Coffee House

Salmond attacks credibility of ‘No’ campaign threats

24 February 2014

9:01 AM

24 February 2014

9:01 AM

There’s not much the Cabinet can do about accusations by the SNP that today’s visit to Aberdeen is a typical Westminster attempt to bully Scots by flying up to make yet another tranche of negative announcements about the consequences of independence, focusing this time on North Sea oil. If Cabinet ministers didn’t make this trip, they would be accused of being feart. On balance, it’s better to engage than cower, even if today’s offensive by Ed Davey and others hardly helps the impression that the ‘No’ campaign is wholly negative.

But whether or not the Prime Minister or colleagues find themselves accidentally bumping into Alex Salmond as the two rival camps both meet in Aberdeen, there is one question the ‘No’ camp must address, which is it’s credibility when it makes negative assertions about currency union and other matters. Salmond summed this up in his Today interview, saying:

‘The reason I’ve described it as ‘bluff, bluster and bullying’ is a slightly different point, I think it’s bluff because what they say now will be totally different to what they say after a ‘Yes’ vote – that’s my assessment of the situation. It’s bluster because George Osborne expressed it as about keeping the pound, of course, the pound’s an international tradeable currency, it’s not a question of keeping the pound, it’s a question of whether we agree a currency union, that’s the bluster aspect and the bullying aspect is obvious, it’s diktats from on high.’

He also made a strong counterpoint to the idea that the Union automatically gives stability to the oil sector, saying ‘we’ve had 16 tax changes in the North Sea in the last ten years, we’ve had 14 oil ministers in the last 17 years’. The trick, which Salmond embellished with cheeky patter referencing David Cameron’s Eton schooldays, was to suggest that not only are Westminster politicians turning up in Aberdeen to bully Scots: they’re also just not quite what they seem.

More Spectator for less. Stay informed leading up to the EU referendum and in the aftermath. Subscribe and receive 15 issues delivered for just £15, with full web and app access. Join us.




Show comments
  • Rockin Ron

    I don’t agree with Alex Salmond, but I do concede he is a brilliant politician who is head and shoulders above Cameron, Osborne, Carmichael and Darling. The No campaign needs more effective people to take on Mr. Salmond. Trying to think who that could be is difficult. Not Major, Brown, Hague, Miliband, Blair.

    How about Valerie Amos, Alastair Campbell, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, Menzies Campbell, Charles Kennedy? Need some seasoned big hitters.

  • bengeo

    5th Dec 2013

    Should Scotland be an Independent country?

    All voters

    Undecided – 14%

    Yes – 31%

    No – 55%

    Ipsos MORI

  • CortUK

    The UK Cabinet visiting a part of the UK is bullying?

    What a tw@t.

  • Smithersjones2013

    If Salmond ( another one who doesn’t think NO means NO) thinks that the English and Welsh response to Scotland deciding to depart the union will be any different to “Screw You Then Jimmy” then he really is deranged. Osborne, Alexander and Miliband have stated that there will be no currency union because they know the English will demand that there is no currency union. England will expect every English politician to do their duty and say no to the arrogant and contemptuous demands of the SNP.

    Quite simply it will not be in the UKr’s interests or the UKr political parties interests to bow down to the presumptious, arrogant and unreasonable demands of Salmond and his deranged party

    • monty61

      Fraid so. Salmond can’t on the one hand go round stoking up anti-English feeling, then feel all hurt when it’s reciprocated. As a Scot living down South currently I’m already feeling the backlash.

  • asalord

    Another day another lecture from day-tripping British nationalists. Ho hum…

    • Wessex Man

      another day another halfwitted comment from the resident fool.

    • CortUK

      You mean unionists.

  • CraigStrachan

    Salmond needs to clearly express a credible plan for an independent currency, now that a currency union is off the table. The Scottish people deserve to have full assurance and detailed answers on this question.

    Instead, he tries to bluff, bluster and bully his way out of a corner. It’s so very unserious, and so damaging to the case for Yes.

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      Well said but good luck with that one Craig. You might start by explaining calmy and clearly why the UK is not attracted to offering an unlimited guarantee of Scottish debt etc.

      • BarkingAtTreehuggers

        That guarantee was already given, d’oh (!)

        • CraigStrachan

          If Scotland walks away from it’s obligations on UK debt, it also walks away from it’s share of UK pension and national insurance reserve funds.

          What’s the plan for securing the pensions of Scots in that case?

          • BarkingAtTreehuggers

            I thought there was a £7TRILLION future pensions black hole? I mean what is it? Do we have a pot, don’t we have a pot? I trust you are fully capable of answering that one correctly.

            • CraigStrachan

              Well, Scotland alone is more demographically-challenged than the UK as a whole. But never mind future black holes – I’m worried about how Scotland pays pensions on day one, without its share of the UK reserves?

              • BarkingAtTreehuggers

                what ‘reserves’?

                • CraigStrachan

                  The UK National Insurance Fund, for starters, which the SNP evidently contemplates continuing to draw on, post-independence. That seems unlikely, in the context of Scottish debt default.

                • BarkingAtTreehuggers

                  There we have it – Scotland is either in and will draw on what you outline, or they are out and will not. No assets, no debt – that’s what it means.
                  You cannot have it both ways. It is you who needs to make his/her mind up.

                • CraigStrachan

                  That’s right – there should be a proper reckoning of assets and liabilities, including national debt and pensions.

                  The pound, however, is just a currency and – Alex Salmond’s description of it as a millstone round the neck of Scotland notwithstanding – neither an asset or a liability.

                  It has been made quite clear, well ahead of time, that there will be no currency union on the terms demanded by the SNP, for good and obvious reasons. The mature response would be for Salmond and the SNP to go away, have a think, and propose a plan for an alternative currency in time for the referendum. Instead, they bluff, bluster and threaten to walk away from debt. Doesn’t really inspire confidence, does it?

                • BarkingAtTreehuggers

                  No, it is simply irrelevant to the question of independence. Any independent nation would have four options, broadly outlined as follows:

                  1- its own central bank/ own currency
                  2- de facto pegging its currency to a third party central bank
                  3- outright using a third party currency without exercising any control whatsoever
                  4- joining a currency union with like-minded parties.

                  Why deny these were the options? They are the options, yet they are TOTALLY irrelevant with regards to the matter of independence. Only the Better Together campaign wish to obfuscate that fact, no one else is.

                • CraigStrachan

                  I think the events of the past six or seven years have made it pretty clear that any independent nation, to be truly independent, has only one option – it’s own currency.

                • BarkingAtTreehuggers

                  Like the US for example, now printing $85/65bn PER MONTH to assert its ‘independence’?
                  Come on, please, this is childish stuff…

                  ‘Independence’ in a globalised multi-culti corporation-led world is pure fiction.

                • CraigStrachan

                  Yes, quite obviously the ability to print its own money is a key attribute of a sovereign nation such as the US. Or the UK for that matter. It was also an indispensable policy tool in the recovery from the financial crisis, which is now strongly underway in both the US and UK.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Option 4 is fine. Sadly for you, the UK is not a like minded party. The UK has no interest in underwriting newly issued Scottish public debt or acting as lender of last resort to Scottish banks. We do not do it for other foreign countries, let alone one that is hostile to our interests, and will not be doing it with Scotland. Perhaps that is why the TSB is looking to register and headquarter itself in London.

                • BarkingAtTreehuggers

                  They are not ‘looking to register’, they *are* registering – to mitigate the inevitable.

                  quod erat demonstrandum

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  The point remains apposite and your option 4 remains an irrelevance so far as the UK is concerned. Good luck finding some other mug to join your currency union.

                • BarkingAtTreehuggers

                  What are you on, pal? We need to know.

                  250,000 jobs lost in British banking since the crash. If they spoke the lingo they would have long left for Singapore, Dubai or Frankfurt.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Or Hong Kong, NY or wherever. Now that irrelevance is out of the way, I can confirm that you will need another mug for your option 4. Good luck with that.

                • BarkingAtTreehuggers

                  …at with point it pains me to point out yet again that you have not consulted Frankfurt, or have you?

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  If there is anybody out there who can translate this gibberish please advise. I will then respond if I deem it worthwhile.

                • BarkingAtTreehuggers

                  Consult Frankfurt before wishing anyone ‘luck’, pal.

                  (n.b.: are you tvg’s best mate/alter ego? you certainly come across as either one or the other)

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Try Cyrillic lad and somebody might understand whatever it is your gibbering on about. You have certainly lost me.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  No I cannot make head nor tail of this gibberish. If anybody can translate I would be obliged.

                • Denis_Cooper

                  You cannot have it both ways: Scotland cannot dump its share of the debt on the taxpayers in the continuing UK, and still expect Cameron’s help in keeping Scotland in the EU Single Market, without which the Scottish economy would collapse.

        • Denis_Cooper

          No, he is referring to Scotland assuming its part of the existing accumulated debt, part of which was borrowed to fund public spending in Scotland. The UK Treasury has told gilts investors that they can rest assured that they will be repaid as promised. It has NOT told the Scots that they will be let off their share of the repayments, doh.

          • BarkingAtTreehuggers

            Yes of course not, haha!

            But Scotland will find itself in the position that, if pressed, will sit down at the bar and write a cheque on a bar mat denominated in new currency and return it to the BoE as payment in full. You cannot have it both ways. Either Scotland are in and will honour the debt in Sterling, or they are out and then they will honour the debt in foreign currency.

            This will of course never happen as the plan is, was and always has been another one as aptly outlined by yourself.

            • Denis_Cooper

              And of course the Bank of England would accept that cheque, no questions asked. I think I’d rather that the Scottish government did the obvious thing and gave the UK Treasury Scottish government bonds denominated in sterling to the value of Scotland’s share of the accumulated UK debt which is denominated in sterling, whether or not Scotland was still in a sterling currency union. But if you really think that Scotland could just walk away from its debts, well let Salmond try it and see what happens.

              • BarkingAtTreehuggers

                They won’t – that’s the point. That option does not exist. Scotland will n e v e r find itself outside either currency zone. It will a l w a y s be part of one currency zone.

                • Denis_Cooper

                  How?

                • BarkingAtTreehuggers

                  It will not stop using one until it uses the other.

                  My list of options below will clarify:
                  it will jump from 1 to 3 to 4.

                • Denis_Cooper

                  It could use what it liked, but from the instant it separated from the rest of the UK it would cease to be in a currency union with the rest of the UK.

                • BarkingAtTreehuggers

                  Why? Let’s start with the easy bit: is the bank even called Bank of the UK?

                • Denis_Cooper

                  No.

                  Gosh, I’ve never thought of that – you mean that the Bank of England is not actually the central bank for the UK?

                  Do you intend to carry on wasting people’s time with this kind of garbage?

                • BarkingAtTreehuggers

                  No, I said the opposite. The Bank of England has always de facto underpinned a Scottish currency. It will contiue to do so if it holds the ASSET BASE (why is this so difficult?).

                • Denis_Cooper

                  No it hasn’t, not de facto or in any other way; the Bank of England was founded in 1694 to provide services just to the English government, and the currency union with Scotland only came later with Article XVI of the 1707 Treaty of Union which the SNP is proposing should be terminated.
                  Of course there was no reason why the SNP should not propose that when the 1707 treaty was terminated there should be a new treaty for a continuing currency union, if they didn’t really want Scotland to be a fully independent country; and they have done that, and they have been given a clear answer, “No”.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Yes he most certainly does.

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          There is a guarantee in respect of existing debt and that is why I have carefully added the term ‘new debt’. Why do you bother polluting this thread with your ignorant leftist gibberish?

          • BarkingAtTreehuggers

            You have added that term now, have you? Well, that’s what I instructed you to do, didn’t I? ‘Gibberish’ is only dished out by you – then what happens is I come along and correct it.

            • Nicholas chuzzlewit

              Oh do just go away.

      • CraigStrachan

        Well, it’s been surprising how quickly Salmond has turned from “Project Reassurance” to threatening debt default, with all the economic dislocation that would cause.

    • Denis_Cooper

      Salmond has always wanted Scotland to join the euro. In fact only five years ago he was telling Spanish TV that one strong reason for Scotland to become independent was so that it could ditch sterling and join the euro.

      • CraigStrachan

        Well, then he needs to make that case, starting by engaging with the significant doubts and questions about EU membership raised by Barroso, Van Rompuy and others.

        • Denis_Cooper

          Salmond dare not make that case, because he knows that any proposal to join the euro would be a massive vote-loser in Scotland just as it would be anywhere else in the UK.

          That is why for the purposes of this referendum he has suddenly become enamoured with the pound that he previously despised.

          But once the Scots had been fooled into voting “yes” that would be a different matter.

          • CraigStrachan

            Yes, I do get the sense that the Scottish people feel the First Minister isn’t being upfront with them on this matter.

  • Denis_Cooper

    For God’s sake, just introduce a Bill into the UK Parliament to prohibit the government of the continuing UK agreeing to a currency union with Scotland unless that had been approved through a referendum in all parts of the UK other than Scotland, and if you like also another referendum in Scotland as well.

    As the leaders of all three of the main parties at Westminster concur in their stated opposition to a continuing currency union that Bill should whizz through both Houses in a matter of days, and as all sensible Scots must know that the English would certainly not vote to continue a currency union with what had made itself a foreign country they would cease to believe this crap from Salmond that this is only a bluff and Osborne and Miliband and Clegg would change their minds afterwards.

    I’d even start drafting the Bill: Section 1 would say that in the event of Scotland ceasing to be a part of the UK the existing currency union would cease at the same time and could not be replaced unless the referendum condition in Section 2 had been met, and Section 2 would say that it would need to be approved in a referendum held in the remaining parts of the UK, and Section 3 would say that the franchise would the same as for elections to the UK Parliament but all other details of the conduct of the referendum would if necessary be laid out in a further Act.

    • Daniel Maris

      Wait till the drafters get hold of it…it’ll be 50 sections.

    • BarkingAtTreehuggers

      There will be no such scenario that Scotland would find itself outside the EU or indeed outside either currency zones.
      That is obvious, that is clear, logic dictates it.

      • Denis_Cooper

        OK, so now you tell me where you find the word “Scotland” in the present EU treaties, link provided above for your convenience.

        • BarkingAtTreehuggers

          It doesn’t matter – Scotland has been a fully compiant member for 40 years, East Germany joined within three months when it clearly wasn’t.
          The bottom line here is that the treaties signed do not cover this scenario so everything is up for negotiation. Scotland will never find itself outside either currency zones.

          • Denis_Cooper

            “Scotland has been a fully compiant member for 40 years”

            Not it hasn’t; if that was the case you would find Scotland already listed as a party to the EU treaties. Do you find that to be the case? In fact, do you find the word “Scotland” anywhere in those treaties?

            • BarkingAtTreehuggers

              Don’t be silly. No one will follow your line of the argument. Of course Scotland IS part of the EU now. What the EU will try and do is have a little fun with Salmond when discussing new terms that will not force, but hint at the very good option that presents itself when joining the largest and most successful currency zone on the planet (yes, that is no joke).

              • Denis_Cooper

                Scotland is not a member state of the EU, fully compliant or otherwise; it has always been in the EU solely by being part of a member state, the UK, and if it ceases to be part of the UK then as a natural and automatic consequence it ceases to be part of the EU.

                Even the SNP have had to give up on their fable that if it became independent then Scotland would automatically remain in the EU and admit that it would be necessary to negotiate changes to the present EU treaties for Scotland to remain in or get back into the EU.

                Now you tell me why even Cameron should agree to those EU treaty changes to help out a Scottish government that was proposing to walk away from its fair share of the UK national debt, let alone press other EU member states to agree to them.

                For the continuing UK, Scotland being outside the EU Single Market would directly put at risk about 3% of its GDP; for Scotland, being outside the EU Single Market would put at risk at least a third and probably as much as half of its GDP.

  • allymax bruce

    Isabel, do you get the political undercurrent coming from Westminster that they really want Scotland independent? Like you say, “the two rival camps both meet in Aberdeen, there is one question the ‘No’ camp must address, which is it’s credibility when it makes negative assertions about currency union and other matters”
    Are they really ‘rivals’? Don’t you get the feeling this has all been staged to make Scotland’s First Minister to look perfectly competent, and able to stand up to bullying from Westminster? Quite a stage for Alex’ Salmond to become Statesman-like! Wouldn’t it make more sense, this ‘meeting of camps’, that David Cameron wants to bolster his ‘rival’ to make his enemies enemy, his ally?

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Dave doesn’t do deep strategy, so that shoots your theory.

      • allymax bruce

        Yes he does; Lynton does it for him.
        Is that an elephant gun you’re using?

        • the viceroy’s gin

          …no, deep strategy doesn’t come from muppets like that muppet.

      • Wessex Man

        You could be correct on that one but as usual allymax bruce gives Alex Salmond far too much credit as do the other Cybernat nutters on here.

        This is the Salmond who wanted the millstone of the pound removed from around Scotland’s neck, who congradulated Fred the shred Goodwin on his bid for ABN Amro and then battled a FOI case for eighteen months to try and bury it, the Alex Salmond who spent £20,000 of taxpayers money to try and block another FOI request to see the ‘legal advice’ given to him by the EU that Scotland would be treated as a member country, which of course didn’t exist.

        Perfectly competent and Statesmanlike, I wouldn’t trust him to run a market stall.

    • Denis_Cooper

      Yes, of course, because apart from anything else Cameron is really looking forward to his trip to Brussels, accompanied by his secret ally Salmond, to plead for the EU treaties to be changed so that the unfettered trade between Scotland and the rest of the UK could continue after its present legal basis in the 1707 Treaty of Union had been terminated.

      Not that the direct effect of that trade being interrupted or impeded would be too damaging for the rest of the UK, just a recession as up to 3% or so of its GDP disappeared; but it would hardly be in the interests of the rest of the UK to see its neighbour on the same island lose the third of its GDP which depends on exports to the rest of the UK, plus whatever additional fraction of its GDP depends upon its exports to the rest of the EU, plus whatever fraction of its GDP depends upon its exports to third countries under EU trade agreements, none of which would continue to apply if Scotland had voted itself out of the EU under the present EU treaties:

      http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2008:115:0001:01:EN:HTML

      Which as you can easily check make no reference at all to “Scotland”, the word does not even appear anywhere in the treaties; and how can a country possibly be a member state of the EU without its name appearing anywhere in the EU treaties, and especially in the list of parties to those treaties, the list of member states?

  • Jambo25

    I’m just watching Daily Politics giving Nicky Clarke a chance to tell us how economically ignorant we Jocks are only he doesn’t know how to say the word ‘economics’. Good old BBC. We’ve now got celeb hairdressers, from London, telling us how ignorant we are.

    • HJ777

      If he was talking about you, he’s right.

      It is noticeable that you can’t engage with issues of substance, instead preferring to make your case based on the fact that an (English) hairdresser has commented on the issue.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Look at it this way. A hairdresser at least has a marketable skill, and works out in the real world, unlike most jabbering politicians. So by those measures, the hairdresser is more qualified to opine.

      • Jambo25

        OK. Cameron can vanish down south and we’ll have Nicky Clarke running the UK.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          Well, Dave is soon to vanish, so that’s half of your plan. Not sure the other half will come through for you, though.

          • Jambo25

            We’d all have nicer hair.

        • Wessex Man

          Thank the Lord for that, I thought for one horrible moment you were going to suggest the Fat Controller!

      • Daniel Maris

        So that’s where you get your info from…

        “Just a little off the top, Anton. And by the way – what do you think about renewable energy policy?”

        • the viceroy’s gin

          …and no doubt, the hairdressers know more than ignorant and poorly educated socialist nutters, like you for example.

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      Fine. Show us how clever you are by explaining why it would be a good thing for the UK to guarantee Scotland’s public debt issue without limitation as to term or amount while acting as lender of last resort to Scotland’s banks. I think most of us could see why it would be nice for Scotland but why would the UK give an unlimited guarantee to a foreign country? Why if that is a good idea, do we not do it for anybody who asks us for such a guarantee? So come on, show us how clever you are and give us a lucid explanation as to why we should commit economic suicide?

  • john

    Go for it Salmond. You’re winning every time the Tories tell us how awful Scottish Independence will be. Just say the Scots will end aristocratic titles and the monarchy and you’re home and dry.

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      Mr Salmond can promise every Scot a pot of Gold at the end of every rainbow if he likes and noubt will. What he cannot do however is enter into a currency union with the UK with the UK guaranteeing the newly issued public debt of a hostile foreign country and its central bank acting as lender of last resort to that foreign country’s banks. That will not be happening and the sooner you stop deluding itself that it will the sooner the Scots will have a clear choice on independence. Put the boot on the other foot for one moment, would you agree to Scotland guaranteeing the debt of a foreign country with no control over how much it borrowed and for how long?

      • john

        Nick:
        Scotland will have its choice of currency systems and the British Government would have no credible basis for refusing to support a newly independent Scotland. Nor would the EU. They would just look silly if they refused to allow their currencies to assist Scotland after independence.
        The Irish used sterling for decades after Irish Independence – you think Scotland would get less? I’m sure you know that many countries use non-domestic curencies like the US dollar as domestic currency.

        • HJ777

          Clearly you don’t understand the difference between simply using a currency and entering into a currency union (the latter being what Salmond is promising).

          • john

            Using a currency IS entering into a currency union.

            • Wessex Man

              does your mum let you out on your own?

              • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                Would you? He is clearly incapable of grasping the chasm of difference between using a medium of exchange and a currency union.

            • Denis_Cooper

              Wrong, there is a world of difference between a country unilaterally deciding to use the currency of another country and the two countries entering in a currency union.

            • HJ777

              No it isn’t. Not even close.

              That is the issue. Even the SNP’s own fiscal commission looked at the two options – simply using the pound after secession or entering into a currency union – they rejected the former and recommended the latter.

            • monty61

              No it’s not you moron.

              • Wessex Man

                there’s only a couple of morons around here and HJ777 isn’t one of them!

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  I think Monty is agreeing with Hj.

                • Wessex Man

                  oh! being a reasonable sort of bloke I apologise monty61!

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Sorry about that.

                • monty61

                  Accepted :)

              • john

                There are numerous examples of countries informally using another country’s currency – a “de facto” currency union.
                The Caribbean dollar is a good example and has been managed on a fixed exchange rate to the US dollar for many years. Various South Pacific islands use the Ozzie $ on a similar basis.
                As I noted earlier, Ireland used the UK pound for decades as a reference currency and managed its internal monetary policy accordingly.
                Prior to the euro, there were several semi-formal currency agreements between European countries – with set exchange rates but no common monetary policy – “the snake” etc. For years, the Swiss franc was effectively tied to the deutshemark.

                • HJ777

                  Informally using another country’s currency is very different from a currency union.

                  The SNP’s Fiscal Commission rejected the former and recommended the latter.

                  Prior to the Euro there was the ERM – and that didn’t turn out too well (and neither has the Euro because, as Mark Carney and others have pointed out it is currency union without the necessary fiscal transfer mechanisms, etc.).

                • john

                  You’re too tied up in definitions. There are many varieties of currency union and you correctly quote the ERM and its derivatives.
                  If the pound/euro/dollar were used in Scotland on any basis that would constitute a form of currency union. Scottish monetary policy would need to recognize this in order to maintain the relationship and avoid adverse repercussions. A comprehensive monetary union is one option.
                  Back in the 70s, Argentina and Brazil used the $ as a way of escaping rampant inflation in their own currencies.

                • HJ777

                  You’re too tied up in hand wavy assertions to understand the issue.

                  That is why you are so confused – and wrong.

                • john

                  I kep on quoting examples of different types of currency union. Please explain why these are wrong – rather than just making silly statements.

                • HJ777

                  The examples you quote are/were NOT currency unions.

                  If you don’t believe me, read the report from the SNP’s own Fiscal Commission.

                • john

                  You still don’t understand that currency unions are negotiated in each case and can range over many topics (or few). Here’s the East Caribbean $ which has existed since 1965. The EC$ has been pegged to the United States dollar since July 7, 1976 and the exchange rate is US$1 = EC$2.70.[1]

                  The Scottish pound (?) could do exactly the same re sterling.

                • HJ777

                  No – You don’t understand.

                  Of course currency unions are negotiated in each case (where did I suggest otherwise?) – but it takes more than one party to want to negotiate such a union as it cannot be imposed unilaterally. The point is that the “Yes” campaign’s white paper is very specific – and what it proposes cannot be formed without the agreement of the other party, which it is clear would not be forthcoming.

                  Pegging a currency to another is not what is being discussed here. We are talking about a currency union.

                • john

                  Final comment.
                  Once an independence vote is passed (or even seems likely) the tone of comments from Westminster will change dramatically. The total effort then will be to minimize the break and suggest that nothing has really changed. Thus hostile anti independence comments will switch to supportive ones. Monetary issues will suddenly be accomodated. Everything will be up for discussion.

                • HJ777

                  Yes, that’s the Salmond line. Everybody will simply agree to everything he wants, regardless of their own interests, after secession.

                  And a few fools are gullible enough to believe him as you have amply demonstrated.

                • Wessex Man

                  you couldn’t make him up!

                • Andy

                  You are talking drivel. Salmond has demanded a Currency Union with the UK – that means seats on the Court of the Bank of England, and all the rest of it. Now let us try to make you understand. The answer to that demand is NO. Please tell us what part of that answer you do not understand.

                • Denis_Cooper

                  Yes, and that worked so well for Argentina that there are still ongoing court cases about its default.

                • monty61

                  This kind of nonsense – Project Lalala I’m Not Listening – is precisely why the Gnats are not taken seriously by people who have though properly about this. There’s no such thing as a ‘de facto currency union’. Using the GBP without formal central bank arrangements would be ridiculously risky. 70s Argentina and Brazil, more recently Zimbabwe, fantastic company that is.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Yes, informally using somebody elses currency is fine if a little odd for a supposedly confident, independent state and you are more than welcome to do that with Sterling. A currency Union however would require the UK to underwrite Scottish debt and act as lender of last resort to Scottish banks. You most emphatically cannot have that and it is that which Salmond is asking for. That old chap is why Osborne, Balls, Carney, Alexander and every sentient being in the UK has told him to get stuffed.

            • Nicholas chuzzlewit

              No it emphatically is not. See above.

            • Andy

              No it isn’t. That just shows how little you actually understand.

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          John let me spell this out for you. You are more than welcome to use the pound and Osborne, Balls etc cannot stop you. Off you go then. What you cannot and will not have because it would be economically suicidal for the UK is a currency union whereby the UK underwrites newly issued Scottish public debt without limitation of amount or term while its central bank acts as lender of last resort to Scottish banks.You would not offer such a facility to the UK and so why do you expect the UK to offer such a facility to a hostile foreign country that quite clearly wishes us harm. Even if we were the best of friends such an arrangement would be economic madness. So be our guest, use the pound because we cannot stop you but as was the case with the Republic of Ireland, we will not underwrite any debt you issue or support your banks. Is that now clear? Do you understand the difference between using Sterling as a medium of exchange and a formaal currency union?

          • john

            Please see my various contributions. Who said anything about underwriting debt? Even the EU does not guarrantee the debt of its members – ask Spain or Greece.

            • Andy

              Please explain to us why the currancy union that is the Euro has been such a disaster.

              • HJ777

                Because there was not also an accompanying fiscal union and hence no facility for fiscal transfers, for a start.

                The Euro was created for an EU that was supposed to be heading ever closer to a political union – which would help to make to make the single currency more viable (in the way it is currently not) in the longer term (albeit the EU put the cart before the horse in an attempt to force closer union through the currency). However, what Salmond wants to do is to head away from a political union whilst creating a currency union with the country he wants to split (and then diverge further) from. It makes no sense.

                • Andy

                  Exactly. A*se about face. But that is Salmond to a T.

            • Nicholas chuzzlewit

              Give me strength. That is why the euro, as a currency union, is almost always in crisis because there is no unification of political, monetary and fiscal policies. Salmond is suggesting a full currency union whereby the UK would guarantee any debt issued by an independent Scotland without restraint as to amount or term and act as lender of last resort to its banks. The plan being that a full currency union with explicit UK support will enable Scotland to borrow more cheaply than if it simply used Sterling and issued debt without said support. As I have said, to provide the guarantee that Salmond wants without any possible restriction on Scotland’s ability to borrow and spend as it sees fit would be a criminally irresponsible act by a UK government. Why in the name of all that is holy would the UK underwrite the debt of a hostile foreign country that clearly wishes us harm viz: ‘if you do not do exactly as we want we will refuse to accept Scotland’s share of the national debt’? You clearly not well versed in economic matters but surely you can understand why Mr Salmond’s kind offer has been so emphatically rejected for the imbecilic nonsense that it is.

              • john

                Your stae,ments are getting more and more detached from reality and are just diatribes.

                (1) euro, as a currency union, is almost always in crisis: No its not

                (2) Why in the name of all that is holy would the UK underwrite the debt of a hostile foreign country that clearly wishes us harm: Scotland?

                (3) the guarantee that Salmond wants without any possible restriction on Scotland’s ability to borrow and spend as it sees fit would be a criminally irresponsible act by a UK government: Comically over the top.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  1) the euro is not in crisis!!!! So why is Scotland not eager to join it was after all, Salmond’s first choice of currency post independence? Why did he change his mind? Is it because he is desperate to help the UK post Scottish independence?

                  2) both Salmond and Sturgeon have threatened to walk away from Scotland’s share of the National debt if we do not comply unequivocally with their wishes? Do you call that doing the UK a favour or wishing us harm?

                  3) that is exactly what Salmond is asking for and covering your ears and closing your eyes will not change that fact. That is exactly what Osborne etc have refused to do. They have no problem with you using Sterling but we will not underwrite new debt or act as lender of last resort.

                  I notice that, like every other cybernat you do not address the issues but go into hyperbolic rage. You are right however, Salmond’s request is “comically over the top”.

                • john

                  “hyperbolic rage”? Moi? Perhaps describing yourself rather than me?

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  But as always, no attempt to confront the issues with a logical analysis. Admittedly, that is because you neither understand them or your own side’s position. In a response to another correspondent on this thread, you thought that retaining the use of Sterling meant that you were in a currency union with the UK. Now that is both hilarious and embarrassing.

        • Denis_Cooper

          Yes, and I recall when some South American country said that it was going to dollarize, and a US Treasury official said that of course they were free to do that, but they should be clear that the US would not be paying any attention at all to their needs when deciding its monetary policy and nor should they expect that the US would help them in any way if they got into trouble through their decision to dollarize.

          It’s bleedin’ obvious that a country cannot unilaterally decide to tap into support from taxpayers in another country.

          • john

            It seems most of these responses are motivated by animosity to Scottish independence and Salmond rather than a consideration of the currency options of an independent Scotland.
            It must be recognized that if Scotland votes for independence, it is entirely in the interest of punters like Cameron, Tories, HofL, monarchy etc to make nice to the new entity.

            • Denis_Cooper

              Really?

              It would be in the interests of Cameron to make nice to a Scotland whose leaders were so morally deficient that they seriously proposed dumping Scotland’s share of the UK debt on taxpayers in the rest of the UK?

              I don’t think so.

            • Nicholas chuzzlewit

              Classic. No rational argument to explain why it would be a good idea (it wouldn’t) for UK taxpayers to underwrite the debt and banks of a foreign country. No it is all down to ‘animosity’ and we had all better to be nice to an Independent Scotland. Or what? What will you do to us if we do not give you everything you demand? You will be independent and will have to make these decisions for yourselves. Has it not occurred to you that the UK has every right to pursue its own interests and can and will eschew each and every suggestion from Salmond which is detrimental to those interests? You all seem to have spent years campaigning for independence and when you actually get the chance you want to tie yourself to the UK it’s currency, institutions and taxpayers.

              • john

                Nick:
                Cool down! You’re frothing at the mouth. As an Englishman, I support Scottish independence but have zero history of involvement in the effort. I don’t expect the English taxpayer to underwrite Scottish debt issues and would expect the Scottish economy to be quite capable of justifying its own borrowings as in any other independent country.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Oh do just go away.

    • Fergus Pickering

      Will they end aristocratic titles. Scotland is stuffed with dukes and earls.

  • GUBU

    What this tells us is simply that Mr Salmond is very good at politics – much better, it has to be said, that most, if not all, of his opponents.

    That is not necessarily a compliment.

    • allymax bruce

      T’is you know!
      Best two politicians in the world are Scotland’s Alex’ Salmond, and President Obama of USA. The best politicians the world has had in 50 years; they can run rings ’round their opponents.

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        Maybe so, but Salmond cannot have a currency union with the UK. Use Sterling by all means, it is just a medium of exchange but no currency union thankyou. Guaranteeing the debt of a hostile foreign country which actively wishes the UK harm is something even our idiot politicians can recognise as a bad idea.

      • Kitty MLB

        President Obama, you must jest, Ally surely?
        He is that poem, an empty man stuffed with straw.
        Good at speeches but without any substance and he dithers.
        I wish Swanky was here to say how wrong Obama is on many issues,
        and he was only re elected because of how he responded to Hurricane
        Sandy and the fact they did a hatchet job on the far more superior
        Mitt Romney. He also handled the situation in the middle east very badly.

        • allymax bruce

          Hi Kitty. President Obama is a brilliant politician, and a gracious, redeeming, and honest man. In 2008, he was the most popular President to be elected in 50 years; the voters/world went electric for him. I voted for him too, and he was re-elected in 2012 because he stated, (just 6 weeks out from the voting day), he wouldn’t go to war. I’m particularly proud of that one; it shifted 5 million votes President Obama’s way! President Obama pulled the rug from under the feet of those war-mongering States that wanted to start a massive war in Syria / Middle-East. President Obama manoeuvred everything in his favour, Russia, China, UK, Iran, etc, simply by outsmarting the warmongers; he brought the Security Council back to an all-in agreement. Which propelled very fruitful talks between USA & Iran. And he gave John kerry a ‘dooable job’ in Israel because of his brilliant International Relations genius. Another one I’m very proud of; David Cameron playing a blinder to ‘botch the Syria war vote’; as it happened, Labour got all the blame, while David Cameron got all the kudos! As for Mitt Romney, he was the one dithering in 2012; he couldn’t come out and say he was against, or for, anything! Like I said, the two best politicians right now are Scotland’s Alex’ Salmond, and USA President Obama.

          • Kitty MLB

            Thank you, Ally.
            You have explained a lot that I was not aware of,
            and when its a foreign country you only really know
            a certain amount, but I do watch Fox news sometimes
            and read the Washington Post on the computer.
            I also say thank goodness Obama is not warmongering
            ( May I point out that apparently Romney voted against
            the war in Iraq, apparently, you probably already knew that) I believe that some in the middle east would love a
            war with the West and we must never play into their hands. Its good that political anoraks like you have
            the finger on the pulse, as they say :)

  • http://english-pensioner.blogspot.co.uk/ english_pensioner

    What is the point of the cabinet meeting in Scotland? It’s not a public event so it doesn’t matter to anyone, except those involved, where it meets.
    I wonder what the extra cost will be, all the cabinet plus civil servants flying to Scotland for a day or so? Gesture politics, A total waste of money.

  • Denis_Cooper

    If the leaders of the three main parties at Westminster want to convince the Scots that they mean what they say, that if Scotland became a foreign country there would be no currency union with the continuing UK, then they could quickly pass an Act to forbid any such currency union unless it had been approved through referendums in both countries. But maybe even then the SNP could still delude some Scots that the electorate in the rest of the UK might vote for it, even with the government explaining why it was not a good idea …

  • RavenRandom

    Salmond lies as he breathes. He is quite a snake oil salesman. If you don’t like the truth then just deny it is the truth; he’s a successful version of what Ed Balls would like to be.

  • Kitty MLB

    Our intrepid Prime Minster, is walking right into Salmon’s
    lions den with this one. A cabinet meeting in Scotland, why the devil
    would he do something so foolish? transparent nonsense.
    Suggesting the union is best for the oil industry will just make the Scots
    smell blood and fear and will be an open goal for the SNP
    and an open goal for the very clever and slippery Salmond
    was perhaps not a good idea especially when he is so wrong about Scotland.
    On another website Salmond allegedly has been compared to Pinochet
    by someone, not too sure about that one, but he is an expert
    in terms that politics is the art of deception.

  • Hello

    If Barosso’s intervention was not coordinated then the government should announce that they would not block a Scottish application to the EU. It would maintain purity in the currency argument by implying that it’s not “bullying” and therefore unlikely to be bluff or bluster, either.

    • Swiss Bob

      Why should the UK make promises to help Scotland when the first time they don’t get their way they immediately pull out the “we won’t pay our share of the debt” card, which I might add was a completely moronic thing to do given that was their ‘big gun’, which has laughingly been shown to be worthless.

      • Hello

        To keep them in the UK?

        • Swiss Bob

          The problem is that a large percentage of them want out and the English are not bothered one way or another.

          It’s a bigger issue for the political classes but who’d trust them to do the right thing, whatever that is.

          • Hello

            The English have only become indifferent because of the nature of the Nationalist campaign and the wearying set up of the UK. They would much prefer to keep the union if the Scots want to, and a larger percentage of Scots want to remain in.

            • ButcombeMan

              I agree.

              I want them to vote to stay, as part of Team GB..

            • Wessex Man

              Don’t tell me want I want, I want Scotland gone from the Union and really would prefer it if Wales and Northen Ireland did as well.

          • Kitty MLB

            It is a big issue for the political class,
            especially if the electorate vote YES to stay in this union
            and then vote No to the other union..
            I am not too sure people in England are crying into
            their cornflakes over Scotland. We might be worried that if things do not work out for Scotland that we will have to bail them out, and we are perhaps concerned by the possible
            duplicity of the very opportunistic Salmond
            who clearly is on a William Wallace crusade,
            but thankfully without that rotund form on horseback.

    • Denis_Cooper

      They could announce that, and it would reflect the reality that if there was a “yes” vote in the referendum then Cameron would want to make sure that Scotland at least stayed in the EU Single Market, at least for as long as the rest of the UK was still in the EU Single Market.

  • Shinsei1967

    Alex Salmond started off his Today interview quite well. And as you say the chopping and changing of North Sea taxes and Ministers is just what the industry doesn’t want. Though surely the demands of the UK taxpayer are more important than the feelings of BP or Shell.

    However, he clearly lost the plot the moment he mentioned his “bluff, bluster” nonsense. The point about sterling that Osborne (and Balls, Alexander, Carney & the Treasury) made clear is that Scotland can’t have a currency union. Sure, they can “use” sterling, in the same way as anyone can use sterling, but they will have no power to raise money in sterling.

    And the only one blustering, bullying and patronising is Mr Salmond in insisting that currency union is in “Britain’s best interests” and GB will relent post an independence vote.

    I’m sorry, but it really isn’t, and GB won’t.

    • Tony_E

      The problem for Salmond is that any party who went back on the currency union pledge in England would be absolutely monstered at the polls. The English people especially are clearly looking to their own future independence from Scotland (if they choose to leave the UK), and won’t take kindly to getting the rough end of any separation deal.

      • monty61

        Yes. This is true. As a Scot currently living in the south I get asked my opinion all the time about this and I’ve come to the view that there’s far more support for Scottish independence among the English than there is north of the Border.

        The Gnats have successed in making a large number of English people talk about ‘they’ (as in the Scots) wanting to break up (‘they’ being all of us) and most are genunely surprised to learn that there has never been a single poll in the whole campaign showing a breakup vote ahead of a pro-union one – most of us have no problem being both Scottish and British unlike the small-minded Little Scotlanders pushing to break us up.

        There’s nothing surer than that if the Gnats succeeed, England will be very tough in its negotiating tactics. Salmond knows this fine well but admitting it would further weaken an already dubious case for breaking away.

        • Andy

          Salmond has been very successful at stoking the anti-English mood in Scotland, but has always been careful to cover his tracks with a tartan curtain. But if you go on any website and question the rational behind the independence case you will be immediately attacked and the attack usually has buckets of anti-English racism at its core.

          Like a lot of English people I have begun to weary of this anti-English bile and hate, and the attitude of Salmond and Sturgeon which seems to dictate to England what will or will not be. Salmond has sown nothing but ill will and no matter what the outcome of the vote will be the relationship between Scotland and England will never be the same. I hope that after the vote England will assert its self and we will have control over or own affairs.

          • MikeBrighton

            Scratch a Nat (evidence on this and many other blogs) and it doesn’t take long fort them to slap some woad on their face, put on the (well played) Braveheart DVD and wave a claymore about railing about the wicked English.
            I’m frankly so bored of it I’m not sure I can stand this tedious nonsense until September

            • Ronnie Strachan

              I know Mike it is an embarrassment that the moment they have waited for all their political lives all they can come up with is a Santa letter of I want this and this and this and the UK and EU will agree with us – it really is worse than elementary student politics. He has been winging it for years now in Scotland and riding roughshod over any questioning, including flatly refusing to publish freedom of information questions regarding his expenses – but his policies are being torn to pieces as soon as they are put to examination

              • MikeBrighton

                Agreed. I used to support independance as good for Scotland and England. My father (Scottish born apart from the 98% of his life spent in England) was a Nat until the day he died. Now I’ve realised that the supposedly canny political genius Salmond has basically been too lazy to work out the answers to basic questions. Like you know, currency, central bank, future of financial services and so on. It’s actually beyond embarassing. Any real, thoughtful Nats must be cringing as Salmond cannot answer basic questions, describes any point of view that questions his own as bullying or bluster and insults those making reasonable and polite points (Osborne, Barosso). The man is incompetent and has totally screwed it up.

                • HJ777

                  Jim Sillars, for example, has been cringing (rather publicly). He has called Salmond’s position “nonsense on stilts”.

          • Ronnie Strachan

            they do not speak for us all – they only won 45% of a 50% turnout at the last Scottish elections. They are getting carried away by their own hubris now. They claim ownership of Scotland and act like it is a one party state. I live in Salmonds constituency and there was a poll reported in the press & Journal the Aberdeen daily paper today (a large part of Aberdeenshire comprises the constituency I live in and he represents), and it showed 17% for independence 18% undecided and 65% against. So uncomfortable reading for the great leader who must have felt like knifing Ed Davey today when he said there will be fracking in Salmonds constituency. I hope he is consigned to the dust bin of Scottish politics after this vote and his divisive hate-spreading politics along with him

            • Andy

              I hope he will be ‘consigned to the dust bin of Scottish politics’, but I think you will find he wont be. But how is all the anti English bile and hate going to be undone ? Go on any site and make any argument against independence and watch the Nat Fascist come out the woodwork. David Bowie has recently been on the receiving end. But just exactly what are we, the people of England, supposed to make of that ? The message of hate comes over loud and clear.

              If Scotland votes NO in September it is quite clear to me that we will have to answer the West Lothian Question which means Home Rule for England, and we will need to abolish the Barnett Formula.

              Thank you for you perspective from rural Aberdeenshire.

    • Andy

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but Salmond could actually issue Bonds denominated in Sterling, but whether they would be a good investment is a matter of debate.

      What is not on offer, and I believe never will be, is a Currency Union. The reasons why are quite simple, not that the Nats seem to be able to understand, but are as clear as a Haggis if you look at the Euro.

      Ooops, that was meant to be a reply to HJ777.

      • Tony_E

        You have to have a central bank to back those bonds, and the B of E would not stand by them in any way. So while he might be able to issue debt by some legal manoeuvre it’s incredibly doubtful anyone would buy it unless he had a currency and a central bank to back it.

        • Andy

          I think that is incorrect. Salmond-land would be a ‘monetary non-sovereign’ so could issue debt just like other ‘mn-s’ do such as Greece, Italy, France etc. The main difference is that a monetary Sovereign can never go bankrupt because it can issue any amount of currency to meet its debts. Salmond-land would be unable to do this.

          • Tony_E

            Well that might be the case in legal terms, I wouldn’t like to argue that it couldn’t be done. However, I think it would be very unlikely to find much favour in the markets.

            Despite the ‘mn-s’ status of Greece and others, it is the ECB that in reality stands behind all Euro debts – they have a currency union and the Euro will be defended (whether or not that defence is legal under the treaty of Rome and its amending treaties).

            With England publicly standing aside in this matter, would Scotland be able to sell Sterling denominated debts into a sceptical market?

            • Andy

              The fact that the Euro has a Central Bank at the back of it is not really an issue here. Greece does not herself have a central bank which can issue unlimited currency, which is what she did when she had the Drachma, and so Greece is now effectively bankrupt, insolvent.

              The point is Salmond-land could issue Bonds denominated in Sterling (he could try and issue them denominated in Haggis if he wanted) but it is whether or not he could find a market for them. He probably could, but I would guess that it would be at a high rate of interest – would you buy them knowing that it inception Salmond-land had reneged on honouring part of the debt she had built up ? He may be able to sell Sterling Bonds, but he would have to be able to service that debt and that means it would be entirely possible for Salmond-land to go bankrupt. A ‘monetary sovereign’ like the UK can never go bankrupt because she is able to issue any amount of currency.

              • Denis_Cooper

                Denominating them in haggis might be better, insofar as the Scottish government could arrange for more haggis to be produced to pay the bondholders the haggis they had been promised, up to whatever ultimate limits there may be on the production of haggis, but in contrast the Scottish government could not arrange for the creation of a single pound sterling for that purpose.

                • Andy

                  I doubt one could keep a vault full of Haggis. Don’t they go off ?

                • Denis_Cooper

                  Not in a refrigerated vault, they would keep for decades.

                • Andy

                  That might be rather short term.

          • ButcombeMan

            Andy
            I think you are correct.
            I was thinking exactly your thoughts as I read down, before I got to your posts.

            Jockistan issued, but sterling denoted, promissory notes, being able to find a willing buyer (s) is of course another issue entirely.

            To sell into a sceptical market they would have to have a very high rate of interest attached.

            A Jockistan that has already signaled default, on its share of UK debt is not much better than junk already.

            Sturgeon did that, all on her own. She needs a chaperone. The girl should not be let out on her own.

      • Jambo25

        As clear as haggis. No use of cliché there then.

      • Denis_Cooper

        A country can issue, or attempt to issue, bonds denominated in any currency that it chooses. But if it issues bonds denominated in any currency other than its own its central bank does not have the power to create that other currency and so there is no longer that ultimate guarantee that the bonds will be repaid as promised.

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        Just as you could, in theory, issue bonds in Sterling so too could Scotland. The difficulty is that the UK state would probably choose not to underwrite either issue. It would be up to you and Scotland to obtain your own internationally recognised credit ratings and then price your bonds accordingly to attract investors. Scotland, having promised to default on its share of existing public debt if it doesn’t get its way, may well find this a more problematic exercise than you do.

  • Swiss Bob

    Anyone who believes Salmond’s nonsense that Sterling as a currency is an asset that should be shared is either ignorant of what assets and liabilities actually are or is being mendacious.

    Not forgetting that the Scottish pound ceased to exist the last time they went bankrupt.

    • Jambo25

      Was that when the English government moved troops up to the border, threatened a trade boycott and started to prepare a new Aliens act against Scottish residents in England?

      • Denis_Cooper

        I suppose so, when Scotland was still a foreign country and quite often ruled by people who made it an enemy of England.

      • Kitty MLB

        There is a awful lot of Scots living in England and elsewhere,
        if we sent them all back Alex ‘ I go it is done, the bell invites me’ Salmond will become quite delirious as he will see these Scots
        as Aliens themselves due to being contaminated with Englishness.
        If you go we shall miss you. I also suppose Devo Max was not of any interest.

        • Jambo25

          And this has what to do with the run up to the Act of Union?

          • Kitty MLB

            Mentioning the word Alien just amused me.
            I humbly send my most profound apologies
            and I shall dutifully stick to the topic, Sir .

            • Wessex Man

              why do that? he never does.

            • Jambo25

              Sorry Kitty, I didn’t mean to be snarky.

      • Swiss Bob

        Do you believe that Sterling is an asset that should be shared?

        • Jambo25

          I’m making a comment the Act of Union in 1707. Your point on this is.

          • Swiss Bob

            Your point on this is.

            Says the donut whose reply to me was completely irrelevant!

            • Jambo25

              Because I was making a comment on 1707.

          • Wessex Man

            oh I see, in your strange world, it was all the fault of the wicked English and nothing to do with The Darien Scheme/disaster that financially ruined Scotland. You probably blame our ancestors for not bailing your ancestors out of this mis-adventure. You probably blame us for your ancestors picking one of the worst places in the world for founding New Edinburgh that was already claimed by Spain. You probably blame blame England for not declaring war on Spain to help you, even though it was nothing to do with England and we were at war with those pesky French again. You probably blame England for the fact that it bankrupted Scotland.

            England should never have agreed to the Act of Union and we should never agree to a shared currency with an independent Scotland!

            • HJ777

              He is clearly ignorant of the history of the union.

              In fact, it was extremely popular with lowland Scots because of the economic opportunities it afforded them. The divisions over the issue were principally within Scotland. Unfortunately for separatists, the historical facts are rather inconvenient for their case.

              At the time of union, Scotland was much poorer than England but they rapidly caught up over the next 100 years as Scots, very successfully, exploited the new opportunities created for them within the union.

              • Jambo25

                You have proof of it’s popularity no doubt which will no doubt include the anti-Union riots at the time and later.

                • HJ777

                  There were riots in England a year or two back. Did the people involved represent anything other than a minority?

                • Jambo25

                  Still waiting for proof that most Lowland Scots were in favour of the Union.

                • HJ777

                  I never said it could be proved. There were, for example, no opinion polls at the time. Similarly, the occurrence of riots does not demonstrate that most were against it.

                  However, we can look at the years following the union and the historical record is quite clear – Scots were extremely active taking opportunity of the opportunities afforded to them by the union.

                  Next you will be claiming that most Scots supported the Jacobite rebellion.

                • Jambo25

                  I wouldn’t claim that at all. I would claim that, in the early 18th century the Union didn’t deliver all that was claimed for it. Initially, the Scottish tax burden rose quite drastically and a couple of Scottish industries suffered due to English competition and interference with established trade patterns. Linda Colley’s book ‘Britons’ doesn’t give an entirely sunny view of Scots/English relations in the 18th century.

                • HJ777

                  Relations between any two countries are hardly ever ‘entirely sunny’.

                  And just because one or two industries in Scotland suffered due to competition does not mean that there was not an overall benefit (for example, for customers of those industries) – unless, of course, you advocate mercantilism or autarky. The fact is that in the century or so following union, Scotland went from being approximately half as wealthy as England to being just about as wealthy.

            • Jambo25

              No but I do blame the English government for threatening invasion, trade boycotts, deportation of Scottish citizens and instituting large scale bribery. It wasn’t all due to Darien.

              • Fergus Pickering

                Are we really arguing about what did and did not hppen 300 years ago? Oh. You are a Scot. Of course we are.

                • Jambo25

                  I didn’t bring up the Darien Scheme or the supposed popularity of the Union. That was Wessex Man and Agent 777.

              • HJ777

                You’re blaming an English government of over 300 years ago?

                The history was somewhat complicated – not a simple case of right vs wrong, however much you would like to paint it as such.

                • Jambo25

                  I am simply replying to the simplistic view that the failure of the Darien Scheme was the sole or main cause of the Union. You, no doubt, know better.

                • HJ777

                  The Darien Scheme was the proximate cause but there were several other factors and many previous moves and trends towards union.

                  You, however, tried to make out that most of the non-Darien causes were down to English perfidy and intimidation – which is very far from the truth.

                • Jambo25

                  1) Scotland wasn’t bankrupt but a number of aristos and rich merchants got hammered. The English government took advantage of this to bribe elements of the Scottish ruling class into voting for the Union. It was dealt with in some detail in the writings of Daniel Defoe amongst others. After the Union was entered into the English government recouped the bribe money by immediately raising taxes on Scotland.
                  2) A trade boycott was threatened.
                  3) English troops were moved up to the Scottish border as a threat.
                  4) Barely concealed threats were made to deport a number of Scottish citizens living in England.

                • HJ777

                  A very selective, slanted and anti-English view of events.

                  I am as Scottish as I am English so I have no bias in this – but you clearly have due to your agenda

                • Jambo25

                  Simple reportage of the facts at the time. There’s a lot of material on the Union from out and out nationalists like Paul Scott through to luminaries of the Better Together organisation like Christopher Whatley. Michael Fry, Tom Devine and Michael Lunch come somewhere in the middle. None of them would challenge any of the facts I posted above. These things simply happened.

                • HJ777

                  Like I said, a highly selective collection of ‘facts’ designed to give a certain impression which could not be justified by a more honest acknowledgement and appraisal of events.

                  Your agenda is clear – you want to break up the most successful union in the history of the world based on invented grievances and prejudice.

                  You don’t get any better, do you?

                  I suppose that having consistently been unable to to sustain your argument and having no answer to key questions about secession, going back to invent your own version of history is all you have left. It’s pathetic.

                • Jambo25

                  Then show how the facts I present are wrong.

                • HJ777

                  Try reading what I wrote.

                  The ‘facts’ you wrote constituted a deliberately partial selection, designed to give a particular slant – they were not a serious or balanced historical analysis. It is easy to paint a seriously misleading picture simply by selecting just the facts you want to select and ignoring others.

                  In the second world war, one of the two key opposing combatants was led by a first world war hero who loved children and the other was led by a man who had sent thousands of troops to their death in a campaign in the first world war. These are facts.

                  The first was Adolf Hitler, the second was Winston Churchill – but if you were to judge simply by the selection of facts I presented above you might gain a seriously misleading impression of the two leaders.

                • Jambo25

                  So you cannot challenge the facts.

                • HJ777

                  I challenge their relevance and partiality.

                  I thought that was entirely clear.

                • Jambo25

                  So you still cannot challenge the facts.

                • HJ777

                  Stuck in a groove?

                  The point is not whether your selectively-chosen facts are right or wrong, it is whether they paint a balanced picture or whether they were carefully chosen, and others deliberately omitted to paint a misleading picture that suits your political preference.

                  Clearly it was the latter.

                  But then I’ve learned not to expect sensible discussion from you.

                • Jambo25

                  So, just to recapitulate: you still cannot challenge the facts.

                • HJ777

                  Just to confirm that you are still stuck in a groove and are congenitally incapable of taking part in sensible discussion.

                • Jambo25

                  Carry on being unable to disprove the facts.

                • HJ777

                  I have no doubt that you will carry on being unable to take part in a sensible discussion and instead will try to hide behind selectively chosen facts – even when it is obviously not working.

                  At your age, it’s obviously too much for me to expect you ever to develop any intellectual capability or capacity for reasoned argument.

              • Denis_Cooper

                Those are the kind of things that could ensue when those ruling one country were prepared to ally that country with the mortal enemy of a neighbouring country.

                • Jambo25

                  And which country was Scotland allying itself with against England in 1705/6?

              • Wessex Man

                of course it was your country was broke, bankrupt, flushed out and people like you now invent an history all of your own, much like Mel Gibson’s portrayal of of Wallace!

                All this to try and bully people into doing something that in no way would be benefical to them.

                • Jambo25

                  What’s invented about English government actions prior to the Union?

        • monty61

          An asset is something with a value on a balance sheet. Sterling itself is not an asset though genuine assets may be denominated in Sterling.

          This ‘asset’ nonsense is trotted out by people who know better to confuse the ill-educated, who don’t (who then go on to repeat the riduculous notion that ‘Sterling is a shared asset’ ad nauseam).

          • Wessex Man

            oh dear get that millstone from around your neck.

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        Thats right. You have sent us homeward, we have thought again and decided that a currency union with a foreign country is a bad idea. We will not be guaranteeing any public debt you care to issue without reference to ourselves as to amount or term and will not be acting as lender of last resort to your banks. We do not offer this service to Canada, Australia, New Zealand etc etc and neither do they ask us to. So what makes you lot special and an exception to this rule?

        • Jambo25

          So still no reply to my point. Still listening to those voices in your head.

          • Nicholas chuzzlewit

            Since when did a ‘cybernat’ propagandist like you ever say anything which could be dignified and legitimised by the word ‘point’. You have nothing to offer but ad hominem attacks (as demonstrated above) and dissembling rubbish with no basis in economic fact. You will not get a currency union with the UK fot the reasons set out ad nauseum viz: we will not underwrite your debt and we will not act as lender of last resort to your banks. So go and tell your boss that he will have to look elsewhere for a medium of exchange ( it is emphatically not an asset) and some other mug to underwrite his ‘Narnian’ spending plans. Go on, run along.

      • Wessex Man

        when was that then, did you dream it last night?

  • Tony_E

    Salmond’s point about tax changes and ministerial changes is a rather foolish one – and takes an air of arrogance which assumes automatically that the SNP will be the natural government party of Scotland for some time to come.

    • Andy

      Well SNP Dictatorship is the name of the game.

  • Nicholas chuzzlewit

    Of course Salmond is right and Osborne is bluffing. It is obvious that what everybody in the UK wants desperately to join in a currency union with a (hostile) foreign country and underwrite the public debt of that foreign country while giving it carte blanche to borrow as much as it likes for whatever term it wants and without reference. Further, if that privilege is not a sufficient incentive, the UK’s central bank also gets to act as lender of last resort to Scotland’s banks which are currently twelve times the size of the entire Scottish economy. For Osborne or his successor to agree to such a ludicrous invitation would be an act of criminal irresponsibility and negligence on the part of a UK Finance Minister. To suggest that somebody is bluffing over such an obviously unacceptable proposal is both utterly dishonest and arrogant in the extreme. This is just another example of a lazy man whose bluff has been called because he could not be bothered to work out the details required of independence. He has resorted, quite typically, to the favourite trick of nationalists throughout the centuries, to blame another country for all of the misfortunes of their own country while offering no practical solutions.

    • David

      Someone needs to publicly ask Salmond what he would do if the shoe was on the other foot. Would he as British PM ask his voters to underwrite a foreign country’s economy? Given that Scotland would become a Commonwealth Realm, why should we stop there? Let’s underwrite the Australian, New Zealand and Canadian Dollars, while we’re at it?

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        Sadly not David. Yours are sensible and reasonable arguments but I am afraid they would fall on deaf ears and be immediately panned as bullying, blustering, bluffing, nasty, unkind, selfish, beastly, unfriendly, horrid etc etc etc by Salmond and his eager army of Cyber Nats. They will, no doubt, be with us shortly to tell us we are all wrong and that Scotland is the richest, nicest country in the World etc etc.

    • HJ777

      I disagree that “This is just another example of a lazy man whose bluff has been called because he could not be bothered to work out the details required of independence.”

      Salmond knows that there is only about 25% inherent support for secession in Scotland. Therefore, he needs to attract other votes and he has a plan for doing this. His plan has two elements. Firstly pick a fight with the rest of the UK (specifically the English) whenever possible and then paint it as an ‘us (i.e. Scots) against them’ argument – the more division he (and his supporters such as the CyberNats you see here) can create the better. Secondly, talk up supposed benefits of independence whilst allaying concerns about or completely overlooking or denying any costs and disadvantages. Hence his white paper that assures Scots that they will lose nothing they like and they will get everything they want (earlier retirement, free childcare, etc.). This is why, for example, it completely fails to include any assessment of transitionary cost of secession (which would undoubtedly adversely affect GDP for several years).

      The currency issue is an example of his plan. First assert that there will lots more money to spend in a seceded Scotland but at the same time assure Scots that there will be no change in currency arrangements and therefore no economic risk. Then, when this is challenged, make this an issue of ‘Posh (English)Lord Snooties’ supposedly bullying Scots.

      • Andy

        That’s the long and the short of it.

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        I cannot argue with that. My principle intention was to convey what most cybernats seem so impervious to understand and that is a currency union is simply not in the best interests of the UK. Most of them seem to think this is an argument about whether or not they can use Sterling as a medium of exchange. One idiot on this thread actually seems to think that a post-independence Scotland using Sterling would of itself be a currency union. He has not, or more likely cannot grasp the negative implications for the UK.

      • Phil Mann

        Spot on

    • BarkingAtTreehuggers

      Pal, are we even in the G10 after Scotland absconds?

      You will need to jump though the hoops many more times, you will need to perform a lot of trickery to convince anyone that not controlling your own affairs would be somewhat liberating as the masters in Westminster know best every single time. Just look at the Camoron Cabinet Clowns in Aberdeen today: Govebachev, Jeremy Cnut, Cyclops Paterson and Gidiot will convince a Scottish electorate that they know better how to extract the gold from the bottom of the sea? That’s hilarious, pal. You are hilarious!

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        Ad hominem gibberish.

        • BarkingAtTreehuggers

          …only posted to counter balance the strawman fallacy gibberish posted by yourself and voted up by your fellow strawmen enthusiasts.

          Dear me, you are a bunch of special interest little Engerlanders aren’t you (now that was the ad hom you asked for)?

          Go on, jump through the hoops, NC, jump, good doggy, sell us your ‘story’ – hahaha!

          • Nicholas chuzzlewit

            More meaningless gibberish.

            • BarkingAtTreehuggers

              G10, G10, will little Engerland even be in the G10? That my friend is not meaningless gibberish and you know it.

              • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                Repeating something just makes you look a little madder, frenzied and stupid than you already do. You are suggesting that our membership of the G10 rests solely in the hands of the Scottish voter. Even if it that were true it would be a small price to pay to rid ourselves of people like you.

                • Kitty MLB

                  Nicholas, I think this one is a perfect example of a befuddled and quite deluded little Scot.
                  Also rather like Salmond someone with a big chip on his shoulder.

                • Smithersjones2013

                  Just plain “Barking” if you ask me!

                • BarkingAtTreehuggers

                  That is precisely the material fact. Scotland leaves, leaving rumpUK an *ex* G8 member. Why is that so difficult to understand? There is no aspect of ‘madness’ to the entire thing.
                  On par with Mexico, mate.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  I think you need professional help.

                • BarkingAtTreehuggers

                  Role impairment is pathologically manifest when you refuse to understand what it is that you are about to experience.
                  Enjoy the summer of discontent, NC. That is what is about to take place – first in May, then in September. You evidently heard it here first.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Endless deluded gibberish.

              • Ronnie Strachan

                ah the Scottish education system has a lot to answer for

      • Ronnie Strachan

        and you sir are a deranged idiot and an affront to all decent Scotsmen and the other nations of the Union.

        this is the typical Nat response – defeated in argument at first scrutiny for every policy they articulate, they resort to abuse – coarse, filthy, and shameful but sadly encouraged by Salmond who by now cannot disguise his hatred of the English and Westminster.

        The sarcastic use of “Pal” speaking down at other posters are a well used strategy. They are bigots who dont dislike, but actively hate the English and this comes from the very top of the party.

        They know full well that there will be no currency union yet this Cybernat idiot will blindly repeat his Masters voice. Kinda mad isn’t it? Im a Scotsman and with this mentality being encouraged by the separatists, I fear for the future of those of us who will vote for the Union after the referendum is past.

        For this Salmond is ultimately responsible

        • BarkingAtTreehuggers

          You did not laugh at any of that? You couldn’t or you wouldn’t? That tells us more about you than me, pal.

          Did you know:
          ‘doing a Kate Moss’ means
          ‘coming on stage stoned out of your brains and reading someone else’s pleas to yet another someone else who in all honesty doesn’t give a Fawke’? – at least not in that age group.

          Poor show in my book, pal. Just like today.

          n.b. did the Cabinet have a fun day out today? We gather the budget did not stretch to secure overnight hotel accommodation, did it? Will we get to see pictures of the security arrangements and/or where it was that DC actually delivered the message (if he had one)?

      • David Booth.

        Well you certainly don’t speak for this Scotsman “Pal”
        You almost picked a good pseudonym there but it should read
        BarkingMad!

  • HJ777

    Salmond is being typically disingenuous – because the policy he is proposing is currency union, not just using the pound. Just using the pound without a currency union was explicitly rejected by his own fiscal commission.

    It was a currency union that Osborne was talking about as is entirely clear to anyone who heard his speech.

    What’s more, the only threats have come from Salmond, i.e. we’ll walk away from debt (as if he could) if a currency union isn’t agreed.

    We can all imagine Salmond’s reaction if he didn’t want a currency union and Osborne had told him he must have one, backing this with threats. He would accuse Osborne of “bullying”. So, by what measure does Salmond think it is reasonable to tell the rest of the UK that it must do this?

    • Framer

      Zimbabwe now uses a dozen different currencies esp. the dollar and the rand, even the bechuana. This arrangement would be open to Salmond in a free Scotland and not dependnet on London’s permission although God knows how you collect taxes or issue grants to cronies.

      • Andy

        No one has said Salmond-land can’t use Sterling. Sterling is the oldest currency still in use in the world and is fully convertible and tradable. What Osborne et all have said is that Salmond-land will not have a Currency Union with the UK. You might not understand the difference, but I can assure you it is a huge and important point.

Close
Can't find your Web ID? Click here