I have issued a challenge to Magnus Gardham. I have asked him to provide just one quote from an authoritative SNP source which justifies the claim that the SNP ever offered a ‘land of milk and honey’ vision of independence. Perhaps something from the “implausibly Utopian vision of the SNP’s 2014 blueprint” of Scotland’s Future. I, in turn, will undertake to match whatever he offers with a direct quote warning of the difficulties that a newly independent Scotland might face.
A professional journalist of any substance would have anticipated such a challenge and been prepared for it. But the arrogance of British nationalists is such that they genuinely think they have the right to peddle dishonest drivel with total impunity.
And this is only the opening gambit in an article which is a litany of dishonesty and distortion. A gross misrepresentation of an article by George Kerevan. Take the following as an example,
“It would also require “fiscal consolidation” – spending cuts or tax rises – to reassure foreign exchange markets, he said.”
Except he didn’t! Kerevan said nothing whatever about “spending cuts or tax rises”. This is Gardham’s own pejorative definition of “fiscal consolidation”. Kerevan, an acknowledged economic expert as well as being an SNP MP, makes a reasoned and thoughtful case that independent Scotland inside the EU would be an economic powerhouse. His concept of fiscal consolidation is not restricted to ideas intended to scare people. He knows that fiscal consolidation can better be effected by sustainable economic growth than by the economically destructive and socially corrosive austerity fetishism that has gripped the British political elite.
But the dishonesty isn’t restricted to misrepresenting George Kerevan. Gardham has chucked in a couple of stale gobbets of British nationalist propaganda to pad out the piece and prepare the gullible reader for the compulsory quote from some mouthpiece for the British parties in Scotland. On this occasion, the odious Jackie Baillie.
Inevitably, we are fed the standard fare about the oil price collapse having “severely weakened the country’s public finances”. No mention of the fact that the oil price is, as expected, recovering rather well. Nor of the fact that the fall in prices had only a negligible impact on Scotland’s economy. While Gardham feverishly tries to paint the gloomiest picture possible in order to serve the political agenda he would doubtless strenuously deny, the reality is that Scotland’s economy contracted by less than 1% during the period when the oil price was at its nadir.
Even if we reckon that Scotland’s economy would otherwise have grown during this period, current economic conditions mean that such growth would have been minimal. So, whatever way you look at it – other than through the distorting lens of British nationalist prejudice – the oil price collapse did not severely weaken the country’s finances.
Just as inevitably we get the well-worn unionist lie about Scotland’s mythical £15billion deficit. In a nice touch, Gardham tries to lend this nonsense some spurious credibility by giving it as the unnecessarily precise amount of £14.9billion. Does he think we’re all idiots?
The truth, of course, is that Scotland has no deficit at all. Or, at least, not the one Gardham cites; which is taken from GERS – a dubious set of figures which tell us absolutely nothing about the finances of independent Scotland, and don’t even pretend to do so. What GERS tells us, to the extent that it is in any way informative, is the cost to Scotland of the political union with England. That £15billion… Sorry! £14.9billion is Scotland’s notional share of the UK deficit. It is assigned to Scotland solely on the basis of Scotland being part of the UK. It will cease to exist the moment we extricate ourselves from the British state.
If you’ve any sense at all you’ll ignore this garbage from Gardham and go read the article by George Kerevan. At least you can be sure it is honest.Views: 6052
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