Our latest contribution to our 'Tell Us Your Story' campaign comes from Scotland in Union supporter Gordon Bannerman: Scotland in the UK.
To Scotland in Union
Nearly three years on from the Scottish independence referendum, how do things look for the United Kingdom? Despite a decline in the key sector of North Sea oil, recent economic indicators point to a recovery of the British economy, albeit tempered by the uncertainty surrounding Brexit. Pro-independence economic arguments were based on fanciful and outlandish projections of economic prosperity with a booming oil sector at its foundation.
In the Scotopia of the future, surplus oil revenues would finance an expansive social welfare programme as part of a campaign for a ‘fairer’ Scotland. There is now a gaping hole in that particular oil barrel, for the truth is that the SNP wilfully made a totally inaccurate economic argument fit the political objective of independence rather than rigorously analyzing different sectors of the Scottish economy, and objectively looking at the prospects for an independent Scotland in its totality. For a self-proclaimed ‘progressive’ party it seemed like they had not moved an inch from the ‘It’s Scotland Oil’ campaigns of the 1970s.
The cultural and historical benefits of the Union are less tangible but no less important than the economic benefits but it is perhaps the economic aspects of the Union and the economic illiteracy of the SNP that now appear to be forcing a change in political loyalties. As the SNP continue to display political opportunism of the lowest kind, while failing to govern the country competently, their support seems almost certain to continue to decline. Independence gains few converts—quite the reverse—and many who took a leap of faith in 2014 have returned to the fold of political moderation. The General Election result showed these trends very clearly.
Like the Parti Quebecois in Canada after 1995, defeat for the SNP in 2014 seems to prove that nationalism and separatism flourish on romantic hopes and dreams and simplistic slogans and symbols in place of reasoned debate and empirical research. The economic and political realities of the past few years have provided a rude awakening, and a re-assertion of common sense. The 2014 referendum perhaps proved more than anything else, that there is life left in the UK yet, and that national and regional diversity can be a source of strength and not of division.
- Gordon Bannerman