Saturday, September 19, 2015

Scotland a year on: "The Vow" has not been broken

A year ago today we woke with relief to the news that the United Kingdom would, at least for now, remain united.

We need to work to address the grievances of Scotland and build a new relationship between the four countries of the UK which gives all of them - Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, and yes, England a fair deal.

The SNP has been doing some ambiguous wittering about the possibility of a new referendum, which is clearly mostly designed to keep the issue alive. If you look at the small print of what they have been saying they are nowhere near the level of support for Independence which would give a sane person confidence that they could win a second referendum in the near future - and given their clear statements last year that the first referendum was a "once in a generation" choice calling one might badly backfire on them, just as the "neverendum" did on Quebec nationalists.

So we have had a torrent of ridiculous nonsense from the SNP about "The Vow" made during the referendum by the three main UK party leaders supposedly having been broken.

Anyone who falls for this blatant grievance-mongering needs their head examined.

This is what "The Vow" said:

As Fraser Whyte points out in an excellent piece here, the vow was a fairly vague summary of the promises the "No, Thanks" campaign was already running, and they are being implemented:

"There are only two tangible promises in the Vow: that the process for delivering new powers will start on 19th September and that the “Barnett allocation of resources” will continue.

"The former, and each step of the timetable mentioned in the first paragraph, were met:
"And ironically, the only party who has been trying to prevent any implementation of “The Vow” is the SNP, introducing an amendment to the Scotland Bill for Full Fiscal Autonomy which would see the Barnett Formula scrapped.

"So no, “The Vow” hasn’t been broken and to claim otherwise is just desperate."

The Prime Minister challenged the SNP's Westminster leader at PMQs this week to point to a single specific line of "The Vow" which has been broken. He hasn't, can't and won't.

There are some Scots who would prefer Independence with poverty to wealth as part of the UK, but and they are entitled to their view, but we all know that they are nowhere remotely near a majority of the Scottish people.

And every Scot who is not a complete economic illiterate knows that Scotland dodged a bullet last year by voting "No" because, in the debate on what would happen to the oil price, the "Better Together/No Thanks" side was right and the "Yes" side has been proved absolutely wrong.

You could make a decent economic plan for an Independent Scotland but the rash and incredibly badly thought through economic plan on which the "No" campaign was fought wasn't it, and would have produced an economic catastrophe for Scotland.

The SNP were wrong then. They are wrong now.

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