldn’t change the fact that Scotland is completely capable of making it’s own decisions in all areas of public policy – if we already deal with education, health, criminal justice and a range of other areas then why on earth would we believe that we aren’t capable of being a successful independent nation?
As the leaflet says, make sure you have the facts when you decide Scotland’s future.