The Jeremy Clarkson of the independence debate

So that was the great debate then. The media has, entirely predictably, already decided that Alistair’s tiring liar salad has won it for the Union, and the Yes campaign can pack up and go home because it’s another blow for Alicsammin. Which is a variant on what they were saying last week, and the week before that. Alicsammin’s never been known to do anything except being blown – in fact according to the UK media he gets blown more often than a sexaholic with a lifetime membership of a swingers’ club. Nae wonder he’s always accused of looking smug. So it’s hard to judge the reality from the media reports. But allegedly it was all about bleedin currency unions and feck all else.

It’s worth repeating even if a callous the size of Ben Nevis develops on the foreheads we batter off the brick wall of UK media reportage, but the currency union issue is a not a fundamental or basic issue. It’s a practicality not a principle.

I have actually given serious and considered thought to the whole currency union thang. I have read economics papers, and this is an imposition to be deeply resented because they are word porridges of jargonese – about something that’s bloody boring and with far less literary flavour than the instructions on the back of a packet of Scotts porridge oats. The mechanics of money just don’t row my boat. I’m missing out on the capitalism gene, or maybe I’m just not a shallow materialistic git and understand that value and worth aren’t the same as a pricetag. But for whatever reason, economics bores the airse aff me. And I’m sure that I’m not alone there. It makes us normal.

Anyway, like the majority in this country I’m not daft, at least most of the time. I possess a good Scottish education. I can even count without using my fingers and do long division in my head because I was born before calculators were invented. Those of us possessed of this skill are far more mathematically qualified than George Osborne or Danny Alexander. Although to be fair, Danny does know how to multiply by twelve.

So following profound cogitation upon the pros and cons of a formal sterling zone, a new Scottish currency, using the pound without a formal currency union, and the assorted other options, I’ve come to the conclusion – and I mean this in a considered, caring and loving way -that I really, deeply, truly don’t give a flying fuck about a currency union.

Seriously, who gives a shit apart from former Chancellors of the Exchequer. It’s a practical problem to which a practical solution will be found, and the only reason we keep hearing about it is because it’s the central plank of the No campaign. It’s the only plank they’ve got other than the short thick ones who get elected. And the only reason ordinary punters give a shit is because Alistair and his pals in the papers tell us that it’s Pure Dead Important. It is to them – because it’s their only plank. That doesn’t mean it needs to be important to the rest of us.

Ireland continued to use sterling for six years after independence in 1922. Then they introduced a currency pegged to sterling. Sterling notes continued to circulate freely in Ireland for the next seventy years. Life went on and the sky did not fall in. Did the average person spending their pounds/punts in Ireland notice or care that the country went from using sterling to pegging its own currency to the pound? Nope, they just kept on using the same money. All they noticed was the pretty new designs on the Irish coinage and banknotes which circulated alongside the British money they were long familiar with. Wee Celtic animals, I seem to remember. A lot nicer to look at than a Windsor.

To the average punter like you or me it makes no difference at all what mechanism is used to keep the pound – currency union or unilaterally using the pound or whatever – we just keep on being skint or splurging out on the latest bargains as usual. Our wages and pensions are paid, our bank accounts retain the same amounts. And that’s all we need to know or care about. Scotland will continue to use the pound, everything else is boring mechanics. I don’t care if a car has a wangle flange accumulator spork in its engine or a differential drive shaft makeup bag, as long as it takes me from A to B it does all that is required of it and my interest begins and ends there. The currency union argument is the Jeremy Clarkson of the independence debate.

At this point, if you’re channelling Alistair Darling – which is a deeply unsettling experience – you’ll be going look look look, you’ll have no lender of last resort, and you’ll probably be wagging a finger accusingly. But that only means that Scottish banks won’t be able to engage in high risk casino banking and the Scottish government will have to regulate them more tightly to ensure that they behave themselves and don’t run up huge debts. This is a bad thing? It is if you’re Alistair Darling or Fred the Shred. But allowing folk like Fred to determine our economic policies is why we’ve got all this austerity crap to begin with.

I’d quite like to see the banking sector kept on a short leash. It’s highly volatile you know. Meanwhile it’s worth remembering that a national government is only responsible for the debts accrued by a bank within national territory. Scotland would only have to bail out a failed bank for its Scottish debts, not its global debts.

Cooperation is required between Holyrood and Westminster in order for a formal currency union to work, it’s one of the few areas where close cooperation is required after independence. So naturally Westminster is refusing to cooperate as a threat and is exaggerating the importance of the currency issue out of all importance to its true worth. They seek to downplay the damage a refusal would wreak to the rest of the UK while over-egging the damage it would do to Scotland. They want us to fixate on their pricetag but not to consider the true worth of their argument. Do you want to vote for people who threaten to rip you off and who are willing to damage you and themselves in order to punish you? Seems like poor value for your vote. Westminster are the dodgy mechanics who sook their teeth and say “Oooh, it’s gaunnie cost ye.”

Would Scotland be bound to follow Westminster’s economic policies? Not really. There would have to be agreement on borrowing, but it takes two to agree remember. Westminster will no longer be able to unilaterally impose. This is a vast improvement on the current situation, and the Scottish government would have greatly increased freedom to make the best financial and economic decisions for Scotland. We would not be ruled by the UK Treasury, whatever nonsense that No campaigners spout.

And then there’s the indebted elephant in the room. That would be the UK Treasury and the £1.4 trillion of UK national debt. The pound is a UK asset, it belongs to Scotland as much as the rest of the UK. And let’s have nane o this crap about it being the property of the UK and we’re leaving the UK. Right now, right here, we are the UK. And when Scotland becomes independent we will take our share of what is ours from the UK. Nae assets, nae debt.

The UK Treasury has already assured the money markets that it will retain responsiblity for the UK national debt, and there are no lenders anywhere who possess an IOU saying “I owe you squillions of quid, xx Scotland”. Scotland has precisely zero legal liability, and anyone who tells you we have a moral duty to take our share of the debt or we will be punished by the markets is talking pish. Bankers don’t do morality, that lesson should be clear to one and all by now. What Westminster wants is for Scotland to undertake to pay a share of the UK national debt to the rUK Treasury, not to the international money markets. And that’s a very big bargaining chip in Scotland’s hands. It’s not one that the Scottish Government chooses to highlight, because they don’t want to spook the markets. Funny thing rapacious capitalism. It savages humanity but is itself more easily startled than a new born fawn. It’s a Bambi I’d cheerfully strangle.

All the banks are interested in is ability to pay. They are not going to punish Scotland for not taking on a debt for which we have no legal liability, in fact there is a good argument that they would punish us for taking on a share of the debt – what sort of creditor undertakes to repay debts which are not theirs legally? That’s a creditor that a lender might be concerned about. How can they be certain we’ll pay the debt we have to them if we have a history of taking on the repayment of debts that we don’t have a legal obligation to pay? So it cuts both ways.

This conveniently distracts us from the million and one other areas in which Westminster cooperation will not be required after independence. All those other planks that Westminster is short of. We will not have to ask Westminster’s permission to get rid of Trident or the House of Lords. We will not have to ask Westminster’s permission to abolish the cruel and capricious system of benefit sanctions introduced by Ian Duncan Smith. We will not require Westminster’s cooperation in order to reindustrialise the Scottish economy. We will not require Westminster’s permission to introduce land reform. We can do all these things for ourselves, and do them far better than Westminster ever has, currency union, no currency union, or whatever.

Currency union? Meh. Who cares, it’s a practical problem to which a practical solution will be found by our highly paid elected representatives. That’s why we pay them. Meanwhile there are far more important issues which really are deserving of our attention – like the scandal of foodbanks and fuel poverty, protecting our NHS, and getting rid of the obscenity of nuclear weapons.

66 comments on “The Jeremy Clarkson of the independence debate

  1. fynesider2 says:

    A sound dose of common sense… Thank you, I was needin’ that…. A great pity you weren’t in the audience last night…. I hope Alec reads this!

  2. Gordon Adam says:

    Hear, hear

  3. Pam McMahon says:

    Yes. Thank you for being a normal, unscripted person.

  4. That’s the last time I talk technical about wee tram mechanisms wi’ you, Paul! 😉

  5. YESGUY says:

    Welcome back Paul.

    Brilliant, funny and informative.

    Good on you

  6. mary vasey says:

    Thank heavens for common sense. Spot on as usual wgd. Thank you

  7. Jan Cowan says:

    Good, clear thinking. Thanks, Paul

    ( I still have a few of those attractive Irish coins – kept after a couple of very happy years working in Ireland.)

  8. So the No Voters are happy to continue with Cameron, Clegg or Miliband and now we will have Boris in the old Etonian pack. Watch our great democracy swing into action as they find him a safe seat (the present occupant slipped into the Lords as a reward) then before we know he will be leader

  9. Papadox says:

    During last nights debate as the camera moved around no members of the audience to get their opinion the one thing that I noticed was they were all self centred. From the one who was raging about food banks getting his tax money.

    To the one who hated ECK, and the rest of the world forby himself.

    The woman in green who I can’t remember a word she said, but it was really boring.

    To the woman who jumped up and doon like she needed to leave the room.

    They were a very odd bunch, all selfish, self centred and bitter people.

    O nearly forgot the guy they couldn’t get to shut up so they just cut him off and as the camera swung away from him he was out his seat trying to follow it still rabbiting.

    They certainly were or thought they were upper class, they all know how intelligent and important they are. It was quite embarrassing to watch but not to them.

    Then again it takes all types, we should see more of the BT grass roots crew on TV the job would be done for us. A picture is better than a thousand words.

    Aye the upper or think they are upper classes.

  10. macart763 says:

    Yeah, pretty much. I frankly couldn’t give a stuff whether I’m spending sea shells or the pound Scots. In point of fact I’m one of those awkward sods who wouldn’t give Westminster or the treasury the time of day and always favoured any of the plans b through z.

    I’m poor as a church bloody mouse and always have been. The pound in my pocket? I can’t remember the last time I had one there to call my own and that wasn’t baggsied by either the weans or a bill. I do know when I’m being lied to and royally ripped off though and when some pretend socialist in a suit tells me I’m better together, stronger in unity and safer in the loving arms of a parliament that has serially mugged my country, then my first instinct isn’t to consider warm showers in the wee small hours. Especially when that pretend socialist is famous for presiding over the crash of an economy, being part of an administration that knowingly took us into an illegal war and ripped off the general public to the tune of how many houses?

    I’m also wondering if these policy wonk morons will ever catch on to the fact that Alicsammin has already done his part and is effectively on the subs bench till we need him to do his FM thing in event of a YES win. Its never been about Mr Salmond, its about us. What we want. What we need and how our system of government should best serve those needs. Its about judging the worth of our current form of governance. Has it served us well? Is it serving us well? Is there something better out there to copy or can we come up with something better to suit ourselves?

    The politicians can have all the telly time and meeja coverage they like. The media can have as many half witted, over opinionated, arrogant and condescending tourist commentators blethering amongst themselves as they can stand. Christ, so long as it keeps them away from normal folks. When we’ve done with our conversation amongst the people who really matter (that being ourselves), we’ll let them all know whether they still have a job or not.

    And the mood I’m in after this latest bullshit farago, there wouldn’t be many.

    • Robert says:

      Absolutely! As far as I’m concerned they can rename the pound the Osborne and stick it up Ed Balls’ bahookey. The real question is whether or not we want to continue living in a country which is run by the rich for the benefit of the rich and in which we have a government which continually vilifies every minority which the children of Thatcher love to hate, viz. immigrants, the unemployed, those dependent on state benefits. Who knows? Maybe we’d make a giant mess of running our own country, but I doubt it. It can hardly be worse than the increasingly grim, soulless, uber-capitalist, post-imperialist dystopia we’re living in now.

      • macart763 says:

        You just have to look at the passion, heart and commitment of the people on this site and so many others Robert. In my mind there’s no doubt Scotland could be a far fairer, more responsible and economically successful country.

  11. johnmcgurk says:

    You are saying what really needs to be said in language most people understand Its a pity you were not on the platform last night . It would have scared the shit right out of A DARLING.

  12. Bamstick says:

    Thank you wee ginger dug.
    We’ve been really low in this house today. This has made us smile.
    Like you we just don’t get why this currency union thingy is debated so much when we have more important issues to deal with.
    I think that you have to believe in something and that you should ignoring the minutia. The main aims are more important: A FREE AND FAIR SCOTTISH SOCIETY.

  13. maybolebuddie says:

    Next debate, Tommy Sheridan v Alistair Darling, knockout round one!!,

  14. arthur thomson says:

    As always you put it into proper perspective. Any Don’t Know who is at all concerned about the currency issue is either intelligent enough to know the alternatives or too daft to understand them. Truth is that this is designed to be a constant diversion from the real issues. The fact that BT and their chums keep pushing it is not lost on people and is a loser for BT. I didn’t see the tv debate but from what I gather Eck was low key. As I have said elsewhere, he has more brain cells then testosterone and that is what we need in a leader. I want to see the women in our movement fronting it. Then the real issues will be talked about and the BT men in suits will be seen for the charlatans that they are.

  15. arthur thomson says:

    Sorry to take up space but I want to say how much I value reading the comments of those who share this site. Thank you.

  16. Hazel Smith says:

    You’ve cheered me up no end today. A big thank you!

  17. […] So that was the great debate then. The media has, entirely predictably, already decided that Alistair's tiring liar salad has won it for the Union, and the Yes campaign can pack up and go home beca…  […]

  18. K1 says:

    I love it when you are on fire…currency schmurrency.

  19. Dinna_fash says:

    Eighth paragrph should be on bill posters, spot on Paul.

  20. Deedee says:

    Welcome back Paul – absolutely brilliant as ever! Anyone hear Alistair naming two powers which would be transferred to Scotland, no thought not, we may be waiting a while for an answer to that one!

  21. Deedee says:

    I am also keeping a folder of articles which I intend to repost in the week before the referendum, the folder is full of WGD articles!

  22. 1971Thistle says:

    I hate to be the devil’s advocate, but yes need to come up with a better riposte on currency. Whether it’s relevant or not, it’s seen as a weakness and will be hammered away at. The debate will struggle to move on.

    The irony is that the currency issue seems to be all that BT have. Neutralise that, then their ba’s on the slates.

  23. Cag-does-thinking says:

    Welcome back glad you kept your wit sharp this week. I think the problem was that over half the whole debate was about currency and perhaps AS should have moved the debate on to other things. Never stay on the only point that derails your argument. I agree the whole issue is a technical irrelevance, you just have to point out to your granny that there will still be money and you’ll still get to buy what you want if you have it. Like all the “big debates” it was not very interesting except to show Bernard’s frustration whan every person he picked to ask a random question was a Yes supporter.

  24. Morag Frame says:

    Like others, myself and the family were a bit down today maybe because we so wanted Salmond to give Darling a verbal ‘doing’ but more especially as Radio Scotland phone in this morning was gloating and spouting that Darling had won? Switched it off and looked forward to your own words returning us to sanity. Your an inspiration WGD!

  25. If we had a Scottish Merk, my choice to rattle the cage of the swivel eyed Wastemonsters, we could very well risk a Swiss Franc type of dilemma with everybody and his ginger dug piling into the Merk and forcing it up.against the £.

    The solution would be to buy loads of Gold and stick in the back vaults of the bomb storage area under Glen Fruin. Real gold not IOU stuff. We could also buy shed loads of weaker currencies like Euros and Dollars as well. As out oil would be traded in $ we could buy up Manhattan or Disney?

    Actually there is a flaw in my logic but, who gives a flying?

    It would never happen because rUK woulod be up next day after a Yes vote asking Scotland to announce negotiations to enter a CU with the rUK. The day after that would see Merkel, Hollande and Barak lining up to kiss Alicsammin’s ring.

    Shit, China might give AS a Panda or two of his own.

  26. Roger Cook says:

    Thanks for another great post. The reality of so many of Better Together’s fear stories is they are only plausible if the British State acts like a bunch of petulant toddlers in the case of a Yes vote.

    To that there are two sensible responses. One is if, as Darling et al seem to believe, its true, do you want to be ruled by them in any case? The other is even if Osbourne et al probably are that dim, the civil service is not.

    Once they move beyond petulance everything is horsetrading and finding workable solutions. Thus the whole thing about ‘tell us the start up costs’ only makes sense in the petulant toddler model. In the adult negotiation, well there is stuff in Scotland that serves the whole of the UK (a large part of the DWP’s IT infrastructure for one), that could variously be leased back to them; traded off against say continued usage of DVLA by an iScotland or form the core of an IScotland’s govt computer system.

    Currency is the same. There’s a deal to be had, what are the terms?

  27. Rookiescot says:

    The currency “threat” does need to be neutralised.

    Thats why I posted yesterday that I wish Salmond had stated “We will use the pound until we get a currency union or if EWANI wants to have a hissy fit and refuse that we will get our own currency”.

    BOOM. Job done. That drags the carpet from right under the NO campaign.

    Now buisness people will start screaming about transaction costs. The city of London will start popping maltesers out of its arse.

    Suddenly the esteblishment is screaming for a currency union should Scotland become independent.

    Sorry Paul I have probably ruined your maltesers bingo with that post.

  28. Red Squirrel says:

    I’d rather we had our own currency but mostly I just don’t care – it isn’t remotely a factor in me voting yes. Given WM apparent inability to count anything accurately, I wouldn’t trust them with pounds, euros or shells anyway.

  29. john silver says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with what you say.

    I also agree that Salmond’s stubborn refusal to countenance anything other than CU is a gift to the No campaign. It allowed them to make Salmond look like Michael Howard on newsnight. And whatever the rights & wrongs of it, this does not play well with undecided voters. Salmond needs to come up with an answer that allows the debate to move on.

    It matters not a bit, what the followers of the ginger dug think about the debate or about CU, our minds are made up already.

  30. Mick Pork says:

    Your instincts are sound since what the unionist press and pundits studiously avoid mentioning is that there is polling evidence for the salience of currency and it just ain’t good for No.

    This was the most recent figure from TNS-BMRB

    ‘Which of these would you say is most important to you in deciding how you might vote in the referendum?’ Currency – 2%

    An entire campaign based on that? Nae chance.

    Of course the No campaign want to pretend no other economic factors matter but it’s patently absurd when we are still living under the shadow of labour and tory austerity.

    I also think you kind of nailed it last night when you spoke of the debate being too fucking middle class. The somewhat comical STV presenters relish when pronouncing “Royal Conservatoire” didn’t help – but when the debate got bogged down to abstruse fiscal theories over the currency it began to take on the aspect of a jolly ‘better together’ dinner party where someone had decided to bore everyone else with a display of their pet subject.

    For some reason this Harry Enfield sketch came to mind. (It’s the one where the Gold Standard is spoken of with reverence and “women know your limits!” is the punchline. Sorry, I have no idea how youtube links work on here so I apologise in advance if they are unwelcome or troublesome)

    For the purposes of satire the woman ‘speaking out’ can be thought of as an audience member trying to interject, “Aren’t low pay, food banks and our standard of living more important than a negotiation practicality?” The disgusted contempt from the guests/unionist media is then terrifying to behold. 😉

    I also like to think this is an instructional video for any woman unfortunate enough to have a short time in the Cameron chumocracy. Warsi clearly didn’t pay it enough attention.

    • Capella says:

      Love this video, specially the fluffy kittens bit! A role model for ladies of Scotland.

      • Mick Pork says:

        As I said, I like to think it’s more like an instructional video made by Tory HQ for any woman unfortunate enough to be briefly in Cameron’s public school boy chumocracy. You can just imagine Cameron and Boris as the two male leads. 😀

        For that matter all these type of Harry Enfield sketches are unsettling close to what the Bullingdon Bullyboy mindset is at the top of the tory party. If only there were just a caricature, but you only have to look at Cameron’s cabinet of toffs to see how likely it is they have any contact with the real world and ordinary people.

        For example, here is Ian Duncan Smith briefly visiting the Gorbals and reporting back to Osborne Tory HQ. 😉

  31. Papadox says:

    4 sept. ECK should call a press conference of foreign journalists and announce that since HMG is not prepared to honour it’s Edinburgh agreement then Scotland will use the Scottish pound as it’s currency. Pegged to Swiss franc.

    Sterling will wobble about for a few hours whilst the money markets nail Osbornes balls to his chair. Then sterling will collapse and Osborne and his powerful country will be flushed down the shunk.

    There will be a international currency crisis with every country in the world including us I hope kicking the shit out of HMG. Leave the bast*rds to drown in their £1.3 trillion of debt.

    Obama and many others will explain to HMG what they will do, no f*cking about right. HMG will crawl up the road to Edinburgh with ADarling nailed to a cross, and a blank sheet of paper, and begging Alicsamin for a currency union, just write down what you want Alex it was only a joke, goodness sake.

    The scottish pound will be worth £2 sterling. O what a dream, unfortunately it will not be allowed to happen. It was fun though.

  32. Richie Rants says:

    It’s funny but I was just thinking along a similar vein after watching some of the debate yesterday evening. To be frank, it was fecking boring. Say for example there was a war raging for independence somewhere in the world, would the soldiers be looking at each other and saying “Not sure about all this, I mean what currency will we use?” This is a dramatic moment in history and it’s to the detriment of the UK establishment that the best they can come up with is a small doubt about the currency. They should be talking about what a fantastic country you’ll be leaving that takes care of everyone and so on (AD did try that last night and got raucously laughed at), but they can’t say that can they because they know half the country hates them with a passion, and the country isn’t at ease with itself. If you stay with the Union, they’ll eventually bore everyone to death with all this economic spin, definitely best out of it. Fantastic piece as usual btw :-).

  33. Capella says:

    Spot on again! AS came out of the debate well ahead with the undecideds, which is what was needed. The MSM were going to crown AD the winner whatever happened. But as others have said, currency is not a high priority for most people, nor EU membership. Also, it would be pointless to focus on a Plan B. The demand would then be to spell out Plan C , then D, E, F etc.
    AS did show remarkable restraint at some of the nasty comments coming from the NAWS. Popularity rating with the DKs was 74 % to ADs 26%.(Guardian snap poll after the debate)

  34. CuttySarc says:

    Great piece, Wee Ginger Dug. You have excelled yoursel!

  35. A Meringue says:

    Formerly known as Eilean!

    Two weeks ago my laptop dies a sudden death and is still waiting to go away under warranty. I tried to comment from my phone but that didn’t work. It turns out that wordpress has decided that “Eilean” will not post under any circumstances. (She is only a wee dug FFS)

    Anyway the “artist” formerly known as Eilean is now A Meringue!

    I will keep this short but to go back on topic. We all know that there is plenty of resources in Scotland that are worth a fortune and that Westminster has been scamming us for years. Where the money comes from is less important than what we spend it on in my opinion.

    • macart763 says:

      Good tae see ye.

      Couldn’t agree more. Scotland would be more than solvent regardless. S&P put the gold stamp on that risk assessment months ago. Only those associated with the status quo would paint Scotland as being incapable of independence as ably demonstrated by Darling during the debate. He just couldn’t make himself say the word could he? 😀

  36. steve allan says:

    Hi Paul I am still trying to get Alan’s permission for the last post but in the meantime here is another, hope you enjoy


    After the big debate and the pundits saying it might help the No vote, its time to analyse fully what that will mean for Scotland? What message will a No vote deliver to the London based political parties that lord over us in Westminster.
    Despite the success of the Commonwealth Games It will tell them and the world that the people of Scotland no longer think of themselves as a country and that we are content to be solely the northern region of England. We consider that the idea of Scotland as a country is finished and no more. That message will reverberate around the world and people will gasp with disbelief that such a rich country with so much talent, natural resources and successful industries is content to hand it all over to London to do with as they wish. It will tell the world that the Scottish people are content to be ruled by whomever the English people vote for, whether it be Tories like Thatcher or far right racist bigots like UKIP. Despite the reverie of the Commonwealth Games, a No vote would say a lot about the Scots of today.

    If the No vote is delivered which is something the London establishment have invested heavily in to ensure, what will happen next? The Unionists, and Orange bigots, will rejoice of course and many a glass of champagne will be toasted in the London clubs of St James for a blinding campaign to scare the Scots into voting No. They will laugh at our gullibility for retaining the flow of Scotland’s wealth into the London coffers and our fear at losing the pound. They will think it hilarious that we couldn’t work out for ourselves that the English economy and Sterling would collapse without Scotland’s support for Sterling. London and the South East will continue to grow even fatter on the back of Scotland’s fiscal input and the planned infrastructure improvements between English cities will go ahead, but what will happen to Scotland?

    Cameron, Milliband, Farage, and Clegg,will congratulate the Scots of course and breathe a sigh of collective relief. Initially, nothing will happen and we will continue as we are for a few months at least. These men are too clever to announce anything about their plans for Scotland too quickly. Only after the election in 2015, will the mask of equanimity be removed and the knives come out for Scotland. No matter who wins the next election, Westminster will cut the Scottish budget by billions, giving us even less of our own money back; that is guaranteed. They will say everyone has to make sacrifices to reduce the deficit; everyone but them that is. Their personal gravy train will continue unabated.

    Westminster “might” give Scotland extra income tax raising powers which will force the SNP government to raise taxes to maintain the improvements they have provided for Scots since they won the majority in Holyrood. That would make the Scottish REGION ( that’s all we will be after a No vote) the highest taxed REGION of the UK. Corporation tax is where the real money is and London would keep all of that as usual, no oil money for us in the future. All the London based parties think that Scotland being a high tax region would make the SNP unpopular and turn people against them. They then think we would return to voting for Labour, and Lib Dems. Laughably, some Tories think we will even start to vote for them. After all, if we vote No, anything is possible because it guarantees more English Tories ruling over what was once the country of Scotland.

    The No vote will tell those London based political parties that they can continue to take the rest of Scotland’s oil until it runs out, and spend it all in England like they have been doing for the past forty years. Continue to take all the money from our other exports and whatever else they want from Scotland. They can impose whatever new punitive taxes they want on our poorest people. They can dump nuclear weapons in George Square, Glasgow City centre if they want to because we Scots don’t care anymore as we don’t consider ourselves a country worthy of an opinion. A No vote says we are happy that you spend £100 billion on replacing Trident and keeping it close to our biggest city. It also means we don’t care that more of our people will suffer greater hardships when your austerity measure are increased. After all, if the Scottish people say they should not be an independent country then we should not expect others to treat us as though we are.

    Johan Lamont’s famous comment that we Scots are not genetically programmed to make political decisions, will come back to haunt us. That statement means we are genetically inferior to the English, and is why we want them to rule over us. Just think about that.

    Scots who vote No, will be responsible for all the cuts that will be imposed on Scotland and for the hardships that our people will suffer at the hands of English Tories, and the new Labour soft Tories. They will be responsible when our NHS goes the way of England’s with privatisation due to budget cuts, and when our misery pensions for the elderly are put out of reach of many Scots. The posts of No voters that I’ve read on F.B. and the media are so pathetically naive. Their message is that Scotland should just forget its past and be content to be a northern region of England, being ruled by whomever the 53 million English people vote for. That is what our future will be for another generation of Scots after a No vote. It will show that we haven’t suffered enough from our past at Westminster’s hands and have learned nothing from it.

    As in the Declaration of Arbroath there will always be some Scots like me who will never willingly submit to English rule. On September 19th the world will find out just how many we are in 2014. I hope there will be millions of us. A YES vote will enhance the lives of everyone in Scotland and give us a reason to be proud once more. For the first time, we will have a country where ability counts more than privilege and inherited wealth which is what we have at present in Tory Britain.

    After a YES vote, when the Scottish gravy train dries up,Westminster’s ability to wage illegal wars in our name will be severely limited. It will curtail their proliferate spending on military hardware while many of our citizens rely on charity to feed their children. That is something many people in England want changed as we do. It will also stop Scots being party to British foreign policy and its disgusting slavish subservience to America, the backers of Israel. That servility, shames us all.

    As the big day draws forever closer the establishment will step up a gear to convince us to vote No by ramming the British word down our throats until we gag. We must be ready to counter it, because British history is nothing to be proud of. The commonwealth games showed what we can be in the sporting arena as a country and our ability to fund and organise a world class event. We need to evoke that spirit again to break the chains that hold us back in becoming an independent country free from London rule. Stop listening to the purveyors of doom like Darling, there are many small newly independent countries in this world and none have the resource Scotland has. If they can do it so can we. We have NOTHING to be scared of.

    Westminster would never risk ruining the RUK’s economy or the collapse of Sterling by maintaining their stand on the pound. A currency Union is beneficial to both countries. However, Scotland needs to rise to the challenge and our F.M. should say without a Union we will have our own currency, create our own central bank and refuse to take a percentage of Sterling debt. 30 years ago the suppressed McCrone report said the Scottish currency would be the hardest in Europe second only to the Norwegian Krone. Nothing has changed. With the new giant Clare oil field being discovered and being kept secret by Westminster until after the referendum it should be obvious to all by now that our oil will last for a very long time, contrary to what the No camp say. They want London to have it all. Do we want to remain the only country in the world to have discovered oil and not benefited from it?

    A YES vote is a must for Scotland because of what will happen to us if we fail to deliver it. There is no room for ignorance or apathy from the undecided. The answers to all questions are out there in the White Paper, so get off you arse and read them. Come September, nobody can say they have unanswered questions any more, that is just a cop out and an admission of indolence. This vital vote will change our lives and those of our children and grandchildren forever. It is the most important decision for Scotland in 307 years, and we must not fail to win our political freedom. Westminster will punish us if we lose.

    In conclusion, just consider for a moment; without a YES vote, WHAT WILL WE BE?

    Alan N McPhail

    • Bamstick says:

      I agree completely. It seems to me that if there is a NO vote in September it gives Westminster the green light to have another round of “Highland Clearances” but this time it will be the whole of Scotland that they will clear. A NO vote says we are happy to do what they tell us to do. It says that we do not expect any more from them. It says have our water, have our skills, have our hearts and treat them as you want.

      • hektorsmum says:

        IF there is a NO vote they will not have to clear many, we will be out of here, Those of us that can will go.We have suffered through so many shades of Tories and I am sick to death of it. I did have a wee laugh yesterday, saw three Yes to one No in windows. The one NO was next door but one to the YES, both in social housing and of course it was a Labour sticker. I do hope the No does not get the answer I fear they will be sorry.

        • Bamstick says:

          That has been part of the discussions in our house. If we have a NO vote do we get up and go, or do we stay and fight on? If we go where do we go. Some of us have “bought hooses” but lots of folk don’t have. What would happen to the housing market in Scotland, could we even sell?
          Which country would we go to? Those of working age with skills have a better chance than those who are older or have skills that other countries don’t want just now. What about those who can’t move? Can we really leave them behind at the mercy of more and more Tory governments?.

          We have already had some local difficulties. A couple of neighbourhood “spats” nothing too bad but we also had our YES display stolen and vandalised. I’m starting to feel uncomfortable in my own home. I suppose I’m a wee bit frightened.
          Reminds me of what I read about the Highland Clearances.

    • macart763 says:

      Good post.

      Darling was asked repeatedly to articulate a positive future vision. He did not, for he could not. I don’t recall any pundit picking up on that little bomb shell.

      Who knew? Their headlines were written days prior to the event regardless.

    • Margaret says:

      I know this may sound daft to you but your posting just made me cry ,it just brings home to me what will happen if the no vote wins . God help us all if that happens it does not bare thinking about . For me its Yes Yes vote all the way .

  37. Luigi says:

    The FM could have easily knocked out AD in round one, but there are two more rounds to go and I think a softly approach was very sensible to start out with. AD’s aggressive currency attack could have been more strongly answered, but the impression I get is that Plan B, C, D, E have all been considered carefully, and are already in place, but they will not be discussed in advance of serious negotiations with rUK treasury following a YES vote in September.

    It would be a very foolish thing to do, to show your hand before negotiations on currency even begin. Hence we get a preferred, best option for Scotland. The FM is thinking long-term, he wants the best deal for Scotland. He could have communicated this more effectively.

    AD was always going to have his pyric victory, courtesy of the MSM’s careful management of expectations and reporting bias. Let AD bask in his great achievement. I have a feeling it is not going to last long!

  38. faolie says:

    Thanks Paul for saying what people are actually thinking. Or not thinking. I watched the debate with son & daughter, both yesses (natch). She’s smart and intelligent (clinical nurse specialist) but you could see her eyes glaze over during the “plan B, what’s your plan B, ye dinnae huv one d’ye?” bit.

    What currency will we use? We’ll use the pound of course. But dad, do you favour a currency union or sterlingisation but pegged to sterling such as that used by the Irish republic for some years? A Scottish pound is some of my colleagues’ preference but others worry about the currency traders’ views should we adopt this platform.

    Only the first two sentences of the above paragraph were actually spoken of course. But in No Better Together Thanks’ world, the whole conversation took place and we were all left perpelexed and concerned about how we will pay for things post-independence.

    ps – was out canvassing last night with the radicals. No one mentioned currency.

  39. Capella says:

    This Newsnet article shows that support for YES rose during and after the STV debate. Looks like AS knows what he’s doing. The increase in women and older people planning to vote YES is particularly significant

  40. fine article indeed and a very healthy scepticism re the dire discipline that is economics.Its a science didntjaknow?Bull.the attractive calculations and disguised cod morality-every discipline entails some moralising or other-make it no more scientific than any other way of living.its not entirely deplorable but its present dominance certainly is.
    “economics bores the airse aff me. And I’m sure that I’m not alone there. It makes us normal.” 🙂

  41. hektorsmum says:

    This is a little O/T but looking at the headlines in our dear MSM this morning. We both thought that they were extremely offensive to a man who holds the highest office in Scotland, that of First Minister. It is something which is not done in other countries, I imagine if you are rude in Public to the Office of the President regardless of which Party you will be held to account. It is something I would have to say to those people who do this is, how will you regard it if it is someone from your chosen party?

  42. andygm1 says:

    My son was at Nicola Sturgeon’s meeting in Prestonpans last night. Audience of more than 100 with three hecklers at the back (Orange Order types). He said she was excellent and was generously applauded on many occasions. The hecklers shouted out silly comments which she dealt with courteously and the audience jeered the hecklers who were eventually silenced.

    When he got home, he watched Scotland 2014 which featured the meeting. It had been edited in such a way that it looked as though she had faced a hostile audience with the jeering being directed at Nicola.

    The Media, don’tcha love ’em?

  43. smiling vulture says:

    Why Alistair Darling says NO to Scots on currency union.

    Benjamin Franklin was then asked how the American colonies managed to collect enough money to support their poor houses. He reportedly replied:

    “We have no poor houses in the Colonies; and if we had some, there would be nobody to put in them, since there is, in the Colonies, not a single unemployed person, neither beggars nor tramps.”

    In 1764, the Bank of England used its influence on Parliament to get a Currency Act passed that made it illegal for any of the colonies to print their own money. The colonists were forced to pay all future taxes to Britain in silver or gold. Anyone lacking in those precious metals had to borrow them at interest from the banks.

    Only a year later, Franklin said, the streets of the colonies were filled with unemployed beggars, just as they were in England.

    The money supply had suddenly been reduced by half, leaving insufficient funds to pay for the goods and services these workers could have provided. He maintained that it was “the poverty caused by the bad influence of the English bankers on the Parliament which has caused in the colonies hatred of the English and . . . the Revolutionary War.”

    This, he said, was the real reason for the Revolution: “the colonies would gladly have borne the little tax on tea and other matters had it not been that England took away from the colonies their money, which created unemployment and dissatisfaction.”

  44. Richard Smith says:

    Clearly, Scotland should make preparations for a currency other than the pound – perhaps along the lines of the Norwegian Krone. We could call it the McCrone…

  45. adam591 says:

    Superb article, keep repeating “this is a practicality not a principle”. Entertaining and enlightening.

  46. lastchancetoshine says:

    “Although to be fair, Danny does know how to multiply by twelve.”

    His multiplication may be good but he can’t count to Ten

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