Dec 262013

Salmond Letter Credit Duncan HarleyDuncan Harley has a review copy of “Scotland’s Future” – the book the Scottish Government don’t want you to read because it’s so awfully longwinded.

The Scottish Government has quite recently published a glossy 649 page guide to Scotland’s Future as a pdf and you can of course order a free hard copy.

If all 7.132 billion of the world wide population ordered a copy of “Scotland’s Future” even the Darien Disaster would appear insignificant in terms of the resultant Scottish national debt and the more recent history of Scotland.

If all 5.295 million of us Scots ordered a copy the English would no doubt be made to pay.

Billed as the answer to all questions regarding the independence debate it’s a riveting read indeed.

This correspondent can however reveal that to date however, few have actually read the longwinded tome.

Mrs Catto of Aberdeen commented:

“I don’t understand why they even published it. It’s too heavy.”

Mr Green from Methlick commented that:

“I can’t even lift the book, never mind understand it.”

Mr Brown from Hamilton said:

“I never asked for this, what is Salmond playing at? As a registered blind person there is no way I will read this.”

Most Scots however should, at the very least, order a few copies so as to tell their grandchildren that they looked hard at the issues and completely understood the way ahead prior to independence.

The White Paper on Scotland’s Future promised much more than either the document or the launch managed to deliver. Scotland’s current First Minister Alex Salmond and his sidekick Nicola Sturgeon MSP launched the white paper with a promise that “every child from age one to starting school is guaranteed 30 hours of provision for 38 weeks of the year.”

Bang on really in terms of independence speak. Bang on really in terms of impressing the world’s press.

A wet squid? A damp banger? Or just a wasted opportunity perhaps. History will no doubt reveal the truth.

Defence of the realm, the Scottish economy, Scottish EEC membership and the issues of tax, social welfare, diplomacy and healthcare are indeed however covered in some detail throughout the length and depth of the book.

High Girders Credit Duncan HarleyOn page 236 the slightly embarrassing publication details plans for the defence of Scotland in the event of invasion by a foreign power.

It seems that Scotland will be part of “collective defence arrangements involving the reconfiguring of the defence estate inherited at the point of independence to meet Scotland’s need and the progressive build up of Scotland’s army to a total of fifteen thousand regular troops over the ten years following independence.”

As if the reassurance offered was insufficient, the White Paper goes on to say that units of the Scottish Army will seemingly carry on the names, identities and traditions of Scotland’s regiments, including those “lost in the defence reorganisation of 2006.”

On Macroeconomic Policy we are advised that countries of a similar size to Scotland have enjoyed very low levels of borrowing costs via careful management of public finances.  Scotland will seemingly “establish a debt management function.”

Regarding firearms, the white paper advises that the Scottish Government will introduce full powers to introduce airgun legislation. Regarding drug use, the Scottish Government will introduce a drug strategy. Regarding Road Traffic Law, the Scottish Government will introduce legislation. Regarding gambling, the Scottish Government will introduce legislation. Regarding broadcasting, the Scottish Government will introduce legislation. Regarding Channel 4, the Scottish Government will introduce legislation. Regarding the National Lottery, the Scottish Government will introduce legislation. Regarding culture and heritage, the Scottish Government will introduce legislation. Regarding international phone charges, the Scottish Government will introduce legislation. Regarding Royal Mail, the Scottish Government will introduce legislation. Regarding the price of stamps, the Scottish Government will introduce legislation. Regarding mobile phone charges, the Scottish Government will introduce legislation. Regarding the question of a separate passport for Scottish Nationals, the Scottish Government will introduce legislation. Regarding citizenship, the Scottish Government will introduce legislation. Regarding crime and the dialling of 999 for assistance, the Scottish Government will introduce legislation. Regarding the police, the Scottish Government will introduce legislation. Regarding justice, the Scottish Government will introduce legislation. Regarding oil and gas emissions, the Scottish Government will introduce legislation. Regarding carbon capture and storage, the Scottish Government will introduce legislation. Regarding farming and food production, the Scottish Government will introduce legislation. Regarding health and safety, the Scottish Government will introduce legislation.

The tome drones on and on about people down the decades wondering about how “a country blessed with such wealth, talent and resources could and should have done more to realise the potential we know exists for everyone.”

“constructive working together will continue after independence” says Alex Salmond in the introductory message.

In truth many of us Scots will have little idea what he means.

  • Comments enabled – see comments box below. Note, all comments will be moderated.

  13 Responses to “The High Girders”

  1. So are you just angry about the size of it? Or the masses of content?
    If it was a lightweight 30 page document summarising the main points of the aims of independence would you have been much happier? Or criticised that for not sufficiently detailing how things would likely work?

    The negative tone of the article infers you are against independence but, like so many with similar opinions, doesn’t offer any counterargument, only dismissal of the content as ‘longwinded’.

    Or, to summarise the article – “Independence won’t work because most Scottish people can’t or won’t read the book”


  2. I’m sorry to say that I find this to be a rather poorly written, naive and tedious article written by someone who, in common with a large number of his unionist friends, appears to (knowingly?) miss the point of the independence debate.

    So come on Aberdeen Voice, if you insist on publishing articles on what will be the most important issue for the people of Scotland during 2014 you’ll really need to raise your game way, way, above the level of this self-serving drivel.

  3. What a terribly written article.

    “If all 5.295 million of us Scot’s ordered a copy the English would no doubt be made to pay”…. I presume you are referring to the population of Scotland? Do you think that all people living in Scotland with voting entitlement are Scots? That’s a bit racist to suggest only Scots can vote. And might i ask where you get your figure of 5.295 million from? You think that perhaps all new born babies should order a copy? Maybe people under the age of 10 should get a copy? You think we need more than 1 copy per household? You think people can’t download it? And why would the English pay for it? It’s produced by the Scottish government. If the Scottish government didn’t pay for it and it came out of the UK budget (which it doesn’t), why would only the English pay for it? You are obviously of the opinion that Wales and Northern Ireland are part of England.

    I would write further with regards to the anti Scottish message contained in this article but don’t feel it’s worth my time.

    Shocking that someone would be allowed to publish such rubbish in the face of the most important issue Scotland has faced for decades.

    [ Personal insults removed. Aberdeen Voice seeks to accomodate a wide range of views. We very rarely refuse to publish articles, and never on account of the socio-political views of writers. Comments on articles and views expressed within, as you have contributed, are equally welcome provided those focus on the content and don’t descend into insults and namecalling. Aberdeen Voice also exists so that writers ARE ALLOWED to be published, regardless of any particular persons evaluation of the resultant piece – Moderator ]

  4. Shouldn’t the para following the Forth Rail Bridge pic begin ‘On Macroeconomic Policy’ rather than ‘On Macroeconomic Police’?

  5. Now let me see, I have posted articles in the Voice about multinational corruption, war, anti war, economics, history, wildlife, Marischal Square, parking in the city, body image, the Royal Mail flotation, country dancing, Crovie, witches, food hygiene, the Dalai Lamma, Fochabers and the First Zulu War, Belfast, Art Nouveau, windmills, renewable power, Camp Chic, Robert Burns, David Cameron, product placement, citizen photojournalism, the murder of drummer Rigby, badgers, the state of Aberdeen, race horses, the Sunday Post, Donald Trump, New Lanark, Brigadoon and even Oor Wullie.
    Not to mention the sad issues such horse meat in your food and those sad folk who rely on state benefits and cannot now afford to keep a roof over there heads due to the politics of the land we live in.
    Few readers have commented on the above 80 or so articles which is why it is such a joy to have provoked such a challenging response to this wee crit’ of Alex Salmond’s White Paper.
    The Voice does not have an army of paid researchers as you will already know. The Guardian does. The BBC does. The Sunday Post does. Just saying, you understand …
    Well done readers however for commenting on this vitally important issue which is obviously close to your hearts.
    I find it sad however when “personal insults removed” has to be posted after a response by reader Mike. Reasoned argument and criticism are great. Insults might be less so.
    Perhaps Mike would pen a piece about the “Scotland’s Future” White Paper for us all to read.

  6. Thanks to Alex Salmond and his SNP, I am living in a freezing cold council house. So I’ve ordered a paper copy of “Scotland’s Future” to burn in the sitting-room stove, it might not provide much warmth but at least it will cheer me up.

    Happy New Year to you all, (SNP exempted).

    • Sean, I hear what you are saying but have to wonder whether Alex or the SNP are to blame. The new year is of course very welcome of course. I blame the Tories usually.

  7. Duncan,

    It is regrettable that you appear to have been subjected to personal abuse for having presented a measured and legitimate point of view. Unfortunately, there does seem to be a rather extreme fundamentalist mentality within the nationalist argument. This is normally characterised by references to those who seek clarity as doom – laden unionists and traitorous lackeys of the English.

    Your apparent scepticism is fully warranted as the answers we were promised, in the White Paper, have most definitely not been forthcoming and the references to future “legislation” are meaningless, not least because the present Scottish Government can not speak on behalf of future governments over which they my have no control.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>