I haven’t talked about it on here before but the upcoming referendum on Scottish Independence is a hot topic at the moment. It gets discussed about once a week at work and there’s always one or two active discussions about it on my facebook and twitter feeds and on the various forums I read.
Yesterday an article was published in the Guardian and it quickly spread about social media as it seems to blow the No campaign’s big argument (that we would lose the pound) out of the water.
“Of course there would be a currency union,” the minister told the Guardian in remarks that will serve as a major boost to the Scottish first minister, Alex Salmond, who accused the UK’s three main political parties of “bluff, bluster and bullying” after they all rejected a currency union.
The minister, who would play a central role in the negotiations over the breakup of the UK if there were a yes vote, added: “There would be a highly complex set of negotiations after a yes vote, with many moving pieces. The UK wants to keep Trident nuclear weapons at Faslane and the Scottish government wants a currency union – you can see the outlines of a deal.”
This is from ‘an embarrassingly senior’ minister, according to a few journalists on twitter.
So it reveals that all the recent media scaremongering about us not getting to keep the pound if we vote Yes (which I hadn’t seen properly explained beyond ‘because we say so’) is indeed just fluff and distraction techniques. But hang on. ‘The outlines of a deal’ which would mean we keep Trident in an independent Scotland? I don’t know about you, but getting nuclear warheads the fuck away from us is at the very crux of why I am voting Yes. Faslane makes us a massive flashing bullseye every time Westminster starts sabre-rattling and throwing its weight around internationally. The MOD itself has said quite openly that Trident can’t be sited at Plymouth because the risk to the population is too high (the unsaid words ‘your population doesn’t matter though’ were loud and clear). Well call me a silly socialist if you like, but I believe the risk to any population is too high and we should decommission the subs entirely, and seeing as Westminster isn’t offering us that option we’ll start with standing up and kicking it out of our country and let them try to find someone else to impose it on (let me know how that works out for you)
In Scotland we know the effects that a nuclear accident can have. It’s only 4 years since the last Scottish sheep farm was declared free of radioactive material after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. I was 9. My dad made us all take kelp tablets for weeks after Chernobyl in the hope of the iodine protecting us. It wasn’t until years later I found out that he’d tested a few blades of the grass from our lawn in his lab at work the day after the fallout cloud reached us and the gamma counter had gone absolutely mental. Off the scale hot. That grass was so radioactive it was illegal for him to be handling it except behind a lead-glass screen in a designated radioactive area. Yet the authorities had told us not to worry, the risk was minimal as only a tiny amount of radiation would reach the ground.
Somewhere there’s a photo of me as a toddler with a balloon tied to my waistband so my mum could see me easily at a protest at the building of Torness Nuclear Power Station, just along the road from where I grew up. There’s still 35-year-old ‘Nuclear Power, No Thanks’ stickers kicking around my dad’s house. My mum’s not still kicking around to have an opinion on Trident staying in Scotland if we are allowed to keep the pound though. She died of an aggressive cancer, two years ago. She was out in the rain waiting for a bus, the night before my dad tested the grass.