Opinions will only get you so far. In any debate, both parties can shout “I believe…” until blue in the face, and no one will emerge any the wiser. In a debate as important as the rebirth of a nation, this is more true than ever.
With this in mind, the Wee Red Squirrel will be hoarding as many documents, reports and fact-sheets as possible. From the infamous McCrone report to the lesser-known revenue and expenditure figures, this page will over time become the best resource on the internet for helping frame the independence debate.
The truth will set us free. But it may make us very angry first.
The McCrone Report
The McCrone Report, since its declassification in 2005, has become something of a favourite of the nationalist movement. Upon reading the report, it is easy to see why. It tells a damning tale of deception and secrecy, with Westminster burying the true value of Scotland’s natural resources and telling the Scots ever since that we’d be too poor to make it on our own.
A detailed analysis of the report can be found on the blog of Hazel Lewry, AKA Weegiewarbler.
For HMRC’s own figures on how much money Scotland’s oil contributes to the treasury, the full breakdown since 1968 can be found here.
A concise version of the report, for printing and widespread dissemination, has been created and can be found here – McCrone (Concise).
The Maritime Boundary
One the same subject, the maritime boundary between Scotland and England, of critical importance if oil is shared geographically post-independence, was controversially changed in 1999. The new boundary extends as high as Carnoustie, gifting England an extra 6,000 square miles of sea, including five major oil fields.
The legislation which moved the boundary can be found here.
Analysis of the change, along with a map, can be found at Craig Murray’s website.
The GERS figures
Published annually, the Government Expenditure & Revenue (Scotland) report is the most detailed survey available of Scotland’s finances.
The latest figures, for 2010/11, are available here, and show that Scotland’s deficit is a considerably lower proportion of GDP than the UK as a whole.
Further analysis can be found here.
Freedom of Information Denied
An intriguing controversy surrounds the refusal of Westminster to release the cabinet papers regarding the devolution negotiations in the late 1990s. Such denials are extremely rare, and have led to speculation that Scotland was not simply granted its own parliament out of the goodness of Labour’s heart.
Of course, the very nature of a FOI denial will set conspiracy theorists off. As we have seen from the McCrone report above, Westminster has previous form in the sinister duplicity department.
More sources will follow as time passes. Any requests for sources for inclusion can be left in the comments, or directed via Twitter to @weeredsquirrel.