Please Don’t Go**

Revealing stuff about the Better Together currency mess. As expected the idea of an English veto via a UK referendum reared its head, not from the people as I thought, but from Alistair Darling in his latest desperate attempt to prevent his own countrymen getting full access to their currency.** (Look down to the bottom right of the page for the new Follow button. Press and sign up for automatic emails of each post – Ed)

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This looked like flailing around to rescue something from the debris of the sterling stance and within hours it was duly swatted aside by Downing Street as reported in the Financial Times which made clear this was not on anybody’s agenda. Poor Alistair. It looks like humiliation upon ignominy as the different factions jostle for position and undermine him. Not so much a lighthouse leader as a piece of wreckage being tossed about on the waves.

We are deeply into what I call They’ll-Say-Anything Territory as argument after argument crumbles. The only question appears to be: Will the roof fall in soon enough before September or will they scrape home with a pyrrhic win and a legacy of inter-party resentment? It looks like the blame game is already under way as the idea of a decisive, game-changing result that obliterates Salmond fades into memory. Remember, that was the original intent when the Unionists convened at Westminster to work out a way of dealing with the referendum. They weren’t interested in Scotland’s governance or democracy. They had the numbers on their side so they would use the referendum as a way of destroying the Nationalists for good. If they clubbed together, they had enough support to outweigh the Nats, to frighten the switherers and prepare the ground for Labour and the Lib Dems to reclaim Holyrood, sending Salmond out of the game for good. They even intervened to make sure there wasn’t a second question which would have echoed the majority feeling. I think Cressingham, the Earl of Surrey, had the same tactic before the Battle of Stirling Brig.

There can be no doubt now, whichever way the referendum goes, that Darling is the fall guy. He isn’t popular in Labour, is loathed by the Tories, and Unionists in general want to believe in him but privately accept he lacks the charm and charisma needed for a hearts and minds campaign.

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There is another problem here and it was articulated by Labour ex spin doctor Simon Pia on Scottish last night. He said Alistair gave the impression of knowing how the economy works from the inside whereas Salmond and Sturgeon just blustered about it. I think that’s the reason Darling has focussed so much on a technicality like currency in the mistaken belief it was a trump card. His mind is buried in the Treasury and, in his myopia, he imagines this obsesses normal people. To be fair, among the mortgaged middle he is probably right. But most of them are automatic Nos. To the majority of working Scots, it isn’t the symbolism of British Sterling that matters, it’s how many tins of beans and how litres of milk it buys at Lidl.

And Alistair’s compulsive parroting of the pound and Plan B makes it clear this is the high point in the No campaign, one he got the other parties to swallow their differences and follow, to Labour’s embarrassment, and even it seems coerced the Permanent Secretary to break from Civil Service tradition to expound in public. This was Big Bertha and it fired blanks. (Too many war similes?)

The currency row has also opened up for serious examination one of the underlying concepts in the debate…that this is big, powerful Britain against poor wee Scotland. Now obviously this is true in terms of population and geography but it is flatly wrong when looked at in relation to economy. The latest accounts may not look clever but the trend is in one direction – Scots raise and pay more in tax per head than the average Briton – £1700 last year – and on our own would be higher up the rich list than the UK. We are net exporters but rUK is an importer, we are backed by mind-boggling natural resources in oil, gas, renewables and, only this week we learn, in unclaimed coal deposits too.

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Without us the British balance of payments is likely to double (think oil, gas, whisky and food experts) making its debts unsustainable leading to higher interest charges and with 10 per cent less of an economy to pay it back – the interest that is, not the debt. That will remain and will climb. Britain is bankrupt, technically and may have to resort to writing off much of its debt which is owned by the Bank of England through quantative easing. As an arm of state, the Bank might be instructed to forget the £375 billion it holds (35% of the total debt) as the debtor and the creditor in this case are the same – Britain.  But what I wonder would the markets make of a country that took the Zimbabwe Option to its national debt? We are constantly told Scotland would be punished for not taking a share of the UK’s debt, so would rUK be exempt?

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As Jim Sillars states in the Herald today, a confident Scotland would realize it is in the driving seat over currency. We don’t need the pound, either formally or on a sharing basis. But by God, the British need us. If the currency ploy was supposed to be the Dambusters, then Scotland is the last brick holding the wall together. If we go, sterling weakens, interest on Britain’s borrowing goes up, the debt gets bigger and the economy to pay off gets smaller. On second thoughts, Alistair is probably right to major on the Pound, not because it could win the referendum but because the keystone of the British economy is under serious threat and with it the wealth of Britain.

But wouldn’t it be better if they just admitted that instead of threatening and misleading? Wouldn’t you be more susceptible to an honest appeal that Britain needs your export earnings to avoid bankruptcy and default on its debts? If Cameron said: ‘We can’t get by without you. It isn’t just a love thing. If this were a divorce we’d have to say we need you. It isn’t really a choice at all. Without you we’d fall apart and because of that we’re happy to talk about any arrangement that makes sense for running Scotland. But please realise, you are an essential component of keeping this country solvent. You could have gone independent and taken your oil wealth 40 years ago. You didn’t. Thank you. Please for a second time, stay in the UK and make your wealth work for us all.’

I’d still vote Yes. But at least I’d be listening. Today, as it is, I just hear noise. As Professor Curtice says…BT is just background noise

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66 thoughts on “Please Don’t Go**

  1. “he lacks the charm and charisma needed for a hearts and minds campaign”

    That’s generous. He lacks the wit to pick the fluff from his navel.

  2. I can’t decide if David Cameron’s swatting of Alistair Darling is a public humiliation or saving a man from disappearing beyond rescue in the hole he was digging for himself.

    Maybe it’s a bit of both?

    There’s no doubt the better together crush’em strategy has backfired and seems hopelessly out of step with basic human behaviour. Repeated attacks against the country you identify with will ultimately feel personal.

  3. It’s too late for Project Fear to change its tactics. Few people in Scotland would believe the No camp if it suddenly decided to tell the truth about a logical need for a currency union between Scotland and England. The No camp has blown it, and they only have themselves to blame.

  4. Labour doesn’t seem to grasp just how deep the pit it’s digging for itself is. if it sees just a little bit of light above it thinks it’s OK.
    If the No vote just scrapes through, I would say Labour would be crowned champion Stupidest Party of the Millennium Anywhere in the World. Because all the weaknesses it has so obviously exposed during the campaign will be like gold for the Westminster Tory electoral machine.
    In Scotland Labour has been exposed as as a sham, ready to sacrifice its own voters for the Westminster Party, with second rate thinking and a blind hatred of the only natural allies it has in Scotland.
    But added to that the ineptitude of Darling’s currency blocking plan, the Conservatives can see the lack of quality in Westminster too.
    A No win would benefit the Conservatives in the Southern constituencies. If the Independence issue is out of the way they can side line any promises Labour or they have made for Scotland, except to make sure the Lothian Question is sorted out, and funds are reduced for Scotland. Though, of course, reducing funds to Scotland is also a Labour plan.
    Labour should look at the pale ghost that the LibDems have become, but then perhaps it is too late for them to learn.

  5. Alistair “Flipper” Darling. He earned that nickname all by himself. And then promptly resigned from the Faculty of Advocates in late 2009 upon learning that it was about to conduct an investigation into his expense claims & serial house flipping. It might all have just been a coincidence of course & by all accounts, he didn’t break any laws.

    But like many of his MP friends, he stretched the spirit of a financial compensation system to the point of incredulity. You would think then, that a lawyer by trade, would have learned what precedence really means. It’s the basis of much of the law practiced in our country today.

    Apparently not though, as recent events suggest. Once again his credibility is at the point of evaporating. His arguments & assertions are not just being rubbished by his opponents, but now by the very people in Westminster who should be appearing to back him up. After all, he is supposed to have the might of London’s civil service at his disposal.

    Yet twice in one week, his position on currency has been seriously undermined, first by a secret insider casually admitting that a shared currency is just a matter of tidying up a deal & second, by Westminster, repudiating his claims that a second referendum of wider scope is not on the table at all.

    But even when you put both of these inside challenges aside, Darling’s failure was almost guaranteed from the beginning. Without the title of Chancellor & all of the authority that office bears, he is left with nothing more than his own personality, charisma & wit to convince a large section of an electorate, thoroughly hacked off with the behaviour & performance of Westminster.

    His TV appearances do him no favours as he parades his arguments with increasing agitated displays of anger & frustration at an SNP government that is stubbornly not for blinking. He also makes the strategic blunder of raking in thousands of pounds for speaking engagements while he supposedly still an MP. When someone has effectively three jobs; MP, campaign leader & busy public speaker, it’s hardly surprising that he isn’t very good at any of them.

    Darling then remains a symbol of all that is rotten with Westminster. Rather than focus on the local issues that are important to his constituents, he has opted to retain a generous MP’s salary while heavily distracted by an angry campaign while lining his pockets through lucrative speaking engagements.

    It’s hard to convince the folks that don’t know how to vote when a supposed public servant of the people conducts himself in a way that many of us view as entirely self serving & wholly repugnant.

    • Excellent description of the darling’s political career, GHG.

      • I would buy GH Graham’s biography of A.Darling.

        Suggested title “The Paucity of Hope” – a story about a white middle class boy born on the right side of the tracks with an endless drive to change nothing.

      • smiling vulture

        Not allowing the 2nd question could be one of the biggest political blunders in history ( : >

    • Martin Pia was, of course, continuing (unpaid) in his spin-doctor role in suggesting that Darling gives ‘the impression of knowing how the economy works from the inside’. Darling was never more than the mouthpiece for Ed Balls and the Treasury civil servants. He picked up some of the terminology, but certainly has little knowledge of economics.

      Darling has two big personal problems which were evident during his time as a student politician: his ambition and self-regard far outstrip his ability, and he is desperately dull. One is torn between feeling pity for someone now so exposed and ridiculed at the end of his career, yet deeply irritated that simply staying the course in UK party politics allows high office to be achieved and wealth acquired quite undeservedly.

    • macgilleleabhar

      GH Graham.

      You state of Mr Darling,” A lawyer by trade” but I would add an adage from my youth.

      A lawyer by trade but a chancer by nature.

  6. Great piece, Derek. It’s a matter of History ALMOST repeating itself. In 1707 an empty war-chest persuaded greedy eyes, as a matter of urgency, to fall upon Scotland’s assets. Underhand dealing created the “South Sea Bubble” and lo! assets and Parliament tumbled into Westminster’s lap – for in those days the people had no say in the matter.
    ( Though the Edinburgh mob, as we know, did their best at the time.) Now we have a completely different colour on a similar situation for we, the people can read, think and most importantly VOTE. Easy! YES is the only answer.

  7. “To be fair, among the mortgaged middle he is probably right. But most of them are automatic Nos. ”

    Living amongst the mortgaged middle in wealthy Aberdeenshire that’s not my experience. I think those on the left should be wary of painting independence as some sort of social division.

    To me Common Weal has appeal to all income brackets. What is to be gained is a flatter, wealthier society. I find that attractive. Let’s focus on shared wealth and avoid a return to class warfare. That only ever benefits the top 0.1% – and even they still have to live in a well-to-do enclave of Dystopia.

    • G. P. Walrus

      I agree with you. There’s a lot of loose talk going around at the moment that the ‘middle class’ are a lost cause. Bollocks! I was at the golf club recently and in the bar after the game there was a preponderance of views in favour of a Yes vote.

      What people seem to forget is that a large section of the middle class come from working class roots. I could be described as archetypically middle class, with a final salary pension, living in a Victorian villa in a nice suburb. Both my sons went to a fee paying school and both went to Oxford. However, my great grandmother was on the parish for many years, four of her children died in childhood, my grandfather was a miner and I was born in a prefab and lived in council housing until I left home at 21.

      I suspect that many of the people who think we’re all No’s have never bothered to ask us.

      • G. P. Walrus
        andygm1

        Totally Agree, the ‘mortgaged middle class’ are not a lost clause –

        Derek’s article on ‘March 4, 2014 – Johnny Foreigner’

        ‘through Killearn with a stop-off to visit the Dumgoyne distillery in the Campsies. This is comfortable private-ownership Scotland, hardly a council house in sight let alone a scheme. It is No territory.’

        It most certainly has lots of YES supporters, quite a few who donate chunks of hard earned cash to Newsnet, Wings, Bella, not forgetting official YES……

        A common misconception that good quality privately owned housing equates to an automatic no vote.

        The Common Weal speaks loudly to Scots – that’s if they know about it.
        Our ‘beloved’ BBC and printed press have a lot to answer for……

        Reminder – we all need to convince just one person to vote YES and we will be an independant nation again….

        • The idea that being middle class automatically prevents any subscription to fairness, truth, justice or common decency is just stupid.

        • Hi Bill,

          I was born and brought up in that area near the Campsies. My family are strong Yessers and so are many more in that part of the world.

          • What I love about this referendum campaign is how obvious it is that Yes supporters no matter what walk of life they come from, are not concerned what benefit it will bring to them personally but what it will bring to us all.

    • macgilleleabhar

      GP Walrus.
      Living in Inverurie I am horrified that a food bank had to open in the town. If people are struggling in Inverurie god help the rest!

    • Good point, this should not be about class. It is an opportunity to redirect our national culture and attitude, moving into alternative ways of doing things. Leaving behind many of the nonsense’s we learned as metaphorical children ( looking at the reflections on the wall of Plato’s cave).Therefore sectarianism, welfare reliance, the Privatise / nationalise debate, industrial strife, imperialism, rule by the city and the patronage of the rich will left behind. Lets start this one off in the way we should wish to continue, a constitution with protected rights for belief, property, speech and employment, education. We will not be seeking to provide free rides for any rich or poor.

  8. With five and a half months still to go, I wonder what else the No lot can pull from their hat. They can continue to bang on about no currency union, but who will be listening.

    I also have to wonder, though, if the Scottish Government actually want a currency union, or if they might use the excuse of overwhelming antipathy to the idea as an excuse to ditch it in favour of the option they wanted all along. Another devo max ploy. We will need to wait and see.

  9. What argument is crumbling Derek?

    The current chancellor ( the guy who’ll be negotiating Scotland’s share of BoE reserves in the unlikely event of a yes vote) says there won’t be a currency union. So does the only other two who could possibly take over.

    Interesting that we now see you tippy-toe from demanding a currency union to claiming we didn’t want one, anyway.

    I look forward to future equally sour declarations that we didn’t want a UK rebate from the EU or UK-funded subsidies for our renewables industry.

    In the meantime, have the SNP explained why over the weekend they so energetically punted a story – that there would be a pound for nukes deal – which by Monday they had been forced to concede was rubbish?

    • Ah, Grahamski.

      If Alistair Darling is categorically, definitely, sure as sure can be that there is no question at all, ever that there will be a currency union, why did he float the prospect of a referendum on it?

      Also can you provide us with a link to the story that any SNP minister punted a pound for nukes deal?

      • Mr gm1

        I’ve no idea why Mr Darling floated the idea of a referendum.

        I do know that was very quickly rejected by those who will be taking the decision on the entirely reasonable grounds that there is no need to hold a referendum on a currency union that has no chance of happening.

        The SNP comms team and senior YESnp figures spent last weekend linking to a Guardian story which had an un-named UK minister claim there could be a pound for nukes deal. Why the YESnp would so enthusiastically punt a story that they were forced to later trash is quite beyond me.

        • Ummm because it showed that the UK government is lying when they say there will be no currency union? Which is what the YES camp has been saying all along… and what we all know… And how do we know Osborne and co are lying? Logic alone? The opinion and advice of independence financial experts with world recognised credentials?? Well yes both those and of course the obvious… we know they are lying because it’s them that said it… they have form….

          • “they have form”…

            i can think of someone else who has form… “in terms of the debate” of course…

        • They punted the story as you put it not because of the Trident tie in but because of the explicit admission currency union was obviously sensible.

          When other commentators started talking about the trident angle they calmly put out statements reiterating their previous positions that trident is non negotiable, that it stays only as long as it takes the safely remove it.

          Your spin of this is not correct.

    • Only 5 & 1/2 months left & one would have thought a positive, unarguable & unequivocal case for retaining the union would have been forthcoming. I’m still waiting.

    • There was never any question of a deal on nuclear weapons. That was made clear in Alex Salmond’s first interview over the leaks. The only negotiation on that would be timing. That’s been made perfectly clear right from the outset.

      Why are people consistently too stupid to see that the Currency Union is simply the starting position for the negotiations that will follow a Yes result? There will obviously be deals, of one type or another to be done over it because of the huge negative impact on rUK of not having Scotland using the pound. There are plenty of areas of equivalent importance to form the basis for the negotiation but nobody can seriously think that such a fundamental policy as Trident would be one of them.

      As to renewables investment, Scotland is where it’s happening right now so why wouldn’t the rUK continue to be involved financially since Scottish renewables will also be critical to rUK’s ability to meet it’s targets.

      The great thing about the perceived prominance of the Currency and EU issues is that it’s keeping the Better Together parties busy bleating about it while Yes Scotland get on with talking to the people who really matter – the people. It’s a pity that the BT parties are so out of touch that they believe that real people are sitting at home worrying about Currency Unions and EU membership but then again that’s pretty much why we’re having this referendum in the first place.

      • “There was never any question of a deal on nuclear weapons.”

        …says the supporter of a party who sneaked the “don’t ask don’t tell” nuclear weapons policy into the white paper.

        It isn’t that far a stretch to take a policy that says “you can bring nuclear weapons into our territory as long as you don’t tell us about them.. and we won’t ask you about them either nudge nudge wink wink” and turn it into “we will keep the bases where they are because at least we will know what nuclear weapons are in our territory and it allows us to still keep an eye on what the americans and french bring with them”.

        ps. I find the whole nationalist position the currency union absolutely hilarious. You want to leave the UK and dump it like the dead weight of debt and bad economic management you claim it is… and yet… and this is the funny part… you want to keep a currency union with the UK… and they are a bunch of bullies for refusing to agree to one. If the UK is such a basket case why on earth do you want to permanently put iScotlands economy under the control of Westminster? Do you not see the absolutely massive contradiction in this?!?

        As Jim Sillars said “it’s nonsense on stilts”.

        • @John McMad: Derek’s article explains it pretty succinctly. The SG want to keep a shared currency zone in the early years of Independence because the rUk – our biggest trading partner – NEEDS one.

          If Sterling tanks in the absence of such an arrangement, it certainly won’t put wind beneath the wings of a newly independent Scotland. We’ll be okay, though, and will almost certainly thrive over the longer term – which is more than can be said for the rUK. Of its own volition, it would have entered an entirely new phase of economic and social decline from which any kind of recovery appears extremely unlikely.

          While an independent Scotland is likely to go from strength to strength, stabilisation and normalisation for the rUK will almost certainly be found a few rungs down the ladder it came up. All is not lost, though. The elite in “the great international city-state of London” (the fifth constituent of the current United Kingdom, according to Ms Lamont) will probably also be okay, in case anyone was worried about them.

    • Dr JM Mackintosh

      The problem with the No campaign lying to Scotland is that they are so disparate that it was only a matter of time before the splits between them arise and the real truth emerges.

      They are just not organised enough to stop these types of leaks and I expect the other main platforms of their campaign to collapse in a similar manner in the coming months.

    • Nice to see a Scottish Labour apparatchik fully endorse a Tory chancellor’s views against Scotland, times have indeed changed. What good bedfellows you keep. What is crumbling is any chance the two Eds have in winning GE2015 with, currently, only one percent lead in the polls. But of course being Labour branch in Scotland you don’t really care as long as Scotland remains in this insipid union, battered by austerity measures and the ever-increasing cuts to the Scottish budget endorsed by London Labour. What you wish for is a scorched earth policy on Scotland insofar it damages Alex Salmond and the SNP. That is the lunacy you endorse with a NO vote because you believe there is a union to save, well wake up pal, Labour are a busted flush and the Tories are laughing at you.

    • It appears that the “rubbish” is all yours Grahamski. You know that though don’t you? As you can see from the response, we can see right through you. Sounds familiar? Well, pretty much par for course as far as No is concerned.

    • Christ Grahamski, you do live in a parallel universe where everything is the opposite of what happens in ours. It was a “senior UK Minister” who punted the story Trident base for currency union. Both Salmond AND Sturgeon appeared immediately on separate programmes on TV on Sunday and stated categorically there was no way that such a negotiation would take place.

      No-one who supports Independence in Scotland would acceptsuch negotiations. A base for Trident would be worth far, far, far more to rumpUK than a currency union would be to Scotland. We don’t need a CU since we have 4 other good or better options.

      Waken up Grahamski. Your in a dream.

    • BOB MCCRACKEN

      i didnt see the SNP story about nukes for a pound can you point me in the right direction

  10. I wonder if we could bribe a few Westminster politicians to start swaying things in the right direction? A bit of historic irony as t’were. 🙂 Y’know they wouldn’t even have to lie, in fact we’d prefer the truth for a change.

    Yes they do have a problem on currency which only the very serious have looked at such as FT, Business Recorder, Forbes, Standard & Poors, the Adam Smith institute, our very own Mr Kerevan and read into the situation just the same problems highlighted by this post. This won’t be run in the popular tabloids or broadloids and it certainly won’t see air time by any broadcaster. Such a ‘revelation’ might upset the public dontchaknow and they’re quite happy to keep painting the Scottish Government as intransigent know nothings and Scotland and the Scots as whinging financial basket cases. Its also not the only problem they have.

    A good piece over on Wings by Eric Joyce: http://wingsoverscotland.com/the-knife-in-the-water/

    With six months to go they will only become more desperate.

    Steady in the line. 😉

  11. Economic conditions in Europe and above all in England, with whom Scotland will remain closely tied in trade, are of particular importance. Even with greater diversification of Scottish trade to Europe and to North America, an impoverished England or one perpetually suffering the rigours of demand restraint would have most serious consequences for the Scottish economy. Britain is now counting so heavily on North Sea oil to redress its balance of payments that it is easy to imagine England in dire straits without it.

    McCrone – Just as pertinent now as is was back then.

  12. England, a net importer, with overlarge immigrant and a less than content indigenous populations, is facing the prospect of its cash cow departing. What to do?

  13. John Dobbins.

    “If it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck” – it’s “Darling” Alistair quacking up about Scottish independence. And, laughably, any perceived remnants of credibility that this failed ex- Chancellor had re- economic matters, were destroyed by that ubiquitous, bumptious buffoon and New Labour lick-spittle, Simon Pia, with his fulsome praise for this “financial wizard”. “Comrade” Pia, incase you forgot, was the script-writer/comedian who “legallyassisted” Wee Wendy Alexander to commit political suicide. It is, therefore, hard to fathom (other than the old-pals act) as to why this overbearing and fatuous individual is repeatedly invited onto “Newsnicht Scotland” and “Scotland Tonight”. However, I have noted, with interest, that Newsnet Scotland will be monitoring BBC Scotland’s coverage of the independence debate; can I suggest, if they have the time and financial resources, that they keep a close eye on STV’s input as well – in particular, that of “Scotland Tonight”, given yet another inept performance from Rona Dougal who, in last night’s show, not only started with Simon Pia’s usual, customary rant and allowed him “extra-time” to interrupt and dominate “the debate”, but even gave him the last word on the subject as well! In the interests of fairness, this is totally unacceptable so, “buck-up” STV – and, if Rona can’t handle the pressure or, as previous showings would suggest, is unable to deal with domineering interviewees like Mr. Pia, give the job to someone who can – “the eyes of excess are upon you, all the live-long day” as they say in Texas!

  14. The Pias, Campbells, McTernans, Darlings are the Comical Alis of this whole UKOKs charade. The unionists think that because spin and lies and attack attack attack has served them well in the past that it will continue to do so. They are so so wrong. Thanks to people like Derek, Stu Campbells and the team at Newsnet and all the other Yes bloggers out there these snake oil liars are being exposed at a rate and with such volume that never ever happened in the past. And they are unable to deal with it. They are raging with indignation that we can now expose them. When you see the regular appearance of Pia and Darling on these programmes you know they have lost because these guys are losers, with zero credibility. Even the vile Mcternan failed in spectacular fashion in Australia and was booted out for his abusive behaviour. A failed chancellor and a spin doctor whose claim to fame was the tale of the hairy caterpillar. Dear sweet Jesus give me strength. It is so easy to switch of these idiots now beacuse you know exactly what they are going to say. I have hours of recorded documentaries that I watch instead. I do not even watch FMQs or the politics stuff on a Sunday simply because you can predict exactly what babbling guff these losers will vomit. I feel liberated and my blood pressure and quality of life has improved since switching of the idiots lantern when they are on. Pia whose name fits perfectly with Pish always appears to have just wakened up from serious surgery, and looks like he arrived on a stretcher, such is the level of his slurred incoherrent babbling. A total insult to our intelligence.

    • Aye, dinna haud back Hen! Canny but totally agree. The sooner September comes and we huvnae tae listen tae them ever again the better.

    • iheartscotland

      Hen, hope your right about your blood pressure,but you’re so right about the rest. All you need to to do to get in a bad mood and feel insulted is read the MSM and watch the BBC

  15. Aye and I see Darling is spouting again in a London rag about nasty Cybernats for challenging the memo sent to Barrhead Travel employees by its founder. He seems to be going round in circles and to me he comes accross as being deranged and a downright dangerous character to have anything to do with Scotland whether it ends up a YES or even heaven forbid a NO.

  16. @ John McMad: would it become less hilarious for you if the term currency zone was used? Or maybe common currency pact? Westminster presently controls the Scottish economy, following independence the Scottish government will control our economy and seek to agree on currency issues, interest rate, QA, if needed – in committee – with rUK to the rUK and Scotland’s mutual benefit. If the rUK declines then Scotland will opt for plan B,C,D E, or whatever, a currency backed by an exporting and profitable economy.

    The Uk has a large economy but with negative profitability, hence the debt and the deficit. Having a large turnover but operating with a loss, in business is termed “busy fools”.

    And as for your comment on nuclear weapons, you are just being plain silly.

    • Is that the Westminster we all vote for now? As opposed to Westminster post Indy that we won’t have a say over? Post Indy if we have a currency union, pact whatever you want to call it we will have less say as individuals in our economy than now. What a great move for democracy…

      But once again if the economy of the UK is so poor why tie ourselves to it? And if you think that any currency union can be set up if there is even the slightest hint it won’t we forever without it collapsing within weeks then you have a lot to learn.

      You maybe think my comments on the nuclear weapons is silly but it’s your parties frankly ridiculous policy to allow ships and subs to enter scottish waters without reporting what they are carrying as opposed to now where we know exactly what is in uk,waters at all times. I suppose it will be ok until there is an accident. I wouldn’t be surprised if the snp make concessions when they realise the nukes are the only bargaining chip they have.

      • cynicalHighlander

        A currency union would be best for all of Britain

        But the most damaging prospect to the rest of the UK from rejecting a sterling currency union is what it will do to its own trade and business activity. Whatever the political tactics involved, it would be tantamount to economic vandalism.

        • Could you tell me what the chances are of Signor Muscatelli being the Chancellor of the Exchequer in 2015?

          ps. If you turn his article on its head, it is the SNP who are risking the potential economic wellbeing of these island by proposing the break up of our country. Its a bit like blaming the fire brigade for not getting to the fire on time rather than the arsonist who lit.

          • cynicalHighlander

            Troll away if you think any chancellor is the one who will make the choice you really are being absurd they are just the messenger of what they are told by the Remembrancer and co.

  17. Now that Westminster’s plan for Trident negotiations linked to the pound has been leaked. The SG have refused this are we to expect a ‘plan B’ for Trident once iScotland demands they are removed.

    Which unsuspecting community in Englandshire will welcome them? Back to the US with them I say!

  18. At the risk of repeating myself with a comment that was rejected by the Gruinad last week, Derek has hit on the real story. rUK caries a 1.3 trillion debt load and counting. Scotland supports 10% of this. When we leave without CU the debt to service ratio jumps to 1.43 trillion. rUk must now finance this with no North sea oil income and expect to be able to raise money to pay for HS2 and Trident replacement and relocation at a total cost of 142 billion plus. What right minded money men will want to loan money to a country that will now effectively be the biggest debtor nation on earth whose whole economy relies on financial services? No natural resources, no manufacturing and no hope of ever paying off the debt. At this point of the game the pound doesn’t look like a currency you want your savings in. In effect without us in a currency union “there fecht”. As McCrone stated Scotland would be a reserve currency. I’m left to wonder two things ,one who’s really scared and why did the Gruinad find these comments offensive?

  19. The problems with the NO tactics is that it makes the YES side look good in comparison.

    All we hear are threats, insults, bluffs and bluster about sterling, economic disaster, foreigners and border posts.
    Whereas the YES side has a message of continued co-operation, a welcoming Scotland, and a new and improved Britain of equal partners.

    They are looking like the reasonable ones, and hence the more credible side to believe.

  20. A few interesting links here:

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/5b5ec2ca-8a67-11e3-ba54-00144feab7de.html#slide1

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0DQM6Z2Kro

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/eamonnfingleton/2014/02/18/as-scotland-mulls-independence-a-stupid-london-plays-it-dirty/

    http://www.businessforscotland.co.uk/independent-scotland-could-be-aaa-rated-standard-poors/

    http://www.adamsmith.org/news/press-releases/comment-an-independent-scotland-would-be-better-off-using-the-pound-without

    http://www.cityam.com/blog/1392196610/independent-scotland-should-use-pound-without-englands-permission-heres-why

    Now after all of that, and believe me there are many, many more links that I could supply, let me make clear in no uncertain terms that I personally frankly couldn’t give a stuff about currency or indeed how we gain access to the EU.

    When it comes to economic viability I have absolutely no doubt that Scotland has the wherewithawl to prosper and care for its population. In terms of resource, manufacturing and export we already have enough to do the job. Its not even in the top three of things which need attending to IMO. As for BT and the media its a smokescreen. But probably the most poorly thought out smokescreen in the history of politics.

    Seriously do we really have to take a look at the UK government’s record of fiscal management over the last forty years to be able to say they’ve made the mother of all messes? We’re being asked to trust them on their track record of rich/poor divide, pension theft, casino banking regulation, who did what with LIBOR, the dismantling of heavy manufacturing in favour of services, the screwed sale of gold reserves, cash for honours, cash for questions, expenses scandals, the outrageous lies told to the Scottish electorate by Westminster on north sea oil, how that resource has been abused over the same period…. the list could fill several screen pages, literally.

    This really, really should be a complete no brainer when it comes to a question of who to trust. The newspapers and broadcast channels are filled with ‘respected’ city pundits and think tank forecasts telling us what a bad idea independence is. Oh the fear, the uncertainty of it all. We are asked to believe that the politicians and institutions who themselves have had a hand in our current economic carnage, have somehow mystically erased their culpability for our current economic misfortunes and are suddenly worthy of our continued trust and respect? We should listen to them very, very closely indeed. Really?

    When you cut through this contrived smokescreen you come back to what this is truly all about. This is and always has been about where and how we exercise our democratic process. This is about where and how we exercise our governance and make the decisions which affect our lives and futures. We nail the foundations of our democracy and the decisions flow from there. All decisions, social justice, economy, resource management, foreign affairs, priority of spend… all of them, but the Scottish electorate decides what is in their best interest and Scottish electorate mandates the government which best reflects those needs and aspirations.

    • Thanks for putting it so simply but effectively. It’s a leap of faith in ourselves. One I cannot wait to make.

      • Appreciated Liz.

        It really is a very simple choice and it is about having faith and confidence in ourselves. We’ve got plenty to feel confident about and and always have had. 🙂

        We’re all very much aware of how politics in the UK operates. It has disaffected and disenfranchised so many, for so long. The end result has been contrived political stagnation. In short people give up and are content to have a good grump about the govt. of the day in front of the telly or at work, in the pub etc. The feeling whatever we do we can’t really change anything, so vote for the local rosette and hope for the best. Nothing really ever changes without a catalyst. Well, in our lifetime we’ve been handed the opportunity to make a difference. Whatever happens in September, we can’t complain we didn’t have a chance.

        Much like yourself, I’m not going to waste the opportunity.

  21. “He (Pia) said Alistair gave the impression of knowing how the economy works from the inside whereas Salmond and Sturgeon just blustered about it. ”

    “You could have gone independent and taken your oil wealth 40 years ago. You didn’t. Thank you. Please for a second time, stay in the UK and make your wealth work for us all.’”

    For some one who has spent a large amount of his life among politicians and their activists you come across at times as being naive.

    Why have you written that quote by Pia without qualification? It’s as if you believe what he said when the rest of us see it as just Unionist spin. If Darling knows so much how come the crash?

    And your comment about the 1979 Referendum is nonsense. Scots were cheated of the true facts about oil in the 1970s and from then on so would have been unable to make an informed decision about Independence at the time. Further, the 1979 Referendum was gerrymandered by the 40% rule proposed by a Scottish Labour MP so that an actual majority for devolution of 50+% was invalidated.

  22. @ John McMad: In what way does Scotland have a fair say in this present parliamentary arrangement of just 59 Scottish MPs in a group of +650? Scotland will not be tying herself to the UK economy post independence she will leave it.And if the rUk acts unreasonably in committee with a currency union Scotland will leave the currency union. In short with independence Scotland can act in her best interests.

    The UK is aware of ships entering UK waters! Like the two visits by Russian ships to the Moray Firth? The MOD alerted on Twitter by local sailors and fishing boats? Uk response time to the alert, a couple of days sailing from Portsmouth.

    How many UK navy ships are stationed in Scotland? How many coastal surveillance ships? How many maritine surveillance aircraft?

  23. Scotland 8.3% of UK population.

    59 MP’s = 9.07% of 650 MP’s

    = Most well represented region of the UK in Westminster.

    oh and around 20% of UK Prime MInisters have been scottish.

    You clearly do not understand what a currency union is, i repeat as before, if there is even the slightest hint that iScotland could leave the currency union for any reason at all it will never ever happen. Get it through your head, if the UK performed a complete u-turn (it won’t by the way) and agreed to a union and the UK residents said yes in a referendum on the subject then the iScottish Government will be forced into signing a permanently binding agreement to stay in the currency union as a condition. The conflict with possible EU demands to make a commitment to the Euro could be interesting.

    The MOD knew the ships were there, as you should know the Kuznetsov was followed in from the Orkneys by HMS York (i think that was the ship) there are also things called submarines that conduct patrols of UK waters (these are the most capable attack subs in the world and their location is never revealed) and there are fast jets located minutes from the Moray Firth. But anyway the last time I checked we weren’t at war with the Russians and if you bother to check the RN website you will see that there is some friendly contact between the RN and the Russians (prior to crimea of course).

    I’d like to see what the SNP response would have been. Send Angus Robertson out in a rowing boat to burst into tears and make the Russians feel sorry for us? Anyway what you going on about the Russians for, one of your colleagues on here advocated threatening to sell the nuclear weapons to the Russians or Chinese to try and force the UK into a currency union. Tounge in cheek i presume but with some of the nonsense that gets havered you never know.

  24. John McMad: Permanently binding agreement? Isn’t there some mantra about no government can be bound by the actions of a previous?
    Maritine surveillance of the seas. How many fast jets are being deployed to search for remains of the Malaysian aircraft? Slow, painstaking is the operational phrase I’d venture for coastal surveillance.

    Angus Robertson and rowing boats? You’re being silly again.

    • Yes, its called the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty. As Dicey said, “all that a court of justice can do is look to the parliamentary roll”.

      But you are missing the point, you support a party that wants to enshrine the iScottish constitution in a binding unalterable written document (the drawing up of which will be a total and utter disaster, just look at the icelandic debacle).

      Therefore if i was the UK government, i would tell the SNP to put the sterling currency union in the new iScottish constitution and bind iScotland into it. Any refusal by the SNP would be taken as a sign of lack of commitment and i would point out that wee nicola (who is allegedly a lawyer) has been havering on about including child care (wtf??) in the iScottish Constitution and therefore there is no excuse for not including the sterling currency union.

      The comparison between Kuznetsov and MH370 is a not really correct is it? Kuznetsov is about 1000ft long, is trackable by satellite (i forgot about these above) and is not hard to locate from a warplane with the right radar, or with an astute class sub. In the case of MH370, they are looking for relatively tiny pieces of debris in the Indian Ocean. Slight difference.

      And the reference to Angus and rowing boats are not that silly, please tell me what the strength of the Scottish navy will be in March 2016? I doubt the RN is going to just hand some ships over to iScotland so either the SNP have to build some of their own (there won’t be enough time) or more likely buy some old scrappers from somewhere else. Given the SNP are making promises to hand billions out left right and centre a rowing boat might be a about the stretch of it.

  25. BOB MCCRACKEN

    THANK HEAVENS FOR DEREK AND YOUR REPLIES
    I BEGAN TO THINK I WAS GOING CRAZY,ESPECIALLY AFTER A MEETING IN DUNDONALD LAST NIGHT,BETWEEN BLEATING ENGLISH PEOPLE ALL VOTING NO ,AND NEGATIVE SCOTS WANTING GUARANTEES ON THEIR JOBS,PLUS ONE GUY WORKING FOR SSE(OWNED BY SPANIARDS) AND FASLANE LOSING 7,000 JOBS… OR 700 IN REALITY
    I LEFT HALFWAY THROUGH WHEN MY OVEREXTENDED HAND RAISED TO THE HEAVENS WAS BOTH IGNORED AND TOTALLY WHITE THRO LACK OF BLOODFLOW
    IT IS SO NICE TO LISTEN TO REALISTIC INFORMED COMMENTS
    WHICH ARE MISSING FROM BBC AND STV….SHAME ON THE SCOTTISH INTERVIEWERS,,,,,,MAYBE THEY ARE JUST BEING BULLIED????????????????

  26. @ Bob McCracken: Yes Dundonald was a bit exasperating. Could be the two young fellas you refer to didn’t like to be proved wrong in public and so closed their ears , hopefully they will reflect on the discussion and answers they were given.
    Constancy to purpose Bob.
    Yes Troon are on Twitter and Facebook, why not come and join us?

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