Various excellent articles worth reading

Would an Independent Scotland be financially sound? by John Jappy

"As a civil servant in London, and being part of the establishment, I always accepted the general view that an independent Scotland would not be able to survive on its own without financial help from the London Exchequer.

However, when in 1968 I was able to examine the so-called "books" for the first time, I was shocked to find that the position was exactly the opposite and that Scotland contributed much more to the UK economy than its other partners.  This was, of course, before the oil boom....."


Scotland's century of lost wealth by Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp

"Business for Scotland's research on Scotland's economy has delivered solid proof that Scotland subsidises the UK, not the other way around.  Initially anti independence campaigners claimed we were wrong, we've since produced so much evidence they've since backed off.  That evidence clearly demonstrates Scotland has paid £64bn in interest on debt incurred by the rest of the UK, not Scotland......"


10 key economic facts that prove Scotland will be a wealthy Independent Nation by Michael Gray

"All the evidence demonstrates that Scotland is a wealthy nation. Scotland would be the 8th wealthiest nation in the world by GDP per head of population.  Scotland's wealth is also built on solid financial foundations, a diverse economy and substantial economic potential in new industries such as biotechnology and renewables, as well as current key sectors like food and drink, tourism and oil and gas

Voting for independence - to have control over taxation, regulation and global promotion - will give the Scottish government the tools to create greater opportunities for growth and a better business climate for Scottish business. In short, a Yes vote will improve Scotland's economy. This will make people in Scotland financially better off.

Here are 10 key economic facts for why Scotland will be a wealthy independent nation......."


20 reasons to vote YES - A working class man

"With 99 days to go, here are 20 reasons(without using Lego or being a patronising cockwomble…) why you should vote YES in September..."


A passionate plea for Independence by Irvine Welsh

"Most people from Scotland, to varying degrees, tend to identify themselves as Scottish and/or British. For personal reasons (and we're all products of our past, as well as, hopefully, visionaries of our futures) I've always felt a strong emotional connection to both.

This might be expected to place me in the 'better together' unionist camp, alongside the three major parties of the 35-year British neo-liberal economic consensus; Conservative, Liberal Democrats and Labour. However, this was never a tenable position for me. To explain why, I'm going to crave the reader's indulgence and ask you to stick with me on a long digression to Southall, through the 1970s......"


Soon I will be dead, but oh, to be alive at this moment in Scotland by Ian Hamilton QC

"I am 86. Thus I have lived in the United Kingdom for more than a quarter of its existence.  My observations on its identity and mine may be of value.

Even in the 1920s and 1930s I always knew I was a Scot.  So sure was I of my identity that I never minded being called British or English.  If called the latter I just thought they were wrong.  During the war we were all called English.  As I grew up I discovered that my petit bourgeois contemporaries thought that there was no Scotland.  It had been absorbed into its greater neighbour.  Looking back this is not surprising.  The union gave us the chance to expand into the great free trade area that became the British empire.  We seized that chance.  Glasgow was the empire's second city. We were the workshop of the world.

Seventy years ago it seemed that the price we had paid for the wealth of empire was the loss of our identity as Scots.  To be ignorant of who you are is profoundly disturbing.  England suffers from it badly today.  The England of the shires, of Puck of Pook's Hill, has gone.  England is now London......"


Billy Bragg on Scottish Independence The Scotsman

"The doyen of political protest, Billy Bragg, has added his voice to the cause of Scottish independence. Ahead of a gig in Edinburgh next month, he tells our reporter that the end of Britain could herald a new England led by a centre-left party akin to the SNP

FOR SOME he's the Tony Benn of rock music, for others he's the UK's answer to Bruce Springsteen, and there are those who will forever associate Billy Bragg with 1980s pop protest songs about events such as the miners' strike during the high-water mark of Thatcherism....."


Defence of the indefensible by Jeff Breslin

"I decided that for 2014 I would boil down my intention to vote Yes into one simple, single reason that, in my mind at least, is unassailable. That way I'd be ready for the increasing number of ad-hoc discussions on the referendum that will likely take place this year and, who knows, maybe I can convince a few floating voters to vote Yes with my pre-prepared killer argument.

 For me, that single reason is spending decisions taken by Westminster and, specifically, the grossly inflated amount of money that we waste on Defence. This isn't just about Trident and nuclear weapons, healthy reasons for voting Yes as they are, but it's about the expensive delusion that the British Isles needs to be the 4th biggest military budget in the World (as a % of GDP)."


No further tax powers for Scotland says David Cameron The Scotsman

"SCOTS have been warned a substantial increase in financial powers for Holyrood is not an option if Scotland wants to remain within the United Kingdom.

In a blunt message to Scottish politicians and voters, sources close to Prime Minister David Cameron say an increase in powers - such as devo-max - is "inconsistent" with staying in the UK and that they must back independence if they want full financial separation from Westminster......"


Ken Macintosh issues no tax powers warning The SNP

"The SNP today highlighted comments by senior Labour MSP Ken Macintosh, uncovering the opposition within Labour to the Scottish Parliament gaining full control of income tax - reflecting the hostility of Labour MPs at Westminster.

Today's Herald newspaper exposes support within Labour for the status quo - which is rejected by the vast majority of people in Scotland - as Mr Macintosh describes the present devolution situation controlled by the Westminster system as an 'equilibrium' of powers across the four nations of the UK......."


Michael Fry: Sterling in Scotland is up to us The Scotsman

"The English could not prevent an independent Scotland from adopting the pound without damaging their own interests, writes Michael Fry.

The debate about Scotland and sterling has become so acrimonious and confused that most people joining in it have not the slightest idea what they are talking about.

Sterling is a fully convertible reserve currency, just like the US dollar and the euro. Any country in the world can, if it wishes, make use of such a currency for both domestic and external transactions....."


Stop Insulting our intelligence on Scotland's EU membership by Murray Ritchie

"One of the saddest sights in politics is a passionate believer proved wrong. When the argument is lost, when the facts decide, when logic and truth prevail, the believer must face defeat. But some simply cannot bear to be wrong and they are the saddest of all. They enter denial.

The politics of denial is in full swing now in the independence debate. The latest example is the Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, who says if Scotland votes for independence it will be kicked out of the EU. "This is a fact. It's neither a value judgment nor an opinion," he insists while looking over his shoulder at those contrary Catalans and bolshy Basques......."


The foreign policy implications of and for an Independent Scotland by Graham Avery

"Graham Avery, Senior Member of St. Antony's College, Oxford University, Senior Adviser at the European Policy Centre, Brussels, and Honorary Director-General of the European Commission

1. The object of this note is to clarify the procedure by which, following a referendum in which the Scottish people vote in favour of independence, Scotland could become a member of the European Union. Although the note touches on wider issues such as the terms of Scotland's membership and the attitude of the EU member states and institutions, it focuses on the question of the procedure for Scotland's accession.

2. In the debate on Scottish independence it is natural that opponents tend to exaggerate the difficulties of EU membership, while proponents tend to minimise them. This note tries to address the subject as objectively as possible. In summary it argues that:

· Arrangements for Scotland's EU membership would need to be in place simultaneously with independence

· Scotland's 5 million people, having been members of the EU for 40 years; have acquired rights as European citizens

· For practical and political reasons they could not be asked to leave the EU and apply for readmission......."


Scots have nothing to lose going the Indy route Japan Times

"GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - Yes. The country is financially stronger than the United Kingdom as a whole and its people desire a government very different from the one sitting at the Westminster Parliament, London.

Under the current devolved settlement, Scotland has a parliament sitting in Holyrood, Edinburgh, which controls a paltry 16 percent of the country's tax base. The game-changing economic and social policy levers remain in the hands of the U.K. government, leaving Scotland unable to properly tackle some of its social ills or take full advantage of its many natural resources.

Scotland's union with England and the other parts of the U.K. is not offering Scots the best option......"


12 Defence facts that the No campaign don't want you to know Michael Gray Business for Scotland

"Yesterday Phillip Hammond, Westminster’s defence minister, made a rare visit to Scotland to play up fears concerning defence in an independent Scotland. He claimed independence threatens jobs in the military, that an independent Scotland would struggle to defend itself and that Scotland would lose military contracts.

These claims quickly unravelled as his assertions were exposed as a poor substitute for facts. Many of the numbers he quoted in interviews were actually wrong! In response, Business for Scotland can provide facts and figures on defence in Scotland. This evidence demonstrates that an independent Scotland will be secure, economically better off and can play a constructive role in the world – but one more focused on protecting peace rather than Westminster’s focus on projecting power, which is the strategic flaw at the heart of Philip Hammond’s Defence strategy..."

North Sea Oil 'could have made an Independent Scotland as rich as Switzerland' by Paul Kelbie and Ben Russell

"It was a document that could have changed the course of Scottish history. Nineteen pages long, written by Scottish economist Gavin McCrone, presented to the Cabinet office in April 1975 and subsequently buried in a Westminster vault for 30 years.

McCrone's paper, written for Ted Heath's Tory Government and only just released under the Freedom of Information Act, revealed how North Sea oil could have made an independent Scotland as rich as Switzerland....."


UK Secretary for Scotland says no guarantee of powers for Scotland post referendum YES International

"Commenting on Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael’s admission that there are no extra powers guaranteed to come to Scotland in the event of a No Vote in September, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“This is a major gaffe from Alistair Carmichael, which completely blows apart any notion that Scotland is guaranteed any extra powers in the event of a No Vote in the referendum.

“The Scottish Secretary is at the heart of the No campaign, and his admission demolishes their claims that Scotland is ‘guaranteed’ more powers regardless of the outcome of the Vote...."


Independence Questions answered by John Jappy

"Q 1: Would not an Independent Scotland find it extremely difficult to balance its budgets due to the fluctuations in the price of oil?

This is one of the many scare stories produced by the Better Together Campaign. The truth, as given by the top "Oil Men" (Radio Scotland 20 April 2013) is that the most we can ever expect to find that will affect us is a few pence difference at the pumps, and that the future oil price will always be upwards due to the ever increasing demands from China, India, Brazil etc plus future exploration costs in inhospitable environments.  As Scotland has only around 5 million of a population, as against over 50 million for the rest of the UK, the oil revenues for an Independent Scotland will be almost ten times as valuable. This will make us the 8th richest country in the world (Revenue Scotland (GERS) figures March 2013).  The UK languishes at 17th place where it was recently overtaken by Iceland....."


In Place of Fear: A Socialist Programme for an Independent Scotland by Jim Sillars

"The referendum is about power. On 18th. September, 2014, between the hours of 7am and 10pm, absolute sovereign power will lie in the hands of the Scottish people. They have to decide whether to keep it, or give it away to where their minority status makes them permanently powerless and vulnerable.

Without sovereignty, Scotland is inherently weakened. Oil, gas, energy, whisky, land and other vital national interests are externally owned, often by those who do not put Scotland's interests first. Without the power to intervene in the national interest, a power available through independence, not devolution, we are at the mercy of forces that have no concern for us, our welfare or our future.

Independence alone can remedy this......"