ScotWind makes hypocrites of the indy movement

by | 21 Jan 2022

For years the independence movement has been arguing that Scotland needs to take a different path than Westminster. ScotWind makes all of those arguments hypocritical.

Where’s Professor Gavin McCrone when you need him, eh?

His report on how Scotland’s oil wealth was denied to the nation has become like a seminal text for the independence movement. It’s part of a catechism of what it is that the independence movement believes to be wrong with being stuck inside the UK.

Unfortunately the Scottish Government just privatised an enormous amount of Scotland’s energy resources in a manner which is indistinguishable from what happened to the oil. It is now owned by foreign corporations, Scotland gets none of the profits and a pitiful amount of rent. Westminster gets the much bigger grid connection charges and all the tax revenue.

What was all that talk about how we’d do things differently in Scotland if it wasn’t for those crooks at Westminster? What happened to ‘we could have done what Norway did’? What happened to national wealth funds from public energy resources?

What happened to ‘but the Tories keep privatising public assets?’. What happened to the public good coming before the interests of lobbyists? What happened to the injustice of tax-dodging corporations registered in off-shore tax havens? What happened to a country not run by and for corporations so they could accumulate ever-greater concentrations of wealth?

What happened to asking why we couldn’t own and control our energy like much of Europe? What happened to the example of public energy companies across the continent as one of the great opportunities of independence?

Every one of these things was possible to achieve in Scotland with the powers we currently have, yet the Scottish Government chose not to. If this is what ‘our’ government is doing, are we saying we now regret opposing Tory economic policy?

Corporate profiteering and tax-dodging? Scotland getting ripped off from the value of its natural assets? Public ownership of critical infrastructure? It seems that these are the top line in the new manifesto for Scottish independence.

And spare me patter about a ‘jobs boom’ – there were plenty of oil jobs (probably more than we’re going to get out of the ScotWind fire-sale) and that didn’t stop us claiming it wasn’t enough, that Scotland was robbed.

Do you really believe we can travel any further down this path without terrible consequences for the prospects of Scotland ever becoming an independent country?

There is not a cigarette paper between what the Tories do and what the SNP Government does when it comes to big business. Just like even if you squint really hard you’ll struggle to tell the difference between the financial settlement promised in the Growth Commission and the one George Osborne inflicted on us between 2010 and 2015.

Just as a quick reminder, if the Growth Commissions public spending formula had been enacted over those five years Scotland would actually have seen the cuts to budgets get worse. And remember, the SNP Government during the last Parliament passed most of its economic policy in coalition with the Tories, opposed by the other parties.

If the SNP is so keen on privatisation that they are virtually neo-Thatcherite, Patrick Harvie seems to relish his role as the new John Gummer. The Green’s hypocrisy is breathtaking – what do they and their new ‘besties’ Shell and BP really stand for any more?

There should really be a very big backlash against this appalling sell-out of Scotland and the politicians that did it, but it seems that the majority of the upper echelons of the independence movement now routinely agree with the powerful in return for payment.

The rest of us? Us poor schmucks who thought we were being honest when we said we wanted to break away from the corporate corruption and toadying of Westminster and set off on a new, better path? What exactly is it we’re supporting now? More of this until the referendum ‘next year’ when finally we’re not going to be called traitors for condemning this shower?

How can we ever mention Norway’s oil fund again? Should we apologise to Scottish Labour and the Scottish Tories now that (apparently) we completely agree with them?

What is the ‘positive’ case for Scottish independence? Vote for us and you’ll not notice any difference?

It seems we’re all hypocrites now. How much damage to the movement and to the cause of independence do you all really think we can absorb before there’s nothing left?

I always hated that analogy of how, if you drop a frog in boiling water it tries to get out but if you raise the temperature gradually it will allow itself to be boiled without protest. I have frogs that live in my poly tunnel and I adore them.

But if we were frogs we’ve gone way past being boiled. We’ve basically dissolved. The building blocks of independence are being destroyed before your eyes, to the sound of silence from those who ten minutes ago were asking us to put ‘special McCrone editions’ of the National through people’s doors.

Do you really believe we can travel any further down this path without terrible consequences for the prospects of Scotland ever becoming an independent country?

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