I was online checking for stories about the possible disbandment of one of the battalions of the Royal Regiment of Scotland and the fate of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, who are also facing the chop in the next round of ill-advised defence cuts. Anyway, one of the arguments for axing one of the Highland battalions is poor recruiting numbers in Scotland. But some of the stories I found state that the regiment has actually been beating its recruitment targets in recent years by something like 10%. I don’t know who to believe. I know the British Government tells lies. It lied in the 1970s about estimated oil reserves in the North Sea. If the true figure had come out, the Scots might have decided independence was financially viable. A look at prosperous Norway demonstrates that. The Norwegians have invested their oil royalties well. The London Government has not. And on top of that it has sold-out the Scottish fishing industry and who knows what else to its European Union “partners”. Whatever the United Kingdom got in exchange for selling-out Scottish fishermen, I have a feeling that the benefits of the deal were felt far south of the border. Which brings me to another set of interesting figures. The English media, which often claims to be “national” trots out on a daily basis some figures which purport to show that English tax-payers heavily subsidise the Scots. But there are also figures that calculate things differently and show that tax-payers living outside of London and the Home Counties actually subsidise those living in the already prosperous South-East of England. Once again, I don’t know who to believe. There are lies, damned lies and Government figures. What those figures state depends on what the Westminster government wants to do at the time they are released.
On a happier note, it’s been decided that the colours of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers should be laid up at the regimental museum in Berwick upon Tweed. This is not only a vote of confidence in the museum but also the successful campaign to bring the flags to Berwick is a clear demonstration that the Scots do care about their regiments. Let’s just hope the museum’s landlords at old barracks complex in Berwick, English Heritage, take note.