I don’t care! I am aware that GERS is, as whole, is “crap”. I recognise that some bits of it can be of of some use in some circumstances and with the necessary caveats appended. But, as a whole, GERS adds little of value to an economic debate which itself is only tangentially and tenuously related to what is essentially a constitutional issue.
If there was any rational reason to suppose that independence would be economically detrimental to Scotland on anything like the scale that British nationalists constantly seek to imply, then there might be some cause for hesitation. But, hard as they try, the British state has never made anything even remotely approaching a convincing case to support its scaremongering prognostications.
GERS most certainly doesn’t do the job it was intended to do. Nobody can sensibly claim that it isn’t seriously flawed as a piece of economic analysis. It is far less than would qualify it as a consideration when making a decision on the constitutional question. A matter of such fundamental democratic importance places huge demands on the quality of the evidence which is taken into account. GERS just doesn’t make the grade.
That’s why I don’t care about GERS. That’s why I don’t care about any of the economic arguments. They are irrelevant. A nation is more than a spreadsheet. You can’t answer a constitutional question with a calculator.
But even if you insist on shoehorning GERS into the constitutional debate, you cannot get past the issue of standard of proof. If Scotland is to be denied its independence, then there better be a bloody good reason. What was all but totally absent from the first independence referendum was any meaningful discussion of why Scotland should be the exception among all the independent nations of the world. Nobody on the British nationalist side of the debate was prepared to try and explain what it was about this political union that made it worth the sacrifice of Scotland’s rightful constitutional status.
Nobody on the British nationalist side was willing to address the question of why it was better that crucial decisions about public policy in Scotland should be made by a Westminster elite that was rejected by the people of Scotland rather than the Parliament and government that was elected by the people of Scotland.
In the absence of any absolute proof that independence would be the unprecedented catastrophe portrayed by the British state’s propaganda machine,independence remains as the default position. The onus is on Unionists to make the case for their Union. It’s time to demand that they stop propagandising against independence and start answering the hard questions about their preferred arrangement.
GERS is no answer at all. and even if it was some kind of answer, it would be addressing the wrong question. Flawed speculation about the economic cost of independence cannot possibly tip the scales against the known costs to Scotland of the Union. Costs which are counted in more than mere money.
I don’t care about GERS. I care about democracy and constitutional justice.
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