Thursday, 14 March 2013

The Lion that's told it's a kitten

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” Attributed to Joseph Goebbles.

UK Defence Secretary Philip Hammond claims to believe that Scotland would be incapable of organising a military that can defend itself.  This isn’t a new approach as he has been talking down Scotland ever since he got the job.
The question we should ask is, is this really how Westminster views us?

“You need us, you need us, you need us…” – Better Together Defence Policy

The best way to answer this question is to look at their attitudes towards countries similar to Scotland.  At a Norwegian Army Conference in October last year, Lord Astor of Hever DL, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and the Lords Spokesman on Defence, had this to say...

"Allow me to stress in person, on behalf of the government of the United Kingdom, how highly we value the defence relationship between our two countries.  As an ex-Army officer myself, I am doubly delighted to be addressing a Norwegian Army audience."

He later added, "Norway is one of the United Kingdom's closest and most important partners."  As well as, "Your capabilities are world leading."

In 2009, in Copenhagen University, the then Defence Secretary John Hutton had this to say...

"One thread that weaves its way through all of these issues is the ever closer relationship between Britain and Denmark.  This relationship is built above all else on a firm foundation of shared values and outlooks."

He added: "...the bravery and professionalism of Danish soldiers has earned the profound respect and admiration of everyone at home.  The British Armed Fores feel proud to serve alongside you."

I wonder if Scotland is the only country a UK Defence Minister would mock during a visit.

You ain't so big!

There are plenty of other examples of how small independent nations can possess highly regarded military forces (including this report from NATO regarding Sweden  To suggest that Scotland is any different is simply lying. 
Independence means that we can make our own decisions regarding defence, from how much we spend, to what weapons we use, and well as the friends we work with.  Westminster wants us to believe we are a kitten that can't cope without them.  We know better.

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