Last year’s release of state papers from 1975 showed clear evidence of the Labour Government’s attempts to conceal the true scale of the benefits to Scotland of opting for independence. This year’s releases have continued the theme:
The remarkable advice from Denis Healey’s Treasury was that, on the economic argument with the SNP, the Labour government could not win and "the best that can be hoped for is a draw". (The Herald, spotted by the CEP)
This is surely a blow to credibility of those making the same economic argument against independence today. Even if the oil equation has changed, its still hardly a negligible factor.
The opponents of independence effectively conned the Scottish people thirty years ago, with the ultimate effect that they endured 18 years of Tory rule, instead of becoming the strongest economy in Europe as the Treasury had secretly predicted.
What can Labour say about this at Holyrood elections in May: It’s too late now, we’re telling the truth this time. Neither argument sounds particularly convincing.