A Force For Good's '57 Benefits of the UK Union' debunked!

Pro-union group 'A Force For Good' have published a very long list entitled '57 Benefits of the UK Union.' I thought it would be interesting to analyse each one of the 57 supposed benefits of the union and to challenge them all individually.

The Silent Clansman, A Force For Good, Scottish independence

The purpose of this exercise, is not to ridicule the unionist position.  Far from it.  I'm simply analysing concerns that many unionists will very legitimately have, and attempting to alleviate those concerns, by challenging them with rational arguments.

Economic

1. "We can pool and share British-wide resources. This means Scotland can help pay for the rest of the UK's needs, and the rest of the UK can help Scotland, when and where necessary to the tune of millions and billions."

This one actually highlights the biggest reason for voting yes for independence. It is double speak, and actually sadly means that the UK Government are in control of Scotland's tax revenues, meaning that the Scottish Government do not have the power to prioritise Scottish spending.

2. We can redistribute wealth, via the British-wide tax system. This helps to safeguard welfare benefits, the state pension, and protect us from fluctuating oil revenues. For example, our state pensions are safer with 30 million British taxpayers paying into the kitty, rather than only 2.5 million in Scotland.

They claim that pensions and welfare benefits are safer in the union.  It's all very well promising to keep pensions safe, but the reality is that year on year, the Tories are increasing the pension age, and diluting the state pension.  Many Scots will not actually live long enough to claim a pension in the first place.  And as for the welfare system, look at the disastrous policies of the UK Government's Universal Credit system - punishing the most vulnerable people in society and removing the safety net altogether for many thousands of people.  Are we really saying there is anything worth saving here with regard to welfare and pensions?

3. We can continue to receive higher public spending per head of the population, than in other parts of the UK. For example, in 2017/18 public spending per person in the UK as a whole was £9,350. This compares with £10,881 in Scotland (16% above the UK average. This means that our schools and hospitals are better protected within the UK.

In reality, the Scottish tax payers sent £62.7Bn in tax revenues to London last year, but the Scottish Government's entire budget will only be £34Bn this year.  The myth that Scotland gets more money than England, is based on the idea that Scotland is somehow responsible for a population share of all of the UK Government's spending, whether or not it actually benefits Scotland.  An independent Scotland for example, clearly would not waste tax payer's cash stockpiling nuclear bombs, or sending our soldiers to conflicts that have been deemed "illegal" by international authorities.

4. We can remain part of the overall UK domestic market with no internal tariffs. Firms in Scotland sell twice as much to the rest of the UK as we do to the rest of the world combined. 

There is no UK internal market.  In fact, the only way to actually create one, would be for Scotland to become an independent country and to have full control over trade.  Double speak of the highest order.  Canada exports most of it's goods to the USA, proving that independence does not in fact hinder trade.  What does hinder Scottish trade however, is the UK Government insisting that Scottish produce is labelled as British, when research has proven that it harms sales.

5. We can have uninhibited access to the entire British labour market, to seek employment and to seek employees, and without the need for papers or passports.

It's actually quite sinister how deceptive this point is.  It was always clear that an independent Scotland would remain within the Common Travel Area rules.  The Common Travel Area means that anyone living in independent Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland, England or the Channel Islands can travel freely within these nations/regions without hindrance, to live, work, retire, claim benefits, vote etc.  This would not change after independence.

6. Consequently, we can enjoy the benefits of association, and the economies of scale, which enable us to do more and to do it better, than if we were apart.

'Economies of Scale' means an increased level in production.  Sadly, as a consequence of being in the union, the top 20 manufacturing cities in the UK are ALL IN ENGLAND.  This is actually one of the biggest DOWNSIDES of the union, and sadly the reason why 15% of the Scottish population has relocated to England for better opportunities, hence why we can't grow our population within the union.  The union harms Scottish industry, because the primary state within the union takes all of the big corporations and companies and drains Scotland of our talent.  Independence means we could reclaim and begin to rebuild our industries and encourage talented individuals to stay.

7. We can be guaranteed continued use of the Pound Sterling, rather than have to set up a separate and unproven currency, or even join the Euro!

The Republic of Ireland already proved this one to be scaremongering.  They continued to use the pound sterling after Irish independence, and remained linked to sterling for 50 years before deciding to create their own currency.  They simply created their own Irish notes and coins, and pegged it at parity with the Pound Sterling.  Effectively, in the immediate aftermath of independence, on the currency issue, nothing will change - we will continue to use the Scottish pound.

8. We can ensure no currency transaction costs, because we have one single currency.

Scotland will continue to use the Scottish Pound in the immediate aftermath of independence.  We will effectively be pegging our currency at parity with the UK pound for at least the forseeable future.  Lots of other countries peg their currency to a larger one.  It's perfectly normal.  Ireland did it for 50 years.

9. We can benefit from the UK bilateral-trade agreements which will be a consequence of Brexit.

Ha.  According to this point, we will benefit from the UK's trade deals after Brexit.  What trade deals?  Nothing substantial has been agreed so far.  In fact, trade deals of any substance can take decades to negotiate.

10. The Scottish private banks can be supported by the nationalised British Central Bank – the Lender of Last Resort – thereby helping to stabilise the economy if the private banks default.

It is pretty obvious I would have thought, that Scotland will eventually create our own national bank in the coming years, after independence.  But if we are pegged at parity to the UK pound for the forseeable future, again, this won't make much difference.

11. We can ensure Royal Navy ships will continue to be built in Scotland.

After independence, it goes without saying that there will be a massive jobs boom in the area of defence.  Scotland will need to build our own navy ships, and we can build every single one of them in Scottish shipyards.  The UK Government have already reneged on all the 2014 promises of sending contracts to Scottish shipyards.

12. We can continue to enjoy funding for industries, universities and research in Scotland, which has been provided at the British government level.

Scotland already pays for these things with our own taxes.  Scotland will be in charge of 100% of our tax revenues after independence, so will be able to prioritise accordingly.

13. We can maintain our successful tourist industry. Since Queen Victoria popularised the romance of Scotland, it has been a much-loved holiday destination for people from England. To what extent would Scottish separation harm the appeal of our country? There will certainly be people in England who would no longer wish to come to a country which appeared to have "rejected" them!

Really?  The entire Scottish tourism industry apparently has Queen Victoria to thank?  Sure.  They claim that there would be English people who would avoid Scotland for holidays after independence.  I mean that's just ridiculous.  Independence means the Scottish Government would have the full powers over spending that would enable us to grow and enhance our tourism industry.  We could prioritise spending in these areas.

14. We can safeguard our jobs which depend upon a unique "Scottish brand" selling to customers in the rest of the UK. For example, if Scotland were to separate, then it is possible that traditional "Scottish" products (Aberdeen Angus Beef, Whisky, Shortbread, Haggis, Salmon etc) could suffer a hit in the English marketplace, as a consequence of English customers feeling slighted "by the Scots". This would be a natural reaction!

The idea that people would stop buying Scottish produce because we were independent is quite silly really.  Ireland for example, sells lots of good to the English market.  Canada sells a massive amount of good to the USA despite being independent.  They offer no evidence to back up this ludicrous claim.

15. We can safeguard our jobs in the Scottish financial services industry, which employs around 200 thousand people directly and indirectly. 90% of the customers are based in the rest of the UK. Therefore, separation would see many of these companies leaving Scotland.

The entire Scottish finance and banking sector, which holds almost two trillion pounds worth of assets, currently serves very little economic benefit to the Scotland, literally BECAUSE we are tied to the union.  Within the UK union, the headquarters of most of Scotland's banks are in London.  The potential for a massive jobs boom in the finance and banking sector in Scotland is huge, after independence.  Glasgow could easily become the finance capital of Scotland after independence, which would offer a massive boost to the city.


PERSONAL

1. We can have lower fuel bills. This is because the cost of generating energy is shared across the fuel bills of all British households, and not only those in Scotland. These fuel payments from all the households in the UK also help to subsidise green jobs and energy in Scotland. Without them, the cost of green energy in Scotland would rise and the green industry might collapse.

Scotland would be able to sell surplus energy to England after independence, which would result in a massive boost to our revenue, and our economy in general.  Scotland holds more than 90% of the UK's vast natural resources such as oil and gas.  Independence means that Scotland would finally be able to benefit financially from our massive energy industries, because we could, for example, force the energy companies to pay their fair share in corporation taxes.

2. We can have cost-free, hassle-free access to lifesaving specialist treatment in hospitals anywhere in the UK.

After Irish independence, there was a subsequent agreement in place that the health systems in the UK and Ireland would co-ordinate to ensure that cross border health care was easy to access.  It goes without saying that it would be in the benefit to both the UK and an independent Scotland for this to be the case here too.  Again, also, the Common Travel Area will remain in place after independence, ensuring that citizens of Scotland and the UK can travel freely within the four states of the British Isles and will be allowed to access healthcare without hindrance.

3. We can ensure standard and universal postal charges across the UK, compared to, for example, very expensive postage to the Republic of Ireland.

It currently costs 70p for a first class stamp in the UK and 85p in the Republic of Ireland.  But one must take into account that wages are far higher in Ireland, the state pension is DOUBLE in Ireland etc, so actually in reality it proportionately works out at around the same cost.  So this point is actually very misleading indeed.

4. We can keep supermarket food prices the same and lower throughout the UK, even though Scotland is a more costly country in which to run a supermarket business. If Scotland were separated, then food prices would rise, due to things like more expensive transport costs. We know this because an identical basket of food in Scotland is cheaper than in the Republic of Ireland where supermarkets must factor in these different costs.

Again, this is disinformation of the highest order.  If you visit the Lidl, Aldi or Tesco websites in the UK and then visit the Irish versions of the websites, you will see that while some items cost slightly more in Ireland, many items are far cheaper in Ireland.  It's swings and roundabouts and depends on what items you are comparing.  Again, taking into account the fact that Irish wages, welfare and pensions are much higher than the UK, groceries work out cheaper in real terms to the Irish people.  We must also take into account that the Irish economy has been very stable for the past 10 years with only 0.5% rate of inflation while the UK's rate of inflation has been a shocking 2% on average, meaning that supermarket prices have effectively sky rocketed in the UK due to Brexit uncertainty.  So this point again, is deliberately trying to mislead people.

5. We can ensure every Scottish saver is protected by the British Central Bank, which protects savings of up to £85,000.

The vast majority of Scottish banks already have their headquarters in London.  Very little will change with this regard in the immediate aftermath of independence.  Your savings will still be protected.  This is scaremongering at best, and extremely sinister at worst, to suggest that people's savings would be at risk.  Another issue related to savings, is that the Scottish Government would set up a Scottish Savings and Investments scheme, similar to the UK one, and people in Scotland would have the extra option of saving with the Government, which means profits could be used to increase Scottish Government spending (whilst in the union, the Scottish Government wouldn't have the power to do this).


POLITICAL

1. Our MPs from Scotland will continue to exercise disproportionate power in the British Parliament.

This one is hilarious.  Scotland currently only has 59 MPs in Westminster.  England has 533.  That means that Scotland's voice is effectively vetoed on every single important issue that effects us.  Also, the Tory party plans to reduce Scotland's voice even further in Westminster, since our population continues to suffer within the union.

2. Our British Parliament continues to enable Scotland, via our MPs, to exercise a degree of control over England, and to exercise control over the direction of our Islands.

Laugh out loud at this one.  What control?  Scotland voted against Brexit.  The Scottish Government refused consent.  Almost every Scottish MP voted against it.  But English MPs over ruled the Scottish MPs, the Scottish Government and the Scottish people.

3. Our British Parliament will continue to represent those Scots, and those issues, which are not represented at Holyrood. For example, Westminster is more representative of Scottish public opinion on Brexit and Trident (both of which many Scots support) than Holyrood!

The vast majority of Scots voted AGAINST Brexit, and for MPs who OPPOSE trident.  So this point is frankly ridiculous.  Almost laughable.

4. Our British Parliament can over-rule separatist policies in Scotland, in favour of those Scots who are not properly represented on those matters at Holyrood.

The Scottish Government have a PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION system.  That means that even minority voices are represented.  In the UK Parliament, Scottish MPs effectively have no voice whatsoever because English MPs outnumber Scottish MPs by almost 10 to 1.  Smaller parties generally have a bigger say in Scotland, because the PR system is designed to prevent any one party from having dominance.  The Scottish system is fairer and even though unionist MSPs are the minority, they have a much bigger voice with a PR system than they would have if it was a first past the post system.

5. Scottish MPs can reach high office and influence throughout our Islands, including British Prime Minister.

Gordon Brown was an example of a Scottish MP who reached high office in the UK Government.  He had big ideas about creating a federal UK.  He was ultimate proof that no matter how far a Scottish MP rises in the UK Parliament, Scotland will never be treated as an equal partner by the UK Government while we remain in the union.  Independence is the only way we can truly become an equal partner.

6. The unique perspective of many Scottish MPs can act as a balance on the wider House of Commons. For example, a degree of Scottish "socialism" can help to moderate some of the English "conservatism", and vice versa – leading to more moderation in British politics.

The vast majority of Scottish constituencies voted for socialist MPs in December, but despite this, we are being governed by a far right Tory Government we didn't vote for.  The Tories would never LISTEN to Scottish MPs.  Watch Prime Minister's questions on the BBC and you will see that rather than listen to Scottish MPs, the UK Government laughs at them, shouts abuse at them, and generally over rules them on every single issue.


INTERNATIONAL

1. As part of the United Kingdom, we are represented on one of the 15 seats at the UN Security Council, including one of the 5 Permanent seats alongside Russia, China, France and the USA – an extremely powerful and influential global position.

An independent Scotland would seek to apply to join the United Nations as an independent state which means we would actually have a voice on the world stage, rather than have decisions about going to war made on our behalf by English politicians.

2. We're represented on one of the seats at the G7 (Group of 7 with Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the USA).

Again, all this means is that the UK Government can over rule the will of the people of Scotland.  Scotland generally elects a massive majority of MPs who are against war, and the stockpiling of nuclear weapons.  However, whilst chained to the union, the UK Government can drag Scotland unwillingly into wars not of our making.

3. We're represented on one of the seats at the G8 (Group of 8 – the above, and Russia).

As above, Scotland doesn't have a voice within this institution because the UK Government over rules Scotland's position.

4. We're represented on one of the seats at the G20 (Group of 20).

Again, Scotland is not yet represented in any of these institutions, but are over ruled by the UK Government of the day.  Independence is the only way Scotland can have a voice on the world stage.

5. As part of the UK we have continued membership of the Commonwealth, and thereby an ability to help influence it for good.

Scotland would continue to remain part of the Commonwealth after independence.  The Scottish Government have made this clear already.

6. We continue to enjoy the strategic value provided by the 14 British Overseas Territories, which would be lost to an independent Scotland.

Anyone who currently holds a UK passport will continue to do so after Scotland becomes independent so will continue to be able to enjoy all of the benefits of their UK passport.

7. We can enjoy the safety and security, and the power and prestige, of the British Passport, one of the most respected in the world. Our Passport is our proof of British Citizenship. 

Again, neither side of the debate has suggested removing British Citizenship from any current UK citizens in the aftermath of independence.  You will continue to hold a UK passport.  Even in the event that you are able to apply for a Scottish passport, you will be entitled to hold both, which may actually be more beneficial than just holding one.  You could effectively have the best of both worlds, by holding both a Scottish and a British passport.

8. As British Citizens, we have guaranteed personal access to the UK's Embassies, High Commissions, Consulates and Diplomatic Missions world-wide – the consequences of centuries of international development.

We will have a Scottish embassy so this is kind of irrelevant really.  But in the immediate aftermath of independence, those who already hold British citizenship will continue to do so.  Nobody will be stripped of British citizenship.  More scaremongering.

9. Consequently, as individuals, we are able to benefit from Britain's massive Diplomatic Reach worldwide.

Sadly, the UK's power and influence in the world is diminishing, so this is actually more of a benefit of independence.  Scotland has a much more popular reputation in the world than the UK, in the same way that Ireland has a better reputation.  Look at Ireland - they held much more influence in Brexit talks than the UK.  An independent Scotland would potentially also have more influence in the world than the UK, because quite frankly, people around the world like us more.

10. As part of the UK, the British have one of the world's largest Foreign Aid budgets which can potentially help millions around the world; and it's administered from the Department for International Development at East Kilbride.

The Scottish Government would of course continue to send foreign aid around the world, but we would be able to make the final decisions ourselves rather than have those decisions made for us.  And of course, Scotland's independent Department for International Development would of course be based in Scotland.

11. Staying together enables all the people of the UK to work together, through our shared political institutions, to be a Force for Good in the world; to have a positive impact upon the world in a way which we could never have if we were to be divided and separated. It enables the British to help the rest of humanity.

It is widely recognised that far from being a force for good in the world, the UK Government are actually responsible for the deaths of millions of innocent people in recent decades, taking Scottish soldiers to an illegal war in Iraq, where millions of innocent civilians were killed.  Scotland could effectively shake off the bad reputation that the UK has in the world, by becoming an independent state, whilst remaining close ties with the UK in order to be able to exert influence properly, and to lobby against illegal and immoral wars, not of our making.

12. We can share in the vast legacy of Goodwill which has been built by the UK over centuries throughout the World.

Far from build a legacy of goodwill, the UK is known to have been one of the most brutal forces on the planet, and forcibly invaded many foreign lands, killing millions of innocent people in the process.  It's time for Scotland to stand aside, and to build a different kind of reputation, a peaceful reputation, staying out of illegal and immoral invasions of foreign lands.

13. All of this adds up to Greater Influence when dealing with the large national powers in the world.

Scotland currently has no influence on the world stage, because our voice is frankly over ruled by English MPs, hence why Scotland is dragged into conflict against the wishes of the Scottish electorate who voted in December for a majority of MPs who are against illegal and immoral wars.  Independence is the only way Scotland can actually have a position of influence on the world's stage, in the same way that Ireland had during the Brexit negotiations.

14. Ultimately, it helps us maintain an Outward-Looking Global Attitude, rather than obsessing about the Scottish navel, which is what would happen if Scotland separated and the shutters came down – psychologically and physically.

This is perhaps the most ridiculous point of all.  It is clear that people in Scotland have a more outward looking attitude than the political establishment in Westminster which is currently forcibly removing Scotland from the European Union against the will of our people.  Scotland has a choice, remain a prisoner in Brexit Britain, or to take our place on the world stage as an internationalist and outward looking nation.


DEFENCE

1. We can remain part of the British Armed Forces, and continue to be defended by them, here and overseas.

Why would we want to remain a part of the British Armed Forces, when we could create our own unique Scottish Armed Forces?  It goes without saying that Scotland will remain closely allied to the UK, and that in troubling times, we would help and assist the UK against the threat of international conflict.  But it also means that Scotland could refuse to go to wars that were deemed illegal, or were highly immoral.

2. We can continue to enjoy the protection provided by the British Intelligence Services, including MI5, MI6 and GCHQ.

Scotland is more than capable of creating our own armed forces, and our own intelligent agencies.  Scotland actually invented Field Intelligence.  So the idea that Scotland would need to rely on another country in this area is frankly ridiculous.

3. We can stay protected by the world's greatest anti-terrorist force – the SAS.

It goes without saying that Scotland will create our own armed forces, and will continue to remain close allies with the UK after independence.

4. We can have guaranteed membership of NATO.

Experts suggested in 2014 that Scotland would in fact be eligible to join NATO as an independent country if it were to decide to do so.  However, the decision would be down to Scotland, rather than having that position forced upon us by the UK Government.

5. We can have guaranteed membership of The Five Eyes (FVEY) intelligence alliance, with Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the USA.

It goes without saying that the people of Scotland are very internationalist in their views, hence why two thirds of Scotland rejected Brexit.  Therefore, it goes without saying that the Scottish Government would seek to form alliances with a variety of allies around the world during the independence negotiations.

6. We can continue to play our part in defending the Free World via the Trident missile system.

This has to be one of the most ridiculous points.  Scotland has just elected a massive majority of MPs who are AGAINST the renewal of trident, and who are AGAINST stockpiling nuclear weapons.  An independent Scotland would have the power to decide whether or not we wished to remain a nuclear nation.



IDENTITY

1. We can Stay British! Contrary to the claims of the separatists, the British identity depends upon British political structures and is not merely a "geographical" matter.

Geographically speaking, Scotland will continue to remain in the British Isles after independence.  Ireland is a separate state from Great Britain, however, many people who live in Ireland, specifically the northern counties, still identify as British.  It goes without saying that people who identify as British within Scotland can continue to do so when Scotland becomes independent.  People who currently hold UK passports and have British citizenship will not automatically lose that citizenship in the event of a yes vote - they will have the option to be both a Scottish and British citizen.  Your identity is not under threat.

2. We can keep the Monarchy, which would become a contested issue in a separated Scotland.

The monarcy is already a contested issue in the UK, never mind Scotland.  Arguably, you could say that people in Scotland would be HAPPIER to keep the monarchy if Scotland were independent.  Compromise is key here.  The vision of an independent Scotland outlined in 2014 specifically said that we would seek to remain in the Commonwealth and keep the Queen.  Whether or not the monarchy continues will be a decision for the people of the UK to come to at a time of their choosing, and Scotland has very little power and influence over those matters as a part of the union.  As an independent nation, the people of Scotland could if they so wished, campaign for a republic, but my guess is that they'd be more concerned with day to day issues such as health, housing and education.  The monarchy really isn't a burning issue and the idea that we'd give up our right to self determination for this issue alone is quite silly really.

3. We can keep flying the Union Jack, which would be taken down in a separated Scotland – although the SNP is already taking it down where it has authority to do so.

You can continue to fly any flag you like in an independent Scotland.  Believe it or not, people and organisations still fly the union flag in the Republic of Ireland.  I remember seeing it flown outside buildings in Dublin before actually.  And anyway, independence is about much more than flags and banners - it's about the people of Scotland having power and influence over matters that effect us, rather than having unwanted legislation forced upon us, by a UK Government we didn't vote for.

4. We can continue to enjoy the fact that the Union gives us one big country to call our own – the United Kingdom – instead of just one part. We can go to any part of the UK and say "This is my country too." It is great that English people can come to Scotland and say "This is my country too." It is great that Scots can go to England and say "This is my country too". That would not be the case if we were politically separated.

We are already politically separated to a certain extent, with the gradual transition of power to Scotland since the devolution referendum of 1997 where 74% of people voted yes for a Scottish Parliament.  Whilst it is true that the UK is a political union, it is not and never has been a country.  It is a political union of four separate nations.  We will still have very close ties with our friends and partners in England, Wales and Ireland after independence and will retain the Common Travel Area meaning we can travel freely between the four nations to live, work, love and retire, just as before. People who feel emotionally attached to the United Kingdom can be assured, that in the event of an independent Scotland, you will not be left behind, that you will retain your British Citizenship, and will have the added bonus of being able to hold both a Scottish and a British passport.


SOCIAL

1. We can ensure no internal borders, physical or economic. This helps to improve our life opportunities.

The Common Travel Area was created shortly after Ireland declared independence. It is an agreement in law, which means that citizens of the British Isles can travel freely without hindrance, can live, work, love or retire in each or any part of these islands.  This agreement will continue after independence.  Neither side has advocated for a hard border, in fact Boris Johnson has been very opposed to having a hard border, and so have the Scottish Government, so if nobody wants it, it obviously won't happen.

2. We can maintain the Social Union. Sharing a unitary political structure tends to smooth social integration, where separately developing and competing structures can hinder integration. (Unfortunately, however, devolution is already compromising that integration; see the outrageous policy where students from the rest of the UK have to pay for university education, while students from Scotland do not!)

In the event of Scottish independence, it goes without saying that the Common Travel Area will continue, as both sides have already agreed a willingness to see that continue, so you will still be able to cross the border into any other state of the British Isles, to live, work, love, access health care or retire.  Independence will not change this.  The independence sought in 2014 was actually advocating very close ties with England, and the UK Government are clearly saying that they would be opposed to a distant relationship.

3. We can maintain family links throughout the UK, without having to think of our own family as foreigners.

The UK is already made up of four separate nations, four separate countries.  I have English family, and whilst we see each other as family, we also clearly see each other as having different nationalities and we are completely fine with that.  It does not mean we see each other as "foreigners" and independence will never change that.

4. Although it may not always seem like it, the United Kingdom reduces internal rivalries. It helps to "keep the peace" between England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Where the peace has not been kept – in Ireland and latterly in Northern Ireland – it has been over the question of membership of the UK. Generally though, it does reduce internal rivalry. It allows us to swim about the big UK pond, and avoid each other if we want. If we take Scotland out that big UK pond, and put it in its own smaller pond, then the fish will be in danger of eating each other!

Independence would actually mean a closer relationship and less internal rivalries.  We already see this in the Republic of Ireland for example, where English people are made to feel very welcome when they go to visit, or choose to move there permanently to live, work and retire.  Independence has strengthened the bond between the two nations.  Independence would mean that we could finally be in charge of our own affairs in Scotland, and that the people of England could lobby for their governments to pay specific attention to local issues rather than being distracted with matters relating to the other three countries within the union.



CULTURAL

1. We can stay part of British-wide sporting investment schemes, and activity, including Team GB.

Scotland would finally have access to 100% of our tax revenues which means we could prioritise spending in such a way that we could finally develop Scotland's sporting potential.  Independence does not necessarily mean that Team GB would be forced to break up either - this would all be open to discussion in the event of a yes vote.  The landmass of Great Britain is geographical after all and will remain intact after independence.

2. We can continue to enjoy British-wide public service broadcasting via the BBC.

The 2014 vision of independence actually advocated keeping the BBC, but with Scotland having a bigger say over local programming - a matter which would be open for discussion in the event of a yes vote.  And anyway, I don't see much evidence that losing the BBC would really be that much of a problem.  Even Boris Johnson has floated the idea of scrapping the BBC altogether.


AND FINALLY…

1. We can ensure there is no need to "reinvent the wheel", expensively and completely unnecessarily, on all the above points!

This point basically argues the point that we shouldn't even bother to try to change things for the better, just to accept things as they are, because it would be too much hassle to strive for a fairer and more equal society.  Well, to the contrary, I say, let's relish the opportunities that independence can bring to Scotland, and the opportunity to make Scotland better for all who live here.  Things that are worth doing, generally takes a certain degree of effort.

So there you have it, 57 reasons to remain in the union all debunked, and many of them exposed as either being deeply misleading or needless scaremongering.

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