Wings Over Scotland has a very interesting set of questions over at the site, as preparation for the Wee Blue Book.
Me? I have a few of my own.
1. I believe that Scotland’s oil should be invested into a fund, so that the money earned can be used in the event of crisis. Successive UK governments of all parties have squandered what could have been a multi-billion oil fund since the discovery of North Sea Oil, have blocked oil exploration on the Clyde, and were complicit in suppressing the McCrone report, which predicted the massive potential wealth to Scotland. Why should I vote to remain in the UK?
2. I believe that anyone involved in conspiracy to commit crime should be held to account no matter their station, influence, or political importance. Successive UK governments of all parties have been complicit in the cover-up of a paedophile network operating within the UK establishment going back to at least the 1980s, and continue to block investigations into the matter. Why should I vote to remain in the UK?
3. I believe in unilateral nuclear disarmament. Successive UK governments of all parties have continued to retain nuclear deterrents despite their deep unpopularity, exorbitant costs, waste of jobs, and tremendous danger posed to the people of the most populated city in Scotland. Why should I vote to remain in the UK?
4. I believe that governments and big business should be held to account for their incompetence, and not bailed out by the public. Successive UK governments of all parties have squandered billions in public money on inadequate IT upgrades, failed schemes, vastly underselling public assets, and more, while huge banks were saved from bankruptcy caused by their own reckless disregard for regulation by the public purse. At no point did these governments consult the public on these matters. Why should I vote to remain in the UK?
5. I believe that there should be no House of Lords, and that the idea of unelected politicians unaccountable to the electorate is an affront to democracy. Successive UK governments of all parties have shown no real interest in abolishing or even reforming the House of Lords since the 1960s, and the number of peers has increased to the point where there are more unelected representatives than members of the House of Commons. Why should I vote to remain in the UK?
6. I believe that the primary function of a military is to protect its citizens from harm and to aid in global crises, not to engage in invasions and conquest. Successive UK governments of all parties have been involved in wars of aggression, illegal invasions, war profiteering, gross incompetence, and war crimes, yet are incapable of patrolling their state’s own waters and supplying their forces adequately. They cannot even keep adequate supplies in Scotland, whose share has been woefully underspent and massively cut despite disproportionate contributions. The intelligence network is so impotent the UK had to rely on social media for information. Why should I vote to remain in the UK?
7. I believe that it is the responsibility of the state to aid the most vulnerable members of society. Successive UK governments of all parties have systematically dismantled the welfare state over the past 30 years: in a vote on imposing a a 1% annual welfare spending cap which is feared to push hundreds of thousands of children into poverty, only 22 of 542 MPs voted against it. Why should I vote to remain in the UK?
8. I believe in calling an immediate halt to Israel’s campaign against Palestine, and an investigation into allegations of historic and ongoing war crimes. Successive UK governments of all parties have shown their support of Israel’s campaign against Palestine despite the apartheid of the West Bank and Gaza Strip and numerous reports of atrocities and crimes against humanity, and despite significant protests from the people of the UK. Most recently, 190 countries backed an immediate ceasefire to hostilities: the UK is one of only three countries to refuse to endorse an immediate ceasefire. Why should I vote to remain in the UK?
9. I believe in redistribution of wealth to form a better society. Successive UK governments of all parties have in fact increased the gap between the poorest and richest residents of the UK, and show no plans to change that. In the past 3 years, over 900,000 people have used food banks; over that same period, the richest 1,000 Britons gained a £155 billion tax cut. Why should I vote to remain in the UK?
10. I believe that Scotland – as well as the other constituent nations of the UK – should have power over all its affairs, including defence, foreign policy, and international trade. Successive UK governments have shown no interest in granting those powers to Scotland, and indeed, cannot grant them even under the greatest extent of federalism, home rule, or Devomax. Why should I vote to remain in the UK?
I believe that every individual has a right to privacy, and freedom from unwarranted government surveillance. In a vote on the massively unpopular, intrusive and undemocratic Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill, only 49 of 485 MPs voted against rushing through all three stages of legislation in a single day. Why should I vote to remain in the UK?
There are people who I know and respect who are voting No. They believe that a better Britain is possible: that more powers will come, that Devomax is a possibility, that Federalism is on the horizon. But I say to them only this: do not trust implicitly what Yes says, or what Better Together says – only trust the evidence of your own eyes. Tonight, I saw two visions for Scotland. I do not believe what Alex Salmond says just because he says it, any more than I refuse to believe anything Alistair Darling says just because he said it. I only believe in the facts, and whose vision is closer to the facts as I see them. I came to my conclusion because of basic, immutable facts and figures. The ten questions I have for the No Campaign are based on those facts. And only one of the two visions for a future Scotland is supported by those facts.
1. None of the UK parties are planning on introducing an oil fund, despite having the opportunity to do so for over 30 years. An independent Scottish government could do what every other oil-producing country on the planet already has done.
2. None of the UK parties have arrested any of the instigators of the Iraq war, the culprits in the paedophile ring cover-up, or any of the politicians whose policies have cost the lives of thousands, nor do they show any intention to do so. An independent Scottish government could hold its politicians to account.
3. None of the UK parties are planning to cancel plans to replace the UK’s nuclear arsenal. An independent Scottish government could disarm not only Scotland, but all the British Isles.
4. None of the UK parties will choose to put the people before their own financial interests, and will bail out the banks and offer tax breaks for the rich at the public’s expense rather than see them fail. An independent Scottish government could do things differently.
5. None of the UK parties will abolish the House of Lords. An independent Scottish government will start with no House of Lords at all.
6. None of the UK parties promise to reduce their military budget or halt their international arms trading. An independent Scottish government could simultaneously grow their military while spending less.
7. None of the UK parties are planning to reverse any of the Conservatives’ cuts to welfare and changes to social security. An independent Scottish government could continue what they’re doing right now, only abolishing the Bedroom Tax outright instead of simply mitigating it.
8. None of the UK parties will say or do anything about Israel that the USA doesn’t. An independent Scottish government could do what it already does now in condemning the violence while aiding the victims, but have the power to act as well as speak.
9. None of the UK parties plan to reverse the Conservatives’ ideological austerity. An independent Scotland could continue what it already does now in reducing inequality, but with the power to use all its own resources.
10. None of the UK parties can ever grant Scotland power over its own defence, foreign affairs, international trade, and more, even under Devomax, Devoplus, or Federalism, even if they wanted to. An independent Scotland would.