The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland


Last year, this year

Posted on February 22, 2013 by

    48 to “Last year, this year”

    1. Doug Daniel says:

      So, last month the EU argument was blown out of the water, this month the credit rating argument. What will be March’s self-inflicted wound, I wonder?

    2. EmbraBoffin says:

      rUk decides to bomb its own airports just to be on the safe side?

    3. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “So, last month the EU argument was blown out of the water, this month the credit rating argument. What will be March’s self-inflicted wound, I wonder?”

      We’ve already had the “armed forces job losses” thing, right? Maybe they’ll decide to shut the Clyde shipyards after all. That decision’s due any time now, I believe.

    4. Robert Kerr says:

      This has been on the cards for quite some time. Alex Salmond is well aware and is still biding his time.
      The excrement shall hit the rotating equipment well before the Referendum day.
      Our masters in London have known this for a long time hence their  rush for a referendum quickly.
      Watch the pound v euro on the exchanges.
      It’s the Union dividend.

    5. Doug Daniel says:

      Robert – it’s the pound against the Danish krone I’m excited about. I’ve got about 1,000 DKK to change back into GBP when I get back from Copenhagen.
       
      I might have just become a millionaire…

    6. CameronB says:

      And the shout came down from the top of the ladder, “everyone take a step down”.
       
      Vote Yes for a future.

    7. balgayboy says:

      Presently the pound is falling quite rapidly against most major currencies and if this continues as some forecasters predict the UK will not be having an EU in/out referendum but might have no choice, not only to stay in the EU but become part of the Eurozone as well to survive. Interesting times.

    8. tartanfever says:

      balgayboy –
      George Kerevan wouldn’t agree with you as he thinks some countries are deliberately taking steps to devalue their currency in order to gain a competitive edge.
       
      http://newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-opinion/6803-repeating-errors-of-bad-old-days

    9. balgayboy says:

      @ tartanfever,
      Yes thanks, I read his article and there is “the currency war” being suggested mostly from highly productive manufacturing countries to boost their exports. Not sure if the UK is in that same manufacturing league. Could be that the UK treasury/BOE are wanting a weak pound to help diminish their deficit, but losing it’s triple A staus will make borrowing more expensive.

    10. Appleby says:

      One by one, every pillar holding up the arguments of the Better Together Lib/Lab/Con unholy alliance is being knocked out from under them as we approach the big day. This one is a biggie too, though no doubt to be rapidly PR-managed and painted over by the obediant mainstream/unionist media.

    11. douglas clark says:

      Doug Daniel,

      “After a year in which all the arguments for separation were knocked over like a row of dominoes, those who would cast us free from the mother country have decided to fall back on the negative theme which has taken them so far in the past.”

      How negative does being a part of this gargantuan spin have to become before some folk wake up and smell the coffee?

      Is it unreasonable to point out that sometimes hitting your head against a brick wall is not a successful strategy?

      It is, perhaps, interesting that the dominoes are back on their feet again. Some say, as they ever were.

      Anyway, I have tried being English – read Westminster loyalist – for nearly a week now, as recommended by spin doctors, and it is like having the flu.

      It is not, exactly, something you won’t recover from, indeed it is not too unpleasant, but it ain’t natural.
       

    12. deewal says:

      More reason for Westminster to hold onto their vassal state. Even more too poor, too stupid.
      No doubt Gideon will continue to have the full backing of our Glorious Leader.

    13. Inbhir Anainn says:

      All I would wish to add is that in the Autumn of 2014 I would urge all Scots and those who have residence in Scotland to vote positively and let Scotland retake its place amongst the family of independent nations.

    14. Ray says:

      “Salmond accused of gloating over AAA credit status”
       
      There you go, Scottish media.

    15. Macart says:

      I’m sure the media will find a way of blaming it on the Scottish government.
       
      It’s what they do!

    16. Appleby says:

      Story has to lead with a picture of Alex and “SNP accused” somehow! The Scottish media obsessive, hate-filled, bitter together stalkers find a way.

    17. Marcia says:

      Another Bitter Together leaflet to be pulped.

    18. Macart says:

      Salmond accused of gloating? Quote: Ah telt ye this wid happen!
       
      There’ll be some bullshit mock headline and flurry of soundbites about the referendum tipping the rating into the abyss.

    19. G. Campbell says:

      Alistair Darling, June 2012:

      “Scotland’s credit rating is one of the big questions. Only four countries in Europe now have triple A status, the UK, Germany, Finland and the Netherlands.”

      “Would a new kid on the block walk straight into the top rating? Especially in the current climate with countries and institutions being downgraded, including Scotland’s biggest bank.”

      “It is a very uncertain and very unstable world and if the rating falls borrowing costs go up and therefore interest rates go up.”

      http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/328510/Scots-face-1bn-home-loans-hit

      Alistair Darling impersonator, Feb 2013:

      “Scotland will benefit from Britain’s rising borrowing costs and interest rates.”

      “Would a new kid on the block walk straight into the top rating? Dunno, but it wouldn’t hurt to try.”

      “Can I upgrade?”

    20. G H Graham says:

      Since January 2007, the Pound has lost 24% of its value against the Euro.
      It lost 22% of its value against the US Dollar over the same period. However, the Euro has maintained parity with the US Dollar.
      This, if we had become independent 5 years ago, it is certain the cost of energy to our infrastucture & homes would certainly have been cheaper, while England’s would of course have contined to rise to shocking levels, possibly higher without the subsidies from Scotland.
      Yes, a higher currency value makes exports more expensive but Germany’s trading strength has rarely suffered because of exchange rates, because they make top quality, difficult to replicate machinery & equipment, the sort of things we used to make here.
      Odd then that the Unionist claim that Scotland being forced to join the Euro would be bad, while retaining the Pound would be good.

    21. creag an tuirc says:

      It will be interesting to hear Grahmski & Niko’s views on this one.

    22. muttley79 says:

      @Appleby
       

      One by one, every pillar holding up the arguments of the Better Together Lib/Lab/Con unholy alliance is being knocked out from under them as we approach the big day. This one is a biggie too, though no doubt to be rapidly PR-managed and painted over by the obediant mainstream/unionist media.
       
      We just have to remember Newsnight’s treatment of Cameron’s EU speech when, instead of viewing it as a difficulty for the No campaign and asking them difficult questions, Brewer got the SNP to answer questions on their stance on Europe.  Very bizarre to say the least….

    23. DaveO says:

      Devaluing does not help UK manufacturing that much – the bulk of it’s exports require raw materials to be imported in the first place. This only helps exports of things we produce here – food for example. Of course exporting more means higher prices at home for us.

    24. G H Graham says:

      I’ve been in international manufacturing all my life; currencies do affect the cost of raw materials from a company perspective and it also affects sales revenues but rarely did I see a company I worked for shift production based on currencies.
      The cost of labour, materials & energy were the three main drivers, labour being typicaly considered first.
      So if Scotland had a lower energy cost & competitive labour rates compared to England, some businesses would migrate here. Transportation costs to other markets do matter of course but this is less of a consideration when shipping by boat/plan when competing with England. Only road transport make shipping from Scotland to Europe more expensive because of the distance. But that can be offset by government fuel taxation policy if an independent Scottish government sought to provide a competitive fuel supply for businesses in Scotland.
      It is so obvious to me that when given all of the levers to adjust our economy, we could so much better than being shackled to bankrupt Britain that Flipper Darling would have us continue to drool over.

    25. R Louis says:

      As an aside, I caught a few minutes of a programme on BBC ALBA the other night, from 1976.  The voice over man on the old footage was talking about the Scotch Whisky industry, and in passing mentioned its importance, as it was “the second biggest export in Britain”.
       
      Now we know why successive Westminster Governments hid the McCrone report and wilfully lied to the people of Scotland about the true oil wealth in Scotland.  Just remember, the UK was bailed out by the IMF in the late 70’s, and would have been right royally stuffed, if they had not only lost Scotland’s oil, but also the distilling revenue.
       
      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/how-black-gold-was-hijacked-north-sea-oil-and-the-betrayal-of-scotland-518697.html
       
      http://www.newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-opinion/3577-mccrone-and-the-trust-of-the-scottish-people
       

    26. McHaggis says:

      I am truly gobsmacked at the brass neck of people like Danny Alexander.
       
      One year ago the unionist press were full of scare stories about how an independent Scotland would not benefit from the UK’s AAA rating and it would be the end of the world.
       
      Today we see them basically saying, ah well, its not the end of the world!
       
      February 2012 —
      Scottish Conservative finance spokesman Gavin Brown added: “Ratings agencies are taken extremely seriously by investors all over the world, and this warning is therefore deeply concerning.
      ‘A drop of just one notch would have severe consequences for our economy and it is vital that we maintain triple-A status. If we are to present ourselves as a country worth investing in we must be seen as a solid economic prospect, and the rating the UK currently holds guarantees this.

    27. Luigi says:

      Apparently, the unionist take on it is going to go something like “Ah, but AAA credit rating doesn’t really mean much anyway! The point is that Scotland after separation would still have a lower credit rating than rUK, hence we would still be £1 worse off”.

    28. Luigi says:

      According to Willie Rennie on BBC Radio Scotland this morning, AAA rating doesn’t matter much anyway. They seem to have forgotten their own words.

    29. Robert Kerr says:

      I note that Gardham in the Herald is taking the line that economics is not that important to the Independence issue.
      This spin today is a direct consequence of the Triple A loss to our Glorious Union.
      Sad.
      We ain’t seen nothing yet ! The spiral has started and there is no solution. Devaluation, Inflation, Interest rates up, Foreclosures. The can has been kicked down the road as far as it can be. 
      It’s the Union Dividend. Enjoy with Schradenfreude !
       

    30. G H Graham says:

      I won’t put a link here but a Google search revealed the following spin & blatant contradiction by Unionist ‘bare faced liar’, Gardham.
      “The independence referendum will be determined by economics rather than voters’ sense of Scottishness or Britishness, a social research institute has predicted.” – Herald Scotland, 11th January 2013
      “It’s not really about economics at all. “This is much more of an emotional issue than an economic issue,” he said. “The economic issues are not that big a deal. Anyone who casts their vote on economic grounds exaggerates the importance of economics.”” – Magnus Gardham, Herald Scotland, 23rd February 2013
      Bottom line is that Gardham and his Unionist chums will spin & say anything, including lies even when they know it to be complete shite, just so they can print an anti-independence argument.
      Conclusions

      Unionists know fine well, the case for remaining in the Union is at best flimsy
      Unionists will continue to spin & lie to keep up the facade

    31. Barontorc says:

      It’s noticeable what the demonisers of Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon have actually achieved given today’s AAA downer for the UK and the Scottish Government’s response.

      It was not from AS, but from Stephen Noon against haplessly inept and lying Rennie and then, from John Swinney to the BBC’s Derek Bateman.

      Both Noon and Swinney are more than competent and conducted themselves ably and to the point – but one wonders what AS would have responded in his inimitably, devastating fashion?

      Here we have some kind of precautionary care being shown for AS’s exposure to this bear-pit and if this is the inevitable result of baiting by the MSM and BBC, something has happened to SNP strategy with AS’s political impact somehow on low volume.

    32. Fiona says:

      Barontorc, I think the strategy of exposing other spokespeople will be so that the old one man band thing can’t be trotted out. I also think that it is wise to keep AS and NS exposure down- it means that when they do say something it may well be listened to by a wider audience. The Better campaign always trot out the same spokespeople, either because the individuals think they are listened to(I know who can take Willie Rennie seriously) or just as likely because they are the”best” that they have. Voter fatigue will kick in, if it hasn’t already, with the “oh not him/her again” refrain and folk will switch off. I think a few folk could do with taking regard to a well known phrase of Burn’s
      “Oh wid some power the gift tae gie us, Tae see oorselves as ithers see us”
      When AS and NS have something to say they will and it will be heard over the daily hubbub of the No scare stories.

    33. Robert Kerr says:

      Really pleased with G H Graham reinforcing my post.
      Also pleased that neither of us put in a link to the Herald. Why give them cash !
      The money men have tried and failed against the Euro, now it is Sterling’s turn. 
      The spin is really sad.
      “It’s the Economy, Stupid” is a quote that can gain traction here as well as over the water.
       
       

    34. tartanfever says:

      ‘Economics aren’t important to decision making on Independence’. These guys are having a hoot !

      About time we started getting some figures out there, here’s one for starters.

      The UK Govt are still borrowing some £9bn per month. This is over and above our estimated national debt of £1.5T (trillion). As it’s the general population that are bearing the brunt of the austerity measures, we would all individually have to pay £150 per month just to put a stop to the increasing debt.

      (£9bn divided by a rough estimate of UK 60m population) .

      Of course, this presumes that 100% of the population pay taxes etc, but they don’t, so for tax payers the amount could be even higher (after all, can we really expect under 18’s to pay this debt). We could presume that those not paying tax could take the hit by reducing their benefits, but I’m not a Labour politician so I’d rather not go there. However you decide to divvy up this debt, it’s a lot of money.

      Remember this is just to stop the borrowing, we still have the national debt of £1.5T to pay off. If we wanted to do that, again based on population figures, we would all have to pay £25K each !

      So the idea of us starting as a brand new nation ( as suggested by all the unionists last week) with not taking any assets but not taking any debt either would immediately see a debt burden of £25k lifted from the shoulders of every Scottish resident.

      Of course, this is a very simplistic argument, negotiations on independence would be hard and compromise would have to come from both sides, but in terms of using this (in a unionist fashion ala Gardham and co) it could prove a real wake up call for many.
       
      (Feel free to check my figures, it’s an awful lot of 0’s to punch into a calculator but I’ve double checked and I think I’m there)

    35. Boorach says:

      @ Barontoec
       
      As I heard it Stephen was scheduleto for the head to head with rennie and did an admirable job.
       
      John Swinney as the SG’s finance minister was the appropriate person to comment on the downgrading of the uk’s creditratting.
       
      TheMSM will happily lambast the SNP’s performance  without us doing it for them

    36. Luigi says:

      Does anyone have a copy of the Better Together AAA leaflet? Were any delivered?

    37. G H Graham says:

      Flipping houses
      Flipping arguments
      Flipping liars

    38. Cameron says:

      I have this question on Alex Massie’s piece in the Spectator. You can but hope, and I don’t think I’m making it through to the Illuminate rally, so this will have to be my contribution. The Economist though, I’m afraid that might be a bridge too far, as I think is a bit of a lost cause.
      Anyway, isn’t economics the application of bad mathematics to assumptions based on wishful thinking? It must have been my six sense working when I was introduced to it in its neoclassical form, at school. I do not know whether it is always a good thing to be proven correct, as my early assessment was, “Ah smell shite”.
                               ————————————————–
      “The referendum wont just affect us Jocks, it will affect everyone living in the UK. Do you really want the shape of your democracy to be dictated by the conduct and performance of the BBC? So far they have shown an alarming willingness to undermine the democratic process. Is this fact so hard for you to accept and why?”

    39. Chic McGregor says:

      Note the timing of the release – half an hour to go on the NYSE on a Friday.
       
      If it had been earlier in the day/week the pound would have plummeted spectacularly. Not that nearly two cents in that last half hour was unspectacular, but we could well have been looking at tens of cents and falling through parity on the euro.  As it is, and not I suspect by coincidence, the market sheeples may well have stopped scattering and come back under control by Monday morning – maybe
       
      However, the real issue is whether this is enough to prick the huge UK bonds bubble.  If that bursts and interest rates on British bonds only goes up to the more normal 5% level (it may well go higher) Britain would not be able service its debt. 
       
      The Fiat system (aka printing money, quantitive easing) is not going to be sustainable as the genuine wealth creating countries are amassing gold in preparation to a return to a de facto gold standard.  Britain cannot afford to do this and doesn’t have the genuine wealth creating capacity to benefit from it anyway.
       
      David ‘Copperfield’ Cameron has already been to the Chinese and Indian governments with his begging bowl but they are not interested in British bonds.
       
      So it will be cap in hand time to the EU/IMF for a bail out not long after the bond bubble bursts.  
       
      Attempts to carry on with a Fiat policy will result only in inflation and hyperinflation.
       
      The banks and financial institutions in Casino London have done nothing to promote genuine wealth creation in Britain.
       
      The government would have had more effect on growth if they had handed the money over to the elecorate.
       
      Better still would have been a national enterprise board consisting of genuine wealth creators, technologists, strategic thinkers etc. who would have made far more productive use of the money by issuing one-off start up grants and loans.
       
       
       
       
       

    40. Inbhir Anainn says:

      As I understand it our Leas-Phriohm Mhinistear na h-Alba (Deputy First Minister of Scotland) Nicola Sturgeon is spending a few days over in Brussels, Belgium so she would currently be unable to make any comments.

    41. Kenny Campbell says:

      There will be no return to the gold standard as long at the US exists as a state. They can’t afford it.

    42. Cameron says:

      Very interesting times.

      The BoE negotiating the final agreement to set up a three-year yuan-sterling swap line with the People’s Bank of China, China and India buying gold like there is no tomorrow,  India banning private gold purchases about a year ago. the US Fed and the Bank of International Settlements discussing reclassify gold as a Tier 1 Asset. and with a de facto replacement for the dollar already in operation, in terms of the SDRs offered by the Bank of International Settlements.

      Do you think they know something that they are not sharing us?
       
       

    43. Chic McGregor says:

      So what are they going to do Ken?  In their incorrigible hubris the Anglo-American twat-class thought they could win a board game with the inventors of chess and mahjong and the greatest player nation of the former by inviting them into the WTO games room.   Guess what? the move to de facto gold standard is checkmate (a third World War being, hopefully, out of the question).

    44. Appleby says:

      The gold standard would be a disaster. It would be a set back of massive proportions, giving control of the economy to the elite few once more. Back to near serfdom.

    45. CameronB says:

      @ Appleby
       
      Not that I’m supporting gold, but how would that kind of feudalism differ from the one we live with today? FIAT austerity might not be as fast and shiny but it gets the job done.

    46. Appleby says:

      I don’t really disagree with you, CameronB. Both systems (today’s debt-based money and austerity and the gold bug plans) are bad, I’m simply pointing out that jumping from the frying pan into the fire isn’t the kind of thing we should aim for. There are too many gold bugs hoping for their metal messiah to save the day before or after things hit the fan. A non-debt based currency, of which the supply of is in control of the people is what we should strive for when we can. Together with which national debt should cease as an ongoing millstone around all our necks even in “peace time” and so we’d no longer see large chunks of the yearly taxes simply servicing debt or used to essentially rent the currency.
       
      I don’t know if the Westminster/City mentality will ever change without it going much further than the loss of the triple A ratings. I think for them to try a new path or idea it’d have to hit some pretty rough going, worse than we’ve seen so far.
       
      With independence it does offer a fresh new sheet to start with and avoid the mistakes of old.

    47. CameronB says:

      @ Appleby
      Agreed, independence wont solve all our problems overnight, it will simply provide an opportunity to create a batter society, it is no guarantee. I am definitely no expert but debt based money only seems a good idea if you are a bank. Ideally, Scotland could develop an alternative model of banking/central banking, that made access to capital easier for all, and does away with fractional reserve banking.

    48. CameronB says:

      @ Appleby
       
      I would go further and say, a more socially just society will not be possible without radical banking reforms.



    Comment - please read this page for comment rules. HTML tags like <i> and <b> are permitted. Use paragraph breaks in long comments. DO NOT SIGN YOUR COMMENTS, either with a name or a slogan. If your comment does not appear immediately, DO NOT REPOST IT. Ignore these rules and I WILL KILL YOU WITH HAMMERS.




    ↑ Top