Ryan Henson is a post-graduate student at Queen Mary, University of London, works for a Conservative Member of Parliament, and is an alumni of the Mile End Group.
Despite his poor grasp of economics – something common to many socialists – Alex Salmond is absolutely right to insist that the people of Scotland should be free to govern their own country.
Indeed it’s perfectly reasonable for Scots to want to raise and spend their own money as they see fit, to make their own laws, and to do so without outsiders – especially those alien to Scotland’s culture, and worse, not elected by the Scottish people – telling them what to do.
I know exactly how frustrated socialists in Scotland must feel to be governed by an English Tory from Westminster, who most feel doesn’t represent them, and whom most never voted for. After all, for three years during the shambolic fag-end of the last Labour Government, when Gordon Brown and his sidekick Alistair Darling presided over the worst economic crisis since the 1930’s, I – a Conservative Englishman from London – had to suffer under the leadership of a Scottish socialist from Kircaldy: a man most English people felt didn’t represent them, and who none of us voted for.
For decades we Conservatives have fought tooth and nail to prevent outsiders from Brussels, men and women without any understanding of our culture and way of life, from imposing alien European values on a rightfully proud English nation. So why do so many English men and women insist on doing the same to Scotland?
Our northern neighbours have much to lose by going independent, while England has everything to gain. The very fact that Gordon Brown and the Scottish parliamentary Labour party are so desperate to keep the two nations together should tell you everything that you need to know. Scotland faces economic ruin should it continue with its socialist policies after losing the power to fleece the Conservative-voting English taxpayers. It is we English who bankroll her free health prescriptions; fund the entirety of her children’s four-year long university courses; and subsidise her bloated, private-enterprise-killing, left-leaning, public sector.
With the honourable exception of Scotland’s fantastic contribution to the British armed forces, Scotland’s single biggest offering to the Union over the past fifty years has been to provide the Labour party with parliamentary lobby fodder. In exchange, the people of England have seen their prescriptions and their university fees go up, while in Scotland both have been abolished – using English taxes to pay for it. Since the days of Mrs Thatcher, Scottish Labour MPs have denied England the Conservative governments her people have consistently voted for. A cursory glance at the electoral map suggests that if Scotland was taken out of the equation – with the exception of London, a few inner cities, and the odd Lib Dem university town, England is almost perfectly blue. For too long Conservative England has been held back by Scottish socialists. Like a marauding tribe from the Dark Ages, Scottish Labour MP’s have travelled south every four years to pillage their hard-working, wealthier, and more politically sound neighbours. Enough is enough.
The Yes Campaign has consistently argued that their opponents in the No camp say nothing positive about the Union. Indeed, beyond uttering sentimental gibberish about ‘being better together’ (what does that mean?) and threatening – quite reasonably – to withhold sterling in the event of Scotland choosing independence, those claims are mostly true. Why? Because if the No Campaign told the truth about Scotland’s relationship with England there’d be uproar south of the border.
Furthermore, the argument that Britain’s clout on the world stage might diminish if Scotland goes independent is absurd when we remember that Britain appears to be heading, if not quite for the official exit in Europe, then certainly for much looser political and economic ties to her neighbours across the channel. We can’t intelligently argue the case for perpetual union with one country on one day, only to make the opposite case with a group of others, the next. Such intellectual inconsistency is best left to those on the Left. And besides, any temporary reduction in British power which may result from Scotland choosing independence is likely to be swiftly compensated for by the soon-to-be thriving English economy, unchained at last after being dragged down by a succession of Scottish-influenced Labour Governments, and the soon-to-be-removed heavy burden of subsidising the public-sector addicted socialists in the North.
The No lead has shrunk, but the latest polls still suggest that the people of Scotland will sadly reject their chance to become an independent nation. Such a result would be a triumph for them, and a catastrophe for us. With mere weeks to go, it’s about time the people of England stood up, entered the debate which affects them and politely said what everyone’s really thinking: Scotland, it’s time for you to go.