The Ghost of Too Wee, Too Poor, Too Stupid

“Too wee, too poor, too stupid”. This was the former staple diet of unionist propaganda in the old days, when the independence debate was composed of much simpler fare. Then there was no need for the scare story. We were simply subsidised Scotland, surviving off scraps from the ruins of our former industrial decline. “What would we do without the generous largesse of the UK state?” was enough to confirm our diminished status and spike any ambition to run our own affairs.

“Too wee, poor and stupid (too wp&s)” was the orthodoxy until it became apparent we contributed more to the UK state than we received. “Scotching the myth”, well, scotched it, and now only the Westminster Tories and sections of the metropolitan press still ramble on about a subsidised Scotland

No unionist involved in the referendum debate would now say directly that we are “too wp&s”. Even they know that to insult the very people they’re trying to recruit is simply not good campaigning tactics. So now “too wp&s” is simply hinted at. It’s disguised in all the uncertainty they’re trying to present in their doom-laden version of an independent Scotland. “Yes” they say, “Scotland could be a successful independent nation,” then in the next breath we get the multitude of reasons why the Scots, uniquely, wouldn’t make a success of independence.

Even our inbuilt advantages have to be a negative. We are, in fact “burdened” with our oil resource and when it runs out, the ghost of “too wp&s” returns to suggest we aren’t creative enough to prepare for this and ensure our future prosperity.

The narrative of a “separate” Scotland is the theme that is being compiled and a lot of thinking is invested in delivering this crushing vision. They have to convince the Scottish people that we will be bereft of, and incapable of creating, the infrastructure of state. Currency, partnerships, defence and even culture are all under threat. This vision of the “separate” Scotland is being carefully constructed and the impression they are trying to create is one word – unviable.

“Too wp&s”, therefore, underpins this “separation” and “unviability”. Of course we’re not “too wee”, but according to Michael Moore, we would be in a diminished state and a “bit player” in the world. We’re not “too poor”, but even with our fantastic oil resource we’re still going to be impoverished without the UK to manage our affairs. We’re not “too stupid”, but uniquely we don’t have the wit to effectively defend ourselves and make a success of our independence.

We cannot let the unionists suggest that we could not be a success as an independent Scotland. It is independence that believes in Scotland, and the people who live and work here. It is the unionists who continue to imply that we’re still too wee, too poor and too stupid with every bit of their narrative of a “separate” Scotland.


This is an article Pete wrote for the Scots Independent Newspaper

10 thoughts on “The Ghost of Too Wee, Too Poor, Too Stupid

  1. Pingback: The Ghost of Too Wee, Too Poor, Too Stupid | Referendum 2014 |

  2. Stevie

    Yes, and this is their campaign in exxence — hint at the incompetent nature of the Scottish electorate, tell them they are so lucky to be run from afar.

    1. Donald

      Can I ask a question? Which Unionist politician at any time ever said we were ‘too wee, too poor, too stupid’ to run ourselves? Think it’s important to have a source for this article to have any degree of cogency or conviction. Otherwise, it’s based on a fiction and is utterly dishonest.

      1. raffles

        Yes indeed. Of course Wishart just made that up and is scaremongering. No politician would ever say such as thing in public.

      2. Donald

        It’s the worst kind of black propaganda. Invent a quotation. (In this case, the copyright belongs to that well-known cunning Uniionist, John Swinney.) After that, you use it in a great deal of your contributions to your debate, calling it a ‘Unionist mantra’. I can’t think of its equivalent in British political debate, but there are historic parallels.

        Josef Goebells?

        Dirty and dishonest tactics …

  3. Bob

    Great article. I can’t help thinking that Johann Lamonts “something for nothing” speech, (combined with the upcoming Cuts Comission spewing it’s inevitable and unrelenting negativity throughout 2014) is the very same ‘too wee, too small’ narrative only from a slightly different perpective. “If we can’t afford these things now, how will wee poor Scotland afford any of these things when it’s a seperate impoverished nation without the support of the UK?” It dovetails perfectly with their campaign of ‘uncertainty’ and allows them to attempt to undermine the benefits of devolution by suggesting that the policies supported by the Scottish Goverment are entirely unaffordable and unsustainable, either now in an independent country.

  4. John Mepham

    The great Cyprus bank robbery reminds us what could be in store for a separated Scotland that joins the EU and the Euro. Whereas Scotland has an honoured and respected place in the United Kingdom, Salmond will swap benign London government for Berlin and Brussels misrule and dictatorship….. The people who take money out of your account to pay for the mistakes caused by a single currency. Open a bank account in Carlisle? Might be a wise move.

      1. John Mepham

        Not a rant. A probability. Of course a separated Scotland would have to wait its turn to join the EU. Before that, despite years and years to think out the problem, the SNP does not know what its currency will be, should a majority vote for separation. Highly unlikely of course – The SNP is a failing brand., supported by the hard left nats who screamed their poison at Nigel Farage . I wonder how many votes that has lost the SNP?

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