Monday, 16 June 2014

Scotland and self-determination

If you confuse nationalism with patriotism, you are also likely to confuse self-determination with separation. Scotland was not conquered; a bankrupt country chose voluntary union because it desperately needed access to the financial resources of its more prosperous neighbour.

Those resources again rescued the country from bankruptcy as recently as 2008, when the UK raised £46 billion to save RBS.

That UK government was led by a Scottish Prime Minister and a Scottish Chancellor. Far from failing Scotland, it enlarged the national debt on Scotland's behalf. SNP leaders now threaten not to pay our share.

The sum needed to bail out a single Scottish bank contrasts with the half billion a year transaction costs the UK may suffer should it decline to share its currency.

It seems that, unlike the separatists, the UK government can do sums.