I have met a few Scottish nationalists, certainly a minority, who acknowledge the upheaval, to put it lightly, that the first decades of Separation would inevitably bring. They acknowledge the financial, social and political risks, the defence issues, the global and local problems – and to them, it is still worth it.
They are willing to undergo all that may happen because they fundamentally believe their sacrifice is required for Scotland to break away from the United Kingdom. They do not hide away from the difficulties and do not attempt to conceal them, and in such, I have no problem with them. We are each entitled to our own opinions and beliefs, at least until Humza Yousaf’s hate speech law comes into force, and it is in no way my prerogative to deny them the expression of their honestly-held beliefs.
But, I do have a problem with the vast majority of Nationalists, who through deceit, lack of understanding or even their own wilful blindness, attempt to conceal the myriad of difficulties that will occur in the decades after the break-up of the UK. They lie because they know their support would collapse if they honestly admitted to the issues, leaving only that very small minority of true believers. Perhaps they are lying to themselves as well?
The deniers include those who reject the Scottish Government’s own GERS figures, despite the fact they supported them in 2014; those who claim that breaking apart the UK would somehow undo the damage caused by Brexit, despite not caring about leaving the EU in 2014; those who claim currency issues would be solved by keeping an informal currency union with the rest of the UK; those who claim that since Scotland did so well during the COVID-19 pandemic (shocker, we didn’t) that independence would be a walk in the park.
Add those who believe long-debunked and outlandish lies about secret oil fields, dark-money conspiracy theories, fifth columnists or that joining the EU without our own currency and monetary system is possible, and that the other countries, who fear their own secessionist movements, would let us in straight away.
I have no issue with those who want to break up the UK regardless of the consequences, other than I disagree with them completely with all of my being. They are reckless with our shared futures and very narrow-minded. Still, I do not have ideological objections to them. They can believe whatever they like.
I do have fundamental ideological issues with the charlatans who intentionally lie about the constitutional debate and who use purposefully designed misinformation to further their nationalist objectives. As a recent article in The Herald said: the fight against the Nationalists is not “project fear” but “project fact“.
So, I challenge those who advocate for Separation, if these are genuinely your firmly held beliefs, be truthful about the consequences. Attempt to win the debate based on facts, not fictions and grievances. Support your causes without relying on attempting to fool enough of the electorate to believe you just long enough for them to check the box.
If you believe the future of Scotland is best served outside of the UK, prove it to us. Because if you don’t prove it, and when the benefits stop, and the austerity sets in, I don’t think those you conned will thank you. I think, instead, that you will find that Scotland will be even more divided than it is now. And, after decades of abuse and rejection, I doubt the rest of the UK and its people would be in any mood to help us.
I challenge you to be honest in what you campaign for, and honest in how you present your cases. If you are honest, I will respect you as I would anyone else, and I will debate you with sincerity and civility.
However, if you are not honest, and you continue to lie, misdirect and evade in the vain hope of fooling us, we will oppose you and never respect you. In wanting us to take the plunge, all I want to know from you is: how deep is the water? From what you have told me so far, I would kindly insist that we not jump at all.
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