We can still rise now, and be a nation again

Thistle flower of Scotland

Today is St Andrew's Day - Scotland's official national day.  Scots have traditionally celebrated this day, since the reign of Malcolm III (1034 - 1093.)  But only very recently has St Andrews Day been recognised as a holiday by the Scottish Government.

Sadly, the longer that Scotland remains a part of the United Kingdom - the more that our distinct culture and way of life is further diluted and anglicised.  And sadly, this means that St Andrew's Day is not celebrated anywhere near as much as it should be, although since devolution, the Scottish Government have thankfully used their limited powers in order to promote our national day (it's been an official bank holiday since 2007.)

A group of MSPs have formed a committee to further promote our national day.  They now plan a new push to make the national day a school holiday.

Historically - Scotland's unique culture has been diluted and anglicised quite deliberately by the British Government - most notably, the 1747 Act of Proscription actually banned the bagpipes, tartan and the teaching of Scots Gaelic.

Then of course came the Highland Clearances, when the British establishment, over a period of many decades, forced Highlanders from their homes, in order to try to eradicate the Scots Gaelic culture, and to try to prevent any future uprisings.

In more recent history - the Conservative Secretary of State for Scotland has tried to ensure that the Scottish saltire is replaced with a union flag on as many Scottish products as possible.  He has visited businesses throughout the land, begging business owners to add the British union flag to Scottish products.

This attempt to force Scots to accept the British nationality has had the opposite effect.

Scots now feel less British than ever.

A nationality is not given - a nationality is how you feel inside.

At the most recent census, in Scotland - 62% of Scots identified as 'Scottish Only' while only 8% chose to identify as 'British Only' - however, there are 500,000 English people living in Scotland, so these British only figures may very well represent the English community that live here.

The Declaration of Arbroath of 1320, a previous declaration of Scottish independence proclaimed "As long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule. It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours, that we are fighting, but for freedom - for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself."

And this statement remains true today - there will always be a very large section of Scottish society that strongly desires independence for Scotland, and no amount of begging, threatening or false promises will eradicate that strength of feeling that lies within patriotic Scots throughout this land.

Indeed, 1.6 million Scots voted yes in 2014, in the face of the lies, the false promises and the threats from the establishment.  The very fact that it was the old age pensioners who ensured the no vote, proves that it was those vicious threats from the unionists that tipped the balance in their favour.

The pensioners voted no massively - the under 50 age group had actually voted yes, but for the pensioners, many of whom relied on the BBC for their news - the threat of losing their pension altogether was enough to scare them into voting no.

Support for Scottish independence was polling at just over 20% in the two years prior to the independence referendum, and ended up increasing to 51% according to polls on the day prior to the referendum, which prompted the British Government to offer further powers to the people of Scotland in order to prevent a yes vote.

Of course, 4 years later, the promises of federalism have been broken.

And of course, despite the people of Scotland overwhelmingly voting to remain in the EU in 2016 - the English leave vote has ensured that Scotland will be forced to leave the EU on the 29th of March 2019.

In the immediate aftermath of the 2016 EU referendum, a few polls were released showing support for independence being as high as 59% for yes.

in the 2014 referendum, as many as 300,000 EU citizens may have voted against independence - because they were promised by the unionists that a no vote would protect Scotland's place in the EU and would therefore protect their rights as European citizens.

Of course - this time, the shoe is on the other foot - because the European citizens will now be forced to vote for independence in order to protect their EU rights.  That's if they are allowed to vote at all, of course.

To put the size of that vote into perspective, if the first referendum was repeated with the EU citizens swinging to yes, it would have meant a 53% yes vote.

And of course, that doesn't take into account the feelings of everyone else.

Whether you voted remain or leave in the EU referendum, you would still be right to be angry that the voice of an entire country could be cast aside by the British Government, in their desire to fulfill the desires of the people of England - whilst completely ignoring that Scotland has it's own distinctive interests.

A 2nd independence referendum, will easily achieve a massive yes vote - the British Government know this and of course, Theresa May knows this - hence why she will try to prevent a 2nd referendum at all costs.

But whether or not the British Government chooses to allow a 2nd referendum is neither here nor there.

Independence can legally be achieved through a referendum, but can also legally be achieved in a General Election.  If over 50% of voters were to vote for the SNP in a General Election - with the SNP asking for a mandate to make a Unilateral Declaration of Independence - then independence could legally be declared.

We will find out on the 11th December whether or not the UK Parliament votes to pass Theresa May's Brexit deal, or whether Britain faces crashing out of the EU without a deal.

Either way, the campaign for independence will begin at that stage.

But with or without Brexit chaos, and with or without the permission of Theresa May or the Tory party, Scotland WILL rise again and Scotland WILL be a nation once again.

Do the people of Scotland truly care about social justice?

poverty in the UK

Surely Scotland wants better than this? The growing poverty epidemic in this country is truly shocking, and the punishment of the poor and needy at the hands of the British government is unforgivable.

But it's difficult to see any great desire for change.

It seems people have developed a "Oh well, at least it's not me" attitude these days.

Why are people just accepting this?

Millions of children are going hungry and missing out on hot meals in 2018 in modern Britain.

We've heard of single parents contemplating suicide, thousands of people becoming homeless because of DWP cruelty, severely disabled people and people with terminal cancer being asked to prove they're really sick or disabled and thousands of disabled people killing themselves due to deliberate DWP cruelty at the hands of the British state.

We have 'The Rape Clause' to contend with also - and the British Government's two child cap - causing children to miss out on regular hot meals.

As many as 1.3 million people in Scotland are in poverty - despite the UK being the "fifth largest economy in the world."

Workers are being made to work like slaves, on zero hour contracts, their employers completely unaccountable and these workers can be paid off for any reason at all, or have their hours reduced as their employer sees fit.  Workers are being taken advantage of by large corporations because of increasingly relaxed regulations.

Workers have less rights now than they did ten years ago.

In real terms, the Scottish budget has been reduced by almost ten billion pounds over the period of the last decade - causing health and education to suffer.

Thousands of pensioners will die this year in Scotland, because they can't afford to heat their home.

When is the moment that the people of Scotland decide to get off their knees and do something about the disgusting social injustices that we face at the hands of a far away London government and their obsession with punishing the working class?

During the 1980s, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's cruel and harsh punishment of the poor working classes caused mass protests and even riots - a crowd of up to 250,000 people took to the streets to protest against the Poll Tax.

That protest was seen as a key moment in the end of Thatcher's reign - she resigned later that year, and the next Prime Minister John Major gave into public pressure to get rid of the hated Poll Tax.

And now, almost three decades later, it seems we have come full circle - we have Philip Alston, the United Nations poverty envoy declaring that Theresa May's Government are punishing the most vulnerable and disadvantaged members of society.

The United Nations stated in their report that the Tory Government's harsh austerity measures have disproportionately harmed the poor, women, ethnic minorities, children, single parents, asylum seekers and people with disabilities.

The United Nations have since pointed out that the British Government are in complete denial about the current state of affairs.  They also pointed out that the Scottish Government are having to use their shrinking budget to mitigate Tory austerity measures.

Recently, 700,000 people took to the streets of London to protest against Brexit. But the protests have so far fell on deaf ears - despite a forecast released today by the Governor of the Bank of England declaring that Britain faces going into the worst financial crisis of the modern age.

A Scottish Government report released yesterday concluded that Scots will personally be worse off to the tune of thousands of pounds as a result of a Brexit we didn't vote for.

We have a Prime Minister and a Government in power at the moment who are either seriously deluded, or are extremely dishonest - in complete denial that a potential financial crisis is looming, in denial that austerity is unnecessary and cruel, and in denial about the extreme poverty that exists due to their cruel and unnecessary austerity measures.

Isn't it about time that people in Scotland stood up to the government that we didn't vote for?  Isn't it time that we demanded social justice?

For decades, we've heard politicians promising an end to poverty - and here we are, in 2018 - and the problem is still as rife as it ever was.

This situation is only possible, because we, the people of Scotland allow it to be.

There is another way.  There is a better way.  Scotland can choose to decide it's own future - Scotland can choose to reject austerity on a permanent basis and follow a Scandinavian model - a balanced society that doesn't simply favour the rich, it protects the majority, and looks after the working poor.

Another Scotland IS possible.  But it starts with independence.  It starts with having the conversations, with anyone who will listen, demanding change and choosing to be a part of that change.

Time to call unionism what it is - English supremacy

unionism is English supremacy

After the 1707 Act of Union, it became enshrined into law, that Scotland would no longer possess any sovereignty over it's own affairs and that total sovereignty would lie with the Westminster Parliament in London.

Even today, in the UK Parliament, Scotland has only 59 of the 650 MPs, and so Scotland's voice is literally outnumbered 11 to 1.

It is therefore mathematically impossible for Scottish interests to be taken seriously in the UK Parliament.

Tory MP Boris Johnson summed up the union's belief that England's place within the union is superior, when he said recently "A pound spent in Croydon is of far more value to the country than a pound spent in Strathclyde."

Of course, supporters of the union would argue that Scottish interests can be discussed in Holyrood - Scotland's Parliament.  However, all of the most important powers that affect the people of Scotland, are not devolved to the Scottish Parliament, and are reserved matters.

English nationalism

This means that the Scottish Parliament often finds itself having to use the limited powers that they have, in order to mitigate damage created in Scotland by British state policy.

The Scottish Parliament often finds itself having symbolic votes on matters that are not reserved to Scotland - because sadly these powers are felt to be safer in the hands of English MPs.

Devolution, far from offering the federalism that has been continually promised by both Labour and the Tories for the past few decades - has actually just became an excuse for unionists to hold onto remaining powers.  The attitude of unionists is simply that Scotland is undeserving of full sovereignty over it's own affairs and that it should only be able to address local issues of less importance.

So if you support the union, you agree and therefore support the idea that England's MPs and English society should make all of those big decisions that affect the people of Scotland - despite the fact that Scottish MPs very often vote against legislation and policy that is passed by the predominately English Westminster parliament.

If you are a unionist - you believe that English MPs should have supremacy over Scottish affairs, that the English MPs are smarter and more capable of making decisions, than the Scottish people themselves.

In short, if you are a unionist, make no mistake about it - you are an English supremacist.

You either support Scotland's interests, or you support English supremacy - there is no in between.

If this was a true union, then all members of the union would have the power to veto any law or policy that affected their country or nation - especially where that law or policy is not wanted by the people of that nation.

The Scottish people rejected Brexit by almost 2 to 1 - but Scotland is forced to accept massive constitutional change, against the will of the people.

The United Kingdom is made up of four separate countries, or nations - Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England.  Yet there are 533 English MPs in Westminster, and only 117 MPs representing the other three nations - so English MPs literally decide the fate of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.  

Even if every MP for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland voted alongside each other for legislation that would benefit the people of their respective nations - England's MPs would massively outnumber the representatives of ALL of the three other nations put together, by almost 5 to 1.

So it's time to call out the Labour Party and the Conservative Party, and anyone in fact who supports the United Kingdom, for exactly what they are - English supremacists.

The very fact that the United Kingdom is called a 'union' is perhaps the biggest double speak of all - the word 'union' implies an equal partnership.

It's time that the people of Scotland decided to put the interests of the people of Scotland first.

The only way that is possible is to finally dissolve this massively unequal union for once and for all.

We will still be a family of nations, Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales can live side by side in the British isles as much better friends and neighbours if we can all look after our own affairs.

IndyRef2 should focus on increasing the state pension

pensioners for independence

According to the Lord Ashcroft research of 5,000 voters who took part in the first independence referendum, the under 50 age group voted yes, and the over 50s voted no, quite massively.

If we were to take this information at face value, then it would suggest that perhaps the older generation may have been taken in by the lies of project fear - firstly that their state pension would no longer be guaranteed, and secondly that their state pension could be reduced.

If a second campaign for independence made state pensions the absolute top priority - perhaps it would offer an incentive to those pensioners who are wavering on whether or not to pass on the fruits of independence to future generations.

It goes without saying that Scotland couldn't do much worse than we are right now, as a part of the United Kingdom - one million Scots are in poverty and there are queues at food banks up and down the country due to cruel and harsh punishment at the hands of the British state.

The British state pension is the LOWEST in the developed world - pretty shocking.

If I were running the independence campaign, I'd focus entirely on pensions as a top priority - I would offer a cast iron guarantee to protect and deliver a fair and decent state pension.  I would immediately increase the state pension by £30 pounds a week, across the board.

An increase of £30 pounds a week, would cost the Scottish Government approximately £1.5 billion pounds a year to deliver.  But it would be a solid, financial incentive that would give pensioners a security blanket and a reward for the risk that they perceive to be taking by voting for independence.

Once you have the majority of pensioners on board - a snowball effect can occur - they can inform and persuade other pensioners, and can possibly even persuade younger family members that independence is a risk worth taking.

It goes without saying, according to GERS figures, that massive annual savings could be made on day one of independence - why would a country with the population size of Scotland pay such ridiculous amounts for public services, defence, deficit repayments etc?  If you see some of the other articles on this blog, you'll see that we could easily save £13.4 billion annually on day one of independence, and that would be a conservative estimate - so paying for the state pension increase is easily achievable.

It is not unreasonable to suggest that the state pension would increase further over a period of time - once Scotland establishes itself as a successful independent nation - other small independent countries with a similar population to Scotland pay MUCH HIGHER state pensions than the pathetic amount currently offered by the British state.

But it's important not to make whimsical promises or offer vague suggestions - pensioners won't gamble on a whim - however they'll make the educated decision to vote for independence if they're offered a financial incentive to do so, and a CAST IRON GUARANTEE that it will be delivered.

Scotland's time to shine has arrived - support us or step aside

This morning's headlines reveal that the UK will become £100 BILLION worse off PER YEAR as a result of Brexit chaos.

A vote for Scotland to remain part of the UK, is a vote to ensure absolutely that Scotland becomes poorer - It's a vote to make sure that the British government becomes less accountable to the outside world - It's a vote to make sure we face a lifetime of uncertainty and constitutional chaos.

Scotland has a clear choice - to ensure a lifetime of perpetual uncertainty and accept economic self harm within the UK.

Or, Scotland can choose a bright new future as an independent state, free to make our own decisions in the world, and to finally take our place alongside Ireland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and other progressive, forward thinking nations on the world stage.

The contrast is clear - continue to allow Scotland to be dragged into chaos and blunder, as a part of the UK - being dragged from one constitutional crisis to another, and with our voice literally outnumbered 11 to 1 in Westminster - remain completely powerless to influence events.

Or - Scotland can choose to chart a new course, and take it's place alongside the nations in the world, and finally be a country - a country that can attract immigration, attract investment, that's able to decide it's own relationships and trading partners and able to attract the multi national corporations in the same way that neighbouring Ireland has.

Do we continue to remain a colony of England - and accept our fate - accept the fact that Scotland must remain poor, and remain a third state within the UK, accept the fact that Scotland will never be an attractive place for foreign investment, that we will continue to be unable to achieve significant population growth or economic growth? Or do we choose to take our place in the world, like Ireland has? Ireland is looking at 4.8% GDP growth next year, while the UK is going into growth recession as a result of Brexit chaos. Little old Ireland has proved that it can even face an economic crisis such as the last global recession and come out of the other side stronger than ever before. Even little old Malta, who the UK once denounced as too small to become an independent country, has projected GDP growth of 4.9% next year.

The choice is clear - remain poor forever, or make the educated choice to become a rich and successful independent country.

We have now reached the moment when there is little doubt, that Scotland would be economically and socially better off as an independent country.

Scotland had already began to chart it's course towards independence. Some would argue that Brexit has made this more likely. Well one things for sure - it's highlighted the urgent need for Scotland to chart it's own course - it's highlighted the fact that England's kingdom is insular and backward, and that an independent Scotland would be progressive and would therefore be treated with more respect, and would be taken more seriously by the outside world.

The time has come for the British Government to accept that Scotland would be better off as an independent state, and rather than try to hold us back, or hold us captive against our will, to wish us well in our onward journey, to support us in that desire, and to build a new relationship with Scotland that will benefit us all in the long term.

It would be far better for the remaining part of the United Kingdom to begin our new relationship on the right footing, and learn from the chaos of Brexit, that fighting against each other's interests is pointless.

Scotland's time to take it's place on the world stage has arrived. If the UK Government doesn't want to support us to do this, then they should at the very least step aside, and get out of our way.

Brexit has revealed that Scotland's democratic voice is of no interest to the British Government

family of nations

Back in 2014, David Cameron, the then Prime Minister of the UK, made an impassioned speech in which he begged Scots to reject independence, in favour of a new style of relationship between Scotland and the United Kingdom.

Cameron said that there was a "patriotic vision" for a "strong Scottish nation ALLIED to the rest of the United Kingdom."

However, four years later, the Secretary of State for Scotland has admitted that this was never going to be viewed as a partnership.  "Scotland is not a partner of the United Kingdom," he said, adding "Scotland is a PART of a United Kingdom."

So according to Mundell, Scotland should simply know her place, and be seen and not heard.  Scotland's explicit interests are of no interest to the UK Government according to Mundell - a clear sign that the tone has now changed, and that the false promises of 2014 were never going to be kept.

Scotland was offered federalism, more powers, more sovereignty over her own affairs.  These vague promises turned out to be a pack of lies.

Theresa May denied Scotland a 2nd independence referendum, despite a clear mandate for that being delivered at the most recent Scottish Parliament election - which delivered a large pro independence majority - quite an achievement in a Parliament which was designed NOT to allow a nationalist majority.

Scotland also had a much larger pro independence majority delivered at the most recent snap election, with the SNP winning a massive 35 out of 59 Scottish seats at Westminster.

The mandate for a 2nd independence referendum is quite clear - and even a Scotland in Union poll last week could only find 35% who said they don't want another independence referendum - a bitter blow to the unionists who have tried to peddle the outright lie that Scotland is against having another say.  In fact, a large majority prefer that that referendum should take place BEFORE 2021 according to that unionist poll.

There was cross party support in the Scottish Parliament recently to reject the Westminster power grab - legislation passed by UK Government to block EU powers being handed to Scotland after Brexit.  The legislation was passed in the House of Commons, in a matter of minutes, without even allowing a single Scottish MP to say a single word on the matter.

The Brexit referendum produced a massive remain result in Scotland, when Scots voted almost 2 to 1 to remain a full member of the European Union, yet Theresa May has continually denounced the suggestion that this is a constitutional crisis of mass proportions, that an entire country could have it's EU membership revoked despite massive support for continued membership.

May insists that the time for an independence referendum should only be considered after a deal with the European Union has been done.  May has presented a deal that would mean continuing to be bound by European rules, but without having a say over these rules - another democratic deficit of mass proportions.  Even Brexit secretary Dominic Raab has admitted that we would be better off remaining in the EU than accepting Theresa May's deal.

However, there are rumours now surfacing that MPs and Ministers within Theresa May's cabinet may have already been offered golden handshakes in return for support of her terrible Brexit deal.  Knighthood's have already been awarded to Cabinet members, who are said to be backing May's deal.  How many more knighthoods will be offered?  How many more special deals are being made behind closed doors to ensure that May's deal passes through Parliament?

It is absolutely reprehensible that in this day in age, that the government of a country that portrays itself as a democratic state could use such underhand tactics to sign us up for massive constitutional change that seeks to undermine democracy and cause massive economic damage.

Scotland has been treated with such contempt during this process, that the idea that there remains a positive case to be, as Mundell put it "a part of a United Kingdom" is simply laughable at this stage.

The more the British government drag their heels and try to prevent the people of Scotland from having a say on the future of their country, the more that UK Government blocks the democratic will of the sovereign people of Scotland, the more that support for independence will grow.

'Scotland in Union' poll shows 60% of Scots want indyref within 8 years

In a bitter blow to unionists, a poll conducted by 'Scotland in Union' has spectacularly backfired, and proves that the overwhelming majority of Scots are open to the idea of taking part in a 2nd independence referendum within the next 8 years.

yes scotland

Only 35% of Scots said there should not be another independence referendum, despite the unionist parties in Scotland continuing to perpetuate the myth that Scotland does not want a 2nd referendum.

Once the 'don't knows' are removed - 60% of Scots want to see an independence referendum within the next 8 years - an extremely embarrassing statistic for the unionist campaign group who conducted the poll, hoping to prove that the opposite was true.

And EVEN MORE embarrassingly, of those who want another referendum - the largest portion of them said that the referendum should be held BEFORE the 29th of March 2019.

Even more interestingly within the results, only 40% of Labour voters said there should not be another referendum at all - meaning Richard Leonard's current position to deny the people of Scotland another referendum could cost Labour up to 60% of their votes in an election.

And even a quarter of Tory voters in Scotland are open to another referendum - so Ruth Davidson's position of refusing to hold another referendum could cost the Scottish Tories a quarter of their votes if they continue to campaign against allowing a democratic vote.

An even more interesting statistic within the Scotland in Union's polling data shows that 40% of people who voted no at the 2014 independence referendum are open to a 2nd referendum being held within the next 8 years.

Once the 'don't know's' are removed, 38% of Scots said Brexit makes them more likely to vote for independence, and only 23% said it would make them less likely to vote for independence from the UK.

The poll also shows a 3% swing towards yes once the UK leaves the EU, and an 8% swing to yes in the event of a hard Brexit.  Only 44% of those polled said they would vote no in the event of a no deal Brexit.

Only 21% of Scots thought that Scotland would not be granted membership of the UK - a myth that was perpetuated heavily by the no campaign in 2014 - but in recent days, the Spanish government has admitted that they would not block Scotland's entry to the EU.

Once don't knows were removed, 35% of respondents said that EU membership was more important to them, while only 24% said being in the UK was more important than being a member of the EU - and 40% said both unions were of equal importance.

All in all, the 'Scotland in Union' poll is pretty harsh reading for the unionist parties in Scotland who have now proven with their own research that the vast majority of Scots want an independence referendum at some point within the next 8 years.

Full polling data is available via the following link; https://www.survation.com/archive/2018-2/

British rule is turning Scotland into a third world country

The title of this post might appear quite dramatic to the international observer who would assume that the 5th largest economy in the world would take care of it's citizens - but for those living here in Scotland - this is the harsh reality.

Everywhere you turn in Scotland, you will witness extreme poverty.  The United Nations have recently concluded that the British Government have deliberately caused these extreme poverty levels.  Unsurprisingly, the British Government have DENIED these findings.

homeless scotland

This winter in the UK, thousands of pensioners will FREEZE TO DEATH in their own homes because their state pension, being the lowest state pension in the developed world - does not stretch far enough to meet the rising costs of heating their homes.

The harsh and cruel welfare policy inflicted by the British Government during the past decade has caused the needless deaths of thousands of society's most vulnerable people.  A simple google search of the term 'DWP deaths' will bring back horrendous stories of the suffering of the citizens of the UK who have been affected by the cruelty of the unforgiving British system.

ex serviceman homeless UK

Disabled people, who have been declared 'fit to work' by the DWP - have lost their benefits, driving many to homelessness and even suicide.

People in the end stages of Cancer, and with various other terminal illnesses have been declared "fit to work" and have had their disability benefits stopped.  Many with terminal illnesses have died within days or weeks of being declared 'fit to work' by the DWP.

Cancer patients have been declared "not sick enough" to receive sickness benefits.

Tens of thousands of disabled people have had cruel and heartless cuts to their benefits, which has led to an epidemic of suicide.  The British Government have since appointed a 'Minister for Suicide' - yes, really.

Millions of families with children in the UK are now suffering extreme poverty due to the cruel and unfair British system.

Throughout the UK, food banks have been created to deal with the poverty epidemic.

The levels of poverty are so extreme, that the United Nations have investigated and concluded that the British Government are very deliberately causing needless and unjust suffering to society's most vulnerable people.

We have heard stories of single mothers having to sell their bodies for sex for just a few pounds so that they can afford to buy food to feed their children.

We have heard stories, that hundreds of vulnerable members of society have became homeless as a result of cruel and heartless DWP policy.

We have heard stories of a nine year old girl who walked around begging for work so that she could help to feed her family, when her father lost his job and they were denied any help from the government - despite having paid for this safety net his whole life through his taxes.

Thousands are found to have died, shortly after being declared "fit to work" by the British welfare system.

Men and women who have served in our armed forces find themselves ABANDONED by the British Government - many have frozen to death while sleeping on the streets in the winter.

In the UK, even working families are finding themselves in extreme poverty.

Many employers have their employees on zero hour contracts, meaning that they could face a cut to their hours at any time, and could find themselves unable to pay rent, to heat their home or to buy sufficient food to feed their families.  Many working families have been forced to attend foodbanks and beg for assistance in order to survive.

There is a homeless epidemic throughout the United Kingdom - and the British government are allowing thousands of people to sleep rough, even during cold, harsh winter conditions - with young and vulnerable members of society freezing to death in shop doorways.

Look around any town and city in Scotland you will see deprivation and abject poverty.  This is the result of many hundreds of years of British rule.

You will see people sleeping in doorways, living in tents - begging for money on every street corner in any of Scotland's large settlements.

Children have told the United Nations poverty investigation that they have been forced to go without food - suffering from hunger and undernourishment is the norm for many thousands of Scottish children.  The life expectancy in Glasgow is far lower than the UK wide statistic - the fact that Scotland's largest settlement suffers on a far greater level than English cities is absolute proof that British rule has failed Scotland.

The only chance that Scotland has to end this epidemic of extreme poverty - is to finally separate itself from the British state, and transfer all the powers from the Westminster Parliament in London, England - to the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.

Scotland would follow the example of Scandinavian countries that have a much fairer system, that values all the members of society equally, including the most vulnerable ones - the disabled, pensioners, single parents and the unemployed.

Proof that Scotland would do things differently?  While British Labour had control in the Scottish Parliament - they built just 6 council houses - yes really - SIX COUNCIL HOUSES.  While the SNP have been in power, they've built 8,000 council houses.  Absolute PROOF if ever you needed it that we'd do things differently.  The SNP has used their limited power to offer further help and assistance to citizens suffering at the hands of cruel UK wide policy that seeks to inflict cruel and unnecessary punishment upon the most vulnerable members of society.

The likes of Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland have proven that the cruel and harsh punishment that Britain inflicts upon it's citizens is not necessary - that there is another way.  The Scottish government aims to emulate this brilliant formula once they finally have the power to do so.  The only way that can happen is with total independence for Scotland.

Scottish independence and EU membership are entirely separate issues

Many people who support independence for Scotland, are also Eurosceptics.  Indeed there is an argument that if Scotland were to become an independent country, that it could not be a truly independent state if it were to remain a member of the European Union.  And while this does not at the moment appear to be the general consensus, it is still a legitimate argument.

I am not going to go into the arguments for and against EU membership, or my personally held beliefs about why Scotland should or should not become a member.  This is entirely irrelevant.

First, Scotland must achieve independence from the United Kingdom.

The very fact that the Scots voted a certain way in the independence referendum, and that they're having the opposite inflicted upon them, highlights the democratic deficit that is the United Kingdom.

Indeed Brexit highlights the very fact that democracy is IMPOSSIBLE in Scotland until Scotland decides to become an independent country - and highlights the fact that the people of England will always decide Scotland's fate while we remain in "the union."

The very fact that the United Kingdom was free to leave the European Union without having to ask for permission highlights the fact that the United Kingdom is far from a political union - and that Scotland is merely seen as a northern region of England, or a colony owned by England by our masters in London.

Leaving the United Kingdom is our first priority.  After which, we can begin the conversation about EU membership.

There are some who make outlandish claims that Scotland would automatically become a member of the EU after independence, due to the regional voting in the British Brexit referendum.  However - that belief is completely false.

Any new member state of the European Union MUST apply first for membership - the European Union will then ensure that the proposed member state meets certain requirements.  One of those requirements is the consent of the people of the member state - that must be done by either a General Election or a referendum.   The usually preferred method is a referendum.

So after Scotland has become an independent country, the most likely scenario is that Scotland would remain in the single market and the customs union until a future relationship with the European Union has been settled upon.  It is also highly likely that the people of Scotland would then be asked by referendum whether or not Scotland should become a member state.

So for the Eurosceptics among us - that would be your opportunity to campaign against membership of the European Union.  There is no point in arguing about this now, because at present, while tied to the UK - Scotland does not have the power to decide it's relationship with the EU.  It is a physical impossibility - we are a third state within the UK.

Perhaps Scotland should become a full member of the EU, or perhaps there will be a case for the Norway model, or maybe there's another option - either way, it should be for the people of Scotland to decide, and our relationship with the European Union should not be dictated to us by the people of England.

Independence first.  After independence, it will be our choice to make.  Then and only then, will we be able to make the case for or against.

Brexit has taught us that the UK was never a union of equals

The Sewel Convention makes it clear that the UK Government CANNOT legislate in devolved areas, without the consent of the devolved parliament.

Ian Blackford in the House of Commons

The UK Government has TORN UP the devolution settlement, by ignoring the vote in the Scottish Parliament to not consent to the EU Withdrawal Bill. The Scottish Parliament voted 93 votes to 30 against the bill, therefore did not consent.

This decision to ignore the will of the Scottish people also contravenes 'The Claim of Right 1989' - legislation that recognises that the people of Scotland are sovereign.

During the Brexit process, the British government have been forced to respect the Irish government's position, since Irish MEP's are very influential in the EU.  On a side note, if Scotland was an independent country, it too could protect it's position as a member state of the European Union if it so wishes - however, as a third state of the United Kingdom, it is unable to do so.

The issue of the Irish border, is the reason that Theresa May's Brexit deal has not yet saw the light of day.  And while anyone with a degree of sanity would recognise the importance of the Irish border being an extremely important issue (some Tories don't see it as that important), it still proves that in this process, Scotland's position really has been simply disregarded.

The Scottish Parliament has since passed votes, very decisively in fact, often with cross party support, votes that have then been cast aside by the British government almost instantaneously, without even a moment's thought.

So again, we go back to 'The Claim of Right 1989' and 'The Sewel Convention' - legal acts that protect the sovereign will of the people of Scotland - legal acts that are being ignored and cast aside by a British government that's intent on inflicting it's will upon Scotland, without the consent of the Scottish people.

If ever there was a time that the people of Scotland should assert their rights, the time is now.  

Ian Blackford told the House of Commons in June this year...

"The Claim of Right acknowledges the sovereign right of the Scottish people to determine the form of government best suited to their needs and the obligation on elected representatives that in all our actions and deliberations, the interests of the people of Scotland shall be paramount. 
"The Claim of Right is not simply a historical document but it is a fundamental principle that underpins the democracy and constitutional framework of Scotland. 
"The 1989 Claim functioned as a declaration of intent on the sovereignty of the Scottish People. 
"It set the constitutional convention which ten years later saw the people vote in a referendum for the re-establishment of the Scottish Parliament. 
"A parliament that this UK Government now seeks to undermine and ignore."

The SNP are the only party in Scotland that currently holds a position to legally challenge the British government's position, and now, it would appear that the moment for meaningful action has arrived, in order to unite the people of Scotland behind this cause.

Ireland is proof that Scotland would thrive as an independent country

Dublin skyline

There are often many comparisons drawn between the projected benefits of independence for Scotland, and the current situation in Ireland, an already successful independent country, which even during the worst of times, has shown great endurance.

Scotland of course has a massive wealth of natural resources and a massive banking and finance industry, an impressive tourism industry, massive food and drinks industry, a huge whisky industry etc, that Ireland would of course envy.

The banking sector alone in Scotland is worth £1.82 trillion according to Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, who said it's worth ten times Scottish GDP.

The north sea oil and gas reserves can be comfortably estimated to be worth at least £1 trillion, according to current estimates. Scottish Conservative MP Ross Thompson boasted in the House of Commons recently that Scotland has a minimum of 17 billion barrels of oil off the north sea, so this is not even contested by the British government.

So let's get back to Ireland - Ireland's economy is currently booming.  They have learned from the most recent financial crisis, and will be more prepared to avert disaster should another financial crash happen anytime soon.  Scotland can learn from the mistakes that were made too.

US multinational firms make up 14 of the top 20 Irish firms.  This is indicative of a country that's ALLOWED to make it's own corporation tax deals, a country that's free to decide it's own rules in order to attract bigger business.

Scotland is unable to attract the multinational firms and foreign investment that would make our economy boom, due to being attached to the union.

Ireland's ability to offer a competitive corporation tax deal, means that they can attract multiple huge firms, providing excellent jobs for ordinary, working people - that provide excellent pensions and working conditions.  Just think about the tens of billions of pounds that Scotland is missing out on, because we are completely powerless to do these types of deals?

There are some who would argue that Ireland is a corporation tax haven - but attracting big business improves economies, in more ways than one, and with all the additional taxes paid into the government as a result - you at least have the financial ability to take care of the needy and the most vulnerable members of society.

Ireland proved that even a small country, with few natural resources, can cope, and survive through even the harshest of global financial climates.  The lessons learned during that period are of great benefit to Scotland.

Many point to the fact that Ireland had to be bailed out during the financial crisis.  I would simply say to that, that many countries had to take out loans to cope, but whilst the likes of the UK is still struggling to cope after the financial crisis - Ireland has come out of the other side stronger, and wealthier than ever before.

The people of Ireland understand, just like the people of Scotland - that trade relationships with Europe are extremely important.  Unfortunately, while tied to the UK, Scotland can be removed from these trade deals at any time that the English electorate decide, against the will of the Scottish people, as Brexit has proved.

The Scottish tourism industry is already doing pretty well, but of course, Scotland could easily benefit from a greater tourism industry after independence because we'd be able to sell the true Scottish experience.  The gaining of independence in itself will be an attraction to visitors.  There is also the aspect that some people would quite rightly be put off visiting Scotland whilst it is attached to the UK, for political reasons.

Being in the single market means that you can attract the work force to keep big business afloat, again, Brexit has proved that whilst within the UK, Scotland can be dragged from such a vital arrangement against her will.

the cost of not being independent

I am aware that many in Scotland and even in Ireland are Eurosceptics, but whether you like the EU or not, you should still be outraged that an entire country, in a supposed 'equal union' could be dragged from vital arrangements that benefit our economy, simply because another country within this so called 'equal union' decides to leave.

Services and high tech industries are vital to the Irish economy.  Scotland can learn lessons from the massive wealth that these types of industries bring to the Emerald Isle.

Ireland has a competitive edge over Scotland, because it's the only small, independent, English speaking country in Europe - free to make it's own decisions entirely.  Scotland can join the Celtic brotherhood of nations on day one of independence and will finally be able to compete for those huge corporations and for that significant foreign investment that benefits Ireland so much.

Scotland can look across the Irish sea for inspiration in other areas too - social policy.  Look at how Ireland treats their low paid workers, their pensioners, their disabled and unemployed.  The safety net that you pay your whole life for in your taxes is protected in Ireland.  The state pension is far greater, and the opportunities are far greater for the lower working classes.

The maximum Irish state pension is £215 pounds, where as the UK maximum state pension is a paltry £125 pounds a week. I have analysed the financial implications in other posts on this blog, and have concluded that with slightly different priorities (ie spending less than our current £4.8 billion a week contribution to defence), an independent Scotland could divert £1.5 billion to immediately increase the state pension by £30 a week across the board, and eventually, once economic conditions improve, increase it further.

If you are a low skilled worker in Ireland (talking from personal experience), you will have far more left over at the end of the week once you've paid your bills.  Having that little bit extra, as a result of an independent Scotland being able to attract the foreign investment and corporations that will make us all a little wealthier, will improve the quality of life of all of our citizens, the childhoods of future generations and improve the future of generations to come.

If you watch the video above, you will see that Irish economists often look to Scotland puzzled that the people here could not envision the massive benefits of becoming independent.  They look at how impoverished people are in Scotland and cannot quite grasp why the Scots would accept being permanent 2nd class citizens, as a secondary state to England within the UK.

Of course, Scotland is different, but in many ways, we're extremely similar to the Irish.  The Irish not only survive outwith the union - it is clear to any outside observer that they THRIVE outwith the union.  Let's hope that we can now open the eyes of the people of Scotland so that they can finally have the courage to recognise their true potential as an independent state and finally harness the self belief that is required to put a cross in the yes box next time.

Then and only then, can we drag the working classes out of the abject poverty that they have become so used to in the UK.

Better Together? Scottish child poverty epidemic referred to United Nations

The level of child poverty in Scotland has become such a terrible epidemic, that the situation is being referred to the United Nations poverty envoy.

child poverty scotland

in 2014, the people of Scotland were promised by the British government that the country would be better off sticking with the United Kingdom.  "Better Together" was the campaign slogan that was used by the no campaign.

Four years after the independence referendum, and poverty levels are increasing due to rising food prices, stagnant wages and an unforgivably cruel welfare system that punishes the most vulnerable members of society.

Bruce Adamson, the Children and Young People's Commissioner for Scotland has described the current situation in Scotland as one of the worst he's seen in the western world.

Adamson told The Times today, "It cannot be right that in 2018 in a rich country like Scotland we have hundreds of thousands of children who can't access enough food. They don't know where the next healthy, warm, nutritious meal is coming from."

Since the 2014 referendum, Scots have seen the promises made by the no campaign unraveling.

Scotland massively voted to remain in the European Union in the 2016 referendum, but find their country being dragged out of the EU despite their position.

The Claim of Right 1989 promised Scots sovereignty - however, Scotland's sovereignty was cast aside during the EU referendum, and Scotland's sovereignty has also been cast aside after successive votes in the Scottish Parliament.

The Scottish Parliament has voted decisively for a 2nd independence referendum, and also had cross party support to vote against the Westminster power grab which will see a whole host of EU powers handed to Westminster, and most recently the Scottish Parliament voted decisively for a people's vote on the final Brexit outcome - this too was cast aside instantly by Westminster.

The question is, how much longer will the Scottish people allow their "sovereign" will to be ignored by the British government?  How many more job losses and business closures are they prepared to accept?  How many more children must go hungry?

Exposing GERS figures - proof that Scotland will be far better off as an independent state

UK GERS figures claim that Scottish spending leaves the Scottish economy with a £13.4 billion blackhole.

The Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland figures claim £74 billion is spent either in Scotland, or a percentage share of UK wide spending on Scotland's behalf.

Now let's imagine for a second that the GERS figures are completely correct and that all of the UK wide spending on Scotland's behalf actually benefits Scotland (questionable I know but stick with me here.)

savings after Scottish independence

Here is a possible list of savings that could be made to the Scottish budget after independence that would offset this so called "Scottish black hole."

Defence saving= £3.8 billion (Current contribution £4.8b)
(Scotland pays 10% towards total UK defence spending which comes to an outrageous figure. To compare, Ireland spends a total of £800 million.)

Transport saving = £2.2 billion (current contribution - £3.1b)
(An independent Scotland wouldn't spend anywhere near this amount on transport costs. Ireland spends less than a billion for comparisons sake. For arguments sake let's say Scotland spends £1 billion on transport)

Public Sector Interest saving = £4.4 billion (Current contribution £5.4b)
(An independent Scotland won't have a deficit. But even if Scotland did agree to pay a nominal interest fee towards their previous share of national debt, it wouldn't come to anywhere near this figure. For arguments sake, let's pay them £1 billion a year towards our share of the debt.)

General Government saving = £1.6 billion (Current Contribution £1.6b)

'Other Public Services' saving = £4 billion (Current contribution £11.5b)

Given the fact that we're 8% of the population but they imagine a scenario where Scotland is responsible for 10% of the UK wide cost, it is reasonable to assume that we could make massive savings with Public services costs, especially compared to Irish costs.

Our share of general government costs will be gone, since we'll no longer have to contribute towards running the British Government whatsoever.

So that's savings £16 billion annual savings straight away, on day one of independence.

It is reasonable to also consider that Scotland could make a significant saving on tax administration costs, according to Mirrlees and Beveridge reports.

It is also reasonable to suggest that saving could be made to Scotland's current contribution to borders security, especially in comparison to Irish spending.

There you go, after independence, there is no black hole. Scotland's future is actually brighter as an independent country.

Now of course, we are not taking into account the potential tourism boom after an independent Scotland. We are also not taking into account the potential for multi national companies to move to Scotland, providing extra billions to the economy.

GERS figures do not take into account for example, that 16 of the top 20 companies in Ireland are US multinational companies that are only there because as an independent state, Ireland is allowed to offer competitive corporation tax deals to attract these companies to come to their country.

Scotland could benefit to the tune of tens of billions of pounds by having control over corporation tax rates.

So not only is there not a black hole - Scotland's economic capabilities are actually being strangled while it remains a third state of the United Kingdom.

Financial figures source: https://www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/current_spending

Independence Dividend

The savings for an independent Scotland will amount to a massive independence dividend to the tune of billions of pounds.  The UK government's insistence that Scotland could not survive as an independent country is often ridiculed, given that countries with a similar population to Scotland manage just fine.

scottish money

Here's a list of things that Scotland currently pays a share towards, where the Scottish government can make savings after independence...

  • Trident - An independent Scotland will survive quite fine without a stockpile of nuclear bombs.  Many small countries survive without them.
  • Defence - Scotland pays a 10% share of UK wide defence costs, to the tune of a ridiculous £3.6 billion.  It is generally accepted that an independent Scotland could make huge savings here.  For example, neighbouring Ireland, spends £800 million, which is 4.5 times less than Scotland's defence bill.  The UK's obsession with invading foreign countries, is not a policy that Scots would support, given that all but one Scottish MP voted against the invasion of Syria.
  • The Houses of Parliament - Currently, Scotland pays a share towards the running costs of the houses of parliament, paying MPs their wages etc.  It goes without saying, this is another saving after independence.  Why should Scots have to pay towards the running costs of two separate governments?
  • UK wide infrastructure - Currently Scotland pays a share towards a variety of UK wide infrastructure, for example, Scotland pays a 10% share towards a high speed railway link in England called the HS2.  Scotland pays towards repair costs for Big Ben etc.
  • Royal Family - Scotland pays a share towards the upkeep of the royal family and repairs to Buckingham Palace.  There is a perpetuated myth that the Royal family "pays for itself" and that their existence boosts tourism.  However, many believe that their existence HINDERS tourism.  And even if they did attract tourism, these tourists would be spending their money in LONDON and not in Scotland.  Another pointless cost to the Scottish tax payer.

As you can see, when you start to think about it, an independent Scotland would make massive, significant savings as an independent nation.

Scotland is literally subsidising a variety of British projects that will never benefit the Scottish tax payer.

The way in which the financial figures are fudged, the average person watching the news in Britain would actually assume that Scotland is subsidised by the UK.  Scratch just slightly beneath the surface however and you will realise that it has always been the other way around.

Simply put, the UK Government would take a massive hit to their annual budget if they lost Scotland's valuable natural resources and flourishing industries.

And once an independent country, Scotland's independence dividend will be massively significant.

May's "secret Brexit deal" makes Scottish independence inevitable

Theresa May's leaked "secret Brexit deal" as announced in today's Sunday Times aims to keep the whole of the United Kingdom in the customs union indefinitely.

May's secret Brexit deal

The Irish backstop is therefore now not required, which will keep the unionists in her party happy at least (for now.)

Side note: We shouldn't just assume that everyone who is a member of the Tory party is a unionist.  Let's not forget that the majority of Tory party members recently said that they'd rather lose Scotland than remain in the European Union.

Originally, the EU had insisted on Mrs May agreeing to the Irish backstop - a deal which effectively puts a customs border on the Irish sea, which some within the Tory party argued would compromise the "integrity of the United Kingdom."

It would now appear that the UK will be remaining in the customs union altogether, which Theresa May would have us believe, now means that there will be no need for a border between the occupied north of Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Once Scotland declares independence, the EU will almost certainly agree to allowing Scotland to remain in the customs union until a future EU relationship is decided, which will mean that both Scotland and England would be in the customs union.

In 2014, during the first Scottish independence campaign, the unionists had argued that there would need to be a border between Scotland and England, as Scotland would no longer be members of the European Union immediately after independence.

The unionists told the Scots that the only way to secure EU membership was to vote no in 2014.  However, the opposite was true, because in spite of 62% of Scots voting to remain within the EU at the 2016 EU referendum, the English leave vote ensured Scotland's departure.

If Mrs May goes ahead with her "secret deal" and she insists that this means there is no need for a border in Ireland, then it certainly also means the same for Scotland in the immediate aftermath of an independence vote.

If the Brexit negotiations have taught us anything, it's that in order to get their Brexit deal, the British establishment would bend over backwards to ensure that there is no border in Ireland, which highlights to the Scots the hypocrisy, given the patronising manner in which they were addressed in 2014.  The British establishment treated the Scots with utter contempt in 2014, telling the nation "if you vote yes, you can't have the pound, if you vote yes we'll throw up a hard border" etc.

One would have to wonder whether or not Theresa May has secretly already conceded defeat over Scotland.  Surely by now, she must have realised that the Scottish independence movement is a runaway train that will not be stopped?

It's time to end the subsidy myth once and for all

On an almost daily basis, you can be sure that unionist media and the unionist establishment try to peddle the myth that Scotland is some kind of third world country that has to be heavily subsidised by the British government.

Scottish money

The Scottish independence movement is stronger now than it has ever been in history.  In October, 100,000 people took to the streets of Edinburgh to march for independence.

Everywhere, the conversations are taking place, from Aberdeen to Dundee and from Edinburgh to Glasgow, the belief that Scotland will finally break free from the chains of Westminster is stronger than ever before.

And the overall tone of these conversations, is that people in Scotland have now realised that Scotland more than pays it's way in the most unequal union in the world.  The feeling is that, not only does Scotland more than pay it's way, that actually, Scotland's valuable natural resources are being bled dry and that our hugely successful industries are being taken advantage of.

In real terms, the Scottish budget has shrunk by 10% in the last ten years, a fact that the SNP have been keen to promote.

Scotland sends over £60 billion to the Treasury every year in tax revenue, but recieves less than half of our contribution back towards our budget.  When you take away the amount spent on pensions and welfare, that leaves a £10 billion surplus, which London claims to spend on Scotland's behalf.

Scotland pays it's share of projects that would never benefit the people of Scotland, such as the HS2, a high speed railway link for England.  Scotland pays a share of the invasion of Syria and the constant invasion of the Middle East.  Scotland pays a share of rebuilding the UK's stockpile of nuclear bombs that sits on the Clyde, next to one of Glasgow's most impoverished regions.

The Scotch whisky industry makes up for 20% of the UK's total food and drinks exports, despite Scotland being only 8% of the UK population.  In total, Scotland accounts for 27% of total food and drinks exports.

Scotland accounts for a much higher proportion of many of the UK's industries than it's 8% population share.

There is a minimum of £1.5 trillion worth of oil and gas reserves in the North Sea, in fact, Ross Thompson, a Conservative MP recently boasted in parliament during the budget debate that Scotland had a minimum of 17 billion barrels of oil left in the North Sea.

Scotland has massive wind and wave potential and is now capable of not only powering the entire country with green energy, but of selling surplus green energy.

The UK government is so terrified of losing Scotland, that it has began to release a set of twisted financial figures they call "GERS" which attempts to fool people in Scotland that the country is subsidised by the British government and that it could not possibly survive as an independent country.

The figures released by UK government, when broken down, actually support the case for Scottish independence, because they actually admit that the majority of Scotland's spending is actually controlled by Westminster.  In what way, shape or form do they expect anyone in Scotland to believe that these figures would have any baring whatsoever on the finances of an independent Scotland?  Of course, they don't.

The British government claim that Scotland owes an annual payment towards UK debt, despite the fact that this debt was generated by Westminster, where Scotland's 59 MPs are outnumbered 11-1.  With only 59 MPs from a total of 650, Scotland's voice is too small to have any impact whatsoever in the London parliament building.

When it comes down to it, the people of Scotland are well aware of this constant, well orchestrated attack on the Scottish independence movement by the unionist establishment, and they will no longer be fooled by the constant lies.  Unionist newspapers have literally died a death since the 2014 independence referendum.  It is now the general consensus in Scotland that unionist, establishment media are lying to us.  If there was ever an ounce of trust in the Daily Mail, the BBC etc, that scrap of trust has since gone.

Economic growth in Scotland better than expected

The Scottish economy has performed significantly better than reports had suggested earlier in 2018.  It had previously been reported that growth of 0.2% had occured in the first quarter, however the reality is that economic growth reached 0.4% in the first three months of the year.

The three Forth Bridges

The new figures prove that Scottish economic growth has actually outperformed the UK as a whole.

Scottish GDP has grown by 1.3% in the last financial year.  The UK economy had grown by 1.2% within the same period.

There had been a 3.6% increase in Scottish exports in the first quarter of the year.

Production output grew by 1% and service sector output increased by 0.4%.

On the Scottish government's website, finance secretary for Scotland Derek Mackay announced; "Following the very positive GDP data published last month, showing Scottish GDP growing and outpaced growth in the UK as a whole, I welcome this latest State of the Economy report which provides a broader analysis of Scottish economic performance.

"With Scotland’s economy continuing to grow throughout the year, it’s good to see the improving outlook for the oil and gas sector coming to fruition alongside the continued strong performance in our labour market.

"Scotland’s economy is strong and we are one of the top destinations for inward investment, whilst Scottish productivity has grown faster than the UK’s over the past decade.

Scottish GDP now stands at £170 billion, with GDP per capita at £31,367 ($40,764.)