Coffee House

What is Alex Salmond’s plan for the currency now?

14 February 2014

1:05 PM

14 February 2014

1:05 PM

Alex Salmond is now a man without a plan. He is offering Scots a future of uncertainty and instability. Threats of a debt default leaving Scotland and Scots with a bad credit rating. No idea which currency we would be transitioning to.

By contrast if Scots want to know the benefit of remaining in the UK, they need only reach into their pockets and pull out a pound coin. We have one of the most trusted, secure currencies in the world. We have the financial back up of being part of one of the biggest economies in the world. The pound means more jobs, smaller mortgage repayments, cheaper credit card bills and lower prices in the supermarket. Why would we gamble that for an unknown currency?

This morning’s interview with Alex Salmond on BBC Radio Scotland was instructive. Unable anymore to credibly claim that Scotland would keep the pound he kept falling back on the same statement: his fiscal commission set out “a range of options” for what currency Scotland would use. The penny has dropped for Alex Salmond – he knows he cannot promise the pound.

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What a difference a day makes. 24 hours ago the SNP were saying that the fact that the UK parties had not ruled out the pound was proof that Scotland would keep the pound. Once the pound was comprehensively ruled out following advice from the Treasury’s top civil servant they claimed it was bluff. By this morning they were pointing out that there are a “range of options”.

What are the range of options? Another plan not on the table is using the pound anyway, in the way Panama uses the Dollar. The Fiscal Commission ruled out ‘the Panama plan’ and they were right to do so because it would mean leaving Scotland without a financial back-up plan. If something like the collapse of RBS happened again a crisis would become a disaster.

So Alex Salmond is offering us one of two options: a rush to join the Euro or a separate unproven currency. Of course until a very recently the Euro was Alex Salmond’s preferred option. We have seen almost nightly on the news what it can be like for a small country in the Euro. Establishing a separate, unproven currency would likely mean higher interest rates as we would be starting from scratch with no credit history. Both currency options would be bad for jobs as every time we sold to our biggest customer, England, Scottish firms would need to pay the costs of changing currency.

The SNP’s Fiscal Commission set out these options but only set out a plan for a currency union. Now that option is off the table there is no currency plan. Alex Salmond needs to get his Cabinet together urgently to prepare a new plan.

Of course this isn’t the first part of their White Paper that has fallen apart. A few days ago Scotland’s accountants were damning in their assessment that there was no plan for paying pensions. The SNP’s own expert group admitted there was no plan for paying benefits. This is too big a decision to make without having a real plan.

The referendum choice is clearer after the last 24 hours: a positive vote for the pound or take a gamble on the man without a plan.

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Show comments
  • jazz606

    Salmond knows that he can lose the argument and win the referendum.

    • mightymark

      That rather insults the intelligence of the Scottish elecorate!

      • jazz606

        So?

        • mightymark

          So – I think that if you want to retain the current UK as I do, rather than see it balkanised, it is better to trust the good sense and intelligence of the Scots and leave the pathetic and mad cap expedients that insult their intelligence, and are being increasingly exposed as fraudulent, to the SNP .

  • aurila

    Scotland can still print pound banknotes, not much England can do to stop them

    • jazz606

      They can’t print BoE notes and rUK can cease to recognise the others.

  • Eric McLean

    Just watch the unionist bluster turn to dismay and ire in a couple of weeks.
    Not one of you know what is coming. Your arrogance is pathetic, but it does make rather good capital to be saved for Osbornes rainy day.

    • Hegelguy

      What should we do according to you, I wonder. I am curious.

      • Eric McLean

        The benefits of using sterling in a currency or monetary union are clear. The avoidance of exchange costs, the elimination of currency risk, the continuation of existing contracts written in sterling and easier price comparison between products all minimise transaction costs and foster competition. The high degree of economic integration and mobility of capital and labour between Scotland and the rest of the UK is best maintained if they use the same currency.

        • Hegelguy

          Yet reasonably intelligent men like Osbourne and his advisers turned down the idea. They are no worse than your Salmond so put aside easy prejudice and consider their points. As far as I know they say a currency union with a country like Scotland that is dead set on distancing itself from the UK and severing its UK ties has no long term benefit and plenty of risks: we might end up paying for bust Scottish banks.

          If you believe in cooperating with the UK, stay in it.

          If you don’t, please leave and take all your stuff with you and don’t come back.

          To be blunt, you will not be missed.

          I have talked to a lot of English people about this and they have an expression of great dislike when they mention the Scots. Where is gratitude or the memory of 300 years of union, they ask. We wasted our time and emotions on them.

          • Eric McLean

            Yet reasonably intelligent men like Osbourne and his advisers turned down the idea. Thats conjecture. And doubtful.

            They are no worse than your Salmond so put aside easy prejudice and consider their points. Not my Salmond. I am not SNP.

            As far as I know they say a currency union with a country like Scotland that is dead set on distancing itself from the UK and severing its UK ties has no long term benefit and plenty of risks: we might end up paying for bust Scottish banks. You cannot see the politicking in this? Then you are blind.

            If you believe in cooperating with the UK, stay in it. I have said stay if the imbalance wasn’t so great. Britain became an unequal society.

            If you don’t, please leave and take all your stuff with you and don’t come back. No you sound bitter. Cant you imagine that Scotland has a right to make her own decisions? We are 5million people. Why does it rankle so?

            To be blunt, you will not be missed.I think you will be smarting from it for years, judging by your attitude.

            I have talked to a lot of English people about this and they have an expression of great dislike when they mention the Scots. Where is gratitude or the memory of 300 years of union, they ask. We wasted our time and emotions on them.Your last sentence is condescending and you cannot even appreciate that. Why should the Scots have gratitude? For what?

            This is part of the problem. You think Scotland should be grateful? Westminster has been ripping Scotland off for years.

            I worked in Investment Banking in London. I see the difference between the North and the South. Its very visible. Regardless of where the wealth is generated, it is spent in the South.

            Even to the extent that Scotland’s spends more per capita on lottery, gambling and cigarettes and actually gets less back?

            Now that is a classic example of unfair taxation.

            • Hegelguy

              If, O Scot, thou clingest to the pound, know well Scotland is then ours as well as yours.

              Come, let us reason together.

              If we divide assets we let Scotland depart with all its land. We pay it what monies are owing, and it pays us what monies are owed.

              But after that our institutions are ours, and it is for a surety for you to build yours.

              The pound is our institution. We had it before the Scots.

              We do not choose to share it with the estranged. Otherwise, why separate?

              If I demand to live in my wife’s house, when I have by mine own choosing put her by, I am wed to her still, in truth. For if I had not mind to have mine own dwelling, surely I served me ill in asking separation.

              Depart, vain men, and show not thy ill-starred visages this south of the border. Perfidy dwells in thy souls.

        • FF42

          You have made the clearest case for staying in the Union, which is how I am going to vote. I get the benefits you outline by keeping what we have and will lose them if Scotland votes for independence.

          The important words are will lose. We can talk hypothetically, but splitting while keeping a shared currency is not going to happen and never was.

          • Eric McLean

            I didn’t make a case for staying in our out of the Union.

            If I had, I’d have included getting:

            – The government we vote for

            – Rid of nuclear weapons
            – Control of our own finances

            etc etc

          • Eric McLean

            Perhaps YOU do get the benefits of staying in the Union.

            I’d bet therefore that you are Conservative, have a good job or business, are part of the establishment? How am I doing so far?

            So by all means vote for whats right for YOU.

            I will vote for whats right for Scotland as a whole. And I will concentrate my influence for the referendum on people who are not as lucky as you. 🙂

  • Hegelguy

    I live in Canada and Canadians are amazed that they can vote in UK elections if UK residents whereas I am unable to vote in Canadian ones.

  • Hegelguy

    What killed Britain was not Scottish nationalism, but English recalcitrant conservatism. In the end, the Scots realised there will be no seriously better, modern, caring society as long as the English are in control because that means hard Tory control.
    The only way to a modernised society was to leave the Union.
    A very sad conclusion, but it is hard to argue with it.

    • Richard T

      An odd way to ‘leave the union’ though: insisting that the union you’re leaving should backstop your monetary policy.

      • Hegelguy

        Agreed. Not the “consequences be damned” spirit of real nationalist heroes but a mean, money counting attitude that makes the Scots a laughing stock.

      • Hegelguy

        Give me a safe pound or give me death, eh!

        • Eric McLean

          Actually it’s ‘Bas no beatha’

      • Hegelguy

        That is why Britain broke up – first Southern Ireland and now Scotland.
        London has always been so liberal about allowing even parts that have seceded to let their people live here as long as they want on exactly the same terms as UK nationals – even having the right to vote in UK elections – that no one has anything to lose.

        They can quit being British and enjoy all the benefits of being British anyway. A New Zealander almost became the leader of the Labour Party and a Canadian manages the Bank of England. An Indian has run the LSE…..and so on.

        Only the UK loses status in the world from the secessions and looks much smaller than it is on the maps.

        In real life not even the Irish Republic is really independent.

    • Eric McLean

      At least we agree on something. Most Scots are fed-up with Westminster.

      • Hegelguy

        If the Scots merely said, We are fed up of Thatcherism and so want out of the UK, and are willing to pay the costs of this, I would understand, though it is selfish to bail out after 300 years of power and pelf as part of the Union, and leaves the rest of us worse off than ever.

        What I find detestable is their saying: the Empire was all the fault of England, we virtuous oppressed Scots were its victims, and please stand ready to pay for our banks after we quit the UK.

        That is a swindle.

        You cannot choose what UK institution you want to participate in at will. If the pound is yours, too, so is the UK army, the foreign service and so on. You reject all these but cling to the pound.

        Wanting to leave a country at will of convenience after great power and mighty profit from it for three hundred years, and then to ask all the advantages of staying while claiming all the advantages of leaving, is no honourable course. Ill lies it with the people who try this double dealing. No man that has an ounce of brain will accept a claim so over full of cupidity.

        • Eric McLean

          You cannot choose what UK institution you want to participate in at will. If the pound is yours, too, so is the UK army, the foreign service and so on. You reject all these but cling to the pound.

          Complete hogwash

    • mightymark

      In fact since 1945 the UK has had 30 years under Labour and 35 under Conservative Governments, so not excessively Tory lop sided . The past three years have been under a coalition. While I agree to an extent with your characterisation of it as “hard Tory” it has only survived with the support of a LIb Dem party of which 19% is Scottish – a higher proportion off its MPs than Labour (15%).

  • Hegelguy

    I want to open up this debate a bit.

    Scotland I think is likely to go for independence because when you have two roughly equal political camps and one has all the passion and energy and belief and the other – the NO camp – has nothing but a few mumbled and inarticulate words of caution – it is the intense, passionate lot that will win.

    In England too, they can get worked up about Princess Diana and about cruelty to animals and going to war in Iraq but apparently are sunk in cynical apathy about the break up of their famous and celebrated nation as it has been for no less than 300 years and as it put its indelible stamp on the whole world. A huge and mighty history of joint adventures with the Scots is shrugged aside as if it had never been.

    Oh well. Can’t be helped.

    But what I want your views on is this other question: What will England or the Rump UK be like when Scotland and its Labour MPs are no longer there?
    Are we doomed to a permanent hard right Tory majority?

    In that case what will the nation become like? After the initial disruption and shock in the economy will foreign investment flown into England as it will be a country with assured hard right low spending governments and a workforce that is thoroughly frightened and docile and low wage? Will the property boom go to the far skies as London is bought up by rich Chinese and Indians? Will the pound be pushed up and up and up as foreign money flows in to the vast safe haven of hard capitalism?

    I wonder. Because if so, for many Britons living abroad Scottish independence might actually prove a bonanza.

    Are we going to end up in a Downton Abbey kind of society?

    • john

      I suspect Britain will fall back into the Gilbert & Sullivan world of monarchy, London establishment domination and class distinction we already see everyday. The country just cannot force itself to face reality and prefers fantasies of world significance which are long gone. The prospect is bleak.

  • David Booth.

    Alex Salmond has no plan B, and since UK politicien’s have finally pointed out to him he can’t use Sterling, he has no plan A.
    The SNP’s plans are all falling apart like a cheap suit on its first wearing. How any decent Scotsperson can be taken in by his “cheeky chappey persona” is a mystery to me.
    The sooner Scotland tells him and his SNP lickspittles we are quite happy with the Union the better for all concerned.

    • john

      Of course, Salmond will be allowed to use sterling in the event of Scottish independence.
      Britain’s establishment (Tories) want (a) no Scottish independence but (b) if it happens then they will want to show that nothing has really changed (ie they are still in control). Thus everything will be done to keep Scotland as close as possible – hence use of sterling will be fine..

      • Hegelguy

        I think so, too.

        • Richard T

          It’s going to be fascinating to see how long the delusion that the entire UK economic and political establishment is bluffing will last.

          The Nat True Believer blogs are full of fantasies about Salmond having sprung a masterful trap of some kind. First time I’ve seen this kind of collective, tribal psychosis played out in real time. It’s going to get messy as the thing unravels.

      • David Booth.

        If that thought gives you confidence John just hold on and cherish it!

        • john

          Dave: It’s my confidence in the role and goals of the British establishment that matter here. They are scared to death of a break up of their power base but will simply recreate their position as best as possible if the Scots buzz off.

      • El_Sid

        You make the mistake that the London establishment actually care about the details of iScotland. They’ll be too busy worrying about rUK. They’re fine with unofficial use of sterling – but Edinburgh’s financial industry would not be, because the only back-stop they would have would be the financial resources of iScotland. They either have to change their business model completely to be Swedish-style retail banks, or carry on the risky-but-profitable casino banking as usual by moving to London.

        You think banking regulation is a “detail”, but if it’s not clarified then businesses will simply act in their own self-interest and move from Edinburgh.

  • Golben Amduke

    It is to their eternal detriment that every time Salmond and Sturgeon (collectively “Flounder”) don’t get what they want, they jump up and down like spoiled children and brand their opponents racist anti-Scots. They have forsaken dignity for cheap insults and bluster.

    Their latest excrescence is to complain that if the rUK Government has not rolled over on all their demands by the SNP’s arbitrary date for independence, that means the UK Government is ignoring a Yes vote and oppressing the men and women of the Highlands who fought so bravely for their freedom.

    This is pathetic claptrap and their ghastly, childish rhetoric will be blamed by history for tarnishing relations between Scotland and rUK if it comes to that.

    • Denis_Cooper

      The SNP are like a whining wife who says that her husband is a selfish pig and she wants a divorce so she can get away from him, but nevertheless assumes that if she ever needed help from her ex-husband after the divorce had gone through then he would automatically oblige her.

      Luckily that is just the SNP, not the Scots as a whole.

  • mahatmacoatmabag

    ” What is Alex Salmond’s plan for the currency now?”
    I heard he intends to print banknotes on the discarded wrappers of deep fried Mars bars

  • Hegelguy

    At any rate, as a Briton of Indian origin I find interesting something that our news media has yet to note: that after all the blood curdling talk about the Brown and Black folks who were going to betray Britain it was finally the most favoured and spoiled of all the protégés of England – the beloved Scots with their colourful tartan and their tremulous blaws on the pipes, and their manly saturnine good looks (Sean Connery and all that) who finally dumped England as a has-been in favour of fashionable Scandinavia. The poor Browns and Blacks stayed faithful.

    There must be a moral in this somewhere

    • Raw England

      Are you foreign? The black and Muslim communities in England are now mobilising against us English, both politically and racially. They’re destroying the remains of our nation. They’re attempting to aggressively grab as much influence and power as they can.

      • Hegelguy

        Who can blame them, if their adversary is you.
        You sound very foreign.

        • Two Bob

          The fact is the only thing Scotland are really good at is having a good moan at England and tossing a tree trunk.

          England is a very crowded country, and we dont take alot of pleasure being forced to speak out for our own identity as it is not in our character, but like Switzerland it has got the point where enough is enough.

          We didnt mind a few people coming here between the 50s and 90s, but what is happening now is just taking the mickey.

          • Raw England

            True. London isn’t actually English anymore. It isn’t even British anymore. Its now a corpse of former England being scavenged, soiled by Capitalist immigrants, and many more poor immigrants. Its been invaded and conquered. And the foreign invaders have built themselves a colony; a rapidly growing one. A colony that, due to being former-London, has political power over the rest of England…..

            • mahatmacoatmabag

              the process of establishing the Caliphate of the West is well underway, in Londonistan the capital of Engladesh

            • Eric McLean

              See comment above, Raw.

          • Hegelguy

            If England is too crowded I suggest the best way of making it less so is for people of your type to move to North Korea.
            No nation has historically sent out more immigrants than the English or taken more overseas land and exterminated the natives more ruthlessly. Ask the North American Indians or the Australian Aborigines.
            In any case, we are discussing Scottish secession. That is a wholly different topic from immigration. I suppose if we were discussing apples you would bring up immigration.
            Off to Pyongyang with you!

            • Eric McLean

              Hegel… you are what? A third generation Indian living in Canada? No wonder you are arguing with Raw England…

              But oh how quickly you side with the establishment over the minority. Pathetic.

          • Denis_Cooper

            “The fact is the only thing Scotland are really good at is having a good moan at England and tossing a tree trunk.”

            Well, apart from developing the steam engine and discovering penicillin and inventing radar and laying the foundations of economic theory and a few other such trivial things of no value whatever to the English, yes, that is a fact.

            Oh, and also providing many of the best soldiers in the British army.

    • M2

      We are over supplied with good looking boy bands from Ireland, thank you very much.

    • Eric McLean

      Is this how you really think?

      “Scotland has historically gained immeasurably from being the same nation alongside England. What would otherwise have been a poor bleak northern land became one of the key places of the world in culture and economics thanks to being in the Union.
      You do not have the right to pull out just when it suits you when you are part of a free nation.
      If the London leaders had any guts they would not only outlaw the SNP and secession but put a gun on the table when telling the Scots this, looking them straight in the eye.
      I loathe Churchill as I am a Marxist but how I miss him now!
      The Scots should not be foolish enough to imagine breaking up Britain will make you as rich and well-run as the Norwegians or the Swedes.
      Turning your back on your old family and burning your house down does not guarantee rehousing in a mansion among friends.
      The Scots made a terrific killing from the Empire. It is a by-word among Indians how disproportionately involved Scots were in the Empire.
      Britain has been led into this death trap by pigmy leaders completely without vision and common sense. They should never have allowed a separate Scots parliament, and definitely not the suicidal referendum.
      Make no mistake: the Scotlandless Britain will be a pitifully reduced entity, having lost all status in the world. It will no longer be able to say it is one of the key EU players; no one will take it seriously anymore. It will count in international affairs about as much as the Irish Republic or Denmark.
      Before it is too late there should be emergency legislation passed in the UK Parliament outlawing secession.
      The referendum should be cancelled.
      Freedom Scots can have. Free elections, free media, the lot. But no secession, anymore than in the US.
      Britain is crazy to sleepwalk into death without doing the simple things that can prevent the destruction of a great nation.
      Check what the Scandinavian countries were like in the 19th and even much of the early 20th centuries.
      They were way behind Britain in living standards and only started to make big progress from the 1930s onwards (Sweden) because they adopted Keynesianism and the modern welfare state ahead of the rest of Europe.
      Most of the most developed democracies do NOT allow the right of secession. The US fought a whole civil war to establish that principle.
      No civil war will happen if Westminster simply outlaws secession, while permitting all normal freedoms. The Scots will go home to watch football once an insane temptation has been taken away from them.
      I find it incredible that a great nation like Britain is allowing itself to be demolished and reduced to ridiculous dimensions by failing to do the very little that is needed to save it.”

  • Raw England

    So, the concensus from the English side is clear: the English simply don’t care if Scotland goes. We English are currently re-embracing our English ethnicity and identity, and we’re rejecting immigration and multiculturalism en masse. We, the oppressed English people are having one final, no holds barred push to reclaim our nation from the millions and millions of immigrants (non-whites). And we do not want Scotland hindering us, and weakening us.

    VOTE YES.

    • Wessex Man

      Your insane comments are nearly nearly convincing me to join Hooky in trying to keep the Union but then I look at SNP inspired rants and wish they would take you with them!

      • Raw England

        I’m English, you’re English. We’re a very endangered race. We must stand together, my man from Wessex.

        • Hegelguy

          If the first half of the ”we” is really endangered, that is very good news.

      • Two Bob

        They dont want to take anyone with them…

        • Wessex Man

          how do you know?

    • Hegelguy

      I doubt anyone cares where YOU go – provided it is far away with no return ticket. I suggest North Korea.

  • Chris Hobson

    Scotland after “independence” will be bitterly divided i feel the result will be pretty close. But all the rich scots should move south.

    • Wessex Man

      I don’t really care what happens in Scotland after independence as long as we English are set free from this unequal Union!

  • David Booth.

    The Leader of the SNP, Alex Salmond ( but soon to be Nicola Sturgeon) has made a complete mess of their play for so called Independence. When the proposals are looked at in the clear light of day they have fallen apart like a cheap suit on its first wearing. Even as we speak Nicola and Alex are scouring the second hand markets for a replacement.
    The SNP don’t have a plan B and now we know they don’t even have a plan A!

  • Hegelguy

    Scotland has historically gained immeasurably from being the same nation alongside England. What would otherwise have been a poor bleak northern land became one of the key places of the world in culture and economics thanks to being in the Union.

    You do not have the right to pull out just when it suits you when you are part of a free nation.

    If the London leaders had any guts they would not only outlaw the SNP and secession but put a gun on the table when telling the Scots this, looking them straight in the eye.

    I hate Churchill as I am a Marxist but how I miss him now!

    • Daniel Maris

      “A poor bleak northern land” – you missed out this bit: “Like Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark”…yeah…all those terribly poor bleak northern lands…

      • Hegelguy

        Check what these Scandinavian countries were like in the 19th and even much of the early 20th centuries.
        They were way behind Britain in living standards and only started to make big progress from the 1930s onwards (Sweden) because they adopted Keynesianism and the modern welfare state ahead of the rest of Europe.
        The Scots enjoyed two centuries of prosperity by contemporary standards thanks to the immense wealth of the British Empire in which they had such a vast and disproportionate role. I know what I am talking about here, being of Indian origin. We know how much the Scots gained from the Empire.
        You cannot pull out now just when it suits you. You are part of a free country and cannot make this an issue of self-determination any more than a state in the United States.
        If the Westminster leaders had the brains and balls of a Churchill they would have told you this with a gun in their hands.

      • Hegelguy

        Britain has been led into the death trap by pigmy leaders completely without vision and common sense. They should never have allowed a separate Scots parliament, and definitely not the suicidal referendum.

        Make no mistake: the Scotlandless Britain will be a pitifully reduced entity, having lost all status in the world. It will no longer be able to say it is one of the key EU players; no one will take it seriously anymore. It will count in international affairs about as much as the Irish Republic or Denmark.

        Before it is too late there should be emergency legislation passed in Parliament outlawing secession.

        The referendum should be cancelled.

        Freedom Scots can have. Free elections, free media, the lot. But no secession, anymore than in the US.

        Britain is crazy to sleepwalk into death without doing the simple things that can prevent the destruction of a great nation.

      • Hegelguy

        Don’t be foolish enough to imagine breaking up Britain will make you as rich and well-run as the Norwegians or the Swedes.
        Turning your back on your old family and burning your house down does not guarantee rehousing in a mansion among friends.

        The Scots made a terrific killing from the Empire. It is a by-word among Indians how disproportionately involved Scots were in the Empire.

        There was a famous occasion when the Viceroy of India, the massive and not particularly bright Earl of Linlithgow, whose family name was Hope, was attending a Christmas mass in Calcutta with his whole huge family in the front pews. The Bishop of Calcutta began the sermon by saying the outgoing year had begun with fine forecasts. However, he said, by the end all we can see is a row of blasted hopes!

      • Wessex Man

        ah the Arc of Prosperity that Comrade Salmond used to quote but didn’t it include Ireland and Iceland back in the day?

    • Raw England

      You’re a tiny minority. We English want Scotland cut off. We have very seriously, and much more foreign, problems of our own to deal with.

    • Raw England

      And ‘poor, bleak, Northern land’? My foreign friend, we are ENGLAND. We were the engine that magnificently colonised most of the globe, and built modern civilisation. We were the Kings, Queens and Knights of Medieval Olde, the staunch Victorian Era. We won World War II, with our greatest – and most loved, missed leader – at the helm, Winston Churchill. We gave the world Shakespeare, and the Internet. We rose like pumping blood to create the Industrial Revolution.

      And we did this all ourselves, as White English people.

      And you dare to say Scotland made us what we are?

      Sir, please get an education. Quickly.

    • Eric McLean

      The rest of your post.

      Scotland has historically gained immeasurably from being the same nation alongside England. What would otherwise have been a poor bleak northern land became one of the key places of the world in culture and economics thanks to being in the Union.
      You do not have the right to pull out just when it suits you when you are part of a free nation.
      If the London leaders had any guts they would not only outlaw the SNP and secession but put a gun on the table when telling the Scots this, looking them straight in the eye.
      I loathe Churchill as I am a Marxist but how I miss him now!
      The Scots should not be foolish enough to imagine breaking up Britain will make you as rich and well-run as the Norwegians or the Swedes.
      Turning your back on your old family and burning your house down does not guarantee rehousing in a mansion among friends.
      The Scots made a terrific killing from the Empire. It is a by-word among Indians how disproportionately involved Scots were in the Empire.
      Britain has been led into this death trap by pigmy leaders completely without vision and common sense. They should never have allowed a separate Scots parliament, and definitely not the suicidal referendum.
      Make no mistake: the Scotlandless Britain will be a pitifully reduced entity, having lost all status in the world. It will no longer be able to say it is one of the key EU players; no one will take it seriously anymore. It will count in international affairs about as much as the Irish Republic or Denmark.
      Before it is too late there should be emergency legislation passed in the UK Parliament outlawing secession.
      The referendum should be cancelled.
      Freedom Scots can have. Free elections, free media, the lot. But no secession, anymore than in the US.
      Britain is crazy to sleepwalk into death without doing the simple things that can prevent the destruction of a great nation.
      Check what the Scandinavian countries were like in the 19th and even much of the early 20th centuries.
      They were way behind Britain in living standards and only started to make big progress from the 1930s onwards (Sweden) because they adopted Keynesianism and the modern welfare state ahead of the rest of Europe.
      Most of the most developed democracies do NOT allow the right of secession. The US fought a whole civil war to establish that principle.
      No civil war will happen if Westminster simply outlaws secession, while permitting all normal freedoms. The Scots will go home to watch football once an insane temptation has been taken away from them.
      I find it incredible that a great nation like Britain is allowing itself to be demolished and reduced to ridiculous dimensions by failing to do the very little that is needed to save it.

  • Hegelguy

    Most of the most developed democracies do NOT allow the right of secession. The US fought a whole civil war to establish that principle.

    No civil war will happen if Westminster simply outlaws secession, while permitting all normal freedoms. The Scots will go home to watch football now that an insane temptation has been taken away from them.

    I find it incredible that a great nation like Britain is allowing itself to be demolished and reduced to ridiculous dimensions by failing to do the very little that is needed to save it.

    Make no mistake: the Scotlandless Britain will be a pitifully reduced entity, having lost all status in the world. It will no longer be able to say it is one of the key EU players; no one will take it seriously anymore. It will count in international affairs about as much as the Irish Republic or Denmark.

    Act before it is too late.

  • Hegelguy

    There should be emergency legislation passed in Parliament outlawing secession.
    The referendum should be cancelled.
    Simple.
    Freedom Scots can have. Free elections, media, the lot. But no secession, anymore than in the US.
    Britain is crazy to sleepwalk into death without doing the simple things that can save the destruction of a great nation.
    If it takes a Briton of Indian origins to say this, so be it.

    • Wessex Man

      Go, be gone back to your BNP blog!

      • Eric McLean

        BNP? He is an Indian living in Canada! LOL

  • dougthedug

    Good old Alistair Darling. He couldn’t hack it as a Chancellor when it all fell apart on his watch and he still doesn’t understand finance.

    Scotland isn’t an independent country at the moment and has entered into no debt agreements with anyone so Scots have no debt to default on. It’s all the UK’s debt and the UK has guaranteed it. Any “debt” that Scotland takes will be as payments to the Exchequer in the rUK to help pay for a share of the rUk’s debt depending on what is negotiated with debts and assets before independence.

    Alistair should know as well that no Government in the UK can rule out anything that the next Government can do in the next Parliament. Both Osborne and his sidekick Balls have said they’ll not “recommend” it but it’s not party policy for either party and there’s no guarantee that either of them will be Chancellor in 2015.

    As for the pensions report the biggest problem is that the UK has let pension plans be underfunded which will cause them problems when they need to be fully funded pension plans under EU cross-border rules. Again a problem Alistair never sorted out when he was in charge.

    • HookesLaw

      You are living in dreamland. They are all speaking for their parties and it would be a very strange political party that, if there were a Yes vote, would go in to the 2015 election promising to go into a currency union.

      Which pension plans are underfunded? Which pension plans are disobeying cross border rules? What are these rules?

      The pensions regulator (is it doing its job – you imply not) says cross border rules only apply to pension schemes located in one EU state which need to apply for authorisation and approval to accept contributions from employers employing members who are subject to the social and labour law of another EU state.

      • dougthedug

        it would be a very strange political party that, if there were a Yes vote, would go in to the 2015 election promising to go into a currency union.
        Why is that? Parties can do what they like as circumstances change.

        Which pension plans are underfunded?
        Nobody knows, not even ICAS who wrote the report.

        Which pension plans are disobeying cross border rules?
        None, Scotland is still part of the UK.

        What are these rules?
        Look them up yourself.

        The pensions regulator…says cross
        border rules only apply to pension schemes located in one EU state which
        need to apply for authorisation and approval to accept contributions
        from employers employing members who are subject to the social and
        labour law of another EU state.

        Yes.

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          No sensible party would go into an election promising to underwrite the debts and an act as lender of last resort to a foreign country and it’s banks without being able to control that foreign country’s fiscal, monetary and public spending policies (excepting those euro zone idiots who are clearly not sensible). That is why no UK party would offer up such a hostage to fortune, particularly a country led by a hostile, vindictive and dishonest party like the SNP. Are we clear now?

  • saffrin

    Alex Salmond has been promising the Scots something he hasn’t got or the power to give from day one.

    • Andy

      Of course he has. So he can use anti-English racism to win his referendum. He was trying to dictate terms: he didn’t even ask nicely.

  • Factman

    Britain can veto Scottish EU membership. This would be the simplest step to stop Scots breaking up this country, one of the most distinguished liberal states.

    Make Scottish secession impossible because it is breaking up one of the oldest and most distinguished democratic and liberal states in the world.

    This is in no one’s interests.

    Nobody wants India to break up. Why should they allow Britain to shatter?

    Abraham Lincoln went to war to prevent the break up of the USA, with nearly one million war dead resulting.

    What is crazy about the British is the passive, sheep-like way in which they are allowing their country to smash up. Democracy, yes. Free elections, yes. Free press, yes.

    BUT NO INCH OF BRITISH LAND TO BE ALLOWED TO SECEDE!!!!!!

    Cameron could become a statesman as great as Churchill if he took that bold stand and deployed the Army.

    Arrest Salmond. Arrest all the SNP leaders and charge them with high treason.

    The German, the French, the Spaniards, the US will FALL OVER THEMSELVES to support such a resolute stand.

    And in any case Britain itself can veto Scottish EU membership.

    Do it before it’s too late. Don’t sleepwalk into death.

    • HandandShrimp

      One million war dead was a good thing was it? If it is all the same to you I think we will stick to the ballot box. Scotland is a country not a county. If we choose self determination then that is what will be.

      • saffrin

        Not if Salmond gets his way.

      • Hegelguy

        It wouldn’t come to even 10 dead. If secession was outlawed in Parliament, as in most developed nations, the Scots would go home to watch football.
        I am aghast at how little the British seem to care for the survival of their own country. To save it hey need do no more than lift a finger. But it seems they won’t.

        • Wessex Man

          I’m sure that ‘Factman’ is a wind up but it’s amazing the responses that are then posted, as to yours, sorry England is my country and I now wish that the Yes Campaign had

          people in charge who don’t make it up as they go along.

          I don’t give a monkey’s for the United Kingdom, England would be well able to hold it’s own in any situation.

    • saffrin

      Democracy, no. Free elections, no. Free press, no.
      Not while the UK is part of a anti democratic Federal State with a 22 Billion euro annual propaganda fund.

    • HookesLaw

      600,000 US dead in the American Civil War.
      Interestingly you demand war to stop ‘secession’ but then say ‘do not sleepwalk into death’. You talk rather as if you have sleepwalked into the bathroom door.

      Yours is one of the more interesting loony toon rants for some time – I expect leaded doctorates to be awarded on its study in due course.

      • Hegelguy

        Not even 10 Scots will die if the Parliament in Westminster simply outlawed secession while allowing all other liberties. It’s like that in most developed democracies.
        Are we not prepared to do even this little to save our country, I wonder.
        I am a Briton of Indian origin.

        • Raw England

          No. We want Scotland GONE. This is the rise of White English identity and sovereignty.

      • Hegelguy

        It came as a gust of fresh air in the small-minded debate so far……

    • Wessex Man

      will you stop winding people up? you’ve got poor old Hooky in a right state now!

  • HandandShrimp

    Alistair Darling’s love poem to Osborne on St Valentine’s day?

    Alistair, if you think this has played well you have lost the ability to hear the mood music of politics.

  • GnosticBrian

    There is a third way, Salmond could ask Waddington’s to run off an extra large pile of monopoly money.

  • Raw England

    Basically, we English are paying the benefits of Scots. As if it isn’t bad enough that we’re paying for millions upon millions of third world foreigners in our own country.

    • Denis_Cooper

      Basically, we English are not paying the benefits of Scots.

      Some of us English are paying the benefits of some other English, but it is a myth that England is subsidising Scotland.

      • Raw England

        The only reason Scotland functions is due to huge payouts from us English. That is a simple fact.

        • Denis_Cooper

          No, that is not a fact, it is a myth which started out in Scotland with Gordon Brown telling the Scots a lie about a so-called “Union dividend” to try to stop them defecting from Labour to the SNP, and which was then repeated in England by Tories like Boris Johnson to try to get the English to support the Tories over Labour.

          This is what the UK government admits to:

          https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/236579/scotland_analysis_macroeconomic_and_fiscal_performance.pdf

          Page 6:

          “The performance of the Scottish economy is similar to that of the UK as a whole. On average, a worker in Scotland produces almost exactly the same as a worker in the rest of the UK. Scotland has the third highest economic output per person of all parts of the UK, behind only London and the South East of England. While London’s performance is very strong, it is in line with the stronger performing Scottish cities … And Scottish output per person is closer to the overall UK average than any other part of the UK … differences in employment rates between the UK and Scotland have narrowed over time: the latest data show that the employment rate in Scotland is now higher than the UK at 71.9 per cent compared with 71.4 per cent.”

          “The similarity of Scotland’s economic performance to the UK as a whole is reflected in the amount of tax that Scotland generates: Scottish onshore tax revenues per person have been only slightly lower than the UK average since evolution in 1998. Over the same time period, public spending per person in Scotland has been around 10 per cent higher than the UK average. Therefore, Scotland’s notional onshore fiscal balance has been considerably weaker than the UK’s over the same timeframe. In the event of independence, the allocation of North Sea oil and gas revenues would be subject to negotiation. On the basis of a geographical apportionment, Scotland’s notional fiscal balance for the period since devolution is very similar to the UK’s public finances over the same period.”

          If anybody in England was determined to look for people they could stupidly condemn as depending on subsidies, then instead of looking to Scotland they could start with their
          fellow English in most of the north of England, as well as the Welsh and the Northern Irish.

        • HookesLaw

          Is there anybody you like? Typical of your kind you hate everybody. I suggest seeing a doctor.
          Meantime people like you are the gift that keeps giving for Salmond.

          • Two Bob

            Nobody likes you, that is for sure.

    • HookesLaw

      Raw racist and ignorant to boot.

      • Raw England

        Racist for stating facts, as always ; )

      • saffrin

        Typical lefty tw*t response.

        • HookesLaw

          I’ve been voting conservative all my life and proud of it and I do not take bunkum from necrotizing gobsh!tes like Raw England or nutjobs like you.
          Your ignorant and vile and given the chance you would be the first out there polishing their jackboots.
          Bog off.

          • saffrin

            If you have been voting Conservative all your life, I’m sure the Conservative Party will be filled with shame to learn it.

          • Two Bob

            Nasty party indeed…..

  • asalord

    This’ll cheer you up,chaps. British nationalism at its most conniving. And you wonder why we’ll vote Yes.

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/referendum-news/yes-does-not-mean-yes.23438016

    • Denis_Cooper

      “The planned Independence Day of March 24, 2016, will not happen, leaving the current set-up as the “default option”, unless negotiations between Edinburgh and London are completed satisfactorily, according to one of Prime Minister David Cameron’s most senior colleagues.”

      Why are you surprised by that?

      I’ve said more than once on here that legally Scotland would still be just as much a part of the UK the day after a vote for independence as it was the day before, and if it turned out that the ensuing complex multiple negotiations could not be completed satisfactorily in the arbitrary timeframe that Salmond has tried to dictate then the final separation could be deferred.

      Use some common sense. If Cameron had trouble getting the governments of the other EU member states to agree to an amending treaty so that Scotland could make a seamless transition to being a new member state at the same instant as it finally separated from the rest of the UK, and/or if there were delays in getting that treaty ratified by all member states, would you prefer that the separation took place anyway on March 24th 2016 so that Scotland would then be outside the EU Single Market while the rest of the UK was still inside the EU Single Market, with the damage that would do to the Scottish economy given that exports to the rest of the UK account for about a third of the GDP of Scotland?

      http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Economy/Q/pno/1

      • Michael Mckeown

        Its rather obvious that if negotiations break down, and lets face it there are no volunteers willing to sit with Sturgeon and Salmond for any length of time, then the current set up remains.

        • HookesLaw

          You make a good point. First off,There is no enthusiasm for independence in Scotland anyway, the SNP do not command a majority of voters and it is hard to see any common purpose (sorry for that) in the Scottish establishment that could be brought to bear in any negotiations.
          All we are getting is projections, assumptions, from Salmond which have remote chances of fulfilment.
          He offers only a pig in a poke.

    • alabenn

      It is not only a stupid thing to say, it also puts in perspective what will happen if the EU referendum result does not go their way.
      This comment will push the doubtful towards yes as it makes the vote, not seem so final after all.
      Good luck with the nest of vipers that is the Scottish Labour party, they have spent the last 50 years pouring bile on the Tories, now they are in bed with them, and they are the ones biting the pillow.

      • Denis_Cooper

        “The controversial view – dismissed by Alex Salmond as breathtaking, irresponsible and contemptuous of the democratic process in Scotland … ”

        But it wasn’t irresponsible for Alex Salmond to proclaim a fixed date for the final separation for some daft historical reason, even if it turned out that the new arrangements could not concluded in that timeframe?

        • alabenn

          It does not matter, Salmond has started to go on emotion so this will play to that.
          Facts from either side have never been the real argument, fear on the no side, feelings on the yes. my guess is emotion will win eventually.

          • Hegelguy

            Outlaw secession in Parliament. Simple. No referendum. Scots go home to watch football.

            Of course, allow all normal freedoms. Just outlaw secession. Most countries do, even the US.

            End the dangerous farce.

            • Wessex Man

              Are you Asalord’s wife?

    • Golben Amduke

      Er that’s a Scottish newspaper. If that’s the accuracy you’ll be getting after independence I would apply for an Iranian passport if I were you – you’ll be much happier.

  • Raw England

    Alistair, why make it difficult for them? We English want Scotland to bugger off. Separation is now essential for both Scotland and England.

    • Denis_Cooper

      I’m English and I don’t want Scotland to bugger off.

      • Raw England

        Am I to assume you enjoy 50 pro mass immigration, pro multiculturalism Scottish Ministers having constant say in English affairs?

        • Denis_Cooper

          Absolutely, I think it’s wonderful … of course not, I want an English Parliament with the same devolved powers as the Scottish Parliament, but I don’t want the UK to be broken up because I don’t think that would be good for either England or Scotland.

          • Raw England

            The Scottish people want very, very different things to us now. They actually WANT mass immigration and multiculturalism (they’ll soon learn). Whilst we English want these things dismantled, halted and reversed.

            Think of Scotland as the mad ginger woman in the attic smashing everything up and boozing, costing us money. Just need to open the door and push her out.

            • Denis_Cooper

              It’s only in your imagination that the Scottish people want those things much more than the English people. You shouldn’t listen to what the SNP says about what the Scottish people want and take their account as being accurate.

              • HookesLaw

                Lets face it Raw England is a rampant Aryan militaristic fascist full of a disturbing violent aggression. I wonder what his second and third ‘steps’ would be. Rest assured by the time he got past them, the camps would be in full swing.

            • Jambo25

              Actually 58% of the Scottish population want quite tight controls on immigration as against about 75% plus of the English so we hardly want unlimited immigration.

          • Wessex Man

            I also want the very same thing but there are problems, created by the Blair/Brown Years in which they gave Scotland it’s Parliament and sought to impose ‘Regions’ and end England. Call me Dave and Hooky will say that it’s too expensive, only to try and keep this bloated UK Government, we need no more than 100 members given the very few powers left to it. We also need to do away with the Lords which Blair ruined it’s now just a placerman debating chamber full of expense fiddlers. Why we could even use the building for an English Parliament. Only the the Chinese Parliament has more members than the Lords anywhere in the world!

            • Denis_Cooper

              Well, to quickly repeat what I posted on another blog this very morning, as follows:

              Firstly, at one time I might have accepted some kind of pragmatic arrangement whereby the Westminster MPs elected in England could in effect become the elected chamber of an English Parliament.

              However because it became clear that the eurofanatics would never cease in their efforts to break up England I changed my mind on that, believing that the only way to put a stop to their wickedness would be to have a separate devolved Parliament for the whole of England with the same powers as the Scottish Parliament.

              Secondly, the cost of a separate English Parliament would not be anything like as high as some imply.

              There would of course be the initial costs of buildings and so on, but there is no reason why the running costs should not be comparable to those for the Scottish Parliament, £68.6 million for the year ending March 31st 2013:

              http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/help/61877.aspx

              That works out as just 2.5p per week per head of population in England.

              • Wessex Man

                My first reply to you is for some reason awaiting moderation, there’s nothing rude or suggestive in it. So I’ll just say I agree with you.

      • HookesLaw

        I can support that.

    • alabenn

      Why would anyone assume the that Darling, one of the architects of the destruction of this country both financially and culturally would in anyway be in favour of anything that would help his own or our country, he is as many faced as the typical multi-cultural self haters that seem to comprise the political class.

      The only hope is that with the distortions that he has used in this column and the many others, he will have destroyed a good tranche of Labours support in Scotland.

      • Raw England

        Good point.

  • Tom M

    You’ve got to hand it to someone in Westminster for the timing of this announcement. No bluster just a statement. None of the “please stay, don’t go” with lots of emotion and hand wringing. Just a quiet announcement “you’re not having the pound”. A political Exocet beneath the waterline. Brilliant.

    • Richard T

      I’m not convinced there was any masterplan. But it must have become clear after the fatuous Nat spinning of the Carney speech that any ambiguity whatsoever would consistently be seized upon like a wino on a bottle of Buckie.

      Cool, clinical demolition is definitely the only way to go at this point. The whining and dummy spitting will continue whatever, so there’s no point trying to deal with Eck & co as if they’re rational actors. Just lay the facts in front of the Scottish electorate and hope.

      • Michael Mckeown

        The funny thing is it was Salmond that was begging Carney for the meeting and for whatever reason he thought the BOE would somehow not do what Westminster wanted, as far as own goals go that one was spectacular.

        • HookesLaw

          Salmond’s whole ploy is to try to create an impression that the English do not want Scotland and thus to get the Scots to irrationally vote accordingly. This is why the wee Deputy FM went around thqueeaming ‘bullies’ on the announcement.

      • HookesLaw

        The remainder of the UK could not would not tolerate their currency being usurped. Its simple really.
        I suggest Salmond proposes to create a fresh new Scottish currency – the Piap. Pig In A Poke.

      • HJ777

        You are precisely correct, of course.

        Most Scots are rational people and they will see through Salmond’s and his ilk’s behaviour as the facts are calmly and rationally presented.

        That’s why Osborne’s speech provoked such a furious reaction from the Nats. They have been shot down and they know it.

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          Reading all the foaming at the mouth on these threads as those losers struggle to argue that up is down etc etc is a joy to behold.

        • Jambo25

          Actually, the SNP reaction wasn’t all that furious.

          • Nicholas chuzzlewit

            Ah ha ha ha ha ha hah ha hah ha. Priceless

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        Well said. Check out one of threads on the DT website. Some of these nutters are spitting out EU rules etc etc anything they can think of and none of it credible. Sad fools clinging onto the cliff top but certain to fall.

    • Golben Amduke

      I”ve been wondering what the piscatorial collective noun for Salmond and Sturgeon should be. It’s now clear: Flounder.

      • Denis_Cooper

        Have an uptick for that.

      • John Clegg

        This has to be the best ever, well thought of.

        • Golben Amduke

          Thank you sir

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        Absolutely brilliant. “I wish I had said that, you will Martin, you will” (with apologies to Oscar Wilde).

    • Jambo25

      Its probably 4 or 5 months too early. Its also a political disaster in waiting for SLAB and the Lib Dems who are actually the main opposition to the SNP in Scotland. Some of the more intelligent SLAB-ites such as Henry McLeish, have seen that. Darling does not.

  • asalord

    Can I thank all contributors to this thread. The joy of reading such uninformed opinion on the matter of Scottish politics once more convinces me the “united” kingdom is breaking apart.
    After over three hundred years people in England are fast coming to the same conclusion.
    Scotland and England will be “united” in their conviction of each others’ independence.

    BTW – in deference to Mr Darling,after independence Scotland will call its currency the “houseflipper”

    • HJ777

      So that’s why you post such nonsense – so that you have plenty of (your own) uninformed opinion to read.

      I knew there must be an explanation but I just couldn’t think what it was.

      • Michele Keighley

        Congratulations HJ777 – that was priceless !!

    • Raw England

      Too right its falling apart. Hurry up and bugger off, you Scots.

    • M2

      So why does your great leader try to impose a currency union on England, Wales and Northern Ireland? If you want independence, do it for real

  • manonthebus

    To be fair (I don’t know why) A country like Scotland, small but with lots of oil, isn’t going to be treated like Greece or Cyprus. They will probably be welcomed into the Eurozone with open arms.

    • Andy

      That may or may not be so. But the same problems that have damned Greece may do the same for Scotland. Greece didn’t happen overnight. It was a 10+ year slow burn, but as a frequent visitor to Greece I watched this unfold. You should read Bernard Connolly, ‘The Rotten Heart of Europe’. He lays it all out and was spot on.

    • kyalami

      If they had lots of oil, that might be true.

    • Denis_Cooper

      But Greece and Cyprus weren’t treated like Greece and Cyprus when they were allowed to join the euro. Well, I suppose Greece had to be allowed a couple of extra years so that the books were properly cooked, but then they were welcomed with open arms.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      The EUSSR doesn’t want to encourage any breakups. They’d like to assimilate Great Britain as one big mass.

  • El_Sid

    The Fiscal Commission ruled out ‘the Panama plan’ and they were right to
    do so because it would mean leaving Scotland without a financial
    back-up plan. If something like the collapse of RBS happened again a
    crisis would become a disaster.

    I don’t see the unofficial adoption of the UK£ as being much different to a Scottish £ in this respect – you still have the problem of a small economy acting as the backstop to big banks. Either way the banks have a choice. They can cut loose the profitable-but-risky casino operations and becoming Scottish retail banks with very conservative capital ratios along the lines of Sweden. Or they move to London (or elsewhere) for business as usual. I’m pretty sure what the majority owner of RBS will want.

    If you don’t want the banks to move the profitable bits from Scotland, then you need a full currency union with a bigger economic block. Sterling won’t happen, so the only sensible options would be the eurozone or the US$. I suspect the US wouldn’t be interested for the same reason the UK isn’t, although unofficial dollarisation of an oil exporter isn’t a ridiculous idea.

    Full sterlingisation has the bug and the feature that there’s no going back, no chance of devaluation but the market gives you credit for that in normal times. The only trouble is that you don’t have the option of breaking the peg in times of crisis, like say the CFA franc in 1994 or sterling dropping out of the ERM.

    Unofficial sterlingisation also means you lose control of monetary policy, which again has advantages and disadvantages. In this case it makes a laughing stock of Salmond’s complaints that London neglects Scotland’s interests – London would continue to have control of a vital lever of economic policy, but would no longer have to take account of Scotland’s needs when setting interest rates.

    • Golben Amduke

      “He who controls the currency controls the country”. Keynes.
      Quite so.

      • allymax bruce

        Westminster control their currency, but look how the Finance Markets destroyed UK! Keynesian economics is Crash Gordon’s avowed territory; say no more!

        • the viceroy’s gin

          Perhaps the Finance Markets control Westminster, which controls the currency, meaning the Finance Markets control the country?

          • Wessex Man

            Allymax is really struggling here to make his point, no change there then and while we’re about it the UK suffered so badly because of Prudence Brown and Fred the Shred, who was so roundly congradulated by the Fat Controller which started it all.

            The economics of the madhouse ruled by Scots.

            • Nicholas chuzzlewit

              Well he only speaks fluent gibberish so it is difficult to make a point.

    • FF42

      The last time Scotland went for a “Panama Plan” in the 1690’s it didn’t turn out so good ….

  • HJ777

    As Alistair Darling points out, until recently, joining the Euro was Alex Salmond’s plan.

    I would like to speculate on what would have been the reaction of the “Yes” campaign had George Osborne (or whoever was chancellor) had said “No you can’t join the Euro because, after any succession, we would want Scotland to join a currency union with the rest of the UK”.

    I imagine that the response would have been an accusation that unionists were bullying Scotland.

    And even bigger squeals had the threat been issued that the rest of the UK would not allow Scotland to have its share of assets were it not to agree.

    However, it would seem that when Salmond makes exactly the same demand of the rest of the UK, it is not him who is attempting to bully – but still the same unionists trying to bully Scotland. When he threatens not to take Scotland’s share of the debt, this is apparently a perfectly reasonable response to ‘bullying’.

    Just how one-eyed do you have to be to take this seriously?

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      Well that idiot Terregles2 is a fine example of monocular stupidity.

      • Jambo25

        More insults I see. Do you never stop? Is it some form of on-line Tourettes’?

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          Loser.

      • HJ777

        You are too kind to her.

        She is mind-blowingly ignorant. There are hamsters with a greater understanding of the issues. What is really amusing is that she always claims that whenever she speaks to people on the subject, they change their minds to a “yes” vote as a result. She seems not to realise that they are simply humouring her in the hope it will make her go away quickly and bore someone else.

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          I know her prejudices are invariably cloaked in faux ameliorative language but none of it ever makes sense.

    • Jambo25

      Not from me. My preference has always been to join the Euro as quickly as possible. I suspect that if a currency union on Sterling was achieved it would be a short term expedient prior to joining the Euro for any Scottish government.

      • Raw England

        Yet more proof that the weird SNP are anything BUT Nationalists.

        • Jambo25

          No it proves we aren’t a set of chauvinistic numpties like some of our Unionist opponents.

      • HookesLaw

        You suspect… Why cannot the Scottish people be given some certainty?

        • Jambo25

          Because neither I nor anyone else other than charlatans are in the business of predicting the future.

          • Wessex Man

            that’s rich! In their arrogance, the SNP decide that what they want is what they are going to get no matter what. When they can’t get it they start shouting about bullying. It shows a rather ill thought out course they have set themselves and Scotland upon.

            They have feed themselves and and impressionable followers on the myth of Braveheart, branding the English as moneygrabbing millionaires seeking to constantly put Scotland down, boasting how they will create an oil funded Valhalla. They have created a very unhealthy atmosphere to further their aims and now it’s all crashing around their ears.

            This break up of the Union could have been done in a far better grown up way and now it’s all turning to dust.

            • Jambo25

              So you don’t want to engage with any arguments but to go on throwing puerile insults about. If you want a considered assessment of the past few days events perhaps you should go onto the ESRC site on possible Scottish independence and read Professor Christine Bell’s rather thoughtful piece.

              • Wessex Man

                Perhaps you should read Osborne’s Statement or watch the Politics Show that followed- pure comedy!

              • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                The trouble is you define puerile insults (something you yourself use on a regular basis) as any comment which disagrees with you or the SNP. Salmond comes wading in with we will do this and we will do that and when somebody says No you will not it is defined as bullying and puerile.

                • Jambo25

                  Have you bothered reading Professor Bell’s article? .

      • David Booth.

        Yes but to join the Euro you have to have run your currency for 2 to 5 year and have a Central Bank, neither of which apply in Scotland’s case. The Euro is not a cosy little bolt hole for Nicola and Alex. Europe will want its “Pound Of Flesh”

        • Jambo25

          That’s why, on previous postings I’ve noted that there would have to be a stop gap position.

          • Michele Keighley

            So. as it appears Sterling is not going to be it, what’s your Plan B then?

            • Nicholas chuzzlewit

              Plan B is their original Plan A which was the euro but that tanked and so Sterling became plan A and the euro plan B. Osborne said “get lost” and so plan A is now plan B and the Euro is now plan A although it is really plan B because Sterling was plan A and is now plan B. Clear. I hope so because it is a picture of lucidity compared to SNP thinking.

            • Jambo25

              A Scottish currency. Call it the Merk. There is an historical precedent. As a country with no national debt and therefore no servicing of national debt to be done budgeting and fiscal policy will be easier.

  • ChuckieStane

    Darling, the man who thinks Scots are incapable of managing there own finances.

    He used to think he and his one time pal Brown were capable of managing all of the UK. How did that go?

    Should we really be placing such weight on the thoughts of a labour back-bench failed cabinet minister tax dodger?

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      I am afraid your contentions and name calling rather fall to pieces because regardless of his pedigree, Darling is echoing the views of the Treasury, the economic spokespeople for Labour and the Liberal Democrats, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Governor of the Bank of England and a raft of eminent economists etc etc. mr Salmond has played the game and has lost and you will just have to live with the consequences.

      • ChuckieStane

        Nick, Just what are the contentions and name calling?

        Darling is a labour back bencher, a failed cabinet minister and a serial flipper to dodge tax. Regardless of any view on indy these are simple statements of fact.

        Darling is the Leader of the Better together campaign only because Labour have nobody better (Johann Lamont, Iain Gray anyone?); Gordon Brown refuses to share a platform with the conservatives; Charlie Kennedy showed up for the launch and has hardly been seen since; Bella has run away to the Lords and even Cochrane at the DT thinks Ruth is worse than Johann (unfairly I think).

        • HJ777

          So you have no argument other than to throw abuse at Alistair Darling and others?

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          I loathe Darling. He is a member of The Labour Party, the party of lies, lying and liars. That said, he is right, there can be no currency Union between the UK and Scotland. The rest is irrelevant.

        • Jambo25

          Its difficult to imagine anyone who is worse than Ms Lamont. Possibly a couple of the less talented West of Scotland SLAB hacks in Westminster. Bain and Hood come to mind.

      • Jambo25

        You accusing others of name calling. Utterly priceless. Who says satire is dead?

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          You’ve lost. Go home.

  • Denis_Cooper

    I reckon the average Scot is easily intelligent enough to see straight through the waffle from Salmond and Sturgeon and realise that:

    a) A currency union with the continuing UK is not what they really want for anything beyond the short term, just as a temporary expedient to dupe Scots into voting for independence; and

    b) Now that has been knocked on the head, for fear of the popular reaction they still dare not say what they really want and have always wanted, which is to join the euro; and

    c) If an independent Scotland wanted to remain in the EU as a new member state in its own sovereign right, rather than as part of a member state, then Merkel and others would insist that as part of the deal it must commit to joining the euro; and

    d) They have no intention of coming back and asking the Scots directly what they thought about whatever new treaty had been agreed by the Scottish government and Parliament.

    • allymax bruce

      Denis, there’s a lot of ifs, buts, and maybe’s in there! I luv it when the nae-sayers get all ‘postulating’ on iScotland; why don’t you come up here and live? You’re more than welcome in iScotland!

      • Denis_Cooper

        Actually there’s only one “if”, and no “buts” or “maybes” at all.

        You don’t have to live in Scotland to be aware of the history of the SNP and Salmond slagging off sterling and saying that the euro would be better for Scotland. One can choose to believe that they have had a real change of heart over that, or one can reckon that their apparent change of heart is just a matter of expediency and once the votes have been cast they will be able to remove the mask. As I say I reckon the average Scot is sufficiently intelligent to work out what is most likely to be the truth, even though you would deny it.

        • HJ777

          Yes, but you are forgetting that ‘allymax bruce’ is nowhere near as intelligent as the average Scot.

          • Jambo25

            Have you been bitten by that nice man Chuzzlewit? Can none of you people engage in debate without resorting to childish insults?

            • Nicholas chuzzlewit

              Nobody takes you seriously so no.

              • Jambo25

                More shining wit from you.

                • Wessex Man

                  There you go Nicholas chuzzlewit, he’s proved you right!

            • HJ777

              If you are suggesting that most Scots aren’t more intelligent than that man, then you are grossly insulting the intelligence of most Scots.

              People like Chuzzlewit and I have long been trying to get the Cybernats to engage in intelligent discussion of the issues involved here. But they – including you – won’t.

              For example I have repeatedly asked you either to direct me towards the “Yes” campaign’s assessment of transition costs or to provide your own view. You never even acknowledge the question. How can you expect to be taken seriously if you just ignore questions about costs and consequences when they are put to you?

              • Jambo25

                I do nothing but engage and get a stream of insults in return. I’ll answer your question and its quite easy but rather unsatisfactory. I don’t know what full transition costs, for Scotland, of disentangling the UK might be and neither do you because much of the answer depends on policy decisions yet to be taken. I can tell you one cost which will not be accrueing to an iScotland, under present circumstances and that IS THE COST OF SERVICING THE uk NATIONAL DEBT

                • El_Sid

                  Is that a threat to default on Scotland’s share of the UK debt? Bully.

                • Jambo25

                  Look at the position of ‘Successor States’ in international law.

                • El_Sid

                  It’s in no doubt that rUK would be liable in law – but Scotland is morally liable for their share. That moral liability is enshrined in the Edinburgh agreement, where Holyrood has committed to sharing assets and liabilities fairly, and to acting in good faith wrt the rest of the UK. That’s because Holyrood needs the UK to play ball in other respects – do you think the UK would not veto Scotland’s entry into the EU if Scotland had defaulted on her share of the debt?

                  Look at it the other way – imagine England decided to have a vote in August for independence, and announced that England was going to secede from the UK, leaving Scotland/Wales/NI with all the debt. It would be legal in international law, but do you think the Celts would let the English get away with that kind of threat?

                • Jambo25

                  “morally liable” Here’s news for you. If Scotland does go indy then what follows is negotiation: not a diktat from Osborne. I think if England had its vote in August “the Celts” wouldn’t have to do anything. The bond markets would slaughter England.
                  I’m all in favour of Scotland taking its share of the debt but it will be a quid pro quo. Otherwise, thanks for the gift of 60 grand to my (English) wife and I.

        • allymax bruce

          Denis, did you go abck over your comment looking for the ifs, buts, and maybe’s? He-he; I was using the phrase coloquially. Thanks for the laugh.

          • Denis_Cooper

            Any answer to the rest of the comment, the whole paragraph after the first sentence?

            • allymax bruce

              Denis, “Sell a man a fish, he eats for a day, teach a man how to fish, you ruin a wonderful business opportunity.” Now why would I tell you what’s going on? What you reckon suits Scotland just fine!

              • Wessex Man

                hur hur hru zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

          • Wessex Man

            you’re easily amused.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      You’re saying it matters what Boy George says about any currency union. Does it, really? He’s likely gone soon, and he’s a lightweight even if he’s around. He can’t speak for anything, least of all anything sensible.

      Anybody with sense would surmise that a precipitous withdrawal from the currency would be disastrous for all. No government on either side of a border will risk economic upheaval, as it is they who would suffer when the next vote comes around. A negotiated process will ensue, and the currency would stay united in the medium term, and who knows, perhaps in the longer term as well.

      LibLabCon knows all this, but they can’t say it. Neither can the SNP, although they can lay out options.

  • CraigStrachan

    Bitcoin?

  • john

    Speccie: Please give it a rest on the “Why Scottish Independence is a disaster for all concerned”. You just sound desperate! Scotland willhave plenty of currency options and the issue will easily be handled.

    • Tony_E

      Well I suggest that the SNP comes up with one of those easy answers fairly soon then…

      • the viceroy’s gin

        They don’t really have to, though. It’s the LibLabCon clones who are doing all the shrieking over this. The jocks may just be waiting ’til they go hoarse.

      • john

        The obvious solution is (a) an interim use of sterling and (b) membership of the euro.

        • Wessex Man

          er. you think that Osborne, Balls and the tame Highlander are going to allow you to use the Sterling for a brief period when they have said no? Then you think that the EU will do the same, how deluded, how very SNP!

        • Tony_E

          Actually, that’s not currently an option. The EU stipulates as I understand it, that member states (signatories to the treaty of Rome), have their own central bank. So interim use of Sterling would be difficult unless an exemption from that part of the EU treaty were to be negotiated.

          Cyprus is the exception, but has special status due to its complex history and links with Greece.

          The second part, membership of the Euro will be difficult to achieve without true convergence, and that would only be possible without the exemption above and a move to a separate and independent central bank.

          Scotland will (unless the EU grants some special status to be agreed by all the other members) have to issue its own currency before it becomes an EU member state, and therefore before it joins the Euro.

          • john

            You’re getting tied up in detail. If Scotland becomes independent, a viable currency structure will be created. Neither the UK nor the EU would have any interest in making life difficult for a new (ancient) European country. Why would either refuse to support the new nation?

            • Tony_E

              Why are you so sure that Scots will vote for independence if they don’t have the detail of how it would be organised?

              Get the detail right, and I think independence has more than a fair chance of going through. Fail to get the detail right and I think the Scots will reject it.

              Of course, it’s not entirely clear that Salmond wants independence….at least not yet. DevoMax may be more to his taste.

              • john

                Big decisions are not made on detailed factoids. If the Scots want independence they will take it and work the details out later. Nobody thinks issues like currency etc are the key factors.

            • El_Sid

              These are not details – they go to the heart of what independence is about. Salmond’s argument is that Scotland needs independence because a distant government in London takes decisions about the economic future of Scotland with little heed to the needs of the 10% of the UK economy represented by Scotland.

              At the moment the proposals are that either a)London continues to take major decisions about the Scottish economy but with no brief to pay any attention to Scotland (unofficial sterlingisation) or b)Those major decisions are handed over to Frankfurt, where Scotland will be 1.6% of eurozone GDP (euro adoption).

              Can you explain how either of these options are more desirable than an official sterling union, which is only possible as part of the UK?

              • john

                Sid: You’ve got to take wider view,
                Scottish independence is not about operational details, currency systems or gains/losses on GNP. It’s about the deep sense that the UK is (and always will be) London-driven and establshment controlled. The Scots want to run their own affairs – good luck to them. The details are easily worked out and don’t determine the issue either way.

                • El_Sid

                  I am the one taking the wider view – you’re the one dismissing fundamental parts of that view as “details”.

                  The currency/interest rate “detail” is one example of how the reality of independence will make Scotland more dependent on London or Frankfurt, without any increase in influence. The grass is not greener.

                  Plus business is all about “operational detail” – if there is no clarity on this stuff then business will simply play it safe and leave.

                • john

                  Sid: Give it up!
                  I’ve worked in banking and FX for 30 years and have seen an infinite number of banking and FX regimes in developed and developing countries. None are ideal but many work adequately. Scotland would be in a similar position to (say) Luxembourg or Bahamas or any of the current EU applicant countries (Ukraine, Turkey etc) or even the Nordics. All can make a go of it.

  • JPWREL .

    As an American observer of things British perhaps the the solution for Scotland is to apply to become a Federated state of Germany since they are the ones with all the money and the dynamic economy. Initially, I thought maybe they should become a province of the ‘old ally’ France but the French are not in a sharing mood right now.

    Here in the USA the coming Scottish referendum is basically unheard of. Scotland registers on American minds about the same as Canada does – meaning it doesn’t. Still, this American firmly believes in self-determination so letting the Scot’s blow off steam seems reasonable. If a ‘yes’ vote wins it is not as if they will detach Scotland and tow it to warmer climes.

  • xyz xyz

    Max Keiser suggested they could have their own bitcoin/crypto currency called the Jockcoin. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uy_sJyLevQY

    • allymax bruce

      Yeh, but Max is ‘all-in’ invested in bitcoin; he would suggest that, wouldn’t he!
      Bitcoin is not a currency, it’s a fanciful decoration of objet-d’art.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …well don’t look now, lad, but that description fits just about every currency around these days.

  • BarkingAtTreehuggers

    Osborne & Co. stepped into the trap yesterday.
    He and his Westminster chums delivered the message Scotland needed to hear and Salmond must be rubbing his hands as to the curious and coordinated eloquence of the tripartheid ineptocrats that are the Libs, the Labs and the Cons.

    • Doggie Roussel

      Nurse… quick !!!!!

      • BarkingAtTreehuggers

        Bro, I thought you were supporting the UKIP thing. Did you not get the gist of my message? Vote UKIP, get independence. Curious how that will not sink in South of the M25 and/or the Express readership, yet it is perfectly obvious to anyone North of the M25 and/or the clear thinkers.

        • HJ777

          What would you know about clear thinkers?

        • Doggie Roussel

          Hey, Birdbrain, get off my back and take your manky merkin with you…

          Takes a serious degenerate to have a bedraggled pubic wig as an avatar.

      • Jambo25

        Perhaps you should talk to people up here before simply insulting people.

        • Wessex Man

          do get a life!

          • Jambo25

            So you respond to a request to stop flinging insults about by, err, insulting somebody.

            • Wessex Man

              no only you.

    • allymax bruce

      Yes, it’s going to be a happy-clappy joyous weekend!
      Praise The Lord!

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      Ah, that is why Salmond is now talking about of options. I think you will find he fell into a reap of his own making.

    • HookesLaw

      Every now and again you give us the chance to see how thick you really are.

    • Holly

      Osborne & Co made public the information given to them, which is more than Salmond has done so far.

  • The Laughing Cavalier

    First Salmond promised the Euro for the Athens of the North. The Athens of the South put paid to that. Then he thought he could get a free ride with the Pound Sterling. Neither of those options remain. The Scots should opt for a currency of their own with the power to control their money supply and their own fiscal policies, neither of which could be achieved within the Euro or Sterling. Perhaps it could be called the ‘Eck’. If it drops on flotation its name could then be changed to the ‘Wee Eck’.

    • Andy

      Of course the Scots did have a currency of their own before 1707. It converted to Sterling at a rate of 12 to 1.

      • Jambo25

        And the old West Germany had a little currency called the D Mark which when I first visited Germany stood at about 1£-DM6. What does that tell us bout the respective economies of the UK and West Germany in the mid 60s?

        • HJ777

          If you care to go back just over a century, there are only two European currencies in which you could have deposited money in an interest-bearing bank account and not have lost virtually everything by now – Sterling and the Swiss Franc.

          Much as monetary management has been less than perfect in the UK, Scots would do well to remember that.

          • Jambo25

            I’m not living a century ago. I’m living now and my savings are being debauched by a mixture of ultra low interest and inflation. That, however, is the here and now. The point of my above posting is that the £ fell, fairly drastically, in value against the DM over the post war period. Moreover despite their being multiples of D Marks to a £ the German economy was much healthier.

    • John Clegg

      They could always use fried mars bars!!

  • beenzrgud

    Of course Mr Salmond would like the benefits of a solid currency like Sterling in a independent Scotland. Unfortunately for him the rest of the UK sees no benefit in being the lender of last resort for the unknown entity that would be a newly independent country. It’s simply an additional risk we can well do without.

    • asalord
      • HJ777

        That’s against the rules of EU membership, I’m afraid.

        You have to have a central bank or be in the Euro.

        • El_Sid

          In practice there’s all sorts of special relationships, none of the rules are set in stone. A good example is Gibraltar, which is part of the EU but has its own currency pegged 1:1 with sterling.

          • HJ777

            There are very good reasons why that one is set in stone.

            Andrew Lilico explained this very clearly:

            “EU rules require every member state to have a central bank, so as to be able to participate in arrangements such as cross-border supervision or the rescuing of failing banks, as well as providing last-resort lending and as well as a stepping stone to joining the euro (which is compulsory for all new EU members – a point we shall return to below). If an EU member were permitted not to have a central bank, it could simply free ride on other EU members — those other country’s taxpayers would have to provide capital to back their central banks in dealing with their country’s banking sectors, whilst the free rider benefitted at everyone else’s expense. There is no way on earth the EU would agree to that.”

            • El_Sid

              Lilico is making an argument that every EU member should have a mechanism to bail out banks. That doesn’t have to mean something called a central bank.

              In practice it would be academic, as unless iScotland had full currency union with either sterling or the eurozone, the banks would all move to somewhere where their host government had the economic strength to bail them out.

          • HookesLaw

            Gibraltar is not in the EU – it is one of the ‘protocol territories’ and beyond that one of many many territories attached to member countries which have special status with the EU. Bermuda is one. Turks and Caicos is another and who use the Dollar I believe.

            Salmond’s best option is I believe to declare war on America, surrender immediately and await the inevitable Marshall Aid and free spending GI occupation.

            • El_Sid

              It’s part of the EU, but not an EU member.

      • beenzrgud

        If it’s such a great idea then why isn’t it Mr Salmond’s plan A ?
        If you cared to look then I think you would find plenty of respected economists who disagreed with this idea. Saying that, I find economics to be more of a dark art than an exact science so maybe it’s correct, although I doubt it.

    • Jambo25

      “Solid currency like Sterling”. When I was a child it was $US4-£1. Then $US2.80-£1. Then $US2.40-£1. Then the £ was allowed to float and over the past 20-30 years it has at one time sunk to near $US1-£1 parity. It is now somewhere round about $US1.60 -£1.

      • beenzrgud

        Maybe Mr Salmond should be looking elsewhere, eh.

        • Jambo25

          That is and always has been my view. The £ should be a stop gap until we can enter the Euro.

          • beenzrgud

            If Scotland achieves independence then I think it almost inevitable that it will eventually become a member of the Eurozone. Hence I think it is this eventuality that Mr Salmond should be pr

            • terregles2

              There are several other Scottish political parties campaigning for YES. If the YES votes win it will not be Alex Salmond who negotiates the terms and conditions of separation. It will be cross party teams from both Scotland and England.
              Also after a YES vote there will be a general election in Scotland. That will be an election that the SNP may or may not win.

          • Colin

            Stuff the Euro.

            Adopt the Bawbag ! You know it makes sense. A truly independent nation needs its own currency and the Bawbag fits the bill.

      • HookesLaw

        $1.67 to the pound.

        • Jambo25

          Thank you. I knbew it had been somewhere between the high 1.50s to about the mid-high 1.60s but I hadn’t checked the Forex rates today.

  • Sue Posi-Tory

    As an Englishman, fed up with the consequences for the English, of the Barnett formula and the West Lothian question, I just hope they vote ‘Yes!’ and go.

    • Andy

      Yes and take their 41 Fascist Labour Party MPs with ’em.

      • Doggie Roussel

        Yes, that’s the biggest bonus, if and when the over-indulged Scots decide to sever their connection with the UK.

        Sadly, this reality check over their currency, will make the venal and over-benefited Scots tick the NO box, and we’ll be lumbered with them turning up the decibels on their whine & whinge boxes and claiming even more benefits.

        All that ever comes from Scotland is the clenched fist of grievance, or the outstretched palm for yet another handout.

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      • Mynydd

        When did the Labour party become an extreme right-wing dictatorship.

        • Andy

          Hitler was a Socialist. Mussolini was a Communist. Fascism is a product and a part of the Left.

          • monty61

            Yawn. Nurse ….!

        • Colonel Mustard

          Pretty much from 1997 to 2010.

          • Andy

            Aye and the Fascists will be back in 2015 to complete their work.

            • HookesLaw

              Only if UKIP split the right wing vote.

              • the viceroy’s gin

                A metaphysical impossibility, lad. The conservative vote will be with UKIP, and you socialists will be voting the LibLabCon clone line.

                • HookesLaw

                  ‘A metaphysical impossibility’ – that’s you old boy.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …quite a limp retort, lad, but I guess that’s to be expected.

                • Wessex Man

                  come on Hooky you can do better than that, your usual standards seem to have slipped lately, are you feeling a tad depressed?

          • telemachus associates

            There is a debatable case for your riposte between 1997 and 2007 under the regime of the revisionists, but not beyond.

            • Nicholas chuzzlewit

              No. A Labour Fascist is a Labour Fascist is a Labour Fascist.

            • Colonel Mustard

              In this case a ‘debatable case’ is another way of saying ‘a pathetic attempt by those sitting on the shadow front bench now to distance themselves from the acts and ommissions they eagerly participated in then’.

          • Pootles

            New Labour = Nueue Arbeit

        • GnosticBrian

          Fascism is the politics of the left – as in the National SOCIALIST German WORKERS’ Party.

    • Tom M

      So what would you have replaced the Barnett formula (which also applies to Wales and Northern Ireland) with then?
      The West Lothian question to me is very representative of a political decision made by Westminster politicians for political reasons. No sane person would have created a mess such as that. Should the Scots choose to go you will still have the capability in England to create many more situations like the West Lothians Question. The wonder is will the Scots do better?

      • Andy

        The reason devolution was created in the manner it was has everything to do with the Fascist Labour Party. They thought that they could devolve to Edinburgh but retain their Scottish Raj with the 41 MPs just to keep ruling in England. It wont wash anymore. So all Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs should be barred from voting on English affairs.

        As to the Barnett formula even Lord Barnett says it needs to be reformed, but the same reasons are at work. It is Labour throwing money at its rotten boroughs. Well a simple solution is to just divide spending, having removed joint matters (armed forces, Foreign Office etc) strictly as x per head of population. The Scots will hate that.

    • HookesLaw

      As I say elsewhere – this attitude is what Salmond is praying for. Its a daft attitude.

      • Andy

        Possibly, but the West Lothian Question has now to be answered and Barnett reformed, radically. I assume the Scots will insist that the debt is divided up according to the Barnett formular ? After all that is how the debt was acquired.

        • HookesLaw

          The current devolution settlement is wrong I agree and we should have English votes on English matters. I cringe at the thought of another bureaucratic English parliament.
          BTW let me affirm that I want to see the Union preserved. If Scotland votes for independence (which I doubt) then good luck to them – we can get on with life.
          However if (as I suspect may happen) after such an event there is then a move for reunification then it should be as one totally united uniform and undevolved country.

          • Andy

            If the Scots vote ‘No’ in September then that’s that. BUT the West Lothian Question is finally answered in the only way it can be – devolution for England. There is no need for a new Parliament. English MPs form a Seperate English Parliament. As to Barnett that is scraped and we have a proper division of spending, or we devolve some taxation. At the moment the Scots can have their Socialism and someone else pays the bill. No more.

            • HookesLaw

              I do not want an English parliament – that would be terrible.
              Its hard enough to find MPs and County Councillors. Call me an old cynic (amongst all the other epithets) but I cannot help but think that you want an English Parliament just so you can howl at the EMPs

              • GnosticBrian

                No need to elect a separate shower, an English Parliament could comprise Westminster MPs who represent English constituencies.

              • Andy

                No, I want an English Parliament because the Scots have one and I am fed up of Scots (& Welsh, Northern Irish) meddling in English affairs. And you have obviously not properly read what I wrote. let me repeat: I said I want an English Parliament and this could be done by those MPs who represent English Seats forming the chamber, others excluded. The others should sit in the Scottish Parliament and Welsh assembly etc. Those English MPs would enact English only bills, but all bills would be reviewed by the House of Lords – and that includes Scottish Parliament bills – before they get Royal Assent.

            • Tony_E

              You could simply remove Scots MP’s votes from all those issues which only take effect in the territory of England and Wales.

              Of course this has difficult consequences for Parliamentary sovereignty – because the PM would be nominated by the largest party in the UK, but might not have the majority of English & Welsh MPs to pass law in purely domestic issues. It could lead to a lot of government inaction.

              Also, we would have to reduce the number of S.I. areas too, because it would allow the Scots to put their men into the ministries taking decisions for English constituents but not for their own.

              This is why total separation is probably the only sensible answer for the English now.

      • Damon

        Indeed. I’m growing increasingly depressed at seeing my country sleepwalking towards its own destruction – with the silly Little Englanders cheering the process on. True, the prospect of getting shot of a shedload of socialist MPs has a certain allure, but that’s the only upside. Our dear friends in France and Germany must be rubbing their hands in glee at the prospect of their old adversary effectively chopping itself in half.

        But at least we’ll still be bigger than Belgium. Just.

        • Hegelguy

          Scotland gained immeasurably from being the same nation alongside England. What would otherwise have been a poor bleak northern land became one of the key places of the world in culture and economics thanks to being in the Union.

          You do not have the right to pull out just when it suits you when you are part of a free nation.

          If the London leaders had any guts they would not only outlaw the SNP and secession but put a gun on the table when telling the Scots this, looking them straight in the eye.

          I hate Churchill as I am a Marxist but how I miss him now!

          • Eric McLean

            Posted already in the economist… And even less accurate there.

            • Hegelguy

              What harm does it do to post it anywhere as long as I am the writer of it…..I don’t care where your posts are posted. Only the ideas count.

              • Eric McLean

                Post it under your true name at least then.

    • CharlietheChump

      I totally agree but unfortunately they won’t go, they’re not all as demented as the SNP loons.
      Prepare for continued whining.

  • ButcombeMan

    Salmond is relying on a mindless “tartan army” of those who do not
    understand the issues, to support him and the hopeless Sturgeon.

    Years of preparation and yet Salmond is still incoherent on this key issue.

    Can his tartan army see through him?

    Sadly no.

    A yes vote, will be flushing Scotland down the plug hole.

    • terregles2

      Are you seriously suggesting that Cameron/Clegg and Miliband would be a better choice for Scotland.
      Be serious. These clowns are bankrupting the UK even as we speak. The national debt is rising by the day and they cannot even help the English people suffering in the floods. Totally useless.

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        What would Salmond do ask it to stop raining?

      • HJ777

        Yet another example of how you are never capable of constructing anything remotely resembling a coherent argument.

        Do you really think that just slagging off everyone and everything in the UK government constitutes intelligent discourse?

        Contrary to your assertion, the UK is not going bankrupt. This is why it has such a high credit rating score.

        Salmond’s currency plan has clearly fallen apart and he has no credible alternative. Not long ago, of course, he was denigrating the pound and advocating joining the Euro – now he wants to try to force what he wants to be a separate country into entering a currency union with Scotland. You can imagine his (and your) reaction had he still wanted to join the Euro and had Osborne said that no, a separate Scotland must join a currency union with the rest of the UK – his stance is ridiculous, arrogant and hypocritical all at the same time

        You have zero understanding of the issues involved here. That’s why you never actually engage in debate – you just throw mud. Yet you want Scots to put their faith in people like you telling them how to vote? It’s laughable.

    • terregles2

      It is a no vote that will flush Scotland down the plughole. I think many were finally convinced when they saw Ed Balls in conversation with George Osborne agreeing how important it was for Scotland to remain in the UK . There they were, two Westminster wide boys. Bitter political opposites but united together to keep Scotland within the discredited British union. Hard to believe that anyone would suggest that any voter in Scotland would trust either of those two chancers. You are having a laugh surely.

  • monty61

    His plan? Independence is his goal regardless of the consequences. His plan is to turn this into a referendum against Cameron & Osborne and ‘English bullying’. Unfortunately the numpty vote will fall for it.

  • Dr. C.

    As a Scot, albeit an expatriate, based in the south of England, I find the prospect of Alec Salmond pet project (the spectacularly short-sighted vision of an independent Scotland) coming to fruition both nauseating and frightening. I, for one, will be one of many indulging in capital flight if it happens.

    • Fergus Pickering

      Capital flight is his biggest problem. Edinburgh in particular will suffer as all those financial chps relocate their offices down south. By the way, where are the Scotnat numpties that usually infest these sites? Will ye no come back again?

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        They are all being briefed at SNP cyber at HQ. “Currency union with the UK was an attempt to do you all a favour but because you bullied us, we are going to join the euro, or, or, or, …..”

      • Colin

        They’re all being briefed on “Plan C”, the adoption of Scotland’s new currency – The Bawbag.

    • asalord

      Bye.

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        Sensible Scot Dr.C meet idiot Scot asalord.

        • Jambo25

          Back to throwing puerile insults around again I see.

          • Nicholas chuzzlewit

            You’ve lost. Get over it and find yourself a currency.

            • Colin

              The Bawbag will be his currency!

    • BarkingAtTreehuggers

      As a Liechtensteinian of split Andorran and Montenegrin descent I will have to disagree with you thrice on currency grounds.

      • Wessex Man

        and there I was thinking you were a Klingon.

  • Golben Amduke

    Well if the SNP now have to say they will follow the example of Russia and Iran I think the stampede for the exit will be uncontrollable.
    Have you looked at oil prices recently? Brent crude Feb 2013: 120 bucks. Today 108 bucks. Oops.
    Canada’s resources are shale.
    So are the US’s.

    • ChuckieStane

      Scotland has plenty of shale. The world’s first oil refinery was a shale refinery in the Lothians

      • El_Sid

        And if it could be produced economically then it would be.

      • Golben Amduke

        Pardon, my point was that US and Canada energy self-sufficiency will destroy the price of Brent Light Crude. It’ll be good for oiling bicycle chains but the Chinese all drive cars now…

        • allymax bruce

          Linking your currency to an asset, rather than a debt, is more more preferable to ‘the markets’.

          • HJ777

            But the ScotsNats keep telling us that the currency (i.e. Sterling) is an asset in its own right.

            Hence the “no share of the asset, no share of the debt” stance.

            • Dr. C.

              They can’t possibly be serious, trying to renege on the enormous UK debt if they don’t get to use GBP?

              • HJ777

                Who knows? They are very confused.

              • Jambo25

                I think they are pointing out that when playing hard ball the ball can be flung both ways.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Try borrowing money as a defaulter.

              • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                Do not underestimate the utter stupidity of the SNP or the nutters who support them.

          • Golben Amduke

            The Scots currency (let’s call it the “Neep”) will be linked by the markets to whatever they prefer, not what Salmon-Sturgeon say.
            The commodity supercyle is over.

            • allymax bruce

              Still better value than debt!
              The commodity supercycle is not over, it’s just recalibrating; Scotland has vast amounts of ‘green’ energy that it will sell on ‘the markets’; why do you think your super-rich invested in our Green Investment Bank?

              • El_Sid

                Scotland has lots of wind and tides. The major engineering consultancies reckon that deep-offshore wind will cost £100-120/MWh, and tidal electricity will cost around £200/MWh.

                The current wholesale price of electricity is £55/MWh.

                Allymax, are you betting the future of Scotland on selling £200 electricity for £55?

                • allymax bruce

                  Start-up costs are different to running costs; the prices/figures you quote won’t be applicable in the sustainable future. Scotland is resource-rich, in many resources, and has a highly skilled populace; we’ll be just fine thank you. Besides, are you betting the price of oil will stay at $110 a barrell? How much will the effect of rising oil prices have on the price of green energy? When Westminster come begging to buy our energy, what do you think we should tell them?

                • Andy

                  What if oil prices fall ????

                • El_Sid

                  I’m not making any assumptions about oil prices, because they’re not really relevant to electricity generation. Gas prices yes, but not oil prices. And I’m talking levelised costs for electricity. Would you care to demonstrate your expertise on the issue of energy economics? Here’s what Arup have to say – their central forecast for wave power is £237/MWh in 2020 dropping to £147/MWh in 2030 :

                  https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/147863/3237-cons-ro-banding-arup-report.pdf#103

                  For comparison, Parsons’ central forecast for CCGT gas electricity is £90/MWh in 2030.

                  Would you buy £90 electricity or £147 electricity?

                • allymax bruce

                  You’re not thinking this through. Actually, they are very relevant; possibly not to electricity generation, but absolutely to ‘affordable energy’. If the price of oil rises to above $130 a barrell, then ‘green energy’ will be more in demand. Such is the nature of Capitalism, the sale-of, or, to buy green energy will rise too! Exactly why ‘said’ Green Investment Bank’ ‘invested’ in Scotland! Scotland is super-rich in green sustainable energy; and that’s without our oil & gas massive wealth!

                • El_Sid

                  Trust me, I spend my life thinking about the direction of energy prices (the clue’s in my username). Scotland’s “green energy” will be in the highly fungible form of electricity, because that’s what wind/tide/wave-mills produce. You admit oil prices are not relevant to electricity generation – well that means oil prices are not relevant to 90+% of Scotland’s renewable resources.

                  We’ve already had $130 oil. Oil is actually pretty price-inelastic. $130 Brent would be a rise of less than 20%, it wouldn’t have much effect, as can be seen from all the 20% prices rises we’ve had in the last few years. And as I mentioned above, the cost of electricity from far-offshore wind or wave/tide needs competing forms of electricity to get a lot, lot more expensive. That’s not going to happen in the near future.

                  Incidentally, when you said “our” Green Investment Bank above – you do realise that the GIB is 100% owned by Westminster (via BIS)? As such it is another thing that would leave Edinburgh if Scotland left the UK.

                  Scotland doesn’t have green energy, it has a resource that could be exploited. Such exploitation requires a huge amount of capital at low interest rates, and a stable exchange rate with the electricity markets it is selling into. Think about how Scotland might achieve those conditions.

                • allymax bruce

                  Spin it anyway you want, Scotland has green energy, that will become worth more & more as the next financial crisis hits in the next 5 years; of which, is just around the time when iScotland is bringing our green energy online. As for the GIB; take your bank; why would we want it? I was very suspicious of it ‘pushing’ its way into Scotland anyway! Stable exchange rates are market susceptible; thus, making them unstable! Build-in the next financial crisis, and you’ve got more expensive commodities, less valued fiat, especially when all the major currencies are in a ‘race to the bottom’ to devalue their currency (QE), so as to lighten their debt-load. Scotland would have a new start; a currency free of debt, valued at its maximum, backed by super-rich resources. I don’t care if you don’t believe me, keep arguing all you want; just wait and see who’s right. As for your indifference to $130 a barrell oil, you ‘reneged-on’ (?) including that was before the financial crash, (may 2008); many things change as the market-fundamentals change. I discount your isogesis on ‘cost of electricity’, and its inelasticity & inviobility to competition.

                • Wessex Man

                  you are a silly numptie.

                • Sir Harry Plunket-Greene

                  What a load of guff. £55/MWh is the current price you can get for electricity generated from the current portfolio of power stations in the UK. £100/MWh is the initial sale price you would need for your electricity so that, after indexing for inflation, the revenue less O&M costs would repay the capital costs over the useful life of the wind farm. The equivalent breakeven price for tidal power is £200/MWh. If you want to generate tidal power and sell it at £55/MWh, go ahead, but don’t imagine for a moment that you can build national prosperity off your energy industry when it is losing £150/MWh.

                • Jambo25

                  What’s the strike price for electricity from the new Hinkley Point to be? Any idea?

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …best go ask the Chicom warlords. It’ll be their call.

                • Jambo25

                  Exactly.

                • Golben Amduke

                  Scotland certainly has a lot of wind

            • Jambo25

              Don’t kid yourself. As we come out of the present recession commodity prices are only going one way and that’s up.

              • Golben Amduke

                Which is I am sure why emerging market currencies and stock markets have been totally trashed…..

                • Jambo25

                  Wait and see.

                • Golben Amduke

                  That kind of sums up the Nats’ position now.
                  Oops our plan failed. But wait and see – no one can predict the spanish Inquisition….
                  To quote the late great JM Keynes – In the very long run we’re all dead.

                • Jambo25

                  We’re talking about 6-7 months here; not the long run.

  • Mike

    The Scottish wannabee Emperor certainly has no clothes on since the three main parties blew his kilt away !

    Salmond and his deputy Nicola Sturgeon are in a world of their own refusing to answer perfectly reasonable questions over Scottish independence in a lame attempt to deny the harsh realities of independence.

    I for one hope the Scottish people have the sense to see through their lies and obfuscation over what will happen as opposed to what is likely to happen if they go it alone. The UK without Scotland won’t be financially any worse off than now although a continued union is the preferred option but if Salmond gets his way, the fiscal uncertainties for Scotland could be horrific.

    The UK electorate is sick and tired of bailing out the EU and Euro countries via back door mechanisms and it certainly doesn’t want to take on lender of last resort for an independent Scotland. Neither Salmond nor Sturgon have been honest enough to answer difficult questions on fiscal policies and if I were Scottish, I’d trust them even less than those at Westminster.

    Its time to put up or shut up Mr. Salmond and put your money where your mouth is and give answers for once instead of speculative BS !

    • Michael Mckeown

      Salmond in the buff, now there is a scary thought.

      • Mike

        True, but at least he couldn’t hide anything from anyone !

      • Andy

        More a disgusting thought.

        • Wessex Man

          Thank you thank you so much! I now cannot face any food today!

          • Andy

            Glad to help with your diet.

            • Wessex Man

              as it happens I do have a tad to lose.

  • allymax bruce

    “if Scots want to know the benefit of remaining in the UK, they need only reach into their pockets and pull out a pound coin.” …. And that’s only worth UK 28pence!
    “his fiscal commission set out “a range of options” for what currency Scotland would use. The penny has dropped for Alex Salmond” ……. ‘a range of options’ suggests to me that Scots could use our own currency. We could link it to our oil wealth; Russia, Iran, Canada, all do that too. Fortunately for Scotland, Alistair, your scaremongering only furthers/highlights iScotland’s progress!

    • Michael Mckeown

      A £ is worth 28p? what have you been smoking?

      • Wessex Man

        Knowing this bloke probably Thistle.

      • allymax bruce

        Factor-in your Westminster debt; and that’s what your pound coin is worth. I don’t smoke, and I certainly don’t know the ‘Village Idiot’ that thinks smoking thistles is realistic.

        • Denis_Cooper

          Go on then – show us your working when you factor in the UK national debt to get £1 down to 28p.

          • allymax bruce

            Denis, do your own homework; you know you can do it.
            Denis_Cooper:
            Must try harder!

            • Nicholas chuzzlewit

              Funnily enough, I bought some thinking costing £1.12p today and to my amazement the shopkeeper said: “that’ll be £1.12p please. According to you he should have asked for £4.00. Unbelievably. The same thing happened at the Supermarket, the Chemist etc etc. to my surprise no shop assistant said “well after factoring in the Westminster debt that’ll be £112.00 rather than the £28.00 you thought you were going to pay”. The empirical evidence suggests that you are talking utter rot old chap. Thankfully, you will not be using the pound for much longer.

            • Denis_Cooper

              But you must have already done it yourself, or you wouldn’t make that claim, would you?

              So you can save me that time and effort.

              • allymax bruce

                Denis, “Sell a man a fish, he eats for a day, teach a man how to fish, you ruin a wonderful business opportunity.”

                • Wessex Man

                  Denis what he’s really saying is that he can’t and he’s thick!

    • Doggie Roussel

      An area that the Scots should address, once independent, is the quality of their diet,

      Allymax Bruce’s cerebral faculties have obviously been severely impaired by a diet of deep-fried Mars Bars, Whisky, Irn Bru and pints of heavy and looking at his Messiah, the Tub of Lard in Holyrood, he is also a champion of all the finer elements of Scotch cuisine, aligned with their unquenchable thirst for firewater.

      • allymax bruce

        Ahh, ‘the doggerel’ strikes again. The quality of ‘their’ diet is something of a bugbare; for instance, why does it cost us twice as much to buy our own fish here in Scotland, than it does in Spain, who trawl our waters? Wasn’t it Westminster who signed us up to this Lisbon Treaty? BTW, I don’t eat deep-fried Mars Bars, nor drink Whisky, ‘heavy’ or ‘firewater’, I do enjoy Irn Bru though. My cerebral faculties are not as rascalled by doggerel such as you show!

        • El_Sid

          Independence in Europe means signing up to the Common Fisheries Policy.

          You might compare the price of lobster and langoustines which are landed in Scotland and then sold to Spain/France.

          • allymax bruce

            I’d like to ‘compare’ many aspects of the EU; but as Scotland never got a say in the ‘process’, we certainly will be enforcing our rights for iScotland.

        • Doggie Roussel

          I imagine you suffer from quite a few bugbears… or is a bugbare an attack of a Scotch variety of DTs ?

          • allymax bruce

            Ok, here’s a wee secret a’m gonna tell ye; n’ ye better-be greatful! Whenever I write a mis-spelled word, the mis-spelling acts as a portal to a linked-thought. A wee trick a’ picked up daen ma research in p-a.
            DT’s? Delirium Tremens? You need to read Freud, Civilization and its Discontents, (1929); you understand nothing but your self. Go on, Doggerel Rascal, read it, & tell me what you think?

            • Doggie Roussel

              You can now buy very reasonably-priced straitjackets on the internet, Ally.

              • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                Uh, it’s his website.

            • Wessex Man

              now listen here yo zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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