If the No campaign propaganda is to believed, independence will result in Scotland physically detaching itself from the north eastern Atlantic archipelago that it has been part of for a long, long time. The very bedrock of the Scottish borders, formed 440 million years ago from layers of sediment in ancient shallow seas, will crack like a roasted yuletide nut. The soft hills of the southern lowlands, evidence of the glacial scouring 3 million years ago, will tear apart like thread bare sheets.
Having defied geology and physics the newly independent nation will then drift far from the civilisation until, reaching the end of world, the nation, its legislators and citizens will find themselves teetering on the edge of a vast and apocalyptic maelstrom. Like the foolish prince in the legend of the Corryvreckan whirlpool, the Scottish government will no doubt order three great ropes be made; one from hemp, one from wool and one from the hair of golden maidens. But despite great and heroic effort, particularly on the part of the golden maidens, the new nation will fail to anchor itself to this world. Instead it will plummet down and down into the darkest abyss and be lost for ever.
On calm reflection this would seem to be an unlikely scenario, yet it is one in keeping with the warnings and cries of alarm by Scottish Labour and the No campaign. Gordon Brown's repeated fear mongering about organ transplants and blood transfusions echoes the babies on bayonets propoganda of the first world war. Yet No campaigners insist that proof of an apocalyptic maelstrom after independence is to be found just about everywhere, though only if, like a character from a Dan Brown novel, you know how to interpret the clues.
One recent ‘proof’ of a cataclysmic future for an independent Scotland was found by Labour Party in the recent remarks of the New European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker, who on taking up his new position had said that the EU needed to take a break from enlargement. This was immediately reread by the No campaign as a warning that Scotland will not be allowed into the EU. Indeed No campaign leader Douglas Alexander went a step further and declared Junker’s statement a ‘hammer blow’ against independence
Except, as with just about every warning against independence, the interpretation had no connection with reality. Firstly, Junker’s spokeswomen specifically denied that the remark had anything to do with Scotland. With the No Campaign refusing to back down, Scotland on Sunday reported that senior EU officials were adamant the remark had nothing to do with Scotland. Unlike countries seeking to join the EU, Scotland has been a part of the EU for four decades and is a signatory to and compliant with core EU requirements. Moreover, according to the Scotland on Sunday: ‘European Union chiefs are also thought to be angered by the prospect of the UK voting on an EU exit in the referendum planned by David Cameron and view Scotland’s desire to be a member favourably.’
So how did Labour come to this? To become no better than some carnaptious barfly ranting: dinnae, cannae, wullnae dae that!
Now read Part Two: Where to begin?
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