Jim Sillars: Show we’re not project fearties

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Woe is us. Of the seven billion people in this world we, the Scots, stand out as unique. Thick as mince.

In any world league table of incompetence we come last. If we, in our substandard category, are to survive –not prosper, just survive – then we need to be supervised by a superior group of people. Like helpless children we are in constant need of being taken into care.

That is the message I take from the denigration that pours upon us daily from Westminster ministers and Better Together, as they come up here to tell us we’ll make a mess of the economy, defence, security, the environment, and that any financial assessments we make of the nation’s resources is pure bilge. Well, I am getting fed up being told how useless we are, and what a shambles we would make of independence.

It is true, however, that in one important respect we are unique. We have an astonishing number of our people, well educated, who believe that they, Scots, are not capable of running their own country successfully, that we are better having the big decisions that matter made for us in the south by another nation. I cannot think of any other people on Earth who believe that about themselves. Here’s tae us, wha’s like us? Gie few, and that’s the sad truth.

How is it possible for a people, over the past 40 years, to accept that the fish caught in the North Sea and landed in Scotland counted in our national income, but the oil from the same North Sea that is landed in Scotland went into, and continues into, a non-Scottish North Sea account in London?

How is it possible for a nation that now knows it was lied to time and again about the significance of the oil finds back in the 1970s to be prepared to accept from those same lying mouths untruths about the oil wealth still to be extracted?

What is it that makes the Norwegians invest £4.2 billion in new development, while we give house room to those who say the oil is fast running out?

Project Fear is what Westminster politicians decided, privately, to name their referendum campaign. Think about that for a moment. There is an underlying contempt for a people you believe you can scare the pants off. You cannot frighten a brave hard people, but you can frighten a fearful soft one.

Project Fear is meant to send Scots scurrying back into the hands of an English majority, many of whom despise us as subsidy junkies – the something for nothing nation. Don’t believe me? Then read the English papers. If the polls are correct, the project is working. The feart nation – what an international reputation we will carry into the future if we let them succeed.

Sorry Philip, there’s no case for the defence

The most ironic episode in Project Fear so far is the warning from Defence Secretary Philip Hammond that an independent Scotland won’t be able to defend itself. What about the UK’s defence? There isn’t any.

The Royal Navy has not, and will not, have aircraft carriers which can launch planes because there are none. At sea, it cannot be defended against incoming missiles by its escorting frigates and destroyers because their radar does not work beyond the horizon, from where the missiles are launched, by an enemy that has planes. Only high-flying planes’ radars can see beyond the horizon, so the carriers having none are sitting ducks.

The rest of the fleet is so small that, in the words of one defence expert, it might manage to protect the Isle of Wight but nothing more. The army is down to 80,000, which means it can only put into the field a weak division of 20,000 men, and not all of them are front-line troops either. Defend Britain? That army couldn’t defend Cornwall.

The air force is in no better shape. That just leaves Trident, but to use that invites the end of the world, so it is hardly the defensive weapon they say it is. And Hammond has the cheek to lecture us on defence!


Have you heard any scientific explanation why the IPCC forecasts of ever increasing global temperatures got it

wrong, given that there has been no upward movement for 17 years? Neither have I.

Life’s a breeze now for Alex

A single mother on benefits is included in the “something for nothing” jibe. That she is bringing up a child that will pay the pensions of today’s workers counts for nothing.

Alex Fergusson MSP, left, former presiding officer of the Scottish Parliament, with a pension for that on top of his MSP pension, can now collect £40,000 a year – from your energy bills – for having windmills on his fields.

Now, that’s what you call something for nothing.