Last time round 45% of us voted YES for the SNP believing that those in charge shared our particular vision of independence. Some of the 55% had a hazy and uncertain vision and the remainder did not wish to look beyond their present horizons.
These numbers will not change because of Brexit or another financial crash, the American election result or the squabbles at Westminster because along with politicians starting wars or advocating trade and investment deals, such events come and go – they may seem important at the time but it is in our nature that they will soon be displaced by the next crop.
Surely what underlies independence is how we deal with this constant stream of events. Is it not the simple desire to have a government which we feel really represents us and which is genuinely accountable to us? Is it not a desire to see a Scotland which will set its own standards within its own borders? Why not a small outward looking Nation happy to be friends but not prepared to kow-tow to any foreign politician? In other words a people of independent mind who are prepared to make their own mistakes and live with them but fed up with having to put up with those of others?
Last time independence was promoted as a minimal change scenario. The SNP would run Holyrood as a head nodding member of the EU, NATO and all the other existing British style affiliations, we would share the currency, the National Debt and banking system in fact Mr & Mrs Jock Tamson would hardly notice the difference – we might even continue to host Trident until the new generation of boats came along.
Today, in the shadow of this defeat we are tilting at Brexit windmills and struggling to respond to spurious financial numbers called GERS and joining the City apologists bemoaning the fall in Sterling – aye, a right old bunch of whingeing Scots right enough.
The SNP got it badly wrong, and so far there is no sign of any new thinking and that should be deeply worrying to those of us who hoped for change – and there’s the rub – we needed change, change writ large and clearly and convincingly. The strategy needs to be turned on its head and we should be setting out just how these changes will help Scots lead a better life than that presently on offer.
Let’s not worry about the RUK or Europe, lets worry about getting it right for us and then and only then need we consider what clubs and alliances we will or will not join. We are putting ourselves through hoops trying not to cause offence to outsiders – most of whom don’t care a jot about wither Scotland is independent or not. But I care, and you care – so let’s start by laying out our referendum stall to promote a positive image of independence – our interpretation of how a small Nation should conduct its affairs.
Now you will say to me that’s all very well, that’s pie in the sky, how about something concrete? Well, I’m no expert on Health, Education, Environment, Defence, Foreign Policy or any other of a dozen government departments, but I do know that every one of them defers to the Exchequer and the money system. Whether it’s arms sales to the Saudis or the budget deficit every aspect of our lives is obsessed with the power of money and that power controls our government and is privately owned by the banking system.
Yes, that’s where I start because until we determine that our kind of independence in Scotland will not defer to the bankers then that independence is not worth the paper upon which we write our new Constitution.
So we could well start drafting our new strategy by openly stating that the Constitution will not permit foreign owned banks to control our new Scots pound and that any bank wishing to trade within our borders will require to observe the laws of Scotland first and last. We will not be sharing the doubtful financial assets of Sterling so neither will we share the financial liabilities – the National Debt or the foreign currency deficit. Scotland can start with a clean sheet and a monetary policy which is not based upon debt and it can invest in its public assets without borrowing or paying interest.
Now some will scoff at this and turn away – just as some Scots Lords turned away from the battle in Braveheart; and some will say the power of the banks is too great to defy and not even come to the battle. But growing numbers are preparing for an inevitable change – perhaps sparked by financial technology, perhaps by a return to lost values or even a combination of both. And they are right because change there must be if our lives are not to be taken over completely by faceless financial interests and mega-corporations.
OK – end of lecture, but if that has not made some folk in the SNP feel just a trifle uncomfortable then perhaps we should put aside our metaphorical broadswords, turn the other cheek and roll over.
Which of these two choices we present to the electorate come referendum time is up to us. Read more about our Campaign at www.scottishmonetaryreform.org.uk