It can be seen that these are conflicting positions: either we are impoverished by the Union or we are so well off we can leave tomorrow morning at 8 o'clock with no adverse impact.
It's also notable that, in discussion with Nats you get lots of opinion but not a lot of fact. Emotion is never in short supply but argument and reason and logic are. And you find that the Nationalist appetite for debate fades the more hard facts impinges on the debate.
There is another, extremely popular, Nat position which is designed to remove facts from the discussion altogether: "I refuse to explain, I don't need to and I will not indulge in any discussion, so there!".
Today, on this thread, I got an almost perfect paradigm of that aspect of the Nationalist mentality.
It was from someone calling themselves jarfun and it is a classic of its kind;
"I support Independence although I perhaps would not vote SNP in an Independent Scotland. I support the SNP at the moment because they are the main party proposing Independence.The preamble is common; I vote SNP but I'm not a Nationalist. I'm a Nationalist because everyone else has let me down. Already you can sense the illogic of the position, in fact the first three sentences are by way of being a preemptive defence against the charge of weakness they see coming. Anyone who has really lived through the last fifty years has seen many changes and improvements in British life. No doubt there have been disappointments, but since our Nationalist friends won't tell us what they think they are it's difficult to quantify the impact of these "disappointments". I have certainly seen great changes and many improvements in my life and that of my children. What is unarguable is that both improvements and "disappointments" have been equally and randomly distributed across the UK and are not the result of any malevolence against any country or region. But since these nameless "disappointments" are never detailed, it is not easy to refute them.
I support Independence mainly because I have lived through the last fifty years of rule from London,both tory and labour and I feel,honestly that Scotland has been let down by both of them.
I have no desire to list the reasons i have for feeling this way as if you think Scotland has had a fair deal from what has happened over that period then we should just agree to disagree.
It seems to me that doing the same thing and expecting a different result seems kinda silly (as a very clever man once said)
There just comes a time when you have to grow up leave the nest and take your own decisions and ,yes,make your own mistakes and make the best job you can with what you have. Alternatively you could just stay 'safe' with mummy and daddy and not realise what it is to be a grown up person taking charge of your own future.
Don't be afraid 'BRAVEHEART'"
One conclusion is that leaps from this approach is that the "disappointments" are internal, they are failings of the individual and that feeling of inadequacy is assuaged and targeted against the "them" that stop us from achieving whatever it is we failed to achieve in life. Better to blame "the English" than blame ourselves.
In the next section jarfun get the heart of how so many Nationalists address (or refuse to address) the constitutional question: "I have no desire to list the reasons i have for feeling this way as if you think Scotland has had a fair deal from what has happened over that period then we should just agree to disagree".
Vote for me, I have no desire to list
the reasons for asking for your vote.
This is known as the Monty Python and the Holy Grail argument; when faced with an argument you can't defeat issue the order.... "Run away! Run away!"
The implication is that us Nats, we're too lofty to indulge in mere explanation. We believe in "independence" and that's that. Why should we try to persuade the Scottish people? Who do they think they are to demand explanations? "independence" will solve all our problems and if you don't believe it, we don't care. Look at them with all their questions and concerns. Well, I know the answers they want, but I'm blowed if I'm going to waste my breath actually telling them why I think what I think...
Actually it's an admission that they have no defensible position. At least not any position based on reason and logic. Facts, who needs 'em? says jarfun. I'm convinced and that's good enough for me. I want to get involved in your argument (otherwise why post here), but not to the extent of actually saying anything meaningful. I'm above that (actually, that's beyond me).
Having based their position on illogic and evasion, the next step is to add a veneer of intellectual respectability.... "..It seems to me that doing the same thing and expecting a different result seems kinda silly (as a very clever man once said)"
Einstein did say such a thing (in many powerpoint presentations). But to call the scientific method in justification of "I have no desire to list the reasons i have for feeling this way" is a grotesque distortion and misunderstanding of the meaning of that method. Einstein, and indeed any scientist, would laugh out of court a petitioner who said ""I have no desire to list the reasons i have for believing that Gravity acts in this way or light does this or that in such and such a situation". In scientific terms it's a pathetic avoidance and a refusal to face the problem. Just as it is a pathetic avoidance in political terms when our Nationalist brethren claim "I have no desire to list the reasons i have for feeling this way" It's too tempting to conclude that you have no desire to list the reasons because you have no reasons to list.
The rest is just rhetoric. Of course adults leave the nest. Adults also take responsibility for their actions and beliefs. No self respecting adult would say, apropos an important political and constitutional question, "I have no desire to list the reasons i have for feeling this way as if you think Scotland has had a fair deal from what has happened over that period then we should just agree to disagree".
That sort of avoiding the conflict is the very essence of adolescent barrack-room-lawyer-speak. Ha! Those adults, they think they're smart but little do they realise that they're up against the greatest intellect that ever failed an o-level. They think they can beat me but I'll just give them my enigmatic stare. That'll bamboozle them, and I'll follow it up with my unanswerable broadside...."I have no desire to list the reasons nananananana, see!". Retires to bedroom to play high intellect computer games.
It's interesting that this version of the higher inarticulacy is so widespread in Nationalist circles. It's more interesting that even the most prominent Nationalists, from Alex Salmond down, have no real factual argument in favour of "independence" that they deploy in any public forum that I have seen or heard.