Friday, 11 November 2011

Second class citizens

Interesting to see the glee with which various Unionists met the publication of a report by the Commons library. Amongst other things it talks of the possibility (it should be noted that various scenarios are outlined) of Scotland losing various EU rebates and opt-outs that the UK has negotiated and our EU membership itself. The reality of course is that we are in completely uncharted waters here. There are no rules for what happens when an EU member splits up and the decision in the end would be ruled by realpolitik. So I don't think it's wise for either side of the debate to claim certainty in this regard.

But returning to that glee so obvious in the Unionists. By rallying behind that worst-case scenario in which Scotland is out on its ear and has to re-apply as an accession state, aren't they just affirming that the current situation of Scotland (and Scots) is as follows?
  • We aren't proper EU members, we're just being allowed to piggyback on rUK's membership. Even though Scottish votes helped elect the UK government that took us into the EU.
  • The rebate and opt-outs aren't really ours, rUK is just generously allowing us to benefit from them. Even though the UK conducted negotiations for these things (at least in theory) on behalf of the Scottish electorate.
It reminds me of the old wheeze that Scotland would have to fund new embassies all over the if we didn't already have some sort of stake in the existing ones. Or that we'd have to start new armed forces from if we didn't contribute to the UK forces at the moment. Or that we'd lose the if she is in some way less our Queen than rUK's (for the avoidance of doubt I'm a republican, but for a monarchy without any real powers it's a separate question to independence).

Surely independence negotiations will be a matter of apportioning liabilities and assets? Or if we take the new Unionist view, Scotland takes a share of the national debt and gets none of the assets because they never really belonged to us in any way, shape or form. What really amazes me is that the likes of Margaret Curran seem so happy to put Scotland into that role of grateful supplicant. This is her positive case for the Union, one in which we own nothing and will be kicked off the estate as soon as we piss off the Laird.


Conan the Librarian™ said...

I see you are fighting the good fight "Doon amangst the heathen" :¬)

forfar-loon said...

Couldn't resist it Conan! Cobblers with Cochrane is the new Blether with Brian :o)