The Independence Debate – Those Questions Answered

by craig on August 6, 2014 1:04 pm in Uncategorized

Currency Union

There are over 200 nations in the world. Many became independent in the last thirty years, a large majority became independent over the last seventy years. Most have their own currencies. Some share a currency.

If every other country in the world can manage its currency options, why Better Together are allowed to pretend this is an insuperable obstacle for Scotland is beyond me. Are we uniquely stupid or lazy or incompetent? In fact Scots founded the Bank of England and the Bank of France (John Law).

The media has deliberately built u a non-question into “the thing that will stop Independence”. Yesterday Darling was allowed to bang on about nothing else for 12 minutes and then the pre-selected audience questions were on the same subject. This is a media propaganda construct not a real problem.

The problem is not the currency money in which is denominated – it is the fairness of its distribution we should be addressing.

The Scottish government’s preference is to enter a currency union with rUK. The strong attraction for rUK in that is that it avoids economic dislocation. Also it gives a strong hydrocarbon element to the economies underpinning the currency. Without Scotland sterling outflows in times of high oil prices could become a real problem for rUK.

So Salmond’s view is the rUK will agree to currency union, and there is no point in having a hypothetical argument based on an artificial Better Together propaganda construct that they will not.

My own view is that Scotland would be much better off with its own currency anyway, or could join the Euro. Either is a good option. But these are all perfectly possible post-independence options – none of them is a reason not to be independent.

Tuition Fees

Once Scotland is independent, it will have to treat all its fellow EU citizens the same on fees, including English students who currently – at the insistence of the UK government – have to pay.

Scotland will probably have to introduce some level of tuition fee post independence. BUT

a) There is no EU rule against giving student grants based on residence. So the Scottish government can give Scottish resident only students grants to pay their tuition fees. There can still be no net cost to Scottish students. This is what other EU countries do.

b) There will be no call for fees to be as high as the terrible 9,000 pounds a year charged in England. Tuition fee levels may perhaps be a third or half of that – with Scottish students given grants to pay the full amount. If the cheaper fees lead to a great rush of bright English students to Scotland, that will in the medium term give a great boost to the Scottish economy. Many of them will stay for the exciting new economic opportunities a dynamic independent Scotland will bring.

Oil

Mineral resources are the inalienable property of the State on whose territory – including continental shelf – they lie. Agreements made between oil companies and the UK for exploitation rights on Scotland’s continental shelf will be honoured on the same terms by the Scottish government. The tax revenues will come to Scotland instead of to the UK. There is no dispute over this whatsoever in legal or academic circles. It is an utterly ludicrous piece of false information to claim otherwise, put out by Better Together. The only dispute will be over the precise settlement of the maritime boundaries with England. But the area of dispute is in the region of whether 88 or 92% of British hydrocarbon resources are Scottish.

Excluding oil, Scotland’s GDP per capita is 98% per capita. The extent of the “oil bonus” on top indeed varies with the price of oil, but the total is certainly never going to give GDP per capita below that of rUK. Proven oil reserves will last a minimum of 50 years. What happens after 2070 when oil starts to run out is a problem which will face the entire world, not only Scotland. In the meantime, it is better to have it than not to have it.

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97 Comments

  1. Surely the ones with the currency problem will be the oil-less English?

    It is dispiriting (if not surprising) to see UK politicians pushing the big lie again and again on all sorts of topics.

  2. I agree that Scotland needs a currency. Who would want to rely on a currency which is being devalued through QE but the problem with a new currency is establishing confidence.

    Oil is of course a vital question.

    I didn’t see the debate due to STV streaming issues and so I don’t know what the questions were in the debate, but aren’t: sharing of defence; intelligence; diplomatic service; national debt; national assets all big questions particularly defence debt and assets.

  3. They are indeed. STV deliberately confined the chosen questions slowly to the No campaign favourite topics above. A lady in the audience who tried to raise the Gaelic language was told she was not allowed to.

  4. “My own view is that Scotland would be much better off with its own currency anyway, or could join the Euro. Either is a good option.”

    Joining the Euro would not be a good option. The single currency is a disaster for the European periphery, for goodness sake please do not encourage Scotland to join it.

    I’m very much of the view Scotland would be better with its own currency; but if you are correct that Sterling would decline if Scotland left the pound (I’m less sure but let’s assume it happens), I’d argue that would be worse for Scotland than rUK.

    Sterling down would help rUK exporters, and the Scottish economy would be hit by the so-called “Dutch disease”.

    Anyway, the question in the end is whether an independent Scotland wants full monetary independence (and thus fiscal autonomy). The question I think should answer itself.

  5. Excellent piece. The Debate was a contrived set up by NO and its supporters in Government with an audience packed with NO people primed to maintain the Currency Union argument during the Q&A session after it had been dealt with earlier.

  6. “The extent of the “oil bonus” on top indeed varies with the price of oil”

    To be precise tax revenues vary with the profitability of the company extracting it.

    “What happens after 2070 when oil starts to run out is a problem which will face the entire world”

    It will affect Scotland/UK long before then. Most untapped reserves in the North Sea are concentrated in smaller, less accssible fields, what we might call the ‘uneconomic pits’. The high costs of extracting oil from these low-yielding oilfields will inevitably impact on profits and therefore tax revenues.

    Furthermore, the situation will give oil companies some leverage. Sooner or later they’ll have to explain, with great regret, that margins are so tight that it will be necessary to start cutting back on North Sea operations and lots of jobs will have to go. Unless of course the government can think of some way to encourage them to stay.

  7. Maybe you should contact George Galloway and hold a public debate, with both speakers being able to give it their best, in a cooperative student union in London (say). I might be interested if it were open to the public!

  8. Both the Separatist and Unionist camps are making strange statements regarding currency. If Sterling still exists after separation (the currency, that is, not the town) then the Scots can use it. Why they would want to is anybody’s guess, but using it is not the same as currency union. They could, for example, use dollars, but I doubt the Americans would look too favourably on currency union with them either. So the Unionists are correct if they maintain their right to decide (accurately or otherwise) that currency union isn’t in their interests after separation. However, if my understanding is correct, the Irish Republic was in currency union with the rest of the isles until the ’70s, nobody made a bid deal of it and the sky didn’t fall in. Two or three elections ago, it was S.N.P. policy to join the Euro after “independence”. That, if anything, was even more ludicrous than their current huffing and puffing about “keeping the pound” and the volte-face itself ought to knock the scales off some people’s eyes (but I don’t for a moment suppose it will).

    It seems that Salmond pressed Darling about the viability of Scotland as a separate nation state and Darling fluffed it, refusing to give a straight answer. Well, there aren’t many things I agree with Cameron about, but if, as reported, he said that Scotland could make it alone, then I’m sure he’s right. So could Newcastle; so could East Anglia; so – I’m sure Alex Salmond would be delighted to hear – could Shetland. The whole shebang could degenerate into an array of city states if we were stupid enough, and if separatism takes hold in a big way, it might. That doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

  9. MJ

    All over the world the “easy” oil is being replaced by harder to get at reserves. Fortunately technology develops to take care of it. But the net result will feed into a long term trend of increasing oil prices.

    Your profound hostility to the very notion of Scottish independence, and your determination to argue over months that every single aspect would be an unmitigated disaster, is evidently motivated by some underlying rationale you don’t disclose. What is it? Is it the CP line about breaking the solidarity of the British working class movement?

  10. Windy Miller

    6 Aug, 2014 - 2:45 pm

    Hi Craig,

    I hope you are well and not getting too wound up (think of the heart).

    The Issue that i am seeing and being told by large companies in Scotland is that quite a few new major projects that require financing are on hold, i have 2 (possibly for 12 months) until the currency is know. Having an independent Scotland is no problem but you can understand why large financial institutions will not lend due to risk. What will they currency be?, What will be the exchange rate?, where will the Scottish central bank be? What is the lending rates? Etc. Mr Salmond can’t say “vote for independence and it will all be ok, we’ll sort it all out later”

    All Mr Salmond has to do is clearly lay out what he will do if he doesn’t get the pound, and what he will do if he does. Uncertainty is the worst of both worlds and why will he not lay his cards on the table.

    As an Englishman that works a lot in Scotland i wish the Scottish people the best no matter what the outcome but I see a lot of false promises and unrealistic claims on both sides of the argument.

  11. “Your profound hostility to the very notion of Scottish independence”

    In principle I’m in favour of Scottish independence. I am increasingly exasperated however by the sham version of independence being peddled by the SNP.

    All I’m doing is focusing on some of the basic, nuts and bolts issues and highlighting areas that I think need a bit of attention. Your responses are invariably hostile and emotional. This is a characteristic of the Yes campaign as a whole and, if you don’t watch out, harsh reality will bite you before you can do anything about it. Forewarned is forearmed.

  12. I’m personally sick to death of hearing about it.

    There is a ton of rhetoric out there, most of it probably not true and attempting to get any meaningful statistics is almost impossible. The Scots claim they send money South and the English claim they send money North. Which is it ? and why is it so hard to determine ?

    Here’s the crux of the matter…. without Scotland rUK will do just fine, after all its only approx. 7% of our GDP and approx. 5 million of our population, all the talk of reduction in GDP is rubbish as it wont affect the average person. Without rUK Scotland will do just fine, it has a small enough population and enough revenue from oil and industry to support it without any major drama’s. It will need to find a replacement to oil revenues in the medium term and that could be a challenge, but as Craig rightly says it will be a global challenge.

    As for currency.. well as an English man I don’t want currency union, I simply cant see how that would benefit us in anyway shape or form – the talk of cost associated with trading with a nation in a different currency is also rubbish. It doesn’t stop us trading with France, Germany, USA or any other part of the world. The Euro would be a terrible idea for Scotland and would probably come with conditions from the EU. No harm in the scots using the pound, just don’t whinge when the rUK rates are set to benefit the rUK and not a country that just uses the currency. If Scotland becomes independent it should simply get its own currency – why Mr Salmond wont just say that is puzzling.

    If Scotland goes it will also solve the Mid Lothian question ( is that the right name for it?) Again as an Englishman it irritates me that Scottish MP’s get a vote on how laws in England are passed but we don’t have the same in Scotland.

    As to Europe, again why wont Europe just state its position clearly, as I see it Scotland is already in the EU and any attempt to drive it out should be met with resistance from rUK, although why you would want to surrender your independence to a corrupt unrepresentative body like the EU is beyond me, its time for the UK to leave that organisation and make its own trade deals globally which we ( just like Scotland) are more than capable of doing and any pretence to the contrary is nonsense.

    Nuclear Weapons – horrible things which the whole world should get rid of, but the reality is that this won’t happen, so Scotland doesn’t want them, that’s understandable, I don’t want them either, but its pretty obvious we are going to get them, so bring the bases South, I’m a lot more fearful of Sellafield than a nuclear submarine base.

    Despite all the media hype I generally don’t think that most English give a toss one way or the other, Scottish independence will make so little difference to the typical working persons life that it will be of almost no consequence. In fact from an English persons point of view a No vote will be a terrible outcome, Scotland gets devolution Max, and the arguments just carry on indefinitely with the constant cry’s of that’s not fair from both sides.

    Role on September, then hopefully Scotland will go its separate way and in 10 to 20 years from now we will wonder what all the fuss was about

  13. This article on the currency union entirely misses the point at issue. All that you write may well be correct but what you do not write is the uncertainty contained in the SNP position. It is the uncertainty that is the problem. It is no small thing to change the management of your currency. To go before the electorate with ” we’re not quite sure what the new arrangement will be but we’re sure that it’ll be alright” is politically naïve and kack handed. And as for media manipulation, the SNP have got away with this in interviews for months. In the debate, the boos brought them up against a well deserved reckoning.

  14. Leslie

    I think that uncertainty was precisely what Salmond was attempting to remove by insisting that it will be pound sterling.

    You can’t in the same breath say “you must have certainty” and “you can’t only have once choice you must have a Plan B”.

  15. “Your responses are invariably hostile and emotional. This is a characteristic of the Yes campaign as a whole and, if you don’t watch out, harsh reality will bite you before you can do anything about it. Forewarned is forearmed.”

    I think it’s characteristic of Nationalism as a whole. This tendency to make personal attacks and ascribe ulterior motives to people with a different viewpoint is typical of Nationalism everywhere. It’s no different to Zionists shouting “anti-semite” at every criticism of Israel.

  16. Republicofscotland

    6 Aug, 2014 - 3:20 pm

    Totally agree Alistair Darling banged on about currency for 12 minutes because in truth, that’s all he had, in his arsenal, AD never at anytime during the debate laid out a plan for a more prosperous Scotland, in fact he couldn’t even mention any of the useless new powers we’d gain if we vote no.

    As for the debate itself over on wings, a claim has been made than quite a few yes voter were turned away from the debate due to “non processing of paper work” if in this claim holds water I wouldn’t be one bit surprised.

    Alex Salmond at least laid out a vision, after independence of what Scotland could look like, we all know what Scotland will look like, after a no vote, and its, not a pretty sight I’m afraid.

    As for the oil, well its a dwindling hindrance,in an independent Scotland, but a wonderful asset for the union when mentioned outside of Scotland, now there’s the possibility of a new large oilfield existing of Shetland, I’m sure the unionists will delve even deeper into their bag of dirty tricks.

  17. Willie Hogg

    6 Aug, 2014 - 3:33 pm

    I thought that the audiance was very attentive and really seeking answers. In particular I think that some of the NO voters really wanted AS to give them the security of a plan B so that they could change their minds. See Windy Millar above.

  18. @Craig – “I think that uncertainty was precisely what Salmond was attempting to remove by insisting that it will be pound sterling.”

    The inherent problem is that an independent Scotland will have options in the future; the uncertainty won’t to resolved by a Salmond declaration.

    And I hate to harp on about this, but the lessons from the Eurozone crisis are that a shared currency without (at least some form of) fiscal union is a deeply problematic structure.

    I’m prepared to give Salmond some leeway till after the referendum, but if the vote is for independence… Scotland needs its own currency, it needs full monetary independence. Without it, sharing a currency with rUK without sharing a government, that is a worse arrangement than what exists now.

  19. “now there’s the possibility of a new large oilfield existing of Shetland”

    Independence for the Shetland Islands I say.

  20. Both sides avoid talking about the monarch. If the Scots want true independence Scotland needs to either be a republic or to restore the Stuarts to the throne.

    Of course Salmond would never make this case as it would be fatal to his support.

    But if the vote goes his way, the argument will have to be held. Along with another referendum to address the point.

  21. MJ

    Again you troll every unionist canard in the book. It is completely untrue that any substantial body of opinion in the Shetlands supports independence from Scotland. The last poll said 86% of Shetlanders support being in Scotland.

    You claim – only when challenged directly – to support independence yet you engage in continual juvenile unionist trolling like the last comment. If you support independence, where have you ever posted a comment setting out an argument for it?

  22. Craig, there you go again. It was a joke. Remember those?

  23. Excluding oil, Scotland’s GDP per capita is 98% per capita“. Some typo there somewhere.

    If the plan is to negotiate a currency union, obviously there can’t be certainty and there must be a Plan B.

    It’s as if Alex Salmond etc. don’t like the idea of independence being taken seriously.

  24. “It’s as if Alex Salmond etc. don’t like the idea of independence being taken seriously”

    Yes. The subtext of the SNP message is that everything will stay exactly the same, except that Scotland will have more money because of the oil revenues.

  25. Yes just went from ahead to further ahead.

    Craig, are you drunk?

  26. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    6 Aug, 2014 - 4:17 pm

    Good, thoughtful comments from MJ, Windy Miller, Fred and David (if I may say so as a neutral observer).

    And everyone has stayed on topic as well.

  27. @MJ – agreed completely. After independence, the Scottish government would have far more responsibilities than it does now. But they don’t want to talk about that. They are so juvenile, selling a ‘great idea’ and depicting everyone who asks questions as a party-pooper.

  28. David S – “If the plan is to negotiate a currency union, obviously there can’t be certainty”

    This misses what a currency union entails. There is actually very little to negotiate. Scotland can unilaterally decide to use pound sterling as legal tender, and you have a form of currency union. (will the Bank of England care about this? To the extent it impacts on the rUK economy, they will factor it into their rate-setting decisions. But that is literally all that matters to rUK for policy purposes.)

    Scotland and rUK could negotiate a whole long list of separate issues (a la Maastricht), but in reality, these are extremely minor points in defining the currency union. As long as Scotland chooses to use pound sterling, a union exists.

    The uncertainty actually arises from the question of whether a currency union is a good idea for Scotland. As an independent country, they could choose to adopt their own currency. And the pure economic argument is pretty watertight that they should.

  29. “If the plan is to negotiate a currency union, obviously there can’t be certainty and there must be a Plan B.”

    If Salmond says there will be currency union and he seems determined that there will be, then we must take him at his word and assume there will be currency union.

    What the people of Scotland need and have a right to know is not what plan B is, it is what will he be prepared to sacrifice to achieve that union. I believe if the voters knew that then a lot more people would be voting against.

  30. “If Salmond says there will be currency union [...]then we must take him at his word and assume there will be currency union”

    It scarcely matters what Salmond says, it’s not his decision. You can’t unilaterally declare a union. The other party has already said no thanks.

  31. “The uncertainty actually arises from the question of whether a currency union is a good idea for Scotland. As an independent country, they could choose to adopt their own currency. And the pure economic argument is pretty watertight that they should.”

    Could you point me to this argument?

    Every argument I’ve seen from both sides suggests that monetary union would be to Scotland’s advantage.

    BTW Scottish banks can issue their own currency and tie it to Sterling by promising to pay the bearer in Sterling. That is what they do now and that is what Ireland did. That is not monetary union, Scotland would still not have a lender of last resort and would not enjoy Britain’s favourable terms on the world money markets.

  32. A currency union with the eurozone or england wales and northern ireland is inimical to any form of independence.
    it is time to offer a more sober analysis of how you would actually design a Scottish Monetary system using the very latest Modern Money design principles, and how Scotland would move towards true independence.

  33. You will never sell many people in Scotland the idea that Scotland and England should have different currencies, because that would mean they would lose money changing currency every time they went to England. It would also mean that their family members in England would lose money changing currency every time they came up to Scotland.

    It is reasonable for people to give serious weight to such down-to-earth considerations.

    Most people in Scotland are sensible enough to know that you can’t have your cake and eat it. Those who vote YES will overlap more with those who have a tendency to believe politicians’ bullshit than with those who distrust politicians.

    This is why the YES campaign has made no progress in winning over intending NO voters. (Sure, you can read what you like into the polls, but the fact of the matter is that they have ‘stuck’ for more than a year with little momentum in either direction.) Many of the intending NO voters find the SNP’s ‘hard sell’ repulsive and there’s hardly anything Alex Salmond can do to win them over. It’s possible that a swing to YES could result from something like David Cameron getting caught on camera saying Scottish people are load of uppety tossers, but I think that’s unlikely.

  34. “It scarcely matters what Salmond says, it’s not his decision. You can’t unilaterally declare a union. The other party has already said no thanks.”

    Of course they have, there would be much horse trading to be done the British government aren’t going to be giving anything away.

    I have no doubt that if Salmond were prepared to sell out all those people voting for independence on the promise of say the getting rid of the nuclear weapons on the Clyde the British government might reconsider.

    Don’t you think he might ditch the tree huggers to keep the bankers happy? Once he had got their vote that is.

  35. Modern principles? When was the last time a state with a GDP as large as 0.4% of the world economy set up a currency of its own?

  36. doug scorgie

    6 Aug, 2014 - 4:50 pm

    Windy Miller
    6 Aug, 2014 – 2:45 pm

    “All Mr Salmond has to do is clearly lay out what he will do if he doesn’t get the pound, and what he will do if he does.”

    Windy, can you tell me why the Tory leadership; the Labour leadership and the LibDem leadership refuse to explain what their policies would be (including the currency) in Scotland in the event of a successful Yes vote?

    Do they not have a plan B?

  37. It beats me how a country like Scotland that has done so badly economically for the last century as part of the UK (along with much of England) – losing nearly all of its once great manufacturing and maritime industries – has any difficulty at all making and winning an arguement for independence. And particularly when one considers the bonanza of oil money with its once only chance to kick start the Scottish economy and get things really moving forward.

    As for a future currency its simple: an independent currency backed by oil (like Norway). Their may well be other non-economic considerations, but winning an arguement on the financial benefits of independence should be the easiest task in the world (Norway Switzerland etc).

    And as for the London establishment view, in opposition to independence, with their self serving and largely invented and pretend “facts” – they are masters of the art of lying as I know only too well. Indeed economicaly the City needs bailouts every generation from the taxpayers, which the rUK will not be able to afford without oil. As Disraeli who undstood their modus operendi once said “There are three types of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics”.

  38. @Fred – “Could you point me to this argument?”

    Really? The Eurozone since 2008ish has proven that having a currency union without a fiscal union is a recipe for disaster. So, does Scotland want a fiscal union with rUK? If so, fine (though how is this independence?), have fun in a currency union. But if not, you want your own currency.

    In short, if Scotland wants fiscal independence, it needs monetary independence too (i.e. the ability to set its own interest rates).

    There will be one-off transition costs to setting up a new currency, and very small fricitional costs ongoing due to foreign exchange transactions. I’m sure some people will want to avoid these, but quite honestly if the Eurozone experience isn’t enough to persuade people of the risks of currency unions, I’m not sure what more could convince them.

  39. On a lighter note, here’s a question for Scottophiles: was a film ever made of Sir Walter Scott’s novel “Waverley”? Is it on DVD?

  40. @Doug – I thought they had: in the event of Scottish independence, the rUK will not enter a monetary union and will look after its own interests, not the interests of a foreign Scotland. Your challenge risks being viewed as juvenile, althought would I be right to suppose that in your view it’s Alistair Darling’s question to Alex Salmond that was juvenile?

    I really wish more of my fellow Scots would lose those chips on their shoulders. The YES camp is such a bloody chip magnet!

    Salt and vinegar? Or should I say salt ‘n’ sauce? :)

  41. MJ – “You can’t unilaterally declare a union.”

    So if Scotland decides GBP alone will be legal tender, tell me:

    (a) Is this a de facto currency union?
    (b) What can rUK do about it?

  42. “When was the last time a state with a GDP as large as 0.4% of the world economy set up a currency of its own?”

    That’s a joke, surely?

    A GDP of $300bn is roughly 0.4% of Global GDP (circa $75trn).

    More than 100 countries have GDPs <300bn (Singapore, Chile, Israel, New Zealand to pick out a few) and print their own currencies. Absolutely no reason Scotland couldn't.

  43. ‘the Irish Republic was in currency union with the rest of the isles until the ’70s, nobody made a bid deal of it and the sky didn’t fall in.’

    The currency of the Free State, and then the RoI,was tied to Sterling until 1978. Similarly, Luxembourg used the Belgian Franc during the twentieth century until both countries became founder members of the Euro. However in both cases currency management was vested with the larger party, in London and Brussels respectively, with no input from Dublin and Luxembourg.

    Clearly a new version of this currency relationship could apply between England and Scotland post 2016, but that would place real limits on Scottish economic independence. Sterling was devalued twice under the Bretton Woods system, and then floated in 1972, and in each case the Irish government had no say in the matter. Similarly, when the UK decimalised in 1971 the Republic had to follow suit, willy nilly.

    Does Salmond accept that the only ‘currency union’ on offer post 2016 would follow these earlier precedents ? It’s pretty clear the rUK will play hard ball with Scotland and impose these conditions on Scotland if it is too frit either to seek Euro membership, or establish its own currency. (The Euro option may however in any event be mandatory for an Independent Scotland as part of the terms of its re-admission to the EU as an independent state).

  44. (a) Is this a de facto currency union?

    No. Several countries use the US dollar as their de facto currency but they are not in a currency union with the US.

    (b) What can rUK do about it?

    Lots. One small consequence would probably be that ATMs in an independent Scotland would not be able to dispense GB pounds.

  45. David S Briggs

    6 Aug, 2014 - 5:05 pm

    Roderick Russell you are a breath of fresh air, a veritable pearl cast before(mostly) swine

    Well said Sir!.

  46. “Really? The Eurozone since 2008ish has proven that having a currency union without a fiscal union is a recipe for disaster.”

    Germany seems to be doing OK.

  47. Windy Miller

    6 Aug, 2014 - 5:23 pm

    Doug,

    The rUk will be very little affected but it’s not Westminster thats proposing to break the union, SNP have given the choice to the Scottish people so it should be for Mr Salmond to lead his people with clarity.

    The points I was making was that either which way the vote goes there should be contingencies and no large business projects can be financed (unless balance sheet financed) with uncertainties or unknowns.

    It’s not a lot to ask to what unit of currency you will be contracting on and who will be underwriting it.

    All Westminster parties have said no to Scotland using the pound so Mr Salmond sounds childish when he stamps his feet and says “oh yes we will”. He must have a plan B and he will have been briefed by the business leaders on the pro’s and cons so clear communication to those of us that have to keep multi-year projects moving would be expected from the SNP leader (not that we get it from Westminster either).

  48. @MJ:

    “No. Several countries use the US dollar as their de facto currency but they are not in a currency union with the US.”

    Semantics. There is no reason Scotland couldn’t adopt Ecuador’s position re. the dollar, and a currency union of sorts immediately exists. Whether in this form, or a under a formal treaty, Scotland would be subject to rate-setting in London and have no lender-of-last-resort.

    “Lots. One small consequence would probably be that ATMs in an independent Scotland would not be able to dispense GB pounds.”

    I’d say that’s pretty unlikely. What else?

  49. Fred – “Germany seems to be doing OK.”

    Yes ok, the country which dominates the currency union is doing fine. The rest, especially the smallest members, are in economic hell.

    So here’s the question. Scotland and rUK join a currency union – who is Germany and who is Spain?

  50. “Yes ok, the country which dominates the currency union is doing fine. The rest, especially the smallest members, are in economic hell.”

    France isn’t exactly bankrupt.

  51. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    6 Aug, 2014 - 6:10 pm

    “MJ

    Again you troll every unionist canard in the book.”
    ________________

    I fear that the author of the above has “mis-spoken”.

    Surely the comment should have read “Again you VOICE every Unionist canard in the book?”?

    :)

  52. The full ‘debate’ is being broadcast on the BBC Parliament Channel Freeview Ch 81 at 7pm tonight.

  53. Craig North Sea oil peaked, ie began to run out, in 1999. Annual production has been on a downward trend for 15 years and that will continue until extraction no longer becomes economic.

  54. “I’d say that’s pretty unlikely”

    Have you ever seen an ATM in the UK that dispenses anything other than UK pounds? Have you ever seen an ATM in any country not in the UK that dispenses UK pounds?

  55. Ed

    Actually the smallest members are not in the least in economic hell. The southern members are in trouble. It is not to do with their size at all – Spain is one of the largest. It is to do with economic structures and cultural attitudes. The Euro gave them a few years of artificially high living standards followed by a very painful adjustment.

    Scotland does not have the characteristics of southern economies which made incompatibilities within the euro zone.

  56. Ben-American Fascist Flechette

    6 Aug, 2014 - 7:27 pm

  57. Salmond should have gone with the line our preference would be to keep the pound, but if that option is withdrawn, a Scottish pound will be created. The Irish managed such an arrangement for a long period before joining the Euro. I am neutral on the outcome. But I think this error will cost him the vote.

  58. I didn’t see the debate last night, but there seems to be a lot of confusion about the currency question. It helps to look at the situation from a practical point of view.

    There are no reliable figures on Scotland’s trade with the UK and the rest of the world, but HMRC in London and the Scottish government in Edinburgh publish rough partial estimates (see links below).

    According to HMRC’s Regional Trade Statistics, Scotland exports about £20 billion of goods a year and imports about £15 billion.

    A lot of that trade is probably with companies in rUK and probably priced in pounds.

    If the Scots vote for independence, most companies in rUK selling to or buying from Scotland will still prefer to do business in pounds – although oil sales may be priced in dollars — because payment in any other currency would add to their costs and complicate their lives (since they would then have to worry about the fluctuating value of that other currency).

    In other words, Scottish use of the pound post-independence would be overwhelmingly in the interest of rUK companies, whatever the No politicians may say.

    https://www.uktradeinfo.com/Statistics/BuildYourOwnTables/Pages/Table.aspx

    http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Economy/Exports/GCSIntroduction

  59. Only asking. If you are on a Hasbara website and you make anti-Israel remarks – do you become a troll. Is trolldom absolute or relative?

    The London spent hundreds of years wrecking the economies of Wales, Scotland and Ireland, followed by its European, transatlantic, Asian and African neighbours.

    Scotland will have many allies when it inevitably seeks revenge against London. In my lifetime, the Berlin Wall, USSR and old British Empire colonial blimp class have all gone.

    If England moral bankruptcy is attacked, comes under pressure, I will be the first to pull down its heroes’ statues. England constantly absorbs and transforms its enemies into drawling snob clones.

    I would love to know how many Asian Muslims are climbing up the slippery pole of UK power via the Prevent program. Scotland must be a thistle in England’s side, or an acupuncture needle to heal it’s disease.

    Is Scotland ready for this challenge?

  60. @Andrew

    Nothing is going to change regarding the oil. It will continue to be traded by the oil companies at the bourse in London and priced in dollars. The fields will most likely continue to be administered by the British government. The only difference will be that the British government will then pay the Scottish government their share of the revenue. It’s unlikely that the oil companies would want to start reorganising their methods or that the Scottish government would want to start setting up rival facilities when all they are interested in is the money.

    The cost of businesses trading between Scotland and the rest of Britain is an important factor but far from the only factor to be taken into consideration.

    A shared currency isn’t out of the question but I think the British government would prefer not to and only agree if Scotland really made it worth their while at the negotiating table.

  61. The problem is that at this point, weeks before a referendum, the currency issue should have long ago been put to bed with a watertight plan.
    Yes, some cooperation may be forthcoming from the rest of the UK if the time comes, but relying on that without a properly worked-out and costed Plan A not only seems very reckless but very strange. If you’ve got savings or a business in Scotland it’s not going to be enough that Salmond ‘thinks’ Scotland will be able to enter a currency union with the UK.
    Equally, with a new currency, it may be desirable for some politically, but there are potentially ruinous eocnomic drawbacks – it isn’t just a case of swapping bank notes but of having a central bank, secure bank branches and credibility on the international money markets so that businesses can borrow.

  62. Ed @ 4.57pm.

    If Scotland decides to use Sterling as legal tender

    a) Is this a currency union?

    No, it isn’t.

    b) What can the rump U.K. do about it?

    Not much; nor is there any reason why they would want to.

    Old Mark @ 5.04

    “The currency of the Free State, and then the RoI,was tied to Sterling until 1978. Similarly, Luxembourg used the Belgian Franc during the twentieth century until both countries became founder members of the Euro. However in both cases currency management was vested with the larger party, in London and Brussels respectively, with no input from Dublin and Luxembourg.”

    Yes, couldn’t agree more. And the same with the rest of your post.

  63. Why it is crucial Scotland breaks from union – please bear with me.

    Appeasement does nothing, zilch, nought to drive intention. Clearly we placate ourselves over most things including one sided debates, because it is easy, simple and soothing. Maybe it is the British climate that precipitates our emotions; oh well raining today so no need to mow the lawn etc.

    Truculence is not British, combatant is too direct too upfront for us Brits unless of course it’s footy and alcohol fuelling our emotions.

    Britain has acquired more than a sense of false diplomacy, we sit behind the ‘yanks’ prodding their backs to accommodate our neo-liberal interventionist foreign policy that does nothing else except return chaos and suffering. Why do you think we cannot publish or disclose an honest Chilcot report and more.

    This improper, wrong and false relationship with America is our misfortune, a tragedy in the making. Horrifyingly as Craig comments previously our police force is arming up:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-28656324

    Our favored high street stores and products we love are increasingly snapped up by huge American corporates:

    bbc.co.uk/news/business-28674140

    We have contrived and prodded others towards World War III:

    The Russia Aggression Act

    Senate Bill Preps for War with Russia. counterpunch.org/2014/08/04/senate-bill-preps-for-war-with-russia/

    Manifestly Scotland’s independence is one step towards our own liberation in my view. Scotland was accomplished even before recorded history dealt with Britain. Later the Romans despite major campaigns into Scotland retreated to Hadrian’s wall.

    Now, in this epoch it seems Scotland should be prodding our own backs. Perhaps then the rain might ease off and we can anew sooth ourselves in the sun.

  64. BrianFujisan

    7 Aug, 2014 - 1:21 am

    I’m with Doug on these matters of Currency and Economics…but i found this Post interesting and informative…from the ‘Liveblogging the Great Debate’ Thread…Hope you Don’t mind me Reposting this Robert ( and Craig )

    Robert Peffers
    5 Aug, 2014 – 1:27 pm

    Why are so many numpties so stupid about the legal status of the pound sterling?

    1 – Scotland has her own currency it is the same currency used by her ONLY partner in the bipartite Treaty of Union 1706/7.
    2 – Sterling is an international trading currency and anyone can use it.
    3 – The UK government does NOT set interest rates the BofE does.
    4 – The BofE was nationalised by the bipartite UK in 1946 and thus is partly Scottish.
    5 – There is no legal basis for any form of UK to remain after the bipartite UK disunites.
    6 – There is no legal basis that the bipartite UK, a treaty between two equally sovereign partners, should be divided up on the basis of the current population ratio.
    7 A currency union would be of greater value to the, (three country), Kingdom of England, than to the Kingdom of Scotland.
    8 – The title United Kingdom legally describes a Kingdom, not either a country or a state.

    Plans a to z for the currency are to use the pound sterling – prefferably with a currency union.

    Unless, of course, YOU know better.

    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/08/liveblogging-the-great-debate/#comment-471481

  65. BrianFujisan

    7 Aug, 2014 - 1:48 am

    Another on the Whacky world of £ $ ect

    An independent Scotland can use the pound and will be able to flourish without a formal agreement with Westminster, according to one of the world’s leading think tanks.

    The Research Director of the Adam Smith Institute, Sam Bowman, has said that “the UK’s obstinacy would be Scotland’s opportunity.” adding that the pound should remain Scotland’s currency and simply be pegged to Sterling should London block an agreement.

    Commenting on the issue of currency, Mr Bowman, said:

    “An independent Scotland could flourish either by using the pound sterling without the permission of the rUK or by setting up a ‘ScotPound’ pegged to sterling through a currency board, which would achieve a similar end.”

    Citing as examples several countries that use the US Dollar without official agreement with the US Government, Mr Bowman added that a newly independent Scotland would be bound to act in a more fiscally cautious fashion:

    “Because Scottish banks would not have access to a currency-printing lender of last resort, they would have to make their own provisions for illiquidity, and would necessarily act more prudently.

    “Scotland actually had this system of ‘free banking’ during the 18th and 19th centuries, during which time its economy boomed relative to England’s and its banks were remarkably secure. And Panama, which uses the US Dollar in this way, has the seventh most stable financial system in the world.”

    The intervention followed Tuesday night’s TV debate which saw First Minister Alex Salmond take on Better Together head Alistair Darling.

    In the exchange the leader of the No campaign focused on the issue of currency, repeatedly demanding a Plan B from Mr Salmond. However the First Minister refused to be drawn on possible blocking moves by London and insisted a currency agreement would be in the interests of both Scotland and the rUK.

    Mr Bowman added: “Everyone says Mr Salmond needs a Plan B if the rUK does not agree to a currency union with Scotland. But unilateral adoption should be Plan A, making Scotland’s economy more stable and secure. The UK’s obstinacy would be Scotland’s opportunity.”

    http://www.newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-news/9555-indy-scotland-could-flourish-with-or-without-currency-agreement-says-respected-institution

  66. Quite contrarily to the uninformed MJ above, I’ve never seen an ATM anywhere in Scotland which dispenses anything other than Scottish bank-notes. Darling’s dissimulators know we just need do nothing upon independence and can call the pound which we jointly own as shareholders in the BoE the Scot’s Pound, and if it is to our advantage to allow it, we could then admit WENI to a currency union with us, if they asked. I believe the term ‘pound’ relating to a unit of currency or coinage/promissary note was in use here in Scotland before it was used in England. There’s no problem with the US Dollar and the Canadian Dollar being quite different currencies sharing nomenclature, which is really all this argument is about. It’ll be the pound all the way, our’s and their’s and if it’s for the best then in good time, we’ll each have our own. Physical interchange when purchasing is almost so rare now, though I always myself deal mostly in cash, most is done by swipe card or electronic transfer, which will just use the appropriate local currency of the goods’ seller.

    Scotland’s own pound would be backed by a wealth of able human talent and skill, abundant natural resources for energy and raw materials, revitisalised manufacture and food and drink production, we’re also a net and profitable exporter of electricity and water. We’re solvent even when oil is excluded completely from calculations. The ‘London’ Pound will be backed by whatever the City elites and Eton boys can find in their pockets as they stumble out into the dawn after a late shift at the casino tables.

  67. Neurotics for No

    7 Aug, 2014 - 3:49 am

    I like the last-ditch caviling of the Duchy of Savile and its personas posting here, MJ, Windy Miller, David S and the other permutations. Their little catch-phrases are premised on the notion that the Scottish, like the English ruling class, are timid bedwetters afraid of their shadows, terrified of the unknown and fit only to hide behind America’s skirts. Accordingly, they seek to frighten you with the idea that you must work out every jot and tittle before you assert your sovereignty, otherwise you’ll be lost, floating in some void. Horseshit.

    Once Slovakia asserted its sovereignty, the Slovaks took the better part of a year to work out the details with their Czech counterparts. Slovenia got out while the getting was good, then sussed out the particulars with nugatory support from the US or the EU. By contrast, Palestine inched toward statehood in a painstaking series of tests and tasks. All that did was give their colonizers a hundred opportunities to trip them up. Does anyone here think that the British ruling class wouldn’t do the same to Scotland if they got the chance?

    Assert your people’s right to self-determination. First things first.

  68. Just saying

    7 Aug, 2014 - 6:36 am

    It appears the truth is finally emerging despite all the attempts at obfuscation and crass minutiae,

    TO BE FREE OR NOT TO BE FREE, THAT IS THE REFERENDUM QUESTION.

    The rest is all bull, the Scots are in danger of being “grassy knolled” with endless minutiae whilst the killers of JFK are hifiving (and winking) like the dancing Israelis of 911.

  69. As above so below. A country is perhaps not so different to a person and the united kingdom to a marriage. The vote then can be seen as akin to a decision on whether to divorce. Before deciding to divorce there may be some thought about how it will pan out economically ( in a recession the divorce rate tends to fall) and sometimes there is even a discussion as to how to divide the assets. In the past a discussion between husband and wife as to how they would divide their assets was deemed collusion and a potential bar to the court granting divorce, but these days discussion and agreement is encouraged.

    In short the gut emotions tend to lead the decision and the calculating mind comes second, but not with everyone and to some extent they work together with one more dominant than the other.

    The vote is akin to the decision to the petition. Then comes the negotiation. Of course if the negotiations break down or result in a change of mind and / or heart there must the possibility that the union continues; should there not be a second vote after the negotiations i.e vote with your heart now and head later?

  70. If Scotland gains it’s so called independance what effect will this have on the working class who represent the majority. Will the low paid ,the out of work,the unskilled be any better off will the skilled middle class improve their standard of living,looking around Europe and the USA the system is rigged so the rich get richer and the remaining struggle to maintain what they have. The basic system which we all live under will not change you will get the same exploiters abusing the wealth protected by the same establishment flunkies Scotland will be no different than what it is today.

  71. Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    7 Aug, 2014 - 8:49 am

    The vote is akin to the decision to the petition. Then comes the negotiation. Of course if the negotiations break down or result in a change of mind and / or heart there must the possibility that the union continues; should there not be a second vote after the negotiations i.e vote with your heart now and head later? (Fool)

    I like this guy. He does thinking.

    I left Scotland after thirty years’ residence because I couldn’t find work relevant to my skills and qualifications there. In the UK, Scotland wasn’t doing well at all. That was not long before the crash. Now England is in about the same state, employment-wise, as Scotland was then. I don’t see remaining in the Union as an attractive option for Scots workers, and unless the UK develops a much more independent, progressive and versatile economic base, I don’t see that ever changing. Answer, Scotland develops its own economic base, adapted to its skills and geography.

    The currency question is a diversion. It doesn’t matter if Scotland uses cowrie shells; if the economy works. And that’s the nub of the matter IMO. And talking of shellfish, Fred, the guys who buy your product come over here with Euros, buy pounds to pay you with and bugger off back to Spain or France to sell the beasties on for Euros. If the Scots used merks (or cowries), you’d still get paid.

    I think Scotland may be guilty of looking for its wallet under the street light because the light’s better there. A wholly different strategy to the populist and emotional approach to independence (and in the event of a ‘no’ vote, it could still be tried) might have been to build the Scottish manufacturing, tourism and renewables bases and give the country some real economic clout FIRST. Difficult, but it will be just as difficult after independence, and many safety nets will be removed by then.

  72. Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    7 Aug, 2014 - 9:08 am

    And yes, Seydlitz. That’s a fundamental point. The USP of a newly independent country is that it can do things differently, but in the globalist lexicon, “different” is a dirty word.
    I think Scotland can do it, but the danger is that it will take the easy options on wages and markets.

  73. @Ba’al

    For your education.

    The guys don’t come over here with anything I doubt they come over here at all.

    It’s all done by bank transfer, the computers handle the exchange rates.

    If I would still get paid or not and how much is anybody’s guess. Would depend on if they make as good a job of the economy as they did of the tram system.

    It’s fine for people who don’t live in Scotland saying Scotland could make a success of their economy. The important question is would they make a success of their economy.

  74. “Scotland actually had this system of ‘free banking’ during the 18th and 19th centuries, during which time its economy boomed relative to England’s and its banks were remarkably secure. And Panama, which uses the US Dollar in this way, has the seventh most stable financial system in the world.”

    Well yes, Scotland’s economy did boom relative to England’s after the Union.

  75. A 1973 British Government report, prompted by the rise of the SNP, said Scotland could have the strongest currency in Europe. The report was classified until 2005.

    http://www.lobster-magazine.co.uk/free/lobster68/lob68-apocryphylia.pdf

  76. OFF TOPIC

    National Demonstration for Gaza
    Saturday 9 August. Assemble 12 noon
    outside BBC, Portland Place
    (tubes: Great Portland Street/Oxford Circus)
    marching to rally at Hyde Park via US Embassy

    Please ask all your family and friends to join the demonstration on Saturday. Be a part of it!

    At the time of writing (Tuesday) over 1,814 Palestinians have been killed and 9,536 injured.

    UN OCHA says “Children continue to bear the brunt of the crisis”. The number of children killed stands at 408 with at least 2,877 children injured.

    An Israeli missile attack on Sunday against an UNWRA school has been condemned by the UN as ‘criminal act.’

    Yesterday (Monday), Israel broke its own ceasefire, killing an eight year old Palestinian girl and flattening her family home. The Israelis then launched an attack on another home.

    Whole neighbourhoods have been flattened, and almost half of the Strip was already a ‘no go zone’, before the bombardment of Rafah.

    Palestinians are struggling to dig out the bodies of the dead, hospitals struggling to cope with the bloodshed and death, and shelters struggling to cope with the hundreds of thousands attempting to seek refuge. Ambulances, hospitals and UN schools sheltering refugees have all been targeted by Israeli bombs.

    International outrage has escalated, with thousands blocking the streets outside the Israeli Embassy in London over the weekend, and protests taking place across Britain. But even now, the BBC is determined to ‘defend Israel’.

    We need to increase the pressure even further – and ensure that our voices are heard. Please ensure that nobody can say that they didn’t know about the demonstration this coming Saturday – forward this email on to family and friends, and bring them along.

    Tell Cameron – NOT IN MY NAME! STOP ARMING ISRAEL! STOP THE MASSACRE!

    Take action – sign our letter to the Prime Minister

    Join us on Saturday – and spread the word! Click here for the facebook event page.

    http://www.palestinecampaign.org/march-saturday-gaza-make-voice-heard/

    http://www.palestinecampaign.org/events/national-protest-gaza-free-palestine/

  77. A friend once introduced me to what he called ‘Pigs Can’t Fly’ arguments. This is an argument which attempts to prove that something is not so when abundant evidence that it *is* so is everywhere around. ‘Don’t say pigs can’t fly when they’re fluttering past overhead’ was his advice.

    The Unionist case as variously wittered above is a Pigs Can’t Fly argument. If even one tiny part of it were true there would not be a single independent country on the planet – we would all be part of a gigantic United Kingdom, the only political organism capable of well, anything.

  78. Robbie Burns

    From scenes like these old Scotia’s grandeur springs,
    That makes her loved at home, revered abroad;
    Princes and lords are but the breath of kings,
    “An honest man’s the noblest work of God!”

    Any place that gave rise to a poet like Burns deserves to be a Independent Nation all its own. Very simple, fuck the bankers.

  79. @Vronsky

    Please take my word for it, I have been a crofter many years now and I can assure you that pigs do not have wings and they do not fly.

    If you are seeing pigs fluttering past overhead then may I suggest it is most likely some sort of hallucination.

  80. ” A 1973 British Government report, prompted by the rise of the SNP, said Scotland could have the strongest currency in Europe. ”

    Not always a good thing. Exports become more expensive and less competitive, imports get cheaper which is good for consumers but bad news for home producers.

  81. A strong currency never hurt Germany.Agh the days of the D-Mark.
    Scotsmen have led Great Britain both in the forces and at Westminster.It has great products for export including expertise in the oil industry.It’s folly to suggest that Scotland couldn’t have a successful economy as all an economy is ,is resource management,trade and industry.It’s all there and including Clair Ridge, a bountious oil field of magnificent proportions waiting for the tap to be turned on.After the last 40 years of mismanaging Scotland,how could Scotsmen not do better ?
    If Fred can run a croft then I’m sure Scotland could run an economy.Would Fred want someone living 50 miles away to manage his little croft ? Doubt that the cows would be happy.Fred would have more time to spend on his laptop however.

  82. It is very concerning and hard for me to understand the people who are going to vote No, without making any requirements attached to their vote.
    They are going with what is ‘offered’.
    If I were contemplating No I would be saying, as the very least, I will vote No, if all Parties give a specific legal guarantee that the oil revenues be distributed to the regions of the UK, rather than for the purposes of the Westminster Government, and as real money.

  83. “Not always a good thing. Exports become more expensive and less competitive, imports get cheaper which is good for consumers but bad news for home producers.”

    Yes. A lot of people are going to live in places like Spain because the cost of living is so much lower.

  84. Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    7 Aug, 2014 - 11:17 am

    It’s all done by bank transfer, the computers handle the exchange rates.

    As if that made any difference at all. Indeed, electronic money makes it even easier to take liberties with national* currencies. However, in my time if you sold direct to a lorry (eg at Christmas, or vast quantities) you got folding ones.

    And you, Fred, will be contributing to the wealth of your chosen nation. Because when the Spanish lorry has taken your (redacted) to the Costa del Chav, they will be sold in tiny little punnets at hugely inflated prices to English tourists, or sprinkled lightly through the paella they can’t pronounce. From their earning, in pounds sterling.

    *Thought you deplored nationalism, anyway. Tush.

  85. “If Fred can run a croft then I’m sure Scotland could run an economy.”

    I think the secret of running a croft, in fact the secret of keeping animals, is to keep your feet firmly rooted in reality and see what is there not what you would like to see.

    If a cow is thin the answer is to feed it more not to pretend it is fat.

  86. Wonders will never cease. A post from Fred that i 100% agree with! :-)

  87. Sounds like a croft with a bleak future Fred.
    Keeping your feet firmly on the ground in this analogy is keeping the centre of gravity in the “City of London” and putting out your hands and wait for whatever comes your way.
    Not having vision for croft or country will mean you get mired in the muck of the past. Westminster has not been overly generous to the North,as you I’m sure will know from driving the highways and biways of Caithness & Sutherland in your horse and cart.
    Independence offers vision , a centre of gravity in Scotland and a desire to move us out of the past and into a prosperous future.And instead of blowing all the oil cash as Thatcher, Blair and Brown did, some of it will be put into a fund for the future.Makes sense to me in case there’s a bad harvest or two for you Fred.

  88. Republicofscotland

    7 Aug, 2014 - 11:45 am

    The fiercely anti-independence, and Tory/London owned Daily Record, has a double page spread,claiming a top SNP insider, admitting Alex Salmond blew it. This story provides no names or back ups, its all just a propaganda smear campaign, by the unionist Record. The Record also gives a platform to Alistair Darling,in another double page spread,in which AD goes on to attack Alex Salmond’s debate answers.

    I was under the impression that Better Together and the YES Campaign were running the independence referendum, (I may be wrong and I’m sure someone will correct me if I am.) Then why has the UK Government taken out a full page ad urging Scots to vote no, and remain in the union, the ad can be found in the Glasgow Evening Times.

  89. Three has-been slebs interfere.

    Dench, Jagger & Cowell Tell Scotland ‘Vote No’
    Some of Britain’s biggest celebrities including Dame Judi Dench and Sir Mick Jagger have urged Scotland to ‘vote no’.

    They are among more than 200 names of entertainment world stars and public figures who have joined the Let’s Stay Together campaign to save the union and stop Scotland trying to divorce itself from the UK.

    Also on the list are the Saturday night television rivals Sir Bruce Forsyth and Simon Cowell, and Professor Stephen Hawking.

    /..

    http://news.sky.com/story/1314585/dench-jagger-and-cowell-tell-scotland-vote-no

    Appalling.

    Scottish independence: unofficial no campaign pleads ‘let’s stay together’

    Richard Wilson, June Sarpong and others star in film aimed to give voice to English, Welsh and Northern Irish unionists
    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jul/16/scottish-independence-unofficial-no-campaign-launch-lets-stay-together

    Who is funding it???

  90. Fred
    “If a cow is thin the answer is to feed it more not to pretend it is fat.”

    How did this cow get so thin?

  91. Their Santanic Majesties Request ‘No’ to Scottish independence – ‘Nice to see you’ vote no! – - – The establishments entertainment channellers protect their interests. The intention is strong from that quantum including the cosmologist pROF. Hawking who believes ‘spooky things’ happen at a distance.

    It is scary that this form of wingding conditioning is used to demolish the ‘Yes’ campaign that drives Scotland’s divorce from a violent ‘Ross Kemp’ analogous marriage.

    Sadly the zombies will prevail and overcome Yes Scotland.

    I run along with a powerful hint. It was Yes Scotland activists who accelerated bedroom tax protests throughout Scotland. It was Yes Scotland activists that formed ‘Veterans for Independence’ – ‘Farming for Yes – Crofters for Yes – and it is the Yes Scotland movement activities that is, from a reliable source, the focus of group 41 in GCHQ.

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/464760/Yes-vote-would-raise-terror-threat-to-Scots-says-former-GCHQ-boss

  92. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    7 Aug, 2014 - 4:44 pm

    Mary (10h00)

    “OFF TOPIC

    National Demonstration for Gaza..etc, etc, etc”
    _________________

    Announcing you’re going to be off-topic doesn’t excuse you.

    EVERYONE ELSE had kept on-topic and in consequence the thread was one of the more interesting ones.

    There’s a lesson there, Mary (incldung in self-control and respect for others and the blog owner)

  93. F off. It is an important message which Craig/mods allowed through. Suggest you go on the march and learn a few facts.

  94. Ba’al Zevul (with Gaza)- still can’t manage to proof read what I type.

    I have no idea about the Scottish economy or potential for the future, but as with so much in life where there is a will then there is usually some sort of a way somewhere.

  95. “How did this cow get so thin?”

    Well now that’s a long story.

    You see one day the old crofter was going to feed the cow when he accidentally tripped and spilled a small amount of corn. It wasn’t even a thimble full and the cow didn’t seem to notice any so the next day the old crofter thought he’d save a bit more corn and give the cow another thimble full less and the cow never noticed so the next day he did it again.

    Anyhow he’d just got the cow accustomed to eating nothing at all when it died.

  96. ” How did this cow get so thin? ”

    The feed is contaminated with tapeworm eggs. Feeding it more is only going to make it worse. The attention of a vet is required.

  97. ” A strong currency never hurt Germany. ”

    The strong Euro is being blamed for the decline in German imports over the past year or two. In the past Germany was able to remain competitive by modernising and reducing labour costs. By 1973 British industry had lost it’s competitive edge and was well into it’s death spiral.

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