The Herald’s editorial takes a pleasingly balanced and sensible line on the White Paper on Independence.
The thing that most caught my eye from this one time strong Labour supporting paper was their obvious distaste for the unionist parties’ negativity and, frankly, lying.
It seems that BT the coalition always start by saying that a) they are proud Scots, and b) that they know, of course, that Scotland could make it alone...and then having been seen to deal with all this Scottishness stuff, they get down to some serious Scotland bashing. Perhaps the Herald has started to see through this ploy.
At FMQ on Thursday, the only time in the week that she is let out on her own, Ms Lamont read from a script, presumably written in London, about how the highly respected Tory think tank foresaw doom and gloom for Scotland.
While pointing out that the First Minister habitually quoted from reports selectively, she proceeded to do the exact same thing. Our aging population would mean that we would need to put up taxes and reduce public spending. She neglected to say that this was exactly what the UK was being forced to do. That in fact the same report said that the Uk was facing 50 years of austerity. That’s something for us all to look forward to. Perhaps precious few of us will ever know anything BUT austerity if we stay with the UK.
The Herald has apparently seen through their debater of the year, and her colleagues. The moral of the story appears to be that your supporters will follow you so far, but when you start to insult their intelligence with the kind of fear bombing for fools that has been so obvious of late, there is a fair chance that they, in an effort to retain some intellectual integrity and dignity, will say...enough! Far too far!
The tone of the editorial suggest that that time has come for the Herald.
Here is the piece for those who can't get behind the paywall. Thanks to Cynical for pointing it in our direction.
While on the subject of Lamont’s lamentable performance at FMQs yet again, can I point you in the direction of an excellent piece of reporting and analysis here.
Keep an open mind on White Paper
Sunday 24 November 2013
The one thing that can be said with certainty about the Scottish Government's long-awaited Independence White Paper, which is published in Glasgow on Tuesday, is that it will be dismissed by its critics as a feeble document that fails to answer the many questions about an independent Scotland.
There is also indignation at the audacity of Alex Salmond for even producing it.
From Lord Wallace of Tankerness, the Advocate General, to the Welsh First Minister, Carwyn Jones, the cry has gone out: how dare you? How dare the Scottish Government assume that it can use the pound after independence, or that Scotland can remain a member of the European Union? The Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael has even suggested Scotland could be prevented from using sterling, despite it being a convertible currency used all over the world.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies suggests Scotland's ageing population could plunge the country into penury and that there will be cuts to public expenditure. Meanwhile, MPs on the Scottish Affairs Select Committee have demanded guarantees on successful negotiations over independence, even though the UK Government has refused to negotiate anything in case it lends credence to the Nationalist cause.
The Scottish people are yet to be convinced of the relevance of independence to Scotland's problems. However, we approach this White Paper with an open mind and we urge others to do so too. We applaud the Scottish Government for at least attempting to present an alternative future to the dismal prospectus offered by the unionist parties.
They seem to revel in negativity, dismissing Scotland's ability to run its own affairs and suggesting we can only survive as a nation on the basis of subsidies from England. They have yet to argue how remaining in the UK can offer a better future than regional irrelevance.
The geriatric forecasts of the IFS are surely a vision of Scotland if it stays in the UK. Without a new immigration policy and economic policies that keep skilled Scots families in Scotland, how can Scotland avoid an ageing population?
Carwyn Jones has also joined the clamour for the Barnett Formula on Scottish public spending to be cut.
The message is clear: within the union Scotland faces a future of public spending constraints, falling population and economic decline. Scottish representation in Westminster will likely be cut under the McKay Commission into the consequences of devolution.
The Scottish Parliament will have to pay its way by raising taxes in Scotland, without having access to oil revenues or the ability to legislate for growth. Scotland may be dragged out of Europe if it remains in the UK.
This is the off-the-peg future offered by the unionists. They'd better have a care: Scots might actually start listening to what they say.