For some of us the contempt that the UK establishment has for Scotland has been obvious for many decades. However, it appears that many Scots are oblivious to this contempt, it is as though they live in their very own wee happy-bubble, completely unaware of just how much they are disdained. 

The indications of this contempt reveal themselves every now and then. Thatcher’s implementation of the Poll Tax in Scotland in 1989, the inappropriate UK wide economic policies that have stripped Scotland of its major business and industry over the last fifty years, and most recently the imposition of the pernicious Bedroom Tax in Scotland despite cross-party opposition in the Scottish Parliament. However, it goes well beyond just pure political policies. Many of the major infrastructure projects being planned or implemented today completely ignore the needs and future prosperity of Scotland. Right now the big debate is whether Boris will get his new airport. There is no consideration being given to improving Scotland’s direct air connections with the rest of the world. Scots will still need to bear the inconvenience of travelling to Heathrow or Boris Island before they are able to travel to their desired destination.  It’s just the same with HS2. There are no plans whatsoever to connect Scotland with the European high speed rail network. Scots will just have to be content with speeding to Birmingham then chugging the rest of the way to Glasgow. Why would the UK government bother spending money on providing Scotland with modern transport infrastructure that connects directly with the rest of the world anyway? Scotland is remote and unimportant and the Scots don’t know any better!


Most of the time this contempt is hidden, it rarely comes to the surface. Usually we only see indications of it indirectly. However, every now and again the mask slips and it is there for all to see. In 2012 A Union of Equals highlighted the article written by William Rees-Mogg in the Times that smugly informed us all that “the City of London has already overtaken Scotland as a force to be reckoned with in the UK … Scotland is on the way down, while London is on the way up”. 

The independence referendum appears to changing all of this. As the No Campaign has no real substance to its case it has needed to resort to tactics that are designed to put Scotland and Scots ‘back in their box’. To put us back in what the UK establishment considers to be our rightful place, second class citizens who will take what they are given and be thankful. The problem for the No Campaign is that by adopting these tactics the UK establishment has started to reveal the true level of contempt it has for Scotland. The thin veneer of an amiable united kingdom is starting to disintegrate.


This contempt has started to openly manifest itself in the threats and bullying that have occurred during the independence campaign. The captains of industry who have been trouped out one after another to express their concern about the instability that independence may bring and the threats they make about moving jobs out of Scotland. The three stooges (Georgie, Ed and Danny) refusing to contemplate any form of currency union, not because it is infeasible, but because they want to derail Scottish independence and they contemptuously believe that they can achieve this by bullying the Scots. Rolling out the buffoon Barroso with his claptrap opinions on Scotland’s ability to join the EU was one of the crassest acts of contempt that has been perpetrated so far.


The good news is that more people are starting to recognise the contempt that exists and they are starting to challenge it. In her discussion on the barrage of ‘concern’ that has been condescendingly delivered by the leaders of business and industry, Lesley Riddoch observes “Scots are in danger of abandoning deeply-held values, common sense and their own intuitive understanding of the risk inherent in all life to placate Big Business and its nightmarish Worst Case Scenario”, “Business behaviour mirrors political outlook.  So it should come as no surprise that big business in Scotland mirrors the views of the present Westminster Government and the prevailing Westminster system”. . “Who are these people to make these threats? Who elected all these financiers and captains of industry?” asks Iain Macwhirter. “Since when did we allow banks to make our political choices for us? The degree of direct political involvement by big business in this referendum campaign is unprecedented, and deeply disturbing”. .


When considering the disdainful intervention by Danny Alexander in the currency union debate Macwhirter observed “Danny Alexander coming north wagging his finger, and warning: ‘the currency decision is final’ - and anyone who doesn't get it will be sent to the back of the class and held after school. Well, here's a message to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury: the currency decision, Mr Alexander, will never be final, because it is not in the UK Government's gift to make it. The pound is common property of the UK, not London's toy balloon”. Iain Macwhirter concludes his compelling discussion with the insightful observation that “We've learned a lot in the past few weeks about power and how it is distributed. The campaign has revealed the true face of the Union”. It certainly has!

So the genie is out of the bottle. It is becoming clear to many Scots just how contemptuous the UK establishment regards Scotland. The big challenge now is to ensure that all Scots can see it and realise its implications for Scotland’s future. It’s now time for all the wee happy-bubbles to be burst and for Scots to face the reality of the relationship that they really have with the UK. Once that’s understood the choice on the 18th September should be obvious, independence. 

The creator of this blog and the A Union of Equals website has no political affiliations.