This book tells only a fraction of the story of what happened after Scotland voted No. It hasn’t touched on “English Votes For English Laws”, for example, a change which has resulted in Scottish (and Welsh and Northern Irish) MPs being reduced to second-class participants in UK democracy with less power than English MPs.
It hasn’t mentioned that voting No ensured that for the next several decades, Scotland will be forced to spend hundreds of millions of pounds a year on a nuclear weapons system that’s likely to be rendered useless by undersea drones before it even enters service.
It hasn’t covered the fact that the Scottish budget has already suffered cuts to welfare and public services in order to pay for the UK bombing Syria for reasons nobody can quite explain, or that the order of 13 Type 23 frigates for the Royal Navy solemnly promised to the Clyde shipyards is now shrouded in doubt.
And it hasn’t touched on the ongoing destruction of the NHS in England, which will have catastrophic consequences on the funding of the Scottish one.
But it does outline how Scotland will for the forseeable future live under Conservative governments imposed on it despite being overwhelmingly rejected by Scottish voters.
It notes how devolution proposals described by Gordon Brown as a “modern form of home rule” have actually delivered a meagre clutch of powers which independent analysts say are useless for bringing about real change.
It records that the No camp’s assurance that a vote for the “broad shoulders” of the Union would protect Scottish jobs in the oil industry, the steel industry, the renewable-energy industry, the civil service and more was a lie. Thousands of those jobs have been lost as the UK government stood by and did nothing.
It observes that the pensions the No campaign warned were only safe in the UK are in fact being shredded by the Westminster government, to the point that the state pension will in effect have been abolished for all but the richest (who live the longest) by 2040.
It points out that the only threat to Scotland’s place in the European Union has come from a No vote, exactly as the Yes campaign said it would.
It shows how even a seemingly-disastrous collapse in the price of oil (which wasn’t predicted by EITHER side) actually made hardly any difference to the Scottish economy, reducing revenues by just 1% while actually making most families significantly better off.
And it illustrates that almost all of the dire, apocalyptic threats of the No campaign have either proven to be false, or happened anyway with Scotland still in the UK.
The case for Scottish independence is as strong as ever. And what we’ve shown you in this book is that the last time the debate was held, almost everything the Unionist side said subsequently turned out to be a lie.
In the future, that might be a useful thing to remember.