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..There's a little Samuel Pepys in all of us..

Sunday, November 26, 2006

An interesting situation developing in these British Isles..
The Scottish Labour Party is holding it's annual convention on Oban this weekend, and Home Secretary John Reid is expected to make an address today.. The focus is expected to be the threat to the Union posed by the Scottish National Party, led by Alex Salmond, and it's agenda to separate from England.
There have been numerous attacks on Alex and his SNP plans in the House of Commons of late from Tony.. but it seems each forray against the SNP is boosting it's popularity here, north of the border.. There is a real chance that in the Scottish elections, scheduled for next May, the SNP may well form the majority in the Scottish Parliament..
It's a situation that seems to reflect that which is going on in Canada, with the Bloc Quebecois aiming for the same results as the SNP..
The Independant newspaper, an English publication, leads this morning with a poll which indicates that while 53% of Scots favour independance.. 59% of English would be happy to see Scotland go it alone.. There have been many protests from English MP's, since the establishment of the Scottish Parliament, that Scots MP's in Westminster have the right to vote on issues that affect England only.. It would appear the English are fed up with the Scottish drive to dissolve ties, and are quite willing to let the SNP carry Scotland into the precarious position of going it alone..
One wonders how many Canadians would feel the same about Quebec..
It's a shame, as one has stated before, that fences are being erected without complete analysis of the economic and sociological consiquences, but if the Quebecois and the Scots are hell bent on going it alone, then so be it.
As for Canada, being a bi-lingual country is not a matter of pride for the bulk of the country. Most of the rhetoric touting the two language situation appears to be coming from Quebec itself, which ironically, is uniligually French.
On both sides of the Atlantic it would appear, those who pay the bulk of the bills, and receive the bulk of critisism, have just about had enough.
England, like Canada, would find itself on the winning end of separation.. English taxes would go to English needs, just as Canadian taxes would exclude Quebec from any provincial benefits, including Federal Transfer Payments, which would provide a much needed boost in the incomes of the poorest Atlantic provinces..
In England, at least, the man on the street sees Scottish separation as a win/win situation..
One would imagine a poll of Canadians would produce the same results..
What the Pequistes and the SNP apparently has not thought out, is how they'll run a country with a tax base of some 6 million people in Scotland.. and some 4 million in Quebec..
How they'll fund the pensions, the social services, reduce unemployment, attract foreign investment into areas that geographically are much the same. In Quebec, there's nothing, in essence, once one goes north of the St Lawrence Seaway, other than hydroelectricity and lumber. In Scotland, there's nothing much to entice foreign investment when employment opportunities are cropping up like the flowers of spring, in the newest countries to join the EU..
This writer, should it come to Scottish separation, will happily move South, for the thought of being governed by short-term opportunists does not appeal, at all..

1 comment:

Richard Thomson said...


If a big tax base is a prerequisite of success, why then is tiny Luxembourg - a country with fewer people than live in the City of Edinburgh - far and away the wealthiest country per head in the EU?

Scots will fund their social services and pensions in exactly the same way they do now - through the taxes they pay. And since Scotland has been paying more into UK coffers for the last few decades than has been returned, I for one would welcome the opportunity to put that surplus to use in making Scotland a better place in which to live and work.

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