Tuesday, 26 September 2017

The Big Lie

I notice that the Darien Disaster has been rearing its head as a Uninionist justification as to why Scotland can not be trusted as an independent country in charge of its own economy. The truth is Darien as a project failed but mainly because the Spanish and English Establishments of the day did not want France gaining a foothold in Central America via a Scottish colony. Powerful financial interests put the squeeze on their respective governments in England and Spain as they saw a potential attack on their hegemonies, cartels and sole trader status. In simplistic terms you could ask just what has changed in the last three hundred odd years with respect to these two nations and Scotland and, having observed the hyperbole during the 2014 referendum, the answer is that London and Madrid remain in cahoots as far as Scotland is concerned; as do their vested interests.

Darien failed but it did not reduce Scotland to a fiscal basket case as Unionist history has long claimed as justification for the Union. In the period between Darien and the Treaty of Union the core players in Scotland's economy in the period, the Burghs and nascent middle class, recovered their losses quickly. Custom and excise returns for Edinburgh and Leith indicate an economy growing at around 4%. It appears the middling Scots in the Burgh's were not feeling the pinch nor were local artisans. A study of shipbuilding at Leith over the period showed yards working at capacity for both Edinburgh and Leith Burgess and the Scottish Navy, again hardly indicative of a country in economic collapse or with its banks in serious trouble. The same was true for all the East coast Burghs.

So just who was actually in financial trouble over Darien?

Surprise, suprise it was the 'Estaite o' the Lairds'. Many, in their greed, had mortgaged their estaites to the hilt to fund the Darien Company. As the Burghs recovered from the initial financial hit they started the process of calling the mortgages in the Scottish Courts. By 1700 a number of big Scottish land owners were on the edge of bankruptcy, if their mortgages were called in, and the legal pressure to settle was growing apace as the Burgh's middle classes wanted their money back. For England this would be a double whammy as many of the said Lords were willing to support the Hanoverian succession but without their lands, fues and rents would be in no position to ensure their 'people' towed the Hanoverian line. At the same time the English Government of the day were paying out large bribes to Scotland's Jacobean lords to keep them sweet on the Hanoverian deal, at a cost of £1 million pounds sterling a year to the English Treasury in the 1700's. Daniel Defoe's role in this was to ensure the Treasury money got to the right (wrong) people.

So we have a situation where the Scottish Lords, the English Parliament would rely on to ensure the Hanoverian succession are on their uppers, while the assumed Jacobean opposition Lords were doing very well, thank you very much. A change in Government in England saw a change in approach and a Treaty of Union which had been opposed at every turn in the English Parliament up until the early 1700's suddenly became vital to English interests. The position was made clear to the the Scottish Hanoverian Laird's, deliver the Union Treaty and your debts will be paid off, the rest is history.

"Bought and sold for English gold"

Nothing much has changed since, if you want to understand the Unionist opposition - just follow the money. Money has always been far more important to Unionists than Scotland's best interests, from day one. As for Scotland's economic collapse, that happened as an outcome of the Union Treaty with France blocking Scottish merchants from the Baltic states and the Low Countries while England blocked trade from Scotland with their colonies, By the mid 1700's Scotland's main export was its people, immigration forced through by the clearing of land and grinding poverty in the Burghs. Scotland's economy has never regained the levels of growth it saw prior to the Union Treaty, not so much by default than by deliberate Westminster fiscal policy. Keeping Scotland, Wales and Ireland poor was vital to the colonial ambitions of the fundamentally English Parliament at Westminster and its financial backers, just as it will be vital to any recovery in a post Brexit UK. The poverty of 'austerity' is part and parcel of this current Brexit process along with scapegoating of those who do not have a voice or are 'foreign' (which includes all Scots who are not with the current 'North Britain' scheme) via the UK media.

If you understand the historic parrallels between what happened in the 1700's in Scotland and now. The question remains; do you want to keep playing this game with Scotland always on the hind teat or not?


  1. Very good historical summary and insightful linking to the present day. The difficulty we face is overcoming the wilful ignorance and disbelief of the Scotbrits, who react very badly to having their world view challenged, and even when the facts are incontrovertible will put their fingers in their ears, squeal "Not true!" and sing God save the Queen.
    They prefer to believe their country is a basket case kept afloat by English subsidy. It seems to me that they actually despise Scotland. See today's ludicrous Herald stuff about how an independent Scotland would have been another Greece, where they quote an arch unionist no campaigner as an independent expert. Sometimes I despair.

  2. Ok, just testing, as hav been unable to post comments on new blog.

  3. Excellent. I knew that Darien had left some people in debt, which led to the rogues signing of the union treaty, but just who was in debt, and what it meant, amazing to have this revelation. Scheming, lying, greedy, troughing gits have shafted Scotland for so long and still get away with it today. Jeezm wake up all people of Scotland, because if you do not, the britnats really will crucify the country, the SNP and the people of Scotland.

    Added with what is happening to Catalonia, though a different constitutional to our so called union, it is a concern that the bullies with their pals in dodgy parts of the world, would indeed do anything to suppress democracy if it gets in the way of their power, money and what they see as their right to control Scotland.

    Hopefully I have managed to fix my comments id now, it took a while. Anyone sriggling, you have to input all of your previous log in details!

  4. Struggling, no idea what sriggling is lol!