EVERY Unionist politician must be anti-Scottish. If not, what is it that they think makes Scotland unique among all European countries, with similar sized populations, in being incapable of performing better than the UK?

Could it be that unlike those other countries, we have a larger neighbour that is stripping us bare of our natural resources, without proper recompense?

If that is the answer, why do Unionists not see that? If they do see it, why do they pretend not to?

Let the Unionists explain – without reference to the truly debunked GERS data – what are the beneficial side effects of being attacked by Westminster? The answers, naturally, being allowed on the back of a new Royal Mail stamp – now more capacious with added barcodes.

In last Thursday’s letters to The National, Leah Gunn Barrett presented a fair amount of data from the ONS that showed just how beneficial Scotland is for the UK, providing well above its population share of most natural resources. For example, the ONS shows that, of “products extracted, harvested or derived from nature such as food, water, energy, minerals, timber”, 57% of the UK’s value came from Scotland, whose population share is only a little more than 8% of the UK total. Believe in Scotland booklets provide lots of data on individual disparities and it is quite dispiriting that Unionists are allowed to perpetuate their myths and lies concerning the economic viability of an independent Scotland despite the obvious case for independence.

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In the early 1970s, Scotland’s population was a little over 5.2 million. By 1988, that had dropped to less than 5.1m – a fall of about 2.5%. Our birth rate just couldn’t keep up with the rate of emigration caused by the demise of heavy industry, promoted by Westminster and supported by the strength of sterling. (Scotland’s oil, of course, being used to hammer our industries and promote the growth of service sectors, mostly in London).

During the same time period, England’s population rose by close to 2%, so quite a disparity there (4.5%) between the two countries. Of course, the dire effects of deindustrialisation were felt more in the central belt of Scotland and would help explain the gulf in drug deaths between the countries.

It gets worse. Since 2000, Scotland’s population has recovered steadily and by the time of the 2022 census, it had grown from its low point by around 7%, or a little less than 400,000.

However, again within the same timeframe, England’s population grew by 16% – about eight million – to roughly 57 million. Think about that for a moment. England’s population, since the turn of the century, has risen by about one and a half times the whole population of Scotland and looks set to continue rising. Scotland’s population shows signs of falling again, with immigration down since Brexit.

So, these trends are grim for Scotland under the Barnett formula. The block grant from the UK Treasury has been declining and our lower population share looks set to continue on going down.

The UK Treasury is desperate for Scotland’s wealth of resources to fund the infrastructure and service needs of its rapidly expanding population in the south of England. At the same time, it will be providing less cash back to Scotland and we shall all just have to “suck it up”! We desperately need more immigrants, they need less. We get told to get stuffed! There’s a message there somewhere that I think even the SNP should be able to see.

To reinforce the “suck it up” approach, our representation in Westminster has been reduced from 72 Scottish MPs in 1982 to 59 in 2014 and now just 58 at the upcoming election. Thereafter, our MP numbers will surely be cut again. This makes the SNP target of a majority of Scottish MPs look just weak and, actually, inane for its acceptance of an ever-falling number.

The English-based Labour Party may provide a few jobs in Aberdeen, with its “Great British Energy” or whatever it may be called, but basically it will be more desperate than ever before to see Scotland’s wealth head south; for Labour governments are always strapped for cash, with too many socially commendable but expensive projects to finance. Sure, there will be infrastructure developments in renewables that will boost local employment but be in no doubt that Scotland’s wind energy being channelled south to England will be a massive boost to UK finances. Electricity from Scotland will be depressing the need for natural gas and massively improve the balance of payments and US reserves.

It is Scotland’s great asset that our exports are huge foreign currency earners and we export vastly more per head than England. Not just energy products, all earning billions of US dollars – directly as in the case of oil, or indirectly as in the case of renewables – but food also and especially whisky. For Scotland, our exports are the ace in the pack, a powerful negotiating tool. When it comes to discussing currency, Westminster should be begging Scotland to continue using sterling for as long as possible. The alternative for England would be a much weaker sterling and a huge hike in inflation. For Scotland, a short period of its currency being pegged to sterling would perhaps ease the transition period up to EU membership and consideration of joining the euro. I’m sure the EU would also view Scotland’s exports as a desirable asset.

Bearing in mind the significance of Scotland towards the strength of sterling, it should not be a surprise that independence supporters are seen as extremists by ministers such as Michael Gove and Rishi Sunak.

Now, it is a fact that MI5 is a Home Office department that operates under English law and, as such, has zero or questionable legal jurisdiction in Scotland. Therefore MI5 officers are routinely seconded to the Scottish Office, when required to work in Scotland. In my mind, the expansion of the Scottish Secretary’s real estate in Edinburgh and Glasgow can only mean a commensurate surge in anti-independence intelligence gathering and subterfuge. We should be grateful to Sunak for making it official that Westminster is now on a “war footing” against independence. The SNP, and anyone of a like mind, should now be considering appropriate defence mechanisms.

And by the way, Mr Swinney, when a Unionist interviewer asks you if you think indy is achievable within five years, don’t just say “Yes” but tell him “Within two years from now”. But then again, that would need the SNP to stop behaving like acquiescent Unionists!
Alan Adair