a reply to: TDawgRex
To: Doug, Mike and Peter.
I am a Scot, and I have kept fairly quiet regarding the upcoming referendum on Scottish Independence so far.
I very much appreciate the implications that a YES vote would have for Scotland, the rest of the UK and beyond.
For me, (from my own personal perspective) the following post explains the current desire for an Independence referendum for Scotland. Perhaps it
might give you all a wee insight into why this has come about?
Scotland is currently a part of the United Kingdom, with just less than 10% of the total UK population living here.
We have our own devolved parliament with some powers over Scottish affairs, but it's powers are severely limited by the financial constraints imposed
on it by successive UK governments.
All of the taxes which are raised in Scotland (Including those from Scotch Whisky and North Sea Oil/Gas) go straight to the UK government, and they
then "allocate" some of those revenues back to Scotland, for the Scottish Government to spend.
We have a very different vision of what we want our society to be like, than those in the rest of the UK, and as a result, many here are unhappy at
not being able to spend ALL of the Scottish Tax revenues on issues that effect Scotland and the Scots.
e.g. we have used our allocation of tax revenues to protect our National Health Service and Education in Scotland (Prescription meds, and
college/university education is free at point of delivery for Scots in Scotland but not in rest of the UK.)
It is important to us Scots that our education and Health services are accessible to all, but the UK government is actively privatising many aspects
of the English/Welsh NHS services, and already allows Universities to charge "tuition" fees making University education beyond the reach of many
poorer families there.
We feel that is morally wrong, but our NHS budgets are linked in to the NHS spending in England. So, when the English NHS saves money by
"privatising" some services, the Scottish budget is cut by the same proportion (even though we do not want a private health-care model here). So we
are forced to make a choice between making up the shortfall in funding by making savings/cuts elsewhere, or following the UK model of privatisation
that we don't want!
Many people in England resent the fact that we in Scotland have our own parliament, "FREE" health care, prescriptions and University Education, and
they feel that THEY are paying for it. They are not.
The Scottish people paid for and set up the Scottish government, and that body has had to re-organise and re-prioritise many aspects of it's spending
in order for us to be able to afford the "free" education and healthcare.
It is We Scots who are paying for it out of our own budgets, but we often get labelled as "subsidy junkies" etc by the London based media who
continually imply that it is the UK who pays for all of this. They do not.
The UK government actually insists that Scotland gets a good deal from the UK, because Scots receive more "benefits" per head of population than the
rest of the UK, but they totally ignore the fact that Scots PAY MORE per head in taxes than the rest of the UK.
AND crucially, (and often overlooked) the official figures calculated as being "spent" on Scotland, very often include monies spent on "UK"
projects which will benefit the "whole of the UK".
Projects like HS2 (Hi-Speed Railway upgrade) costing at least £4.3 Billion!!, which links 8 of the 10 largest cities in the UK (ALL in England).
Guess which 2 of the top 10 cities are NOT included in the upgrade???
Glasgow and Edinburgh (Both in Scotland).
But, the average Scottish taxpayer is still having to pay £1000 each to fund this ONE SINGLE wonderful "UK" project.
Is this in any way justifiable? (there are MANY more too btw)
The UK government is based at westminster, London, and it's decision making and policies consistently favour London and the South East of England to
the detriment of the outlying regions like Scotland.
The current UK Government is a coalition of Conservative and Liberal parties.
We, in Scotland did not want, or vote for a Conservative or Liberal Government, but we have less than 10% of the UK votes so we have little impact on
the outcome of UK elections.
in fact - In each of the last 8 UK general elections, if you removed the Scottish Vote in its entirety, the outcome of the election would have been
exactly the same.
In other words, NO MATTER WHO SCOTLAND VOTES FOR IN UK ELECTIONS - IT DOES NOT EFFECT THE FINAL OUTCOME.
We keep getting a UK government that we did not want and did not vote for, controlling the budgets of the devolved parliament that we did vote for.
It's ALL WRONG.
Most Scots do not want to leave the UK, but the feeling is growing that we MUST leave, in order to take charge of our own future before it is too
It is not about anything, other than wanting to be in control of our own destiny, and wanting to be in charge of our own tax-raising and spending
It is that simple.
Oh, and by the way...
We WILL still be British if we gain Independence. (We form the northernmost part of the British Isles after all!)
We will be leaving the United Kingdom; the unjust, unbalanced political union which no longer meets our needs, hopes or aspirations as a nation.
I hope this clarifies at least some of the reasons why we are having a calm, reasoned and peaceful referendum on Independence.