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From time to time it is necessary to execute a government minister to encourage the others. This is one such moment.

30 March 2014

30 March 2014

Hanging. Shooting. Beheading. Defenestration. Take your pick. It doesn’t matter which method you choose but the government minister who told The Guardian’s Nick Watt that “of course” there would be a deal to be done creating a sterling zone shared by an independent Scotland and the remaining parts of the United Kingdom needs to be found, summarily tried, and executed.

Game-changing moments, of course, are rarely anything of the sort. Political campaigns do not pivot on individual moments or blunders. Fundamentals matter more. And yet the fundamentals are in turn shaped by the accretion of a thousand impressions. At least in part. The campaigning matters too. Especially in a close race.

So this minister – believed, as Iain Martin says, to be a relatively junior Tory – has to be cashiered (and then some) as swiftly as possible. His (or her?) stupidity has badly damaged the Unionist cause. HMS Union is not sunk but she is badly damaged and will not regain full speed for some time.

As the minister said:

“You simply cannot imagine Westminster abandoning the people of Scotland. Saying no to a currency union is obviously a vital part of the no campaign. But everything would change in the negotiations if there were a yes vote.”

What were they thinking? If ever you needed reminding politicians speak to journalists much more often than they should (and hurrah for that) this is it. There’s no possible benefit to be drawn from these remarks, no useful cause advanced, no point to them whatsoever. Save, I suppose, the satisfactions of ego.

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It is not just about the currency, you see. These remarks harm every single claim made by Unionists and the Better Together campaign. This minister is making claims he cannot honour of course – that one minister says of course a currency union could be agreed scarcely means it would be – but that is not the real damage.

We will hear these lines a thousand times before polling day. What a gift for the nationalists! See: even government ministers don’t believe the line being sold by George Osborne and Danny Alexander. The suggestion there’d be no currency union is a campaign ploy. Froth. Bluster. Not to be taken seriously. Dinnae fash, they’ll come to their senses. Why, look, they even admit it all themselves.

And if they will “lie” about a currency union might they be lying about everything else too? One thing in public, another in private. That’s the Unionist hypocrisy for you. They’re not being straight with you. They can’t help it, it’s just their nature. But you can’t trust the Tory-Labour-Liberal Alliance. Only the SNP will stand up for Scotland; only the Yes campaign will tell you the real truth.

Nonsense, naturally, but the sort of nonsense that can be persuasive. In Washington, it’s said that a gaffe is when a politician accidentally blurts out the truth. From the nationalist perspective, this minister has committed an almighty gaffe.

Osborne and his colleagues dispute this, of course. The official line – no currency union, don’t even think about it pal – still stands but it offers less shelter or protection that it did 48 hours ago.

This need not be a fatal blunder but it is hard to avoid the thought that this is a black, bleak moment for Unionists. It is tough to win a race when one of your team-mates has blown your foot off.

As for the Nats: they have every right to be cock-a-hoop. We told you so. Who can you trust, baby? Precisely.

Sometimes you need to shoot a politician on Palace Green, just to encourage the others and remind them of their duty and loyalties. This is one such moment even though the damage is done and cannot be repaired for some time.

PS From Fraser – Alex’s blog headline is a nod to the description of Admiral Byng, who was executed as a warning to British sailors not to retreat from the enemy. This tactic was admired by Damian McBride, who adopted an  “Admiral Byng approach to leaks.” Here he is. A reminder of what we’re not missing:-

If anything did appear in the papers that was not from X, Y or Z, I would instantly name a culprit. I’d try and choose someone who was a decent suspect, but their guilt didn’t really matter – it was the assertion of their guilt that mattered. They would be cut out of meetings, removed from the circulation list for emails, and wherever they walked in the Treasury, people would mutter about their demise. The effect of this was to make the actual guilty party feel guilty as hell, and put the fear of God into everyone else in the Treasury about doing any leaking themselves. As for the poor Admiral Byngs, they’d usually recover after a while, and some of them were probably guilty anyway.


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Show comments
  • Peter Brown

    There is nothing as convincing as the truth. Now, who is the guilty party who told the truth?

  • Iain Paton

    Not a very good article if it needs a postscript. And the minister, junior or other, was simply speaking the truth in an unguarded moment. Everyone knows that, in the event of independence, everything will be on the table in a reasonable discussion to seek the maximum common benefit. That’s what happens in real life and politicians can’t make it any different, no matter how much they pretend.

    • HJ777

      Sometimes there is a not a common benefit. Sometimes interests are diametrically opposed – and a currency union is one such case.

    • HJ777

      Sometimes there is a not a common benefit. Sometimes interests are diametrically opposed – and a currency union is one such case.

    • con

      if anyone wants to be convinced of the uk’s attitude to currency unions, check out the euro.

  • http://batman-news.com The Commentator

    Whatever happens in the referendum the union is finished. If the SNP lose the vote they will begin the campaign for the next one until eventually the voters make the “right” decision. (The EU does this a lot its a very effective tactic.) Anyway with the loss of Scotland England is reborn and the Labour party will be dead in both countries. That’s worth voting for…

    • Andrew Morton

      Absolutely correct in every detail, but don’t worry, Yes will win in September so it won’t be a long process.

      • con

        unless they don’t. check quebec, they’ve tried twice.

  • balance_and_reason

    I’ve always felt this would be a useful policy with London transport and a member of the relevant union, until they sort themselves out; sadly Crow went and beat us to it.

  • kingkevin3

    has it not occurred to anyone this was by design? If scotland goes, the UK will be forever tory

    • Andrew Morton

      Tony Blair didn’t need a single Scottish seat to win any of his three victories.

  • Tern

    Assuming the anonymous minister actually exists, for we should not have to take a journalists’ word for that or else journalists could just make up something like this, so someone must be identified as saying it before it stands accepted that it was said – it was only said as one person’s dissenting view, so it does not change the British govt’s position at all, and it was not a granting of currency union it was only an offer of a 2 way deal. Currency for nuclear bases.
    I put a bias complaint into the BBC’s website for Radio Scptland’s one sided focus Saturday morning. As is trickling through the coverage too slowly and was not focussed on when the story first broke, Sturgeon’s immediate welcoming of the revealed comments proposing said deal indicates a Scottish government interest in making a big climbdown, and it comes from a named minister – it reveals that their position against keeping the nuclear bases has just been bluff and bluster all the time. Today Salmond had to be quoted in the Herald “This is not a campaign tactic or a negotiating position”. And applying the same standards to him as he applies to the other side, why should be believe a word of it?

    • Andrew Morton

      The significance is that amongst government ministers it was recognised that the strategy was to deny it up to the referendum and negotiate after. As the latest polls showed, the Scottish voters didn’t believe it.

      I don’t think this was an off message leak, I think it was sanctioned from on high. The strategy had already failed, hence the deniable attempt to use it as a bargaining chip for the thing which means most to Westminster, Trident and Faslane.

      Salmond and Sturgeon won’t negotiate on this as any wavering would split Yes right down the middle and it would go against their own principles.

      • Tern

        Ahem… they have principles? Sturgeon rushed to welcome the mystery minister’s comments which were the offer of said deal. Stuart Crawford already as a named ex-SNP defence spokesman has declared openness to a deal to keep Trident for 20 years. And why is the Express less to be believed about anonymous figures than the Guardian, when it says “a senior SNP politician has privately admitted that Trident is being lined up as a bargaining chip in post-separation negotiations”.

  • allymax bruce

    PS from allymax.
    Massie never framed his article in favour of dasunion. No amount of backpeddling will ameliorate the damage done now, Fraser! As such, it’s defenestration for young Massie!

    • Malcolm McCandless

      The killer for me was this off the record briefing;

      “Alistair (Darling) and Andrew (Dunlop) are running the show (Better Together) – we (Osborne, Alexander, et al) just did what they said,” one Treasury source said.

      A concocted lie to beef up the NO campaign, rubber stamped by the Treasury, and discussed and agreed at cabinet level, and trailed extensively in the media, especially at the BBC.

      You can imagine every minister walking away from Downing Street that day saying to each other what a clever wheeze. You can also imagine their concern later that no one believed it, despite all the headlines.

      An unknown minister confirming what Scots already believed means that no one will trust a word Alistair Darling and Better Together have to say now. Worst still this makes Osborne, Alexander and Balls look stupid in ever agreeing to Darling’s plan.

      • allymax bruce

        Yes, well done, Malcolm. The whole business of iScotland utilising a Curency Zone with rUK, would have been delicate for the Yes campaign if we hadn’t forced the imbeciles at the No campaign to start spreading lies, scaremongering etc; by using their (No campaign) as a weapon against itself, the Yes campaign have fundamentally garnered the kudos of being right; what the Public believe now, can never be ‘appropriated’ by the No campaign from now on. ‘Yes’ have played a blinder! As for the actual ‘currency’, it really doesn’t matter what currency we use now; iScotland will flourish anyway; but it was good tae pull the No campaign’s troosers doon roon their ankles!

        • flippit

          Better wait until you do or do not get a currency union before you count it a success. Your fatal hubristic flaw is that you forget about 58 million people and brush them aside as though they didn’t exist.

      • flippit

        Its a done deal, the Union’s over. Scots will be independent in September. The Westminster politicians are already planning for it.

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

    One of my wife’s ancestors was John Aslabie, who was Chancellor of the Exchequer at the time of the South Sea Bubble. He was put in the Tower of London because of his involvement. I can think of some more recent Chancellors who should be locked up there, one in particular for his involvement in the banking Crisis.

  • flippit

    Heaven help this or any government if it enters a currency union with indy Scotland. The NO campaign might not be gutting the message to Scots but they’ve made it clear to us in England that it is not in our best interests (we don’t want it anyway).
    The Scots have their vote in September but after that, whatever the result, the focus of the uk government should be uk as a whole if its no or ruk only if its yes. That applies to currency union, devolution and anything else. Trident can be sorted out somehow, but currency union is an ongoing risk and threat to ruk who will have had no voice in the loss of sovereignty.

    • Denis_Cooper

      The UK Parliament should legislate now to give the people in the rest of the UK the power to veto any proposed currency union in a referendum.

      • Andrew Morton

        Why would they tie their hands in negotiations by doing that?

        • Denis_Cooper

          That is precisely why the English should demand that they have a direct say on what is agreed.

          • Andrew Morton

            Are they competent to judge the economic issues? What about the Welsh and the Northern Irish, do they have a say?

            • Denis_Cooper

              As I said “in the rest of the UK” obviously that means all the voters in the UK apart from those in Scotland, of which by far the greatest number would be in England. Are the voters in Scotland competent to judge whether Scotland should be separated from the rest of the UK? And if they voted for separation on that one day in September, would they be given a chance to change their minds once they knew for sure what the terms of separation would be?

  • transponder

    Does anyone ‘try and’? Ever? (‘I tried and sail round the world’: nope!) Do we say ‘want and’? Or ‘wish and’? Or ‘attempt and’? No. So how in god’s green earth is ‘try and’ at all intelligible?

  • First L

    Let the Scots go. It will destroy Labour in England forever.

    • Richard Ferguson

      Much as I’d love to see this happen, unfortunately it is unlikely. If the Scots go, political life in England will also re-align in ways that none of us can understand this side of any possible secession. I’d suggest that the political shift could be as significant as that which took place in the 1920s.

      • Wessex Man

        Nigel Farage for PM and Paul Nuttall for Chancellor!

        • Richard Ferguson

          No thanks…

        • Andrew Morton

          We’re all praying for that in Scotland!

  • kininvie

    Let us not forget that it was Alistair Darling who said, in 2013, “Of course it would be desirable to have a currency union”. That seems to have been quietly forgotten.

    • Wessex Man

      Good job he’s no longer the Chancellor then isn’t it?

    • flippit

      It will be desirable for Scots. Of course it will. But for England – no, and we’re getting ready to man the barricades.

      • kininvie

        Hi flippit,
        You might want to crunch a few figures before coming to that conclusion….

  • bwims

    Ha Ha! Here’s an article by a Labour man REALLY WORRIED about losing all those Scots Labour MPs who can vote on English law but not vice versa.

  • saffrin

    The time to execute a Government Minister has long past. That time was once Bliar’s wars were proved to be both bogus.
    Bliar, so far has gotten away with his war crimes, could that fact have encouraged Cameron to follow suit with his own, Libya and Marli?

  • Radford_NG

    The headline is,of cause, by courtesy of Voltaire who wrote in Candide: the English shot an admiral from time to time “pour encourage les autres”.

    • Wessex Man

      mm,

      “The noblest prospect which a Scotsman ever sees is the High Road that leads him to England.”

      • Ringan

        I was perplexed as to the relevance of that one until I remembered the Alistairs Darling and Carmichael.

        • Wessex Man

          hur hur hur zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

      • Jambo25

        Written by an English mediocrity who is only remembered today due to having had the greatest biography in the English language written about him by the much more talented Scotsman, Boswell.

        • Richard Ferguson

          Er…a fairly authoritative dictionary as well, Jambo? Much lauded by a bloke called…er….David Hume…

          • Jambo25

            A dictionary which has little traction in the UK today but Samuel Johnson’s name is still remembered in things like the Samuel Johnson Prize probably due to Boswell. Incidentally, while Hume is certainly the greatest philosopher produced by the British Isles he could be spectacularly wrong headed in other ways as anyone who has read his ‘History of England’ will recognise.

            • Wessex Man

              as usual abslute rubbish from you again.

              • Jambo25

                Try reading Rasselas or Irene. Good luck: you’ll need it. Both are unreadable.

  • Tom Tom

    Let’s pretend its Maria Miller and impose a clawback on her property profits

  • The Laughing Cavalier

    Junior Minster? No, more likely it is the serially disloyal Vinnie.

    • Doggie Roussel

      Yes, of course, it’s Cinderella Vince !

      • Jambo25

        Scottish reports seem to suggest it was a Tory; not Cable who was the first person I thought of.

        • Wessex Man

          well if you insist on reading Scottish Papers. BTW you answered me that you didn’t weeks ago.

          • Jambo25

            Don’t buy any but read them on-line. I buy the Telegraph and Times at the weekend.

    • flippit

      It sounds like some avuncular old duffer, “of course we will take care of the Scots” Ye Gods, where do they get them from? Trouble is, there’s loads of old duffers, where do you start?

  • Rossspeak

    The NO campaign must get onto this quickly – as media reports and polls show there is too much complacency and assumption in the NO campaign.
    Wee Alex is a wily bird that needs shooting down before he gets off the ground.

    • Ringan

      ‘Loving the sporting metaphors! LOL

  • Malcolm McCandless

    Scots had already decided that we were being lied to by unionist politicians over their opposition to a currency union. We also believe that the unionist parties have no intention to honour promises on further devolution. What we fear is a return of another Tory government in 2015, now a certainty.

    So go ahead execute a Tory minister we Scots will be cheering you on.

    • 2trueblue

      What we in England want and deserve is that our MPs and ONLY our MPs vote on matters that are pertinent to England. More to the point we should be assured of that in the event that the Scots vote “Yes” in the referendum and still being in the house of commons from Scottish seats until the 2015 general election they will not be able to vote on approval or not of negotiation settlements between UK and Scotland.

    • HJ777

      Who elected you as the mouthpiece of Scots?

      On what basis do you claim to speak for Scots?

      It is as plain as day, to all but the deluded like you, that there would be no currency union with a seceded Scotland. Read the Treasury analysis – it would hold few advantages for the rest of the UK but many downsides and risks.

      And if the “Yes” campaign thinks the union is so bad, why would it want a form of ‘independence’ where it had no influence on monetary policy and huge restrictions on fiscal policy and financial regulation – this instead being set with no reference to the interests of Scotland (unlike now)?

      • Andrew MacGregor

        On the same basis that Cameron or Milibean claims to speak for Scots….

  • Denis_Cooper

    Any proposal for a currency union with an independent, foreign, Scotland should be put to a referendum in the continuing UK, just as a proposal for a currency union with other foreign countries that are using the euro would be put to a referendum, and the UK Parliament should immediately pass an Act to guarantee that.

  • Liberty

    If we are shot of Scotland we are shot of Labour so that Tory junior minister is inadvertantly doing us all a favour. The Scots would be lumbered with socialism with no-one to pay for it of course but the implosion of Scotland thereafter will soon force some other way.

    • 2trueblue

      When they got their parliament they should never have been allowed to vote on matters pertaining to England. It is so undemocratic that we are affected by MPs who do not have any good feeling/intentions towards England. Yet they are happy to exploit and enjoy a standard of living supplied by England.

  • Frank

    Alex, what an excellent idea. Can we extend it to troughing MPs, to errant bankers, to fat pompous energy company bosses, etc?

  • Wessex Man

    Yes I do worry that the Westminster Government will cave in to a currency union with what will be a Foreign Country that will in the way that it’s governed have absolutely nothing in common with the UK.

    I would hope that the Westminster Village would have a backbone and insist on a referendum all the people of the UK after Scotland has left to decide on such a massive far reaching subject.

    • Denis_Cooper

      It wouldn’t be after Scotland had left, it would have to be decided long before the final separation during the negotiations of the terms for the separation; and therefore it would have to be a referendum for “all the people of the UK” at that stage apart from those in Scotland.

      Those in Scotland would have already had their say.

      • Wessex Man

        I think you’ll find that no negotiations can’t happen until after the referendum because we don’t know if the Scots will vote to go or stay. I think that I read somewhere The Fat Controller expects the negotiations to last for two years.

        I personally hope they leave and feel we English should be ready to say no and a referendum on currency union will certainly give a decisive resolution.

        • Denis_Cooper

          Yes. the negotiations would take place between a “yes” vote and the final separation, and any referendum on a proposed currency union would have to be during that period.

          • Wessex Man

            well then we are in agreement, and in the meantime what do they use as their currency, what about their MPs in Westminster voting on English matters and all the Scots fleeing south?

            • Denis_Cooper

              The independence referendum hasn’t yet happened, and unlike you I still hope that the result will be “no”.

              • Wessex Man

                well then we are not in agreement but will stay friends because we English don’t fight internally!

            • Andrew Morton

              We already have a currency fully backed by deposits at the BofE on a one for one basis.

        • Andrew Morton

          18 months.

    • Andrew Morton

      What makes you think the average English voter is qualified to make a judgement call on economic matters?

  • Ringan

    ‘Not only off the fence but part of the firing squad, Alex?

  • rod robertson

    Now that Bitter Together’s CU lie has been exposed ,what is their Plan B?

    • Tony Quintus

      An anonymous minister does not trump the all 3 of the most senior finance ministers of the 3 major parties.
      The fact that the Nats are clinging to this as proof that Westminster is bluffing is proof of how desperate the pro-indie side is getting.

      • Auldreekie

        That the initial declaration was made by the 3 finance ministers doesn’t matter. They’d all have got the same message from the Treasury, at the behest of Alasdair Darling and Andrew Dunlop, who wanted to inject some aggression into the Better Together campaign.

        What matters is the denial – from someone in the very government making the threat. It reinforces doubt on this issue, and as Massie said, that extends to all other dubious warnings made by HMG, Better Together and their allies.

        • Wessex Man

          Don’t be so silly, George Osborne and his shadows all know that the Scottish Soviet State if allowed to share the UK’s currency would drag us down with it, time for the Fat Controller’s plan Z The Groat!

          • Denis_Cooper

            And those of us who were previously prepared to envisage that the government of an independent Scotland would be a sensible and reliable counterparty for the government of the rest of the UK must now think again about that.

        • kyalami

          If you want to remain in touch with reality you cannot pick and choose your evidence. You have to look at all of it. On one hand, senior members of the three main political parties. On the other, some junior minister, clearly with a grudge.

          • Jambo25

            “clearly with a grudge” You know this, how?

            • kyalami

              I know this the same way you know this, Jambo. But to put it bluntly, you don’t brief against your own government unless you have an ulterior motive.

              • Jambo25

                Or, perhaps you tell the truth in an unguarded moment.

                • kyalami

                  Except it’s not the truth.

                • Jambo25

                  In your opinion. Not necessarily accurate.

                • kyalami

                  In your opinion. Not necessarily accurate.

        • mightymark

          What was said seems to have been based on the idea of a trade off of continued nuclear bases in Scoitland for a CU. How realstically do you think Salmond could deliver on that one – better still, how about someone asking him!

          • Andrew Morton

            Somebody did, Sky News. His reply? “Under no circumstances!”

    • Andrew Morton

      Er . . . . .

  • 7leagueboots

    Iain Martin’s report in the Telegraph mentions that in the chaos when the story broke it was revealing that no-one thought to deny the veracity of what the mole had leaked – it was all just personal fury that it had got out.

    • manonthebus

      It was denied immediately by George Osborne and Danny Alexander. Try to keep up.

      • 7leagueboots

        Take it up with Ian Martin if you know better than him. He was on the spot when it happened, hence his comment.

        • Wessex Man

          He’s just a journo, what are his thoughts on Crimea? you are not getting a share of the pound when you leave the UK.

          • Toomtabard

            then enjoy keeping your debts wessex man.

            • HJ777

              and assets.

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      Except for the Chancellor of the exchequer who said it was nonsense.

  • Mynydd

    This just show how Mr Cameron ha lost control of his ministers.

    • Leo McKinstry

      “Falling apart before our eyes.” Ridiculous hyperbole in response to a single anonymous remark by a junior minister. Compare this to the turmoil of the Blair/Brown feud or the endless divisions of the Major years or the last years of Thatcher. What is striking about this Government is how remarkably stable it has been over the last four years.

      • Gaavster

        Hi Leo,

        Can you please point me in the direction of the article or source that states that this was a junior minister?

        I’m just asking, because the 2 names I’ve ‘heard’ it being attributed to are Hammond and Cable

        Would be nice to be proven wrong…

        • Wessex Man

          If the Gurning journo who wrote the ‘story’ had any insider he would have given more info on the Politics Show yesterday instead of being so evasive.

          • Andrew Morton

            Journalists never reveal their sources. You should know that.

  • komment

    Many people in Scotland are already reconciled to not having the GBP after Independence. Thia scare has long died a natural death and no amount of resuscitation will revive it.
    George Osborne and Danny Alexander would do well to have a strategy for propping up the GBP when the Treasury lose the Scottish revenues rather than trying to scare the Scottish voters. No amount of abuse and threats hurled from the decks of a sinking ship will prevent the loss of the vessel.

    • weescamp

      Actually there are also many people in Scotland who would relish not being in a currency union… No share of Westminster’s debt, no more influence from the awful Treasury, opportunity to create the sort of banks we need. our own stock exchange… What’s not to like?

      • Denis_Cooper

        You can forget the “No share of Westminster’s debt” bit, that doesn’t follow at all.

        • Gaavster

          It follows perfectly reasonably Dennis.

          Why, in the name of the wee man, after 300 years of contributing to a joint monetary system and institutions, upon being told ‘it’s all ours you can’t have any of it’, should an independent Scotland say ‘fine, just make sure we are allowed to pay our fair share of debt’

          Honestly?

          • Michael Mckeown

            Reasons for honoring Scotland’s debt share:

            A: Its the right thing to do.
            B: The UK will veto Scotland’s EU bid otherwise.
            C: There will be a controlled border preventing trade.
            D: British citizenship, thus EU citizenship, would be removed from Scots.
            E: No one would trust you.
            F: No road and rail access to the EU.
            G I could go on, and on, but you get the point.

            • Gaavster

              A: the right thing for who exactly?
              B: really? Source please…. and why would I want to stay in a friendly union with someone who would threaten me with this?… besides you’ll have to explain to me, or show me the relevant EU legislation, that will be used to expel Scottish citizens
              C: in your dreams… do you mean like the one between N or S Korea, or do you mean like the one between NI and Eire?
              D: source please? (see B)
              E: lol… why exactly? the UK govt has already accepted responsibility for ALL of the existing debt, Scotland (or anyone for that matter) can’t renege on a debt they are not responsible for… every other country, including Eire has left the UK without taking any debt with it… what makes us uniquely different?
              F: there will be instant barriers to trade because of our geography and the English ports will happily sit back and lose billions in trade from Scottish exports going through… you are having a laugh now
              G: please go on and please try harder…

              • Michael Mckeown

                You do know there is absolutely nothing you could do about any of that, I know your a Scottish nationalists and whats in your interests is in everyone’s interests but in reality if the Scottish government do not honor the debt then these things are basic reprisals.

                Tell everyone why the UK cant veto Scotland’s EU bid and cant create a maned border and cant take citizenship away from the Scots?

                • Wessex Man

                  Michael, you are quite right but let’s not be sinking to the Cybernat nutjobs level and if we want to let’s wait until they vote to go!

                • ButcombeMan

                  Yes, MM is being ridiculous

                  He is right on one thing re “E”, it will put up the cost of Scottish borrowing on international markets.

                  On “B” it s more likely Spain will.

                • Michael Mckeown

                  Tell everyone why the UK cant veto Scotland’s EU bid and cant create a maned border and cant take citizenship away from the Scots?

                • ButcombeMan

                  In the event of a Yes vote, the rUK could do all sorts of things, but the English are a tolerant people and would not stand for it.

                  Many of us are of dual heritage and have friends and relatives there.

                  You are ranting.like a cybernat.

                  I do think a currency Union is absolutely out of the question though, any attempt by the Scots to bully the English would be a serious, indeed is, a tactical error. The English are slow to anger but impossible when angry

                  Salmond and Sturgeon are too fixated on their goal and too stupid to get the English voters on side. It conflicts of course with their “external enemy” tactcs and Salmond is not smart enough to do without that. He has no chance without that in fact.

                  My personal view is Salmond is actually frit of what he has started and of winning. More devolution is all he really wants. His campaigning is just face saving

                • komment

                  English voters

                • Denis_Cooper

                  It wouldn’t be necessary for the government of the continuing UK to actually do anything at all for the economy of Scotland to be wrecked within months of independence, of course with collateral damage for the economy of the rest of the UK but as that would be spread over a much larger economy its effects would be far less severe. Inaction on the part of the London government would inevitably lead to that happening, and the Scots would need action on the part of the London to avert it.

                  Why? Because about a third of Scottish GDP depends on exports to the rest of the UK, at present that is internal trade based on the 1707 Treaty of Union, but when that treaty was terminated it would become international trade which would have to be based on new EU arrangements.

                • Michael Mckeown

                  You know when one starts playing the ‘its all about me’ card along with ‘my resources are my resources’ card you will find that although the English are tolerant they are not fools and will simply do whats right for them.

                • ButcombeMan

                  Re Your last line, indeed they will, which is why a currency union cannot happen, will not happen.

                  I do not believe the UK will seek though, to economically punish an independent breakaway Scotland.

                • Michael Mckeown

                  I’m not talking about sanctions for the sake of it I’m specifically talking about the SNP refusing to pay Scotland’s rightful debt share and in that event it is clear that vetoing Scotland’s EU bid would be one such measure to force payment.

                • ButcombeMan

                  I know what you are talking about.
                  You are wrong.
                  The UK would not do that.

                • Michael Mckeown

                  So Scotland gets to walk away without paying its 100 billion + debt share and the UK does nothing about it? Get real!

                • ButcombeMan

                  The UK would be far more subtle than that.

                  If the UK stays in the EU, it does not want Scotland outside with a land border between the two. You need to calm down, not over react and think

                  In fact the Spanish are far more likely to object to the independent Scotland transitional arrangements.

                • Tern

                  Could the No side please get the tolerant English people on side, to help expose to their Scottish friends that (on present SNP interpretation of the White Paper, and no Yes parties giving the contrary answer to any enquiries)
                  voting Yes will actually automatic citizenship away from the Scots who were born in exile to parents/grandparents who moved away.The category of citizenship by descent.
                  Alex Neil confirmed to my question a Yes public meeting in Gorgie Edinburgh on Mar 12, they want the state to have any discretion to say no to any of those citizenship applications. That will affect who can live here if common travel areas break down. So it actually means potentially a new clearances, by our own nationalists, because they are taking what could be called a “residency racist” position, appealing to a closed community anti-outsider attitude even against the Scottish diaspora and dividing families contrary to article 8 of ECHR.

                • Michael Mckeown

                  The SNP are a bunch of dictators, they maintain that the UK government will allow all of Scotland to keep their British citizenship yet they, as you say, have discriminatory plans for who they will allow to be Scottish citezens so basically they want to pick ethnic Scots out for themselves but leave the rest of the UK liable for everyone else.

                • Andrew Morton

                  If you’re going to tell lies you should first check that nobody can find you out. A simple check of the citizenship part of the White Paper will prove that you are lying.

                • Michael Mckeown

                  Rubbish, read what I was replying to then listen to what the SNP say about retaining UK citizenship.

                • Andrew Morton

                  From the White Paper:

                  “We plan that British citizens habitually resident in Scotland on independence will be considered Scottish citizens. This will include British citizens who hold dual citizenship with another country. Scottish born British citizens currently living outside of Scotland will also be considered Scottish citizens.

                  Following independence, other people will be able to apply for Scottish citizenship. For example, citizenship by descent will be available to those who have a parent or grandparent who qualifies for Scottish citizenship. Those who have a
                  demonstrable connection to Scotland and have spent at least ten years living here at some stage, whether as a child or an adult, will also have the opportunity to apply for citizenship. Migrants on qualifying visas will also have the option of applying for naturalisation as a Scottish citizen.The UK allows dual or multiple citizenship for British citizens.

                  If a British citizen acquires citizenship and a passport of another country, this does not affect their British citizenship, right to hold a British passport or right to live in the UK. The Scottish Government will also allow dual citizenship. It will be for the rest of the UK to decide whether it allows dual UK/Scottish citizenship, but we expect the normal rules to extend to Scottish citizens.”

                • Andrew Morton

                  Westminster has already confirmed that Scots will keep their British Citizenship after independence.

                • Michael Mckeown

                  No they have not, stop telling lies.

                • Andrew Morton

                  Yes they have.

                  Severin Carrell, Scotlandcorrespondent

                  the guardian.com, Thursday 23 January 2014

                  http://archive.is/C8r4F

                  Paragraph 4

                  Liar, liar, pants on fire!

                • Michael Mckeown

                  Applying for joint citizenship is not the same as all 5 million Scots getting to keep British citizenship.

                • Andrew Morton

                  I’m sorry, which bit of this did I misunderstand?

                  “The Home Office also confirmed that Scottish citizens would be entitled
                  to joint citizenship in the “continuing United Kingdom” after
                  independence, allowing them to carry British passports, suggesting
                  further convergence between the UK and Scottish governments.”

                • Tern

                  This concern is about Scottish citizenship, not about British. If common travel areas break down, keeping British citizenship is no remedy to excluding Scots from Scotland and dividing families and siblings.

                • Michael Mckeown

                  True, you know its like they live in a vacuum where actions have no consequences. I want them not to pay the debt as we would generate far more cash from the businesses coming south.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Ask any cybernat why Salmond wants a CU and watch somebody disappear up their own orifice. They simply cannot frame a credible, economically compelling answer. I always love it when they cite translation risks on cross border trading as if this was something a corporate treasurer has never faced such as, oh, trading with the EU or the USA.

          • Andy

            Sterling is the ancient currency of the Kingdom of England. The Scottish currency was exchanged for Sterling at a rate of 12:1 in 1707. The Bank of England pre-dates the political union.

            What is being said, quite rightly, is that the UK will not form a Currency Union with Scotland. You saying you will have one does not make it so. We, the people of England, need to agree too. Rather than trying to dictate to us you should start to adopt a more reasonable and conciliatory attitude towards England and the English. Salmond was only too happy to rubbish Sterling, so I suggest you tell him to actually tell you the truth for a change.

            • komment

              You have just crystalised why Devoted Max is a non starter

          • Denis_Cooper

            As I’ve said before, as far as I’m concerned if Scotland became independent then it could take its fair share of the net assets of the Bank of England. Apart from that, what other identifiable monetary value is there lurking in the “joint monetary system and institutions” that you think should be divided up?

            As a separate matter from that the UK Treasury borrowed money to fund additional public spending across the UK.

            Part of that additional public spending was in Scotland, and so the same proportion of the repayments of the debts should come from Scotland.

            Those who suggest that Scotland should just walk away from its share of the debts are as despicable as somebody who goes out for a meal with a group of others and then slips off before the bill comes.

            It’s a pity that Salmond and others in the SNP have shown themselves up in that bad, thoroughly dishonourable, light; if in the past I’d been prepared to consider the idea of sharing a currency with an independent Scotland I would never do that now, trusting an SNP government would be like trusting the government of Greece.

            Of course it is not going to happen, because the people in the rest of the UK will not accept being saddled with extra debts arising from past public spending in Scotland on top of their own share.

            • komment

              Salmon has offered to pay a fair share of the debt but this has been rejected by Osbourne who still wants to keep all joint assets for Westminster. The formula is a simple eqypuation, No share of Assets, No share of Debt.
              I hope George has a good story to tell the rUK after September.

              • Wessex Man

                Salmond has only offered ‘to pay a fair share the debt’ if the UK and it will still be the UK not the rUK bends over backwards to all his idiotic demands, away your formulas, the Groschen and Barnett have screwed we English since 1888.

              • Denis_Cooper

                Again, what “joint assets” are you talking about, that Osborne has said he wants to keep entirely for the rest of the UK?

                Be specific.

              • HJ777

                Where did Osborne either say or imply anything of the sort?

                Figment of your imagination.

            • zabazoom

              “Of course it is not going to happen, because the people in the rest of
              the UK will not accept being saddled with extra debts arising from past
              public spending in Scotland on top of their own share.”

              Are ye goona hold yer breath till ya turn blue if they say no, Invade em? lay siege to the Border?

              • Denis_Cooper

                As about a third of Scottish GDP is accounted for by exports to the rest of the UK it would be unwise of the Scots to make the English their enemies. It wouldn’t even need the government of the rest of the UK to impose trade sanctions, it wouldn’t even need the government of the rest of the UK to hold back from pressing for EU arrangements for free trade to continue after the Treaty of Union had been terminated, it would just need the English people to get so ratty about the unreasonableness of the Scottish negotiators that they consciously abandoned their longstanding habit of readily buying stuff from Scotland.

                • Andrew Morton

                  You do realise that England sells more to Scotland than Scotland sells to England? No, you probably don’t. It’s always advisable to check your facts before shooting your mouth off.

                • Denis_Cooper

                  Fool. Of course I know that, but I also know that the GDP of the rest of the UK is an order of magnitude greater than that of Scotland. So in the event that all trade between Scotland and the rest of the UK entirely ceased that would be about a 30% loss for the GDP of Scotland but only a 3% loss for the rest of the UK. Like some others you have an exaggerated idea of the importance of Scotland in the scheme of things.

                • Andrew Morton

                  You know, while you can dispute my facts (which you don’t) or argue against their significance (which you did) there’s never any excuse for abuse, it merely suggests that you don’t have much confidence in your argument.

                • Denis_Cooper

                  I agree, there was no excuse for your abusive:

                  “You do realise that England sells more to Scotland than Scotland sells to England? No, you probably don’t. It’s always advisable to check your facts before shooting your mouth off.”

          • Dai Station

            Why? Well possibly because the UK hasn’t told Scotland to go. Salmond and his ilk have volunteered to leave

          • Wessex Man

            You haven’t and you are not, simple.

    • manonthebus

      The loss of the North Sea oil and gas tax revenue to rUK will be more than offset by no longer having a requirement to send £billions of rUK tax to Scotland. There will other imponderables, however, including the £billions of bailout money given to RBS and Lloyds and the Scottish share of the UK National Debt (expected to be £1.4 trillion by 2015).

  • Barry Byrne

    I think Better Together have researched people fears then engineered policy around that. They’re going out their way to scare, which is why I believe the rumours that this currency block was all Alistair Darlings idea. The Treasury are playing along.

    Whether it’s a bluff or not, this proves Westminster are not on our side. They don’t want the best for us. They just want the extra global clout the existing arrangements bring. Who would you put in charge?

    • Jambo25

      It appears the idea was brought to Darling by Andrew Dunlop; a Scottish Thatcherite remnant and one of the originators of the Poll Tax. How do these mediocrities manage to maintain influence?

      • HJ777

        “It appears”

        Based on what evidence?

        • Jambo25

          From media reports which have not been denied by the government, Darling or Dunlop.

          • HJ777

            Media speculation does not constitute ‘evidence’

            If politicians were to go around refuting media speculation all the time then they would have little time for anything else.

            As usual, you are all about insulting people, insinuation, and concentrating on misdemeanours – never on making an argument based on facts.

            No, please tell me how seriously we should take Salmond’s claim that a seceded Scotland would immediately become an EU member now that we know – for a fact – that the legal advice that he said he had received to this effect never actually existed. The non-existence of which he spent £20k of taxpayers money trying to conceal. The man is a crook.

            • Jambo25

              If you have no answer you simply change the subject.

              • HJ777

                Weak. Pathetic even.

                • Jambo25

                  You are.

                • HJ777

                  Yes, I am demanding evidence for your assertion – which you are clearly unable to provide.

                  Which demonstrates it to be worthless.

                • Jambo25

                  Read Nick Watt’s story. Are you accusing him of being a liar?

                • HJ777

                  I am accusing you of having no evidence. I do not believe much of what I read in The Guardian and even less your spin on it.

                  Anyone who has read the Treasury analysis knows that a currency union is not on the cards. Now if you think that the Treasury analysis is wrong, then perhaps you could explain where you think they have it wrong.

                • Jambo25

                  OK. You don’t believe anything which doesn’t fit in with your prejudices. Thanks for confirming my suspicions.

                • HJ777

                  No – I don’t believe things for which there is no evidence. That’s the difference between us.

                  You never let facts get in the way of your prejudice. You just ignore inconvenient facts and inconvenient questions.

                  I note that, once more, you avoid the questions. In what respect is the Treasury analysis wrong? Go on, engage with facts for a change.

                • Jambo25

                  So, Nick Watt is a liar?

                • HJ777

                  I have no evidence either way.

                  Do you? I certainly don’t take any uncorroborated reports in the Guardian as gospel, for the very simple reason that I am not naive.

                  If you do have any evidence, tell me who said what he claims and quote exactly, in context, what was said. Otherwise there is nothing to discuss.

                  It is typical that you concentrate on this side issue about which there is no evidence rather than addressing the issue of the Treasury analysis and the clear pronouncement of the major party leaders – which is available evidence and which you are free to challenge. Why do you not? Are you incapable?

                • Jambo25

                  Read the Story. Don’t expect me to quote it for you.

                • HJ777

                  I’ve read the story, now please address the known facts and present your argument.

                • Jambo25

                  Anything that doesn’t agree with you prejudices must be inaccurate or lies. Thanks for confirming my suspicions.

                • HJ777

                  Thank you for confirming that you’ll believe anything you hear that agrees with your prejudices even though you have no evidence, but that any actual evidence that contradicts your prejudices is simply to be ignored.

    • redcliffe62

      In 2011 Darling stated ON THE RECORD currency union was desirable for the UK, the difference now is he needs an angle.

      • HJ777

        While the UK remains as it is, yes.

        If Scotland secedes, that is a different matter.

    • HJ777

      You expect Westminster should be on the side of a seceded Scotland? Dream on.

      It is, however, on the side of the UK’s economic interests – and that includes Scotland as part of the UK.

      The SNP cares little of course about any of this, provided it can con enough people to vote “yes”. It will lie and cheat and do anything to get votes – as is being amply demonstrated.

      • Andrew MacGregor

        Really HJ? So, it was the SNP that stated no Dr Who, Driving on the Right, default on the debt etc? Well, no it wasn’t. That was UKOK and UKGov which all turned out to be lies.

        • HJ777

          You really are a Loonytunes even by Cybernat standards, aren’t you?

          • Andrew MacGregor

            Ok let’s see
            Andy Burnham – right side of road.
            Maria Miller – No Dr Who
            Default on Debt – Carmichael
            There’s lots more. It’s like they were getting April Fools in early.
            They’ve even lied about What the SNP are supposed to have said.
            And you call me loonytunes. I think the problem is that you are just a troll repeating the dishonest outputs because you can’t be bothered by facts, or are deliberately lying to try and persuade.

      • Barry Byrne

        I hoped for an open and honest debate, where both sides work in the interests of Scotland and the rUK regardless of whether we secede or not, which I believe they signed up to in the Edinburgh Agreement.

        Didn’t catch your name, by the way.

  • Jambo25

    You really haven’t read the above article or anything else to do with this story: have you Mr Shinsei? Go back abourt a week and look at the assessement of the Treasury case by Professor Young.

    • komment

      A good point well put. Denial, it seems, comes in all shapes and sizes.

    • HJ777

      You really are scraping the barrel when you can’t state your argument and instead refer to the opinion of some bloke in Beijing.

      The UK has deliberately stayed out of a currency union (the Euro) and it has been proven right to have done so. It isn’t going to join one with a seceded country which has comics like Salmond in charge.

      • Jambo25

        The “ridiculous man” is a distinguished professor tipped as a possible Nobel laureate. You are merely ridiculous.

        • HJ777

          If he’s not ridiculous, why does he make a claim about what the Treasury’s assessment says when it neither says nor implies anything of the sort. And why would it say such a thing when the idea that the whole crisis was caused by “investment bankers in London” is complete rubbish as a few minutes research will confirm.

          It is telling that the “Yes” campaign has to go to Beijing to find someone who agrees with them.

          And it is equally telling that you are unable to address the substance of the matter so – as usual – launch an ad hominem attack on me. Read what the BoE’s assessment actually says then come back and tell me where it says what he says it says. Go on – arm yourself with facts for a change. I dare you to try.

  • Shinsei1967

    What’s odd is that the Yes campaign are still taken seriously by many when they claim that the unequivocal stance from the three main Westminster parties, the Bank of England and the Treasury regarding a currency union is a “lie” or a “bluff”.

    In no other political discourse can one side just totally deny what the other side claim and expect that to work as a political argument.

    • http://garve.scott-lodge.com Garve Scott-Lodge

      Did you read the article? Maybe, just maybe ‘unequivocal’ was applicable last week, but not any more. Now it’s an ‘equivocal stance’.

      • rtj1211

        So if I say that I have the right to shag your wife, despite not being her husband and despite her not being party to me saying so, then that’s ‘God’s Truth’, is it??

        • Ringan

          ??? Perhaps you are in the wrong string? Have you strayed from an “adult” site?

          • Wessex Man

            now how clever is that? you prove my point for me entirely, do get a life.

        • http://garve.scott-lodge.com Garve Scott-Lodge

          No, you’re missing the point, which is that whether rUK will agree to a currency union or not, it’s much, much harder to persuade voters that you mean it when a minister in your own government says you don’t.

          • Andy

            rUK will not agree to a Currency Union for the reasons that have been quite clearly set out. Scotland can, of course, use Sterling because it is a tradable currency, but Scots wont have a seat in the Court Room in Threadneedle Street.

            • Gaavster

              And you know this for certain?

              Please reveal your source, there’s a good chap

              • Andy

                I refer you to the statement issued by H. M. Treasury which was endorsed by each political party and thus must be considered the policy of H.M. Government and any subsequent government.

                As you are questioning the veracity of this statement perhaps you would care to reveal your sources, there’s a good chap.

                • Wessex Man

                  Some of these arguments by the Cybernat nutjobs are really funny but most just show they don’t have a clue.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Based upon their history, I would question the veracity and the validity of any statement coming out of Treasury. My source is my own two eyes.

              • kyalami

                I am afraid it’s up to wee Alec to prove the contrary. There’s no good reason for rUK to have currency union with an independent Scotland, and several good reasons not to.

                • redcliffe62

                  Darling said currency union was desirable in 2011. Not now, purely for scary leverage. Fooling less every day.

                • HJ777

                  I suggest that you listen to what he actually said which is that a currency union is desirable as a step to a political union – which is what we already have.

                • Andrew MacGregor

                  No good reasons? Really?
                  So a longer deeper period of austerity isn’t a good reason?
                  Debt:GDP ration?
                  Increased Trade/Budget deficits?
                  Balance of payments – foreign currency trades?
                  Increased costs for 1/10 of your exports?
                  Loss of taxation?
                  increased unemployment?
                  All for the sake of a little potential bailout – and UK bailed Ireland without a CU because it had to, to protect UK business & economic interests.
                  You see the argument for outweighs the arguments against. There’s nothing you can say that changes that.

                • kyalami

                  Not one of those things is likely. Many aren’t even possible. Just scaremongering.

                • Andrew MacGregor

                  Hilarious.
                  Whether you think so or not, here’s some reasoning.
                  Scotland takes some debt based on GDP – £110Bn approx.
                  Scotland GDP taken out of the equation – £150Bn approx.
                  UK debt to GDP ratio climbs by 7%.
                  Trade Deficit grows by £44Bn, 13% of UK export volumes currently.
                  Budget deficit grows by £4-£12Bn from losing taxation receipts from Scotland.
                  The list goes on if there’s no CU……

                • kyalami

                  I apologise because you are probably a pleasant person in real life – in my experience most Scots are. However, your appends here either show extreme ignorance or the intention to ignore the bad and make up the good.

                • Andrew MacGregor

                  So, you would dispute that the debt:GDP ratio would be higher?
                  Take £2Tn and deduct £150Bn approx. = £1.85Tn
                  Take £1.4Tn and deduct £110Bn aprox = £1.29Tn
                  Then take debt:GDP as a ratio using £1.4Tn:£2Tn (approx.)
                  and compare it to £.1.29Tn:1.85Tn (approx.)
                  Which has the higher ratio?
                  With independence the UK loses £30Bn trade (export) value of oil&gas which affect $dollar trades directly connected with balance of payments.
                  Or is that also a made up figure.

            • mightymark

              Indeed – how could they, and if by some mishap a CU were on offer it would surely need to be put to a referendum. I doubt the rest of the UK would agree it.

              • the viceroy’s gin

                The Londonistan bubble will never allow a referendum on that. They’ll decide, and then decree. They’ll go for a CU, and then downplay it by pointing out that Jockistan is keeping the monarchy, etc.

                It’s the smart play, too. There is too much commerce and exchange to risk any sudden currency events, and all recognize this .

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …but the jocks are going to vote no, so this is pointless.

                • Andrew MacGregor

                  Really? No? Carmichael and Moore are both suggesting Yes have better than good chance of winning. Poll gaps are closing inexorably. Yes is positive and momentum is with them and easier to get turnout for positive message than for negative. Yes doesn’t need to be closer than 45% to take poll victory.

                • Andrew MacGregor

                  Ah, that’s the thing…. right there. Very aware my good fellow, very aware. There’ll be no vote without whips, there’ll be no referendum on CU. It will happen. In fact. I’m going to put money on it this month.

      • manonthebus

        A junior minister does not constitute a stance.

      • Shinsei1967

        Depends if you think the opinion of a junior minister outweighs the official stance of the three main parties, the Bank of England and the Treasury.

        They could all be bluffing but it doesn’t seem terribly likely.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          Disagree. I’d say it’s the odds-on favorite.

        • HJ777

          It’s the SNP that is bluffing. Everyone of any intelligence knows that.

        • Andrew MacGregor

          I heard it was a senior cabinet member.

    • DougDaniel

      The Bank of England has never ruled out a currency union. On the contrary, Mark Carney said that whatever the politicians decided, they would make it work.

      • Jambo25

        Do not confuse Shinsei with facts. Naughty.

      • andagain

        Which is not remotely the same thing as saying they would advise the politicians to try and make a currancy union with an independent Scotland work.

        Can you give any examples of any country remaining in a currency union with a country it had just declared independance from?

        • DougDaniel

          Indeed, so it’s just as well nobody is suggesting it is. Carney is remaining resolutely neutral on the issue, which is why it’s incorrect to suggest he’s come out against it.

          • andagain

            No, he only said that Scotland could not be completely independent if it kept the British pound. Many people would conclude that means that Scotland cannot become independent and keep the pound.

            http://www.itv.com/news/2014-01-29/mark-carneys-speech-may-cause-severe-headaches-for-alex-salmond/

            And of course, the Permanent Secretary to the Treasury has explicitly advised against a currency union.

            • Andrew Morton

              True. But it also means that EWANI wouldn’t be completely independent either. The UK isn’t completely independent as it has surrendered sovereignty to the EU. Only North Korea is truly independent.

              • andagain

                A currency union would put UK taxpayers on the hock to bail out Scottish banks, if they got into trouble. No UK government is going to be able to agree to that if it cannot control what the Scottish banks get up to. That would leave the UK government running Scottish financial policy and the commanding heights of its economy, without being responsible to Scottish voters.

                Is the SNP going to agree to that? Could boast of having made Scotland an independent country if it did? It would leave Scotland with less power over its destiny than it has now!

                • Andrew Morton

                  There ARE no Scottish banks, not unless you count the Airdrie Savings Bank.

                  RBS is owned by the UK government and run from London, Halifax Bank of Scotland was run from Halifax and is now owned by Lloyds. The Clydesdale is owned by Australians.

                  Can you think of any others? I can’t.

                • andagain

                  First time anyone has told me that Scotland does not have a financial services industry. I feel sure that most Scots thought it did.

                  http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/mar/27/scottish-independence-years-disruption-finance-industry

                • Andrew Morton

                  It’s a good point, however I reiterate what I just said, where are these Scottish banks?

                • andagain

                  I think you are putting too much emphasis on ownership. Just because XYZ ltd in Edinburgh is owned by someone somewhere else does not mean XYZ ltd is not based in Scotland.

                • Andrew Morton

                  OK I’ll bring out my big weapon now. Stand well back . . .

                  http://www.scotsman.com/news/joan-mcalpine-who-s-afraid-of-the-big-bad-truth-1-1741891

                • Andrew MacGregor

                  TSB, Standard Life Bank

            • DougDaniel

              “No, he only said that Scotland could not be completely independent if it kept the British pound.”

              No he didn’t. Read what is said rather than what you wish was said, or what some metropolitan political analyst wishes he said. He mentioned “ceding some sovereignty”, but there’s not a country in the world that doesn’t cede sovereignty in some form or another (well, except maybe North Korea…)

              Independence means having the power to make your own decisions. That includes deciding to pool sovereignty, like the UK currently does in the EU, Nato and so on. Does that mean the UK isn’t “completely independent”?

              Belgium and Luxembourg had a currency union for about 60 years. Nobody accused either country of not being “completely independent”.

              • HJ777

                Yes, ceding sovereignty in exactly the area that the SNP claims in its white paper that independence would allow it to “shape our own fiscal and economics policies” and would give Scotland “responsibility for all its economic levers”.

              • andagain

                Independence means having the power to make your own decisions.

                If Scotland doesn’t have that already, what is the referendum all about? If it doesn’t have the power to make decisions, the referendum will make no difference.

                In the meantime, the SNP seems to want something that can only work if its economy is run by the UK, without Scotland having a say in the UK government…

      • HJ777

        That’s not what he said. He pointed out what would have to be put in place to make one workable but that it was not his decision.

        The Treasury analysis, of course, did rule it out.

        • DougDaniel

          I’m not entirely sure which post you’re replying to, but I’ll quote directly from his speech anyway as people seem to be having trouble getting to grips with this:

          “Any arrangement to retain sterling in an independent Scotland would need to be negotiated between the Westminster and Scottish Parliaments. The Bank of England would implement whatever monetary arrangements were put in place.”

          That really could not be clearer. The two governments will decide what to do, and the BoE will implement it. No ruling out, no suggesting which is better or worse.

          • HJ777

            I suggest that you read the Treasury analysis, not just Mark Carney’s speech.

            Of course, a government can direct the Governor of the BoE to do anything they please – which was Mark Carney’s point. He just said what would have to be put in place to make such an arrangement workable. It is not his job to rule anything in or out.

            The Treasury analysis (which is entirely consistent with his speech), however, looks at what would have to be put in place, the implications and the risks and then effectively rules it out.

            Do try to keep up.

            • DougDaniel

              Where have I made any mention of the Treasury analysis? This whole thread of comment was about Shinsei1967’s lie that the Bank of England had taken a position on the currency union, which it hasn’t, as that Carney quote shows. The Bank of England and the UK Treasury are separate organisations, so it doesn’t matter what the Treasury said as it doesn’t change what the BoE are saying.

              Do try to keep up.

              • HJ777

                Come off it.

                Here is what Shinsei wrote:

                “What’s odd is that the Yes campaign are still taken seriously by many when they claim that the unequivocal stance from the three main Westminster parties, the Bank of England and the Treasury regarding a currency union is a “lie” or a “bluff”.”

                The BoE stance was, indeed, unequivocal about what arrangements would need to be put in place. Arrangements that were ruled out by the Treasury analysis and the government.

                • DougDaniel

                  Right, I’ll go through this one slowly for you.

                  The thing which the Yes campaign say is a “bluff” is Osborne, Balls and Alexander saying “there will be no currency union”. That is a stance on whether or not there should be a currency union, not on the arrangements that would need to be in place.

                  The BoE does not have a stance on whether or not there should be a currency union, and it certainly hasn’t joined in with the three amigos in ruling one out. It has set out what it considers to be the necessary arrangements for a currency union to work, but it has not said that those arrangements couldn’t be worked out – and it most certainly hasn’t said they shouldn’t be made.

                  Shinsei1967’s post implied that the BoE was united with the Westminster parties in saying there should not – and would not – be a currency union. He was wrong.

                  Do you get it yet, or do I need to put it into words of just one syllable?

                • HJ777

                  Shinsei neither said not implied anything of the sort. He said that the BoE’s stance, as with the Treasury’s and the government’s were unequivocal – as, indeed, they were.

                  That doesn’t mean that they were all saying exactly the same thing, just that they were consistent.

                  Carney’s (BoE) comments clearly contradict several claims made in the “Yes” campaign’s (i.e. Salmond’s) white paper which talks about a seceded Scotland having “responsibility for all its economic levers”, an ability to “shape our own fiscal and economics policies” and have “fiscal flexibility” designed solely to meet Scotland’s interests. Carney explains that this would be inconsistent with a stable currency union.

                  The wrong interpretation is all yours. Why am I not surprised?

                • DougDaniel

                  Okay, I’ll try again. Here’s what he said:

                  “What’s odd is that the Yes campaign are still taken seriously by many when they claim that the unequivocal stance from the three main Westminster parties, the Bank of England and the Treasury regarding a currency union is a “lie” or a “bluff”.”

                  Now I’m pretty good at logical semantics – you have to be in order to be an effective computer programmer – but maybe you’re not so good, so I’ll just break that down into steps so that it’s easier for you to join the dots:
                  1. The Yes side claim that X is a “lie” or “bluff”.
                  2. The X in question is an unequivocal stance (singular) regarding a currency union.
                  3. This stance (still singular) is held by the three Westminster parties (A), the Bank of England (B), and the Treasury (C).

                  Taken together, this means Shinsei1967 is saying that the Yes side claims the unequivocal stance (singular) of A, B and C is a “lie” or a “bluff”. There’s no other way of interpreting that – he is saying there is a shared, singular stance, and all three (A, B and C) share it. We know that because he didn’t say “stances” or “are lies”, and because we understand the rules of English (well, I understand them, but I’m not so sure about you.)

                  Now, the missing piece of information here is what this unequivocal stance (singular) is. Your claim is that it is simply that arrangements would need to be put in place to have a currency arrangement. Here, I’ll requote you in case you don’t know how to scroll upwards: “The BoE stance was, indeed, unequivocal about what arrangements would need to be put in place.”

                  But we also know that the thing which the Yes side claim is a “lie” or “bluff” is, in fact, the assertion by the three Westminster parties that there would not be a currency union (Y). So the X in clause 1 is, in fact, “there will be no currency union”. Therefore, in clause 2, we can say that the “unequivocal stance” referred to is “there will be no currency union”. It then follows, from clause 3, that this must be the stance held by all three actors A, B and C – Westminster parties, the BoE and the Treasury.

                  But wait a second! We also know, from the speech Carney made, that the BoE has not, in fact, stated a position on whether there should be a currency union. All they’ve said is “if that’s what is decided we’ll implement it, but you’ll need to make the necessary arrangements, which we think are thus…” (Z).

                  So we’ve got a problem with the logic here. For Shinsei1967 – and yourself – to be telling the truth, then X, Y and Z would have to be equal. But they’re not. I know I’m not the one in the wrong, since I’ve simply stated the two facts that we know – that the thing which the Yes campaign have said is a “bluff” is the assertion that there won’t be a currency union; and that the BoE have not adopted such a position. So that means the person who’s wrong is… Oh, you!

                • HJ777

                  You really are twisting and turning to try to avoid admitting that you were completely incorrect. It is very undignified

                  I don’t even think you’re fooling yourself, let alone me.

                  The simple fact is that a stable currency union is – as Carney has effectively pointed out – incompatible with the SNP’s claims about fiscal independence. The Treasury takes this further and points out that even were the SNP to completely change its stance on fiscal independence to accommodate Carney’s objections, a currency union would still not be in the interests of the rest of the UK.

                  No bluff, unless you are going to argue with the BoE and the Treasury analysis – but you have not. This much has nothing to do with politicians.

                  The three main Westminster parties are simply stating their position which is compatible with these analyses. That the “Yes” campaign maintains that this perfectly logical position equates to a “lie” or a “bluff” just shows that either they are deluded or (more likely) they are trying to deceive Scots.

                  Now, if you are able to argue why you think that the BoE’s and the Treasury’s analyses are wrong and explain why the three main Westminster parties are therefore wrong, then I am willing to listen. But don’t give me all the “logical semantics” because I’m a computer programmer tosh.

                • DougDaniel

                  I don’t know what argument you’re trying to have here, but it’s certainly nothing to do with what I was saying. Let’s make this simple – what I said was this:

                  “The Bank of England has never ruled out a currency union. On the contrary, Mark Carney said that whatever the politicians decided, they would make it work.”

                  What Mark Carney’s speech said was this:

                  “Any arrangement to retain sterling in an independent Scotland would need to be negotiated between the Westminster and Scottish Parliaments. The Bank of England would implement whatever monetary arrangements were put in place.”

                  Now either show why those two statements are inconsistent with each other, or pipe down. Here’s a hint – you’ll need to do it without mentioning fiscal independence, treasury analysis or the SNP, because none of that changes what the Bank of England said there, or what I said to Shinsei1967.

                  (And if you really think there has been “no bluff”, then you might want to check the news from Friday evening onwards. There’s been a rather important story about the UK government’s real attitude towards a currency union post-referendum.)

                • HJ777

                  Let’s make it really simple for you then.

                  You replied to Shinsei1967 by saying that the BoE had not ruled out a currency union – Shinsei1967 made no such claim.

                  However, the BoE was unequivocal (which is what Shinsei1967 said) about what the requirements for a currency union would be – and they are in conflict with the claims made in the “Yes” campaign’s white paper. The Treasury analysis and the government have been equally unequivocal pointing out the difficulties and lack of advantage to such an arrangement – and the government has, consequently, ruled it out.

                  The government has repeated its stance just this week inno uncertain terms

                  The bluff is all on the part of Salmond. As the Treasury analysis states quite clearly – his claims are all based on a false premise. I’ll even quote it for you just so it is quite clear:

                  A.1 The Scottish Government’s White Paper, Scotland’s Future: Your guide to an independent Scotland, states that “the pound is Scotland’s currency just as much as it is the rest of the UK’s”.1 The Scottish Government’s Fiscal Commission proposed that an independent Scotland seek to retain the UK pound as part of a formal monetary union with the rest of the UK.2 The Cabinet Secretary for Finance in the Scottish Government, John Swinney MSP, has argued that the Bank of England is “as much our bank as it is anybody else’s”.3

                  A.2 These assertions are premised on a misunderstanding of the nature of a system of currency and a flawed analysis of the legal position of the UK pound and the Bank of England. Members of the Scottish Government, have in their public statements, continually conflated the UK pound as a currency with the issue of assets and liabilities, even suggesting that an independent Scottish state would refuse to take its share of liabilities if the continuing UK did not agree to share the UK pound as part of a currency union.4

                  A.3 It is right to say that the international law principle of equitable division applies to certain UK assets and liabilities and that this principle would be important in any negotiation should Scotland vote for independence. However it is wrong to say that an independent Scotland would be entitled to share the continuing UK’s currency, the UK pound, as part of a formal currency union. There is no rule or principle in international law that would require the continuing UK to share its currency with an independent Scottish state. The system of currency used by a country is not part of its assets, as is explained below.

                • DougDaniel

                  What is it you’re having difficulty understanding? Is it the concept of “unequivocal stance” being a singular term, or is it the part about the Yes campaign’s accusation of “bluff” being directed solely at the three Westminster parties’ ganging up to rule out a currency union?

                  I don’t really know how I can make it any clearer than my post above, so I’ll just repost it here: http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2014/03/from-time-to-time-it-is-necessary-to-execute-a-government-minister-to-encourage-the-others-this-is-one-such-moment/#comment-1313389323

                • HJ777

                  I’m not having any difficulty understanding anything.

                  I know what Mark Carney’s analysis is, I know what the Treasury’s analysis says and I know what the major parties’ stance is.

                  I know that when the “Yes” campaign has no answer, it goes on about “lies”, “bluff” and “scaremongering” and you, sheep-like, do the same.

                  And I know that there would be no currency union with a seceded Scotland.

                  Clear as day. You may be confused, but I’m not.

                • DougDaniel

                  Actually you’re having great difficulty understanding a very simple point, because you keep waffling about other things.

                  “I know what Mark Carney’s analysis is, I know what the Treasury’s analysis says and I know what the major parties’ stance is.”

                  Excellent. I notice you’ve used the word “analysis” for the first two, but “stance” for the last one. Are you finally admitting that the BoE doesn’t have a “stance” at all, other than “we’ll implement whatever the politicians decide”?

                  Do you admit that the thing which the Yes campaign calls “bluff” is the joint statement by Osborne, Balls and Alexander that they would all say no to a currency union? You’ve chucked “scaremongering” in there, but that wasn’t actually part of either Shensei’s post, or my reply to him. “Bluff” has been very specifically used for this one tactic by Osborne, Balls and Alexander, so when Shensei talks of the Yes campaign calling something a “bluff”, he can only be referring to that – the BoE has never been accused of bluffing, which is why I took issue with him.

                  Finally, no one cares what your opinion on a currency union is. Stick to the issue at hand.

                • HJ777

                  You really do a have a problem understanding anything you don’t want to understand, don’t you?

                  The BoE has no choice but to implement whatever politicians decide. However, that doesn’t stop it explaining what the reality of the situation is – a reality you find impossible to accept.

                  I didn’t state my opinion on a currency union. I stated a fact – there would be no currency union with a seceded Scotland. Your opinion is neither here nor there.

                • DougDaniel

                  They explained what they thought would need to happen to get a currency union to work. They gave no opinion on whether it should or shouldn’t happen, though – which is the point I have been making throughout. Nothing the BoE said was rubbished by the Yes campaign, and certainly not called a “bluff” – Salmond even welcomed Carney’s speech.

                  Tell you what, I’ll make this even easier. I’ll put down some yes or no questions, so all you need to do is say “yes” or “no”. I’ll even number them so you don’t get confused.

                  1. Do you accept that the point that the Yes campaign called a “bluff” was the Osborne, Balls and Alexander joint statement saying “there will be no currency union”?

                  2. Do you accept that the BoE did not state a preference for or against a currency union?

                  3. Do you accept that “unequivocal stance” is a singular term?

                  4. Do you accept that saying something is the “unequivocal stance” of three separate entities implies all three share the same stance?

                  5. Do you accept that “here are the things we think you need for a currency union, but we’ll implement whatever is decided” and “there will be no currency union” are not equivalent positions?

                  6. Do you realise that at no point have I actually stated whether I agree or disagree with the treasury, the BoE, the SNP, the three Westminster parties, or anyone else?

                  Easy peasy. Even a child could manage it. Let’s see if you can, though.

                • HJ777

                  A sure sign of a dishonest argument designed to distort is when someone starts demanding yes or no answers.

                  Have you stopped beating your wife? Yes or no?

                • DougDaniel

                  No, a sure sign of a dishonest argument is when someone repeatedly tries to deflect or change the subject rather than just answering the question.

                • HJ777

                  I’m glad you admit it.

                  So have you stopped beating your wife? Yes or no?

                • DougDaniel

                  Amazing. I’ll answer your question once you answer mine. That’s how it works, you see?

                  1. Do you accept that the point that the Yes campaign called a “bluff” was the Osborne, Balls and Alexander joint statement saying “there will be no currency union”?

                  2. Do you accept that the BoE did not state a preference for or against a currency union?

                  3. Do you accept that “unequivocal stance” is a singular term?

                  4. Do you accept that saying something is the “unequivocal stance” of three separate entities implies all three share the same stance?

                  5. Do you accept that “here are the things we think you need for a currency union, but we’ll implement whatever is decided” and “there will be no currency union” are not equivalent positions?

                  6. Do you realise that at no point have I actually stated whether I agree or disagree with the treasury, the BoE, the SNP, the three Westminster parties, or anyone else?

                • HJ777

                  You’re trying to tell me how things work?

                  Amazing indeed.

                • DougDaniel

                  I know how Jeremy Paxman feels now.

                  1. Do you accept that the point that the Yes campaign called a “bluff” was the Osborne, Balls and Alexander joint statement saying “there will be no currency union”?

                  2. Do you accept that the BoE did not state a preference for or against a currency union?

                  3. Do you accept that “unequivocal stance” is a singular term?

                  4. Do you accept that saying something is the “unequivocal stance” of three separate entities implies all three share the same stance?

                  5. Do you accept that “here are the things we think you need for a currency union, but we’ll implement whatever is decided” and “there will be no currency union” are not equivalent positions?

                  6. Do you realise that at no point have I actually stated whether I agree or disagree with the treasury, the BoE, the SNP, the three Westminster parties, or anyone else?

                • Andrew MacGregor

                  Doug, The BoE has NO such stance. It has stated that there are hurdles but that it WILL make it work. Any other claim is an outright lie.

                • DougDaniel

                  Yes, I know that. It’s what I’ve stated about 15 times. HJ777 doesn’t understand though, so things need to be brought down to a very simplistic level.

                • Andrew MacGregor

                  I don’t think it’s not a case of misunderstanding you. I think he is simply presenting a zombie argument in the hope you’ll give up and leave it. There’s no credibility in claiming that all three Westminster parties are on the same page even if you read the speeches. Osborne and even Beaker have left emergency get out clauses in their speeches and it is only Ed Balls who ‘fagged’ for Osborne that has been categorical in his rejection. The ‘memo’ from Sir Nicholas MacPherson was so full of holes in terms of its logic it was laughable. Especially the point he belaboured about the commitment to length of term for CU. Any halfwitted negotiator – even from Browns tenure – could resolve that position.

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