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Wings Over Scotland

Cake neither had nor eaten

Posted on May 19, 2013 by

This week’s Scotland on Sunday is full of the usual outpourings of fear and madness (our absolute favourite is a standout piece of howling-at-the-moon insanity from frothing Tory loonbag Gerald Warner, magnificently entitled “Feminism driving holocaust of abortion”), but one in particular caught our eye.

Headed Independent Scotland at risk from bank crash, the Tom Peterkin effort (based, in fairness, on an imminent UK government document) kicks straight off with an opening line that’s a top-shelf example of hysterical sub-Daily-Mail scaremongering. But it’s the second line that makes it special.

“An independent Scotland would be more reliant on the banking sector than ­Cyprus or Iceland, making it vulnerable to a new financial crisis, a UK Treasury paper will warn this week.

The paper will say that a banking collapse would pose a “very serious risk” to Scottish taxpayers while uncertainty over the cost of borrowing would force financial firms headquartered north of the Border to move out of Scotland.”

Wait, what? We’d have to bail out all the banks if they crashed again, even though they’ll have moved out of Scotland? How does THAT one work, exactly?

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58 to “Cake neither had nor eaten”

  1. HandandShrimp says:

    Rev Stu
    Have a bit of sympathy…it isn’t easy thinking up these swivel eyed loony scare stories every week – continuity errors are to be expected 🙂

  2. Dramfineday says:

    Ha, ha, ha – nice one Rev, quite brightened an otherwise dreich morning here in Edinburgh. Keep taking the tartan tablets Tom!

  3. Sapheneia says:

    Just about every country in the world has had a banking crisis at one point or another.    A banking collapse, if governments intervene in corporate insolvency and regulatory insurance schemes, will obviously cost tax payers.  That is a government decision and hopefully based on the best interests of the national economy.
    In the event of Scottish independence I would like to see our government set out clear Scottish corporate and regulatory rules for any bank operating in/from Scotland.  We need to start enforcing corporate law and actively pursue corporate negligence and failure of duty.
    The article referred to in Scotland on Sunday is obviously flawed, but we have to make sure we tackle this general issue head on and not ignore or be too defensive about it.  This is not a Scotland specific issue but a global one.

  4. Graeme Purves says:

    The Sunday Herald is a haven of sanity in comparison. It gives short shrift to George Galloway’s sectarian scaremongering.

    Perhaps Galloway has been rubbing shoulders with Tom Gallagher in Bradford?

  5. HandandShrimp says:

    If there is another banking collapse the UK is screwed too. It is that simple. Are the Treasury predicting another banking collapse?

    PS Gerald Warner was the reason that the Scotsman stopped getting my cash.

  6. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Please, please, please everybody. Support the Sunday Herald. It is the only newspaper in Scotland dealing honestly with the constitutional issue (though the Sunday Post bombshell today raises hopes). 

  7. Titchyboy says:

    They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, but words can paint an ugly picture. That much is obvious from Mister Warners headline.

  8. PRJ says:

    More likely the truth:
    An independent England would be more reliant on the banking sector than Cyprus or Iceland, making it vulnerable to a new financial crisis, a UK Treasury paper will warn this week.
    The paper will say that a banking collapse would pose a “very serious risk” to English taxpayers while uncertainty over the cost of borrowing would force financial firms headquartered South of the Border to move out of England.

  9. Jeannie says:

    What exactly is the Treasury saying – that a future banking collapse is – possible? likely? probable?  If so, does that mean that the current UK government has not, in fact, taken the measures they insisted they would be taking, to minimise the risk of this happening again?  How negligent is that?  Surely their argument should be the opposite of what it is – that it cannot happen again because they’ve taken steps to ensure that it won’t – as they said they would!

  10. velofello says:

    And so Scotland has another industry too big for her economic well-being..First it was the Oil and Gas industry now it’s the financial services.
    What next, food and beverages? “Scotland having to store whisky in oak barrels for several years due to a …”.
    Then there is renewable energy.In a recent discussion with Fergus Ewing a UK scaremonger did suggest that EWNI may choose not to purchase energy from an independent Scotland. Heavens above! Scotland could be faced with uncertainty and volatility by overproducing the stuff and having to regulate turbine operations to meet demand.

  11. Sapheneia says:

    We also have to be clear about what exactly the “financial sector” in Scotland is.  There is a large pension / insurance sector which would not fall under the higher risk proprietary investment banking, or retail / corporate loan business within traditional fractional banking.
    The “financial” or “banking” sector is not a uniform beast.

  12. Linda's back says:

    The next time a Westminster MP attacks independence we can look no further than today’s Sunday Times for the reason.
    Westminster MPs told Ipsa they thought their pay should go up by a third from the current £65,738 to more than £86,000.
    MPs’ pay was frozen in 2011/12 and 2012/13. It is going up by 1% this year and next. The Ipsa report next month — which will be subject to public consultation — is to recommend pay deals for the next parliament.
    John Bercow, the Commons Speaker, has been among those agitating for pay rises. In January, he said parliamentary pay was merely “ordinary”. He added that it was not “terribly clever or brave” for party leaders such as David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband to oppose increases when they had “other sources of finance” of their own.
    Whitehall sources said they were optimistic that all the party leaders would back the recommendations. They do not want to annoy their backbenchers by rejecting Ipsa’s pay proposals after accepting its recommendations to curb expenses in the wake of the 2009 scandal. However, there is anxiety that one of them could break ranks.
    A source added: “At the moment it doesn’t look like any of them are planning any heroics.”
    It is expected that the rise will be phased in from 2015, postponing the big pay boost until after the next election.
    The Labour gravy train will hit the buffers after independence.

  13. I hope this time that someone from the Yes side will finally nail this nonsense once and for all if asked to comment.  It was brought up on one of the UBC’s big debates and just went unchallenged, leaving the viewing public with the opinion that we would indeed sink.  About time this scaremongering garbage was forced back down their throats.

  14. heraldnomore says:

    Any more of this and I might have to become SundayHeraldAgain – bought and paid for three weeks on the bounce – and worth every penny once more

  15. Ericmac says:

    The track record of incompetency and corrupt cronyism in Westminster over the last 35 years, indicates that the threatened exit from the EU is another stupidity that will make Brown’s gold sell-off comparable to losing a quid on the lottery.  
    The precarious nature of the UK’s Financial Services Industry and it’s entirely self-serving, exempt from Westminster control should have the City of London quaking.
    Do not underestimate the gleeful hand rubbing of the Germans and the French at the prospect of a UK exit and a better share of companies currently HQ’d in the UK as the gateway to Europe.
    Do not underestimate the ability of the London FatCat bankers to up-sticks to Frankfurt or Paris.  They care only about their profits and bonuses.
    It’s an irony that Westminster can promote such nonsense about Scotland while the complete chaos that is the UK politics and economy is teetering on the brink.  
    If only enough people in Scotland took the time to educate themselves on the consequences of a NO vote and research the potential of a YES vote.
    Sadly, as long as this type of article appears in the MSM, not challenged by anyone, the Scottish electorate are going blindly to the polls, and Scotland is going to be sucker punched in Sep., 2014.

  16. James Morton says:

    State of Banking in the UK is pretty scary atm. They have merged or acquired aspects of each others business that is can be hard to sort it all out. In fact England is at far greater risk to a banking crash because of this current practice. You take a mortgage with Natwest one account? Its actually being administered by RBS. Have a savings account with ING direct? Its now run by Barclays. Had a mortgage with alliance and leicester? most likely controlled by either Santander, Lloyds or Barclays.
    The Dunfermline? Natwest
    Cheltenham and Gloucester – Lloyds
    Halifax – Bank of Scotland & Lloyds
    Birmingham Midshires – halifax, BoS, Lloyds
    Yorkshire Building Society – Co-operative bank
    Britannie – Co-operative bank
    National westminster home loans – RBS & National Westminster Bank
    Northern rock plc – Northern Rock assest management (bad mortage book), Virgin Banking.
    Sub-prime lenders still exist: Southern Pacific changed its name to Ascenden, Amber lending owned by Skipton Building Society, Skipton recently put on the naughty list as a bank that will not be bailed out in the event of a collapse.
    Most if not all these mergers & unions are underwritten by QE paid to the banks. So what we now have is a banking system, which is still not regulated, up to its old tricks and looking more and more like a game of Kerplunk. The banks the are sticks & balls are the massive liabilities they have been hiding in plain sight. If the wrong one goes down the whole system would crash again.
    I would hope that Scotland would have the sense to take the Icelandic route. UK seems to think writing cheques to cover financial sector cock ups is something to take pride in.

  17. pmcrek says:

    We should all try to remember the Federal Reserve bailed out the banks with hundreds of billions in ememrgency loans, most of which went to Barcleys, all the UK did was buy £60 billion in shares which it can now sell for a profit. Without the Fed they would have all went bust.

  18. G. Campbell says:

    Graeme Purves said:
    “The Sunday Herald is a haven of sanity in comparison. It gives short shrift to George Galloway’s sectarian scaremongering. Perhaps Galloway has been rubbing shoulders with Tom Gallagher in Bradford?”

    George has an opinion piece in today’s super left-wing Scottish Mail on Sunday.  It’s even worse than Tom’s paranoid rants.

    “Salmond sank to the occasion, showing himself less than a national leader, more as a faction fighter at the head of a motley crew. If the virtual social media spoke for Scotland this game would already be a bogey. Cybernats bestride the internet in an increasingly poisonous parade of flag-waving and militancy which makes me wonder what happened to the Scotland I left just eight years ago.”

    “IN that they are the mirror image of the Faragists who think getting all red-faced, going down to the Channel ports and shouting boo at Johnny Foreigner can somehow solve our problems, which are not the fault of the English, immigrants, gays or Europeans. I have had to block hundreds of Scots on Twitter, who deny my right to speak on Scotland’s future despite my having been born and raised here, elected to parliament four times from Glasgow and been a feature in Scotland’s politics for 40 years.”

    “All on the grounds that I now live in England. I have no doubt that when I pitch up to speak on the Fringe of the Edinburgh Festival this summer the same thing as happened to Nigel Farage will happen to me.”

    Only if abuse by tumbleweed counts.

  19. Tom Hogg says:

    Galloway in the Daily Mail? He must be very proud of himself.

  20. G. Campbell says:

    The Herald, 17 December 2012:
    “Scotland’s population reached its highest level ever at the time of last year’s census.”

    George Galloway, Scottish Mail on Sunday, 19 May 2013:
    “Socialism in one country was a myth, even when the concept was coined to describe a state – the USSR – which stretched from the Urals to Vladivostock. In Scotland, a country of five million, with the only population in Europe that is falling, it is even more absurd.”

  21. Jeannie says:

    @G Campbell
    Just read Galloway’s rant – And just remind me, what’s his party called again?  Is it Respect?  The satire just writes itself these days.

  22. scottish_skier says:

    Nice panelbase poll in the sunday times

    No down 2% to 44%, yes steady at 36%.

    Level pegging (44/44) if Scotland’s (UK’s) position in the EU is under threat.

  23. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

    Two things. Maybe Lord Healey at 95 feels compelled to tell truth before he passes away. Well fair enough.
    Secondly regarding the uk Bank bailouts. The UK only paid circa 35%. By far the biggest contributor was The Fed. The biggest bail out was to Barclays- $532bn! The Australian nationalised bank also contributed.
    The EU are in the process of enforcing a transaction tax, where the funds will be held under the control of the EU to finance any future possible bail outs. Instead of the tax payer picking up the tab. Guess what? The UK aint going to contribute. Vote NO and prepare to be taken to the cleaners again by The City of London.

  24. annie says:

    George Galloway obviously hasn’t got over being roundly rejected by Scotland when he stood as an MSP candidate in 2011.  He has no credibility left.

  25. Robert Bryce says:

    Before I start I have to say I am not an economist. The assertions below are based upon my own findings.
    The banks & other financial institutions are the ruination of the UK.
    The UK is already technically bankrupt. It’s clinging on for grim death to low bond interest rates. As soon as these rise (which they will because they can’t stay low forever) Osbourne will no longer be able to service the debt.
    Has anyone stopped to ask why the EU is so desperate to have cross border pensions fully funded? Or perhaps ask why workplace pensions are suddenly the big thing? Or even why the big city traders are selling bonds to the public where they were always the reserve of the big boys?
    The EU knows fine well that the UK is about to go pop and will seize every penny it can from both private and public sector pensions. It happened recently in Argentina and will happen here too.

    The government is now actively beefing up pension coffers in preparation for a smash & grab job on the public.

    The big city traders are now offloading the worthless bonds to us to minimise their loss.
    Picture the scene in 2018 after a No vote in 2014.
    Bond rates rise to 7%, the UK can no longer service it’s debt as the same people it bailed out come knocking on the door for their 7% yield.
    In order to pay them, the government decides to nationalise all pension funds by act of parliament. They pay the banks their yield using your pension hoping that once again they can outrun the debt.
    To compound that the bonds that you bought as a “nest egg” have vanished. Your savings are effectively gone never to be seen again.
    The UK is now insolvent. Austerity is well and truly imposed on the people. Poverty is rampant (as if it wasn’t bad enough now in Scotland).
    The UK asks for a bailout from the IMF and imposes crippling debt on our children for generations to come. No hope, no future.
    Picture an independent Scotland in 2018
    The rUK implodes under crippling unserviceable debt.
    Scotland has spent it’s first two years realigning trade links worldwide and is less reliant on trade with rUK.
    As a sterling zone partner Scotland sees the value of the £ fall sharply. This makes Scottish goods even cheaper on the worldwide market. Scotlands exports increase sharply accross the EU.

    Scotland then introduces it’s own currency which immediately becomes harder than the £
    Scotland uses it’s new found strength to bail out rUK bluechip companies and awaits the pending economic recovery of rUK and cashes in by increasing it’s sovereign wealth fund.
    Pie in the sky? I don’t think so and that’s what probably scares Westminster more than anything.

  26. Bill C says:

    @S_S – I think this is a very significant poll, not least that, (excluding the European question, which seems to be really turning folk to a YES vote) , I think we only need a swing of 4%. Happy days.

  27. Seasick Dave says:

    I think its great that BT have been trying to use the prospect of struggling to get Scotland into Europe as a scare story when the real scare story is voting No and being dragged out of Europe by English voters.
    At least with a Yes vote we will have an option.

  28. Jock McDonnell says:

    I do think that ‘Yes’ doesn’t counter this banking argument forcefully enough.
    Why does nobody mention the jurisdictional aspect to this crisis when they get air-time ?
    Besides, why should any government bail-out private business in this way ?

  29. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

    Jock McDonnell
    Keep cool Jock. They’re already starting to burn themselves out by repeating their scaremongering stories. It won’t be long before they start on the Pandas again.
    Independence will deprive the Pandas of essential Bamboo supplies resulting in Scotland being neuked by the Chinese!    

  30. les calthorps says:

    Robert Bryce has a point [several]
    Not so far back Loyds of London when they saw the writing on the wall actively encouraged “Plebs” to invest in their operation, a position they, the so called elite, had resisted for generations. It would appear that history is about to be repeated.

  31. annie says:

    O/T with regard to Tom Harris in the telegraph demanding respect as an MP just been reading a little bit about him moving to new constituency office photographed with members of staff – Caroline Harris assume wife I thought this was fround upon as it was perceived as nepotism or simply boosting the family income.

  32. Patrick Roden says:

    @ Scottish Skier,
    How accurate is Panel Base Polling traditionaly?
    Is this a poll we can trust and what are the methods they use ?
    I know the use of phone calls to people during the day, is not a method of polling that you feel will get accurate results, so whats your take on Panelbase please?

  33. cirsium says:

    @James Morton – the Dunfermline was taken over by Nationwide.

    “If the wrong one goes down the whole system would crash again.  I would hope that Scotland would have the sense to take the Icelandic route. ”

    James  – I prefer the Swedish route which is to put an insolvent bank into state resolution.  This allows the state to dismantle the bank in an orderly fashion while the retail division continues to operate.  The investment and retail divisions can be separated which stops the investment division gambling with insured deposits.  The Board and senior management which ran the bank into the ground are sacked.  The equity and bondholders who employed and rewarded that Board and management are wiped out.  A forensic examination of the bank’s records can be undertaken.  If any breaches of the relevant laws (for example, the UK has the Theft Act, the Fraud Act or the Companies Act) are identified, bankers are prosecuted.  

  34. scottish_skier says:


    Panelbase use online i.e. a very large database of registered people, as per many pollsters now. Their methodology appears good for weighting.

    I reckon they are quite accurate as when polls from ICM, Angus Reid, Comres etc have been carried out around the same time, panelbase is in close agreement. It is also of course anonymous, so any shy indy factor is ruled out (evident in Face to Face and telephone poll data). In addition to this, they don’t show wild variability and huge swings, just longer term, ‘smoother’ changes.

    IPSOS – which gave that recent rogue poll (just on the high side of variance actually) – is the only one still to use just landlines. Even ICM use a mobile number generating system now for telephone polling. IPSOS is the most ‘reactive’ I suspect because it’s hitting a type of low information voter, i.e. the ones least likely to have adopted new media/technology and still be relying on landlines as the primary form of communication. Also probably rely on printed newspapers for information. Hence they swing more with what they perceive is the flavour of the month.

  35. HandandShrimp says:

    Scottish Skier
    That Comres poll is interesting as it shows the don’t knows are soft and can be pulled over if the message and circumstances are right. We are not in front but this is doable. Politically this is our game against Holland in the World Cup. No one expects us to win but the ability is there and sums do add up.
    I feel a tad buoyed 🙂

  36. Patrick Roden says:

    @ Scottish Skier,
    Thanx Bud, that’s very encouraging.

  37. ianbrotherhood says:

    Spotted four cars today with ‘Yes’ stickers, although one was a ‘doubler’ as it’s a parked car I pass every other day, so maybe doesn’t count.
    Are there any versions other than white? They could do with being a bit bolder methinks…plus I STILL haven’t had any after asking Yes Scotland for them. 

  38. Bill C says:

    @ianbrotherhood “Are there any versions other than white? ” Hi Ian, yes (if you”l excuse the pun) my son gave me a rather snazzy blue “YES” sticker which he was sent from SNP HQ.  Bit annoyed as they didn’t send me one. Anyway I now have a white one and the blue one on either side of my back windscreen, that coupled with another SNP sticker and a Saltire and I think folk will get the message. Also saw a Scotland Keep Calm Vote YES sticker on a car which I think may have come from Labour for Independence.

  39. ianbrotherhood says:

    Cheers Bill C – I’ll get onto SNP and see if they’ll send me some.

  40. Morag says:

    I seriously think people should consider removing their SNP stickers and displaying only the Yes Scotland one.  My reasoning is that a Yes sticker on the car of a self-proclaimed SNP member may well be viewed as “well he would say that wouldn’t he), while a Yes sticker on an apparently non-aligned vehicle might have more impact.

  41. Morag says:

    By the way you can buy the new blue Yes stickers from the Yes Scotland web site in packets of 25.  The ones the SNP have sent me seem less effective I think – you can hardly read the word Yes.

  42. Barontorc says:

    Paddy Power giving 10/3 for YES and 1/4 for NO – do you expect the YES price to get better than this?

  43. Bill C says:

    @Morag – I think that is a valid point.

  44. ScotFree1320 says:

    Third time lucky:

    Yes Scotland stickers are available for forty pence each:

  45. Les Wilson says:


  46. Simon says:

    I was delighted when the NO side raised bank bailouts as an independence issue. There has been far too little talk generally about the alternatives to open-cheque-book bailouts of failed financial companies. It will be great to see ordinary people start to question whether the system we have is the only possible solution to insolvent banks. I have no fear for this issue having any real impact on the referendum because they have played their card too early.

  47. kininvie says:

    Go the whole hog & get a Yes decal. Made by an EdinWest Yes supporter, all surplus money to Yes. Detalis here:

    I’m waiting until we’re a wee bit further down the road. But you may feel the time is ripe now?

  48. ianbrotherhood says:

    That decal stuff is mega-smart – probably too smart for my battered old Carina. (And probably worth more too.)

  49. kininvie says:

    What I like is that the guy has also posted a video showing how to get the decal off after we’ve won independence….  great optimism!

  50. kininvie says:

    probably too smart for my battered old Carina
    It’s the message that counts, not the medium… 🙂

  51. Boorach says:

    Talking about decals. Anyone here on facebook who can find a ‘facings’ page (I think) . A lad took pic of my van and was going to post it there, it’s a VW LT35 with Yes decals on doors.
    I’m not on facebook but if it’s there would appreciate a link.

  52. Morag says:

    Third time lucky: Yes Scotland stickers are available for forty pence each:
    Yes, but the minimum quantity is 25, for a tenner, as I said.  I’m looking for a split pack here.

  53. archie says:

    i agree with robert bryce most people cant see the trees for the wood

  54. James Morton says:

    cirsium says:

    @James Morton – the Dunfermline was taken over by Nationwide.

    That it was, Apologies. But the aim of my post was to show the tangled up mess which currently exists in British banking atm. If one goes down, the shock to the system would impact on so many other institutions that the state resolution that you suggest could be quickly overhwhelmed. Look at how slow they were to respond to Lehmans and the shock it caused. The UKgov simply had no idea as to the extent of liabilities that other banks as well as Lehmans had been exposed to. Prior to this incident, they were trying to fix blame on one rogue french trader. before that they tried to wave off Northern Rock as one bad apple. The state and the state watchdog was utterly clueless.

    I’m not sure how the swedish banking industry works. But I suspect their approach functioned because their system of regulation is not as dysfunctional as ours, nor were the swedish government powerless to intervene. Ours simply does not have the will or the desire to confront the financial sector. Gordon Brown not only let fred the shred off with a hansome pension, he even tried to set up a new watchdog and gave the job to a director od RBS. Could have come straight out of a script of In the thick of it.

    The insanity has not stopped. And it is bizarre that anyone would use this lunacy as someting to take pride in…and by anyone I mean Mr Darling, who is held in many quarters as the man most responsible for the collapse of Lehmans. The truth is he had no idea what he was doing.

  55. Ken Johnston says:

    Yes, and the “Dunfermline” name is shortly to disappear. Will be rebadged Nationwide.
    I always have thought that the Dunfermline was actually solvent, just, and could have been allowed to stay independant, with a bit of help, which was, of course, not forthcoming.
    Maybe we will be able to buy it back, come 2016.

  56. Shinty says:

    I think they are now selling the Yes stickers individually – I was going to buy a load more to hand out but was a bit put out by their shipping charges.
    However, next month is just around the corner and I should be feeling a bit less mean!
    As for George Galloway, I still have nightmares about him and his Big Brother cat thing.
    (not my kind of programme, but saw the clip)
    I am looking forward to the day when the Yes vote is a dead cert. and watch as all those hypocrites try to change their tune. I for one will be extremely angry if any of them ever have any form of power in an Independent Scotland

  57. Stevie says:

    The Scrotum and other assorted BritNat mouthpieces really do appear to be making their last stand at the Alamo.  their readership is small and getting smaller – couldn’t they just disappear with a degree of dignity and journalistic integrity?  I guess that’s a silly hope and a silly idea.  They will continue their daft little sphere of BritNat self_indulgence till one day the announcement is made that the doors are closed because people don’t read their papers anymore — then what will we wrap our chips in?

  58. Gordon Smith says:

    I read the Treasury report understanding that “if a bank thought it was about to/ or was close to going bust” it should best move south for protection – Do the shareholders hold the same view – if so they must be dumping their share PDQ, just in case.

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