Monday, 21 January 2013
The Penny's Dropping
What a strange weekend, one of those weekends when you wonder if some journalists have had their beer doctored with a positivity herb.
Firstly the Guardian's Kevin McKenna penned (or rather typed) an article with the title 'Scottish independence is fast becoming the only option' and the unionists on various social networking sites were jumping with indignation. In the past I've often disagreed (although not totally) with Mr McKenna, but he makes some good points here and sums it up with his last paragraph.
With each passing week, it becomes more difficult to support a union that doesn't really exist anyway. Morally, it may soon become indefensible to remain in a state that rewards corruption and promotes inequality when you have an opportunity to leave it behind.
Then today's Scotsman published an article in which there was no negative criticism of the SNP. It appears the MoD has been telling porkies again when a few years ago it said it could not give the expenditure figures for different parts of the UK and it stopped collating the figures in 2007 for cost reasons.
Now, via the FOI Act, it's discovered the figures are there but only for internal use and perhaps the reason for the reluctance to divulge the figures is because between 2007/8 and 2011/12 Scotland received only £3.17 billion of work out of £60 billion - a shortfall of about £1.9 billion less than its population share of government defence spending. The MoD's defence is weak and no unionist commented on the findings. Surprise. (Note to Alex Salmond - FOIs are a vital part of good government).
Of course there has to be a pro-union story in the Scotsman and today it's from the only Tory MP David Mundell. At times - I mean very, very occasionally - I sympathise with Mr Mundell having to carry the burden he does, but that's only until he opens his mouth. Today's nonsense from him is the usual unionist blethering. Does anyone believe any unionist party will produce more power for the Scottish government if the referendum answer is no? The Tory leader is still in the throes of an internal review of her party and is looking at how she sees devolution progressing, but I doubt if any substantial promises will result from the Tories or Labour.
Back in 1979 the unionists made similar promises, only for the voters of Scotland to find out that they'd been duped.
With Kevin McKenna's article it does seem as if the penny's dropping in media circles. We can but hope other journalists stop reiterating their unionist friends' views and start to voice reality.
Speaking of reality, I came across this website. Do hope it raises a smile or two. The video did it for me.