Awright! So I might have got a wee bit annoyed at an interview with melanie phillips on Wall Street Journal Live and I might have decided to email the editor. But she deserves it!
To whom it may concern;
My name is Martin Keatings. I am a pro-independence activist based in Scotland and had the distinct displeasure of viewing your interview with Melanie Phillips. I am writing to you today because I feel that her comments were indeed not representative of the feelings of the people of Scotland, certainly not myself. I also believe that her comments were nothing but propaganda and ill conceived. Her statements were actually ********.
I was born in Scotland, I am a proud Scot and I believe that Scotland can succeed better as an independent nation.
Melanie went out of her way to drum home a position that Scots hate the English. This is totally false, in fact we consider them our closest friends for the most part. I myself am descended from a Scottish father and an English mother, my nephew was born in Manchester and my Grandfather lived in England for more than half of his life.
We don't object to the English, we don't hate the English. They are our neighbours.
However, what we do not like and what we do have a problem with is Westminster and we have this view for a good number of reasons.
Firstly, only on two occasions in the last 100 years has the vote in Scotland made any difference to the make up of the house of commons in Westminster. Despite what Scotland says, we always end up with a government we do not elect. This often results in the people of Scotland suffering as a result. Over 1 in 5 children in Scotland live in poverty as a result of cuts imposed at Westminster.
We also have a problem with the House of Lords. In fact I think you will find most people above London don't like them either. They are an unelected house put in their positions based on wealth and class. They are a place where old members of parliament go to rust and they get paid £300 a day just for turning up. They have no understanding of the daily lives of the hard working people of this country and often veto, ultimately killing legislation that could benefit millions.
We have a problem with every single weapon of mass destruction, nuclear weapons being housed in Scotland. The UK has placed every single weapon within our borders because the MOD confirmed what we had known all along in 2000, that societal contamination resulting from a nuclear accident in Scotland would produce acceptable collateral damage. You might not be able to find WMD's in Iraq, but send a TV crew to Scotland, you can take a picture of one from my house.
Which leads me nicely onto the next subject. Iraq and Afghanistan! Our soldiers are sent into illegal wars that the people of Scotland vote against. The Scottish parliament voted overwhelmingly not to go into Iraq but still it happened. Our soldiers returned in body bags fighting in a war that the people of Scotland didn't want. Our tax money was invested in a war that was based on lies and the soldiers paid the price.
Tax! you see where this is going now? Scotland is subject to taxation far above what it needs in order to support and pay off a debt that we would never have needed. Our sick and vulnerable are subject to little or no support from the state. Even our full time carers that look after family and friends (and save the great British state a whopping £90 billion a year by the way - Yes you read that right, billion with a . How much does the state give them? 15p an hour! Then you have levies on tobacco and alcohol that is through the roof. We have taxes on our land and our assets. We pay 20% sales tax on everything we buy and we pay through the teeth on our wages. Don't get me started on electricity and gas prices. There are many more taxes I would like to speak about but I am sure you would fall asleep reading it.
One tax I would like to talk about - The bedroom tax, a horrible levy placed on the sick, the weak and the vulnerable in society that actually costs the government more to administer than it saves. Our old age pensioners get the lowest pension in Europe despite paying into the system all their lives and the way the Westminster treats the homeless and the unemployed. Well lets put it this way. You might not be able to afford bread but take a look out the window at that big shiney oil rig.
Oil! oh yes! apparently it will run out in about 70 years. A minimum of £1.5 Trillion pounds worth, some estimates put it up to £4 Trillion and that doesn't include the Clyde waters because we can't explore that because some numptie parked vanguard class submarines with nuclear weapons on board in the way. Over 90% of those oil resources are in Scottish waters. To put that in prospective, if you took all of the countries in Europe and combined their oil wealth (excluding Norway) you would see that in actual fact Scotland has more than them all - combined. We are the third richest nation in Europe. Of course it wouldn't be so bad because all that money has been put away and looked after by the Westminster government to ensure the future of the country. Oh wait! no it hasn't! Unlike Norway, the UK government has squandered and wasted the money, spending it on the south-east of the UK. Scotland - the only country to discover oil and be poorer for it!
But let us not stop there, we know the oil will run out eventually and so take steps to ensure the future of the country. One of the main things Scotland leads the way in is renewable technology. Westminster says it is economically enviable. Would you like to know why?
Well! I will tell you. The Westminster has a charge, we will call it a tax to put a unit of energy from renewables onto the national power grid. This uses a very reasonable and fair calculation system <sarcasm alert> whereby they calculate the charge based on the distance from...............wait for it.......wait for it........just a little bit longer to build suspense.......not yet........LONDON. If I build a turbine in the north of Scotland, I would expect to pay £26 per unit to put power onto the national grid. However if I decided to build one on Betty Britain's front lawn, I would in fact be paid £8 per unit by the government to do the same. Where would you stick the turbine, I know where I would like to stick one. The fact is that if Scotland were to go independent, that charge would be one of the first things to go and suddenly it would become economically viable.
Speaking about taking a trip to London, have you ever travelled to Scotland lately. Search for flights to London and Scotland. You will see a disparity in price. Particularly if you are flying on through to Europe. Did you know that airspace as far as the USA is controlled at Edinburgh airport - it's true. I found that out in a visit to Edinburgh airport when I was younger, I gave serious consideration to being an air traffic controller and having a mental breakdown by the time I was 35. As luck would have it, I begun reading up on Westminster and had one in my early 20's. Why put off till tomorrow what you can do today I say. Anyway back to my original point. Air passenger duty, another tax, there is that word again, is controlled by Westminster.
For some strange reason, Scottish airports are higher than say LONDON. Perhaps thats to keep the flights going through Heathrow etc. In fact in a staggering coincidence, the company BAA that owns Edinburgh airport, also known as London holdings is in fact responsible for other charges made for aircraft landing in Scotland. But I digress. The air passenger duty is estimated to cost Scotland around 15% in its annual tourism profits. If Scotland were to become independent, overnight the Scottish airports could suddenly drop the charge. Carriers would be inclined to stop and refuel at Scottish airports on the way to Europe. New routes would open up and I am pretty sure your readers and viewers in the USA would just love to be in the non-congested, less stressful airports in Scotland. You never know, unlike terminal 5 at Heathrow, they may actually arrive at their final destination and still have their luggage.
I could go on and on, you see, Melanie Phillips is wrong, we don't hate the English. We hate that monstrosity that dares to call itself a democratic parliament. That place of pomp and arrogance that is an extension of the eton boys club. That place called Westminster. In fact you will find that the North of England feels exactly the same. They are so out of touch with the people it is unbelievable and if something does not change quickly, Scotland will sink and I don't mean when the polar ice caps melt!
A Scot who hates being accused of being anti English.