For years as a Nationalist I have put up with friends and colleagues questioning why a left-leaning democrat like me was drawn to the narrow confines of nationalism instead of fighting for socialism, social justice and equality (as if this was the exclusive preserve of the Labour party). Breaking down the class barriers instead of creating bourgeois borders is what I was told was important. All the time, I never once heard them talk about uniting Britain with the workers’ republics of Europe. No, they were just as nationalist for Britain as I was for Scotland, only self-deceiving in their outlook.
Many British Labour supporters often say they are a patriot but not a nationalist, big or small N. Yet to quote American civil liberties lawyer, Clarence Darrow, “True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else.” So when you look at the growing inequality within the United Kingdom caused by slavish Labour and Tory stewardship of neo-liberal economic policies, then you realise they are not even patriots. For many readers this will hardly come as shocking revelation.
Moving on to today’s debates. The way in which Ed Milliband, Ed Balls and their Scottish disciples have all-to-readily signed up to the Tory mantra – no UK, no pound – reveals a contradiction in their so-called social values that supposedly they espouse and uphold. Namely, they are prepared on dogmatic grounds to refuse to allow an independent Scotland to share the currency which Scotland part-owns regardless of the impact on the working class either side of the border. So whilst they talk about Scots having to pay more in setting up a new currency, or paying higher interest rates, etc., not once have they admitted to the rest of the UK that they are equally disadvantaged by the removal of oil, gas and whisky trading from sterling.
If Scottish trade is forced to use its own or another currency, both populations and their enterprises will encumbered by needless exchange transaction costs of doing business. Why would you saddle your business community and citizens with unnecessary cost?
The spectre of Scotland going bust and the Bank of England having to bail us out is so far-fetched that it wouldn’t even make an edition of the Viz comic. Even recent history has shown that when Ireland got into financial difficulty, the UK provided financial support because it wasn’t in the UK’s interests to let the Republic flounder. Surely applying Unionist logic now, Ireland should have been refused help? It’s not even in the Commonwealth for goodness sake. The Bank of England Governor, of course, continually undermines the Better Together position when he declares that he is prepared for a formal or informal currency union with an independent Scotland.
Last comment this week is reserved for Lib Dem Inverness MP, Danny Alexander. The other night on the latest BBC Referendum debate, Danny tub-thumped about how a currency union was not in the interest of an independent Scotland and he would continue to oppose it even after a Yes vote. This does rather beg the question, what is the preferred currency of those Scottish Unionist politicians (Alastair Darling, Jim Murphy, Douglas Alexander, Danny Alexander, et al) if currency union with the rest of the UK is not feasible?
It’s also nice to know that Mr Alexander is thinking about what he will be doing for the eight month period after the Referendum before he will be joining the dole queue in Richmond (where he lives incidentally).