Thursday, 11 July 2013

Captain Darling Tries to Polish the Turd

Don't get too excited, he fails miserably as all turd-polishers do. Following on from Yesterday's pre-release of key points of his "Lecture" today at Glasgow University at which he was allegedly to throw off his staff's own "Project Fear" monicker, Alistair Darling's full document has been released by Better Together.

He kicks off with some fantastical historical revisionism of 300 years of the Union before descending into a not even thinly-disguised trotting out of all the old familiar Project Fear scare stories.

"It was replaced first by different forms of public administration – Scottish boards, commissions, government departments and the like. But prior to 1999 they were responsible only to the UK Parliament. The case for better scrutiny of these distinctive institutions was a key plank of the argument for devolution. So it would be a profound mistake to think that it is only since devolution that the union has had a distinctive Scottish side. In our modern, democratic age that means a powerful Scottish Parliament and a devolved government that deals with most of Scotland’s domestic affairs. 

"Of course there is an alternative nationalist narrative to this – a romantic fable of how a small nation was first absorbed by its larger neighbour, and struggled to regain its identity. But just as nationalist sentiment ignores the reality of how we as Scots belong to the UK, so this childish tale ignores the reality that, for Scotland, union has always meant the preservation of a distinct Scottish identity. Historical scholars have long understood that the union of 1707 was not to be contrasted with independence. Rather there were two extremes: independence, which was no longer sustainable in Scotland’s interest, and assimilation, which would have destroyed Scotland’s identity. This is as true today as it was then - union, and devolution within it, safeguard Scotland’s interests and preserve our identity."
Forget that Scotland was sold into the Union against the wishes of her people by exactly the same kind of self-interested political cabal as now wishes to keep her in the trough Union. Forget the Disarming Acts of 1715 and 1725. Forget the  Act of Proscription and the Murder, Burnings and Ethnic Cleansing of the Highlands and Islands in the aftermath of 1746. Forget the subsequent Highland Clearances and the equally devastating Border Clearances. Forget Wolfe's "No Great Mischief if they fall", that Scotland's casualties in WW1 were more than double the rest of the British Army and that the same attitude persists to this day in that it's considered OK for the UK's nuclear arsenal to be parked 25 miles from Scotland's largest conurbation. Forget the Education Acts of 1872 and 1918 and their devastation of Gaelic language and culture. Forget the nigh-on 300 years of Scotland governed as an unrepresentative Quangocracy. All of those were "romantic" and "childish" according to Darling's Newspeak. He only thinks he can get away with it because until the C21st, next to no Scottish history was taught in Scottish Schools at all in his glorious Union.

I'll spare you most of the rest which rehashes the old scare stories. As trailed, he makes much of the wider opportunities available to Scots throughout the UK. Whoop de doo dah! Those opportunities have been available to Irish citizens since 1922 and will still be available to Scots as long as rUK is a member of the EU due to the single labour market. Bizarrely he states as a bald fact that a currency union requires fiscal union. I don't recall the UK Chancellor setting tax rates in Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or South Africa when they shared Sterling and he doesn't set tax rates in Gibraltar, Man or the Channel Islands which currently share Sterling. He also trails the "No longer British' tripe as if he has the tectonic power to break up the island of Britain.

Suffice it to say that the Project Fear negative word-count is still high:

Risk appears 34 times
Secure/insecure/ity 29
Border 14
Small 14
Separate/ing 7
Uncertainty/ies 6 
Crisis/es 5
Barrier 4
Strength 4
Reduce 3
Break/ing 3
Hindrance  2
Weak/en 2

Captain Darling is still in command of the Project Fear Brigade.

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