By Humphrey Carter
SCOTTISH independence will not only be good for Scotland but it could be highly beneficial for England as well Scottish Member of Parliament Professor Christopher Harvie told the Bulletin in Palma yesterday.

Scottish Nationalist Party MSP Harvie is confident that the majority of Scotland will vote in favour of independence when the referendum is held, as currently planned, in 2010 and does not consider the separation to be a “divorce” between England and Scotland but in fact the creation of an atmosphere for better cooperation.

He says that Scotland is undergoing a “quiet revolution.” “It is not a violent push for independence, it is one of cooperation as opposed to confrontation and that could prove to be extremely healthy for both countries in the future,” he said. “I sometimes envisage Scotland and England enjoying a relationship rather like that of Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall,” he explained. “It's not about the feeling of Scots towards the English, it is very much about the country's future. “I once wrote a paper in the early 80's on a federal Britain but I no longer think that would work. “However, what we have seen since the Scottish National party won power in Scotland and the differences have been paved over in Ireland is the emergence of a new commonwealth within the Union. “McGuinness, Paisley (the chuckle brothers as we call them in Scotland) Salmond and the head of the Welsh assembly, Morgan meet regularly to discuss shared issues and co-operation at a Union and European level and it's proving very constructive. “Sadly, despite him being a fellow Scot, Gordon Brown has distanced himself more than any other prime minister from Scotland and we are neither proud not supportive of him in Scotland anymore. “He's bankrupting Britain, he and Blair sold out and the property speculation and real estate boom which has kept the economy alive is dying and I just hope we're in for a soft landing,” Harvie said.

The professor, a former member of the Labour Party who wrote a pamphlet on the Scottish assembly with Gordon Brown in 1979, said that two key events are crucial for the referendum.

The first being a real take off in the renewable energy market and the second that a Conservative government wins the next election. “The three parties, Tories, Lib Dems and Labour are joined in a bid to encourage Scotland to accept greater powers, but it will not work and electing Cameron will swing it for Scotland.” And he is adamant that Scottish independence will be good for all. “Scotland is poised to become one of the main dynamos of renewable energies in Europe, in particular wave power and also carbon capture which will help preserve the North Sea oil fields for a further 20 years when the price of oil could hit 200 or even 300 dollars a barrel.” Renewable energy is considered the heart of Scotland`s future independent economy with markets, primarily in England and the rest of the Union and then Europe. “We all need to start seriously considering what our future economy is going to be based on and try and move away from being dependent on the dodgy foreign City dealers and suspicious characters flooding into London from overseas, in particular Russia,” he stressed.

An independent Scotland leading the way in energy technology, green policies such as reduction in air travel, will lead to the extension of the fast rail link from London into Scotland that will probably benefit England and cities like Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle more than Scotland as it would provide a new life line to the once dominant provincial capitals which have lost their identity and had their powers sucked away by London. “Once we start thinking out of the box and have shed all our inhibitions, anything is possible,” he said. “All London has given Scotland is Trident, which 80 percent of the country is opposed to, the promise of more nuclear power plants and involvement in wars. “Per capita, more Scottish soldiers have been killed in the recent wars the government in London has led us on despite there being absolutely no enthusiasm for these conflicts among Scots,” he said.

Harvie, who like many Scots has worked and lived outside Scotland for much of his life in other parts of Britain and Europe also believes that if the Union had four representatives in Europe, the island state commonwealth would be able to exert more power and benefit more from being a member of the EU. “We need to start giving serious and intelligent consideration to where Britain is going. We have to get used to the fact that we are no longer a major European superpower but a middle of the road member which has sold out to Europe. The Europeans nearly run all our services, the Germans practically run Scottish radio, we have to ask ourselves what are we going to do once the property speculation boom ends and the credit crunch worsens. “Is some European now going to buy into Northern Rock to ease the 42 million pound burden on Gordon Brown?” “I believe that as independent union states, we can discuss these problems on a higher and more constructive level, the niggling issues of independence etc., will be over and we can set about plotting a positive future. “London's closest city is Dublin because the two governments can work on that kind of level, they can communicate transparently and constructively,” Harvie explained.

Under the umbrella of the European Union and providing that all independent states have proper and compatible legal, financial and security laws, then Harvie believes that greater levels of independence for regional states, Cataluña in Spain for example and even the Balearics, are the way forward. He believes that more powerful autonomous governments working together and with their fellow European neighbors can provide more for their regions than central government rule. “I would like to see regional governments and independent states as part of a triangle, working directly with the European Union and the national capitals,” he explained. “In this day and age of high speed land and tele communications, Europe is much more bound together and we should be embracing these advances,” he said.

The latest sounding put support for independence at 40 percent and devolution 44 percent and Harvie is convinced that the support will grow as the referendum nears and the Scottish government makes its intentions clear. “I think Salmond is one of the most forward thinking and brilliant politicians in Britain and we are giving our future, our economy, our environment and our nation serious consideration as we continue down the road to independence which will also mean Scottish MP's in Westminster will then have to decide which side of the border they wish to sit on,” Professor Harvie explained yesterday.

A terrible thought for Gordon Brown.
David Cameron in power and no welcome party eagerly waiting his return on Hadrian's Wall.


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