There has been so much propaganda in the media about Scottish independence, not all of it positive. The anti-independence lobby claim that economically, Scotland could not function without Britain, namely England. This view is often expressed in the Scottish media via the BBC and two of our national newspapers: The Scotsman and The Daily Record.
However, Scotland is the largest producer of petroleum in the European Union. Besides that, the ‘Scotland’ brand is one of the most famous in the world and it’s easy to list why: whisky, bagpipes, kilts, golf, J K Rowling of Harry Potter fame, ghosts, castles, and legends such as the Loch Ness Monster and of course, beautiful scenery. For the average Scot some of these might sound tacky, but to the outside world it is a tourist attraction. After all, who goes to Egypt to see modern architecture? The real draw is the pyramids.
Of course, Scotland can’t live by tourism and petroleum alone. Other industries are important, especially ones that make stuff. This is where export comes into it. Scotland once had a great a shipbuilding industry, decimated in the Thatcher era. As roads have become congested, the shipping lanes could once again open up, albeit using smaller craft. This takes backers, forward-thinking ideas and cooperation.
Technological advances are another strong selling point, considering Scotsmen invented the telephone and television. Once again, backers could pool their resources and invest in youth education at university, which would enhance innovative minds. It would also encourage students to see education as a way to well-paid employment and not just something to put on their CV, whilst languishing in bar work or call centres.
As repeated above, cooperation is first and foremost, and this can only come about if people with fewer people who are on first name terms – easy in a country of just over five million people. Other small countries such as Scotland’s neighbours in Scandinavia have the highest standard of living.
Scotland would use the same currency as the rest of the United Kingdom, and not the ill-fated Euro, which looks like it is heading for extinction. However, should the country ever join an alliance of northern European countries, since they are closer geographically and politically than its southern European counterparts, then the issue of currency might be raised.
Sovereignty is another issue that irks some as like the rest of the United Kingdom, the Scottish have to pay taxes to maintain a royal family. Scotland would instantly become a republic, and for the first time in its history, throw off the outdated notion of hereditary royalty.
Edinburgh would remain the capital, although the country would not be Edinburgh-centric. As is, Britain is London-centric which comes at a price. The rest of the country is slowly decaying as their resources are drained by London, where, some politicians prefer to live than in their constituencies. Even the Guardian, once called the Manchester Guardian, has set up shop in London. Of course, for working class Londoners, their city’s elevated status in the UK has meant higher prices and economic hardship.
One selling point which is often ignored is language. The national language is English which is spoken all over the world. This gives many people the opportunity to teach English, another export, while absorbing the culture of the various countries in which they teach. Other young nationals from many countries want to come to Scotland to learn English, either through ERASMUS or living with a host family, while studying at a British school.
Finally, one myth bandied about by the media is that the Scottish are anti-English. This is a lie, since many Scots live in England, especially London. Many Scots are anti-British government and anti-royalty, as are many in the rest of the UK. We (yes, I am also Scottish) do not see the English as enemies, but as good neighbours. As anybody knows, it’s far better to get on with your neighbours than argue and fight with them.