If Scotland Votes Yes

Socialist Republic Of Scotland

This article was written on September 11, 2014, a few days before the Scottish Independence Referendum. It is just one of many possible pasts or futures. Let me know what you think would have happened in the comments.

On September 18, 2014, Scotland votes ‘yes’ to independence by 51%. Independence supporters claimed they wanted a more democratic system, but now 49% of the country is living under a system they don’t want.

Financial institutions immediately relocate to London. They cannot let their customers’ assets be exposed to the uncertainty of a smaller market and political risk.

The rest of the UK refuses to join a currency union. English voters cannot allow their currency to be tied to the economy of a foreign country, especially one with socialist goals. Alex Salmond backs down from his threat to not pay Scotland’s share of the UK’s debt — he knows that’s financial suicide.

Scotland tries to join the European Union, but productive German voters refuse — they don’t want to pay for another Greece. Unproductive countries like Spain and Greece also veto joining — Scotland’s entry would mean less handouts for them.

Scottish leaders cut corporation tax in a bid to attract foreign investment. But the volatile currency, tiny market, and uncertain political climate cannot attract serious investment.

Contrary to pre-independence predictions oil revenues do not exceed expenses. Power generated by renewables cannot be sold overseas and does not add to tax revenues.

The government asks ex-pat Scots to come back and help bring investment to the country. They refuse because they did not get a vote in the referendum.

Labour party supporters, who didn’t vote for the new state, and appeared to align themselves with the Tories, are seen as traitors to Scotland, and to the socialist cause. The party is finished in Scotland. The SNP claim a mandate and, unrestricted, go to the far left. Ex-Labour supporters find themselves shut out of government jobs. Some switch allegiance, becoming even zealous nationalists to prove their allegiance. Many moderates move overseas.

Without Scottish MPs Labour cannot gain a majority in England. Conservative governments are assured for a generation. English nationalism rises.

To protect English jobs, the English say all Scots coming to England to work must have a work visa. The condition is that a Scot cannot take a job that any English person can do. Many Scots return home to unemployment, which increases the country’s welfare costs.

The Scots retaliate with a similar policy and many English workers have to leave Scotland. Families are broken up.

To enforce the visa the English erect border controls on their side. The Scots can do nothing about this. Scots in England must show their papers at any time, and can be deported for minor offenses.

Scots living and working in England are trapped. Many try to become English citizens to maintain their jobs, but England doesn’t want any more foreigners. Suspicion and distrust rises.

To protect English manufacturing, every truck coming though the border from Scotland faces extra inspection. The Scots complain, but can do nothing about it. Manufacturers relocate to England. More Scottish jobs are lost.

England increases the production of shale oil and fracking. The worldwide oil glut brings the price of oil to record lows, compounded by new technology that leads to the widespread adoption of electric cars. With no manufacturing or financial services industry to tax, Scotland can no longer pay for its welfare state and ageing population, and spirals into debt.

The Scottish Health Service grinds to a halt. The country cannot afford the latest treatments, technology, and staff. With no new doctors being trained, doctors are imported from third-world countries. It takes many months to see a specialist. Many people die in dirty hospitals while politicians and the well-connected go outside the country for treatment.

To cover its deficit the government nationalizes the oil industry. The US and England respond with trade sanctions. The Whisky industry is destroyed.

Scottish politicians look around for a ways to finance their debt. The International Monetary Fund will not help unless the country agrees to austerity measures. Not wanting to give up their benefits, which are a matter of pride and enshrined in the new written Constitution, the country votes to default on its international obligations.

The Scottish pound is devalued. There is hyperinflation and a run on the banks. Many people begin to use the dollar, gold and Bitcoin as alternative currency. Imported goods such as cars, TVs, and electronics skyrocket in price. It is now too costly for most Scots to travel abroad. A black market in food starts.

Like Greece and Argentina before them, there are riots as people see their life savings destroyed. The government responds by imposing restrictions on movement and association.

Scots politicians, many of whom have been covertly paid by Russia since independence, lead the country into an alliance with Russia, the only country willing to lend. In exchange for loans, Russia demands access to Scotland’s ports. Politicians sell this as an “equal friendship between nations”.

Russian warships are welcomed on the Clyde. The dreams of the “Red Clydesiders” are complete. Russian power is not only on the border with England; Russian nuclear submarines — using the abandoned base in Faslane — control The North Sea and North Atlantic. There is nothing England can do about this. Russia starts to covertly finance separatist groups in northern England. The CIA finance Scottish opposition groups, and civil unrest rises.

The government nationalises any remaining industry and installs party faithful, who are generally incompetent, to manage those industries. Productivity slides.

Government-owned TV stations and news outlets control opinion. The few remaining opposition media are routinely harassed, threatened and subject to sudden closure. The internet is censored.

The Scottish Socialist Republic is declared. The flag is a yellow lion rampant surrounded by a red background.

Scottish society splits into four groups: 1) The inner party: Political activists and businesspeople who are paid with oil money to keep the party line 2) Government workers and welfare recipients, who depend on the government for their income 3) Immigrants: who do what little work remains. Dissenters are denounced, imprisoned and their assets seized.

Everyone else leaves.

As the joke goes: What’s the difference between Scotland and Venezuela?

About five years.

Mark Devlin is the publisher of the Majority.

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Written by Mark Devlin

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