Scotland will get £172m to buy embassies

British Embassy
Originally uploaded by The Shifted Librarian

I just noticed that in 2010, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office‘s global estate (i.e., embassies, consulates, etc.) was worth £2,042,480,000.

That’s a lot of real estate!

Scotland makes up about 8.4% of the UK’s population, and this is normally the basis for splitting up countries.

This means that Scotland will be entitled to global estate worth £171,568,320 after a Yes to independence.

This amount is of course subject to negotiation, and Scotland will probably be given a mix of buildings and money, rather than just a lump sum.

However, it does demonstrate that any fears that Scotland might not be able to afford embassies are completely unfounded.

What is Better Together?

The No Campaign was launched recently, and as expected they chose the name Better Together. (By the way, do have a look at Wings over Scotland’s fisking of their campaign video!)

The name Better Together is obviously supposed to signal that things are done better together with England (the alternative reading, namely that things are done better with the Tories, is probably not as likely).

However, most of the things Scots like best are already separate: The football team, the NHS (in spite of the name the Scottish NHS and the English NHS are completely separate entities), the schools and universities, and many more.

The BBC and the army are shared, but BBC Scotland of course produces a lot of devolved TV, and I often sense that people’s attachment to the army is limited to the Scottish units, such as the Black Watch.

The shared institutions without a devolved element don’t seem to be much loved. I definitely didn’t see a lot of Better Together-ness in connexion with the Iraq war, nor do people seem to be singing Better Together songs outside Coulport (where the UK’s atomic bombs are stored).

So does anybody in Scotland really believe that things are better when done together with England?