I arrived home from my Masonic meeting last night in time for the last part of the Last Night of the Proms and could not help wondering if this would be the Last Night of the British Proms?
The audiences in the Albert Hall and the other venues were having a great time singing Jerusalem.
When Britain first, at Heaven's command Arose from out the azure main; This was the charter of the land, And guardian angels sang this strain: "Rule, Britannia! rule the waves: Britons never will be slaves"
NOTE: Not “England” but “Britannia”
And then we had Elgar in all his glory:
Land of Hope and Glory, Mother of the Free,
How shall we extol thee, who are born of thee?
Wider still and wider shall thy bounds be set;
God, who made thee mighty, make thee mightier yet,
God, who made thee mighty, make thee mightier yet.
Listening to Rule Britannia and Elgar’s Pomp & Circumstance No 1, and watching the Union Flags (commingling the cross of St George with the Scottish saltire of St Andrew and the Northern Irish saltire of St Patrick) being waved wildly, I had to ask if the Scots could be so stupid as to destroy a political union that has lasted a bit over 300 years. I fear they just might but, if they do, I am afraid they will have been bamboozled by some very clever but thoroughly dishonest Scottish politicians into believing that Scotland has not prospered under the Union.
For fifty years, the Barnett Formula, named after Joel Barnett (a Labour politician) has divided public spending between England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. For every £100 allocated to England, Scotland receives £121; Wales £114 and Northern Ireland £132. You only need to drive over the border into Scotland to notice the improvement in the road surface and the highway infrastructure. No wonder they don’t charge student tuition fees! No wonder there are no prescription charges in Scotland! England is paying for them. I have grown tired of hearing Scottish politicians winge about their country being deprived and starved of resources. It is complete nonsense.
If they opt for independence, we need to make sure they do not continue to take more than their share from the national pot. This implies that Socialist Scotland will want to continue its current high spending pattern but will not have the income to do it. I suspect they will then want to borrow to find their spending habit and their dependency culture. Who will guarantee their debt? If they continue to use sterling as their currency, the Bank of England will. A bit like a divorced man handing his ex-wife a pile of pre-signed cheques to his bank account. Sheer madness and we must make sure it does not happen. If the Scots leave us, they must leave our currency. Will they join the Euro? They would be stupid if they did. Will they float the Scottish groat? You must be joking! Independence has to be a stupid idea on financial grounds alone but think about defence and diplomacy.
Will Scotland have its own fleet? Its own Air Force? Its own army? What sheer nonsense! Similarly, will we see Scottish embassies and consulates springing up around the world?
Get real, Scotland!