‘It’s Scotland’s Oil’ was a political slogan that promised much and delivered little back in the 70s. Like a dry seabed, constant drilling of this message into the Scottish population yielded scant returns for yesteryear’s SNP.

There could be any number of reasons for this but my own view is that Scots don’t like to be seen to be too greedy, irrespective of how rightful a claim either legally or morally they may have over the UK’s particular spoils or how desperate their situation may be.

Today, we are still in the grip of an economic crisis but the regularly heralded ‘mansion tax’ continues to hold sway with the Scottish population for much the same reasons as to why ‘It’s Scotland’s Oil’ failed to hit home. Similarly, ‘Tax the rich’ has been a Socialist slogan for decades but it has yielded precious few political returns as a result. Even the poorest of Scots don’t want to be a burden, even to the wealthiest of our fellow citizens. That’s noble, but it’s not going to right our country’s many wrongs any time soon.

It seems clear that Robin Hood or even generally redistributive taxes don’t have the power over the working classes that they could, and do in other countries. This may explain why Scotland on Sunday’s Kenny Farquharson was having a rare time teasing SNP activists into coming up with any genuinely redistributive policies that the SNP Government had put forward since 2007. (Tesco Tax and the minimum wage were the only two that I could think of). Indeed, the one party that had a pointedly redistributive manifesto at the 2011 Holyrood election was the Greens and they were unable to withstand the Nationalist landslide, save for a lowly two MSPs.

This is problematic for Yes Scotland for two reasons, and particularly for those arguing passionately that an independent Scotland would be a fairer, more socially democratic, more Scandinavian type of place to live.

(1) there is little evidence that they can point to in the recent past of concrete steps that have been taken to close the inequality gap here in Scotland. Holyrood’s powers may be limited, but it’s easy to get the impression that Scotland would be ‘business as usual’ either side of a referendum victory in the absence of radical change to point to

(2) the lofty promises of a future better nation post-referendum (which I fully buy into) are not being heeded by those who would arguably benefit the most, seemingly due to a resistance to take the power, the resources and the money that could transfom inequality and truly tackle poverty. The stirring, desperate call for a mansion tax are not emanating from deepest, darkest Glasgow and the Cs and Ds certainly continue to turn their noses up at the option of independence.

Thankfully, there is another way to go, and it involves ignoring the Scottish carrot and reacting to the UK stick. Using Westminster decisions that are incongruent with an independent Scotland against them could turn opinion more quickly and more significantly than hazy and seemingly unseemly plans to soak the upper classes. After all, the three biggest protests north of the border have revolved around the poll tax, the Iraq War and Trident, all Westminster policies, all deeply unpopular in Scotland.

This is where the bedroom tax comes in, the badly thought through punishment of those who are struggling the most across the UK in order to save a mere £500m. The Scottish Government is against it, the Scottish people are against it and 82% of Scottish MPs are against it. It is precisely the type of misstep that a Tory-led Government can make that might light the Saltire blue touch paper this side of the referendum.

Scotland’s many have-nots weren’t moved by the promise of riches from North Sea oil, and they won’t be again. They were however moved by a poll tax that directed unfairness at the very heart of Scotland’s weakest.

My main concern is whether enough Scots will be bothered. A UK poll at the weekend contained a hidden warning for Yes Scotland in the regional breakdown. Despite 6% of Scots believing that David Cameron was doing “very well” as PM and only 2% believing Ed Miliband was doing very well as Opposition leader, the region that had the most Don’t Knows in question after question from the EU through horsemeat scandal to the welfare state was Scotland, often by quite a margin.

If Don’t Knows can be read across as Don’t Cares, I don’t see how Scotland will be roused into taking or objecting to anything over the next couple of years, at precisely the time when there is the most to gain if they do so.