We’re going to get used to living with Covid which can only mean one thing: #Indyref2. I’m excited and looking forward to this.
In this column and my next one, I will present two bold visions, one for an independent Scotland and one for remaining as part of a stronger Union. No one will be able to say I’m not even handed, but –assuming I make it to next month in one piece – I will be sure to have offended around 100% of the population.
Building and Making Scotland (BaMS). A bold vision for an independent Scotland should start with a strapline. This gives an opportunity for a range of smaller theme based White Papers such as Greener BaMS, Safer BaMS, Healthier, BaMS, Wealthier BaMS and Smarter BaMS.
Last time (in 2014) 45% of us voted for an independent Scotland but looking back now, the White Paper in 2014 didn’t propose much change. The paper relied on revenues from oil – which we are no longer wanting to license in Scotland – and we planned to be in the EU and retain the Pound. This time BaMS will be bolder, braver and present a different vision for the future.
We’ll be bolder and braver… and build a wall
Scotland will have a physical demonstration of our future and independence. We’ll build a wall, naturally it will be called the Freedom Wall. To ensure it is a wall suited for our future there will be studies undertaken by consultants to focus on historic walls and current walls thus ensuring we learn lessons on how to make a great wall. The scope of the study will include scope for a ‘floating wall’ which will also cross the sea from Ireland to Norway. The wall will obviously be quarried in Scotland and the floating element will play well into our maritime heritage. A bold statement I am sure you agree.
🤦🏼 Scotland hasn't voted Tory since 1955 – yet we keep getting Tory UK governments.
💷 From Brexit to the cost of living crisis, we all pay the price for their damaging policies that we never chose.
— Yes (@YesScot) January 24, 2022
Learning from some of the achievements of the last two years we will be able to drive change across the Healthier BaMS and Safer BaMS agendas. All Scots will be given a free wearable with an insert injected into our body. The Haggis watch will be a permanent feature on our body and this will deliver many benefits.
The watches will be made in Scotland and help to create a new Tech and Data industry cluster. The watches will of course link to your phone and be used for all purchases. An effective app should be ready by 2029.
Giving government chance to SNOOP
Even better the data will be owned and used by the Scottish National Observation Opportunity Project (SNOOP).
SNOOP will be able to help Scots by helping them make decisions that they might not be best placed to make. We have all learned governments know better what we should do than we do. For example, imagine a world where we can be helped to consume fewer sweet drinks, fatty foods or even get small reminders to be more active. Even more useful commercial partnerships will allow citizens who comply (sorry behave) to have cheaper insurances or other benefits from the Scottish Benefits Agency. A better world for sure.
So far the vision has been about making our country work better but we will all want to have fun and as a country we need to look outwards. As part of growing Scotland’s influence on the world we will buy Great Yarmouth and Blackpool from England.
To address the global clothing crisis we Scots will think differently, we will all wear the same. No matter who you are we will all have access to at least four pairs of underwear, trousers, T-shirts, jumpers, jackets and shoes. Naturally all of this clobber will be made in Scotland and not only be available to Scots but to diaspora and people all around the world. If you are Scottish the rest of the world will know it. We can be proud.
Just the start of a vision
So far the vision has been about making our country work better but we will all want to have fun and as a country we need to look outwards. As part of growing Scotland’s influence on the world we will buy Great Yarmouth and Blackpool from England. I’ve fond memories of summers in Yarmouth and from independence day onwards all Scots will holiday in either the European Vegas (Blackpool) or the Scottish Riviera (Yarmouth). This approach guarantees a market for these outposts generating local wealth and keeps the money in Scotland too. While not well trailed a third location will be bought in the South of France for our politicians and other important people to go to.
This is just the start of a vision but I must stop now before I am too persuasive.
Next month Better Together (Forever) present their case. As a teaser the Duke of Farage will be one of Westminster’s main offers to us! How exciting would that be?
James Bream is general manager of Aberdeen-based Katoni Engineering and chair of DYW North East