The article "Salmond Slapped down by Norway Minister" in the Daily Mail on 29 October contained several incorrect and misleading statements attributed to Norway's Foreign Minister, Jonas Gahr Støre.
Firstly, there is no "growing anger in Norway" over comparisons made between Scotland and Norway during the debate in the United Kingdom against the backdrop of the current global financial crisis.
Secondly, no accusations have been made by Mr Støre against Mr Salmond, as alleged in the article. In the interview, the Foreign Minister merely pointed out factual similarities and differences between the challenges presently faced by Scotland and Norway. Inferring from this that Mr Støre is of the view that Mr Salmond has in any way lied or mislead the public, is simply incorrect.
In short, the Norwegian Foreign Minister did not intend to criticise either side in this debate, which is a domestic political discussion. What he strongly emphasised in the interview with the Daily Mail and which, sadly, was simply omitted from the article, was his sincere appreciation of the warm ongoing relationship between Scotland and Norway.
Ambassador of Norway
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Since a British u is attacking my arithmetic here is my reply:
Total Number of British MP's at Westminster: 646
Scots MP's: 59
England on it's own has 529 MP's.
This means that English MP's heavily outweigh all the other countries in the British state and it means that the union is highly unequal as a result.
A majority of Scottish MP's voted against Trident but the British Government is pushing ahead anyway. If we were independent we would have our own direct voice in the EU and UN. We would have a seat in the Council of Ministers, we would have our own European commissioner and we would have more Euro MP's.
Most importantly our flag would fly at the United Nations and we would have our own seat there. We would control our own defence, foreign policy, benefits policy, broadcasting and pensions which are currently controlled by Westminster.
So if we voted against Trident it wouldn't happen and we wouldn't be wasting billions on an unusable deterrent which is intended to prop up the old fiction of Britain being a world power.
Scotland doesn't want to be a world power but we do need to have the same powers as every other country around the world and that can only happen with independence.
If the Scots in the cabinet worked in Scotland's interests that might be an advantage but it is obvious that they don't. Look at the HBOS takeover for a current obvious example.
Scotland would benefit if HBOS remained an independent bank based in Scotland. Brown wants it to be merged with Lloyds TSB which is likely to result in the HQ moving south and the loss of thousands of Scottish jobs.
To do this he is using Billions of borrowed pounds, much of which will be raised from future taxation on Scotland. So we're paying for the wrong decision to happen to our bank with the added rider that Mr Brown believes this indicates that Scotland is too poor to have independence and has the cheek to compare oil rich Scotland with tiny Iceland which was in part destabalised by the actions of the British Government! So much for the 'union dividend'.
I've printed the whole post below with my replies to each point:
Good morning. It’s actually about 10:1 (587:59 MPs). But the exact ratio is largely irrelevant.
I don’t accept your notion that Scotland is “outvoted”. There’s no anti-Scottish bloc voting against our interests. Scots are no more “outvoted” than any other identifiable subgroup: elderly people, non-Caucasians or gay people, for example. Geography is only one distinguishing factor. But I’ll use inverted commas around the word “outvoted” and tackle you on your own terms.
Scotland is a country and represents the people who live in Scotland. Scottish MP's are recognised as a group within the British Parliament and they actually meet occasionally as a group (the Scottish Grand Committee).
Now obviously there are a variety of MP's from different parties, well two kinds actually, the Trident supporting right wing Brits ie Labour, Lib Dems and Tories and the SNP. The SNP are the only party which is based in Scotland and represents Scottish interests but nonetheless MP's elected in Scotland can fairly be described as Scottish MP's even when their first loyalty is not necessarily to Scotland.
Consider this: there being about 70,000 voters in the Glenrothes constituency, each individual is massively “outvoted” when it comes to electing the local MP.
Not really. everyone gets a vote and the winner wins. PR is fairer than FPTP as a system and we have that in the Scottish parliament and would likely have that in an independent Scottish Government but the voters of Fife have a democratic choice at the moment.
Even within the Kingdom of Fife, Glenrothes is only one of four Westminster constituencies, so could perhaps be said to be “outvoted” by a factor of 3:1.
Not really I think you will find that MP's in Fife are likely to work together, particularly when they are all Labour as they are currently.
And Fife itself is “outvoted” by a factor of 642:4 (about 160:1) in the UK parliament.
Fife is not a country. It is part of Scotland but the country of Scotland as a whole is indeed outvoted by a factor of 11-1 in the UK parliament.
Being “outvoted”, as you put it, is in the nature of representative democracy.
English MP's are not outvoted, the other countries are.
So why are you seemingly unconcerned about Fife being in such a position, but telling anyone who will listen that Scotland is “outvoted by a factor of 11-1” within Britain?
Because it's the truth.
I would suggest that your nationalism, rather than any argument about democratic representation, is at the root of your thinking. You see Scots (not Fifers) as separate, are outraged that we aren’t, and so that nationalistic tail wags your political dog.
After all, Scots – unlike Fifers – form a “nation without a state”, not unlike the Sioux, Bretons, Tamils, Sardinians and many others. Can you see yet where your argument breaks down? Should they all be independent? Should the USA, France, Sri Lanka, Italy and other nations cease to exist in their current forms as a result? But I digress.
You're not getting anywhere with your misleading arguments. Brittany has a right to independence and France and Spain as ex-imperial states could be further broken down. The Basque and Catalan countries are obvious examples and are moving towards independence. Sardinia also has an independence movement. The USA is large but it is obviously seen as a distinct country and at this point there is no serious movement to break it up.
The Sioux are a conquered people unfortunately, but their original ownership of America (with the rest of the native Americans) is a historical fact which should not be ignored.
In your terms, Britain is similarly “outvoted” in the European Parliament – by a factor of 9:1 (in fact 707:78). But do you see me fretting about that? Of course not, because I’m a Unionist!
That is a problem, which has led to the creation of UKIP. The UK is already independent actually, but UKIP are British unionists (nationalists) like yourself. Scotland would be outvoted in the EU but no one country is large enough to dominate the whole EU which makes a difference.
Not a British nationalist. I’ll leave that to those on the fringes: to the likes of UKIP.
It's the same thing. Britain as currently constituted is a nation so the supporters of British nationhood are nationalists and (some are imperialists as well such as the BNP). If you fly the Union Jack then you are a British nationalist by definition.
But a conviction Unionist. So I’m Pro-Scotland, pro-Britain and pro-Europe.
But you are less pro Scotland than I am because you are happy to see our interests subverted to Britain's, I'm not.
That means I’m at ease with the idea of distributed sovereignty. I’ll consider what powers might best be exercised at Scottish, British or European levels not just on the basis of uncritical subsidiarity, or what’s thought to be best only for “us” (however defined).
Yes we Scots can do that as well and that is the problem, Britain stops us from making these decisions for ourselves. Post independence we might choose to work together with England on certain things but that would be our democratic choice.
Rather, the Unionist ideal is to pool resources, to come together whenever, on balance, it serves our common good. And if at times that cuts across narrow ideas of “our” versus “their” interests, then so be it – even for your hobbyhorse issues of defence and foreign affairs.
Yes, well unfortunately what actually happens is that Scotland's voice is entirely ignored altogether and Britain's voice is the only one that is heard. On Trident we don't want it, Britain does, so we get it.
Anyway, we already cede some such powers to the EU, NATO and UN (and even to the US) and while you and I could probably bicker all day about the appropriateness of the current distribution, the internationalist principle is an important one which nationalist doctrines inevitably undermine.
Yes the US controls the missiles which makes them rather pointless.
And that’s why, as David Cameron rightly said, unionists will win this battle of ideas. Your rhetoric may be pithier, but our vision is far more forward-looking, generous and inclusive.
But of course, in our relations with the rest of the world, Scotland’s and Britain’s interests are our primary focus, and there’s no contradiction between that statement and the foregoing. The distribution of sovereignty, rather like the decision-making dynamic within a healthy marriage, must work to all its parties’ net advantage, if not to each individual partner’s in every respect.
And on that score your argument falls apart completely. An independent Scotland would be “outvoted” in the European Parliament probably by 771:14 (roughly 55:1).
So again I’ll ask: why doesn’t that vex you? Where’s your consistency? Why is being “outvoted” 10:1 in Britain such a concern, but being “outvoted” 55:1 in Europe such a welcome prospect?
It's pretty obvious. Within Britain if there is a conflict of interest between what suits England and what suits Scotland and Wales then it's pretty obvious whose argument will win within the London parliament. The numbers are clear to see.
In terms of the EU yes there is also a problem there because we would be outvoted by a large factor. However no one country dominates the EU and therefore it is possible to work together on a common agenda. Also, if we are independent and we don't like the direction of the EU we would have the power to leave it, we don't have that at the moment.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
The young patriots celebrate their triumph with John MacCormick (Robert Carlisle)
Ian Hamilton QC is something of a legend in nationalist circles. In recent years he has been a highly entertaining and controversial blogger and he enjoyed a sparkling legal career as an advocate but his ultimate moment of triumph was his 1950's heist (with other young Scots nationalists) of the Stone of Destiny.
This action of civil disobedience caught the imagination of a generation and has inspired all future Scottish independence activists. It's sheer audacity and ambition remains incredible today and it must have been utterly startling in 1950's Scotland.
Charles Martin Smith (a co-star with Sean Connery and Kevin Costner in Brian de Palma's 1987 classic The Untouchables like Mel Gibson before him (with Braveheart) has brought an outsiders enthusiasm to Scottish history.
The film based on Ian Hamilton's own book is excellent from start to finish. 1950's Scotland and London is convincingly portrayed and there are some wonderful supporting turns by Robert Carlyle as nationalist leader John MacCormick (father of Neil (SNP Euro MP) and Iain (SNP MP)and founder of the Scottish National Party), Brenda Thricker as his housekeeper and Lord of the Rings star Billy Boyd as a reluctant co-conspirator.
The main cast are also superb, the young actors who play Ian and his friend (and possible romantic interest) Kay Mathieson are particularly good (Charlie Cox and Kate Mara) and Peter Mullan is superb as the proud but stern father of Hamilton.
The film begins with the frustration of the Scottish Covenant, the two million strong petition for Home Rule which is completely ignored by the UK Government. In one scene a bitter drunken man reflects on the dreadful position Scotland finds itself, as North Britain a mere adjunct of the British state.
The young Hamilton realises that only an audacious act of rebellion can shake up the torpor of Scotland's resentful acceptance of the union even when (as with the Covenant) it is blatantly obvious that her interests are completely ignored.
He hatches a plan to steal the Stone of Destiny. The ancient 'seat of the Scottish kings' had been stolen by England in 1296. Rebellions initially led by William Wallace and the eventual victory of Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn managed to guarantee Scottish independence for hundreds of years but the theft of the Stone of Scone was a huge historic injustice. For years the Stone had been welded into the bottom of the UK King's coronation chair and it represented England's ancient dominion over Scotland.
(Some claim by the way that the stolen Stone was in actual fact not the real stone at all and that the actual stone had been hidden. A view that the current leader of the SNP, Alex Salmond endorses.)
The Stone was considered a potent symbol of Scotland's rights to political independence and the repatriation of the stone proved to be a massive rallying point for the Scottish nationalist cause.
The film highlights the fear and uncertainty of the young gang but also their undiminished passion for their country and there determination to get the job done. It proves extremely difficult but eventually they are successful leading to a massive wave of patriotic pride which cannot be underestimated in its effects on the national cause.
Ian Hamilton and the others gave themselves up but were denied their day in court (the authorities realising that it would only give further publicity to the cause). Hamilton is a deserved hero and the story of him, Kay and his compatriots Alan Stuart and Gavin Vernon (played in the film by Ciaron Kelly and Stephen McCole) is a fitting tribute. Hamilton himself has a cameo and it must have thrilled him to see his efforts so lovingly recreated on the big screen.
Sadly the film has been subject to a number of scathing reviews which no doubt are in reaction to it's uncompromising Scottish nationalist stance, however this is a brilliant, funny and passionate portrayal of a crucial event in Scotland's past.
PS: Hamilton also has another notable claim to fame. As a young advocate his refusal to swear an oath to the monarch as her title was inaccurate (The Queen styles herself Elizabeth II even though her correct title should be Elizabeth I as there has only been a Queen Elizabeth I of England not Britain or Scotland) prompted the society to change their rules. The British state (under Winston Churchill) was also forced to indicate that in future all Kings would be 'known by the higher number' of either Scotland or England. A rather ridiculous decision which shows that the British state knew that Hamilton was right and that the Queen's position was legally untenable.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I note that all the usual suspects in the media have decided that the current world financial crisis presents definitive proof that Scottish independence is now a hopeless cause. Given that none of them believed in independence in the first place this is no great shock.
What has actually happened is that the British parliament has used it's superior financial muscle to buy our banks out and move control directly from Edinburgh to the city of London. As an independent nation this definitely would not have happened.
Whether it was a brilliant idea or a disastrous financial mistake is the question. In truth it is likely to be a bit of both. It may well help stabilise the UK economy but it will undoubtedly undermine Scotland's long term financial prospects.
No country around the world is looking for political control to be taken away from them in the midst of this financial crisis. Quite the reverse.
Iceland was in part brought down by the British Labour Government's illegal appropriation of 4 billion pounds of funds held by Icelandic banks under 'anti-terrorism' legislation. Iceland described this as an 'extremely unfriendly' act.
At the same time the new Scottish Secretary has deliberately insulted all our near neighbours by claiming they share an "arc of insolvency" despite the fact that Norway and Ireland have both acted more swiftly than the UK and with better effect.
The UK might be pleased to hear that they do share a political set of values with one Government however. Yes, Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe is trying to convince his political opponent that control of foreign policy, defence and home affairs is best left in his capable hands. A deal that Morgan Tsvangirai says 'only an idiot' would accept. Sounds familiar? Well isn't that the 'great deal' that British unionism offers for Scotland!
Independence is normality and nothing in the current financial crisis suggests a long term problem for small nations. It does however show very clearly the problem of being ruled by a political union where your country is outvoted 11-1.
Scotsman - 14 October 2008
MARC COLEMAN claims Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy was wide of the mark with his 'arc of insolvency' remarks
I DON'T know which is more shocking about Jim Murphy's recent comments on Ireland's economy. As Secretary of State for Scotland, presumably carrying a degree of responsibility for managing Scotland's economy, the incompetence is staggering. More shocking still is the use of megaphone diplomacy – for the most selfish of political reasons – at such a sensitive time, when loose talk by politicians can do damage.
Last week, Mr Murphy accused the Scottish Government of making "petty, part-political jibes" about the global crisis. He said: "Now look what's happening to those countries – Ireland in recession, Iceland really struggling. The UK is the fourth-largest economy in the world. We get great strength from that and these other countries the SNP try to compare Scotland to – Ireland, Iceland and others – they're struggling remarkably."
But let me put my native pride aside and get down to the real issue: the economic illiteracy revealed in Mr Murphy's comments.
In contrast to Alex Salmond, the SNP leader, and George Osborne, the Tory shadow chancellor – both of whom have visited Ireland to look at our economy – Mr Murphy hasn't bothered to study what is going on in Ireland, nor in his own country.
Equating Iceland with Ireland is very wide of the mark. There may only be one letter of difference in the spelling, but Mr Murphy should look behind that to spot some very important differences.
Three Icelandic banks have been declared bankrupt, leaving UK depositors in dire straits. In Ireland, swift and decisive action by Ireland's government has protected our bank deposits, but also those with UK Post Office Savings Bank, which is owned by Bank of Ireland, not to mention the Irish subsidiaries or arms of five other UK-based banks.
At 25 per cent, Ireland's debt-to-GDP ratio is the second-lowest in the European Union. At most, recapitalising our banks will add seven percentage points to that, bringing it to perhaps the fourth-lowest. If there is one thing Ireland isn't, it's insolvent.
Unlike Iceland, Ireland's euro membership protects us from exchange-rate pressures and limits the risk premiums paid on government debt. EU and euro membership, plus a business-friendly tax regime, makes Ireland a world beater in foreign direct investment and a home to leading high-technology multinationals. Add a booming indigenous traded services sector to that, and we have a very different story to our colder island neighbour to the north.
But even if Iceland faces problems, which independent nation doesn't from time to time? Isn't it better for a nation to make and correct its own mistakes, rather than remain in a state of permanent policy dependency on others?
The answer to that question depends on how confident you are in yourself. Scotland's genius has given the world the television, the telephone, penicillin, much modern industrial practice and, of course, the science of economics. The idea that this nation cannot successfully manage its economic interdependency with the rest of the world is, to me, laughable.
Far from there being an "arc of insolvency", the real arc here is an "arc of indifference", encompassing Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. In Northern Ireland, and despite both nationalists and unionists wanting the republic's corporation tax rates (if not its republican government), Westminster imposes policies designed for the south of England. Scotland and Wales suffer the same. England also suffers through overcongestion and a huge tax subsidy.
Putting Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on a viable footing – letting them manage their economies – would not, of course, be in the political interest of politicians like Mr Murphy, who depend for their career advancement on the supplication and marginalisation of Scotland and Wales to Westminster. But it would be right for the people.
As for Ireland's recession, Mr Murphy is, again, clueless. After 15 years of record-busting growth, some froth is being blown off the Guinness. But the glass remains very much almost full: Ireland's economy grew by almost 90 per cent in the past ten years, four times faster than the EU and three times faster than countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Yes, we've had a property bubble – a bad Anglo-Saxon habit we're in the process of kicking. When that's done, by 2010, Irish GDP will have fallen four percentage points, but Ireland's average economic performance in the first decade of the millennium will remain streets ahead of the EU, OECD and UK.
How did we do it? Following Labour's disastrous management of the UK economy in the 1970s – which saw a once-proud Britain crawl cap-in-hand to the IMF – Ireland decided to embark on a strategy of monetary independence coupled with greater international economic interdependence. We broke the link with sterling and, while maintaining strong and friendly trading links with the UK, began to diversify our economic base more widely.
Membership of the euro in 1997 gave us access to a common currency area of 300 million people, a number now grown to more than 400 million. Since then, our population has increased from three million to 4.3 million. In my book The Best is Yet to Come, I draw a sad contrast between Ireland, where the all-island population will rise from more than six million to more than eight million by 2058, and Scotland, where population levels are falling and set to go below five million in the next few decades.
As well as increasingly positive interaction between its north and south, Ireland now enjoys excellent relations with the peoples of England, Scotland and Wales. The reason for this is the same as the reason why, even after our recession is over, we will remain one of Europe and the world's richest nations: we don't allow Westminster to appoint the likes of Mr Murphy to run our affairs.
• Marc Coleman is a former economist at the European Central Bank. He is economics editor of the Dublin radio station Newstalk.
Sunday, October 05, 2008
Sarah Palin. Has went way too far by linking Obama with terrorism.
I won't confess to having much interest in the US Presidential elections. There is very little difference between the Republicans and Democrats and whoever gets elected is unlikely to substantially change US policy worldwide.
The ignorant buffoon Bush has made America unpopular worldwide and yet he was elected for two terms, his folksy idiocy which the rest of the planet viewed with horror seemed (for the most part) to be just an indication that he was one of America's own.
I now confidently predict that Barack Obama will win the White House. The fairly smart and celebral McCain in an attempt to improve his image chose a young, inexperienced but attractive running mate to boost his credibility and give him the common god fearin' touch which served Bush well.
Unfortunately Sarah Palin is also a loud mouthed ignorant bigot. Her lack of knowledge of the outside world has been painfully obvious in her TV interviews and her harsh but carefully crafted sound bites haven't covered up her basic incompetence.
McCain had signalled that he was going to move into personal attack territory. However Palin has now severely overstepped the mark. Calling a presidential candidate a friend of terrorists is just too desperate to work.
This is the end of the McCain challenge as is forcefully argued here much of his appeal was that he seemed a bit different from the rest of the discredited Republican machine (people had became sick of Bush and his party eventually) but now his campaign has shown he will do and say anything to get elected. He's lost it and will now lose the election.
Comgratulations Obama. I hold no hope that you will do anything great but you can't be much worse than the last one.
LABOUR became complacent about its power north of the border and should not have created a 'two jobs' Scottish Secretary, according to the new holder of the post. Jim Murphy, who was appointed to the Cabinet job on Friday, said Gordon Brown made a mistake when he hitched the job onto another Cabinet position...
Technically the Scottish Secretary post is supposed to be about representing Scotland's views in the cabinet. In fact it is actually a sort of colonial governor general type post where the UK Government tells the Scottish parliament it has it all wrong. Previously the Tory incumbents used to give the exact same message to the entire population and we know how that went down eventually.
Murphy clearly has a closed mind already. Was it ever open? Probably not. The SNP should avoid any meetings with this puppet of the desperate Brown. There is no need for a Scottish secretary post devolution. It's an utter irrelevance and could and should have been abolished some time ago.
Ex minister David Cairns always came across as a rather pompous squeaky puppy on newsnight while Des Browne (though a fairly normal human being in person) was effectively invisible in Scotland. He's now been dumped (one less Jock in the cabinet) and the desperate Murphy has been promoted well beyond his competence. I expect he will recycle all Gordon's garbage until he loses his seat at the UK elections. He certainly won't have any relevance to either the SNP or the Scottish people.
The return of Mandelson (soon to be followed by his fellow failure Blunkett, yes really!) shows that Brown is utterly desperate. Mandy will choose his moment to knive Gordon again and usher in a new English Tony, but one cannot say that this time Gordon won't deserve it.
He's had his chance and has used it to undermine his own country, basically made a complete fool of himself and wasted the last opportunity to turn Labour into a credible alternative to Toryism. I say a permanent good riddence to Brown and all his ilk. Knive him quick Peter and do us all a favour.
Friday, October 03, 2008
So the media would have us believe that HBOS (Halifax Bank of Scotland) was about to do a Northern Rock and collapse. It needed 'White Knight' Gordon Brown to ride in on his white horse and 'save' the bank by selling it at a tenth of it's value to one of it's major rivals.
I'm sorry but I just don't buy it. Luckily it's not over yet. Shareholders can save Bank of Scotland by rejecting this deal. HBOS share price would have recovered. It is actually a bigger more effective bank than Lloyds TSB with a larger market share. The Halifax merger may have weakened it but it had retained most of it's independence and the HQ was controlled in Edinburgh.
Instead we are looking at a new massive bank which will reduce competition be based in London (not Edinburgh) and will kill the Bank of Scotland's legacy as our only Scottish bank which has survived since the days of independence.
Brown brokered this 'deal' without regard to the Scottish national interest but I hope shareholders will feel differently about the future of the most important bank to the Scottish economy. I have my bank account, pension and mortgage all with the Bank of Scotland. If this deal goes through I will move the lot to RBOS and many others will do the same.
Banks 'belong' to the depositors and the staff not just the shareholders. The chief executive no doubt needs to go but the bank itself can and should survive. I feel nothing but disgust for the treatment of this ancient institution by BritGov, it will be remembered for a long, long time if this betrayal of Scotland goes through.
Count on it.
"The creation of the team [GB] has been opposed by the Football Associations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who are concerned it may compromise their individual status within Fifa.But he said the BOA, which selects teams for the Games, has decided to press ahead with a football squad despite the opposition.When asked last night about the opposition from the Welsh and Scots, Coe replied bluntly: “F*** em!”
See also the Tartan Army Board
Thanks to Ray B. for passing on the above information. This story has been removed from the website of the paper concerned and Lord Coe has threatened legal action however since it appeared in the print media it seems unlikely that the paper simply invented it. Perhaps Coe made the remarks 'off the record' and trusted the journalists to keep schtum.
What is perhaps most surprising is that this story has not made the TV media AT ALL.
The whole issue has been blacked out despite the story appearing in both The London Paper and The Metro. Obviously if it turns out that the journalists concerned have made up the story then Coe will escape censure however an urgent investigation needs to happen immediately because if true it is clear that his position is completely untenable.
The Scottish and Welsh national football teams are functionally independent. Since both are completely opposed to a British team neither the English FA nor the British Government can force through a British Olympic Football Team under those circumstances. To do so could seriously compromise future Scottish and Welsh involvement in The World Cup and European Championships. (Is this actually the game plan of 'the Anti-Scot' Gordon Brown?).
Lord Sebastian Coe seems to think that not only can a team GB be forced through against our own FA's express wishes but that he can insult Scotland and Wales with impunity. Clearly his alleged remarks have been blacked out of the British media altogether which suggests that the powers that be believe this story is just too embarassing to break.
Luckily the power of the internet is such nowadays that this won't work. Personally I believe that Coe has reacted as reported. No doubt he didn't mean his remarks to be widely circulated as it would inevitably mean his job however the almost imperialist attitude that Scotland and Wales simply DO NOT COUNT are the political consequence of joining in an unequal union with a country that in our case is eleven times larger and in Wales case 20 times.