by Rab Bruce’s Spider

With the Growth Commission Report about to be published, I’m sure we all know what to expect. Our televisions, radios, newspapers and social media feeds will be full of people desperate to tell us how wrong it is and, even if it were correct, why Scotland would still be better off as part of the UK.

I suspect the attacks will concentrate on a couple of areas. The obvious one is the currency. It is widely expected that the report will recommend a separate Scottish currency. This is eminently sensible and most Yessers understand the need for this approach. With full control of our monetary system and a Central Bank to control the money supply, we gain considerably more independence than we would if we clung to a currency union with the rest of the UK.

Naturally, though, any change will be pounced upon in order to frighten people who don’t like change. Issues over cross-border trade will be highlighted, although I doubt whether any of the people making these claims will admit that there has been cross-border trade and currency usage in Ireland for many years, and it has been managed perfectly well by the citizens of both Northern Ireland and the Republic.

The other thing they won’t mention is the disastrous change promised by Brexit which they have been trying to normalise. A change of currency will be demonised , while the gradual change of Brexit will be glossed over.

But a currency change is not a disaster. Much of Europe changed overnight to using the Euro, and the UK itself changed to a decimalised currency from the old Pounds, Shillings and Pence in the 1970s. The change went so smoothly that everyone was used to it within a couple of days. This is because these changes were planned in great detail, and information was provided to everyone well in advance. Not that this will stop Project Fear trying to scare people, but we need to be ready with the counter-arguments.

The other aspect I suspect we will see highlighted is the claim that Scotland can have a successful small economy, with the emphasis on “small". We know that any list of the best-performing world economies is dominated by small countries, and we know that Scotland has more natural resources than the majority of those countries, yet it is part of the UK psyche to dismiss small countries. The UK, once master of a world-dominating Empire, still thinks in terms of global power. The fact that the UK economy is suffering under the pressure of Brexit and performing less well than almost every other European country does not matter as long as the UK is seen to be a major player. For that reason, I expect the MSM to keep putting the emphasis on “Small" when discussing Scotland’s possible future. What they will try to do is equate large economies with healthy economies, although the two do not necessarily go hand in hand. Also, we should not forget that there are social issues at stake as well as economic ones. The question as to what sort of Scotland we want to live in is just as important as the issue of the economy.

So remember, small is beautiful. We have no desire to dominate the world, only to play our part. We want a thriving economy where poverty can be tackled, where money is not wasted on vanity projects and where tax evasion and money laundering are not condoned. In essence, all we want is to be a normal country, taking control of our own affairs. That is anathema to the UK mind-set, so expect some fireworks over the course of the next few days.