Friday 29 August 2014

Giving Scottish Independence a Hearing

 The Scottish Independence question is now not about nationalism but economic fairness.  I had no view until I was alerted by the viciousness of rich English people's attacks on Alex Salmond. Such abuse has always been a sure indication that the wealthy sense that they may soon be required to give large dollops of money away.

Vilified in Establishment Press

More of Scotland now belongs to non-Scots than to people born and raised there. Such immigrants are wealthy and worried that Salmond’s egalitarian policies will stop Scotland offering them the quality-of-life nirvana that they currently enjoy. 

Glen Avon’s 40,000 acres are owned by a Kuala Lumpur-based conglomerate. Kjeld Kirk-Christiansen (head of LEGO Interrnational) owns a massive estate. Fashion guru Anders Holch Povlsen’s Scottish property portfolio has swelled to £65m. The Laird of Eigg is Marlin Eckhard Maruma from Stuttgart. Paul van Vlissingen, a Dutch tycoon, owns an 80,000-acre estate in Wester Ross. "His Excellency” Mahdi Mohammed Al Tajir, from the United Arab Emirates, now produces HIghland Spring mineral water on the Blackford Estate.

My Future Neighbour?
When the fabulously wealthy English immigrant to Scotland, J.K. Rowling, gave £1K to the “[Rich People] Better Together” campaign, otherwise funded by magnates (HSCB etc) who don't even live in Scotland, I felt ill. It is not just that the campaign had just hired the Saatchi company to promote them. I admittedly have a personal reason. She was the only Classicist to whom I wrote in 2011 asking for an endorsement of the campaign to keep Classics open at Royal Holloway University of London whose p.a. sent a rude rejection email. But I do wonder just how much tax she fears Alex Salmond’s welfare state would expect her to dish out to actual Scots from her castle.

Nicola Sturgeon
If the Independence adventure goes ahead, we're moving to near a Scottish airport forthwith. I’ll commute to London by air. It can’t take any longer than the cynically marketed Cotswold “Cathedrals Express” locomotive, which averages 2 m.p.h. Unlike rich people with an investment in the result of the Scottish referendum, I'll pay whatever tax it takes to keep healthcare and university education a right and not a privilege. Rock on, Alex and Nicola, with your fishy surnames. We don’t all believe the Establishment obloquy.
Alex Salmon(d)

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