In the heady days of my youth, I used to frequently get excited about a great day; when the bankers would have their tables upturned, when the lairds would toppled from their turrets, when the hedge fund managers and the speculators would be chased off by a mass uprising, when the old order would be swept away and we’d all live happily ever after.
Imagine if the No campaign turned a communist utopian vision of the future into their central scare story. No wait, they have.
As well as wheeling out previously declared deserters, like bra baron Michelle Mone, the British state have clearly been leaning on ALL their pals, to say they’d definitely not want to keep making money in countries that are independent. It’s completely unprecedented for the Treasury to be briefing the BBC about what the RBS board are planning before the, erm, RBS board are briefed, it’s also illegal but don’t expect to see anyone in the dock before Thursday/ever.
More bizarre still have been attempts by Better Together to incorporate companies who don’t even want to be dragged into their tales of separatist woe. I’d have a hard time defending retail giants like Tesco but I really wonder why the pro-Union parties are pursuing them with such glee, suggesting both that they’ll stick around to exploit wee vulnerable Scotland and be chased off by the rampant communism of the SNP’s pledge to cut corporation tax.
The most nonsensical outburst came from BP boss, Bob Dudley, who said he believed the “future prospects for the North sea” were best served by maintaining the Union. What would we do if the North Sea just upped sticks and moved to England? Bet Wee Eck hasn’t though about that, eh?
Let’s indulge in this No fantasy for just a moment: What if the bankers who brought us to the brink just fucked off? What if the CEOs who profit from Scotland’s natural and human resources decided we’d be better placed just doing it ourselves? What if…the bastards leave?
If Scotland votes Yes, we‘re now assured that Sir Fred Goodwin will lock himself in the tower of London, Standard Life will leap into the abyss, oil barons will leave our vast reserves in our own hands and bra peddlers will be forced to exploit their workforce in China from their base in England instead of Scotland. ARE. YOU. SCARED. YET.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but if being a miserable commie all my life has taught me anything, it’s that the ruling class will not be abandoning ship quite so easily. If anything, this last week is proof positive of how keen they are to stick around.
I’m not remotely interested in the “business case for independence” and I give even less of a monkeys whether GDP goes up or down nor in what currency, I care about what we do with our immense wealth and resources and why. I just fail to believe that if people are buying things, other people will stop selling them, for ideological reasons or because they don’t trade in countries which don’t have at least a wee bit of red in their flags. Companies and individuals always threaten to move elsewhere if Governments raise tax but the cold-hard fact is that banks and corporations operate in 0% tax areas and in 70% tax areas, in democracies and dictatorships, in rich countries and in poor countries because they make money. The other obvious point is that you can wheel out as many people as you like to threaten us with armageddon but these people would only be replaced by a different arsehole in a suit if they do go elsewhere. It is, after all, a system.
But make no mistake, the people who live in castles and read Tatler magazine, the bankers, the politicians – they’re voting No for a reason. Not because they believe that Scotland is about to descend into a moneyless society run along Marxist lines but because they are genuinely scared we might build better institutions than we have right now – like state-owned banks who don‘t spend their time trying to influence the democratic process or an energy sector designed to fund things other than the BP CEO’s pension pot. Our rulers, who don’t just sit in Westminster but in the boardrooms and the palaces are right to be terrified but we will not be scared on their behalf. “What will become of the non-executive directors?” is not a question I’ll be spending the next week pondering.
Those of us who don’t live in castles are moving towards Yes for a reason as well. We realise that while we’re unlikely to be a utopia by the 19th, after decades of constantly losing, finally winning something is within our grasp. Sadly, even rampant communists like us don’t think that something includes the mass exodus of the ruling class. But if the bastards really do want to leave an independent Scotland, we won’t be standing in their way.