Scotland calling : Estonia

The latest video from Phantom Power.

Estonia is proof of what happens when a nation takes control of its destiny and embraces the future. Just over 30 years ago Estonia freed itself from a broken Soviet Union to finally realise its true potential. This incredible wee nation of just over 1 million people committed to a new adventure in digital and has never looked back. Estonia is now right up there with its Scandinavian neighbours as amongst the very top places to work and live in the world.
We trace the country’s history, difficult transition to full nationhood and focus on how its highly advanced IT savvy citizens are taking on the global Covid19 pandemic – a crisis Estonia is better placed than many to deal with – an example we can all learn from.
Support us to produce more episodes @ https://www.gofundme.com/f/scotland-calling

RAYMOND BRECKON – CEO of Guaana and Englishman in Estonia
‘The only difference Scotland is 3D and Estonia is flat – apart from that it’s the same.There isn’t anything left that you can’t do digitally but it’s still ahead of the clumsy UK version of it.’
KAREN BURNS – CEO Visory AI, Glasgow University Graduate and married to a Scot
‘We’re such a small country that decisions can be made in an agile way so really quickly decisions are implemented in quite a fast way. Estonia is such a digitised country. The only thing you can’t do online is buy a house or get married.’
LINNAR VIIK – One of Estonia’s original Digital Pioneers and advisor to the world on Digital Governance
‘All the public services are accessible via internet. I think we’re the the only country in Europe right now where the court services are available on internet. If you want to create a new company it still just takes 10 minutes. The government has even stretched further with digital services with sick leave and you don’t even need to visit a doctor. Only thanks to that digital investment we have made, we are surviving this crisis and we don’t lose access to the core services and capturing data from the digital channels is also something that gives the opportunity to make decisions based on data.’
PETER FERRY – Wallet Services and Honorary Consul to Estonia
‘The sense of common purpose and the willingness to try new things and perhaps even the necessity of trying new things was really the thing that sparked my imagination [about Estonia]. It became necessary to look solutions to the problems they had with the assets and capital they had available. The upshot of that is that it’s become the very streamlined and easy to live in state that it is today.’
DOUGLAS CHAPMAN MP – Scottish National Party
‘I was returning from Stockholm on a parliamentary business trip in early March just as the COVID-19 virus was taking a serious hold in Europe. On the flight back I realised I had some really good contacts across the Scandinavian countries and into the Baltic states so I thought it might be a good idea to explore some of the issues around the pandemic situation with those folk I knew in different countries.’
The idea is to reach out to other countries across the world, to understand how they are coping with the current pandemic and to consider the different approaches each country is taking towards recovery. The idea was worked up by those involved following a chance business meeting between Dunfermline and West Fife MP, Douglas Chapman and Ewan Hunter who works closely with Phantom Power Films and I had been aware of their excellent film work.’
EWAN HUNTER – Presenter @EwanHunter
We’ve had an incredible response from people across the world. From Estonia to Iceland, the Faroe Islands to New Zealand, from Vietnam and Japan to Denmark, Sweden, Saudi Arabia and the USA, people have loved the idea that we can talk to each other, learn from each other and take some positives from this awful situation.
It’s also been fascinating to hear the stories of how different countries have responded and noteable that many of the smaller, more agile nations seem to have had significantly more positive outcomes. Whilst there is a long way to go, there may well be real lessons for a future Scotland….but that is probably a whole new series!’

40 comments on “Scotland calling : Estonia

  1. Derek Henry says:

    If you had been at the MMT conferences in Scotland this would be the last thing you would say.

    New Zealand yes.

    Estonia never in a million years

    https://ec.europa.eu/info/business-economy-euro/economic-performance-and-forecasts/economic-performance-country/estonia/fiscal-surveillance-estonia_en

    • grizebard says:

      Estonia has come from way below zero to where it is now in a relatively short time span, which is a massive achievement. It signals what we in an independent Scotland could do with far more propitious starting conditions, given the will and the opportunity. But don’t let that important message get in the way of yet another of your magic money anti-EU grumps.

      • Derek Henry says:

        It is not my fault you speak out of both sides of the same mouth and say different things.

        Hate austerity done by London

        But love super doopa austerity by the EU.

        Not my fault at all. Start by looking in the mirror.

        Sunak has just proved how the magic money free works. No constraints apart from the skills and real resources available.ow

        What’s that nearly a £trillion from thin air. Scotland with its own currency and own central bank free from EU rules could do the same. As long as their enough skills and real resources to absorb it or you get inflation.

        I will let you think about that.

  2. Wee Chid says:

    When Britnats ask why Scotland would want to leave one union just to join another I mention Estonia. It fair upsets them that I compare the blessed UK to the harsh auld Soviet Union.

    • Derek Henry says:

      Not at all.

      We try and save you from yourselves.

      As you simply have no idea how different monetary systems operate in the real world.

      New Zealand who run their own affairs trade with the EU without being tied to neoliberal fiscal rules.

      Estonia never in a million years.

      Brexit always was an IQ test.

      • New Zealand has a trading agreement with the EU. Britain has NO agreement yet.

        • Derek Henry says:

          NZ have with no neoliberal horse shit attached. So does the US. So does Japan.

          The EU fiscal rules that tell you what your deficit and debt should be is neoliberal horse shit.

          Scotland should decide how it uses its skills and real resources.

          Not London and not Brussels.

          Otherwise it is NOT independence.

  3. Derek Henry says:

    As everyone knows by now which is an accounting fact with no politics or ideology.

    The government budget deficit = The private sector surplus to the penny. The private sector being households and businesses.

    The national debt is just that surplus moved into bonds over time so that both households and businesses can extra interest in their savings. Like a pension, or ISA or anything that you are invested in that are linked with bonds.

    Scotland Currently enjoys a 7% of GDP household and businesses surplus. Scots like to save. There are no inflation issues so no problem.

    Because of the EU growth and stability pact, corrective arms and all the other nonsense that goes with it lets look at Estonia.

    https://tradingeconomics.com/estonia/government-budget

    Estonia’s household and businesses have a surplus of 0.3% of GDP. Quite simply austerity on steroids with most savings being offshored in tax havens exactly like Ireland does with their tech giants.

    https://tradingeconomics.com/estonia/government-debt-to-gdp

    They have a debt to GDP ratio of 8%.

    That is the household and business surplus that is moved into bonds to earn extra interest. That is shocking. Show Doopa austerity on steriods.

    It amazes me how you complain about austerity when it comes to London. But completely ignore the permanent austerity built into the EU budgets.

  4. Derek Henry says:

    Anyhoo,

    I will leave it to Prof Michael Hudson to explain the rest who has studied this for years.

    Rewriting economic thought

    https://michael-hudson.com/2015/10/rewriting-economic-thought/

    And

    Destroying Estonia

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2011/10/24/destroying-estonia/

    From his book killing the host which is excellent.

  5. Derek Henry says:

    Oh,

    Before I go

    Croatia who has their own currency at the heart of Europe – The SNP plan

    Is no different austerity on super doopa steroids

    https://ec.europa.eu/info/business-economy-euro/economic-performance-and-forecasts/economic-performance-country/croatia/fiscal-surveillance-croatia_en

    Note to oneself never allow the Ferret to fact check anything.

    It is very dangerous when they get it wrong. Austerity is built into the EU structure.

    They think everyone can export their way to growth.

    That is every country uses their own skills and real resources the things we can run out of to make stuff for other countries to consume.

    In return we get blips on a spreadsheet at their central banks that we can never use like Ireland.

    https://ticdata.treasury.gov/Publish/mfh.txt

    Meanwhile while we use our skills and real resources the things we can run out of to send stuff abroad to earn those blips we’ll never use.

    Domestically, our infrastructure and public sectors will fall apart. Our bridges will collapse just like in Italy and some of our roads undriveable just like Germany. As all of our skills and real resources will be being used to send stuff abroad.

    Madness rolled into insanity the EU way.

  6. […] Wee Ginger Dug Scotland calling : Estonia The latest video from Phantom Power. Estonia is proof of what happens when a nation […]

  7. Bob Lamont says:

    Great little film that… Interesting…

  8. Derek Henry says:

    Austerity and the Demise of Social Europe: The Baltic Model versus the European Social Mode

    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14747731.2015.1052623

  9. Derek Henry says:

    The Shadow of Thatcherism Over Estonian Politics

    https://truthout.org/articles/the-shadow-of-thatcherism-over-estonian-politics/

    Tories austerity that destroyed millions of lives.

    Budget deficit of 2% of GDP

    Estonia deficit 0.3% of GDP

    Croatia is now running a budget surplus which means their households and businesses are now running a deficit. Spending more than their income. Pushed into the arms of the EU banks.

    http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=37150

    Makes you wonder if the Indy movement is left wing at all ?

    Or just filled with the liberal left (Blairites)of the neoliberal persuasion. Blair loved the EU. George Monbiot book ” captive state ” covered that period.

    Either that or they are just clueless which then makes them dangerous.

    Which isn’t funny at all considering the polls to take an independent Scotland into the heart of Europe sit at 50/50

    • Mark Russell says:

      We need to educate and enlighten Derek – for the vast majority of people, the concept is simply incredible. Too many barbs and the message gets lost. I understand your frustration, but you know the subject and can play a huge role if you can rise above this.

      All the best.

  10. Hamish100 says:

    Derek… before I go!! then you come back twice. Feeling lonely? lol.

    I think the best people to govern Estonia is not the former USSR.

    i know the best people to govern Scotland are us.

  11. Welsh Sion says:

    We learnt about the YouGov poll and the level of support for SG and Nicola Sturgeon with regard to the Covid-19 crisis yesterday.

    Here are the equivalent findings for another small country – mine – and the difference between yours and mine (and their respective First Ministers is quite noticeable.

    YouGov: Only 28% in Wales trust Mark Drakeford to make right decisions on Coronavirus

    https://nation.cymru/news/yougov-only-28-in-wales-trust-mark-drakeford-to-make-right-decisions-on-coronavirus/

    Still, don’t forget we your natural allies, at all times.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Mark Drakeford always looks like he suffers from a lack of confidence, probably as a consequence of devolution rather than the benefit of it, or maybe his personality isn’t suited to public speaking which is a bit of a drawback for a politician

      If you don’t look and sound confident you tend not to inspire it

      Although look at Michael Gove full of the slimy lying type of confidence, so much so you’d rather stick your hand in a barrel of snakes and hope to grab a snake

      Don’t worry Wales you’ll get an upswing in interest when your country sees Scotland bugger off

  12. Dr Jim says:

    Let’s do sums and we’ll demonstrate clearly why Scotland should be ruled over by another country it has no power within, the Internet abounds with this sort of dross as to why a country shouldn’t have the human right of choice, and all presented by English nationalists under the guise of *you’d be lost without us* It’s insulting and abusive and offers the rule of no choice

    Scotlands votes have no effect on the outcome of governments in England and if they ever did the government in England would immediately reduce the amount of constituencies available in order to reduce the amount of representatives Scotland could appoint which would always be an amount that could make no difference to English rule, so again no choice

    England is an abusive and aggressive owner and always has been, offer to leave them and they threaten to destroy you just as they destroyed the biggest Whiskey producer in these Islands, and yes I spelled it correctly because Irish Whiskey was at one time the biggest selling Whiskey in the world until that country took their Independence then England cut off every supply line they had and starved them, and that was not for the first time

    There are over 100,000 people dead in Ireland buried in mass graves due to the neighbourlyness of England

    The English nationalists will argue all day then come back and argue all the next day about what always amounts to submission to their rule or you’re either stupid because you don’t understand or how can you possibly manage without us, followed by the threats and comparisons of financial choices you’ll never be allowed to make because if you do you’ll definitely make the wrong choices, and if they happen to be EU haters then the rule of the EU becomes submission to Satan itself

    Why is every country that has taken its Independence from England not on the phone begging to be brought back into the warmth and love of the Empire again, answers on a thumbnail

    Scotland and Greece between them have made the biggest contributions to mankind the world has ever seen, don’t take my word even for that, ask Jacob Reese Mogg because he’s the guy who repeated it in his very own film documentary

    Scotland continues to do these things, without the millstone of England hanging round our necks the rest of the world will sit up and recognise and remember those achievements because we’ll be telling them as opposed to England stifling them

    Choices dear Britnats, choices, to which the Britnat reply is to always threaten you with events that haven’t happened but will if you don’t do what they say

    • Chicmac says:

      Yep the abuse must now be visible, even to those ustritches who had their heads as far in the sand as their necks would allow.

      It is time to leave England to it.

      Odds on, there will at last be a proper clear out down there, like many other countries have had in the past, and the exceptional/entitlement layer will be removed.

      • Derek Henry says:

        So instead of the neoliberal in England telling you how to use your skills and resources.

        You want neoliberal in Brussels to do it instead ?

        Tell you, you can’t have a deficit above 3%. Must export your way to growth and run budget surpluses.

        Dearie me….

  13. Arthur Thomson says:

    Well!! I enjoyed that short film and what I took from it were several things:

    Estonia has harnessed modern technology to the end of rising from the ashes of Russian subjugation;

    It has used this technology to achieve effective governance in the public interest;

    There is a need for effective constraints to ensure that data cannot be misused should an undemocratic group gain political power;

    A small country has achieved great things when it was able to retake its independence.

    Then I read below the line comments and was assailed by what came across as incomprehensible guff. There may be some merit somewhere in that guff but for now I will simply log it as comments to be explored when I am short of something better to do.

    Thanks for bringing my attention to the film Paul.

  14. Ken2 says:

    EU contributions

    UK €12Billion

    Germany €25Billion
    France €25Billion
    Spain €?

    Smaller poorer countries are given grants & funding. Scotland gets EU contribution, funding and investment. In renewables etc.

    EU funding helped German reunification and helped the former soviet bloc countries to self determination and self governance. With grants, ECB loans and funding.

    They would help Scotland to Independence. EU membership helped to Devolution. The reason was Scotland had less democracy than the former Soviet bloc countries. They were achieving self governance, self determination and Independence. Denied to Scotland.

    Westminster, Blair, had to comply with EU courts or lose EU concessions and be sanctioned. UN principles under International. The rights to self governance and self determination. If people vote for it.

    The Eurozone members have less debt and have to comply within an agreed balance to debt. For continued membership.

    EU shared Defence costs and market concessions with the wider world. Free movement and less barriers to trade give a wider, equal market. Keeps costs and prices down. Completion Laws.

    The EU formed to stop war and starvation after WW2.

    The EU/European countries have to pick up the mess and debt of the illegal wars. Costing the EU more. US/UK illegal actions causing the worst migrant crisis since WW2. Some people never learn.

  15. Mark Russell says:

    We can plant trees, clean up our mess, tend gardens, help with community support, learn a new trade, develop new skills – and get paid for it. This is how..

    http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=44844

  16. Mark Russell says:

    We can plant trees, clean up our mess, tend gardens, help with community support, learn a new trade, develop new skills – and get paid for it. This is how..

    http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=44844

  17. Ken2 says:

    Orkney awarded €100,000 EU eco prize. Orkney initiative totally self sufficient in renewables.

    The Tories are investing £Billions+ in redundant nuclear which has been discredited since the 1950’s. Plutonium from the UK is used to make redundant weaponry in the US. The waste is dumped in Scotland. 50% more waste is being dumped at Faslane in the Clyde.

    The military has threatened staff to keep the facts secret. A major initiative to keep it secret under the Official Secrets Act.

    Iraq, Dunblane, Lockerbie kept secret for 100 years.

    The Tories will be voted out.

    The EU promotes peace, prosperity and cooperation.

    Westminster imbeciles promote death and destruction. Vote Tory to die younger than EU citizens.

    The UK one of the most unequal places in the world,

    • Derek Henry says:

      Clearly you have no idea how it works.

      a) When would an independent Scotland with its own central bank and currency need Euro’s?

      b) They obviously never spent the Euros in the UK because everything is sold in £’s. So they must have swapped Euro’s for £’s.

      c) After they swapped the Euro’s for £’s did it cause inflation when they were spent ?

      So clearly an independent Scotland with its own currency and central bank never needed the Euro’s in order to spend.

      They would use their own currency to do all things you think we done using Euro’s. As if an independent Scotland could run out of currency.

      Which makes it clear as day we do not need the EU for funding. We certainly do not need the EU to tell us how much we should tax and spend it now much we can all save. Or how to use our skills and real resources.

      Infact, the only time we need Euro’s is to buy imports and we get those Euros via our exports.

      It’s like getting $’s for our oil.

      http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=28913

      • Derek Henry says:

        Giving us Euro’s when we don’t need them is a farce.

        Sunak and the BOE has shown £’s do the job. Any Indy Scotland would show groats do the job.

        Giving Euro’s is a con trick as it forced us to use our skills and real resources the stuff we can run out of.

        Not blips on a spreadsheet or swapping assets at a central bank.

        On what the EU are happy we use our skills and real resources.

        Fuck em !

        The people of Scotland can decide how we use our groats. Not London or Brussels.

        Try using groats to help the public sector and public purpose and a job guarentee and then see what Brussels has to say…..

        You will be out on a convergence program and corrective arm and hauled before the ECJ before your feet touches the ground.

        Never mind being under the excessive debt procedure.

        That is where the SNP is taking you. Blind by your love of the EU. Thinking it will save you from the Tories.

  18. Ken2 says:

    The Tories ‘psycho bastards’ are dumping nuclear waste in Scotland. People will die younger. Vote Tory to die younger. Target group makes over seventy. The Tory Party members. Some people never learn.

  19. Legerwood says:

    UK Gov sets up testing centres throughout the UK including England and Wales then refuses to give the results to the Welsh and Scottish Govs claiming data protection rules, which UK Gov had put in place, stopped them!!!

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/04/rapid-coronavirus-test-site-data-was-not-shared-with-scottish-and-welsh-ministers

    • Thepnr says:

      It’s a disgrace but not a surprise.

      The question I would like answered is why were the accountancy firm Deloitte thought to be the most suitable company to run the programme of testing at these centres?

      This Tory government will have so many questions to answer over their handling of this pandemic. Though you can expect that any public inquiry looking for these answers will drag on for many years in the hope that people will forget all about the failures of this government.

      • Legerwood says:

        Tory donors perhaps?

        Last week I read of another company that had been given a contract to run some testing centres in the south of England. It advertised in the local paper for volunteers (unpaid) to help staff the centre(s)!!!

  20. Julia Gibb says:

    The stories about all these small Nations being so successful makes me really sad. I’m delighted for them but knowing how many advantages we had to be even more of a success than them makes me want to cry.
    I am not depressed for selfish reasons because it will have little impact on my life. The sadness is in the knowledge that so many young people will miss out on such a great future in order to prolong this dreadful Union for a few more years.

    Unfortunately it looks like it will be years before the YES campaign will be back in gear. The more damage done by this delay means increased difficulty in joining the journey these new nations are currently on.

  21. Bob Lamont says:

    Strewth, 13….

  22. JMD says:

    Mark Robertson, how is it lovely true words, she’s saying (may well be unintentionally) that we’re basically screwed and might as well forget it. Lovely words? Just what we need, more misery and pessimism.

    • Mark Robertson says:

      Give Us YOUR best inspirational speech JMD , Scotland is listening !
      You also have my permission to trash me if it helps in your speech to portray positivity , let it rip

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