"A new and awful low in Scottish politics" – Margaret Curran

Wings Over Scotland


An empty quiver 34

Posted on July 29, 2016 by

This week I published, through Common Weal, a discussion paper on the potential currency options for an independent Scotland in light of the material changes in circumstances caused by the Brexit vote.

This paper examines some of the options open to an independent Scotland and concludes that, on balance, the best option for Scotland would be a Scottish currency, initially pegged to Sterling but with the infrastructure and mechanisms in place to move, replace or remove that peg if and when it proves advantageous.

(As the UK did itself in the 1980’s when the pound was pegged first to the US dollar and then to the Deutschmark.)

One of the requirements of an independent currency is that Scotland would need its own foreign reserve fund which would act as a buffer against trade imbalances and would be used to counter movements in exchange rate (particularly if we were pegged our exchange rate to Sterling).

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It was on this particular point that yesterday’s Scottish edition of the Daily Express chose to focus, in its characteristically measured, balanced and thoughtful manner.

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A great day for child abusers 315

Posted on July 28, 2016 by

Well done to everyone concerned. Paedophiles and the Daily Mail will be partying hard tonight. Although as it later transpired, only for a while. The Supreme Court ruled that while the Named Persons legislation needed a small tweak on data-protection grounds which will most likely delay it for a few months, condemning more children to needless suffering, its core aims in fact WERE lawful.

(It remains to be seen how much the restrictions on information-sharing will hamper the successful operation of the scheme.)

This won’t stop the campaign against it, however, so there’s still hope for those who want to batter toddlers to death without interference from the pesky nanny state.

We’d say more, but just read this again.

The darling of the comrades 280

Posted on July 26, 2016 by

A new YouGov poll of Scottish voters was released today. It had no voting-intention figures, and concerned itself mostly with people’s assessment of the main Scottish and UK party leaders. The Labour-voters column was interesting to say the least.

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That’s rather a lot of love for a Tory PM from people who voted Labour at the last UK election just over a year ago – more of Scottish Labour’s remaining voters found Theresa May likeable than dislikeable. But then things got even weirder.

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Fluid times 148

Posted on July 26, 2016 by

A brief note on the current futility of political commentary.

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Remember that? Well, let’s see how it really works.

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The King Of Facts 268

Posted on July 24, 2016 by

Posted without comment.

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Congratulations to President Trump 79

Posted on July 24, 2016 by

On his certain victory.

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Two men dealt amongst the chill 251

Posted on July 23, 2016 by

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The quantum of bias 727

Posted on July 20, 2016 by

“Bias” is a word we hate. Other than in the article you’re about to read, you’ll almost never find it used on this site, for a string of reasons. It’s one of those words that – regardless of context or literal justification – simply makes people switch off instantly and dismiss your arguments. (See also: “Zionist”, “Quisling”, “fascist”, “Liebore”.)

It’s also largely irrelevant, because there are very few people or organisations who have any duty NOT to be biased. When it comes to Scottish independence we’re as biased as all heck, and there’s no legitimate reason to expect the Daily Record or Scotsman or Daily Mail to be any more impartial than we are. They’re privately-owned businesses and entitled to take any position they like.

(The difference, of course, is that unlike them we’re committed to still telling the truth when we’re being biased, and to always providing linked original sources so you can judge our biased interpretation of facts and events for yourself.)

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But there’s one exception to that rule.

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Packing Scotland’s trunk 385

Posted on July 19, 2016 by

You can’t throw a brick at the Scottish media at the moment – however much you’d like to – without hitting half a dozen articles all repeating the same mantra: that despite the post-Brexit surge in support for independence, a Yes vote would be more difficult to achieve because the economics are now harder than they were in 2014, due to the collapse in the oil price.

Weirdly, almost all of these articles simultaneously insist that any new White Paper for independence would have to abandon the Sterling currency union advocated by the Scottish Government the first time round (despite there being little to no concrete evidence that it was a significant factor in the No vote, other than the commentariat all loudly agreeing with each other that it was).

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The problem is that those two claims – if for the sake of argument you take them both to be true – introduce a whacking great elephant to the room, which all the people making the arguments are pretending not to notice.

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The Labour case for Trident 612

Posted on July 17, 2016 by

This is prospective Labour leader Owen Smith on the Andrew Marr show this morning, explaining why he’ll be one of the 65% of Labour MPs voting in favour of the renewal of Trident next week:

Let’s just see if we can get this straight once and for all.

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In interesting times 71

Posted on July 17, 2016 by

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The tantrums of fantasists 609

Posted on July 15, 2016 by

If there haven’t been as many posts on this site as people might expect at a time of such incredible political turmoil, it’s because Wings isn’t at heart a commentary blog. We don’t do a lot of flat-out opinion pieces, tending to concern ourselves more with measurable, empirical facts, and since nobody knows anything about anything at the moment, we haven’t had all that much useful to say.

But the closest thing there is right now to a certainty is that sometime quite soon, Unionist politicians in Scotland are going to have to grow up and deal with this:

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And their problem is that there’s no possible way to.

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