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Scotland again

Increasingly I am disturbed by the Yes campaign.

I've listed my emotional leanings in an earlier post; it's easy to see and understand the desire for a Scotland free from the greed and self service of Westminster, but it seems that Westminster is being equated with London and London is being equated with England, in a kind of lumpen broth of things and people it's OK to hate.

When all is said and done, that's a matter of choice. It's the practicality of the thing I don't get. Salmond keeps telling the Yes camp that of course there will be a shared currency, that Scotland will have the pound and the BoE will guarantee it. But why would the BoE guarantee the spending splurge promised by Salmond? This is the man who brought Fred the Shred to the fore, the man who spent £20,000 of taxpayers money in court to prove that he had got legal advice on the standing of Scotland in the EU; the court ruled that he had not got the advice he claimed. I wouldn't trust this man with a fiver, never mind a country's budget. The response to adamant claims that England won't share the pound? Salmond and chums claim that England is bluffing, that of course we will share the pound. But surely we never would unless we could determine and veto the money, and what kind of independence is that? But there just seems to be this blank assurance that England is playing chicken...maybe it is. But it's a dangerous game, and I see no gain to England in it. As important, I see no loss to England in refusing to play. Scotland is the player at risk. I think. But my fiscal knowledge is very slight.

The response has been that if England doesn't share the pound, Scotland will just renege on its part of the UK debt. Despite the hit our GDP would take, the temptation would be to shrug. After all, there are a lot of lenders out there; Scotland can go enjoy the interest rates any bad debtor faces. Of course, the oil might help a great deal, but there is so much finagling about how much oil there actually is and what it's worth, who can judge? Of course someone will buy it and just as well, with the loss of the financial sector, and the need to renegotiate everything from whisky exports to military shipping - both of which gain their major custom south of the border - said oil may well have to cover a lot of expenses. But it is worrying to depend so much on one resource; it makes for a wobbly utopia.

Then there's the EU. Salmond has claimed all sorts of rubbish, from fast-tracking onwards, and I think there is a hope that Europe will welcome them in just to annoy the evil English. Maybe that will happen. If so, Scotland will have to adopt the Euro, for all its sins. But an independent Scotland wants the same get out clauses and exceptions negotiated by the UK. And that might happen too, but there's no guarantee. What there are, are potential vetoes...

Of course, none of it may happen. What do I know? But it has an ominous feeling to me, the sense of a grand kilted party, and then a hangover lasting longer than William Wallace's legend. If the worst should come to pass I have no doubt that Scotland will survive, though it will be hard. But to see the end of the Union? Something in me sorrows, another part of me knows that we'll be OK.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
romney
Sep. 15th, 2014 12:11 pm (UTC)
The big point about Scotland reneging on it's share of the UK debt, is that if it does it will find it rather hard to go to big international lenders to borrow money when it's entire history as an independent country is one of not paying debt back.
smokingboot
Sep. 15th, 2014 01:07 pm (UTC)
Well exactly...so I can't understand why this is being used as a bargaining chip.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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