Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Dear Mr Salmond,

I have just got home from a wonderful few days in your country, visiting some old friends, hopefully making a few new ones, and thoroughly enjoying your country’s hospitality, sitting around enjoying a ‘wee dram’ (or maybe slightly more), having interesting conversations with thinking people until the early hours setting the world to rights.

I don’t suppose you want advice from a politically na├»ve Sassenach, you will probably think me somewhat impertinent, but I’m going to give you some anyhow. Feel free to ignore it.

Get yourselves independent from England as soon and as firmly as you can.  You may think that independence is important because you want financial and judicial control of your own country, but significant though they are, those things are not the important issues. What you need to do is to free your country and your people from the social controls that are stultifying and clogging their lives and dragging them into mediocrity, as they have already done to us in England. Do that and you will have the best country in the British Isles.

Westminster drives the UK political and social agenda and England is by now virtually a lost cause. The smothering orthodoxy of political correctness, health and safety, the entitlement culture, the idiotic elevation of the irrelevant over the important, added to the hypocritical nannying regulation that spews from Brussels to be gold plated and added to by Westminster, have tamed and emaciated our country, our people and our culture. The degradation is now so firmly established in England that it will take generations to rebuild our society and our personal self-reliance, if we ever can. You need to cut the ties before you sink with us.

As the contagion spreads out from London it’s taken longer to get to you and there is probably still time for you to halt it if you act quickly. You still have a sizeable rump of population who received a decent education rather than the pseudo-educational social brainwashing and ‘everyone must win’ entitlement and personal rights culture that has infected English education and much of the younger generation. You have resources, educated and independently minded people, a history of scientific innovation and commercial strengths in both manufacturing and exports. You need to set these assets free to work for you.

To do that you need to set your people free. Free to act, work and think without cloying regulation, nannying, nudging or social engineering and with a minimum of authoritarian and behavioural controls. People cannot be expected to innovate or think independently when every single aspect of their lives, from what they say in the pub, what car they drive, who they choose to employ, even what they are expected to think, is subject to externally enforced rules imposed by people who think they know better how other people should run their lives. All these controls do is reduce freedom, reduce independent thought, reduce innovation, reduce motivation and encourage sheepish mediocrity. You must listen to what your people want, advise them how they can do it, help them, but most importantly then you must trust them to get on with the job, not control and micromanage.

You need to sort out your attitude to social issues, for example alcohol. Nobody denies there is a problem that some individuals misuse it, causing personal injury and anti-social behaviour. Those people need help, or maybe some need punishment. But you need to stop believing that you can help them by punishing (by price) and imposing restrictions, limits and controls on the majority. It won’t help those needing help but is just another step along the road of infantilising and controlling the majority. Stop listening to shrill single-interest pressure groups which frequently have hidden commercial or political agendas and find a sensible solution that recognises the need not to penalise responsible people and recognises the ‘unintended consequences’ of heavy-handed blanket controls. In your case the obvious, but unspoken, unintended consequence will be your whisky industry, probably the most high profile association the world has with Scotland. How does it look to a customer nation when you try and sell them whisky while demonising alcohol at home and imposing price limits and controls because it’s so dangerous to your home population they can’t be trusted with it? Good luck with a sales pitch like that!

You need to look hard at all the other mindless and stultifying nannying controls . Salt, eggs, tobacco, 5 a day, third hand smoke, coffee, fat, fast food, sugar. Half of that list are scientifically unproved or have been disproved. Tell people the truth, just be honest, then trust them to act accordingly as responsible adults.

The other big issue you need to reconsider is the demonising of CO2 and attempts to control it. Recognise that many serious and knowledgeable scientists think man-made global warming is no more than a political and commercial scam. An unproven theory, publicised and used by pseudo-scientific people with vested interests then talked up by political and commercial sponsors to promote an agenda that is not in your interest. So at the very least get some proper independent scientific advice rather than follow the EU and Westminster groupthink. While you are at it take a very hard look at the economics, the consequences and the effectiveness of what you are doing. Wind power is neither free nor clean. In fact all power materials are essentially free at source. Miners don’t have to put money in a slot to get a lump of coal out of the ground, oil rigs don’t pour money in one pipe to make oil come out another. In every case the cost is made up of extraction, taxes, commercial profits, transport, infrastructure and the like. Wind is free of extraction costs perhaps, but using it involves huge setup and infrastructure costs, very high maintenance costs and poor reliability. It is more expensive by far than conventional power. So called green jobs are mostly non-productive maintenance work. Employing thousands of extra people to do something currently done by many fewer people is economic madness. It is no more sensible than making the police give up cars and go back to bicycles to reduce efficiency and thus create ‘blue jobs’. As for pollution, wind generation uses rare materials extracted at huge environmental cost and has complex high pollution manufacturing requirements. The fact that the pollution takes place in Africa and China makes the process completely hypocritical. It displays the same morality as a man who throws all his rubbish into his neighbour’s garden then brags about how clean his house is. Except your house won’t be clean because you are polluting one of your greatest assets with a visual blight, the open unspoiled countryside is why so many people love to visit Scotland. Destroy it at your peril.  Also realise that any difference you make by imposing all this cost on the environment, the people and your businesses is so miniscule as to be un-measurable. It’s a vastly smaller proportion of the atmosphere than the smallest homeopathic remedy.

I could go on longer but you probably aren’t listening by now, but one last suggestion. Do something about those bloody midges!


  1. Thoughtful post W42 - well said.

    Oh and midges: Avon sell something that works wonders, problem is can't remember what it is! When I do........

  2. Woodsy -don't agree with all of your points but they're all worthy of discussion.

    As to the midges,for some reason they don't bother me too much, but they do my wife -and the mix Wittering's on about is Avon body lotion mixed with a touch of Bacardi.

    Funnily enough the locals in the Bahamas use the same mix to ward off the mosquitoes.

  3. Well of course Mr Crinkly it's not really active advice of what he should do so much as listing some of what's wrong here south of the border, and he could still avoid.
    So which bits don't you agree with?
    Interestingly I went past the Achany and Rosehall wind farm sites and they are mentioned here . To see the miles of fencing, tracks, clearings and desecration in that beautiful previously unspoiled area nearly makes you weep.
    I had midge repellent, it sort of helped, but the wife suffers worse than I do so like you I tend to get second hand midge!