Too many Scots don't have a scooby about the true facts

EXACTLY seven months from today, Scotland will vote Yes or No to ­independence.

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The issue of keeping the pound has sparked a major debate
The issue of keeping the pound has sparked a major debate

September 18 heralds the most historic referendum our great wee nation has ever seen.

So what does it say about our readiness for such a momentous event when more than 50% of voters think the Scottish Parliament is run by David Cameron?

A significant number of our fellow-citizens haven't a scooby which powers are already devolved from Westminster to Alex Salmond's Holyrood government.

66% of Scots don't know their own MSPs are responsible for all our transport matters.

65% think George Osborne's unstinting generosity finances our free care for the elderly.

53% believe the privatising Tories administer our public healthcare.

50% have no clue who controls their kids' education.

Those 50%, from a poll commissioned by millionaire philanthropist Sir Tom Hunter, could decide Scotland's future. Should we not be concerned at their ignorance?

Or is it merely a reflection of the political apathy that has gripped much of Britain north of Watford since long before incompetent government allowed city greed to plunge us into crippling austerity?

Hunter's poll of 1054 people also debunked Bitter Together scaremongering, and their most recent red herrings about currency and EU membership.

How we vote will be influenced first by the economy and employment, tied each with 15% in Hunter's poll, followed by healthcare (11%), pensions/benefits (8%), education (8%) and personal finances (6%).

The EU and currency ranked even below immigration — and not one person mentioned Trident.

It doesn't matter if Salmond wants to join the EU or keep the pound or evict those subs. This is not a vote for him or his policies. It's a vote for Scottish independence. It's a choice between being governed from Edinburgh or London.

All the Holyrood parties — not just the SNP — will have 18 months to state their case before the first Scottish general election in 2016.

Scotland has always held to a British tradition of social justice, which was systematically wrecked by Thatcher, Blair and now Cameron.

A Yes vote may be a route for Scottish Labour — yes, and even the endangered Scottish Conservatives — to reclaim those principles and offer a credible alternative to the SNP.

And while Scots MPs at Westminster may currently portray their home nation as a basket case, believe me, when Parliament kicks them out you'll witness a mass epiphany to promote themselves as the natural leaders of an independent Scotland.

The unholy alliance of George Osborne, Ed Balls and Danny Alexander are warning Scots (can these jokers do nothing else?) that if we vote Yes we can kiss goodbye to the City of London-controlled pound. Well, the Irish managed it fine.

Salmond is calling their bluff, knowing England would suffer massively in any acrimonious divorce from their largest trading partner after the USA, especially if they expect us to share the UK's £1.2trillion debt but not the Bank of England's assets.

An independent Scotland's currency options are all doomed (according to Better Together and the pro-union media) or doable (according to the Yes campaign).

We can retain sterling in some form — but would it be real independence with the Bank of England setting interest rates?

We can join the euro. On second thoughts, you keep it, Senor Barroso. I'd rather join the other pale-faced gingers in a Nordic Alliance.

We can issue a new Scottish currency, which could see Scotland finally becoming globally competitive outwith London-centric control.

Alexander says SNP pound-sharing claims "are pure fiction". Sam Bowman, research director at the non-partisan Adam Smith Institute, says the English could do little to stop us using the pound.

He says: "Panama, Ecuador and El Salvador use the US dollar without 'permission' and the Atlanta Federal Reserve say they have far more prudent and stable financial systems than if they were in a formal currency union.

"An independent Scotland using the pound without permission would probably have a more stable financial system and economy than England.

"What the PM really means is that the Bank of England would not act as a guarantor for Scottish banks or the Scottish government.

"Lucky Scotland. The implied promise of a bailout from the European Central Bank is exactly what allowed Eurozone banks and governments to borrow cheaply and get themselves into a debt crisis."

Westminster's Three Stooges backed up their threats with the advice of Sir Nicholas Macpherson, the Treasury's top civil servant and yet another Old Etonian who knows what's best for us, yet he admitted that if Scotland committed to a long-term currency union his advice might be different.

More political tit-for-tat. The only certainty is that with seven months to go, way more than just 50% of voters remain ignorant of the true facts.

And before I go, isn't it truly remarkable how suddenly "money is no object" when it's Tory heartlands that are flooding?

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