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Good faith and bad practice

Posted on June 20, 2014 by

The other day we highlighted a really good piece in the Scottish Sun, which while not perfect was a pretty decent stab at the sort of evidence-based journalism Scotland’s media should have been doing throughout the referendum campaign.


Today, not so much.

Since taking out a subscription to Scotland’s biggest-selling tabloid (because it came with a free Android tablet worth well over twice the cost of the sub) we’ve been surprised at how little political coverage it actually has – half a page a day seems to be pretty good going. We assume that’s because the Sun feels its readers are only interested in a few aspects of the debate, which makes it doubly important that when there IS coverage, it isn’t as appallingly wrong as today’s story.

Alex Salmond’s top civil servants will be making plans for a separate Scots currency, Holyrood’s former chief economist claims.

Professor Andrew Goudie said it would be ‘extraordinary’ if mandarins were not preparing for the possibility that a Pound-sharing deal is blocked after an independence Yes vote.

It comes despite the SNP’s insistence that a breakaway Scotland could keep using Sterling — and its refusal to reveal any ‘Plan B’.”

Hang on. Those things don’t follow from each other. If Scotland is refused a “Pound-sharing deal”, ie a currency union, by the UK government after a Yes vote, that doesn’t mean it needs a “separate Scots currency”, and Professor Gouldie didn’t say it did.

Sterling is a fully-tradeable currency that any country on Earth can use without permission if it chooses to, and many prominent economists and organisations have said that using it “unofficially” would be not just a viable option for Scotland but a preferable one, for a number of entirely sensible and logical reasons.

That option is implicit in the SNP’s position on currency. It IS “Plan B”. The party has been unambiguous and unequivocal in its insistence that Scotland will use the pound as its currency after independence, and there’s no force on the planet that can prevent it from doing so.

In a debate which is of necessity short on concrete facts – because so much depends on unknowable factors like future oil prices and the outcome of various sets of negotiations – Scotland’s ability to keep Sterling no matter what is one of the few about which there is absolutely no dispute, and it’s wildly irresponsible to misinform the Scottish public by pretending otherwise.

The Sun then quotes the good Professor extensively (before padding the rest of the feature out with the usual boilerplate quote waffle from both sides):

“In a new study of the referendum debate, he writes: “It would seem inconceivable that a future UK Government could refuse to at least discuss the conditions under which a formal Sterling area would be acceptable.”

But he added the tough conditions they would impose as part of a currency deal could likely prove unacceptable to a newly independent Scottish administration.

Prof Goudie’s report says: “If negotiations were to take place following a Yes vote, then it is easy to see that it might be the newly-independent Scottish administration that rejects a formal currency union.

It also would seem obvious that, if the two governments are unable to converge on a workable agreement, the pro-independence camp would be prepared for an alternative currency arrangement.”

All of that is indeed perfectly plausible. But “an alternative currency ARRANGEMENT” is not the same thing as “an alternative CURRENCY”. Using Sterling outside of a formal union is an arrangement. Not for the first time in the debate, the eye-catching headline and strapline of an article have turned out to bear no relation to the actual words below. But by then, as we know, much of the damage is already done.

The lie that an independent Scotland couldn’t use the pound is the most brazen and indisputable falsehood of the entire referendum debate. Even though there’s no chance in any sane reality of Scotland being kicked out of the EU or NATO even temporarily, it’s nevertheless not possible to state as an absolute 100% certainty that neither thing would happen.

But currency is different. It’s an unarguable fact that Scotland could keep using Sterling with or without an official currency union. Everybody knows it. If you put it directly to any No-camp politician (as almost no journalist ever does), they’ll harrumph and grump and say why it’s a bad idea and try to change the subject, but eventually they’ll admit that yes, it’s true – Scotland COULD keep the pound.

And then they’ll put out another leaflet maintaining the lie that it couldn’t.


Above is part of a new booklet just put out by Better Together Glasgow. Almost every word in it is untrue, for the reasons we’ve just detailed. But while people are naturally sceptical of propaganda documents from either side, when they’re backed up by newspapers the lie gains weight and credibility.

We don’t think the Scottish Sun did that out of malice – the paper’s been as close to neutral in the debate as anyone, and we honestly couldn’t judge at this stage which way, if any, it will jump – but what it HAS done is seriously distort and misrepresent the words of an academic expert for the sake of a punchy headline, and in doing so has misled hundreds of thousands of working-class Scottish voters about a subject that could be a significant factor in people’s decision in September.

And when that’s just about the BEST political journalism Scots can hope to find on their newsagents’ shelves, that’s a pretty serious problem for everyone.

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    1. 20 06 14 11:35

      Good faith and bad practice | Scottish Independence News

    2. 22 06 14 21:49

      An Emotion Foreign To Me | A Wilderness of Peace

    158 to “Good faith and bad practice”

    1. Brian Powell says:

      Over the last year or so we have had a long series of warnings in the newspapers and TV media that so many companies would up sticks and leave, dire things would happen, but the interesting thing is; not one of the 37 regional and national newspapers, or STV or BBC, in Scotland have said they would leave.

      Odd at first, but then it confirms to me that the anti-independence rhetoric is a huge, establishment con, simply a way to hold onto Scotland for their own purposes!

      One thing they wouldn’t want to threaten to move or withdraw is the propaganda machinery.

      This stuff from the Sun confirms it, again.

    2. Capella says:

      Is there a recycle period for these lies? Someone in the last thread linked to a BBC mistake re currency. Perhaps we could predict the flavour of the week from now till September.

    3. faolie says:

      FFS, couldn’t they have headlined this instead?

      No chance that we can’t use Sterling says Prof

    4. Cath says:

      To be honest, I hope this is a piece of totally factual and true journalism. I hope the Scottish government are very seriously looking at setting up a new Scottish currency as I really can’t see any downsides to that versus using Sterling informally. If it was a Scots pound pegged 1-1 with Sterling, we’d see no real difference as our notes are already different, and only printed if backed by reserves at the BoE.

      But that argument is one for post independence, and/or for those already seriously engaged in the debate who’ve read a bit around it. Situated as it is, in the Sun which – as you point out – covers very little politics, it does look more like an attempt to scaremonger. The bottom line is it will be our choice, as a sovereign nation after independence. And that choice includes keeping Sterling, if that’s decided to be the best thing to do, or what the majority want. The only thing Westminster can say no to is a formal CU and their method of doing that is one of the things that has persuaded our own currency would be better.

      But the Scottish government have plans B, C and D at the very least. To suggest they don’t, or we can’t choose is a lie.

    5. Chani says:

      More Better Together & MSM lies? No Thanks! I’ll have a progressive, independent Scotland instead thanks. I also hope they ditch the TV license after Indy too!

    6. G H Graham says:

      If someone came to me to buy something & didn’t have Sterling, I would still take their money just as long as it was a commonly traded currency that I could exchange at a bank.

      But don’t take my word for it. Vendors at Schiphol airport where I passed through at least a hundred times in 2013 advertise that they accept at least 3 different traded currencies, at the same time! (Sterling, Dollars, Euros for anyone who is really interested)

      Nearer to home, the independent Republic of Ireland used Bank of England notes for a long period before it issued its own notes called Punts, now replaced with Euros of course.

      And island hoppers will recall getting unusual but entirely useful notes on the Isle of Man, Northern Ireland & the Channel Islands.

      When Unionists tell you that you can’t use the pound after independence, they are lying to you & treating you like you are as thick as pig shit.

      But if you are suffereing from Jockhome Syndrome & relish being mentally tortured, go right ahead & stick a cross in the NO box in September.

      Just don’t complain after the fact when you discover Westminster thinks your a worthless piece of shit & will reward you with more austerity, more inequality & less autonomy. You asked for it.

    7. Colin says:

      We couldn’t have the BBC either until yesterday, now Beaker Alexander says we “might” be able to keep it, and the lottery.

      Another myth debunked.

    8. yerkitbreeks says:

      “Half a page is good going”. Says it all. Even Chomsky would be dismayed.

    9. Grouse Beater says:

      We have reach a stage where myths and lies are recycled and without a twist this time around. The control freaks of Westminster are getting lazy and indolent.

    10. galamcennalath says:

      We committed Yes folks want self determination, period. We have faith that it is the best move. Not blind faith, but based on a good number of positive indications of how an independent future might unfold. However, it is full of unknowns. We accept this.

      I’ve been a decided for decades. However, as many as one in five are still undecided.

      If you are a Don’t Know or Soft No, however, you don’t have faith that it will all turn out for the better. And, a great number of Sun readers will be DKs. Articles like this matter, and I’m sure it will have done some damage by putting doubts into the minds of the undecided.

    11. bunter says:

      Never mind, I think the fiscal commission has still to come back and respond to the rejection of the CU. Here’s hoping they will come back with something that will put a rocket up all their @rses.

    12. Rents says:

      Just looking a tthe BT booklet, seems like they are really making a push on this front just now….

    13. Mike says:

      I disagree that the rUK Government would be in a position to dictate terms and conditions for a currency union as a currency union is in their own best self interests to an extent that its more important to them than it is to a Scottish Government. Its ironic that its an rUK that needs the currency union not an Indy Scotland. A currency union at least in the short to medium term is simply the best and easiest way to deal with a transitional period of power transference and initial Independence start up.

    14. jon esquierdo says:

      The BT campaign keep recycling the same old rot. What will the currency be. You will not get into NATO or the EU. There will need to be border posts, an independent Scotland will be unable to pay pensions. We have heard the same points a thousand times

    15. Gillie says:

      To be honest no one now believes a word that is being printed in the Scottish press about the independence referendum.

      People may not trust politicians, but they trust journalists less.

    16. HandandShrimp says:

      There isn’t a damned thing that won’t be on the discussion table come a Yes vote and everyone knows that. Balls saying he would resign if there discussion of a currency deal is just a load of….cobblers.

    17. Robert Kerr says:

      @Brian Powell

      “One thing they wouldn’t want to threaten to move or withdraw is the propaganda machinery”

      The may need that machinery for use after a potential narrow and disputed No vote or to use against iScotland.

      Glad to see some more thinking outside the “nine dots”

    18. Craig Fraser says:

      I hope this is the correct place to put this comment? I wrote to the Electoral Commission regarding lies, distortions and misrepresentation in the Better together booklet their response as follows – Their reply today – Dear Mr Fraser – Thank you for your email dated 18 June 2014.
      The referendum legislation sets out rules for campaigners at the referendum which include controls on campaign spending, donations and loans. However, government communications are only subject to controls in the 28 days before the poll where there are restrictions on the information that Scottish Ministers and certain publicly funded bodies can publish about the referendum. The restrictions relate to publishing general information about the referendum as well as about the issues and arguments. The restrictions also apply to encouraging people to vote.
      The UK Government is not covered by the referendum legislation but has agreed to abide by the same restrictions. The Electoral Commission has no powers to enforce the restrictions on what the Scottish or UK Governments publish about the referendum during this period.
      For more information about the restrictions on what governments can publish and who to refer any questions to on this see our factsheet at:” What concerns me is this bit “government communications are only subject to controls in the 28 days” does this mean that any old guff true or otherwise can be printed without scrutiny? Craig

    19. bunter says:

      Was it not The Sun which promised recently to give their readers the ”facts” in the run up to the indyref.

      FAIL! Maybe we should have a word in their ear, just in the interest of clearing this up, as they clearly misunderstand how these things work.

    20. velofello says:

      “Unemployment in the North is a price worth paying” – was stated by a UK government official some way back – to justify economic policy suitable to the SE of England. I reckon a formal currency agreement would founder since Scotland, whilst likely be outnumbered in any treasury fiscal committee, could withdraw if the priorities of the committee are unfairly weighted to favour rumpUK.

      We don’t have the power to withdraw from unfair fiscal policies whilst within this Union, we just have to thole them.

      Bitter Together have applied heavy handed threats, coerced the muted support of other countries leaders, and have found the Yes vote steadily increasing. i wonder, noting Beaker’s visionary pronouncements on the BBC and the lottery, if a revised strategy of an invitation to tea and cream cakes is on the way.

      “Better an Englishman as an enemy than a friend. As an enemy he will try and buy you. As a friend he will try and sell you”. Arab saying gleaned that from a previous article here.

    21. Fiona says:

      Can’t see this story doing any harm at all, not matter how it is spun. People are not stupid. It is perfectly obvious that any responsible body would be making plans for how the various options would be implemented, including CU if it is agreed; and including an independent Scottish currency and use of the pound without CU. All viable options will be planned in outline, naturally. Reasonable people will take that for granted. Just as I take for granted that Westminster has outline plans for what they will do if the vote is yes. It is presposterous to accept they will not, on the basis of their “we don’t need to because it is not going to happen” trope. Surely everybody knows that is not the reality on either side of the border? Unless, of course, you recognise the sheer arrogance of the Westminster politicians AND believe the civil service no longer does ANY part of its job. Nobody is that stupid: not even Osborne and co

      The lie here is the “Salmond has no Plan B” that we are wearily familiar with on comment threads. What is curious is that the same people who say that do not even ask what Plan A is for the mainstream parties if the vote is yes; nor what Westminster’s Plan A is for dealing with the increased debt and deficit which rejection of CU will entail

      Can’t get excited about this, though it may be people will react as you suggest: some of them at least will be reassured that there are detailed alternative plans in preparation. And most will have assumed that already, I think

    22. Grobble says:

      “COULDN’T use the Euro even if it wanted to”

      Forgive me Stu, but isn’t that a poor choice of words? Surely Scotland could use the Euro, just as it could the Pound, and every other currency mentioned in the article you linked to in the quote?

      What it wouldn’t be able to do is join it. Or am I missing something?

    23. heedtracker says:

      It just looks like a big cat, Rupert Murdoch, toying with his wee mouse Scottish democracy. Dance little Scotland, dance for uncle Rupert.

    24. Tony Little says:


      I was ging to ask a similar question. But my slant is this. Better Together? No Thanks! are NOT the government of either the UK or by proxy Scotland. Therefore other rules must apply. Your link talks about “Publicly funded bodies” But I can not assume that it MUST include BT-NT; YES, as well as the other formally registered organisations, such as Wings. It seems to be Government administrations only.

      So can BT-NT just print lies, blatant at that, and there is NO resource to correcting this before the referendum? This is just madness. Our democratic future is at stake, and it seems that NO ONE is willing or able to hold the campaigns to proper scrutiny. Have I got this completely wrong?

    25. Capella says:

      Uruguay is not only a wee country (with a good football team) it also uses the dollar – the dreaded “dollarisation” which would be so terrible a state for Scotland to be in i.e “sterlingisation”.

    26. Zorbathejock says:

      While I know that any country can use the pound sterling I find it odd that you say Scotland could not use the euro even if it wanted to. Surely the same conditions apply. The euro is a tradable commodity.

    27. Cath says:

      I’m concerned that it’s only the Scottish government which is regulated in the month before the referendum. The UK one can basically do what it likes right up until the day.

      Will the Scottish government be sending a similar pro independence document to all households before the 28 days though? Really hope so.

    28. steviecosmic says:

      If the Scottish Government announced a new currency after a Yes vote, or even before if the polls favoured Yes, then the pound would tank and the UK/rUK/Scotland would be in deep shit.

      Maybe that’s why unionist politicians want Salmond to name his plan B, a kind of scorched earth policy, where there’s a run on the pound and the SNP get the blame for it, no doubt affecting the polls in the process.

      If there’s to be a new currency it will be hushed up until the last minute. That is an absolute certainty. A few years back when Greece looked like it might exit the single currency, it transpired that the royal mint in England had been printing New Drachma to supply Greece with should the unthinkable happen, but this was hushed up and not a single news source reported it at the time. It only came out after the big bailouts were agreed on.

    29. Al says:

      It is quite normal for the civil service to consider courses of action in possible alternative scenarios without being asked to by ministers. That way if ministers do ask what their alternative options are the civil service has them prepared. So what Andrew Goudie is reported as saying is true but is unremarkable and does not imply that a pig-headed rejection of a negotiated currency union by rUK is considered likely.

      It is also equally true that it would be “extraordinary” if Whitehall civil servants were not making contingency plans for Scottish independence (including how a currency union might work) despite their political masters in Westminster not giving them instructions to do so. Its just how government works.

    30. HandandShrimp says:


      That is correct we could adopt the Euro and use it in preparation to full Euro membership. I think Montenegro has done that. However, it is often said that we would be forced to join the Euro. This is incorrect. Minimally it takes two years to join but only if certain criteria are met, one being debt to GDP. On current levels the UK would not get into the Euro and neither would Scotland if we take a per capita share of the debt. As we could not sit without a currency for 2 to 5 years (maybe closer to 10) then it is clear that the joining the Euro is not an option.

      It makes more sense to adopt the pound as we already have a Scottish currency and Scottish notes backed 1:1 with Sterling in the Scottish clearing banks. This, next to a currency Union, is by far the easiest option. Once established as an independent country we can look at unhooking the Scottish pound from Sterling.

    31. Sinky says:

      After his attempted smears and lies about the stickers on his tacky office front door whop can believe a word Labour MP Ian (mega expenses) Murray says.

    32. Fiona says:

      @ HandandShrimp

      I think you need to be careful in your second paragraph.

      We do not have a scottish currency, though we do have scottish notes. Adopting the pound is not the same as pegging an independent currency to the pound. It seems from what you say you favour the latter. But the distinction matters, IMO

    33. Cath says:

      “That is correct we could adopt the Euro and use it in preparation to full Euro membership.”

      Could we do that? Or would we have to have our own currency first before we could join the Euro? I know we could use the Euro informally in the same way we could use any tradable currency informally. But I thought for Euro membership you had to have your own currency, and it had to meet certain criteria? Could be wrong on that though.

    34. Sinky says:

      Brent crude oil up to $115 a barrel yesterday which explodes the “facts” contained in UK government’s £720,000 propaganda booklet, but not charged to Poorer Together’s campaign expenses despite being within the regulated period, which is coming your way next week.

    35. Onwards says:

      Although a pound sharing deal seems inevitable, I don’t think the average Scot would care if we had a direct currency peg.

      Most folks already change banknotes if they travel down to England, where they look at Scottish notes as if you have wiped your arse with them.

    36. Fiona says:

      @ Sinky

      That will not help because they will say it proves their point about the “volatility” of oil revenue. Doesn’t matter what the oil price does: they are right if it rises and right if it falls. I suppose they would have a problem if it landed on the edge…

    37. Tartan Tory says:

      All this talk of currency is a bit of a double edged sword. As Mike says “Its ironic that its an rUK that needs the currency union not an Indy Scotland.” This is very true for the following reason:

      North Sea Oil has underpinned Sterling for the past 30 years, of this there is no secret. Without a currency union, the rUK ‘savings account’ becomes empty, ‘net-worth’ plummets, the debt to asset ratio goes skyward and the only way they can deal with a crumbling £ is to raise interest rates. That means every mortgage in rUK would get hit and we are not just talking a bit of a percent either.

      The problem with iScotland using the pound (formally or otherwise) is that the rest of the world realises that Sterling has become much less secure overnight, because iScotland could decide to float a (successful) currency of its own at any time.

      Therefore, the long-term risk involved in Sterling (to outside investors) remains the same whether iScotland uses it or not. Uncertainty in Sterling could still remain, ergo Scottish mortgages can also become collateral damage if we are tied to the £ regardless of union or not.

      The sad thing is that a new Scottish £ would be the best solution purely for Scotland, but it stretches the people too far to make an independence leap AND a currency leap at the same time.

    38. MochaChoca says:

      I think we should use the Pound and the Euro, but then I’m as mad as a hatter.

    39. Luigi says:

      After two years of heavy, saturation bombing on currency, Europe and NATO, by BT and the MSM, why oh why would anyone, who is still undecided, suddenly believe any of the latest garbage recycled?

      Just asking.

    40. Robert Kerr says:

      @Tartan Tory

      Clear and succinct.

      One step at a time and we shall get the best of all.

    41. Tartan Tory says:

      MochaChoca says: I think we should use the Pound and the Euro, but then I’m as mad as a hatter.

      You can do this at the moment, as I believe that Marks & Spencer’s accept both at their UK stores (as they do in Gibraltar too).

    42. Macart says:

      And still they trot out yet another currency story without first wondering what is important to the electorate.

      The current management aren’t fit for purpose and they have proven this categorically time after time. They took a perfectly good set of finances, resources and infrastructure and through a mixture of political and corporate self interest, criminal public negligence and sheer cast ridden arrogance proceeded to pish them up against a wall.

      We are somehow expected to believe that every release made by HMG, their civil service and financial think tank chums is somehow cast in stone as being the last word on fiscal probity and reliability. All the while our ever friendly media happily regurgitates the same memes week in week out like we didn’t get the message first time round. Yet under their management and governance the finances of the UK went into free fall. How fucking reliable can their words of doom be? Or perhaps they are merely speaking from personal catastrophic experience?

      It doesn’t matter how much money you have, how many resources or how good that fiscal infrastructure is. Without good governance and regulation the foxes are running the hen house and the wealth won’t ever, and I do mean EVER, be distributed evenly or where it is most needed. It’ll go where those self same corporate and political interests want it to go.

      What we spend is important, but its nowhere near as important as how we spend it or who manages it in our name.

    43. heedtracker says:

      @ Tartan Tory

      “Therefore, the long-term risk involved in Sterling (to outside investors) remains the same whether iScotland uses it or not. Uncertainty in Sterling could still remain, ergo Scottish mortgages can also become collateral damage”

      You’re obviously a phoney YES tartan tory OR maybe your next comment is going to all about the damage to sterling value, English mortgages costs shooting up as Treasury bumps up interest rate to try and save sterling price as whole of the English economy seriously suffers , if the Con/Dem’s do actually refuse CU.

      Some how I dont think you’ll be covering that though

    44. manandboy says:

      On ‘Scotland Tonight’ last night,
      in an interview with Professor Sir Tom Devine,
      it was both interesting and encouraging
      to hear him stress that a No vote carried real risks
      as well as a vote for Independence.

      In his next interview
      let’s hope he gives the No risks
      some air time.

      I can only think of about 20 myself.

    45. HandandShrimp says:


      You are right, I was rushing the post as I have the day off and I am heading off into the sun. What I meant is that we have notes that make a transition to a Scottish pound easy (psychologically as much as anything) and, yes, I favour pegging but I am open to persuasion.

    46. MochaChoca says:


      My comment about oil price last night:

      I know we wouldn’t want to capitalise on anyone elses misery, but events in Iraq are having quite an impact on oil price.

      OBR doom and gloom revenue forecasts are based on their Dec’13 predication that oil prices would slump from $108.9 per barrel last year to an average of $103.7 this year and $98.8 next year (despite prices holding pretty steady for at $109-$111 over the last 3-4 years)

      The price at the moment is $115.

    47. kininvie says:

      Double O/T: Apologies.

      This video, by a 19 year old, on why she is voting Yes, is one of the most passionate and persuasive I’ve run across, and I think should be widely circulated:

      Also: Ivan McKee is on the panel for todays Big Debate (Radio Scotland – 1200-1300) starting now.

    48. Tartan Tory says:

      @ heedtracker

      This is the second day that someone here has inferred that I’m anything but sincere. For heavens sake man, stop reading my name and making assumptions, instead of reading what I write. Ask Stu if I’m a phoney YES and I’m confident that you will change your tune. The additional cost to rUK mortgages was both implicit and stated in my post:

      That means every mortgage in rUK would get hit and we are not just talking a bit of a percent either.

      You and I are on the same page – the difference is that you are speed reading my posts while still looking at my name and making incorrect assumptions.

      I find it sad that I alienate many of my friends on Facebook because I keep harping on about voting YES, and yet I come here and people think I’m anything but devout in my desire for independence. I’m a Wings Saviour, a paid-up member of Business for Scotland, a donator to Yes and, although I’m not an SNP member, I sent off a sizable cheque to the SNP fighting fund last week. This year, I’ve donated nearly 20% of my salary to the cause. If that makes me a phoney YES then what the heck are you???

      When are some people going to realise that it is perfectly possible to be right-of-centre AND a YES voter?

    49. chalks says:

      Anyone know if he has been asked about Scottish indy, he is a true politician, he exists to serve his people and doesn’t want rewarded in money or power for it.

      It’s how things need to go, politicians should get fed,watered and housed…that’s it.

      It would sort out the careerists and the people that actually want to do good.

    50. Helena Brown says:

      On the subject of not being able to use the Euro, they do in the Caribbean, also the dollar is used along side the Caribbean dollar. I will say it is mostly used in Islands such a Martinique and St Martin which are still linked with France.

    51. manandboy says:


      The attempts by the UK GOV
      and its subsidiaries in Scotland
      to cheat Scotland out of Independence,
      are but the latest wave
      in the rising tide of neo-Liberalism
      which has been swamping national economies
      across the world
      since the Thatcher era.

      Neo-liberalism is an idea thought up
      by the world’s elite and wealthy ruling classes,
      to gather to themselves
      all the wealth which the poor and working classes own.

      ‘Greed is Good’ is their motto, but they also like ‘screw the poor’ and ‘pooling and sharing’.

      For an understanding of Neo-Liberalism and how it has infected the UK and most everywhere else, please
      read the piece in this link.

      Not knowing what Neo-Liberalism is
      and that it dictates and defines the economic activities of Governments, Banks and Big Business everywhere,
      is to live in a ‘knowledge bubble’
      cut off from the real world.

      I implore you –
      do NOT spend another day
      without understanding Neo-Liberalism
      and how it affects YOU – RIGHT NOW.

    52. geeo says:

      I want a new Scottish currency and i also want a new Scottish central bank.

      Let us call the bank, The Piggy Bank of Independence.

      My choice of currency is , The Scottish BawBee, consisting of 100 Scottish Groats.

      That seems suitable payback to those who look at current Scottish notes with ignorant disdain and serves as a reminder of how Scots were treated during this debate.

      Good job i am not a bitter and twisted person i

    53. heedtracker says:

      @ Tartan Tory, old bean the reason you’re phoney is merely because you refuse the opportunity to explain the disastrous effects of NO currency union on the English economy post Scotland’s independence.

      All of you’ve done is plonked in a large dod of cheezee Bliar McDonut style projectfear vote no stuff.

      So once again Tartan Tory, gives us your honest opinion on England only sterling value, devastating macro economic impact, horifying rUK trade deficit, mortgage costs rocketing in England and all because Osborne and or Balls say no you cant have a CU AlicSamin?

      Again, bet you wont

    54. Cath says:

      “The sad thing is that a new Scottish £ would be the best solution purely for Scotland, but it stretches the people too far to make an independence leap AND a currency leap at the same time.”

      I agree, but think the SNP have played a difficult card quite cleverly on currency. Using Sterling as a transition (whether formally or informally) is almost unquestionably the best option and certainly most sensible. But being forced into a very restrictive, long term currency union would be the worst thing for Scotland – though best for rUK. We need to have the ability to decide and change if and when economies diverge and Sterling is no longer optimal.

      There could have been negotiation and compromise there. But in their stupid and childish reaction to the White Paper proposals, the no campaign have taken on the role of arguing against a CU and made that worst outcome more unlikely. The “journey to yes” isn’t the endpoint for many of us. You then go on to come round to things like a new currency, wondering whether EFTA might be better, and generally developing a post independence mind-set.

      If we vote yes based on the idea that there will be no currency union, there will be no currency union, imo. But I agree with that line in the Sun – that will be due to Scotland rather than rUK. A formal CU would by my personal plan C at this point, with using Sterling informally (for a transition) and our own currency being A and B respectively.

    55. manandboy says:

      My wife’s sister, who lives in Germany,
      is coming over to London for the day
      and wants to know if it’s safe to wear her
      ‘Yes, I’m voting for Scottish Independence badge’.

      She would appreciate some support,
      and maybe some good advice.

      (I have’nt a clue what’s going on in London re InfyRef)

    56. Andy says:

      As usual Stuart this is a bit light on the economic facts. If an independent Scotland decides to use Sterling as its currency without a currency agreement/union with rUK, it will need its own central bank. That central bank will need to keep huge Sterling currency reserves to act as a lender of last resort to Scotland’s banks, which will be a brutally expensive exercise.

      The reality is that it is either currency union or the Euro, there is no serious third option.

    57. heedtracker says:

      @ Andy, can you explain why we need to be a lender of last resort?

      All it means is that any bankster can say this is our HQ in Scotland, so you all now guarantee our debt and risk, unless you know differently?

    58. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Helena Brown

      Martinique and Guadeloupe are part of France, in fact déparments of France and share the same tax and social security obligations and rights as any other part of the Hexagon.

      San Martaan / Saint Martin is an island shared bet=ween The Netherlands and France, The Dutch half has a semi autonomous relationship with The Netherlands whilst the French part is a TOM Territoire Outre Mer (French Overseas Territory).

      Weirdly you and I (unless you are Dutch) would only have an entitlement to stay for 6 months minus a day whilst on the French side it is indefinitely. You can walk from one to the other on the beach without any checks. They share an International Airport and the the €. So what is the kerfuffle about gates at Carlisle.

    59. HandandShrimp says:


      That is simply not the economic case at all but a rather simplistic distillation of Better Together mantra’s suggesting that it is the devil or the deep blue sea.

      There is no regulation even requiring that a Central Bank be State Owned. The Three Clearing Banks could take up that challenge together as it is they that currently hold the reserves that back Scottish notes. Small countries have certain advantages and one of those is agility.

      As a matter of interest exactly how much reserves do you think should be held given that reserves are not a particularly good use of money.

      The Better Together message is that independence is only for clever foreign countries, difficult things like economics, finance, broadcasting, passports, mobile phones…these all beyond our capabilities to organise. That Scotland is singularly unsuited to being a country and were it not for the largesse of our neighbours we would be knitting our own underwear out of dried porridge.

    60. Andy says:

      @heedtracker If we had a currency union, the Bank of England would be lender of last resort to Scottish banks. In simple terms, this protects against bank runs and financial shocks (wiki page is worth a read). If we don’t have a currency union but used Sterling, we would need our own central bank to provide this. To do that, the Scottish central bank would need to buy vast amounts of Sterling and hold them in reserve.

    61. desimond says:

      Sometime over this weekend you will hear Danny Alexander say “No, No, no WE( never trust the folk who use We when its negative and I when positive) never said that, what we did say was we would…..” and blatantly deny the rhetoric he and his pals Ed and Gideon have been spouting for months on end.

      Its the NO Politician from The Fast Show.

      No wonder Armando Ianucci said he stopped doing The Thick of It because he couldnt compete with the Westminster comedians in real life.

    62. scottish_skier says:

      When are some people going to realise that it is perfectly possible to be right-of-centre AND a YES voter?

      An independent Scotland without a right would be a rather scary prospect. A right is needed to balance a left and vice versa; if either is missing, trouble awaits.

      We’re experiencing that very problem now in the UK – no left – and it’s part of the reason the UKoGB may soon cease to exist as a state (society). Extreme neo-liberal socio-economics are not conducive to the survival of states, especially one comprised of 4 different nations. At some point there will be correction to the left, normally in the form of a revolution. Works the other way too as per the former soviet states. Hence best to not stray to far to either extreme and instead hover around the middle, as per e.g. Scandinavia is my philosophy.

      I recall a Tory from England once saying ‘I wish everyone to the left of me disappeared’. My reply was ‘If that happens, they’ll be coming for you – the extreme left – next’. The same of course applies to those who might wish to see the right disappear.

    63. Peter Macbeastie says:

      Usual service has resumed at the Sun, then.

      Presumably the guy who attempted an even handed assessment has been executed or something.

      As I’ve noted others saying, absolutely nothing said NOW by the No camp matters a toss. If we wake up (or in my case fall asleep drunk and happy) to a Yes on the 19th of September the whole thing is cleaned like an old blackboard. When it comes to negotiations both sides will be aiming to get the best deal for their country out of it, and no one has yet come up with a convincing reason why a currency zone (that union word irks a little bit; Union is why we’re having an independence referendum) is neither viable nor a good idea, at least for Westminster’s sphere of authority. I’m not convinced Scotland needs it at all but I defer to Salmond and Swinney on this, since they are both economists and I am not.

      Ah, Andy, you say Stu’s light on the facts but then come out with that turkey. A central bank, brutally expensive to set up, is it? Who says? Surely not those nice chaps at the Treasury or the ‘independent’ OBR who get their figures from the Treasury?

      Oh, I’m not saying a central bank would be cheap. But overstating the point is the stock in trade of the Unionist camp, and that’s why I tend to like sources from anyone claiming things like this.

    64. Andy says:

      Interesting to note that a third of the comments on here relate to if/but/thens on the post independence currency arrangements. And yet the Yes campaign regard this issue as a red herring?

    65. Andy says:

      @Peter Macbeastie I’m merely commenting as someone with a background (educational, not professional) in economics. I’m not interested in what the No camp has said or not said about it.

    66. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Lots on new posters on here today.

      Must be the smell of money that draws them hence?

    67. Andy says:

      @Peter Macbeastie I know John Swinney personally – he is not an economist, he did Politics at Edinburgh under Ronnie Irving.

    68. Grouse Beater says:

      Money as tender is a state of mind.
      Almost anything can be ‘legal tender.’
      So long as everybody accepts the concept.
      Once, in Holland, it was tulip bulbs.
      And before that semi-precious stones.
      And before that a horn button would do.
      And before that barter did the trick.
      Rome standardised it in coins – with the emperor’s head on them, of course. The Romans gave us Lsd – lira, soldo, dinaro. Rome’s treasury was the bank of last resort… if you were a preferred person and could wait long enough for your transaction to be approved.

      “Just saying, like.”

    69. manandboy says:


      Project Fear we all know all about.

      The UK Gov and the Scottish Unionist Alliance of Labour, Tories and that other one,
      tell us to ‘Be Afraid. Be very Afraid’
      or words to that effect.

      But what about the fear on the Unionist side.
      I think it’s high time THEIR FEAR got some headlines.

      The FEAR that THEY have is quite different from ours.

      While we are fearful we might lose our chance at Independence and no more Tory rule EVER AGAIN,

      The UK Gov is terrified of losing THE MOUNTAIN OF MONEY that Scotland is sitting on.

      The SAME MOUNTAIN OF MONEY the Tories are depending on to keep England afloat.

      ‘Cos without it, England will sink into BANKRUPTCY before very long.

      A Yes vote will stop DEAD all the Tories flagship construction policies in London + HS2 – oh no,HS2’s alright, the Chinese are paying for that now in exchange for – what I wonder.

      Is it a coincidence that China is investing heavily in the North Sea and reported to soon buy at least a share in the petro-chemical plant at Grangemouth currently owned by Ineos.

      The bottom line is this:

      Or fear ain’t NUTHIN’

      in comparison to LONDON’S,

      which will soon degenerate into blind panic
      followed by shoe filling political diarrhoea.

      UK Politics was never like this before !

    70. Tartan Tory says:

      @ heedtracker

      Perhaps you’re the phoney one(?), because you seem incapable of reading, old bean! Here is my paragraph from above:

      North Sea Oil has underpinned Sterling for the past 30 years, of this there is no secret. Without a currency union, the rUK ‘savings account’ becomes empty, ‘net-worth’ plummets, the debt to asset ratio goes skyward and the only way they can deal with a crumbling £ is to raise interest rates. That means every mortgage in rUK would get hit and we are not just talking a bit of a percent either.

      If this isn’t explaining the disastrous effects of NO currency union on the English economy post Scotland’s independence, then I don’t know what is?

      As for thinking that I’m playing a project fear card, I am stating the bleedin obvious, that whether we are tied to Sterling in a union, or only pegged to it unilaterally, we still risk the same Sterling issues in iScotland. I call that, being a realist, as I don’t expect a land of milk and honey overnight.

      Unfortunately, I fear that the people in Scotland who will fail us post independence, are the people who are looking for scapegoats at every turn if things aren’t just perfect right away. These people will turn-on their fellow countrymen and YES supporters if life isn’t a bed of roses within three days. I’m sorry to say heedtracker, you appear to be one of them.

      There is no easy ride to be had and if you are going to be holding out your hand expecting riches to be bestowed upon you in a few days, weeks or months, then I’d prefer you went to the other side. Post Yes, I’ll be rolling my sleeves-up and getting stuck-in for the long slog, as it will take some years before any milk and honey flows – BIT IT WILL FLOW EVENTUALLY.

    71. David Martin says:


      One does not require a central bank. In fact, not having a central bank may be advantageous. To quote an article about Panamanian banking “There is no deposit insurance and no lender of last resort, so banks have to act in a responsible manner. Any bad loans will be paid by the stockholders; no one will bail these banks out if they get into trouble.”

      Scotland could use (our) UK£ and rely on the shareholders to bail out any banking institutions. As part of the EU depositors would be protected up to 85k by the govt.

      Banks acting is a responsible manner? What will they think of next?

    72. heedtracker says:

      @ Andy, HandandShrimp takes apart your “Scotland must be a lender of last resort” comment but nice breezy skip over stuff like what actually happened after “Scottish” banks crashed 2008.

      Project fear use this frightener all the time but in fact, most major bank bail outs came from the USA and the EU with the UK even ailing out the Bank of Ireland with nearly £10 billion. Why did the Ireland’s lender of last resort/central bank need the US and UK and Ireland in the eurozone too?

      Still no rational come back from Tartan Tory either. Funny that?

    73. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      David Martin

      Thank you

      The Swedish Model, not Aunty Bella.

    74. heedtracker says:

      @ Tartan Tory, old bean if may, let me sum up your projectfearing today with Tartan Tory says vote no. Granted you’re taking a sneaky route but that’s all it is, it’s too risky so vote no. Good luck selling that.

    75. Andy says:

      @heedtracker No I’m afraid he didn’t take it apart. The reserves of Sterling held by Scottish banks to back their Scottish notes are not the same – and are much smaller – than the reserves required by a central bank to act as a lender of last resort to its lending banks. I’m afraid you will need to go and do some reading if you want to understand this.

      The BoE stepped in to the Irish situation – as a lender of last resort – because the UK has a great self interest in Irish stability. At what cost to Ireland though for the next generation?

    76. Muscleguy says:

      @Tartan Tory
      I agreed with your posts as to the risk to Sterling, though I think you overstated the magnitude of the risk in the event of a currency union. It will all depend on the agreed checks and balances and you can bet rUK will want iScotland to commit absolutely to at least 10 years if not longer if they can get it. Then both governments make unambiguous statements supporting that and making the commitments public. This will go a long way to reassure the markets.

      You are also forgetting that a CU has been the Scottish Government’s preferred option for months and months in the face of extreme pressure. How the markets could spin that into a lack of commitment on the Scottish side is beyond me. Added in the polls continue to show the SNP well ahead on Holyrood voting intention so the SNP commitments have electoral validity too. Far more than any comments at the moment from any of the big three unionist parties.

      I would say a bigger risk to the value of Sterling is posed instead by the uncertainty of the EU In/Out referendum. Though how a currency trader sees that prospect covers a multitude I expect.

      I agree that Heedtracker seems to have had a a red mist descend in front of him at your name that has prevented any use of reading comprehension or reasoning. Which is sad.

      Please keep posting as though I may not agree with you on everything your posts are considered and reasoned and your p.o.v. needs representing.

    77. Tartan Tory says:

      @ heedtracker

      I sit here feeling pity for you.

      I will fight alongside you for independence and I will fight for you if necessary after the event too.

      Meanwhile, you can’t see past the ‘Tory’ in my name and you fight me irrespective. 🙁

      If only you knew……

      I’ve often said that Scotland’s biggest problem is the people who, when they have no common enemies left to fight with, will start attacking their own – a bit like the ‘clans’ in days gone by.

      Scottish Skier hit the nail on the head. The way forward is a balance of left and right. As I’ve got older, I’ve begun to call myself a ‘socialist conservative’. It’s not as much of a paradox as some might imagine.

      Muscleguy has now restored some of my faith and can obviously read a paragraph for what it actually says.

      I’ll probably wait a lot longer for an apology from heedtracker…. Funny that?

    78. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      What exercises my thoughts is all the PFI debt, unfunded civil service pension commitments, and decommissioning costs the dying nuclear reactors, maybe the Chinese will be the saviour ( hardeeha), which if incorporated into the UK’s debt would bring it closer to £4+ trillion.

      I would go for the nuclear option, accept no portion of the B of E and any proportional debt, like Ireland etc etc, and then buy up the good bits, in competition withe Chinese, after the Weimar collapse of the £ stg.

    79. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Tartan Tory

      If you are looking for a debate do not ad hominum.

    80. HandandShrimp says:


      You didn’t actually answer the question. What value of reserves do you think should be held by either a central bank or a cooperative of clearing banks?

      As to Ireland, well I think because the exact amount borrowed is known and the exact rate of interest is known one could actually make a fair stab at calculating ongoing servicing costs and equate that to expenditure foregone if one wanted to. The same could be done with the UK’s hefty debt.

      Talking of debt, yes Scotland would be saddled with a proportion but if we vote No that debt will not be licked away by cute kittens. We still owe the money Yes or No. Ireland have also pretty much got a clean bill of health from the credit agencies. They can obtain money on the markets at a better rate than the UK offered three or four years ago. In fact I am sure I read that they are getting a better rate (albeit marginal) than we are now.

    81. heedtracker says:

      @ Andy, ok I’ll read up on lenders of last resort but your last sentence sums up why CU is more than likely and why.

      “The BoE stepped in to the Irish situation – as a lender of last resort – because the UK has a great self interest in Irish stability. At what cost to Ireland though for the next generation?

    82. Peter Macbeastie says:

      Andy, fine.

      He’s a fully qualified ACMA Managerial Accountant. I’ll warrant he knows more about either you or I about economics based on that. He’s not an economist, I stand corrected on that, but Eck certainly is. The oil industry still use a formula he created when he was employed by RBS.

      I also find myself curiously disinclined to care how you come by your knowledge of economics. I note with interest, however, that you don’t bother saying where you got the impression that a central bank would be ‘brutally expensive.’ Assumption.

    83. HandandShrimp says:

      Tartan Tory

      My politics are to the left but I expect and hope that a reinvigorated centre right party would be an integral part of the Scottish political scene…hopefully not as right as the battier end of UKIP like, but that is not my shout 🙂

    84. donald anderson says:

      Ironically, the Current Bun is fairer than the broadsheets in Scotland.

    85. Sinky says:

      Can the Rev not reproduce an image of ED Miliband holding up the Sun backing England?

    86. Sinky says:


      As I understand the position the Scottish Banks already have some £4 billion lodged with Bank of England to cover the issuing of Scottish notes and their promise to pay in Sterling.

      So in event of no currency union these funds would revert to the Scottish Central Bank as the replacement lender of last resort.

    87. Derek M says:

      hmmm im not so sure about this one all im going to say is its not only westminster that can spin up a shit storm ,i might be wrong though as its hard to spot wee ecks work hes so damn good at it lol

    88. Andy says:

      @Sinky – do you think the value of Scottish notes is the same as the value of all loans and deposits held in Scotland?

    89. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      anybody want to respond to my poison pill option?

    90. Andy says:

      @Peter Macbeastie – I was not casting aspersions at JS’s knowledge of economics – I’ve never spoken to him on the subject so I wouldn’t know – was merely correcting a statement in your post.

    91. Kestral says:


      if anyone wants quantities up to 1,000 please go here to purchase

      The only way to defeat the ability to send 2.5 million booklets with tax payers money is for us to get our own info out to every household in Scotland

      For reference 100 leaflets take 1 hr to deliver

    92. handclapping says:

      Currency is a BTNT good as it is a megadeath risk like being on one of the 9/11 planes. Scary, scary possible outcome for which the average joe cannot calculate the odds.

      So lets stand back and look in the history books for a country splitting. How about the USA and the confederates setting up their dollar in the middle of a civil war. The only reason it didn’t work was that they lost the war. So these people who say they are scared by the currency question are really saying that they are afraid of being invaded and conquered by the rUK. Now there’s a measurable risk

    93. Tartan Tory says:

      @ Bugger (the Panda)

      heedtracker says “You’re obviously a phoney YES”

      heedtracker says “your projectfearing today with Tartan Tory says vote no. Granted you’re taking a sneaky route but that’s all it is, it’s too risky so vote no.”

      Then you tell me to avoid the ad homenum because I feel pity for someone’s inability to read???

      For what it’s worth, I find these statements above from heedtracker to be highly (personally) insulting. Unfortunately, you appear to be ignoring them and effectively backing them up by doing so. 🙁

    94. heedtracker says:

      Hi Muscleguy, i don’t have red mist and am not in the least bothered by online insult. Tartan Tory is classic shill, much like this Sun thing.

      TT says, “Uncertainty in Sterling could still remain, ergo Scottish mortgages can also become collateral damage if we are tied to the £ regardless of union or not.”

      Right now my mortgage costs are dictated by UK Treasury, now moving to cool down a super heating London market. All of which is going to cost me much more money or “collateral damage as Tartan Tory says. Real world stuff, not projectfearing it.

      Hook them with “UK crashes without a CU but zap them with your mortgage will cost you more, I vote yes, but vote no, mock outrage,” bish bosh job done.

    95. Fiona says:

      @ Andy

      It seems to me that you have that entirely backwards. If we choose sterlingisation there is no point in having a central bank as that term is normally understood. Can you explain your reasoning here? Perhaps you are using the term “central bank” in a particular way?

    96. Andy says:

      @handclapping – could currency markets bring a country to its knees in a matter of days in the C19th?

    97. heedtracker says:

      @ Tartan Tory I don’t care about your ad homenum. You all do it across the online board, its like a bettertogether CiF ID.

      Stick to the subject:D

    98. Andy says:

      @Fiona – yes, I’m referring to central bank specifically in the sense of lender of last resort however that role could be fulfilled by other entities. The point is that acting as a LoLR in a currency that is not your own – that can’t be devalued etc etc – is risky and expensive. If currency union with the BoE as LoLR was not on the table it would be far less risky to use the Euro.

    99. Andy says:

      I should rephrase that – join the Euro via EU membership. Obviously if that is also off the table then new currency would be the answer.

    100. Morag says:

      For reference 100 leaflets take 1 hr to deliver

      Oh that that were a universal truth!

      (That’s ONE leaflet.)

    101. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Tartan Tory


      Are you Stanley Mathews in disuise?

    102. Tartan Tory says:

      I can see this is pointless, so heedtracker – go and boil your heid, and Bugger (the Panda), bugger you!


    103. Kestral says:


      Yes Scotland is full of loads of empty beautiful space, makes leafleting a bit of a nightmare

      I wonder if it would be worthwhile sending mail to far out areas instead of walking to them

      I hate to leave anyone out

      Does anyone know if it’s possible to get lists of addresses based on distance to nearest dwelling

    104. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Forgive me Stu, but isn’t that a poor choice of words? Surely Scotland could use the Euro, just as it could the Pound, and every other currency mentioned in the article you linked to in the quote?”


    105. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Tartan Tory


    106. Morag says:

      Kestral, I didn’t walk. It’s a nice drive. (Though I still have 15 to do up past there, because the call of a table booked for dinner in a local bistro was too strong.)

    107. Robert Peffers says:

      Facts are that Scottish currency is already with us. We already have distinctive Scottish Bank notes and the value of every note is already backed up by every Scottish banknote’s value backed up by its equivalent value being deposited in the vaults of the Bank of England. Not only that but Sterling is the legally agreed currency of both Scotland & England as per the 1707 Treaty of Union.

      The inherant and glaring weakness in the United Kingdom’s present stance is also legally stated in that same, Treaty of Union. The United Kingdom is a unit formed by ONLY two signatory Kingdoms.

      No other kingdoms have joined the United Kingdom since 1707. Furthermore, Wales and all Ireland were already legally part of the Kingdom of England that signed the bipartite Treaty of Union in 1707 and thus neither one of those countries signatures was required to become part of the United Kingdpom.

      Northern Ireland is part of the country of Ireland that partitioned with the Republic of Ireland leaving the United KMingdom but that left Northern Ireland still part of the United Kingdom and moist certainly not a new kingdom just a remaining part of the old Irish part of the three country Kingdom of England.

      So when the United Kingdom disunites the component parts are a return to the Status Quo Ante of two independent kingdoms and the United Kingdom as an entity will cease to exist.

      What we then will have is that the Bank of England, (nationalised in 1946 by the United Kingdom), must be split up between the original two component kingdoms of Scotland and England. The BofE has never belonged to The Kingdom of England as until 1946 it was a private company.

      So the legal situation is that the BofE must either continue as a joint bank of both former United Kingdom partners or one kingdom must buy out the other kingdom’s share and nowhere is it stated this would be on the lines of population share.

      In the event that the BofE is agreed to be retained as part of the Kingdom of England then the Kingdom of England must compensate t5he Kingdom of Scotland plus Scotland must withdraw the entire value of the Scottish banknotes from the BofE’s vaults.

      The only further action required to finish the job is to declare the Scottish currency as, “The Pound Sterling Scots”, and Scotland has her own currency and the freedom of choice on whether it be tied to the Pound English or free to find its own, backed by Scottish oil & gas reserves, values against other international currencies such as the Euro or US Dollar.

      So it looks like the Pound English will soften and the pound Scottish harden on the instant the two become separate currencies. Now a hardening currency is not the best thing in the World to contend with but is a long way to be preffered to one that is softening.

    108. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Tartan Tory

      Shift change?

      R whittingdon has emerged.

    109. Conan_the_Librarian says:

      “Whatever happened to the Popular Front, Reg?”

    110. Conan_the_Librarian says:

      “Whatever happened to the Popular Front, Reg?”

    111. Andy says:

      Stuart – surely the story behind the story here is that Goudie doesn’t think that Plan B is seriously under consideration. It’s either formal currency union or a non Sterling currency.

      I agree there is nothing at all to stop Scotland using Sterling outside of a formal agreement. However I think the reality is it’s a Plan C, as it is has little economic sense behind it.

      I mean some of the reasons that are put forward for unofficial currency sharing being a better arrangement are laughable – that it would prevent Scottish governments from acting irresponsibly as there would be no-one to bail them out (other than the IMF I suppose) is a peach from the ASI.

      I suspect the reality is that a formal arrangement would suit all parties, but if the Unionist parties say it won’t happen then the SNP have got to offers something that won’t scare the horses, even if it doesn’t really make sense. Alec Salmond is a politician first, economist second.

    112. Andy says:

      @Robert Peffers – the Sterling reserves that Scottish banks hold to guarantee their notes has got nothing to do with the function of a lender of last resort. The lender of last resort is effectively guaranteeing the liquidity of the banking sector. There are far more funds held in Scottish banks – either as deposits or loans – than there are Scottish notes.

    113. heedtracker says:

      @ Tartan Tory, don’t be like that. Look Tartan Tory, shills, concern trolls, phoney’s etc are all important if only because questions like “what is a lender of last resort and why does Scotlsnd actually need one” should be asked and answered over and over right up to independence, so everyone understands what’s what, not just you.

    114. CameronB Brodie says:

      Bean until we are allowed to join the Euro?

      Does anyone seriously think England will try to stop us using a currency we already part own, in a way. I’d luv to see the markets respond to that one. If HMG decided to quibble about things, I suggest we demand our share of the UK gold. No debt and 48 hours notice on our withdrawal. 😉

    115. CameronB Brodie says:

      Obviously more than one wold be required, so beanS. 🙂

    116. heedtracker says:

      @ Andy, the IMF is the ulitmate lender of last resort and no wonder Dacid Cameron blocked Crash Gordon getthing that Head of World Bank job.

      Anyway how come the Federal Bank in Washington bailed out RBS Andy, seeing as RBS is a Scottish Bank? You had the Fed, the Bank of China, the European Central Bank and so on, all chipping in to save Scotish banks. Funny that?

    117. HandandShrimp says:


      I am genuinely interested in what you consider the requisite level of reserve holdings to cover financial activity. Obviously that will be a mixture of foreign currency reserves, gold and other financial instruments.

      The UK does not sit on vast reserves, as I said that isn’t a desperately efficient use of funds. I think the UK foreign currency reserves sit around the £100b mark. Even at 10% that would suggest only £10b for Scotland. This is bit more than say Finland holds a quite a bit more than Ireland.

      The real benefit of a central bank is not so much that it holds vast reserves but that it can raise funds through a variety of means, not least print money. The UK (and US) have gently and not so gently being trying to ease debt through QE. Patently it isn’t quite as easy as simply buying a printing press. Confidence, track record of payments, long term economic policy all play a part. These are all achievable. Scotland has a good export portfolio so foreign currency will accrue. Scotland has good financial system and a mature economy. It is not a high risk endeavour.

      Sterling held to back all currency in circulation is important. It means that a run on Scottish notes is pointless (a run on Sterling is obviously a risk to Scotland though). This imbues confidence which is an essential part of international finance…the whole edifice is in part sentiment and smoke and mirrors…somewhat like the caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland who can only walk as long as he doesn’t think about it.

    118. heedtracker says:

      Imagine the value of Scotland’s share of the UK gold reserves if Crash Gordon hadn’t flogged it all off at the bottom of the market, when he had ended the era of boom and bust. Do not google it if you yourself are short of cash.

    119. Sannymac says:

      Let’s look at the historical facts: –
      The English and Scottish currency notes were both created in the same year, which if memory serve me correct, it was in the Fifteenth Century. The currency note is simply an official IOU, If you look at the wording; it simply says that the bearer can exchange the note for Twenty Shillings Sterling. i.e. the Sterling Shilling was the currency and agreed by both countries.
      In 1690 England was again on the verge of bankruptcy and King William called on the Services of a Scot, William Patterson, to resolve the problem.Patterson stopped all English Banks for issuing their bank notes and constructed a new central bank for England – Now the Bank of England.
      Scottish Banks were not involved as they were all solvent and had no need for further regulation.
      The Bottom Line is that the Scottish pound is the older of the two currencies and existed long before the (enforced) Union. It can and should continue as the currency of Scotland, the relationship between the two currencies will be decided by the international market.

    120. Mary Bruce says:

      Do I recall there being a “Tartan Tory” on twitter who is pro-UK, maybe why there is a confusion? I’d suggest a name change, TT.

      If anyone is in any doubt to the existence of yes supporting Tories, you should look up this link:

      I have already converted a Tory by directing them to this site.

    121. Fiona says:

      @ Andy

      If you mean that a central bank is defined as a “lender of last resort” then it follows that any country which follows the path of “dollarisation” will not have one. That privilege for the banks is not available where there is no sovereign currency, for obvious reasons. So I am not quite clear what you are arguing. What is your preferred option? (You may have made that clear and I have missed it, and if that is the case my apologies)

      The advantages of using sterling as a tradeable currency are outweighed by the risks, IMO, and so I do not wish to see that. I prefer a sovereign Scottish currency. Nor do I think that setting up a central bank would be particularly difficult or particularly expensive. I see no reason at all why it should. The Bank of England was not long in the making and we know a lot more about what is required now than we did then.

    122. Tartan Tory says:

      Thanks for that Mary. Perhaps explains why I’m getting the abuse, but I’m not so sure it isn’t just blind lefties! 😉

      For the avoidance of any doubt, I don’t have a Twitter account at all. Not sure of how I’d go about changing my name on here, and not sure that I’d want to just to placate a couple of people who can’t be bothered to actually read my posts anyway…

      Independence is not the preserve of the left wing (thankfully). Once we get it, we’ll need someone who can actually control the purse stings properly. God forbid if we get another Broon or Darling type to do it!! 🙂

    123. heedtracker says:

      @ Tartan Tory, “Perhaps explains why I’m getting the abuse,”
      Poor baby. So your for CU but not for CU and you’re a yes voting no and you think mortgages are going up. Got it.

    124. stonefaction says:

      Having met Tartan Tory before I knew that he actually posted on here and had him join me in trying to persuade 2 undecided voters in a bird hide (of all places), I can confirm that he’s a strong YES supporter.

      He is now also a friend of mine on Facebook, and I can confirm that his posts on there are also very pro-YES. He’s one of us.

      I don’t post on here too often, but some of the regulars that do have met me at the WoS meet in Broughty Ferry, just in case anyone doubts that I’m a YES because I’m vouching for TT.

      Having argued with posters on a Scottish football forum last night about their ‘cringe’ at the Scots fan in the Uruguay end, and the YesScotland/WoS disowning plus the wee spat on here, is there something in the air? Might be just the heat making everybody grouchy cos we’re not used to it, I suppose.

    125. heedtracker says:

      @ stonefaction, can you explain what Tartan Tory is on about then. On the one he says vote YES and your mortgage “can also become collateral damage”

      Then he says Scotland will not vote YES and a Scottish currency. Thats all pretty hardcore project fear stuff in any CiF.

      Plus he says Scots oil keeps the UK current account out of the red but England floats on a couple of trillion quids worth of frack oil and gas.

      So whats the deal with Tartan Tory?

    126. Fiona says:

      @ heedtracker

      Can you spell out what you see as the argument and what your response is to the points made? It might help us to move forward.

    127. heedtracker says:

      @ Fiona, this is Tartan Tory in action. If this reasons to vote Yes by a Yes voter, well TGIF again.

      Tartan Tory says:
      20 June, 2014 at 11:35 am
      All this talk of currency is a bit of a double edged sword. As Mike says “Its ironic that its an rUK that needs the currency union not an Indy Scotland.” This is very true for the following reason:

      North Sea Oil has underpinned Sterling for the past 30 years, of this there is no secret. Without a currency union, the rUK ‘savings account’ becomes empty, ‘net-worth’ plummets, the debt to asset ratio goes skyward and the only way they can deal with a crumbling £ is to raise interest rates. That means every mortgage in rUK would get hit and we are not just talking a bit of a percent either.

      The problem with iScotland using the pound (formally or otherwise) is that the rest of the world realises that Sterling has become much less secure overnight, because iScotland could decide to float a (successful) currency of its own at any time.

      Therefore, the long-term risk involved in Sterling (to outside investors) remains the same whether iScotland uses it or not. Uncertainty in Sterling could still remain, ergo Scottish mortgages can also become collateral damage if we are tied to the £ regardless of union or not.

      The sad thing is that a new Scottish £ would be the best solution purely for Scotland, but it stretches the people too far to make an independence leap AND a currency leap at the same time.

    128. CameronB Brodie says:

      Tartan Tory
      the left wing

      Ah, now your going back a bit. 😉

      In general though, I agree. Independence will be for all of us, so we should all have a chance to chuck our tuppenceworth in, IMO.

    129. Fiona says:


      What is it you are disagreeing with, and why?

      For myself I disagree that the only way rUK can deal with this is to hike interest rates. The rUK has a sovereign currency and so has a full range of fiscal and monetary policy options open to it. The UK already owes an admitted 1.3 trillion, and that is set to rise (though not really) when PFI contracts etc are included in the way public debt is calculated.

      In a sane market the UK would already be borrowing at a premium: it isn’t, because a sovereign nation with debt denominated in its own currency never has to default. There is a shortage of safe assets in which to invest, and sterling is one of them: as is any currency which has the same features.

      There is no reason why that would change, because the problem is not as plutocrats present it.

      However given that they have a vested interest in telling this story, and given that at least some investors may believe it, let us take the proposition at face value.

      In that case, assuming a yes vote, sterling may devalue. That is one possible outcome and that would mean that if Scotland chose sterlingisation, the currency which we would have to get would be cheaper: that is, we would get more pounds for whatever it is we are selling to get them: or for whatever we are putting up as collateral to get them if we are borrowing.

      Nor do I see what relevance the interest rate for borrowing on the international markets has to do with domestic mortgages. The base rate is currently 0.5%: but that is not what the mortgage interest rate is. Nor is it true that banks borrow money from anyone in order to make loans: that is just not how it works. So the two things are loosely related if they are related at all.

      As it happens I do not think sterlingisation is good idea at all, and that is largely because it is not a good idea to depend on borrowing or trading for your currency: but that is perhaps a wider issue. Fact is that all of these things are intertwined and it is not possible to make simple statements about what would happen, in an if x then y sort of way: it is a complex system and such linear simplicities just don’t work for that reason.

      But I do not think that mortgages are sane at present and I do not think it would be a bad thing if the interest on them increased in the context of a radically different economic policy. It would be uncomfortable for many: but that is going to happen anyway, I think: for it must

    130. stonefaction says:

      Posted a comment and it vanished into the ether. Gist of it was that No, I couldn’t explain TT’s post (because economics is a subject I have a very basic grasp of). However, it appears that Fiona has.

    131. CameronB Brodie says:

      I should definitely qualify my previous comment by saying, so long as their tuppenceworth contributes to the debate.

      Trolls can take a hike.

    132. heedtracker says:

      @ Fiona the Tartan Tory’s is a vote no CIF. But he/she says she’s a Tory and they certainly want no change so he/she throws in some left/right stuff, has a fit and that’s it really.

      It’s interesting reading a Tory saying left of center policies down work, after the Cocnservatives destroyed so much of Scottish industry, sold off companies like BP and Britoil etc for peanuts then we just have to look at Scandianvia which we’re not permitted to do anyway.

    133. Andy says:


      What I am saying is that there is no economic sense in Plan B. It does not make sense to use Sterling without a formal currency agreement because in those circumstances we would not have the BoE as a lender of last resort to our banking sector. So in those circumstances we would need our own central bank or some other institution which purchases vast reserves of Sterling to back up our banks, because the BoE would have no obligation to do it. And if the banking sector doesn’t have that protection, it is not going to be a strong part of an independent Scotland’s economy.

      Only via a currency agreement, membership of the Euro, or a new Scottish currency with a new LoLR would we be able to back our banks.

      Many of the posters in these comments seem to be confusing reserves which are held by the BoE to support Sterling, and the BoE’s function as lender of last resort to the banks. Not the same thing.

      Maybe dollarised economies like Nicaragua really reap the benefits of using a foreign currency – I must have missed that one

    134. heedtracker says:

      Yes Fiona, plan A curency union is the best and most likely option for a whole host of completely straight forward reasons, which may explain why it’s being monstered by concern trolls.

      Have a great evening!

    135. Paula Rose says:

      Now darlings – I am going to get very cross with some of you, I look forward to Tartan Tory’s comments here and I really think some of you are being nasty. Please stop it, Tartan Tory has commented on this site as long as I have been reading it, he always has valid points to make.

    136. Andy says:

      @heedtracker It’s pretty clear you have failed to grasp what he is saying re oil underpinning Sterling. That doesn’t make him a troll. In fact you could argue that repeatedly misrepresenting his posts makes you the troll.

    137. Paula Rose says:

      Andy dear – heedtracker is forgetting that zillions of people read our witterings, as do you xx

    138. Rock says:

      Tartan Tory,

      “When are some people going to realise that it is perfectly possible to be right-of-centre AND a YES voter?”

      Perfectly possible but highly unlikely.

      What percentage of Tory voters do you reckon are going to vote Yes?

      (I am not attacking you.)

    139. Paula Rose says:

      Many aspects of economic right of centre policies chime with me – many of the people I talk to are concerned about central belt domination, the Rev blogged about this a while back. Tory is a word loaded with neo-con weight, this is not what a true right of centre party would support.

    140. Rock says:

      Tartan Tory / Andy,

      Could you perhaps give simple answers without long explanations to the following questions:

      Who would benefit more from a currency union, Scotland or rUK?

      Would Scotland be better or worse off if it creates its own currency rather than using the pound?

      Would rUK be better or worse off if Scotland creates its own currency rather than using the pound?

      Out of the 3 possibilities – currency union, using pound without a currency union, own currency – which would benefit Scotland most?

      Out of the 3 possibilities – currency union, Scotland using pound without a currency union, new Scottish currency – which would benefit rUK most?

    141. AyeAlba says:

      manandboy@ 12.17

      Thanks for the link, much appreciated. I’ve now got a much better understanding what neo-liberalism is and its terrifying. Since Thatcher(no such thing as society) it has been growing and the pace is getting faster and the likes of blair and cameron who believe they are Gods, each trying to out-thatcher thatcher, are quite willing to crush the poor into the dust and then tell us its your own fault. God help us all.

    142. Fiona says:


      I understand what you are saying, I think. But I do not agree with you about the reasons for rejecting sterlingisation

      I do not agree with bailing out banks and I do not think it is a good idea to found an economy on smoke, mirrors and the confidence fairy.

      The idea of keeping sufficient reserves to bail out banks is frankly laughable, since there is no cap on the liability. That is the essence of what we are pleased to call “moral hazard” these days.

      I do not think the UK will be able to bail out the banks again. Rather, of course they will because they have a sovereign currency. But they will not be able to do it and maintain the fiction that an economy is like a household: that patter is played out.

    143. Tartan Tory says:

      I would like to thank stonefaction, Paula Rose & Andy for having the sense to see beyond the apparent trolling and unwarranted character assasination that’s been going on here. I can only reason that someone simply cannot read without being blinded by a name.

      I’m not going to be dragged-down into debating with an idiot, but instead, I will answer Rock’s questions as best I can, without pretending to be an expert. These are simply my honest thoughts:

      Rock says: What percentage of Tory voters do you reckon are going to vote Yes?

      I have no idea, but I can assure you of this – At least 20% of Scottish voters are on the right of centre. Many of the businessmen and women I talk to are on the same page as me. Very few are utterly opposed to independence. A good number of undecided’s are there too. I’m talking about people who are earning more than double the average wage in Scotland. (Note that earnings in themselves do not dictate a Tory ideology, but can perhaps be a general guide). Many ‘Tories’ are wishing that Ruth Davisdon & Co would change side and present a Scottish Tory Party with a Scottish right-wing view. This is VERY different to a Westminster Tory view. The biggest hurdle to open support from these people that I’ve heard, is the concern that the millitants in the central belt will end-up running an independent Scotland. To be fair, I too worry a bit about this, but it wouldn’t change my mind. We need to have a balance in parliament and I believe the SNP currently display more of this than most.

      Rock says: Who would benefit more from a currency union, Scotland or rUK?

      Both! Perhaps the question should be, who would lose more from not having a CU. The answer would still be both, but probably more rUK in the short to medium term. Who knows what will happen in 20+ years? Westminster could find vast resources of something valuable in the Lancashire soil. More likely, they could find it in the lands of somoene else and exploit it for their own ends – they have a good track-record in this after all.

      Rock says: Would Scotland be better or worse off if it creates its own currency rather than using the pound?

      Long term (10-20yrs+), Scotland would likely be financially better off. However, getting to that point through the shorter term could prove very difficult indeed in a social context. Too many people would be looking in vain for short-term gains, while No voters could become very vocal indeed. If up to half the population are forced into independence against their wishes, the social fabric would be stretched significantly and would not withstand an extended period of make-do-and-mend. Social unrest would not make for good long term prospects I’m afraid.

      Rock says: Would rUK be better or worse off if Scotland creates its own currency rather than using the pound?

      If it were done immediately (2016) rUK would be significantly worse off. But in itself, that’s not a valid reason for us just to do it. I don’t believe that it could (or will) be done anyway. If Alex Salmond stood up tomorrow and said independence will mean a new currency right away, I fear we would lose the vote from a number of current otherwise Yes people. I can’t say I’m one of them though.

      Rock says: Out of the 3 possibilities – currency union, using pound without a currency union, own currency – which would benefit Scotland most?

      Short term, CU. Long term, Own currency.

      Rock says: Out of the 3 possibilities – currency union, Scotland using pound without a currency union, new Scottish currency – which would benefit rUK most?

      Currency Union – period. Benefit is perhaps the wrong word here. CU would prevent rUK from losing the most (financially) upon Scottish independence.

      It’s now 2am and, to quote zebedee, time for bed! Goodnight. 🙂

    144. donald anderson says:

      Hi TT, as someone you would consider far left I understand what you are saying. I have more respect for honest Tories than dishonest Labourites, who have no politics other than hating Tories in England, despite stealing theior claes, and hating the SNP in Scotland.

      Scottish Tories are usually much more progressive than English Tories. Ruth Davidson said she would fight for the best deal for Scotland if we do gain Independence. Many Labourites look like being resigned to fifth columnists.

      The Progressives ran Glasgow much better than Labour, who ran most of our services into the ground and could not even run a public toilet. Progressives introduced Municipal gas, electricity, water and public transport. Glasgow used to lead the world and lecture on public Transport. The Tories built Knightswood and Toryglen, Labour built Drumchapel and Castlemilk, with nary an amenity. Labour has privatised most of Glasgow services, as their bossed did in Office in England setting themselves and cronies up as useless directors. Labour destroyed the Scottish pits and had a worse record than Thatcher. Thatcher said Mandela should be unconditionally released, whilst Kinnock and co demanded he renounce violence first. It was sickening to see these placeman in Glasgow pose as socialists and get by on the great man’s coat tails.

      Progressive and creative capitalists are of more use than lumpen numpties on the make. I’d rather agree to differ with the Tories than suffer any more at the hands of such class ("Tractor" - Ed)s, who seem incapable of all reason in their hatred of all things Scottish.

    145. Tartan Tory says:

      A very good post to read first thing this morning Donald. Your last paragraph gives me hope for the future of consensus politics in iScotland. 😉

    146. FlimFlamMan says:

      I just can’t help myself when it comes to economics, so I’m sticking my oar in again.

      Tartan Tory says:

      Rock says: Out of the 3 possibilities – currency union, Scotland using pound without a currency union, new Scottish currency – which would benefit rUK most?

      Currency Union – period. Benefit is perhaps the wrong word here. CU would prevent rUK from losing the most (financially) upon Scottish independence.

      In a genuine currency union – as described by BoE governor Mark Carney; both sides ceding sovereignty – rUK would be at the mercy of financial markets. After Scottish independence rUK will run a large external deficit; likely greater in absolute terms than the UK’s deficit, never mind as a percentage of GDP. Giving up currency sovereignty would mean losing control over the financing of that deficit.

      When the eurozone imploded the bond yields of euro using nations with large external deficits went through the roof, but UK yields went down. The difference was currency sovereignty; when nations have control over their own currency markets can only do what the governments of those nations allow.

      A genuine currency union would be a disaster for the rUK. It would be like the ERM fiasco, but on steroids.

      An independent Scotland would likely run external surpluses, so doesn’t face the same dangers, but the flexibility that comes with currency sovereignty is never a bad thing.

      The CU might not be genuine though. Scotland might be offered ‘representation’, but with absolute control remaining with Westminster. Okay, but why would anyone want to tie Scotland’s hands like that?

    147. Gary says:

      I think the view from London can’t see what happens in Scotland. I think the point being made is a dog-whistle. Scots would have to print new notes and call them ‘groats’ and we would be a mickey mouse country not even having real money. None of its true, we already use our own pound and if pegging to BoE we wouldn’t need to change our notes anyway. Scottish notes can be difficult to use in England as it is, this would formalise it at least. The story comes back and back despite being as dead as the Norwegian Blue Parrot, it is NOT pining for the fjords, it is an ex parrot, it has ceased to be!

    148. CameronB Brodie says:

      Tartan Tory
      Certainly not as eloquently as others, but I had your back TT. For what good that might have done. 😉

      IMO, too many folk are still thinking along party lines. This vote is between hope against despair, progressive against regressive, balance against excess, truth against hypocrisy, freedom against subjugation, good against evil, right against wrong, light against darkness, humans against the Klingon. 🙂

      We can hopefully all work together to figure out how it works, once we get it out the box.

      P.S. I wouldn’t really know where to place myself on the political spectrum, as I was led to believe it was all a sham at the tender age of eleven, 1979.

    149. kininvie says:

      @Rock @TT

      I would probably consider myself right of centre, but shall certainly be voting Yes.

      Business for Scotland now has upward of 2000 members who have signed their declaration that Scotland will be better off independent. These are small business owners, with enterprises ranging from manufacturing to property, all over Scotland. Their natural territory is to look for a low tax easy regulation environment – so their normal inclination may well be to vote Tory – but they are voting Yes.

      Don’t forget that this site received an individual donation of £10,000 during the last fundraiser. That shows that it is not just the less well off who support independence and the glorious anarchy of Wings. I think you do yourself an injustice in making lazy assumption about how people will vote: there are many among the ‘professions’ – civil servants, lawyers, financiers – who are just as peeved with SE England dominance as anyone else.

      And to those who were trolling TT: This site is not, and never has been the province of leftish discussion, and automatic suspicion of those who take a different line will put off readers, commenters, and – more important – potential Yes voters.

    150. Rock says:

      Tartan Tory,

      “These are simply my honest thoughts”

      I appreciate your effort.

      Re Tories:

      As I have said previously, Labour has done more harm to Scotland over the decades than the Tories. The Tories are openly wolves but Labour are wolves in sheep’s clothing.

      Out of your estimate of 20% right of centre, the overwhelming majority will vote No. However, I hope your efforts in convincing your fellow Tories will pay off as every Yes vote helps.

      After a Yes vote, the people of Scotland can vote for a centre right government if they like but as Alex Salmond has said, there will never be Tory govenments imposed on Scotland against its will.

      Re Currency:

      “CU would prevent rUK from losing the most (financially) upon Scottish independence.”

      If you had said that before, you would not have been critiscised for downplaying the effect on rUK.

      “Short term, CU. Long term, Own currency.”

      Considering the nonsense and dishonesty of the UK government (ruling out a CU), I don’t think they can be trusted with a CU.

      I have therefore come to the conclusion that Scotland should continue to use the pound without a CU in the ‘short term’ (no more than 5 years) and get its own currency as soon as practical.

      Norway thrives with its own currency, why shouldn’t Scotland?

    151. Rock says:

      Tartan Tory, donald anderson, CameronB Brodie, kininvie,

      It has been said so many times by those on the Yes side that the referendum is about Yes or No to independence from Westminster rule.

      It is the No side (the British Establishment) which deliberately lies about it being an SNP / Alex Salmond issue.

      Let us secure a Yes vote first, we will decide everything else democratically afterwards.

    152. Rock says:

      donald anderson,

      “Scottish Tories are usually much more progressive than English Tories. Ruth Davidson said she would fight for the best deal for Scotland if we do gain Independence.”

      I could perhaps agree with you about Scottish Tories but Ruth “line in the sand” Davidson IS NOT TO BE TRUSTED ONE BIT, to say the least.

      She is a total bully on TV debates and her tone at FM Questions is disgraceful.

      She came 4th in her constituency with less than 10% of the vote yet she gets the privilege of abusing and insulting the democratically elected First Minister.

      She is worse than an English Tory and represents everything that makes the Tories so hated in Scotland.

      And then there is that Tory scum Alex Johnstone —.

    153. geeo says:

      While some of the informed comment on this thread is useful to some, to viewers simply looking for clarity, it could look like a hard read.

      People presumably are seeking short informative answers from those with some knowledge of the subject.

      Anyone i talk to about the currency basically want to know one thing.

      Even if they believe the No CU stance is a bluff, they still want to know “what if”?

      What actually IS considered the best option ?
      I find a fair amount of Yessers who are unsure they want a CU any more due to the unionist attitude, but are unsure what is the best alternative.

      To be honest, while not being one for blind faith, there is an element of faith and trust that those in charge at the SG have plans for every outcome after a Yes.

      The Yes side have held the cards close to their chests thus far, to the extent that BT seem to have no idea what to say next and are having to invent an SNP policy, slate it, then hope the SNP/Yes side give them a clue in response to what the actual plans are.

    154. Churm Rincewind says:

      It strikes me that FlimFlanMan (above) has it right – a genuine currency union would certainly be in the interests of an independent Scotland, but it’s hard to see why rUK would agree to act as lender of last resort for an independent Scotland without retaining control of the decision-making process. As FFM points out, there could well be some sort of arrangement agreed whereby an independent Scotland could have input into the decision-making process, but with final control in the hands of Westminster.

      But that ain’t independence in the sense that I understand it.

    155. Adrian B says:

      @ Chum,

      You have a very valid point. The IMF recommend not having a Bank of last resort – Instead they suggest that savers money should be covered. Banks are private companies and guaranteeing that the public will bail them out when things go pear shaped does not encourage safe banking practice.

      A shared currency union is certainly in the best interests of rUK and Scotland as it guarantees the value of the pound with Scottish exports and keeps the balance of payments in a better place than they would otherwise be.

    156. FlimFlamMan says:


      The LOLR thing isn’t really the issue; we saw after the GFC that banks got bailed out according to where they did business, and the relationships with local banks. So, in addition to domestic bailouts, UK banks got bailed out by the US, Irish banks were bailed out by the UK, Belgian banks were bailed out by France, and so on.

      In some future crisis, if there were huge Scottish banks doing lots of business in London, the UK government would likely bail them out. Now, there’s a whole discussion to be had about whether they should be; about what banks ought to be lending for in the first place, and what a humane society actually needs from its financial sector. But if Scotland were already independent in 2008/9 Westminster would still have bailed out RBS.

      @Adrian B

      Exporters tend to still think sterling is overvalued, so a drop in value if Scotland initiated its own currency would be welcomed by many in the rUK. It certainly wouldn’t be a serious problem.

      As for the rUK’s balance of payments; a shared currency doesn’t help at all. It doesn’t matter what currency Scotland uses, its exports will not show up on rUK’s balance sheets – except as imports, for those things which rUK imports from Scotland. Which of course makes rUK’s balance of payments ‘worse’. Scottish exports will be Scottish.

      The problem with the balance of payments is how a deficit is financed. The UK has run large external deficits for decades without problem, and that’s because the UK has its own currency. The external deficits are financed by government deficits, accompanied by bond issuance.

      Those bonds are denominated in sterling, which is also issued by the UK government. When both debt and the currency in which it is denominated are issued by the same entity, that entity cannot be forced to default, and the interest rate on the debt is under the control of that entity. It may choose to let markets push it a little, or it may not, but markets can only push as far as the issuer allows.

      If the rUK gives up its currency sovereignty it loses this ability, and all hell will break loose.

      We’ve seen it with the Euro:

      Scotland would be like Germany*, probably; no currency sovereignty, but external surpluses which mean no financing problem.

      rUK would be like Spain; external deficit, no currency, financing at the mercy or markets (and another land bubble to boot), nightmare.

      Again, this is all assuming a genuine currency union, with both sides ceding sovereignty.

      * Of course, just because it’s true now doesn’t mean it will remain so. For decades Japan ran consistent external surpluses; it and Germany were the world’s exporting powerhouses. It is now running external deficits, and it does so safely because it has its own currency. If the same thing happens to Germany then its lack of currency sovereignty will be a huge problem.

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