This week the McCrone report has come to prominent news after being printed in full by The Scottish National Newspaper
‘Hushing Up’ of The McCrone Report Raises Fundamental Issues about Westminster Government in Relation to Scotland
The report was commissioned by The British Government in 1974 but it was ‘hushed up’ and unreleased in the public domain for around 30 years by successive Conservative and Labour Governments in the ‘national interest’ and because of its undoubted effect it could have on the validity of an independent Scottish economy.
This is short commentary piece on the Report by Solon Scotland (Scottish Politics News Commentator)
“The ‘hushing up’ of the McCrone Report by both Labour & Conservative Governments for around 30 years throws up fundamental questions about the very nature of Westminster Government in relation to every person in Scotland.” (Solon Scotland)
Placing aside the economic assessments in the McCrone Report (most of which profoundly boosted the valididity of a successful Scottish economy in the event of Independence) one of the most striking aspects of the report is that it was never made public and has never even now been afforded common knowledge amongst most people in Scotland – that raises fundamental questions about the nature of UK Government and Civil Service in relation to Scotland.
The report was never released in any public form because it would have been ‘bad good news’ for the United Kingdom union and economic/political structure, and ‘too good’ for the case supporting an independent Scotland. That is ultimately shocking..but not in any measure unsurprising?
Scotland in the 1970s and even into the 1980s had high levels of deprivation and poverty particularly in inner city areas like Glasgow where the highest concentration of population could be found. The British economy was also suffering as traditional industries such as mining, shipbuilding and steelworks suffered job losses due to wordwide competition and arguable lack of investment by successive British Governments in favour of cheaper overseas supplies. At the same time conflict between unions and Government was at a highpoint to try and save these industries and jobs. The ‘stand off’ between unions and goverment in the 1970s Heath/Callaghan Labout Govts and then Margaret Thatchers’ Conservative Governments (from 1979) was one of the pre-eminent political focal points for almost two decades.
The very same era that saw the dismantling of uk manufacturing industry along with high levels of unemployment and uk social & economic inequality, arose at the very same time almost as the McCrone Report highlighted that the wealth from the North Sea was in essense potentailly ‘GARGANTUAN’!
That information simply could not be released in general public news since, a Scotland which voted consistantly for the socialist Labour party would have been outraged. Why would some of the money not have been used for the betterment of Scotland? …Why would it not have been used to invest in some of the traditional industries suffering, and which resulted in massive amounts of workers being laid off UK wide and heading Britian towards record unemployment levels?
Labour and Conservative governments both seem to have been complicit in ‘burying or hushing up the report’ until it was released under freedom of information around 30 years later?
It seems incredible that in the first instance the report would have been hushed up by a Labour Government because essentially the UK union and economy was more important than letting Scottish voters know about the positive economics of the report. Scotland was an absolute bastion of Labour support in the 1970s and 80s yet that was taken for granted and indeed subverted in favour of the overall uk union?
This raises fundemental questions for every single person in Scotland irrespective of party allegiance and opinion on independence. The allegation and one rightly promoted is that the facts will be hidden by inner British Government if it conflicts with the promoting the UK Union or effects the uk economy. If the economy or social circumstances of one of the four composite nations of the uk union suffers but it is seen in the interests of the overall structure, then it must be followed that UK Goverment has a policy of seeing that as a justified consequence of continuing to uphold the union?
That essentially means that whether you are Conservative, Labour, SNP, Green or Lib Dem in Scotland your economic and social needs are secondary and even if their is potential for say Scotland to benefit from a prticular plan, then it may be ‘shafted’ as they say, because that would affect the overall power structure!
A secondary point also here is that there would undoubtedly be many many socialist Labour supporting Scots in the 1970s and 80s who would have wanted some action in relation to this report in the 1970’s and 80s (even if it wasnt for full scottish independence)…yet the Labour Party leadership decided that this was not in UK Labour and UK Union interest? ….that is shocking and many will argue is a symptom of why Labour now finds itself as runner up in Scotlands Political map?
A new generation has grown up in Scotland since the 1990s who do not simply follow the automatic previous Labour/Socialism model, and a large section of the previous generation to that one have now lost all support for the Westminster establishment and they will never return to it. The only question is whether these two groups will continue to rule the Scottish Political landscape in its present form or will they be joined by even a significany minority of 2014 no voters to put Scotland first irrespective of party allegiance?
Background & Links:
“The McCrone report is a document on the Scottish economy written and researched in 1974 on behalf of the British Government. It was composed by Professor Gavin McCrone employed at the Scottish Office. The document gave a highly favourable projection for the economy of an independent Scotland with a “chronic surplus to a quite embarrassing degree and its currency would become the hardest in Europe”. This led successive iterations of the British government to classify the McCrone report as “secret”. This was so to avoid fuelling independence sentiment in Scotland. The report became public in 2005 when new freedom of information legislation came into effect.”
Introduction from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McCrone_report
Read the full Report on our website: http://scottishpoliticsnews.org/2019/02/27/the-mccrone-report/
Although the report was commissioned in 1974 it allegedly only came to public knowldge in 2005 when the SNP obtained several UK Government papers under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The full provisions of the Act came into force on 1 January 2005.