Confronted with hard figures which demonstrate that Scotland does rather well out of its membership of the United Kingdom the nationalists bluster about “anti Scottish propaganda” and take up their mantra of “Scotland’s oil”.
On this occasion the Scottish Office has released figures which appear to demonstrate the Scotland has gained a £76 billion ‘devolution dividend’. The SNP is always quick to attempt to change the frame of reference to patriotism.
If you believe the government’s figures then you are ‘doing Scotland down’, hence you are not a good Scotsman. It’s the type of reductionist, identity based politics we’re accustomed to in Northern Ireland.
It also relies on a sense of entitlement to dwindling oilfields which the SNP is fond of claiming for Scotland. Of course, in the event of independence, the result would be a great deal more complicated.
Still, opinion polls demonstrate that Scots are not fooled by Alex Salmond’s economics. After all, previously the First Minister was intent on emphasising the key role which Scotland’s banking sector, which was saved from collapse by the British taxpayer, would play in an independent nation.
Of course economics only form part of the pro-Union case. The Conservative reaction to this story is the most pertinent, from a unionist perspective.
“People know Scotland is better off socially, culturally, financially and politically as part of Britain”.