The core inspirational messages from the anti-Scottish independence Better Together campaign such as ‘there is uncertainty’, ‘no’, ‘it won’t work’, ‘we cannot afford it’, and ‘you won’t be able to watch EastEnders’ are making ripples far beyond the shores of Scotland. No former colony of Britain or any of the 160+ countries that have become independent in the last century have asked to go back, but it looks like that could all soon change because of the infectious negativity of the Better Together campaign about the risks of self rule.
Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg, ‘We are a pretty comparable nation to Scotland in terms of resources and population, we were also in a union with our larger neighbour, but when our citizens voted for independence from Sweden in a referendum in 1905, 99.95% voted Yes. But I think that was because we didn’t have a Better Together campaign to put the fear into us back then.
We have a caring, responsive and representative government that has steered the country to effectively and wisely use its resources for the welfare of the Norwegian people. Like most oil producing countries( except the UK and a couple of others) we developed an oil fund. We now have a US$810 billion oil fund as security for our citizens’ future.
Scottish oil wealth was probably used to build the M25 around London, and there isn’t a penny saved for the future. Maybe that is the kind of foolhardy, live for today, edgy decision making we need to shake up our comfortable lives after a hundred years of national prudence and diligence. It could produce a lot more angst and thus probably better pop groups. Also after considering what the Better Together campaign have been saying about risks of a small country like Scotland being independent, I think we in Norway and all the many other small prosperous countries in Europe have simply been very very lucky indeed. We are ranked 3rd and even Ireland after its financial crash is ranked 16th per capita GDP in the world, that’s 7 places above the UK, that can only be down to the luck of the Irish.
Considering the inevitable doom and gloom for small countries that the Better Together campaign have thankfully warned us about, I think before Norway’s luck runs out, returning powers to Stockholm again for remote governance is the only way forward for us. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Better Together campaign scares other recently independent countries in Europe and around the world to willingly give up independence and return to the control of their former rulers. I predict Poland and other Eastern European countries will be so inspired by the fear of political self rule generated by the Better Together campaign, they are probably already on their knees begging Moscow to take them back under its wings’.
The momentous thought provoking waves produced by the Better Together campaign have even crashed upon the political shores on the other side of the Atlantic. President Obama states, ‘ We were brought up to admire the many nationalists who fought and died for the independence of this great nation and their positive vision for self rule, it was always ‘What if?’. But I never thought about ‘What if not?’ until I heard what the Better Together people were saying about Scotland and applied it to my own country. The Better Together campaign leader, Alistair Darling’s ‘can’t do’ philosophy, has made me lose confidence in our ability to self govern. There is just too much uncertainty. I will be proposing to Congress that along with an apology for our misguided struggle for independence, the only course of action we can take is to ask London to please take us back. We will hand over all the Texan oil profit as a sweetener to the Treasury in London, just as Scotland is doing now with North Sea oil.
Also I’m looking forward to seeing the British programme EastEnders. I hear some Scottish people are afraid of losing that with independence, so must be really amazing. Is it anything like Breaking Bad?
As I digest the wisdom of the Better Together campaign I have begun to reflect upon the past with a completely different viewpoint. Over the centuries many thousands in Scotland, quite possibly hundreds of thousands of people around the world felt it was such a worthy cause to seek independence from London they gave up their lives for it. Now Scotland is being offered that choice on a plate without any loss of life. Instead of losing all those lives, all we really needed was the fatherly and dismissive voice of visionary unionists, like those in the Better Together campaign telling us not to be silly, that London actually puts the interests of everyone else before its own, and that they can run our affairs better than we can.
Scotland has contributed more money to the UK government than the UK government has given to Scotland for every one of the last 32 years, and Scotland is governed by a government in London it didn’t elect and David Cameron stated that ‘It would be wrong to suggest that Scotland could not be another successful independent country’. It could also be argued that self rule would enable countries to respond better to uncertainty rather than being in the passenger seat as Scotland now is, with government 600 miles away. It might all sound a convincing case for independence, but then Alistair Darling inspires with the case against it by saying something really profound and negative that makes you stop and think, ‘Why make a choice (for independence) we don’t have to make?’.
That’s the kind of game changing message we needed back in the day when we were making our own choices about independence. That would have stopped George Washington in his tracks. I think President Kennedy’s famous speech could have been more inspiring if it had infused some of the Better Together arguments. He could have said, ‘My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask why bother being a country at all?’