Despite the recent polls suggesting that some 52% of Scots favour independence, I predict Scotland will not vote to leave the Union. The background to this prediction is given in my four part series The Battle for Scotland.
The key social drivers behind the Union remaining intact are as follows:
- Scotland runs an extreme welfare state whose cost is far greater than its revenues. That deficit is currently financed by the UK. Looking forward to the next decade, there is no obvious way the Scottish economy can grow to reduce that deficit to zero. Government spending would have to be dramatically slashed for the nation to become viably economically independent. In addition, if independent Scotland would have to assume some 10% of the Uk's national debt which would almost instantly become too onerous, especially when interest rates rise in the years ahead. The obvious conclusion is that without a sugar daddy Scotland cannot survive economically
- Britain is in an expansionary phase of its growth as explained in The Dawn of A New Global Britain . As such, systems in expansion agglomerate other entities, as opposed to fracture into smaller ones, as their national energy acts like a gravitational force. The primary benefits for the smaller entity are financial support and defence. However there are many other associated benefits from being part of a rising expanding social system. The clearest practical example of this process is that the UK funds Scotland which as a separate entity is financially unsustainable. Thus if Scotland chose independence, it would instantly be bankrupt. Additionally, the benefits of being part of a powerful, creative and expanding system like the UK with high levels of national energy The Powerof British National Energy are best exemplified by the UK government’s completion of the Brexit process and its vaccine program. This is a vaccine program Scotland could not have created itself or gained access to via the EU.
- The EU is the only alternative sugar daddy in town to the UK. However, the EU is in terminal decline. So is a far an less attractive proposition to be affiliated to. Simultaneously, the EU cannot afford to take on any additional financial burdens, although some might choose to do so just to spite the UK's Brexit move. However, in the end Spain will always veto Scotland's inclusion in the EU, due to the risks that Catalonia will then seek to succeed from Spain. If Scotland cannot be economically viable and the EU will not allow it to join. Then that only leaves the UK as a viable financial support option.
- The SNP practices extreme wealth distribution. Having said that, so do the Conservatives now, for the first time in their history. something Boris needs to highlight in his upcoming campaign for Scotland.
- The relative inefficiency of the SNP government. Traditional wealth distribution governments are well proven to enact inefficient mechanisms of government. Nicola Sturgeon has been very clever in masking her government's failures, but she cannot escape the relatively slow vaccine roll-outs in Scotland which has been encumbered by bureaucracy. This has cast a bright light on the SNPs failings.
- The dishonesty of Nicola Sturgeon and her SNP party has been in evidence with the many lies she has spread undermining the UK in her campaign of independence. However these are lies that have been rarely challenged. It is ironic Sturgeon, is locked in a struggle to the death with Alex Salmond, who employed similar tactics on behalf of the SNP independence movement. This act of fratricide will almost inevitably bring down Sturgeon and significantly damage the perceived integrity of the SNP government and its drive to independence.
- Does SNP independence equate to Scotland becoming a Republic? The reason for Sturgeons ambiguity is almost certainly that she envisages a new Scottish Republic, but in so doing she will loose some of those that support independence but also the monarchy.
Currently, Boris seems to be reluctant to engage Sturgeon directly, almost in fear of her bulletproof aura. However, the time will soon come when she will be vulnerable to political assault from Westminster. Running a campaign as to the benefits Scotland derives from the Union and from the Scottish Conservatives who need to surge their campaign to become a dominant force in Scottish politics.
Additionally, as the UK moves into its new expansive phase, perhaps this would be the ideal time to consider a federal system of government as Cameron's devolutions process has created an unworkable divergence of national governments that are in competition within the UK. As such, responsibilities need to be effectively redefined with a clear government responsibilities that are best expounded by the federal model. In reality, we are almost there anyway, so it would be a matter of clearly defined roles of national/regional governments and that of a federal UK government. Such a model would have the advantage of allowing a Scottish election campaign to be run on an improved vision of the future, rather than a blocking vote to Scottish independence.