Actually, now that we come to examine it in detail, this one’s quite special. We think EVERY single sentence in the official No campaign’s latest mailshot might be a lie.
Let’s step through it and see if they’ve really pulled off a hundred-percenter.
It is now clear beyond any doubt – the only way to keep the Pound is for Scotland to remain in the UK.”
LIE. That plainly ISN’T clear beyond any doubt. By the admission of pretty much every sane human on Earth, Scotland CAN keep the pound after independence should it choose to, just not necessarily within a formal currency union.
Even Alistair Darling – should any interviewer ever summon up the temerity to question him in the manner that James Naughtie or Kirsty Wark, say, habitually interrogate Alex Salmond – would have to concede that fact. And indeed, he has.
(Watch for yourself here, where you’ll hear the former Chancellor note in his very first sentence that: “What I’ve said in relation to the currency union is that if there was independence, there may well be one”, as well as his more commonly-reported view that such a union would be “desirable” and “logical” and in the best interests of both Scotland and the UK. “I’m entirely consistent”, he concludes at 2m 49s.)
“People need to know that when they go into a polling station in September they will be voting either to keep the Pound or ditch the Pound.”
LIE. People don’t need to know that, because it isn’t true. They’ll be voting on whether Scotland becomes an independent country or not. The clue will be in the question. Anything that happens after that is a matter of politics and policies.
“A vote to leave the UK is a vote to lose the Pound.”
LIE. No it isn’t. See above.
“Alex Salmond has no plan for currency in an independent Scotland.”
LIE. Yes he does. His plan is to use Sterling in a formal currency union. Whether that plan comes to fruition is in the hands of firstly the Scottish electorate and then the UK government, but it’s unquestionably his plan. He says so every chance he gets.
“The SNP wanted to turn the pound into the Eurozone but understandably the rest of the UK have said they don’t think this is a good idea.”
TWO LIES. At least. Firstly, you can’t turn a currency into a place. Secondly, the SNP’s plan is not to replicate the Eurozone, because the Eurozone encompasses numerous wildly-divergent economies, whereas a Sterling zone would comprise two very similar ones.
Don’t take our word for that – listen to Unionist devolution expert Alan Trench, who says “the Scottish economy resembles that of the UK so closely that [using Sterling] would cause none of the problems of different economic structures or cycles that have underpinned the Euro’s difficulties. “
And finally, “the rest of the UK” have NOT said they don’t think it’s a good idea. George Osborne, Ed Balls and Danny Alexander have. The rest of the UK, by a margin of almost six to one, thinks sharing the pound is the best option if Scotland votes Yes.
“The SNP Government had already ruled out using the pound without agreement in the way Panama uses the Dollar.”
LIE. It’s never done such a thing.
“So what money will Scotland use?”
LIE. (Well, strictly speaking a question can’t be a lie, of course, but doubt is falsely implied, which is close enough.) If Scotland votes No, it’ll use the pound. If it votes Yes, the current Scottish Government says it’ll use the pound, and since no power on Earth can prevent it from doing so – Sterling being a fully tradeable currency any nation can use without permission – we must assume it will.
“What we need now from the SNP isn’t so much a Plan B but a Plan A.”
LIE. We already know Plan A – a formal currency union. Viable or not, it remains the SNP’s plan. This morning’s Daily Record couldn’t have been much more unequivocal on that. And you can’t need what you already have.
“Now that using the Pound is off the table, would we be rushing to join the Euro or set up an unproven separate currency?”
TWO LIES. Using the pound is NOT off the table. Nobody can stop an independent Scotland using the pound if it wants to, and several highly knowledgeable sources in such matters, including the world-renowned Adam Smith Institute, actually think an “unlicensed” arrangement would be not only feasible, but preferable to a formal union. And an independent Scotland couldn’t join the Euro even if it wanted to.
“Alex Salmond should stop making reckless threats about defaulting on debt that would put jobs and businesses in Scotland at risk.”
LIE. Alex Salmond can’t threaten to default on debt, because he doesn’t have any. The Scottish Government has no borrowing powers, and therefore can’t possibly have any debt. The only government in the UK which is responsible for any debt (and rather a lot of it) is the UK government. Who says so? The UK government does.
“People know that if you don’t pay your debts your credit rating is shot and that means everything is more expensive.”
LIE. A bad credit rating doesn’t make “everything” more expensive. It, sometimes, can make precisely ONE thing more expensive – the cost of borrowing money. Shoelaces and Corn Flakes don’t go up in price at Tesco if you don’t pay your gas bill. But it’s a moot point, as Scotland doesn’t have any debt to pay.
“Help Better Together campaign to keep the strength and security of the UK Pound by donating what you can today.
Better Together Leader”
So there you go. Not counting that last one, it’s eleven sentences, thirteen lies (or in “Better Together” arithmetic, “about 600”), not one single sentence free of falsehood. A flawless performance, the political equivalent of a 147 break at snooker or a nine-dart finish. You have to admire their dedication, at least. All that training finally paid off.