THE only thing “wrong” about Boris Johnson’s “Scots” article is the funding element (Boris Johnson’s views on devolution clear in unearthed column, July 22).

Scotland, like many diverse, robust and successful economies (and democracies) across the world, has chosen to spend its public money on socially democratic policies. Scotland has decided to be “normal” – serving the needs of the majority of the population, rather than pursuing policies dictated by class, privilege and entitlement, and the narrow interests of an elite minority.

Though it’s true that Scottish GDP per head (adjusted for local spending) is higher than the English GDP, citizens of England could enjoy many of the same benefits as Scottish citizens.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson's views on devolution clear in unearthed column

Comparing the lower English GDP per head to other European countries who manage to implement comparable policies to Scotland, England’s GDP is equivalent, and even slightly higher. But – and it’s a big “but” – GovEngland has other spending priorities. One of those priorities is “status spending” – to maintain the “Echoes of Empire” fantasy that the UK (England, as so many will describe it) is still a global power. With all the wealth that England generates, it should be a thriving, happy, clean, and bustling nation. Instead it impoverishes its citizens in order to maintain an overly expensive “world presence” (and a bloated and expensive pseudo-democratic structure) that was only possible before because it drew so much wealth from its colonies and colonial possessions.

As one of the few remaining colonial possessions, Scotland is still expected to continue the 300+ year tradition of sending funds to the Westminster exchequer, where the “Scottish contribution” is laundered into a “British asset” before getting returned as a benevolent “grant” from the “broad shoulders” of the British state, less an administration charge for providing this benevolent service. It used to be called Imperial Services. 1852 was a cracking year for the British state. In that year only 6.5% of taxes raised in Scotland were spent in Scotland. The gift that just keeps taking?

Scotland, as an independent country, faces the same economic uncertainties as many across Europe. Uncertainties that they and their collective partners in Europe will approach in a positive and socially democratic manner, seeking a speedy and shared recovery from the damage caused by the coronavirus, and, to a certain extent, the damage caused by the UK leaving the EU. As a Bloomberg article noted on Wednesday: “Europe’s $3.5 trillion unity rally leaves Britain far behind”.

Scotland tied to a Brexit-intent UK will experience the worst of all worlds. The UK remains deeply unpopular with foreign investors. FTSE100 Index stocks are down 17% in 2020. The pound is in decline, and money managers class the UK as a “dangerous place to invest” because of the ever more likely No-Deal Brexit.

Whatever self-harm the Tories inflict on the UK economy will be felt more in Scotland due to the colonial leech financing model, and the centralised approach to UK governance: a pound spent in Croydon is better for the economy (of Croydon) than a pound spent in Strathclyde (especially if that pound was first raised as taxes in Strathclyde).

The longer we stay tied to this broken and failing British state, the more damage we will experience. However, even if we are stuck here for a year or two, once Scotland no longer shares the fruits of its economic strength and diversity, and its natural resources, with the country next door, no longer pays a disproportionate subsidy (membership fee) to the British state, our recovery will be much faster. And the benefits of that recovery will be felt by every citizen, not just by those who feel they are entitled to maintain a certain lifestyle at the expense of others.

Independence soon please.

Alistair Potter
via email