THE Scottish Government’s huge £444m underspend is an absurd waste of resource and opportunity, writes Brian Wilson.
Wilson and his sickening ilk have leapt with unseemly glee on the collapse of oil prices with no thought whatever for the stress and suffering that this is likely to cause those employed in the industry and their families. Neither do they care at all about the impact on the UK economy. As with the threat to abolish the currency union, their nasty, vindictive nature bids them disregard any damage to the UK/rUK economy so long as they can convince themselves that Scotland will suffer more. They will happily cut off their nose to spite the people of Scotland.
That nobody foresaw the current oil price slump is an inconvenient fact as readily ignored by British nationalists as the wider implications. They see only something which, with a bit of well-practised distortion and the customary unquestioning collusion of the British media, can be fashioned into a stick with which to beat the hated SNP. Nothing else matters.
More thoughtful people than Brian Wilson – which is a big list – will recognise the extraordinary geopolitical factors which have led to the extraordinary fall in oil prices. Those less intellectually crippled by mindless hatred of political opponents will realise that the present situation is unsustainable. The price of oil will bounce back from this blip. And it will bounce back to around the level used by the SNP in its projections.
What will buffoons like Wilson have to say when, at the date scheduled for the restoration of Scotland’s rightful constitutional status in early 2016, the price of Brent crude stands at $120? Given the inherent volatility that the British parties are so fond of banging on about, this is entirely possible. And certainly more likely than the price still languishing at $50 fully a year from now.
Perhaps the greatest idiocy of British nationalist propaganda is that it both exaggerates the volatility of oil prices AND assumes that oil prices will remain at the same abnormally low level for an extended period. It is a form of depraved double-think in which they glory in whatever implies the outcome that is most detrimental to Scotland, even if this means believing two contradictory things simultaneously. The similarity with fundamentalist religion will not be lost on dispassionate observers.
Just as British nationalists like Wilson try to falsely portray the oil price figures used by the SNP as “dishonest” (despite the fact that everybody else got it just as wrong because they were using the same range of projections) so they dishonestly try to peddle the idea that the Scottish Government’s underspend is evidence of fiscal incompetence. In another of those contradictions/inconsistencies which litter British nationalist propaganda, they do so at the same time as Jim Murphy calls for the Scottish Government to set aside money to deal with extraordinary situations such as the drop in oil prices. (That would be the same contingency fund which only a few months ago these same British politicians were ridiculing as a fantasy when it was proposed by the SNP.)
The reality is that this underspend is a normal and inevitable consequence of the way in which the Scottish Parliament is funded. The Scottish Government cannot budget for a deficit. It must ensure that spending stays within the the limits imposed by Westminster. That can mean nothing other than that there should be an underspend. That is why there is an underspend every year.
Admittedly, last year’s underspend was slightly higher than the usual 1% of the total budget at 1.3%. But, to put that in perspective, the previous year’s underspend was below the norm by an even greater margin at only 6%.
The voluntary stupidity of these British nationalists is evident not least in the fact that they whine so pointlessly about this underspend having devoted themselves to a campaign of distortion, disinformation and downright dishonesty intended to preserve the arrangements which make the underspend inevitable. If Wilson was genuinely incensed by this, then why was he so fanatically opposed to the Scottish Government having the same powers as any other national government to deal with unforeseen fluctuations in revenues?
But, of course, Brian Wilson is perfectly well aware of the inanity of what he is saying. Were he not the bigot that he is, and had somebody else written this article, he would dismiss them as a drivelling fool. Not being a bigot myself, I have no reason not to be just as dismissive of his demented ranting.
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